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.

Dengue Fever is Not Confined to Africa: There is More to This Disease than Meets the Eye

Dengue fever is spreading at alarming rates, and humanitarian and health organizations from around the world are struggling to help keep it at bay.

The World Health Organization estimates that two fifths of the world population, 2.5 billion people, are at risk from dengue fever. The little known disease is currently epidemic in over 100 countries with 50 to 100 million cases estimated per year. The aedes aegypti mosquito, responsible for its spread and originally found in Africa, populates the tropics globally today.

White markings on legs and a lyre shaped marking on the center underbelly distinguishes the insect that causes dengue fever from other mosquitoes.

How does One Contract Dengue Fever?

Dengue fever, aka breakbone fever, is caused by one of four viruses spread by an aedes mosquito bite. The majority of cases occur in urban tropical and subtropical areas but cases are being reported more often in the United States. Hawaii, Texas, and states bordering the Gulf of Mexico have reported cases recently. Area maps showing infected areas can be found on the Center for Disease Control website.

Although extremely uncomfortable the initial symptoms of Dengue fever will pass within 14 days. High fever, headache, rash and body wide muscle and joint pain begin to be experienced within four to seven days of being bitten. Nausea and vomiting may or may not be present. There is no treatment for dengue fever beyond re-hydrating and rest. Blood tests to confirm its presence and liver function evaluations are sometimes ordered.

Getting Infected with Dengue Fever

Since there are four strains, a person can be infected multiple times. Due to the damage done to the liver and blood vessels, subsequent instances can result in life threatening conditions.

The more severe form of dengue fever is Dengue hemorrhagic fever. The symptoms are the same as those of the more mild form at first, but become worse after the first few days. Damage to lymph and blood vessels as well as a decrease in platelets is common in dengue hemorrhagic fever and hospitalization is needed to prevent Dengue shock syndrome.

The sudden drop in blood pressure is the life threatening quality of Dengue shock syndrome. Blood vessel leakage and heavy bleeding may be accompanied by piercing abdominal pain, repeated vomiting and disorientation. These symptoms appear after the fever has receded between the third and seventh day. If proper diagnosis and treatment is not received within 12 hours, death may occur.

Prevention primarily centers on avoiding mosquito bites. Wearing an insect repellent that contains at least a 10% concentration of DEET is best. Sunrise, sunset and early evenings are the prime feeding times for the aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads dengue fever.

What Are the Causes of Diabetes?: The Main Causes and Symptoms of Three Types of Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that appears to be increasing each year. Its main characteristic is an inability to process sugars in the body, leading to high blood sugar levels and illness. Despite the growing number of people who have this condition, not everyone is aware of the causes of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

There are three types of diabetes. The first is called simple type 1 diabetes. It can also be called “juvenile diabetes” and “insulin-dependent diabetes.” This is the least common type of diabetes, usually striking during childhood. Considered an autoimmune disease, type 1 diabetes is caused by the body attacking the cells of the pancreas. This organ produces the hormone insulin, which is needed to break down sugars in the blood. As the amount of insulin decreases, sugar levels increase can cause serious damage.

Type 2 Diabetes

The most common type of diabetes today is type 2 diabetes. This condition occurs when external factors cause the pancreas to create less insulin, or the body becomes resistant to it’s effects. This condition can strike at any time and is most often linked to obesity and a poor diet. Though type 1 diabetes is incurable, for some losing weight and changing their diet can stop and reverse type 2 diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes strikes women during pregnancy and generally ends as soon as they give birth. Women who face gestational diabetes, however, are at higher risks for type 2 diabetes later in life. For some women, pregnancy hormones can cause a temporary decrease in insulin product or change how the body uses insulin. Blood sugar levels will increase if not treated, causing complications with fetal development and birth.

Symptoms of Diabetes

People who are suffering from diabetes all face similar symptoms to varying degrees. Understanding what the symptoms are can make early diagnosis easier to that treatment can be had sooner. With early treatment, diabetics can reduce the among of damage their bodies suffer.

