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Kidney Health
Kidney stone – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Overview

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.

What are the symptoms of kidney stones?

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 :

  1. Severe pain below the ribs
  2. Pain at lower abdomen and groin
  3. Pain at either side of your lower back
  4. Blood content in urine
  5. Severe fever with shivering
  6. Urine with a very bad smell
  7. Pain or burning sensation during urination
  8. Urgent need to urinate frequently
  9. Decolouarated urine( especially pink, red, or brown)

What are the causes of kidney stones?

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:

  1. Having kidney stones earlier
  2. Drinking very little water
  3. Unhealthy diet 
  4. Obesity or overweight
  5. Undergone gastric bypass surgery
  6. If your urine has a high uric acid content
  7. Genetics chance and hereditary transfer

What are the kinds of Kidney stones?

Kidney stones are mainly classified into:

  1. Calcium stones

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.

  1. Struvite 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.

  1. Cystine 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.

  1. Uric acid stones

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.

How is kidney stone diagnosed? 

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.

How is kidney stone treated?

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.

How to prevent the risk of kidney stones?

  1. Drink plenty of water

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.

  1. Consume more fruits and vegetables

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.

  1. Limit animal protein

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.

  1. Avoid high salt intake

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.

  1. Avoid high doses of vitamin C

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.

10 Sep 2021
kidney health
kidney stone
Health
Nipah returns – Here is all you need to know

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. 

Facts about the Nipah virus

  1. Fruit bats are the common natural transmitters of the Nipah virus
  2. There is no proven cure for the Nipah virus to date
  3. The virus can live in fruits partially eaten by bats up to three days
  4. The average fatality rate of the Nipah virus is 40% to 75%
  5. Once the virus gets into your immune system, it spreads fast
  6. Studies suggest that survivors will possess neurological effects

What is the Nipah virus?

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.

What are the symptoms of Nipah virus?

Symptoms generally appear from 4 to 14 days after being infected. The main symptoms associated with Nipah are:

  1. Fever
  2. Headache
  3. Cough
  4. Vomiting
  5. Breathing trouble
  6. Sore throat

Besides, there can also be severe symptoms, which includes:

  1. Disorientation
  2. Confusion
  3. Drowsiness
  4. Brain swelling
  5. Coma

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%.

How is Nipah virus treated?

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.

How can we prevent the Nipah virus?

Cleanliness is the basic mantra to fight against every illness. Some easily adoptable methods to prevent the Nipah outbreak are:

  1. Make handwashing a regular practice
  2. Avoid contact with animals like pigs and bat
  3. Avoid consuming fruits that are contaminated
  4. Avoid contact with an infected person
  5. Raise awareness to your friends and family
  6. Strictly follow all the safety rules prescribed by authorities

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.

How can we use Covid-19 lessons against Nipah outbreak?

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.

10 Sep 2021
nipah virus
Eye Health
Conjunctivitis: Causes, symptoms, types, and prevention

Overview

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.

What Causes Pink Eyes?

Several factors cause Pink Eye. Some of the major causes may include:

  1. Bacteria and viruses
  2. Allergies due to medicines, such as eye drops
  3. Irritants such as shampoos, conditioners, smoke, dust, etc
  4. Allergies are caused due to the usage of wearing contact lenses.
  5. Parasites and fungi

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.

What Are The Symptoms?

The most common symptoms associated with pink eyes are:

  1. Pink or red color in the white of the eye
  2. Swelling in the eyelid area
  3. Increased tears than usual
  4. Burning sensation in the eyes
  5. Itching or irritation
  6. Green or white discharge from the eye
  7. Blurred vision
  8. Swollen lymph nodes
  9. More sensitive to light
  10. A dusty feeling in the eye

What Are The Types Of Pinkeye?

  1. Bacterial Conjunctivitis

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.

  1. Viral Conjunctivitis

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.

  1. Allergic Conjunctivitis

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.

  1. Non-Infectious Conjunctivitis

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.

  1. Giant papillary conjunctivitis

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.

How can you Prevent Pink Eyes?

