The Dangers of Preeclampsia and Eclampsia: How Medical Science Copes With Pre-term Births

It is a fact that experiencing new motherhood is a supreme bliss. Every mother would like to welcome her offspring into the world safely, with utmost care and protection. A high-risk pregnancy due to hypertensive diseases like preeclampsia, eclampsia, toxemia, PIH (pregnancy-induced hypertension) highly endangers the life of the new mother and her baby.

The repercussions are varied and dangerous: pre-term delivery/premature births, under-nourishment for the baby due to Intra-uterine Growth Restriction (reduced blood flow to the placenta), devastating infant deaths as well as maternal deaths. For the past few decades, preeclampsia and eclampsia have occurred in a number of pregnant women globally, affecting both the pregnancy and the post-partum period, resulting either in maternal deaths or in high-risk pre-term deliveries.

Alarming Ratio of Maternal Mortality and High-risk Pre-term deliveries

A close study into the debilitating disorders of preeclampsia and eclampsia brings out some startling facts and statistics related to the diseases. Among recent findings, the rising ratio of maternal mortality due to the severe medical conditions of preeclampsia and eclampsia is the most alarming.

  • Preeclampsia, or high blood pressure induced by pregnancy, affects 7 to 10 percent of pregnancies in the United States and is the second-leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide. It is the leading cause of pre-term delivery and contributes significantly to stillbirths and death in newborns.
  • Eclampsia conditions in the third trimester of pregnancy have been found out to be responsible for about 80% of eclampsia seizures occurring intrapartum (while giving birth) or within the first 48 hours following delivery.
  • According to a recent data recorded by Preeclampsia.org, (a foundation and support center for mothers suffering from preeclampsia and for mothers who have outlived the trauma and loss caused by preeclampsia), preeclampsia, eclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of illness and mortality in mothers and infants. Only by conservative estimates, these disorders are responsible for 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths each year.
  • Research over the years has linked the increased risk of preeclampsia with increased maternal age, a genetic tendency towards high blood pressure, diabetes as well as high body fat.
  • Research also shows that more women die from preeclampsia than eclampsia.
  • Members of Preeclampsia.org have reported the loss of at least one baby or miscarriage in as many as 20% of their members globally. Additionally, these mothers having high-risk pre-term deliveries have also had the risk of having learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, blindness and deafness.

The Difference Between the Symptoms of Preeclampsia and Eclampsia

Preeclampsia and eclampsia are in reality, two different forms of the same disorder in pregnancy, with eclampsia being the more fatal and serious form of the disorder. Both entail a drastic increase in the mother’s blood pressure which results in abnormal swelling in different body parts of the mother.

While preeclampsia emerges in a mother-to-be, putting her at risk of pre-term labor, C-section delivery and a number of other medical interventions during childbirth, the proper diagnosis of preeclampsia is vital to prevent the more serious and fatal condition of eclampsia.

Various studies in the recent years involving preeclampsia and eclampsia are trying to understand the nature of these two severe medical conditions as they have been proved to be fatal to quite a number of mothers and babies. Surprisingly, no research has been able to prevent these two high risk ailments.

Expert gynecologists around the world agree upon a single remedy in case of preeclampsia, which is an early detection of the condition. Despite extensive research in all these years, no reliable test or symptom so far has been able to predict and also prevent the condition of eclampsia, the more severe form, leaving mothers and pre-term newborns in high risk zones of mortality.

To add to the complications, studies have indicated that there is no evidence of a single symptom profile that is unique to preeclampsia, and that the symptoms largely vary from person to person. Experts over the years have said that there are only certain factors that can change the way preeclampsia shows itself. Those include, but are not restricted to: the patient’s medical history, pregnancy history, diet and overall activity level.

The best and the only available remedy for babies born to preeclamptic mothers who are not diagnosed of the disease at an early stage: early delivery of the baby. This, naturally results in strict vigilance of the both the mother’s and the premature infant’s health in NICU facilities. In case of early diagnosis of preeclampsia, effective screening measures and an extremely efficient prenatal care, prompt treatment and consultation can save the lives of the mother and the baby.

