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Preventive Healthcare

Understanding Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever/Dengue Shock Syndrome & Multi Organ Failure

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral illness that affects millions of people worldwide each year. While many cases of dengue fever are mild, the disease can progress to more severe forms, such as Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) and Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS). Understanding these severe forms is crucial for effective treatment and prevention. DSS, in particular, poses a significant global health threat due to its potential to cause severe complications and high mortality rates. Understanding Dengue Virus and Its Transmission The dengue virus belongs to the Flaviviridae family and has four distinct serotypes (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4). Each serotype can cause dengue fever, but subsequent infections with different serotypes increase the risk of developing severe forms of the disease. Dengue virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes, particularly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. These mosquitoes thrive in tropical and subtropical regions, making dengue a major public health concern in these areas. Symptoms of typical dengue fever include high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, rash, and mild bleeding. Progression to Severe Dengue Severe dengue, encompassing DHF and DSS, occurs when the body’s immune response to the dengue virus leads to increased vascular permeability, plasma leakage, and bleeding. Factors contributing to severe dengue include: Previous Dengue Infection: Individuals who have had a previous dengue infection are at higher risk of developing severe dengue upon subsequent infections due to antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). Viral Factors and Host Genetics: Certain viral strains and host genetic factors can influence the severity of the disease. DHF is characterized by increased vascular permeability, which leads to plasma leakage into surrounding tissues, resulting in bleeding, low platelet count (thrombocytopenia), and high hematocrit levels. Patients with DHF may experience symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, rapid breathing, bleeding gums, blood in vomit or stool, and fatigue. DSS is an advanced and more critical form of DHF. DSS occurs when the plasma leakage becomes so severe that it leads to hypovolemic shock—a dangerous condition where the body’s blood volume is critically low. This can cause a drastic drop in blood pressure, leading to insufficient blood flow to vital organs. DSS can rapidly progress to multi-organ failure, manifesting in symptoms such as severe hypotension, altered mental status, renal failure, liver dysfunction, respiratory distress, and cardiac arrhythmias. Multi-Organ Failure in Dengue Shock Syndrome In severe cases of DSS, the profound plasma leakage and resultant hypovolemic shock can lead to multi-organ failure, a life-threatening condition where multiple organ systems fail simultaneously or sequentially. The pathophysiological mechanisms involve: Severe Hypotension: Persistent low blood pressure reduces blood flow to vital organs, causing ischemia and hypoxia. Cytokine Storm: An excessive immune response releases large amounts of cytokines, leading to systemic inflammation and further tissue damage. Metabolic Acidosis: Accumulation of lactic acid from anaerobic metabolism during hypoperfusion exacerbates organ dysfunction. Clinical Manifestations of Multi-Organ Failure Patients with DSS who progress to multi-organ failure may exhibit a variety of clinical signs, depending on the organs affected: Renal or Kidney Failure: Characterized by reduced urine output (oliguria or anuria), elevated creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels, and