Understanding Kyphosis (Roundback): Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
Have you ever seen someone with a rounded back? It is a postural issue that can affect people of all ages, impacting posture, comfort, and overall spinal health. This condition is medically termed as kyphosis. In this guide, we discuss everything you need to know about kyphosis, what it is, why it happens, its symptoms, as well as treatment options, shedding light on how you can maintain a balanced and pain-free spine. Stay with this guide to know more! What is kyphosis? Kyphosis is a spinal condition characterised by an excessive outward (forward) curvature of your upper back, resulting in a rounded or hunched appearance. It is commonly known as roundback or hunchback. What are the types of kyphosis? Postural Kyphosis: Develops due to poor posture habits. Scheuermann's Kyphosis: Affects adolescents during growth spurts and involves structural changes, such as wedging of your vertebrae, leading to a rigid kyphotic curve. Congenital Kyphosis: Present at birth due to abnormal spine development. Degenerative Kyphosis: Develops with age due to spinal degeneration and causes a forward curvature in the elderly. Neuromuscular Kyphosis: Muscular imbalance contributes to the abnormal curvature Post-Traumatic Kyphosis: Results from spinal fractures or injuries. How common is kyphosis? Kyphosis (Roundback): Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and TypesIt is relatively common, with prevalence varying based on age groups and underlying causes of kyphosis. Postural kyphosis is frequent among adolescents, while degenerative kyphosis is more prevalent in older adults. Scheuermann kyphosis, the most common type, is estimated to affect 4-8% of the overall population. What are the symptoms of kyphosis? Common kyphosis symptoms include: Visible forward rounding of your upper back. Discomfort or pain in the affected area of your back. Reduced flexibility in your spine. Tiredness associated with maintaining an abnormal posture is a common kyphosis symptom. What causes kyphosis? There are many causes of kyphosis depending on its type: Abnormal spinal development in adolescence. Disc degeneration, osteoporosis and arthritis. Spine malformations present at birth. Conditions like cerebral palsy affecting muscle balance. Physical trauma to the spine Can kyphosis turn into scoliosis? No, kyphosis and scoliosis are distinct spinal conditions. However, in some cases, severe kyphosis may coexist with scoliosis. However, one does not typically transform into the other. What are the risk factors for kyphosis? Risk factors for kyphosis are: Older adults are at a higher risk due to degenerative changes in the spine. Prolonged slouching or sitting improperly contributes to postural kyphosis. Family history can predispose you to certain types of kyphosis. Connective tissue disorders like Marfan syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome may affect the spine's structure. Tumours in your spine can lead to structural changes and increase the risk of kyphosis. Long-term use of corticosteroids can weaken your bones and contribute to vertebral compression fractures, leading to kyphosis. What are the complications of kyphosis? Complications of kyphosis depend on underlying kyphosis causes which may include: Breathing difficulties due to pressure on your chest. Nerve compression may lead to numbness, tingling, or weakness. Chronic pain and limited mobility impact the overall quality of your life Severe kyphosis can affect your abdominal space, potentially impacting digestion. Pressure on your spinal cord may lead to neurological symptoms in severe cases. How is kyphosis diagnosed? The initial diagnosis of kyphosis involves the evaluation of your posture, flexibility, and range of motion through a bending test. After this, your symptoms of kyphosis, family history, and potential risk factors are assessed to determine the type and severity of your spinal curve. What tests diagnose kyphosis? Following the initial diagnosis of your kyphosis type, your doctor may conduct additional tests like: Imaging studies such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI to visualise your spine's structure. Bone Density Scan (DEXA) to assess your osteoporosis risk. Pulmonary Function tests to evaluate your lung capacity and respiratory function, especially if you have severe kyphosis. Blood tests to rule out conditions like infections or autoimmune disorders contributing to kyphosis. How is kyphosis treated? Kyphosis treatment for mild cases includes physical therapy to strengthen your supporting muscles and improve posture. Bracing may be recommended for adolescents with Scheuermann's kyphosis. Severe or progressive cases may require surgery to correct spinal curvature. Pain management and lifestyle modifications are integral components of non-surgical approaches. How will your healthcare provider decide what kyphosis treatment you need? Your healthcare provider determines kyphosis treatment based on factors like the type, severity, and underlying cause of kyphosis. They also consider your age, overall health, and lifestyle. Are there side effects of the treatment? Physical therapy for kyphosis is usually risk-free. Surgical interventions may carry risks such as infection, blood clots, or complications related to anaesthesia. It's important to discuss potential side effects with your doctor to avoid risks. Can kyphosis be prevented? Yes, kyphosis can be prevented by: Practising proper body mechanics and ergonomics. Strengthening core muscles with kyphosis exercises to support your spine. Adequate nutrition, calcium, and vitamin D consumption to help maintain bone health. Taking breaks, stretching, and varying positions. What can you expect if you have kyphosis? Living with kyphosis often involves adopting posture-conscious habits and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you have mild kyphosis, you may experience minimal discomfort, which you can address through exercises. Severe cases may require surgery but such cases are generally rare. Does kyphosis come back? The recurrence of kyphosis depends on various factors, including the effectiveness of treatment, and individual factors. Postural kyphosis corrected through exercises and improved habits have a reduced likelihood of recurrence. However, kyphosis associated with structural abnormalities, may have a risk of returning, especially if the underlying condition isn't fully addressed. What’s the outlook for kyphosis? Mild kyphosis cases corrected through exercises and lifestyle changes often have a good prognosis with minimal impact on your daily life. Congenital, neuromuscular, or advanced degenerative kyphosis may require continuous management. When to see a doctor? It's advisable to see a doctor if you experience the following kyphosis symptoms: Visible changes in posture Persistent back pain Breathing difficulties Neurological symptoms such as numbness or weakness in your limbs. Conclusion Kyphosis, while diverse in its causes and manifestations, can be effectively managed with early detection and appropriate physical therapy. With a combination of medical guidance, lifestyle adjustments, and, if necessary, surgical measures, you can maintain spinal health and a better quality of life. If you are experiencing progressive forward curving of your spine, you should get your bone health tested with a precise and affordable osteoporosis profile test, available at Metropolis Labs. With state-of-the-art testing facilities, Metropolis Healthcare is committed to providing you with the best at-home diagnostic services across India. Book your test today!