Increased hunger and thirst, frequent urination, and unexplained weight loss are the most common early signs of diabetes. Fatigue, headaches, and blurred vision are also symptoms of diabetes that many sufferers face. Rarely for some, a loss of consciousness can indicate undiagnosed diabetes.

The causes of diabetes can range from genetic traits passed down to outside factors, such as diet and lifestyle. Understanding the causes can help people make smarter choices to prevent potential diabetes in their lives.

Cholesterol Levels and Heart Attack Risk: Treatment to Achieve Specific Numbers May Not Be Justified

According to a report in BusinessWeek,half of all heart attacks and newly-diagnosed cases of cardiovascular disease occur in people with normal or even low levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol).

Recent studies suggest that statins – drugs that are used to lower cholesterol – seem to benefit some people whose cholesterol levels are already low, but who exhibit signs of inflammation within their blood vessels. (1)

These findings imply that some other mechanism besides cholesterol – one that might be addressed through lifestyle changes or some other non-statin means – plays a significant role in the generation of coronary artery disease.

The National Cholesterol Education Program, the Framingham Heart Study, and Faulty Cholesterol Guidelines

For doctors who have tried to follow the recommendations of influential bodies like the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) and whose practice protocols are based on data from the Framingham Heart Study (arguably the longest, most comprehensive, and most respected analysis of heart disease in the world) the news of cholesterol’s demotion must be sobering.

It is understandable that the Framingham Study is the yardstick for measuring a given individual’s risk for developing cardiovascular disease; after all, this longitudinal trial has been generating valuable information since 1948.

Unfortunately, despite the statistical power of the Framingham Study, it remains, in fact, a conglomeration of numbers – susceptible to mathematical manipulation and open to disparate interpretation.

For example, Framingham’s outcomes form the basis for the “treat-to-target” rationale used by most physicians to prevent heart disease in their patients. This concept, which is practically the standard of care in the United States, mandates the reduction of LDL cholesterol levels (almost always through the aggressive use of statin drugs) to below 70 mg/dL for people who are at high risk for coronary artery disease, and to less than 130 mg/dL for people who are not at high risk.

Such a reduction in LDL cholesterol usually parallels a reduction in total cholesterol, often to less than 160 mg/dL. Oddly enough, many medical experts, including John Abramson, MD, a Robert Woods Johnson Fellow, medical statistician, faculty member at Harvard Medical School, and author of Overdosed America, the Broken Promise of American Medicine, believe that lowering total cholesterol to such levels actually increases the risk of death from causes other than heart disease for both men and women after they reach the age of 50. (2)

Allan Spreen, MD, a panelist for the Health Sciences Institute, contends that Framingham data show that when total cholesterol levels fall below 160 mg/dL, the incidence of heart disease once again increases, indicating that the benefits from cholesterol reduction bottom out around that point.

Furthermore (and somewhat chillingly), the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults – whose guidelines are incorporated into the NCEP – were promulgated by a group of individuals whose decisions may have been influenced by their relationships with statin-manufacturing pharmaceutical firms: Five of the 14 panel members who wrote the guidelines – including the panel chair – disclosed financial ties to these companies. (2)

Thus, it is possible that cholesterol guidelines disseminated to American physicians and their patients have been more intent on promoting greater statin use than on presenting a balanced interpretation of the science that surrounds heart disease.

Finally, to further reinforce the notion that doctors must rethink the cholesterol issue, a new study from Annals of Internal Medicine supports what some experts now believe is the best approach to preventing coronary artery disease.

In this trial, Dr. Rodney Hayward and his associates demonstrated that a “tailored” approach, where fixed doses of statin medications are administered based on an estimate of a patient’s net benefit, is far superior to simply increasing a patient’s statin doses to achieve a targeted cholesterol level. In fact, the research team could find no circumstances under which “treat-to-target” therapy was preferable to a tailored approach. (3)

Alas, it seems that addressing the modifiable risk factors for heart disease (smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyles, poor diet, etc.) may once more become vogue; the days of simply pouring statins into a patient to reach an arbitrary and hitherto magical cholesterol level may be numbered.

