Acute Leukaemia Lymphoma - Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors and Treatment
Acute leukaemia is a severe disease that progresses rapidly. Its symptoms show within weeks after the formation of leukaemia cells, because of which, patients need immediate treatment. Acute lymphocytic leukaemia is most common in children, but adults may also develop the condition. What is Acute Leukaemia Lymphoma? Acute leukaemia lymphoma is a cancer that affects bone marrow and blood. It starts in the immune system's infection-fighting lymphocytes. Due to this disease, lymphocytes develop uncontrollably. They spread to the spleen, brain, spinal cord, lymph nodes, liver, and testicles (in males). Acute Leukaemia Symptoms Acute leukaemia symptoms are as follows: Fever Infections that occur frequently Gum disease causing bleeding Aches and pain in the bones Severe nosebleeds Lymph node lumps in the neck, abdomen, armpits, or groin Shortness of breath Weakness, fatigue, or energy loss Acute Leukaemia Causes The DNA of a cell contains instructions that the cell must follow. It instructs the cell to grow and die at a certain rate. Acute lymphocytic leukaemia develops when a bone marrow cell's genetic material (DNA) develops mutations and drastically speeds up cell production. The bone marrow produces immature cells that grow into leukemic lymphoblast. These abnormal cells cannot function properly and affect healthy cells. When should you see a doctor? Symptoms of acute lymphocytic leukaemia are similar to those of flu. Flu symptoms, however, gradually go away. If your symptoms do not go away as soon as you expect them to, book an appointment with your doctor immediately. Risk factors of Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia? Risk factors for acute lymphocytic leukaemia are as follows: 1. Radiation Exposure There is an increased risk of acute lymphocytic leukaemia among those exposed to high radiation levels, such as nuclear reactor accident survivors. 2. Genetic Disorders Acute lymphocytic leukaemia is more common in people with Down syndrome and other genetic disorders. 3. Previous Treatments for Cancer Children and adults who have undergone certain forms of chemotherapy and radiation treatment for other types of cancer are more prone to develop acute lymphocytic leukaemia. How do Doctors Diagnose Acute Leukaemia? 1. Bone Marrow Test In this test, doctors take a sample of bone marrow from the breastbone or hipbone using a needle. The lab runs tests to identify leukaemia cells. Based on their size, shape, and other genetic or molecular features, medical professionals in the lab categorise blood cells into different categories. Additionally, they analyse the cancer cells for changes and determine if the leukaemia cells came from B or T lymphocytes. Doctors then use this information to create a treatment plan. 2. Imaging Tests If cancer has progressed to the brain and spinal cord or other organs, imaging tests like X-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound scan can help in the diagnosis. 3. Spinal Fluid Test Doctors collect spinal fluid around the brain and spinal cord in a lumbar puncture test or spinal tap. They examine the sample to determine whether cancer cells have spread to the spinal fluid. 4. Blood Tests Blood tests may show excessive or insufficient white blood cells, insufficient red blood cells, insufficient platelets, or immature bone marrow blast cells. Doctors use this information to determine your prognosis and treatment options. What are the Treatment Options for Acute Leukaemia? The treatment options for acute leukaemia are described below. 1. Targeted Therapy Targeting certain proteins, genes, or other elements that support cancer growth is part of the relatively new approach known as targeted therapy. Blocking these factors may slow or stop the spread of cancer. Although the treatment should have fewer side effects than chemotherapy since it targets a particular disease, adverse effects may still develop. 2. Radiation Therapy Doctors use X-rays in radiation treatment to kill cancer cells. If the disease has spread to the nervous system, a doctor may recommend radiation therapy. 3. Bone Marrow Transplant Doctors perform a bone marrow transplant as consolidation therapy or to treat relapse. This procedure replaces the leukaemic bone marrow of a patient with healthy bone marrow from a healthy donor. Doctors use high doses of chemotherapy or radiation before a bone marrow transplant to kill any leukaemia-causing bone marrow. It is then necessary to replace the patient's bone marrow with the donor’s bone marrow. 4. Engineering Immune Cells to Fight Leukaemia Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy is a specialised therapy that includes extracting T cells from the immune system, modifying them to fight cancer, and then injecting them back into the body. CAR-T cell therapy may be an option for teenagers and children. Doctors may use it for consolidation therapy or treating relapse. 5. Chemotherapy Chemotherapy is a common therapy for children and adults. Doctors use chemotherapy for consolidation and maintenance. How can you Prevent Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia? Avoid exposure to radiation, toxins like pesticides or benzene, and any form of smoking or tobacco use. Additional lifestyle changes, including maintaining an active lifestyle and consuming nutritious food, may help lower the chance of getting acute lymphocytic leukaemia. Conclusion Acute lymphocytic leukaemia is a kind of leukaemia that is a blood and bone marrow malignancy. Although it is a common type of cancer in children, its 5-year survival rate is close to 90%. Adults are more likely to experience the life-threatening effects of acute lymphocytic leukaemia than children. Radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and chemotherapy are available as treatment options. Patients of acute lymphocytic leukaemia need continuous follow-ups to ensure their condition is stable. It is recommended to get an acute leukaemia panel and bone marrow test to detect acute leukaemia early.