Understanding Menorrhagia (Heavy Menstrual Bleeding): Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
What is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (Menorrhagia)? Formerly known as menorrhagia, heavy menstrual bleeding is a condition due to which you have extremely heavy or prolonged bleeding. This typically means your periods last for over seven days. It can also refer to periods when you lose more blood than usual. In this condition, you may bleed so heavily that you need to change your pad or tampon every hour for several hours and may pass blood clots the size of small coins. This type of heavy menstrual bleeding often interferes with your daily life. How Common are Heavy Periods? Heavy menstrual bleeding is relatively common and can affect about 27 to 54% of women who menstruate. Is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Serious? Menorrhagia or heavy menstrual bleeding can become severe at times when you lose too much blood and begin to display signs of anaemia. Anaemia is when you have too little iron in your body. Without the proper treatment, anaemia can also be life-threatening. Some conditions like cancer that cause heavy menstrual bleeding can also be life-threatening. What are the Signs and Symptoms of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding? Heavy menstrual bleeding symptoms include: Pain in the abdomen Periods that last for over seven days Clots in the blood that appear pink, red, brown, or rust colour Bleeding through pads or tampons every hour for more than 2 hours Symptoms of anaemia like exhaustion, shortness of breath, and fatigue Losing over 80 millilitres of blood during your period as compared to the standard 30 to 40 millilitres Pica, another condition with anaemia, can also be a heavy menstrual bleeding symptom in which you may notice a loss of hair, pale skin, and a desire to consume nonfood items. How Do You Know If You Have Heavy Menstrual Bleeding? Heavy menstrual bleeding can hamper your quality of life. Many women have the misconception that periods are supposed to be uncomfortable and inconvenient. They may have even watched family members live with this condition without seeking help. However, regular periods should not affect your daily routine. You should be able to: Use a standard-size tampon or pad for 3 or 4 hours without needing a change. It would be best if you did not have to wear two pads or two tampons at any time. Leave your house for a bit without carrying multiple packets of pads or a change of clothes. Live your everyday life without missing work or avoiding activities you like because of a fear of going out. How Long Does Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Last? How long your heavy menstrual bleeding lasts depends on what is the cause of your condition. Typically, heavy menstrual bleeding symptoms last for more than seven days. What Causes Heavy Menstrual Bleeding? Take a closer look at the multiple heavy menstrual bleeding causes: Hormone imbalances Hormones like estrogen and progesterone help regulate your menstrual cycle. Conditions that cause hormonal imbalance, like anovulation, thyroid disease, and polycystic ovary syndrome, also lead to heavy period bleeding. Being overweight or more than your ideal weight can also lead to hormone imbalance and heavy menstrual bleeding. Non-cancerous Growths in Your Uterus Non-cancerous or benign growths in your uterus or conditions that cause the cells in your uterus to grow improperly can also be a menstrual bleeding cause. This can include: Fibroids Adenomyosis Polyps Cancerous Growths in Your Uterus Conditions like endometrial hyperplasia that can increase the risk of cancer, as well as cancers like Uterine and Cervical cancer, can affect your reproductive system, thus causing heavy menstrual bleeding. Infection Sexually transmitted infections can also cause heavy menstrual bleeding with clots. This includes: Gonorrhea Chlamydia Trichomoniasis Chronic endometritis Pregnancy Complications Heavy menstrual bleeding can also be a result of complications with your pregnancy, like a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. A C-section niche, which is a scar that creates a pocket in your uterus when you have a high number of cesarean sections, can also collect blood, which later bleeds. Other Medical Conditions Heavy menstrual bleeding can be a symptom of an underlying condition that can include non-bleeding and bleeding conditions. Some of the common conditions that lead to heavy bleeding include: Liver disease Von Willebrand disease Leukaemia or other platelet disorders Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases (PID) Medications Many medicines can also cause menorrhagia or heavy menstrual bleeding cause. These medications include: Hormone replacement therapy Blood thinners and aspirin Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) Tamoxifen, a breast cancer drug Birth control pills and injectables Not removing a contraceptive device on time can also cause abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding. How is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Diagnosed? You may need to answer questions to help your healthcare provider understand your medical and menstrual cycle history. They may want to know: The age at which you got your first period How