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Kidney stone is a hard object which is made inside the body due to the chemicals present in urine. Each year it is estimated that more than half a million people suffer from kidney stones. Diet, excess body weight and lifestyle are some of the major factors influencing its cause.
Kidney stones can affect any part of the urinary tract, including the kidney and bladder. The passing of kidney stones is usually painful. Kidney stones don’t cause any harmful effects if diagnosed and treated at an early stage. This article covers almost all the things that you need to know about kidney stones, their causes, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
Kidney stones usually don’t cause any symptoms until the stone moves inside your kidney or lodges in the ureters. If so, then it blocks the flow of urine. As a result, the kidney may swell and can cause pain. The most common symptoms associated with kidney stones may involve the following :
Everybody can get kidney stones. But for some people, the chance of getting kidney stones is higher than the others. For example, men have higher chances of getting kidney stones than women. Some of the causes include:
Kidney stones are mainly classified into:
This is the most frequently found type of kidney stone. It occurs when calcium combines with oxalate in the urine to form stones inside the kidney. These types of kidney stones are mainly caused due to inadequate fluid intake and when the body doesn’t have enough calcium.
Calcium stones may also occur in the form of calcium phosphate. Specific fruits and vegetables, nuts, and chocolates have high oxalate content which can also contribute to calcium stones.
These types of kidney stones are caused by an infection in the upper urinary tract. They can become quite large stones sometimes with very few symptoms or no symptoms. They are generally made up of magnesium ammonium phosphate and constitute 10-15% of all kidney stones.
They are caused by a rare disease called ‘cystinuria. As a result of cystinuria, a substance called cysteine is leaked into the urine. When too much cystine gets accumulated in the urine, cystine stones are formed.
Uric acid stones mainly occur when uric acid content in urine is high or when the acidic level of urine increases. Uric acid stones are mainly caused when you consume food that is rich in purines. Purines are usually high in fish, beef, chicken, and eggs.
People who are obese are at a higher chance of having uric acid stones. People who had undergone chemotherapy should also be precautious against uric acid stones. Uric acid stones can also be caused due to many other factors including hereditary.
Diagnosis depends upon the type of kidney stone you are having. The urologist decides the diagnosis procedure by analyzing your medical history, health status, and the symptoms you are possessing.
To continue the further procedure, your doctor needs to know the nature and size of your stone. For this procedure, a CT scan or a type of high-resolution X-ray known as KUB X-ray (Kidney-Ureter-Bladder X-ray) is used.
The KUB X-ray result is observed by the doctor to determine if shock wave treatment is necessary for the stone to disintegrate. After the stone comes out of your body, you may be recommended by the doctor to undergo a blood test to know the composition of calcium, phosphorus, and uric acid.
First, your doctor recommends you drink a lot of water for a few days so that your stone comes out of your body without treatment. But if the stone is quite too large and blocks the passage of urine, then your doctor proceeds with surgery.
Kidney stones must be removed as soon as possible from the body to prevent infection. Short wave lithotripsy is the most common surgical method used to remove kidney stones from the body. They are proved to work best with large stones of irregular shape that block the urinal flow.
In rare cases, the surgical method used is nephrolithotripsy. This procedure is mainly used in cases where the stones cannot be removed using lithotripsy and in those cases where the size of the stone is greater than 2cm.
Drinking plenty of water is the first and foremost tip to be followed to prevent kidney stones. Drinking plenty of water can dilute the chemicals responsible for causing kidney stones and thus prevent stone formation.
Medical experts suggest that a person should drink water accordingly to urinate 2 liters of urine every day. Consuming beverages such as lemonade and other citrus fruits also prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Consuming a large number of fruits and vegetables reduces the acidic content in urine. The increased acidic content in urine supports the formation of kidney stones and thus by the intake of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of kidney stones.
Intake of animal protein such as meat, fish, and egg can increase the risk of kidney stones. If you are having a kidney stone, then you should stop the consumption of animal protein.