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 

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Use a clean towel to dry your face
  • Don’t share your clothes and towels 
  • Don’t share your cosmetics, mainly those related to your eyes such as eyebrow pencils and mascaras.
  • Change your blankets and pillow covers often

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When To Consult A Doctor? 

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:

  1. You experience severe eye pain
  2. There is a lot of green and white discharge coming out of your eye
  3. Your white part of the eye is completely obstructed by redness 
  4. You have high sensitivity towards light
  5. You experience heavy pain the face
  6. You are facing vision loss

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.

04 Sep 2021
conjunctivitis
Heart Health
ECG – Everything You Need To Know

Overview

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.

When do you need an ECG?

Your doctor might advise you to undergo an electrocardiogram due to a variety of reasons such as:

  • Arrhythmias or irregular heart rhythm.
  • To evaluate health problems related to your heart such as tiredness, shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness, and breathing trouble.
  • To determine the overall heart’s condition after surgery, medical procedure, previous heart attack, or other heart-related problems.
  • To analyze the working of an implanted pacemaker
  • To check if the heart has any trouble due to coronary artery diseases.

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.

  1. Holter monitor: 

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.

  1. Event monitor: 

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.

What are the risks associated?

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.

What are the common errors of an ECG?

Many factors influence the results of an ECG test. Some of these may include:

  • Obesity
  • Exercises before the test
  • Smoking
  • Movements during the test
  • Pregnancy
  • Consumption of certain medicines

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. 

How to prepare for an ECG test?

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.

What happens during an ECG?

An Electrocardiogram test usually follows the following procedure. 

  1. You may be asked to remove any jewelry or other accessories from your body
  2. You will be asked to remove clothes from the upper waist. Your health expert will ensure your privacy by covering you with cloth, exposing only the required part for the procedure.
  3. Now you will have to lie flat on the table. Make sure to avoid any movement during the procedure as it can lead to misreading of the result.
  4. If your chest, arms, or legs are hairy, then the technician will shave your hair those body parts to ensure that the electrodes stick perfectly.
  5. Now the electrodes are attached to your chest, arms, or legs
  6. During the ECG procedure, the functioning of your heart is fully monitored. 
  7. Make sure that you breathe normally.
  8. It will only take very little time for a standard ECG test and after completing the test the electrodes are removed.

What happens after an ECG test?

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:

  1. Unusual heart rate: In normal cases, our pulse indicates the rate of our heartbeat. But in some cases, it is very difficult to analyze your pulse. In such cases, an ECG test may be very helpful. Your doctor may inform you if you are having a fast heart rate(tachycardia) or slow heart rate (bradycardia).
  1. Heart attack: An ECG is very effective in detecting previous heart attacks or the one in breakthrough. ECG tests can also determine which part of your heart is mutilated and the severity of the attack.
  1. Formation defects: There can be cases where your heart or parts of your heart having physical abnormalities. An ECG gives your physical expert an idea about the defects of your heart or the parts associated with it.
  1.  Insufficient blood supply: Our body needs enough amount of blood as well as oxygen for proper functioning. Amount of blood lower than usual is a serious problem to take into consideration. An ECG test helps your doctor to determine if the problem associated with your heart is due to insufficient blood supply.

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. 

04 Sep 2021
ECG
heart health
Heart Health
Common Medical Tests To Diagnose Heart Conditions

Overview

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.

Angiogram 

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. 

What are the types of Angiogram?

  1. Coronary Angiogram:

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.

  1. Coronary Computed Tomography Angiogram (CCTA): 

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.

Electrocardiogram(ECG)

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. 

When should you need an ECG?

Your doctor may recommend you to have an ECG test under certain specific cases as follows:  

  1. Arrhythmias or irregular heart rhythm.
  2. Evaluate health problems related to your heart such as tiredness, shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness, and breathing trouble.
  3. Determine the overall heart’s condition after surgery, medical procedure, previous heart attack, or other heart-related problems.
  4. Analyze the working of an implanted pacemaker
  5. Check if the heart has any trouble due to coronary artery diseases.
  6. Palpitations (sudden observable heartbeats)

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(MRI):

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. 

Is MRI harmful?

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

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.

Does blood test detect heart problems?