long do your periods last How many days you have heavy bleeding Any family members who have heavy menstrual bleeding History of pregnancy and birth control Any medications you are currently taking They may even ask you about whether you are doubling down on menstrual products, avoiding any activities during your periods or restricting yourself in any way. What Tests Will be Done to Diagnose Heavy Menstrual Bleeding? After doing a physical and pelvic examination, your doctor may suggest non-invasive tests such as: A sonohysterogram Hysteroscopy They may even suggest diagnostic tests like: A blood test for anaemia (CBC), thyroid disease (TSH), or clotting issues [prothrombin time (PT) test] A Pap smear Endometrial biopsy Transvaginal ultrasound Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Cervical test for infection How is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Treated? Your heavy menstrual bleeding treatment depends on the underlying heavy menstrual bleeding cause. The treatment will also depend on your preference and how you respond to different medications. If you plan on getting pregnant, it also affects your heavy menstrual bleeding treatment options. Medications Used to Treat Heavy Menstrual Bleeding The most commonly used medicines for heavy menstrual bleeding include: Iron supplements Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Birth control Hormone therapy Gonofotropin-releasing hormone antagonists Antifibrinolytic medicines Desmopressin nasal spray Procedures Used to Treat Heavy-Period Bleeding One of the most commonly used procedures for heavy menstrual bleeding treatment is a hysteroscopy. Along with this, other procedures include: Myomectomy Endometrial ablation Uterine artery embolization (UAE) Hysterectomy How is Heavy-Period Bleeding Managed? Your doctor will first start with medication before moving on to minor procedures or surgeries to manage your heavy menstrual bleeding. How is Heavy-Period Bleeding Prevented? Although you cannot prevent heavy menstrual bleeding, timely diagnosis and treatment can help you better manage the symptoms. What is the Prognosis for Living with Heavy Menstrual Bleeding? If menorrhagia or heavy menstrual bleeding is left untreated, it can cause life-threatening conditions like anaemia. However, with proper treatment, you can manage the heavy menstrual bleeding symptoms and live an uncompromised life. When Do You Call Your Doctor If You Suspect Heavy Period Bleeding? If you are experiencing any symptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding or signs you are losing too much blood during periods, it is advisable to call your doctor immediately. Tracking your periods with an app also helps you identify longer than usual or heavier periods. You can share the details from the app with your doctor to help them make a more informed decision. Can Heavy Menstrual Bleeding be Life-Threatening? While menorrhagia is not usually life-threatening, it can be if you lose too much blood. Conclusion Heavy menstrual bleeding is not normal, and it is essential to ensure you visit the doctor to help relieve your symptoms. If your periods are coming in the way of your mental and physical well-being, you need to speak to your healthcare provider to find out the reason behind it. Keeping a check on your haemoglobin levels by getting regular health checkups at reliable diagnostic centres like Metropolis Labs helps you understand if you are anaemic. Book your appointment today.
Bradycardia (Low Heart Rate): Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and More
What is Bradycardia? If your heart beats fewer than 60 times a minute, you may have a condition called bradycardia. This can be dangerous as your heart does not produce enough oxygenated blood that your body needs. How Do I Know If I Have Bradycardia vs. Tachycardia? The conditions of bradycardia and tachycardia are opposite. While bradycardia stands for slow heart, tachycardia is a swift heart where your heart rate may be faster than usual. Who Does It Affect? Bradycardia is a common condition affecting individuals of any age and gender. However, it is more common in those older than 65. Moreover, if you have certain genetic conditions, like sick sinus syndrome, that you are born with that slows your heart, you are an exception! How Common is Bradycardia? It is believed that 1 in every 600 people over the age of 65 has bradycardia. It is also more common among this age group when they sleep. Bradycardia symptoms can also be found in individuals who exercise regularly. However, this is not a cause of concern as the heart is more efficient when pumping blood even though it is slower. Is Bradycardia an Arrhythmia? Bradycardia can be considered an abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia as it beats slower than the typical rate. Most healthy adults have a heart rate range of around 60 to 100 beats per minute. Although bradycardia is considered a medical condition of its own, many doctors treat it as a symptom of another condition because it happens because of or along with another condition. How Does This Condition Affect My Body? When you have bradycardia, your heart beats slower than an average adult's heart. As a result, your heart does not pump enough clean blood to keep up with your body's oxygen demand. This