electrolyte imbalances. Hepatic or Liver Failure: Indicated by jaundice, elevated liver enzymes (AST, ALT), coagulopathy due to impaired synthesis of clotting factors, and hepatic encephalopathy. Cardiovascular or Heart Failure: Manifested by persistent hypotension, arrhythmias, and myocardial dysfunction. Respiratory Failure: Exhibited by hypoxemia, respiratory distress, and the need for mechanical ventilation. Central Nervous System Involvement: Altered mental status, seizures, and coma due to cerebral hypoperfusion and metabolic derangements. Importance of Early Diagnosis and Intervention Early and accurate detection of DSS is critical in reducing morbidity and mortality associated with the disease. Recognizing the warning signs and symptoms early allows for timely medical intervention, which can prevent the progression to severe shock and multi-organ failure. Rapid diagnosis enables healthcare providers to initiate appropriate fluid resuscitation, closely monitor the patient, and administer supportive treatments before complications arise. Early detection also facilitates better patient outcomes by reducing the need for more invasive procedures and prolonged hospital stays. Key diagnostic criteria and warning signs include sudden onset of high fever, severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, and bleeding tendencies. Continuous monitoring allows for timely adjustments to treatment plans and the use of advanced supportive therapies. Laboratory tests are crucial for confirming the diagnosis and assessing the severity of the condition: Complete Blood Count (CBC): Helps detect leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and hemoconcentration. Hematocrit Levels: Elevated hematocrit indicates plasma leakage. Coagulation Profile: Assesses bleeding tendencies. Liver Function Tests: Elevated liver enzymes suggest liver involvement. Differential diagnosis involves distinguishing DSS from other febrile illnesses, such as malaria, leptospirosis, and other hemorrhagic fevers. Management of Multi-Organ Failure Managing multi-organ failure in DSS requires a multidisciplinary approach and intensive care support: Hemodynamic Support: Continuous fluid resuscitation, use of vasopressors to maintain blood pressure, and close monitoring of hemodynamic status. Renal Support: Renal replacement therapy (dialysis) may be necessary for patients with severe acute kidney injury. Hepatic Support: Management of coagulopathy with fresh frozen plasma, vitamin K, and addressing hepatic encephalopathy with lactulose or rifaximin. Respiratory Support: Oxygen therapy and mechanical ventilation for patients with severe respiratory distress or failure. Nutritional Support: Providing adequate nutrition to support metabolism and recovery. Educating healthcare providers about the early signs of organ dysfunction and the importance of rapid, coordinated care can significantly reduce the mortality associated with severe dengue and multi-organ failure. Public health efforts to promote early detection and proper management of dengue infections can also play a crucial role in preventing the progression to such severe complications. Conclusion In conclusion, the early recognition and prompt management of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) and Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS) are vital in preventing multi-organ failure and reducing mortality rates. Understanding the progression from typical dengue fever to its severe forms is crucial for effective treatment and intervention. At Metropolis, we prioritize your health by offering a comprehensive fever panel to detect and diagnose dengue infections early. Book your fever panel today at Metropolis and ensure timely intervention to safeguard your health against severe dengue complications. Don't wait—take proactive steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.