A high amount of salt intake increases the chance that foods rich in salts can also promote the risk of having kidney stones. High salt intake increases calcium which is a major factor responsible for developing kidney stones. Less salt intake also reduces the risk of high blood pressure.
Increased intake of vitamin C can cause heavy oxalate production in urine and can support kidney stone development.
Kidney stones can be harmless or sometimes they can cause heavy pain. If you have any symptoms of kidney stone, then you should immediately consult a urologist. Diagnosis and treatment of kidney stones can ease the risk.
On 19th May 2018, the state of Kerala, without any prior experience in handling a disease with a high fatality rate witnessed the outbreak of the Nipah virus. The first outbreak of Nipah was reported in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998.
Nipah became widely known in India when its outbreak was reported in the Kozhikode district of Kerala. Out of the 18 confirmed cases, 17 resulted in death. In 2019 a single case was reported in Ernakulam district. The state was very successful in handling Nipah and was recognized internationally.
But now, when the Covid-19 is at its peak in Kerala, a 12-year boy was reported dead due to the Nipah virus. After two years it is a great responsibility as well as risk for all of us to fight and prevent the virus from further spread. To stop its further spread, it is necessary that we take the following precautions mentioned below.
Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus, a virus that spreads from animals to humans. It is mainly caused due to contaminated food and by infected people. If affected it can cause several health issues including swelling of the brain and potentially death.
The virus can also spread on animals like pigs resulting in a severe loss for those who depend upon them as livestock. Until now Nipah virus is only reported in the Asian subcontinent.
Symptoms generally appear from 4 to 14 days after being infected. The main symptoms associated with Nipah are:
Besides, there can also be severe symptoms, which includes:
There are cases in which the deaths after the exposure to the virus have occurred after months or even years. People who survived had reported severe headaches from there to fifteen days after being exposed to the virus. According to WHO, about 40% to 75% of the cases can lead to death. But in the case of Kerala, the fatality rate in 2018 was 90%.
The Nipah viruses are nonspecific as their symptoms can be similar to usual illnesses. This can create a challenge in controlling its outbreak. Besides, the collection of samples and confirmation of the virus can be time-consuming.
The main tests used to determine the Nipah viruses are Real-Time Polymerase reaction (RT-PCR) and antibody detection using Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Sadly there are no particular vaccines or medicines available for curing Nipah. The only thing recommended is to provide intensive medical supportive care for respiratory and neurological problems created by the virus.
Cleanliness is the basic mantra to fight against every illness. Some easily adoptable methods to prevent the Nipah outbreak are:
There are many other factors including geological and climatic changes that promote the spread of the virus. If an outbreak is suspected all animal premises, mainly pig farms must be shut down and the animals must be inspected carefully.
For safety, any animal which shows symptoms must be culled and incinerated properly to prevent further spread.
The situation of the present Nipah is very different from that of 2018. Currently, we have to deal with two pandemic cases efficiently to save lives. But the ongoing war against the Covid-19 pandemic and previous experience from the Nipah outbreak can help us this time in preventing its spread.
In 2018, the Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala was confirmed only after witnessing a few deaths. But this time our health department detected the outbreak in its beginning itself even though we are not aware of the sources.
The terms ‘PPE kit’, ‘Quarantine’, ‘Isolation’, ‘Containment’ have become familiar to all of us. The habit of using masks and sanitizers due to Covid-19 can bring a lot of help in preventing the further spread of the Nipah virus too as it mainly spreads through contact and body fluids.
The prevailing government rules and restrictions against Covid-19 can bring a lot of advantages too as people are used to it. The habit of following safety measures should be followed strictly.
Supporting health care workers and others related to the healthcare sector is a must. If any of you or your family members have any symptoms, you should immediately seek medical attention. It is a serious case of your safety and others too.
The outbreak of Covid-19 had taught us many things including the importance of nature and conserving it. It is our due responsibility to make use of all the knowledge and experience to fight against this pandemic too. Not even a single doubt or symptom must be taken carelessly.