lack of oxygen can affect your entire body, especially your heart and brain, causing you to show the following symptoms. What are the Symptoms of Bradycardia? Bradycardia symptoms include: Shortness of breath Fatigue Chest pain Palpitations of the heart Confusion Problems with memory Difficulty concentrating Fainting, lightheadedness, and dizziness Irritability Bradycardia symptoms sometimes also feel like heart failure or angina, i.e., you may feel pain or pressure in your chest. What Causes Bradycardia? The most common bradycardia causes include: Not enough electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, or potassium An eating disorder Anorexia nervosa Inflammation in the inner lining of the heart, heart muscle, or pericardial sac Infections like strep throat Rheumatic fever or heart disease Lyme disease Chagas disease Sick sinus syndrome Heart block Drugs like beta blockers Radiation therapy Heart surgery Other conditions that can also cause bradycardia causes include: Heart attack/failure Coronary heart disease Lupus Scleroderma Sleep apnea Hypothermia Is Bradycardia Contagious? While bradycardia itself is not contagious, some conditions that bradycardia causes, like strep throat, can be. How is Bradycardia Diagnosed? A regular physical examination coupled with diagnostic tests helps diagnose bradycardia. What Tests Will be Done to Diagnose Bradycardia? The following tests help to check the bradycardia rate: Electrocardiogram Diagnostic blood tests to check your Electrolyte levels (NHS test) Thyroid hormone (TSH test) Troponin Toxicology levels (Tox screen) If your doctor suspects any underlying condition may cause your bradycardia, he may advise other tests related to the condition. How is Bradycardia Treated, and is it Curable? Bradycardia is highly curable; you may not even need bradycardia treatment if you are not displaying symptoms. For those who are showing symptoms of bradycardia, the treatment is relatively simple and often curable. Bradycardia rate caused by certain medical conditions can be cured by treating the underlying cause. What Medications/Treatments Are Used? The primary bradycardia treatment options include: Medication If you are experiencing shallow blood pressure, your doctor may advise an Intravenous (IV) or injectable medication like atropine that helps your heart beat faster. This kind of bradycardia treatment can be hospital-specific as they need to be carefully monitored. Temporary Pacing In this kind of bradycardia treatment, a device uses electrical contacts to touch or attach to the skin of your chest. These contacts help mild electric currents enter your body and help your heart beat faster. This is an effective solution for bradycardia for individuals who need a permanent pacemaker or have short-lived bradycardia. Permanent Pacemaker A permanent pacemaker is one of the best bradycardia treatments. This is effective for conditions such as sick sinus when the natural pacemaker cells in your heart are not working correctly. A permanent pacemaker is not a cure for bradycardia but can be an effective long-term solution. What are the Complications of Bradycardia? Complications of bradycardia, like frequent fainting or heart failure, can arise due to a lack of treatment for a prolonged period. You may also experience specific side effects or complications from medications that can depend on the kind of drug you take. Speak to your healthcare provider about the potential side effects or complications you may experience. How Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better? You will start feeling better as soon as you begin your bradycardia therapy. Most medications work pretty quickly, and if you undergo pacemaker surgery, you will start feeling better as soon as the procedure is completed. Can I Prevent Bradycardia? In many cases, preventing bradycardia is not possible. However, it can be prevented if the low heart rate is due to: Recreational drug use Infections Anorexia nervosa What Can I Expect If I Have Bradycardia? People who do not show symptoms of bradycardia need not worry about it as they are typically in good physical shape. For those who are displaying symptoms of bradycardia, you can get a better outcome if you seek treatment immediately, as a delay in treatment can cause other health complications. How Long Does Bradycardia Last? Bradycardia can either be short-lived or lifelong; the underlying cause of the condition helps you understand how long it will last. When Should I See My Doctor? A yearly health checkup with your regular healthcare provider, regardless of whether you have a health condition, can help you promptly diagnose a range of healthcare problems. This is especially true if you have bradycardia but are not displaying any known symptoms. If you are showing signs of bradycardia, it is best to visit your doctor immediately to understand the changes you need to make to ensure this condition does not affect your daily life. Conclusion Bradycardia is a condition that may or may not show symptoms. However, even if you show symptoms of bradycardia, it is not a cause of concern as it is easy to cure at early stages. Regular health checkups at reputed diagnostic labs like Metropolis Healthcare help with earlier diagnosis of underlying health conditions that you may not know you have.