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Preventive Healthcare

Understanding H. pylori: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

What is an H. pylori infection? H. pylori is a bacteria that damages the protective lining of the stomach. These bacteria normally grows in the digestive tract and have adapted the harsh, acidic environment of the stomach. The H in H. pylori stands for Helicobacter which means spiral and refers to the shape of the bacteria. H. pylori  can infect your stomach lining in your childhood. However, it may not show many H. pylori  symptoms  till later in life. But if left untreated this bacteria can cause stomach ulcers and various other diseases.      Who gets H. pylori infections? H. pylori is present in 50-70% of people worldwide, but it does not cause disease in most people. However, children are at greater risk of contracting an H. pylori infection, and it is more common in developing countries. About 5% of children under the age of 10 are infected with H. pylori. H. pylori infection usually occurs in children in areas with poor sanitation and overcrowding. How do you get H. pylori? The H. pylori bacteria can spread within individuals through: Mouth-to-mouth (Kissing) Consuming dirty food or water Using unclean utensil Contaminated vomit or poop When the H. pylori bacteria enters the body it immediately starts to multiply in the stomach lining and can weaken the lining and promote the formation of ulcers due to stomach acids. How does H. pylori infection cause damage? H. pylori multiplies in the mucus layer of the stomach lining and duodenum. Bacteria secrete an enzyme called urease which converts urea into ammonia. This ammonia protects the bacteria from stomach acid. H. pylori also eats into the stomach tissue as it multiplies leading to gastritis and gastric ulcers. What are the symptoms of H. pylori infection? Only 20% of children who have an H. pylori infection may show H. pylori symptoms. Most of these are symptoms that are also present from gastritis or peptic ulcers. H. pylori symptoms include: A dull burning sensation in the stomach can arise a few hours after eating. This pain may last for a few minutes or a few hours and may take several days to weeks to go away. Bloating Unplanned weight loss Indigestion Nausea and vomiting (sometimes blood vomit) Loss of appetite Burping Blood in stool (Dark stool) How is H. pylori infection diagnosed? If your doctor suspects that you may have an H. pylori infection, they may prescribe one or more diagnostic tests to confirm their H. pylori diagnosis. This includes: A breath test in which you will have to exhale into a bag before and after drinking a liquid containing a substance called urea. This H. pylori test is used to measure how much carbon dioxide you release at these times. If the level of carbon dioxide released after drinking the solution is higher then the bacteria H. pylori is present. The stool H. pylori test looks for proof of H. pylori infection in your stool sample. Upper endoscopy for severe cases where a flexible tube with a tiny camera (endoscope) is inserted in the stomach through the throat and esophagus and into your stomach and the first part of the intestine (duodenum) to view any problems in your upper digestive tract and take a small tissue sample of the abdomen and inner lining to detect the presence of H. pylori. How is H. pylori treated? If you have no symptoms of H. pylori, you may not need treatment. However, if you have received an H. pylori diagnosis, your doctor may suggest you stop taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs because they may increase your risk of stomach ulcers. Ulcers caused by H. pylori are usually treated with the help of a combination of acid-reducing proton pump inhibitors and antibiotics. Antibiotics commonly prescribed for H. pylori treatment include clarithromycin, amoxicillin, tetracycline, and metronidazole. The proton pump inhibitors which are used to treat H. pylori treatment include lansoprazole, pantoprazole, omeprazole, rabeprazole, or esomeprazole. Bismuth subsalicylate is another drug that can be added to a combination of antibiotics and proton pump inhibitor combinations in order to help to protect the stomach lining. Any combination of this treatment can be given for a period of about 14 days. Can H. pylori infection be prevented? Drinking and using clean water for cooking can help reduce the risk of H. pylori infection. This is especially important if you live in an area where the water supply is contaminated. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after using the bathroom can helps eliminate the H. pylori bacteria that causes infection. What are the risk factors of H. pylori? Risk factors for H. pylori infection are often linked to living conditions during childhood. Some of these include: People who live in very crowded conditions, sharing the same bathrooms and living spaces. Since the use of impure water is one of the main H. pylori causes, living without a reliable supply of clean water is another risk factor for H. pylori infection. Living in a developing country increases the risk of H. pylori infection because it is usually crowded and some people may live in unsanitary living conditions. Life with a person known for having H. Pylori infection causes you to risk the development of greater infection than H. pylori can be transmitted from person to person. What are the risk complications of H. pylori? Having an H. pylori infection puts you at risk of complications such as: Ulcers are caused due to damage to the protective lining of your stomach and small intestines. Inflammation of the stomach lining due to the irritation and swelling caused by an H. pylori infection. You are at higher risk of developing certain types of stomach cancer if you have an H. pylori infection. Internal bleeding can occur if a peptic ulcer caused by H. pylori bacteria breaks through a blood vessel. If the ulcer breaks through the stomach wall it can cause perforation (a hole in the stomach, small, or large intestine) Peritonitis, an infection of the peritoneum, i.e., the inner lining of the abdominal cavity, can also result from H. pylori infection. Conclusion H. pylori is a bacterial infection which can alter the stomach lining of your digestive tract. You can be infected with H. pylori during childhood, but most people do not experience any H. pylori symptoms their entire life, while others may have to deal with issues like stomach ulcers or, in rare cases, stomach cancer. Regular health checkups and diagnostic tests, especially in an area with known H. pylori causes, such as unclean water, can help you identify an infection or the presence of H. pylori in the early stages. Metropolis Labs is one of India's premium diagnostic labs that also provide home sample collection services so you can now get all the tests done from the comfort of your home. Contact us today for more details.