Celiac Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Complications, Diagnosis & Treatment
Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and alters the absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that food contains. Patients with celiac disease should not eat a protein called gluten, which is seen in cereals (wheat, oats, barley, rye). When they eat foods having gluten, their immune system reacts and harms the small intestine lining. Impaired food absorption leads to malnutrition, even if adequate intake is maintained, and this can cause a wide range of other symptoms, such as fatigue, weight loss, anaemia and bone pain. Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder that affects children and adults alike. It occurs when your body's immune system attacks your own organs and tissues in response to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. This health guide will explore the symptoms, causes, and treatments of celiac disease. Symptoms of Celiac Disease? There is great variability in symptoms, and there are not always digestive symptoms. The symptoms presented by patients with celiac disease depend on the poor absorption of the nutrients contained in the diet. They may report any of the following symptoms (combined or isolated): Chronic diarrhoea: This is the most common symptom that may be mild or severe. Chronic diarrhoea leads to dehydration and can cause problems such as weight loss. Weight loss: This may be the first symptom in some patients which may go unnoticed. If you have celiac disease and are losing weight without trying, you should see your doctor. Unexplained anaemia: Anaemia may occur due to the poor absorption of nutrients like iron, folate or vitamin B12. People with celiac disease may also have a low level of white blood cells, which can lead to fatigue and recurrent infections. Recurring abdominal pain: Abdominal pain is a common symptom, especially in children. It is often associated with other digestive symptoms such as diarrhoea or constipation. One should see a doctor if the pain is severe or persistent. Gases: Gases are produced when food is not properly digested. Undigested food also ferments and produces acids that can cause pain and bloat in the stomach. Bone and joint pain: These symptoms are usually related to osteoporosis, a condition that weakens the bones and makes them more susceptible to fractures. Osteoporosis is caused by the poor absorption of calcium and vitamin D in people with celiac disease. Muscle cramps: Muscle cramps can be caused by the poor absorption of electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium and calcium. In this case, they are often associated with other symptoms such as fatigue or weakness. Fatigue: People with celiac disease often feel tired and fatigued. This may be due to poor nutrient absorption, anaemia or other conditions such as anxiety or depression. Growth retardation: This is more common in children with celiac disease. It is caused by poor nutrient absorption, which can lead to stunted growth. One should see a doctor if a child is not growing at the expected rate. Some individuals with celiac conditions do not report any symptoms because the untouched region of their intestine can absorb sufficient nutrients to prevent symptoms. However, even individuals without symptoms can have long-term damage to their intestines if they do not receive proper treatment in time. Causes of Celiac Disease? The cause of celiac intolerance is unknown, but it is probably due to: Genetic susceptibility to intolerance is often considered the leading cause of celiac disease. About 1 in 100 people are estimated to have genes predisposing them to the disease. Environmental agents, probably viral infections or other infections, are thought to trigger the disease in people with a genetic predisposition. Celiac disease is not contagious and cannot be passed from one person to another. Celiac disease is often associated with other autoimmune diseases also caused by genetic susceptibility, infections, or other environmental factors. The most common diseases are Type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto's thyroiditis and autoimmune hepatitis. Complications of Celiac Disease? Most of the complications of celiac disease are related to nutritional deficits secondary to impaired absorption of food: osteoporosis, short stature or growth retardation, congenital malformations in children of celiac mothers not treated during pregnancy, dizziness and seizures etc. Celiac disease is also linked to some bowel cancers (lymphoma, adenocarcinoma). How is Celiac Disease Diagnosed? Diagnosis of celiac disease can be difficult because the symptoms that this disease produces also appear in many other diseases. Patients with celiac disease have elevated levels of antibodies against gluten (anti-gliadin, anti-endomysial, anti-reticulin and anti-transglutaminase antibodies). If the levels of these antibodies in the blood are high, the way to confirm the disease is to study a biopsy of the small intestine's lining. The confirmation of the diagnosis today is based on the concurrence of clinical suspicion, serology and intestinal biopsy compatible with celiac disease. How is Celiac Disease Treated? The best treatment for celiac disease is to sidestep all foods containing gluten, even in small amounts. Many foods contain gluten, and this protein is also present in many additives in manufactured products. Even after adopting a gluten-free diet, recovery may not be immediate. The duodenal biopsies may take up to 2 years to be completely normal. At the beginning of the treatment, in addition to the gluten-free diet, dietary supplements of vitamins or minerals that detect deficiencies are usually associated with favouring a faster human body recovery. A small percentage of patients with celiac disease do not improve as expected with the gluten-free diet and require other associated pharmacological treatments. These patients are the most likely to develop complications of the disease. Conclusion Celiac disease is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune intestinal disorder caused by the ingestion of gluten in genetically susceptible individuals. The only effective treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet, which requires a great deal of knowledge and commitment on the part of patients to maintain strict control of their diet throughout their lives. Celiac disease can lead to many nutritional deficiencies and other serious complications if not treated properly. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent these complications.If you think you may have celiac disease, consult your doctor to undergo the celiac disease tests needed to confirm the diagnosis and start treatment.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of HIV in Men & Women?