Consulting a virologist at the right time, proper quarantining of those who had contact with the infected person, and strictly following all the health protocols can stop the spread of Nipah.
Most of us have experienced pink eyes at least once in our childhood. Pink eye or conjunctivitis is an inflammation or infection that occurs in the clear tissue which lies over the white part of your eye and lines of the eyelid. They are caused mainly due to a bacterial or viral infection and due to allergic reactions.
Even though pink eyes can be irritating, it barely affects your vision. Early-stage treatment can prevent the infection from worsening.
Several factors cause Pink Eye. Some of the major causes may include:
Besides, there are many other factors such as Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STDs) like Gonorrhea which can bring dangerous bacterial conjunctivitis. Improper treatment of pink eyes due to gonorrhea can be really dangerous.
Newborn babies who have conjunctivitis should be treated at an early stage as it can be a threat to their vision. Recent studies show that pink eyes can also be a serious symptom as well an aftereffect of the Covid-19 virus.
The most common symptoms associated with pink eyes are:
Bacterial conjunctivitis is a common type of pink eye, caused by several sources of contamination. Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused due to exposure with the infected person, contaminated sources, or sinus or ear infections.
Bacterial conjunctivitis produces pus or thick white or green discharges and can affect both eyes. The only way to prevent the spread of bacterial conjunctivitis is to follow handwashing and hygiene techniques.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is more like a bacterial infection. You need an antibiotic medicine, eyedrop, or ointment to treat this type of conjunctivitis. Treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis usually lasts from one to two weeks depending upon the severity faced by the patient.
Viral conjunctivitis is an airborne infection that spreads mostly through sneezing and coughing. Watery discharge is associated with this type of conjunctivitis. Usually, it starts from one eye and spreads quickly over the other.
Unlike bacterial conjunctivitis, antibiotics don’t work against viral conjunctivitis. Sadly there is no effective treatment against viral conjunctivitis. But they are self-limited, which means they only infect for a particular period.
The duration of the latter is from 5 days to 1 week. After that our eye starts to enhance itself. Treatment of viral conjunctivitis involves supportive medical therapies, such as eye drops, to reduce symptoms such as surface swelling and redness.
Conjunctivitis caused by allergies is also very common. Few common factors associated with allergic conjunctivitis include climatic changes, pollen, hair, animal fur, etc.
The most common symptom related to allergic conjunctivitis includes itchy eyes and irritation. It can be relieved by anti-allergic eye drops.
Non-infectious conjunctivitis can be a result of substances that are direct or indirect contact with the eyes. These may include petrol, kerosine, smoke, dust, perfumes, and certain chemicals.
This type of conjunctivitis may vary from person to person depending on their physical responses towards different materials. They will not be transferred from one person to another. Medical treatments will be provided by your health expert considering your response towards various substances.
Giant papillary conjunctivitis is mainly caused due to contact lenses. Due to giant papillary conjunctivitis, the inside of your eyes gets swollen and itchy.
The majority chance of having giant papillary conjunctivitis is in people who are using contact lenses for many years. This type of conjunctivitis can also happen in persons who are not using contact lenses. But these cases are rare.
As always, prevention is better than cure. The key to preventing pink eyes is hygiene. One of the common methods to prevent pink eyes is
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Not every symptom of pink eyes should be taken carelessly. Sometimes pink eyes can lead to serious issues. You should immediately consult medical care if:
If your symptoms don’t change in 12 to 24 hours, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. Pink eyes in newborn babies as mentioned are a serious matter to be taken into consideration. They should be treated soon or else there is a chance that it could affect their vision.
People who are using contact lenses or other eye lenses should stop wearing them quickly. You should also seek medical help if your symptoms remain mild but you have heavy redness in the eye. Redness in the eyes can also be a factor due to allergies and climatic changes too.
An electrocardiogram records electrical signals of your heart. It is a painless medical test usually used to test the health of your heart. It is one of the simplest and fastest tests used to diagnose your heart too.