Understanding Muscular Dystrophy: Symptoms, Causes, Types and Treatment
What is Muscular Dystrophy? Muscular dystrophy comprises a group of conditions causing progressive muscle weakness and reduced flexibility. Types of Muscular Dystrophy The following are the common muscular dystrophy types noticed-; Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Becker Muscular Dystrophy Congenital Muscular Dystrophy Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy Emery–Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy Distal Muscular Dystrophy Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy Collagen Type VI-Related Disorders like Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy, Bethlem myopathy How Common is Muscular Dystrophy? Muscular dystrophy is considered uncommon, with an overall prevalence of approximately 16 to 25 per 100,000 individuals in the United States. Duchenne muscular dystrophy stands out as the most prevalent form during childhood, while myotonic dystrophy takes precedence as the most common type in adulthood. What are the Symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy? Muscular dystrophy symptoms primarily entail progressive muscle weakness, with specific signs and manifestations varying based on the type and age of onset. Duchenne Type Muscular Dystrophy and Becker Muscular Dystrophy: Frequent falls Difficulty rising Trouble running Waddling gait Walking on toes Large calf muscles Muscle pain Stiffness Learning disabilities and Delayed growth Other Types Myotonic: Inability to relax muscles affects facial and neck muscles. Facioscapulohumeral (FSHD): Muscle weakness starts in the face, hips, and shoulders. Congenital: Apparent at birth or before age 2, with varying progression. Limb-girdle: Initial impact on hip and shoulder muscles What Causes Muscular Dystrophy? The following muscular dystrophy causes are commonly reported-; Genetic Basis Muscular dystrophy causes differences in genes responsible for proteins determining muscle integrity. Dystrophin Deficiency Changes in a single gene can lead to deficiencies in dystrophin, a crucial protein for muscle function. Inheritance Patterns Autosomal Dominant Inherited from one parent on one of the 22 autosomal chromosomes. Autosomal Recessive Inherited from both parents on an autosomal chromosome. Sex-linked (X-linked) Connected to genes on the X chromosome. Spontaneous Mutation Develops due to spontaneous mutations in genes. What are the Complications of Muscular Dystrophy? The following are the complications of muscular dystrophy: Contractures Breathing Difficulties Coughing Difficulties Swallowing Difficulties Heart Disease (Cardiomyopathy) Scoliosis Osteoporosis How is Muscular Dystrophy Diagnosed? The following are ways in which muscular dystrophy diagnosis is done: Diagnostic Stages Investigation of Symptoms: Promptly consult a General Practitioner for symptoms like muscle weakness or mobility issues. Family History Discussion: Share any family history of muscular dystrophy with the healthcare provider. Physical Examination: Examining the range of motion in different joints can help identify joint contractures or movement limitations associated with muscle weakness. Blood Tests Blood tests will be performed as part of the diagnostic process. Electrical Tests: Nerve and muscle electrical tests are conducted for comprehensive evaluation. Muscle Biopsy: In some cases, a muscle biopsy involves removing tissue for testing. How is Muscular Dystrophy Managed or Treated? Doctors recommend the following muscular dystrophy treatments: Ongoing Monitoring Individuals with muscular dystrophy undergo lifelong monitoring. Treatment Options Medications: Corticosteroids like prednisone and deflazacort can enhance muscle strength, but prolonged use may have side effects like Osteoporosis, Muscle weakness, Glucose intolerance, diabetes, etc. Heart Medications: ACE inhibitors or beta-blockers may be prescribed if muscular dystrophy affects the heart. Therapies: Range-of-motion exercises maintain joint flexibility. Low-impact aerobic exercise and strengthening exercises are beneficial, but consultation with a doctor is crucial. Braces aid muscle flexibility and mobility. Mobility aids like canes, walkers, and wheelchairs support independence. Breathing assistance devices may be necessary, including sleep apnea devices and ventilators. Surgical Interventions: Surgery may be required to correct contractures or spinal curvature. Cardiac devices like pacemakers can improve heart function. Adjustable Treatments: Ongoing assessments of walking, swallowing, breathing, and hand function allow the care team to adjust muscular dystrophy treatments based on disease progression. Can I Prevent Muscular Dystrophy? As muscular dystrophy is genetically determined, there are currently no preventive measures available. However, if you are concerned about the risk of passing on this genetic condition, especially before planning to conceive, consider seeking genetic counselling from your healthcare provider. Prenatal testing may be an option for early diagnosis during pregnancy in certain situations. What is the Outlook for Muscular Dystrophy? Living with muscular dystrophy means managing a group of genetic diseases causing progressive muscle weakness and mass loss. Your outlook depends on the specific type, ranging from a normal to a reduced lifespan. Muscular dystrophy symptoms worsen over time, affecting your mobility and daily activities. Therefore, you will need a personalised plan, including physical therapy, medications, and, if necessary, surgery. Regular monitoring and support from your healthcare team are vital for effectively managing the condition. What is the Life Expectancy of Muscular Dystrophy? The life expectancy of individuals with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) typically succumb to the condition around the age of 25. In contrast, Becker Muscular Dystrophy generally has a higher life expectancy, often extending into the 30s or 40s. Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy typically does not impact life expectancy. On the other hand, Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy, developing in childhood or early adulthood, often allows individuals to live at least until middle age. How Do I Take Care of Myself or Someone With Muscular Dystrophy? If you are dealing with muscular dystrophy or taking care of someone with the condition, it's crucial to be a proactive advocate. Ensuring the best medical care and maximising access to therapy is essential for the best possible quality of life. Joining a support group with your family can also provide a valuable opportunity to connect with others who share similar experiences. When to See a Doctor About Muscular Dystrophy? If you observe indications of muscle weakness, like heightened clumsiness and frequent falling in yourself or your child, it is advisable to consult a physician. The symptoms may differ based on the type of muscular dystrophy, but they typically progress over time. Conclusion Muscular dystrophy encompasses a group of genetic conditions causing progressive muscle weakness. Its impact varies by type, with muscular dystrophy symptoms worsening over time. While there is currently no cure, muscular dystrophy treatment options aim to extend mobility and support heart and lung muscle strength. Regular monitoring and a supportive healthcare team are crucial. Metropolis Healthcare stands out as a premier laboratory in the country, offering extensive tests. Renowned for its accuracy and timely results, it excels in various specialised tests, including Enzyme tests, Genetic testing, Muscle biopsy, Heart-monitoring tests, Lung-monitoring tests, and Electromyography.