Overview HIV is an acronym for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus that can be found in human blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk. The virus destroys specific cells of the body's immune system, thus, destroying the entire immunity system altogether. Even though most individuals are aware of HIV, they may be unaware of how it might impact the body. Immunodeficiency is a condition that HIV can cause. Throughout the progression of the disease, various symptoms of HIV may start showing and can also lead to other illnesses. Once HIV invades the body, it immediately attacks the immune system and steadily weakens the body's natural defences. Immune system: The immune system’s principal function is to protect the body from disease. White blood cells guard the body against pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Symptoms of HIV in the early stages may be insignificant and are often ignored. Acute HIV is the earliest stage of the disease and is called acute infection. Symptoms of HIV Infection: Symptoms of HIV might vary from person to person, although the initial signs of infection often start showing within the first one to two months. Many patients usually develop acute flu-like symptoms as the body's natural response to a viral infection. This particular period is known as "seroconversion." During this time, it's very important to figure out if HIV is the main reason because your risk of transmission is very high, particularly through physical or sexual comtact. However, for a final diagnosis, one needs to undergo an HIV positivity test. When HIV enters the body for the first time, it is called a "primary infection." Some researchers use the term 'Acute HIV Infection' to describe the duration of infection and antibody production. Typically, the human body develops such antibodies in 6 - 12 weeks. Newly infected individuals with HIV may experience flu-like symptoms that last for a few days, like high fever, night sweats, cough, and rashes. Others may experience no symptoms or very mild signs. As symptoms of HIV in men and women are so general, it can be quite difficult to make a correct and definite diagnosis of HIV. Any other virus could also be causing your symptoms if you were exposed to a high risk of contracting it through sexual contact. When Do The Initial Symptoms Of HIV Appear? The first symptoms of HIV can show anywhere between 2 and 6 weeks after infection. In most patients, symptoms progressively disappear over the next few weeks; however, some patients experience little or no symptoms of HIV in the mouth. HIV develops in three stages, including: • The acute infection phase in the initial few weeks after transmission • Chronic stage or clinical latency • AIDS 1. Acute infection During this stage, an HIV-positive individual may not show many acute symptoms, but the levels of virus in the body are typically high due to its rapid replication. Signs of acute infection can include the following: Fever Chills Sweating at night Diarrhoea Headache Muscle pain Joint pain Throat discomfort Rashes Swollen lymph nodes Oral and genital ulcers Upset stomach Weight loss Persistent cough 2. Chronic Stage The next phase is known as the chronic infection phase. It can last up to ten to fifteen years. During this stage, HIV-positive people may or may not show any symptoms. As the infection progresses, the CD4 count declines significantly, which can result in the following symptoms of HIV: Fatigue Shortness of breath Cough Frequent Fever Swollen lymph nodes Weight loss Diarrhoea Rash Vomiting Repetitive yeast infections in the mouth or genital area Pneumonia Shingles 3. AIDS When AIDS occurs, the immune system is severely compromised. You will be more susceptible to infections that wouldn't normally affect a healthy individual. These are referred to as opportunistic infections or cancers. Among the possible AIDS symptoms are: Persistent fever Chronic lymph gland enlargement, mainly in the armpit, neck, and groin Chronic fatigue Sweating at night Oral, genital, or anal sores, patches, or lesions Rashes, bumps, or sores on the skin Frequent or chronic diarrhoea Rapid weight loss Neurological issues include difficulties in concentration, memory loss, and confusion Anxiety/depression Chills How Can A Person Develop HIV? HIV is spread through body fluids such as: Blood Semen Vaginal Fluids Rectal fluids Breast milk The following are the possible sources of HIV infection: Having unprotected sex Sharing syringes to inject drugs, body piercing or tattooing Using a needle contaminated with HIV-infected blood Putting HIV-contaminated blood, sperm, or vaginal secretions into open wounds or sores Blood transfusion Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding all have risks of HIV transmission to an unborn child. Hiv Symptoms in Men Some of the male-specific symptoms in case of contracting HIV include: Infection An ulcer on the penis is a common HIV symptom in men. They are caused by a concurrent sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as syphilis or the herpes simplex virus, or by chancroid. Hypogonadism, a condition associated with low sex hormone production, can develop in people with poorly managed HIV or even long-term HIV. Other hypogonadism symptoms a male patient may experience usually involve: erection problems, decreased sperm count and hair loss in the body. Gynecomastia, or abnormal swelling of breast tissue, can indeed occur in men with HIV-associated hypogonadism. Prostatitis While peeing, individuals may