About Amlodipine: The Action, Side Effects, Adverse Effects Of Amlodipine or Norvasc

Amlodipine is classified as an antihypertensive drug and more specifically a calcium channel blocker. It is used to treat hypertension and chest pain also known as angina. They are used to manage irregular heart beats or arrhythmias as well. Other medications in this class include the following:

  • diltiazem
  • verapamil
  • felodipine
  • nifedipine
  • isradipine

How Amlodipine Works

Calcium is needed by the body for muscle contraction. The heart is a muscle that is constantly contracting to pump blood through out the body. Calcium channel blockers like amlodipine work by blocking the flow of calcium into the muscles of the heart and smooth muscles of blood vessels. The blood vessels relax and become wider plus the pumping action of the heart is reduced. The effect of this is an increase in blood supply to the heart, leading to reduced chest pain, a decrease in how fast the heart pumps and a decrease in blood pressure.

Side effects of Amlodipine

Besides the therapeutic effect of this medication, there are other side effects that may occur and they are:

  • dizziness
  • sleeping problems
  • drowsiness
  • tiredness
  • swelling of the hands and legs
  • headaches
  • dry mouth
  • nausea, vomiting, heartburn
  • constipation, diarrhea
  • stomach cramps
  • gum enlargement
  • flushing

Serious side effects that need to be reported to a doctor immediately are adverse effects. These type of side effects for amlodipine are:

  • chest pain that occurs more frequently
  • irregular heart beats
  • slow heart beats
  • severe dizziness

Before Taking Amlodipine

It’s important to what medications to avoid when takin amlodipine and some are as follows:

  • Be aware that it can lower blood pressure if taken with other antihypertensives, fentanyl, nitrates, quinidine or alcohol.
  • Know that its antihypertensive effects may be reduced by medications like ibuprofen.
  • Consider the fact that it reacts with lithium to cause toxicity in the nervous system.

Precautions

Doing the following may increase the effectiveness of amlodipine and help prevent some side effects.

  • Learn how to check pulses and blood pressure. Take blood pressure reading weekly and report any unusual values to a healthcare provider.
  • Take the medication as prescribed even well feeling well.
  • Get up from a sitting or standing position slowly to prevent falls due to dizziness.
  • Do not drive or do anything that requires alertness until the drug effects are determined because the medication may cause drowsiness.
  • Maintain good dental hygiene and keep all dental appointments to reduce the occurrence of gum enlargement.
  • Consult a health care provider before using any over the counter medication like ibuprofen.
  • Report severe headaches, bothersome side effects and adverse effects to a physician immediately.

Its important to take amlodipine as prescribed and to discuss all other medication being taken with a physician before starting on this medication.

Causes of Renal Failure: Degenerative Conditions Invoke Compromise to Kidneys

Renal failure can be caused by a number of prominent and degenerative precursors, stressors, and diseases.

Renal failure, a physically and biochemically degenerative condition in itself, can be caused by an array of other life-threatening complications and conditions. Its onset may occur suddenly, as typical of acute renal failure or regressively over a period of time (months or years), as customary with chronic renal failure.

Catalysts which bear the potential to trigger a downward spiral in kidney function have been disclosed here (briefly), yet this outline is not all-inclusive.

Severe Dehydration Causes Kidneys Stress

Severe dehydration may be due to poor fluid intake; excessive diarrhea, fever, sweating, and vomiting. Some medications (like diuretics), may also induce excessive fluid loss and thereby invoke undue stress on the kidneys.

Chronic Diabetes is a Major Cause of Renal Failure

Chronic diabetes mellitus, otherwise known as “sugar diabetes” is due to long-term unregulated blood glucose levels. It includes:

  1. Type 1 diabetes
  2. Type 2 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas’ insulin production is inadequate for the body.

In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces adequate insulin for the body but the body is unable to process it.

Acute and Chronic Glomerulonephritis

Glomerulonephritis is a type of kidney disease which results in the occurrence of blood and protein in the urine and a decrease in urine output. This is a disease of the glomeruli capillaries in which they become damaged or inflamed, thus interfering with the kidney’s natural ability to filter and remove excess waste and fluid from the body. A compromised immune system as well as other diseases and unknown causes can give rise to glomerulonephritis. Glomerulonephritis may be detected by urinalysis and confirmed through renal biopsy.