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. 

Echocardiogram

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. 

What are the most common types of Echocardiogram?

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: 

  1. Transthoracic Echocardiogram:

 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.

  1. Transesophageal Echocardiogram:

 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.

  1. Stress 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.

Chest X-Ray

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. 

When do you need a chest x-ray?

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: 

  1. Chest pain
  2. Chronic cough 
  3. Difficulty in breathing
  4. Fever along with other infections
  5. Congestive heart failure
  6. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases

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.

04 Sep 2021
angiogram
ECG
Dental Health
6 Simple Ways to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth at Home

It is said that “Every tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond”. Improper tooth care can lead to many health problems even bigger than an unpleasant smile. 

Maintaining your teeth is not only about looks. Improper tooth care can affect many parts of your body badly, including the heart.

If you have any dental-related problems, you should immediately consult a dentist. You should take good care of your teeth after consulting the doctor too.

If you want to have white teeth without practicing any chemical methods, then this article mentions a few natural and safe methods to make your teeth sparkle.

Importance of good oral health

Good oral health is a key to good overall health. Dental problems, such as tooth decay or gum disease, can affect your ability to eat and speak normally. Tooth decay is caused by the presence of a base and can result in causing pain and bad breath. 

Many people may not realize that poor dental health can have extreme effects on areas outside of the mouth and they can cause serious health issues such as diabetes, pregnancy, and chronic inflammation like arthritis.

Studies show gum infections can cause premature birth and low birth weight in pregnant women. So finding your tooth decay causes and practicing good oral health is very important to prevent these health conditions from happening. As always prevention is better than cure. 

Signs of poor oral health

  • Tooth Pain: Tooth pain is one of the most common signs of tooth decay. If you have tooth decay, then do not ignore it. You should immediately consult a doctor as the tooth decay can last even if you increase the quality of cleaning.
  • Bleeding or swollen gums: Gum bleeding or swollen gums is a sign of poor gum health. Treating your gum will reduce the chance of weak gum and unstable teeth.
  • Variations to the tongue: Any variation in texture or colour of the tongue is a sign that you have poor oral health. Clean your tongue daily after brushing your teeth and consult a doctor if you notice a rapid colour change in the tongue after brushing.
  • Growths or Lumps in the mouth: Growth or lumps inside the mouth is a serious sign or oral problem, Consult a doctor immediately in such cases.

Causes of dull teeth

Multiple factors contribute to the teeth becoming dull or yellow. Taking proper care individually or with the help of a dentist can make your teeth sparkle.

Our teeth are made up of various layers. Enamel is the outermost layer of our teeth. Certain foods and plaque formation on teeth can also make your enamel look yellow. This problem can be corrected by doing good dental care and a few home remedies.

The disintegration of enamel can also make our teeth look dull. The disintegration of enamel makes your dentin visible. Dentin is a hard yellow bony tissue that lies underneath the enamel.

Tips to whiten your teeth

Everyone has the desire to have bright teeth. We can make our teeth look bright to an extent. Here are a few simple methods everyone can follow 

Brush your teeth regularly 

This is the fundamental habit you should follow regularly if you wish to have shining teeth. If you don’t have the habit of brushing your teeth regularly, then it is a good time to start.

If you have yellow teeth even after brushing, then try brushing your teeth more often. However, do not brush your teeth as soon as you have a meal. This can lead to corrosion of the teeth. Try brushing your teeth one hour after having a meal. Before brushing your teeth, thoroughly wash your mouth with pure water.

It is very important to choose your toothpaste. If you are having tough stains, then try using teeth whitening toothpaste. They have mild abrasives which remove stains from your teeth. If you are having trouble choosing toothpaste, consult a dentist.

Use baking soda to brush your teeth

Yes! You heard me right. Brushing your teeth with baking soda is a popular teeth whitening method. Baking soda has natural teeth whitening properties. That’s why baking soda is an important ingredient in teeth whitening toothpaste. 

Baking soda has the property of cleaning your teeth and making them free from stains. Also, baking soda fabricates an alkaline environment in the teeth. An alkaline environment helps to keep away bacteria from your teeth.