All You Need To Know About Nephrotic Syndrome
What is Nephrotic Syndrome? Nephrotic syndrome is a renal disorder where the kidneys expel excessive protein into the urine. This condition often stems from damage to the small blood vessels in the kidneys responsible for filtering waste and excess water from the blood. Is Nephrotic Syndrome Life-Threatening? Although the prognosis of nephrotic syndrome is generally favourable, neglecting treatment for nephrotic syndrome can escalate its severity, posing potential life-threatening risks. Who Does Nephrotic Syndrome Affect? Nephrotic syndrome can occur in children of various age groups, but it predominantly impacts those between 2 and 7 years old, with a higher prevalence among boys. How Common is Nephrotic Syndrome? Nephrotic syndrome is uncommon among children, with an annual incidence of fewer than 5 cases per 100,000 children worldwide, on average. How Does Nephrotic Syndrome Affect My Body? Nephrotic syndrome impacts the body by causing abnormal leakage of excess protein from the blood into the urine due to damage to the glomeruli. The dysfunction of kidney filters, resulting from an underlying disease, disrupts the normal kidney filtering process, leading to increased protein released into the urine. What are the Symptoms of Nephrotic Syndrome? Common nephrotic syndrome symptoms include: Elevated protein albumin (greater than 3.5 grams) in urine (albuminuria) High levels of fat and cholesterol in the blood (hyperlipidemia) Swelling (oedema), typically in the legs, feet, or ankles, with possible occurrence in hands or face Low levels of albumin in the blood (hypoalbuminemia) Loss of appetite Feeling unwell or sick Abdominal pain (from ribs to pelvis). Foamy urine Deficiency of essential minerals and vitamins like calcium and vitamin D What are the Complications of Nephrotic Syndrome? The nephrotic syndrome complications are enumerated as follows: Infections Thromboembolism Cardiovascular Complications Hypovolemic Crisis Anemia Acute Renal Failure (ARF) Oedema Hormonal and Mineral Alterations Intussusceptions What Causes Nephrotic Syndrome? Nephrotic syndrome may arise from conditions affecting the kidneys directly or underlying diseases that impact the entire body. Common nephrotic syndrome causes include: Minimal change disease: Causes minor alterations in kidney filters. Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis: Results in accumulating scar tissue in kidney filters. Membranous glomerulopathy (glomerulus nephropathy): Thickens the lining of kidney filters. Nephritis: Kidney inflammation. Systemic conditions contributing to nephrotic syndrome causes: Diabetes mellitus Lupus Multiple myeloma Certain cancers Infections like Hepatitis B or malaria How Do You Diagnose Nephrotic Syndrome? There are various ways by which diagnosis of nephrotic syndrome is done. These include: Urinalysis Detects high protein concentration key nephrotic syndrome symptoms. Dipstick test for albumin presence in a urine sample. A 24-hour urine sample or albumin-to-creatinine ratio is needed for accurate protein measurement. Thresholds for diagnosis: >3.5g/17.73m² in adults, >40mg/m² per hour in children. Blood Tests Identifies hypoalbuminemia, low levels of albumin, and proteins in the blood. Detects hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia linked to nephrotic syndrome. Measures serum creatinine and blood urea for overall kidney function monitoring. Kidney Biopsy Confirms diagnosis and determines the nephrotic syndrome cause. It involves a needle biopsy to obtain a kidney tissue sample. Performed in a hospital setting with light sedation and local anaesthetic. Is Nephrotic Syndrome Curable? Nephrotic syndrome is manageable but often not curable. Nephrotic Syndrome treatment addresses underlying causes, manages symptoms, and prevents complications with varying individual outcomes. Regular monitoring and follow-up are crucial to assess the response to nephrotic syndrome treatment and adjust as needed. How can I prevent nephrotic syndrome? You cannot prevent specific nephrotic syndrome causes, but you can take steps to safeguard your glomeruli: Manage high blood pressure and diabetes, if applicable. Ensure you receive vaccinations for common infections, such as influenza, pneumonia, etc, especially if you are in close contact with individuals with hepatitis. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, take them as directed and complete the entire prescription, even if symptoms improve. What Can I Expect If I Have Nephrotic Syndrome? While nephrotic syndrome can be a severe condition, the majority of individuals respond positively to treatment and can lead a normal life. Depending on the cause, you may observe improvements within a few days, but it might take several weeks or even months for a complete response to nephrotic syndrome therapy. When to See a Doctor? If you are experiencing symptoms like foamy urine, loss of appetite, or oedema indicative of nephrotic syndrome, it is crucial to reach out to a doctor promptly. Also, seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen or new symptoms emerge. What's the Difference Between Nephrotic Syndrome and Nephritic Syndrome? Nephrotic syndrome and nephritic syndrome, both kidney disorders, exhibit distinct features. Nephrotic syndrome is identified by severe proteinuria, significant oedema, and typically normal blood pressure. Conversely, the nephritic syndrome is characterised by hematuria, hypertension, and moderate glomerular damage. In nephrotic syndrome, there are high levels of protein in urine, low protein levels in the blood, and bodily swelling. However, in nephritic syndrome, inflammation occurs, potentially leading to visible blood in the urine. What's the Difference Between Nephrotic Syndrome and Glomerulonephritis? Nephrotic syndrome and glomerulonephritis are separate kidney conditions. Nephrotic syndrome is identified by severe proteinuria, low protein levels in the blood, and bodily swelling. In contrast, glomerulonephritis encompasses a group of diseases causing inflammation and harm to the kidney's filtering units (glomeruli). While glomerulonephritis is a specific disease type, nephrotic syndrome describes symptoms related to kidney problems. What is Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome? Congenital nephrotic syndrome, an inherited condition marked by urinary protein and body swelling, predominantly affects families of Finnish descent and manifests shortly after birth. Conclusion Nephrotic syndrome is a kidney disorder characterised by excessive protein in urine, swelling, and potential health complications. While it primarily affects children, prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment, often involving medications like prednisone, can lead to positive outcomes. Understanding the symptoms, causes, and distinctions between nephrotic syndrome and related conditions like glomerulonephritis is crucial for effective management. Regular medical check-ups, significantly if symptoms arise, can contribute to a healthier life with nephrotic syndrome medication. Embark on your path to nephrotic syndrome treatment with tailored health insights. Metropolis Healthcare offers affordable urine analysis, blood tests, and kidney biopsies, empowering you to monitor your progress. Book your test today for expert guidance on nephrotic syndrome therapy and prognosis.