experience pain or burning. This is most often a side effect of a sexually transmitted infection such as gonorrhoea or chlamydia. It could indicate inflammation of the prostate, a small gland positioned beneath the bladder. Prostatitis is the medical term for this condition. A bacterial infection can sometimes cause it. Prostatitis can also cause the following symptoms: Ejaculation leads to pain Peeing more frequently than usual Pee that is cloudy or bloody Pain within the bladder, testicles, penis, or between the scrotum and the rectum Pain in the lower back, abdomen, or groin Proctitis Rectal inflammation, also identified as proctitis, is a symptom that is frequently associated with HSV-2 in HIV-positive MSM. Proctitis can cause pain, anal ulcers, rectal bleeding, mucus discharge, diarrhea, and tenesmus which gives a continuous sensation that one needs to defecate even when the bowel is empty. Penile Cancer HIV infection increases the risk of penile cancer eightfold, with high-risk strains of the human papillomavirus being directly linked to 80% of cases (HPV). Hiv Symptoms in Women The onset of HIV symptoms can be minor and quickly ignored. However, even though no symptoms are present, an HIV-positive person can still transmit the virus to others. There are certainly common symptoms that only women experience, usually in the subsequent stages of infection: Problem with Periods Individuals may experience lighter or heavier period bleeding, missed periods, or suffer from severe PMS. These issues may be triggered by stress or other STDs that are common with HIV. They may also occur as a consequence of the virus's impacts on the immune response, which may alter the female hormones. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease This condition often causes pain in the lower abdomen. This disease is an infection of the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. PID can also result in: Unusual vaginal discharge Periodic irregularities Sexual discomfort Yeast Infections in The Cervix Many HIV-positive women get these frequently, maybe several times a year. When a female patient has a yeast infection, the individual may experience: Vaginal discharge which is thick and white Pain while having sex Pain while peeing Vaginal pain or burning Common Symptoms of HIV for Both Genders Both men and women may experience flu-like symptoms 2 to 4 weeks after being infected. It signifies that the body is reacting to the virus. This could last for a few weeks. Among the symptoms of a new HIV infection are: Fever Fatigue Muscle pain Sweating at night Rash Swollen lymph nodes Most of the time, men and women living with HIV can develop thrush, also known as oral candidiasis. It involves inflammation and a thick white coating forming on the interior of the mouth, tongue, and throat. A few individuals show no signs of HIV infection at all. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection. AIDS symptoms can include: Quick weight loss Fever that comes back Excessive night sweating Extreme and unexplained fatigue Swelling of the lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck for an extended period More than a week's worth of diarrhea Mouth ulcers, anus, or genital ulcers Pneumonia Blotches of red, brown, pink, or purple on or under the skin, or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids Memory loss, depression, and other neurologic disorders are all common. Another common symptom is Oral thrush which is one of the first opportunistic infections in HIV patients. It is called "opportunistic" since it takes advantage of a person's weakened immune system to infect them. When an individual's immune system is compromised, the pathogen can disperse through the windpipe, lungs, and even the bloodstream. Symptoms of HIV in the Mouth: People who have HIV often develop oral problems. Due to HIV-induced immunodeficiency, you may be more susceptible to gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis), mouth infections, and open wounds. Oral issues can cause discomfort, embarrassment, and low self-esteem. You should be aware of these five symptoms of HIV in the mouth. Oral Warts Hairy Leukoplakia Oral Fungus Canker Sores Gum Infection Conclusion: HIV testing is essential for an accurate diagnosis. Thus, if you think you may have been infected by HIV or keep changing sexual partners very frequently, you should get tested soon, even if any symptoms of HIV haven’t shown yet. Lowering The Risk of HIV However, not all hope is lost. The following are important HIV prevention strategies: Using a condom accurately when getting intimate Taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) if someone is at a higher risk of contracting HIV Regular check-ups determine the risk of contracting HIV and other STIs —having an STI can mean a higher risk of contracting HIV.HIV has no known cure as of yet. However, an early diagnosis and timely treatment can significantly delay the advancement of the disease and increase the quality of life. ART or Antiretroviral therapy (ART) medications will help keep an individual healthy and prevent one from transmitting HIV to others. If individuals take the drugs as directed, the person can remain in the initial cycle for years and perhaps even live a normal life. Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64, regardless of risk, should get tested for HIV at least once, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Testing can be done in the privacy of a medical practitioner's clinic, at home, or at a test facility.