Brushing with baking soda alone regularly is not proved to be useful in whitening your teeth. But toothpaste containing baking sodas are proved to be more effective in contributing to whitening your teeth. 

Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling is a well-known traditional teeth whitening method mainly practiced in India. It involves fizzing oil inside your mouth similar to using mouthwash.

Oil pulling is very beneficial as it can remove bacteria from your mouth. These bacteria can contribute to making your teeth yellowish. So if you are wishing to have white teeth, then Oil pulling is highly recommended!

The most commonly used oils for oil pulling are sunflower oil, sesame oil, and coconut oil. Among these coconut oil is the best for oil pulling, as it tastes good among the three. Coconut oil has many other health benefits too.

But there is no scientific proof that oil pulling can make your teeth white. To perform oil pulling, take a tablespoon of oil and fizz it through your teeth and mouth thoroughly. There are no side effects or harm in doing oil pulling. So it is completely safe to do oil pulling daily.

Consume a lot of fruits and vegetables

Consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables can be very useful in making your teeth white and it has many health benefits too. Crunchy fruits and vegetables are very beneficial in removing plaque from your teeth as you chew them. 

Two main fruits that have high teeth whitening benefits are strawberry and pineapple. An enzyme found in pineapple known as ‘bromelain’ is effective in removing stains and it is also a major component in teeth whitening toothpaste.

Strawberries contain an enzyme called malic acid. Malik acid is very useful in removing stains and discoloration from teeth and making them white.

Limit the intake of staining foods and sugars

Are you fond of sodas, wine, and coffee? Then for you to know, they are a great barrier to your teeth-whitening quest. This doesn’t mean that you should completely stop them. Limit the period of time they are in contact with your teeth.

If you are so fond of these food items, then consume them using a straw. Using a straw can prevent these foods from having contact with your teeth. Brush your teeth as soon as possible to avoid its effect on your teeth.

Moreover, smoking and tobacco usage can also contribute to dull teeth. Avoid its use to prevent discolouration of your teeth.

Orange and lemon peel rubbing technique

Like the oil pulling method, this method is also not scientifically proven. But those who used this technique are completely satisfied with the results. Moreover, this technique has not had any bad effects. So giving it a try is worth it!

To try this trick take a small peel of lemon or orange and rub it thoroughly for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, wash your mouth and brush your teeth. This trick can also be performed using banana peels.

These peels are rich in citric acid, which is theoretically proven to be the best remedy to remove stains and make teeth bright. But if you are having sensitivity issues this method is not recommended as it can cause negative effects on your enamel.

Consulting a specialist

Tooth care is one of the main factors to be considered. It is a good sign of health itself. Most of the remedies involve removing stains from the upper layer of our teeth. Sometimes it can be confusing to choose between various methods which are suitable for you. In such cases, you are always recommended to consult a dentist and check your teeth whitening options. 

04 Sep 2021
Women's Health
6 tips to get relief from horrible period cramps

At a glance:

What causes period cramps?

What can you do to get relief from period cramps?

Is getting a period cramp normal?

What are the different types of menstrual pain?

When should you consult a doctor?



It’s that time of the month!
Most of us have been there. We have experienced really bad period cramps that make us feel helpless and weak. We must have envied women who get to enjoy their painless period while most of us simply have to deal with the irritability and bloating every month.
In this article, you will read about the main causes and types of period cramps. We will also discuss the best home remedies to relieve period cramps.

What causes period cramps?

During menstruation,  the muscles of your womb contract and relax to help shed the built-up tissue lining in your uterus. You experience pain as a result of your uterus getting squeezed. The squeezing of the uterine muscles helps your body to push the unwanted layer formed inside your uterus out through your vagina during your period. 

What can you do to get relief from period cramps?

Here are a few quick home remedies to get relief from period pain.

Taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications

Women often take Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are the primary over-the-counter (OTC) form of pain relief used for menstrual pain before the discomfort turns into unbearable pain.

NSAIDs help lower your body’s production of prostaglandin. Prostaglandins are hormones produced by your body that cause the muscles and blood vessels of the uterus to contract. 