Chronic Hypertension is a Major Cause of Renal Failure

Hypertension (a.k.a. high blood pressure) is a condition in which a person’s systolic pressure and diastolic pressure are above 140 mmHg and 90 mmHg respectively, for prolong periods of time.

Renal Failure From Hypovolemia

Hypovolemia is a condition of low blood volume within the body. It may develop because of severe blood loss (resulting from a tragic accident or injury, etc.) and can bring about a lack of blood supply to the kidneys.

Kidney and Bladder Stones Can Block Urine Flow

Kidney stones and bladder stones are comprised of mineral deposits which precipitate out of urine and form stones. These stones may block and hinder the flow of urine within the urinary tract and could potentially result in obstructive uropathy or reflux nephropathy.

Medications and Renal Failure

Some medications though helpful for other areas of the body, may stress the kidneys causing them harm and toxicosis.

  • Diuretics
  • Regular use of analgesics (aspirin, acetaminophen)
  • Lithium

Multiple Myeloma Incites Renal Failure

Multiple myeloma causes the kidneys to be more susceptible to infection and disease. This condition is often referred to by several other names, such as: cancer of blood plasma cells, cancer of white blood cells, cancer of the immune system or cancer of bone marrow.

Obstructive Uropathy Damages Kidneys

Obstructive uropathy is an obstruction of urine flow from the ureters or the bladder, resulting in damage to the kidneys. This condition may be caused by enlarged prostate (in men), bladder cystocele, tumors and a host of other disorders and chronic diseases found in both men and women.

Defects From Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a chromosomal (non-sex type) disease caused by several dominant and recessive genetic defects. PKD is responsible for a variety of kidney defects and deformities.

Prostate Disease May Precede Renal Failure

Prostate disease impedes the healthy production of semen (semi-produced) by the prostate gland found in men. This disease may also lead to renal failure.

Reflux Nephropathy Scars Kidneys

Reflux nephropathy is the unnatural, backward flow of urine into the kidneys. This condition may occur as a result of obstructive uropathy and can cause scarring or other damage to the kidneys.

Renal Toxicity From Rhabdomyolysis

In rhabdomyolysis (a hefty breakdown of muscle tissue), myoglobin (which happens to be toxic to kidneys) is released from the muscle cells as they break down. Rhabdomyolysis may stem from a number of biological, chemical or physical impairments and complications.

Sepsis is a Renal Detriment

Sepsis (a.k.a. blood poisoning) is an infection of the blood stream or other tissues in the body. It is caused by an unhealthy accumulation of pathogens or other toxins in the body. This condition is an absolute detriment to the kidneys.

It’s apparent that the catalysts which trigger renal failure are abundant and can occur simultaneously or even be intertwined. Diabetes and high blood pressure have become infamous for being the leading, known causes of reduced kidney function and ultimately, renal failure. It is important however, to remain conscious of the other varied agents which have harmful and toxicological effects on the kidneys.

Disclaimer

This article is intended for informational purposes only. It does not take the place of a doctor’s advice. Before making decisions regarding your health, seek the consultation of a well-trained, medical professional.

Lung Diseases – Restrictive vs Obstructive Types: How are COPD and IPF Different from Each Other?

COPD is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. IPF is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from one of these major lung diseases.

Respiratory diseases count for about one in seven deaths every year. Interstitial lung disease affects five million people in the world annually; other major lung diseases include cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, mesothelioma, sarcoidosis, and pulmonary hypertension.

What is a Lung Disease?

Any disorder that affects one’s ability to breathe, including lung cancer, which results in a nagging cough, shortness of breath, pain in the chest and a decrease in one’s ability to perform any significant exertion, is a lung disease.

Definitions of Restrictive and Obstructive Lung Disorders

When the airways of the lungs become narrow or are blocked so that one cannot exhale completely, the disorder is defined as “obstructive.” Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and asthma are considered obstructive lung diseases. Generally these are caused by inflammation in the airways.