What are The Possible Causes of Female Infertility and Treatment
There are many factors within the reproductive system and hormonal system that affect a female's fertility. As a result, the entire process of getting pregnant and carrying a pregnancy to term is complicated. Infertility is when a female cannot get pregnant after at least a year of unprotected intercourse. For women over 35, the consideration of 6 months is taken as the duration. Female infertility can be affected by several hormonal, genetic, environmental, physical and lifestyle factors. What are The Causes of Infertility in Females? A female who has trouble getting pregnant or has been trying for over a year can seek medical help. The medical practitioner will conduct a series of tests based on hormonal profiles and ultrasound scans and assess the female's medical history. It can help decide the possible treatment based on the cause. Some of the main causes of female infertility include, Five possible causes of female infertility to look out for 1. Issues in the Menstrual Cycle The menstrual cycle is the process of maturation and release of an egg, while the uterus simultaneously gets prepared with the growth of the endometrium. It is controlled by several glands and hormones working in harmony. The menstrual cycle also includes several phases, and disturbance in any of these phases can affect the outcome. The part of the brain that controls the hormone production is the hypothalamus. A signal from the hypothalamus instructs the pituitary gland to secrete hormones. These hormones lead to the growth of eggs in the ovaries, eventually leading to maturation and release. The issues with the menstrual cycle which can affect female fertility include, Amenorrhea- Absence of the menstrual cycle Dysmenorrhea- Painful menstrual cycles due to uterine contractions Polymenorrhea- Abnormal uterine bleeding and recurrence of the menstrual cycle in an interval of fewer than 21 days Oligomenorrhea- Irregular menstrual cycles that take more than 35 days to arrive, with light bleeding Menorrhagia- abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding, with menstruation lasting more than seven days 2. Ovulatory Issues As the female age increases, the number of eggs within follicles in the ovary decreases. The ovary is the organ of the female reproductive system that hosts the growth and maturation of an oocyte or an egg. Some ovulatory issues that can cause infertility include, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome- in a normal ovulatory cycle, the follicle matures in the ovary and the egg is released into the fallopian tubes. In polycystic ovarian syndrome, the follicles fail to ripen and form little cysts at the periphery of the ovaries. These cysts release male hormones that disrupt the hormonal profile and lead to irregular menstrual cycles PCOS is often diagnosed using certain specific hormonal tests and profiles known as PCOS profiles. Declining ovarian reserve- the reduction in the number of eggs available for ovulation Hormonal issues such as hyperprolactinemia (excessive prolactin that interferes with ovulation), hyperthyroidism (excessive thyroid) or hypothyroidism (lack of thyroid) interfere with the menstrual cycle. Hormonal tests such as LH: FSH ratio, Progesterone test, Oestrogen level tests and so on are conducted as female fertility tests. Early menopause- a condition where menstruation occurs before the age of 40. It is due to genetic factors or chemotherapy treatment Chemotherapy- Radiation used in cancer treatments can impair female fertility. 3. Damage to The Fallopian Tubes The fallopian tubes are the organs that retrieve the mature egg from the ovaries. They also serve as the site of fertilisation, where the sperm meets the egg. Therefore, any damage to these structures can cause infertility. Any inflammation in the fallopian tube (salpingitis) can cause blockage or damage. It can be due to pelvic inflammatory disease, a sexually transmitted infection or adhesions. 4. Uterine Anomalies Any structural anomalies inside the uterus can prevent proper fertilisation and implantation. Some uterine anomalies include, Congenital Mullerian disorders- These are genetic anomalies that include the double uterus, uterus with a dent on the top part, one-sided uterus, uterus with a partition in the middle and absent uterus. Uterine myomas- These are uterine fibroids which depend on oestrogen for growth. They have symptoms such as abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic pressure or discomfort, which is possible to get removed surgically. Endometrial polyp- the endometrium grows during every menstrual cycle to prepare the uterus to accommodate a foetus. In the case of no fertilisation, the endometrium is shed. An endometrial polyp is a non-invasive uterine growth that can contribute to infertility Endometriosis- painful disorder where the endometrium grows outside the uterus, invading the fallopian tube 5. Age and Lifestyle Factors The age of the female is the most important factor affecting fertility. The increased age leads to a decrease in the number of eggs in the ovaries as well as their quality. In addition, as the female ages, the egg is more prone to genetic anomalies. Therefore, for women over 30, an ovarian reserve test is done to estimate the number of follicles left. Lifestyle factors such as weight, smoking, excessive caffeine, drinking, occupational hazards and exposure play a role as they interfere with hormones, and ovulation and affect fertility. Regular exercise and dietary advice is recommended to be followed. Regular consumption of alcohol, smoking, and recreational drugs may interfere with the function of the reproductive system. A full body screening test done at regular intervals may help detect certain lifestyle disorders like type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and lipid disorders that may often interfere with the fertility in females. Female infertility Treatment Many causes can affect a female's fertility, and to proceed with treatment, a fertility test for women can aid in proper diagnosis. Understanding the cause can lead to the right treatment and medication to solve the issue of infertility. In addition, the patient can take certain measures such as regulating their lifestyle, choosing healthier diets and exercising to regulate the hormones influencing fertility. With the rise in assisted reproductive technologies such as In vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), advanced treatments are now available for patients who seek solutions to infertility. Current advances make treating female infertility possible through medicine, surgery, artificial insemination or advanced reproductive technologies. Hence, starting with investigations to receive personalised and the right treatment is the first step to treating female infertility. A major step towards this would include conducting hormonal tests, PCOS profile testing and full body screening to diagnose infertility and treat the underlying cause.