8 Tips to Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer, encompassing both colon and rectal cancer, casts a long shadow across the globe. The global scale of this disease paints a sobering picture. According to the World Health Organization, over 1.9 million new cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed in 2020, claiming nearly 935,000 lives. These numbers underscore the urgency of adopting preventive measures. Early detection is crucial, as symptoms often manifest only in the later stages. Blood in the stool, persistent changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, and unintended weight loss could be potential red flags. However, the good news is that most colorectal cancers develop from precancerous polyps, detectable through regular screening. Starting at age 45, regular screening tests become your armour against this disease. But prevention goes beyond early detection. Embracing a healthy lifestyle holds immense power in lowering your risk. Regular physical activity, aiming for at least 30 minutes most days of the week, not only keeps you fit but also acts as a shield against cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight is another crucial step. Excessive body fat is linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Quitting smoking, a notorious accomplice to various cancers, can significantly improve your overall health and reduce your risk. Limiting alcohol consumption, particularly for men (two drinks per day) and women (one drink per day), is another wise choice. Your diet becomes a silent warrior in this fight. Prioritize fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Studies suggest that diets rich in fibre and low in animal fats are protective against colorectal cancer. Reduce red and processed meats, as research has linked them to an increased risk. Consider incorporating calcium and vitamin D into your diet through dairy products, fatty fish, and fortified foods, as studies suggest their potential protective role. Increase your intake of whole grains and fibre, found in whole wheat bread, brown rice, beans, and fruits and vegetables. Despite being one of the most common cancers diagnosed in men and women, it harbours a beacon of hope - prevention. While genetics and family history play a role, the power to significantly reduce your risk lies within your everyday choices. Let's delve into strategies that empower you to take charge of your health and minimize the chances of colorectal cancer. With the right lifestyle choices and screening, you can significantly lower your risk of developing this type of cancer. Here are some tips to help you prevent colorectal cancer: Get Screened Regularly: The most effective way to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer is through routine screening starting at age 45. Screening tests can detect precancerous polyps or early-stage cancer when treatment is most effective. Talk to your healthcare provider about which screening option is right for you. Maintain a Healthy Diet: Aim to eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains while limiting red and processed meats. Research suggests that diets high in fibre and low in animal fats can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Stay Physically Active: Regular exercise not only helps you maintain a healthy weight but also reduces your risk of colorectal cancer. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week. Control Your Weight: Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Making healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating a balanced diet and staying active, can help you manage your weight. Quit Smoking: Smoking is linked to an increased risk of many cancers, including colorectal cancer. If you smoke, quitting can significantly reduce your risk and improve your overall health. Limit Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption has been associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer. Limiting alcohol intake to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women can help lower your risk. Consider Calcium and Vitamin D: Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D may help protect against colorectal cancer. Include sources of these nutrients in your diet, such as dairy products, fatty fish, and fortified foods. Increase Whole Grains and Fiber: Foods rich in whole grains and fiber have been shown to lower the risk of colorectal cancer. Incorporate sources like whole wheat bread, brown rice, beans, fruits, and vegetables into your meals. By following these tips and making healthy lifestyle choices, you can reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer and improve your overall health and well-being. Remember, prevention is not a solitary journey. Discuss your concerns and risk factors with your healthcare provider. They can guide you towards personalized screening options and lifestyle modifications based on your individual needs. By taking an active role in your health and embracing these evidence-based strategies, you can empower yourself to prevent colorectal cancer and live a healthier, happier life.