When the lungs have lost tissue or the cells stiffen due to invasive environmental factors, the lungs lose their ability to expand on inhalation. They are restricted, and the term “restrictive” is applied to the disease. Lung cancer is a restrictive lung disease as are pulmonary fibrosis (PF) and pneumonia. This eventually impairs the body’s ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream.

“Interstitial” refers to any restrictive disease of the air sacs around the lung cells. Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) was a synonym for IPF but now is used as an umbrella term which includes IPF.

Thus, an obstructive lung disease prevents proper exhalation, and a restrictive lung disease prohibits proper inhalation. Someone with obstructive lung disease can take a full deep breath, but cannot exhale it completely (risking the retention of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream and further inflammation of the airways). A person with restrictive lung disease cannot take a deep breath but has no difficulty exhaling all that he does inhale. As his disease progresses, the lung tissue stiffens in greater amounts and the capacity to hold oxygen in the lungs diminishes steadily. Less and less oxygen is supplied to the body’s organs.

Differences Between Two Types of Lung Disease

COPD is characterized by heavy mucus production and a constant loose cough. Effective treatments include prescribed inhalants using handheld inhalers, nebulizers or other forced-air equipment. As the disease progresses, supplemental oxygen may be used to assist the active patient. There is no cure for these diseases; current treatments can enable the patient to continue a fairly active lifestyle for a number of years.

Pulmonary Fibrosis (referred to as IPF if it is “idiopathic,” or has no known cause) does not produce mucus, nor is it helped by inhalants to clear obstructed airways. Many patients experience a dry cough which becomes extremely debilitating. Other symptoms include increasing demands for supplemental oxygen and a decline in ability to perform daily living tasks. Lung capacity diminishes to as little as 11% of normal, and oxygen requirements can exceed 12 liters per minute (unlike COPD oxygen requirements which seldom exceed 2 liters per minute in most patients.)

A standard of treatment used to be giving the patient high doses of prednisone (a steroid) to halt further progression of scarring thought to be caused by an inflammation. However, prednisone treatment is successful in a smaller percentage of patients than previously thought, and its side effects are so damaging to the body that many health professionals feel prednisone is no longer the preferred choice of treatment. Drug trials have been conducted for many years to find a more successful treatment for IPF, including pirfenidone, which is currently awaiting FDA approval following a series of favorable trials. At present, however, there are no known drugs that successfully treat IPF and the only “cure” available is lung transplant. Progression of the disease is usually more rapid than with COPD.

Differencesmay be Confusing

Since the greater number of lung disease cases tend to be obstructive, such as asthma and COPD, many healthcare professionals are ill-prepared to treat restrictive diseases such as IPF. There is a tendency, unfortunately, to assume that those treatments that succeed with COPD will also work for IPF. Consequently, IPF patients are often taught “pursed-lip exhalation” in which one forces the exhaled breath out between tightly pursed lips. This is a useless strategy for anyone who has no difficulty exhaling but can’t inhale sufficiently.

Other misguided treatments include prohibiting IPF patients from having greater amounts of supplemental oxygen than 2 lpm, because “the patient might become dependent on it” or “it will damage the lungs.” COPD patients do have issues with high-flow supplemental oxygen, but patients with restrictive lung diseases need all the oxygen they can get. Loss of oxygen to the brain, to the extremities, and to other vital organs can seriously affect quality of life and will hasten death.

Preventing Lung Disease

The most obvious preventive strategy is never to smoke. Quitting is the number one health measure to prevent lung disease. Other measures include maintaining a healthy diet, keeping active with cardiopulmonary exercise, and avoiding exposure to such environmental triggers as asbestos, second-hand smoke, and air pollution. Some lung disorders are inherited, so be aware of family history and prepare accordingly to keep one’s lungs as healthy as possible.

If anyone begins to experience symptoms such as unexplained fatigue, shortness of breath on exertion, or a persistent nagging cough, he or she should see his physician as soon as possible. Treatment at the earliest stages of lung disease will prolong life and extend one’s quality of life immeasurably.