Malaria: Sign, Symptoms, Causes, Types and Treatment
What Is Malaria? Plasmodium parasite is the causative agent of malaria. It is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. As per the latest report of ICMR or Indian Council of Medical Research published in December 2021, India saw about 4.2 million malaria-affected patients and around 7400 deaths. Thus, in South-East Asia, specified by WHO or World Health Organisation, India contributed to almost 82% of malaria cases and deaths. Causes of Malaria When a female Anopheles mosquito feeds on someone who already has malaria, it gets infected. The next time it bites you, it may transfer the single-celled malaria parasite, Plasmodium, into your body. These parasites, on entering your body, travel down to the liver. Certain types of this parasite may lie dormant in the body for over a year. Then, these parasites mature and leave the liver while infecting the body's red blood cells, and you start developing the symptoms of malaria. After you get infected with malaria, when uninfected malaria bites you during this transmission cycle, it will also get infected with the malaria parasites in your body. This way, it will keep spreading the disease to whoever it bites. When these parasites affect your red blood cells, other people may get exposed to the infected blood can and catch malaria. These transmissions can occur between a mother and unborn child, sharing needles for injection, blood transfusion, etc. Malaria Symptoms The signs and symptoms of malaria usually start appearing within six to fifteen days after you get infected. The symptoms can be mild or severe, depending on the parasite type. Sometimes, people don't show any signs or feel sick for a year after being infected with the mosquito bite. This happens when the parasites live in your body for more than a year without causing any symptoms. Common signs of malaria are: Very high fever and sweating Chills Muscle ache and headache Fatigue Chest pain, difficulty in breathing, cough Nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting Severe signs and symptoms of malaria include Jaundice and anaemia Convulsions Stools with blood Seizure Kidney failure Abnormal and sudden reduction in blood sugar level Dark urine Trouble in breathing Confusion Types of Malaria Parasite Maria can be of five types depending on the types of plasmodium parasite that has caused infection. Plasmodium vivax Plasmodium ovale Plasmodium malariae Plasmodium falciparum Plasmodium knowlesi Among these five, plasmodium vivax and plasmodium falciparum are common in India. The latter multiplies rapidly, leading to excessive blood loss, clogging the blood vessels, leading ischaemic damage of organs. On the other hand, Plasmodium vivax can stay dormant for many months or even years after the mosquito bite. But suddenly, it rises and starts to infect the blood, showing the symptoms mentioned above. Diagnosing Malaria Once you start to feel sick, visit the doctor as soon as possible. Your physician can examine you and ask for a blood test to detect the presence of a parasite. Also, inform them about your travel history to help them better understand your health risks. The blood tests help the doctor to diagnose malaria, find the type of plasmodium causing infection and the treatment course. The Blood Tests Can be of Different Types: Peripheral blood smear examination: Thick and thin blood smears are prepared from patients' blood, stained and observed under a microscope. Malarial parasites can be detected and speciated by this test. This is considered the gold standard test for diagnosis of malaria. Molecular test like PCR: If the blood smear report is not conclusive, doctors can ask for a molecular test to detect the presence of a parasite. This test has the best sensitivity among all available tests for malaria. Rapid antigen test which detects parasite’s enzyme or antigen. Malarial Antigen (Vivax & Falciparum) Detection test is easy to perform and can differentiate the two common types of plasmodium species Treatment Treating malaria during the early stages will help you recover better. However, if left untreated for a long time, malaria can become life-threatening. Moreover, it can become even more severe if infected with the P. falciparum parasite. Therefore, doctors prescribe antimalarial drugs, such as: Hydroxychloroquine or Chloroquine – This medication is effective if the malaria symptoms are not severe. Atovaquone-proguanil – This combination is more suitable for treating malaria in children or people in areas where chloroquine does not work. Artemisinin-based therapy – Here, doctors combine two different medicines to fight the milder symptoms. Artesunate – In case of severe symptoms, health experts give artesunate for the first day and then follow artemisinin-based therapy for three days. Nevertheless, in certain instances, the prescribed medicine may not help to clear the infection due to the parasite's resistance to the drugs. This is when your doctor either changes your medication or prescribes more than one medicine to treat your case based on the signs of malaria. Apart from medications, other treatments include: Supportive care Hospitalisation Intensive care for severe malaria This treatment period may last for about two-three days. The medications or treatment length depends upon factors like: The types of malaria and their symptoms The severity of the symptoms Antimalarial drug history of the person For pregnant women In most cases, malaria is cured and does not lead to severe consequences if you go to your doctor at the right time. So, keep the symptoms of malaria in mind, and visit your doctor at once. If any of them show, get all the tests done to start your treatment. And also, sleep under mosquito nets, wear proper clothing and use mosquito-eliminating sprays to stay away from mosquito bites.