On the first day of your period, the level of prostaglandins is comparatively high and the levels go down as the unwanted lining of the uterus is shed.

Consuming NSAIDs as soon as you start to feel pain or the day before your period starts can be helpful in leaving you with less pain and cramping.

Be careful not to overuse NSAIDs. If you have a history of heart, liver, or kidney problems, or if you have asthma, ulcers, or bleeding disorders make sure to consult with a specialist before consuming them.

Use a heat patch

Applying heat to your abdomen and lower back can help relax the muscles of your uterus and reduce period pain. Using a heat patch or a hot water bag increases the blood circulation around your abdomen.

Heat therapy opens up your blood vessels allowing more blood and oxygen to flow through them. It is also well effective in reducing muscle spasms.


In case you don’t have a heat patch or a hot water bag handy, you can also take a warm bath or use a hot towel to do the job.

Try some yoga poses 

Practicing yoga is an effective pain-relief strategy when it comes to period pain.

Yoga poses can help stretch and relax your belly, pelvis, hips, and lower back muscles to help you relieve the pain naturally.

There is a variety of yoga poses recommended by expert yoga practitioners that you can try at home to get relief from your period pain.

Yoga also has the added advantage of stabilising the emotional symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and menstruation.

Having an orgasm

Masturbation is nothing but touching yourself for sexual pleasure. It is completely normal and an enjoyable behavior that can lead you to an orgasm.

The great news is that vaginal orgasms involve your whole body, including your spinal cord, which triggers your brain to release endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals produced by our body that helps in relieving stress and pain. Thus it can help you subside your period cramps too.

There is no clinical evidence that orgasms have a direct effect on menstrual cramps. But, it can surely lift up your mood. So why not? 

Drinking herbal tea

Expert nutritionists suggest that intake of certain herbal teas can help relieve menstrual cramps.

Try drinking chamomile and peppermint teas. These herbs contain anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic compounds that experts believe can reduce the muscle contractions and swellings associated with period pain.

Rest

Some women find relief from painful period cramps simply by taking good rest. It is very important that you give your body time to reboot and relax while you are on your period. Being active during the earliest days of menstruation may worsen your cramps. Stay hydrated, eat healthy food and give yourself a break.

Is getting a period cramp normal?


The truth is that there’s no proved “normal”. Most women experience period cramps and feel discomfort around their abdomen, lower back, and thighs when they’re menstruating. Period pain or its medical term being dysmenorrhea can vary in intensity from woman to woman. Each woman is said to experience unique menstruation symptoms. 

What are the different types of menstrual pain?

Period pain can be broadly classified into two types.

Primary dysmenorrhoea

Women with primary dysmenorrhoea tend to experience menstrual cramps as a result of increased levels of prostaglandins, which makes the contractions stronger.

Secondary dysmenorrhoea

This type of period pain is caused by an underlying reproductive disorder that has to be taken care of. The pain tends to worsen over time and often lasts longer than normal period cramps. Some of the disorders include:

Endometriosis: 

A medical condition in which the tissues lining the uterus (endometrium) start to grow outside the uterus and spreads on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or the tissue lining your pelvis.

Uterine fibroids: 

They are noncancerous growths in the wall of the uterus that can cause pain.

Adenomyosis:

 A medical condition in which the tissue that lines your uterus (endometrium) begins to grow into the muscular walls of the uterus.

Pelvic inflammatory disease: 

This is a sexually transmitted bacteria that cause infection in the female reproductive organ. 

Cervical stenosis:

A medical condition in which the cervical wall in some women is small enough to impede menstrual flow which can cause painful cramps.

When should you consult a doctor?

Although period cramps are very common, severe pain that affects your daily life activities should never be ignored. If you have very painful menstrual cramps that last longer than two or three days, make sure you visit a gynecologist to diagnose the cause of your menstrual pain as soon as possible. Also, look out for the following symptoms:

  • Pain spreads to your lower back and thighs 
  • Pain is experienced as a result of heavy flow
  • Severe pain leading to headache or dizziness  
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding 

It is always advisable to consult with a gynecologist and get regular checkups to stay healthy and safe.

01 Sep 2021
menstruation
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