There are electrical impulses in our heart for supporting blood flow. An ECG records these electrical impulses to measure our heartbeat rate. In this article, we are going to discuss everything about ECG including its procedures and risks.
Your doctor might advise you to undergo an electrocardiogram due to a variety of reasons such as:
Besides, there can also be many other reasons that your doctor may advise you to have an ECG test. ECG is not recommended for those who don’t have any symptoms. But if you are having any family history related to your heart, then you may be suggested to undergo an ECG test.
In some cases, your symptoms may not be present at the time of an ECG recording. In such cases, your doctor may suggest you have continuous ECG monitoring. Some of the methods used for continuous ECG monitoring include.
A Holter monitor is a type of portable ECG, which can be used to monitor the heart’s activity continuously for over 24 to 48 hours.
An event monitor is also a portable ECG more like a Holter monitor. But it does not record your heartbeat continuously. There is a switch attached to the event monitor. You can press the switch and activate it when you feel any symptoms or discomfort. an event monitor can be used continuously for about 30 days.
Every medical procedure has risks in some way or other. ECG is very safe. The chances of risks are minimal and rare. An ECG procedure includes electrodes. These electrodes when left for too long can cause skin irritation and tissue breakdown.
You may also feel discomfort while removing the electrodes as they are sticky. In some cases, people also feel skin rashes. But it is temporary and lasts for very few minutes. An ECG doesn’t emit any electrical signals or impulses, it just analyzes your heart’s electrical signals. So it is generally a very safe test to be performed.
Many factors influence the results of an ECG test. Some of these may include:
Besides all the above-mentioned factors, lot more factors can contribute to an inaccurate reading of an ECG including those caused by computer readings and pacemakers.
Before doing an electrocardiogram test, your doctor will explain about the test and there you can ask your doubts about the test. It is very important to tell your doctor about all the medications and supplements you are taking as certain medicines can affect your test results.
Avoid drinking cold water before the test as cold water can affect the electrical patterns of your heart. It is also recommended that you should avoid engaging in exercises or other physical activities. This can increase your heartbeat rate and can influence the test results too.
Generally fasting is not required before the test. Tell your doctor if you are having a pacemaker. Besides these, depending upon your health condition you may be advised for other preparations too.
An Electrocardiogram test usually follows the following procedure.
After doing an Electrocardiogram test you can resume your normal life. You should follow any routine or procedures after the test if you are advised by your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have skin itching or irritation even after a long time of the procedure.
Generally, there are no particular steps to be followed in terms of routine after the test. The treatments and medications after the test depend upon your health condition and test result. . After analyzing your test, your doctor may contact you if you are having any serious health issues such as:
It is advised to consult a cardiologist if you are having any heart-related issues. For your life beat to go on, you need a healthy heart. For a healthy heart, you taking care of your heart is necessary.
Our heart is working 24 hours a day round the clock pumping blood and oxygen along with all the organs of your body. Being the important muscle of the body, your heart needs proper supervision and care. Improper care of your heart can lead to many serious problems.
The modern medical system has a cure for almost all types of diseases. There are also a series of tests to diagnose the issues related to your heart too. In this article, we are going to understand some of the common medical tests and their procedures to diagnose heart health.
An angiogram is the most common medical test used to diagnose the risks and defects associated with the heart and its parts. An angiogram is mainly used to check blocked or narrowed blood vessels in your heart.
A coronary angiogram is usually performed during or after a heart attack. This test is also performed if there is a blockage in blood flowing to the heart. It includes X-ray imaging to observe the heart’s blood vessels.
During this procedure, a dye visible to the X-ray machine is injected into your artery and a series of images are taken by the X-ray machine known as angiograms
With the help of these angiograms, the doctor analyses the health of your heart and blockage in the arteries. If necessary, the doctor can open blocked arteries during this procedure.
The coronary computed tomography angiogram is a type of angiogram that uses iodine-containing contrast material and CT scan to determine narrowed arteries to the heart.