Cholesterol Levels - What You Need to Know
What is Cholesterol? Cholesterol is a wax-like substance found in our body cells. 80% of the cholesterol is made by the liver, with only 20% coming from the food you consume. Most people relate cholesterol with diseases and health conditions, whereas in reality, its effects are not always negative. While excessive cholesterol can clog your arteries and cause a heart attack, it also has its uses. Surprising as it may sound, cholesterol causes the production of hormones like oestrogen, testosterone, vitamin D, and bile acids. Furthermore, it acts as a vital building block in the cell membranes. Due to being fat and waxy, cholesterol can’t move through the bloodstream on its own. Instead, tiny protein molecules called lipoproteins help transport cholesterol in the body. The lipids travelling through the bloodstream come in various forms like chylomicrons, VLDL, IDL, LDL, and HDL. Out of them, LDL or Low-Density Lipoprotein is the one that attracts maximum attention. Mostly referred to as bad cholesterol, it is the primary reason behind plaquing and clogged arteries. On the other hand, HDL or High-Density Lipoprotein is known as good cholesterol because it eliminates the excessive LDL in the body by carrying it to the liver. How to Determine the Cholesterol Levels in Your Body? Lipid profile or lipid panel is a cholesterol test that measures cholesterol levels in your body. It is a blood test that determines the following: Total cholesterol - The total amount of cholesterol, including LDL and HDL LDL - Also known as the bad cholesterol in your blood. HDL - Known as the good cholesterol in your blood. Triglycerides - A type of non-cholesterol fat found in the body. Non-HDL - Total cholesterol minus HDL The levels are measured in mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) and presented in a numeric form. Markers for Different Levels of Cholesterol - Normal, Borderline, and Very high Cholesterol normal range for most adults Total cholesterol Less than 200 mg/dLLDLLess than 100 mg/dLHDL40-60 mg/dLTriglyceridesLess than 150 mg/dLNon-HDL More than 130 mg/dL The above table shows the normal range of cholesterol for normal healthy adults. Now, it is time to know about the borderline and high cholesterol range. Cholesterol Borderline Numbers for Most Adults As the name suggests, it refers to marginally high Cholesterol levels. If you have a history of heart diseases or are at risk of developing one, your doctor will suggest and formulate a treatment plan. Total cholesterol 200-239LDL130-159Triglycerides 150-199 Cholesterol Very High Levels for Most Adults Total cholesterol 240 or moreLDL190 or more Triglycerides 500 or more HDL results Below 45Not good45-60 Normal 60 and above Very good As per The National Cholesterol Education Programme (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel III Reporting guidelines. Why Should You Worry About High cholesterol Levels? High cholesterol in your blood indicates heightened risk of developing cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and heart failure. Excessively high cholesterol can plaque the walls of the arteries and block them. This, in turn, affects the blood and oxygen carried to your heart, thus increasing the risk of a stroke or heart attack. Besides these, high Cholesterol level can have the following impacts: Brain strokesAngina Gallstones Peripheral arterial disease Numbness in joints and legs Loss of memory What Are Symptoms of High Cholesterol? Typically, high cholesterol symptoms are hard to detect as they do not create any noticeable symptoms to start with. It creates complications as the level increases.. For example, excessive cholesterol can induce heart attacks and strokes. Typically, these events do not occur until excessive cholesterol causes the production of arterial plaque. Plaque can restrict arteries, decreasing blood flow. Plaque development alters the composition of the arterial lining. This might result in significant difficulties. Only a blood test can determine whether your cholesterol is high. The normal levels are determined as per the National Cholesterol Education Programme (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel III Reporting guidelines. High cholesterol indicates a total cholesterol level in the blood that is greater than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). After the age of 20, it is advisable to get cholesterol tests done. Then, your cholesterol levels should be rechecked every four to six years. If you have a family history of high cholesterol, your doctor may also recommend more frequent cholesterol screenings. When and How Often Should You Take a Cholesterol Test? Doctors recommend testing cholesterol at the age of 10. Young adults who are 20 and above should undergo tests every five years. Adults 45 and above should get the tests done every two years. Lipid profile tests and Cardiac Risk Profiles are often recommended regularly to test the overall cholesterol and lipid levels. Who is at High Risk of Cholesterol? The following triggers can cause potentially high levels of cholesterol. A history of heart disease and high cholesterol. Smoking. Obesity. A sedentary lifestyle with no physical activity. Food containing high saturated fat. Chronic diseases like kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, and thyroid disease. Low lean body mass. Polycystic ovary syndrome. How is a Cholesterol Test done? The tests are conducted in the mornings because you will need to fast for about 9 hours before the test. The physician or lab technician will leave detailed instructions the day before. The technician will take a blood sample by inserting a needle in the vein of your arms. The whole test takes only about a couple of minutes. What Distinguishes Healthy Cholesterol From Harmful Cholesterol? The term for good cholesterol is high-density lipoprotein (HDL). It eliminates cholesterol from circulation. The ‘bad’ cholesterol is low-density lipoprotein (LDL). If you have a high total cholesterol level due to a high LDL level, you may be at an increased risk for heart disease or stroke. However, if your total cholesterol level is elevated only due to a high HDL level, you are not likely at an increased risk. Triglycerides are an additional form of blood fat. When you consume more calories than your body can utilize, the excess calories are converted into triglycerides. Diet and activity changes can improve cholesterol readings, reduce LDL and triglycerides, and increase HDL. Your optimal cholesterol level depends on your cardiovascular disease risk. What are the normal ranges for cholesterol LDL? Ideally, the total cholesterol level should be less than 200 mg/dL, depending on HDL and LDL levels. LDL cholesterol levels - less than 130 is optimal, however, this varies based on heart disease risk. HDL cholesterol levels of 60 or above minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease. The optimal level of triglycerides is fewer than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). How to Manage Cholesterol? Include more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains in your diet. Avoid foods with high-salt content Limit foods like cakes, butter, Ghee, biscuits, fatty red meat, etc, that contain saturated fats. Maintain a healthy weight. Drink alcohol in moderation. Exercise regularly and be physically active. Avoid stress. Avoid smoking. Take the medications prescribed by your doctor. Have your cholesterol checked every year if you are in the high-risk group and every five years if you don’t have any risk factors. There are often no symptoms of high cholesterol, leading the medical community to term it a silent killer. A blood test is the only way to determine cholesterol levels in your body. So, even if you are healthy, it would be advisable to go through routine examinations. However, prevention is always better than cure. If you are a smoker, have blood pressure and uncontrolled diabetes, your risk of developing cholesterol is higher. To keep cholesterol at bay, start practising a healthy lifestyle. Diet is one of the best ways to keep your cholesterol under check. Hence, watch what you eat on a regular basis. Most importantly, curb your alcohol intake and work towards getting a healthy weight. A little cautiousness on your part can go a long way in giving you a better chance at a healthy and fruitful life.