The Standard Treatment Used in Preeclampsia Patients

Over all these years, doctors have prescribed a simple, life-saving salt named magnesium sulfate for mothers diagnosed with preeclampsia with quite satisfactory results, a significantly lower risk of eclampsia seizures, lower risk of maternal deaths, lower risk of the baby developing pneumonia and staying in intensive care. Nevertheless, this drug needs to be administered with utmost care and efficiency.

The fact remains that more research in this sphere is needed to provide a proper insight into the causes and also find a permanent remedy to these high-risk pregnancy conditions. Although in developed countries like the United States, incidences of these deaths are apparently low, it is not so when you look into maternal and infant deaths due to preeclampsia, eclampsia and pre-term births internationally. That surely is not to be taken lightly.

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Pediculosis Explained: Having Critters in Your Hair

If you have children, you probably know that from time to time something occurs that is an all out and complete nightmare. Among these things is head lice or pediculosis.

Kids tend to be the most prone to acquiring pediculosis, particularly when they are still attending elementary school.

The most obvious culprit? Other children! You may observe that grownups very rarely ever contract pediculosis, but kids frequently do. As a matter of fact, it’s probably rare that you know one adult individual that did not get pediculosis as a child or has a kid who has already experienced something of this nature.

The Dangers of Pediculosis

Head pediculosis isn’t life-threatening and they do not spread diseases, but they’re contractible and can be quite bothersome for your youngster. Their stings may cause a youngster’s scalp to turn nail-bitingly excruciating and reddened, and long-term itching may lead to skin irritation and possibly infection!

The majority of parents realize what it’s like to have to experience something with your child and not be capable of dealing with it so when it comes to pediculosis capitis or body pediculosis you might not even find out your kid has it till you genuinely pay attention to a few key signs and symptoms.

There are a few things you can be watching out for in order to ascertain if your child has Pediculosis

Pediculosis eggs (also known as nits) seem like tiny brown, purplish, or yellow dots prior to them hatching. After hatching, the leftover shell looks light yellow or white. Pediculosis is when nits are deposited on hair follicles located at the skin’s surface, where the heat is ideal for keeping the eggs warm until they hatch.

Nits look much like dandruff, but they cannot be terminated by shaking or brushing them off. Unless the problem is utterly serious, it is more commonplace to see nits in a kid’s hair than it is to observe live pediculosis crawling on the scalp. The eggs hatch approximately 7 to 14 days after they are deposited.

Itching and Pediculosis

Scratching is a natural response to itching, but if your youngster is continuously scratching his scalp, it’s a good idea to have a look and see if you are able to notice anything! In addition, if they notify you about “little things” running around and tickling their foreheads this is a very dependable “sign” that they may be carrying pediculosis!

It is recommended that if your child does notify you of scratching or “tickling” you can take a fine-toothed comb and “sweep” his hair from side to side, look at his hair follicles and scalp. If you do discover something, it’s crucial that you call a physician who can recommend a effective shampoo or conditioner for your kid to eliminate the pediculosis. This is unquestionably not something you would like to delay!

These might be nonprescription or prescription drugs, contingent on what treatments have already been administered. Medicated pediculosis treatments normally wipe out the pediculosis and nits, but it could take a few weeks for the itching to cease.

Many people say that pediculosis is like varicella: once they contract it, they will most likely never get it again. This just isn’t the case regrettably!

Be on the lookout for pediculosis on your children and once you do come across its signs, be sure they see a physician right away. No one should accept this for a longer length of time than necessary.

What is Nitroglycerin: About Drugs Used To Treat Chest Pain Also Known As Angina

Nitroglycerin is classified therapeutically as an antianginal medication and pharmacologically as a nitrate. It is used to treat sudden episodes of angina and to prevent the occurrence of future episodes. Some other medications in this class are:

  • nitrostat
  • nitroQuick
  • deponit
  • nitrek
  • nitrong

How Nitroglycerin Works

Angina is caused by a lack of oxygenated blood flow to an area of the heart. A person experiencing angina may feel painful pressure or a squeezing sensation in their chest area. This pain may radiate to a person’s shoulders, jaws, back, neck or arms. Nitroglycerin increases blood flow to the heart by making the blood vessels that deliver oxygenated blood to the heart bigger. This process is called vasodilation. It relaxes the blood vessels in the body and decreases chest pain. Vasodilation of blood vessels that deliver blood to the rest of the body reduces the amount of work the heart has to perform, thereby reducing the oxygen needs of the heart. Nitroglycerin is available as a spray, tablets, capsules, extended release tablets.