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Preventive Healthcare

Decoding ALS: A Comprehensive Guide

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a tough situation, which takes away people's ability to move, speak and breathe. Starting from the brain and the spine, it slowly weakens the muscles and causes a lot of physical and emotional pain. It cause a difficulty even in simple things like moving, due to which people become dependent on others to get help. Despite many research, there is still no healing for ALS. This shows why it is so important for people to be aware of this and support those affected. This article focuses on the causes of ALS, its symptoms, how it is diagnosed and how people deal with it, and shows the challenges that patients and their families face. What Is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)? Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neurological disorder that affects motor neurons and nerve cells which are responsible for controlling the voluntary muscles. This condition leads to the gradual decay and death of these neurons, resulting in muscle weakness, twitching, and eventually paralysis. ALS typically starts with muscle weakness in one limb or difficulty in speaking or swallowing, and then it progressively spreads throughout the body, causing significant disability. Who Gets ALS? Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis can affect people of any race or ethnic group between the ages of 40 and 70. However, the disease can strike at any age, with symptoms most often developing between the ages. Familial ALS, this condition is hereditary and it accounts for approximately 5% to 10% of cases. While the exact cause of ALS is still unknown, it is estimated that every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS. amyotrophic lateral sclerosis types Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) manifests primarily in two types: Sporadic, which occurs without a family history Familial, which has a genetic component. What Is The Life Expectancy For People With ALS? The average ALS life expectancy for individuals is usually about 2 to 5 years after symptoms appear. However, it can vary widely depending upon the various factors such as age, disease progression and the presence of certain prognostic factors. Approximately 10-20% of ALS patients may survive longer than 10 years. What Causes ALS? The exact cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is not fully understood, but it is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of ALS cases are familial, which is caused by an inherited gene mutation. Mutations in genes such as SOD1, C9ORF72, TARDBP, and FUS are associated with familial ALS. In sporadic cases, which account for the majority of cases, the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis causes is unknown, but environmental factors such as exposure to toxins or viruses may play a role. Other potential factors include some occupations, including age, gender, heavy metals and chemicals. What Are The Symptoms Of ALS? Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis manifests through various symptoms mostly impacting the motor function. Common indications comprise of muscle twitching, weakness in the limbs, swallowing challenges, slurred speech, muscle cramps, and stiffness. Early amyotrophic lateral sclerosis symptoms may also encompass tripping, frequent dropping of objects, unusual fatigue in limbs, and fine motor task difficulties. Disease progression intensifies difficulties in speech, swallowing, and movement, culminating in weakened respiratory muscles and breathing complications. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis symptoms typically deteriorate progressively, leading to profound disability over time. How Is ALS Diagnosed? Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis diagnosis involves a comprehensive evaluation by a healthcare provider, typically a neurologist. There is no single test to definitively diagnose ALS. Diagnosis relies on a combination of clinical examination, medical history review, and ruling out other conditions that may mimic ALS symptoms. ALS diagnosis tests may include electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction studies, MRI, blood and urine tests, and muscle biopsies. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis diagnosis tests help assess muscle and nerve function, rule out other diseases, and support the diagnosis of ALS. The process may require multiple appointments and tests over time to monitor symptom progression and confirm the diagnosis. How Is ALS Treated? Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis treatment goals include symptom management, disease progression slowing, and enhancing the quality of life. Medications such as riluzole and edaravone are utilized to potentially slow down the advancement of the disease. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy play vital roles in preserving muscle function and communication abilities. As ALS progresses, the use of assistive devices like wheelchairs and communication aids becomes increasingly important for daily activities. Comprehensive amyotrophic lateral sclerosis treatment from a multidisciplinary team, including palliative care and respiratory support, is crucial for effectively managing ALS symptoms and enhancing overall well-being. How Can Physical Therapy Treat ALS?   