Lipid Disorders: What Are They And How Can I Treat Them?
Introduction Do you have a lipid disorder, or are you at risk for one? People with high cholesterol or triglycerides have a lipid disorder. A lipid is a type of fat found in your blood. Lipid disorders are common, but many people don't know they have one. High cholesterol and triglycerides can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other problems. However, you can take steps to lower your risk. This blog will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of lipid disorders. What is a Lipid Disorder? Lipid disorders are conditions that prevent the body from properly metabolising fats. As a result, it can accumulate harmful fats in the blood, increasing the risk for heart disease, stroke, and other serious health problems. However, with proper treatment, many people with lipid disorders can manage their condition and live healthy lives. To the untrained eye, it might seem like all fats are the same. However, there are several different types of fats, each impacting the body differently. You should know the difference between these fats to make informed decisions about your diet and lifestyle. What are The Causes of Lipid Disorder? The causes of lipid disorders vary depending on the type of disorder. In general, however, these conditions are caused by an imbalance in how the body metabolises fats. In addition, it can be due to genetic factors, lifestyle choices, or other underlying health conditions. Some of the most common causes of lipid disorders include: High cholesterol: This is one of the most common causes of lipid disorders. Cholesterol is a type of fat found in the blood. Too much cholesterol can lead to a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which can increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, and other problems. High triglycerides: Triglycerides are another type of fat found in the blood. Like cholesterol, too many triglycerides can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries. It can increase heart disease, stroke, and other problems. Obesity: Obesity is a major risk factor for lipid disorders. People who are obese are more likely to have high cholesterol and triglycerides. Obesity can also lead to other health problems, such as diabetes, which can further increase the risk for lipid disorders. Unhealthy diet: A diet high in saturated and trans fats can increase the risk for lipid disorders. These types of fats can raise cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Lack of exercise: A sedentary lifestyle can also increase the risk for lipid disorders. Exercise helps to improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for lipid disorders. Tobacco smoke contains harmful chemicals that can damage the arteries and raise cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Family history: If you have a family history of lipid disorders, you may be at increased risk for these conditions. Diabetes: Diabetes is a condition that can lead to lipid disorders. People with diabetes are more likely to have high cholesterol and triglycerides. Kidney disease: Kidney disease can also lead to lipid disorders. It is because the kidneys play a role in cholesterol and triglyceride metabolism. What are The Symptoms of Lipid Disorder? Lipid disorder symptoms vary depending on the type of disorder. In general, however, these conditions can cause a variety of problems. Some of the most common symptoms of lipid disorders include: Atherosclerosis is a common complication of lipid disorder. It is when your arteries harden and narrow, and it can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Angina pectoris at rest and exertion (pressing pain, burning sensation in the heart region at rest or during physical work) can also be a symptom of lipid disorders. Other lipid disorder symptoms include sudden dizziness, noise and buzz in the ears, memory impairment, and a sharp decrease in concentration. Some people feel pain in the legs when walking. It can also be a symptom of lipid disorders. Fat deposits are formed in the skin (xanthoma) or the eyelid area (xanthelasma). If you have any of these symptoms, it's important to see your doctor so they can run some tests and determine if you have a lipid disorder. Lipid disorders are often detected by blood tests for lipid screening. This may be a part of Lipid Profile screening , Cardiac Risk Assessment or as part of regular whole body check up. Regular blood glucose level testing for Diabetes mellitus is also recommended as its a precursor for lipid disorders. . Apart from these, some specific tests are also used to detect lipid disorders.These include:: Biochemistry of blood and measuring lipid metabolism will give your doctor an idea of your current state and can start to see the effects of treatment. Determination of the coefficient of atherogenicity - determination of the ratio of high and low-density lipoproteins. Ultrasonic duplex scanning of colour vessels using an ultrasound machine. With its help, the doctor determines the foci of poor circulation and compares the blood flow in paired organs. Magnetic resonance angiography - allows you to evaluate the anatomical and functional features of blood flow. Computed angiography is used to visualise large blood vessels and identify their pathological changes. Treatment for Lipid Disorder With lifestyle changes, medications, and regular screening one can often manage the lipid disorders. Conclusion Not all tests and methods are required. They are prescribed at the doctor's discretion and in the absence of contraindications. The treatment of lipid disorders aims to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and its complications. To do this, you need to normalise your lifestyle and take medications. For example, it would help if you quit smoking, lead an active lifestyle, and eat right. In addition to diet and physical activity, you need to take drugs that lower cholesterol. These include statins, fibrates, niacin, and other drugs. The choice of drug and dosage is determined by the doctor individually.