Side Effects Of Nitroglycerin

Some side effects of this drug that should be reported to a healthcare provider if they become severe are as follows:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • flushing
  • lightheadedness

Adverse Effects Of Nitroglycerin

Side effects with potentially serious effects are called adverse effects and need to be reported to a healthcare provider immediately. The adverse effects of nitroglycerin are:

  • nausea
  • vomitting
  • weakness
  • blurred vision
  • fainting spell
  • abdominal pain
  • sweating
  • chest pain
  • pale skin
  • rashes
  • peeling of the skin
  • blisters on the skin
  • hives
  • itching
  • difficulty breathing

Precautions

A person taking nitroglycerin should always take the following precautions:

  1. Get up slowly from a sitting or standing position to prevent falls due to dizziness or light headedness.
  2. Take the medication as prescribed if when feeling better.
  3. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication and speak to a doctor before taking any over the counter drug.
  4. Be aware that headaches are a common side effect of this medication and should stop after a while.
  5. Notify a doctor of the headaches become unbearable or persistent.
  6. Take the medication at the first sign of angina. If the pain is not relieved in five minutes, another tablet can be taken. A maximum of three tablets should be taken at five minute intervals.
  7. Notify a healthcare provider or go to the emergency room if the pain is not relieved after taking three tablets.
  8. Store the medication in the container it came in to prevent loss of potency.
  9. Replace the medication every six months.

Be aware of symptoms of nitroglycerin overdose and contact emergency services if they happen.

Diabetes Linked With Alzheimer’s Disease: Patients Who Develop Type 2 Diabetes Before Age 65 At Risk

New research shows that type 2 diabetes doubles a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life, making the prevention of diabetes even more significant

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, responsible for over 80% of North American diabetes cases. The blood sugar disturbance has been linked to dozens of different health problems, from vision deterioration to stroke – and the latest research points to a connection between diabetes and later development of Alzheimer’s.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Diabetes is a blood sugar illness in which the body’s insulin signals are not properly translated into storage of blood sugar. This results in unhealthy peaks and low points in a person’s blood sugar (which needs to be maintained within a fairly limited range for the body to function) and eventual pancreatic exhaustion from insulin production.

Unlike Type 1 diabetes, people aren’t born with Type 2: the disease is usually linked to unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. People who are overweight or obese are considered 8 or more times as likely to develop diabetes as those with a smaller body mass index.

The number of Americans with type 2 diabetes has doubled in the past 15 years, and the incidence worldwide has gone from 30 million to 200 million since 1985.

Risk Factors Associated with Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes has historically been linked with a long list of symptoms and illnesses, including:

  • vision deterioriation or “diabetic retinopathy,” leading to blurring and eventual blindness
  • circulation problems
  • 3-4 times the risk of cardiovascular diseases like myocardial infarction and stroke
  • renal (kidney) failure
  • necrosis that can require amputation

New Research Links Diabetes with Development of Alzheimer’s

For some time, diabetes has been linked with vascular dimensia, a type of brain deterioration caused by damage to the brain’s blood vessels. Recent Alzheimer’s disease research also indicates a significant connection between type 2 diabetes and later development of Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.

A survey of over 13,000 Scandinavian twins shows that those who were afflicted with diabetes before the age of 65 had more than double (225%) the chance of Alzheimer’s of their non-diabetic twin. The presence of both diseases in one twin (but neither in the other) indicates that the link between the two may be more significant than even the hereditary factors in both diseases.

Diabetes Prevention Protects Your Brain

These findings are of particular concern given the rising numbers of diabetes patients and the aging baby boomer generation. The Mayo Clinic reports that the number of diabetics in the United States is expected to double in the next 40 years – a frightening number, given the mental consequences as these adults reach their later years.

The new findings linking Alzheimer’s with type 2 diabetes highlight the importance of education and action on this totally preventable blood sugar disease.