The image created by this test is used to generate a three-dimensional image for further examination. The contrast material used in CCTA can sometimes cause allergies. Tell your doctor about all the medications and allergies you are possessing.
An electrocardiogram or ECG is a painless test carried out to record the electrical activity of your heart. Sensors attached to the skin are used to evaluate the health of your heart by producing signals. These signals are observed by your doctor to see any unusualness in the heart.
There are electrical impulses in our heart for supporting blood flow. An ECG records these electrical impulses to measure our heartbeat rate. It is one of the simplest and fastest tests used to diagnose your heart.
Your doctor may recommend you to have an ECG test under certain specific cases as follows:
The test generally involves sticky sensors usually attached to your chest, arm, or legs which records your heart’s electrical impulses. These tests only last for a few minutes and sometimes they can vary depending upon the condition of the patient.
Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI is a scanning procedure that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to generate images inside the body, especially the heart. An MRI is used to take static or moving images of your heart.
An MRI scanner is a large tube-like structure containing powerful magnets. During the procedure, the patient needs to lie flat on the table. The scan lasts from 15 to 90 minutes depending upon the images taken.
MRI scanning is a painless and safe procedure. It does not involve any radiation. A special dye is injected for the visibility of the heart and arteries during the scanning. It is very important to stay still during the entire procedure.
The test results give a clear idea about your heart, it is working, and problems or defects associated with it. An MRI scan is not recommended in specific situations. For example, if you are having a pacemaker or a metal joint, then you won’t be allowed to do MRI scanning.
Blood tests are an important procedure in determining one’s heart health, mainly after having critical conditions like a heart attack. During a heart attack, your heart muscles can get damaged and your heart releases toxic substances into the bloodstream.
The answer is yes. Blood tests are a common and widely used method to detect the toxicity in blood and thus determines heart health. Blood tests are used to determine the level of toxic or foreign substances in your bloodstream released by the heart and thus it shows how much damage has been occurred to the heart.
Most commonly, blood tests after a heart attack are used to determine the level of troponin in your blood. A very high level of troponin content indicates that a heart attack has occurred. About 12 hours after a heart attack, most patients who possessed heart attacks to have a high level of troponin in their blood.
Blood tests are also used to determine other factors in such as blood fats and minerals. A high level of bad cholesterol in your blood is a sign that you are at risk of having heart attacks.
An echocardiogram is a common procedure, which involves using sound waves o produce a clear image of your heart. This test allows your doctor to see the heartbeat and pumping blood by your heart.
This procedure involves the usage of a probe. The probe is usually placed in your chest or sometimes in your esophagus. The resulting images produced by echocardiogram allow your doctor to identify the problems related to your heart, its chambers, or arteries.
Depending upon the health condition you are possessing or the information your doctor needs, you may undergo several types of echocardiograms. An echocardiogram is mainly classified into:
Transthoracic Echocardiogram is the most commonly used type. During a TTE, your medical expert uses a small device called a transducer. The transducer is moved to different parts of the chest to obtain a clear picture of the heart.
If your medical expert needs a more clear image of your heart or when it is difficult to obtain an image of the heart with a normal echocardiogram, you may be recommended to undergo a Transesophageal Echocardiogram.
Ultrasound images of your heart are taken when you are at rest. Then your medical expert advises you to undergo a physical activity and again an ultrasound image is taken and compared with the previous one. If you are not able to exercise, then an injection is given which boosts your heartbeat.
Using an X-Ray device, pictures of your internal organs such as lungs, heart, and blood vessels are taken. These pictures are further examined to see if there is any sign of heart failure or risks.
A chest X-Ray, also known as a radiograph is focused beams of radiation. The pictures obtained from the procedure look like a negative image of a black and white photograph.
Your health expert will advise you to undergo a chest x-ray if you are possessing or having the signs of the following conditions such as:
For your life beat to go on, you need a healthy heart. It is always advised to consult a cardiologist if you have any issues or doubts related to your heart health.