Understanding Congenital Anomalies and Birth Defects
Birth defects, also known as congenital anomalies, are a major public health concern, affecting millions of babies worldwide each year. They encompass various structural or functional abnormalities that occur during embryonic or fetal development. These anomalies are indicative of the health of a community or country, reflecting factors such as maternal health, access to quality healthcare services, socioeconomic conditions, and public health practices. The prevalence of birth defects varies globally, with estimates indicating that approximately 3% of newborns worldwide are affected by congenital anomalies. However, accurate data on the prevalence of birth defects are often lacking, particularly in underdeveloped and developing countries where hospital-based studies may not capture the full extent of the problem. This article details the different causes of birth defects, including environmental factors, maternal health, and genetics. Many birth defects are preventable. Types of Birth Defects There are many different types of birth defects, ranging from mild to severe. Some common types include: Heart defects: These are the most common type of birth defect, affecting about 1 in every 100 babies. Neural tube defects: These defects occur when the neural tube, which forms the brain and spinal cord, does not close completely. Spina bifida and anencephaly are two examples of neural tube defects. Cleft lip and palate: These are facial defects that occur when the tissues that form the lip and palate do not join together completely. Limb defects: These defects can involve missing limbs, extra limbs, or malformed limbs. Chromosomal abnormalities: These defects occur when there is an error in the number or structure of chromosomes. Down syndrome is one example of a chromosomal abnormality. Birth defects vary widely in their nature and severity, ranging from minor abnormalities to life-threatening conditions. They can affect any part of the body and may occur as single defects or as components of syndromes. Major birth defects, such as anencephaly, cleft lip or palate, heart defects, and neural tube defects, often require medical intervention and can lead to significant morbidity and mortality. Minor defects, while less severe, can still impact an individual's quality of life and may serve as indicators of underlying syndromes. Risk Factors for Birth Defects There are many factors that can increase the risk of a baby being born with a birth defect. Some of these factors include: Family history: If you have a family history of birth defects, your baby is at increased risk. Maternal age: Women over the age of 35 are at increased risk of having a baby with a birth defect. Certain medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, can increase the risk of birth defects. Exposure to certain medications or toxins: Exposure to certain medications or toxins during pregnancy can increase the risk of birth defects. Several factors increase the risk of birth defects in offspring. Advanced maternal and paternal age, parental consanguinity, and exposure to environmental teratogens such as alcohol, medications, and infectious agents during pregnancy are significant contributors. Maternal health conditions like diabetes and inadequate nutrition, particularly folate deficiency, also play a role in the development of birth defects. Socioeconomic factors, including access to healthcare services and preventive measures, further influence the risk of congenital anomalies in communities. Consequences of Birth Defects Birth defects can have a wide range of consequences, depending on the severity of the defect. Some babies with birth defects may have no noticeable problems, while others may have serious health problems that require lifelong care. Some of the potential consequences of birth defects include: Physical disabilities: Birth defects can cause physical disabilities, such as difficulty walking or talking. Learning disabilities: Birth defects can also cause learning disabilities, such as difficulty reading or writing. Chronic health conditions: Some birth defects can lead to chronic health conditions, such as heart disease or kidney disease. Birth defects contribute significantly to infant mortality, with studies indicating that more than 20% of newborn deaths result from congenital anomalies. Additionally, the chronicity of birth defects imposes substantial financial burdens on healthcare systems and families, with children requiring long-term medical care, specialized education, and support services. The psychosocial impact of birth defects cannot be understated, as families navigate the emotional and practical challenges of caring for affected children. The stigma associated with disabilities and the strain on familial relationships add to the complexity of managing congenital anomalies. Diagnosis and Prevention of Birth Defects Early and accurate diagnosis of birth defects is essential for prognosis and treatment planning. Prenatal screening tests, genetic testing, and clinical evaluations enable healthcare providers to identify congenital anomalies and offer appropriate interventions. Preconception care, including optimizing maternal health and addressing modifiable risk factors, plays a crucial role in preventing birth defects. Studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of preconception interventions, such as vitamin supplementation and smoking cessation, in reducing the incidence of congenital malformations. Several tests can be done during pregnancy to screen for birth defects. These tests can help to identify babies who are at high risk of having a birth defect. If a birth defect is detected, many treatments may be available, depending on the severity of the defect. There are also several things that women can do to reduce their risk of having a baby with a birth defect. These include: Taking folic acid: Folic acid is a B vitamin that can help to prevent neural tube defects. Avoiding certain medications and toxins: It is important to avoid certain medications and toxins during pregnancy, as they can increase the risk of birth defects. Maintaining a healthy weight: Maintaining a healthy weight before and during pregnancy can help to reduce the risk of birth defects. Getting regular prenatal care: Getting regular prenatal care is important for the health of both the mother and the baby. It can also help to identify any potential problems early on. Furthermore, comprehensive healthcare policies and public health initiatives are needed to address the root causes of birth defects and improve access to preventive measures and treatment services. Training healthcare professionals in the diagnosis and management of birth defects, as well as providing genetic counseling services, are vital components of effective healthcare systems. Conclusion In conclusion, birth defects represent a multifaceted public health challenge with far-reaching implications for individuals, families, and societies. Understanding the types, risk factors, consequences, and diagnosis of congenital anomalies is essential for implementing preventive measures, improving healthcare outcomes, and supporting affected individuals and their families. Through concerted efforts at the community, national, and global levels, we can work towards reducing the burden of birth defects and promoting the health and well-being of future generations.