Physical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis therapy aims to manage symptoms by preserving muscle strength, flexibility, and mobility. Therapists design personalized exercise regimens targeting specific muscle weaknesses and preventing contractures and joint stiffness. Range of motion exercises are utilized to maintain flexibility and prevent muscle tightness, aiding in overall mobility and function. Breathing exercises and techniques are taught by physical therapists to enhance respiratory function and alleviate breathing difficulties. Education on safe mobility strategies is provided to facilitate independent movement, along with guidance on the use of assistive devices to improve quality of life. How Can Occupational Therapy Treat ALS?   Occupational therapy helps in several manner such as:   Occupational therapy helps the individuals with ALS in adapting to daily tasks and maintaining independence despite functional limitations.   Occupational therapists assess an individual's abilities and design personalised strategies and modifications to simplify tasks and conserve energy.   They recommend and provide training on using assistive devices and adaptive equipment to facilitate activities such as eating, dressing, and grooming.   Additionally, occupational therapy addresses communication challenges and offers support in optimising work or leisure activities to enhance quality of life and promote meaningful engagement in daily routines.   How Can Speech Therapy Treat ALS?   Speech therapy, or speech-language pathology, helps individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis  maintain communication abilities as the disease progresses.    Speech therapists assess swallowing function, recommend dietary modifications, and provide swallowing exercises to prevent aspiration and improve safety during eating and drinking.   They also suggest techniques to compensate for speech difficulties, such as the use of alternative assistive and communication devices or strategies such as pacing and controlling breathing.   In addition, speech therapy aims to treat cognitive communication disorders and provides support for maintaining social interactions and quality of life.   What Is The Outlook For People With ALS?   The outlook for individuals with ALS can be challenging, as it is a progressive and incurable disease. However, advancements in supportive care and symptom management have improved quality of life and prolonged survival. Despite its difficulties, many people find strength and support from loved ones and healthcare professionals throughout their journey with ALS.   What Are The Tips For Living With ALS? Living with ALS can be challenging, but these tips can help: Stay connected: Regular communication with your healthcare provider will help you track the progression of your disease. Maintain good nutrition: Nutrient-rich foods support overall health. Seek support: Joining ALS support groups or seeking counselling can provide emotional support. Stay informed: Educate yourself about ALS and available resources to better manage symptoms and care. Conclusion To gain an understanding about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), we explored the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and tips for living with this difficult disease. Despite challenges, people with ALS can find support and hope through proactive management and a supportive community. Remember that ALS does not define you; rather, your strength and resilience are revealed in the face of adversity. As we strive for better understanding and care for ALS patients, services like Metropolis Labs stand ready to provide accurate diagnostic testing like blood and urine tests. Together, let's continue to support and advocate for those affected by ALS.

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Preventive Healthcare

Defeating Contact Dermatitis: Unveiling Causes, Symptoms, and Solutions

Dealing with contact dermatitis can be a challenging experience, but understanding its causes, symptoms, and available treatments can provide relief and peace of mind. In this article, we'll explore contact dermatitis, aiming to offer guidance and support without causing unnecessary alarm. Let's look into this common skin condition, empowering you with the knowledge to manage it effectively and regain control of your skin health. What Is Contact Dermatitis? Contact dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disease caused by direct contact with an allergen or irritant. Contact dermatitis appears as a swollen, itchy rash and is caused by exposure to a variety of chemicals and metals, which can cause toxic effects even without the involvement of T cells. What Are The Types Of Contact Dermatitis? There are primarily 2 main contact dermatitis types: Irritant Contact Dermatitis: This type of dermatitis occurs due to direct contact with irritant substances, leading to skin inflammation. It does not involve an allergic reaction but is caused by the irritating properties of the substance. Allergic Contact Dermatitis: Allergic contact dermatitis results from an exposure to allergens, triggering an immune response known as type 4 hypersensitivity reaction. It manifests as skin inflammation due to the immune system's reaction to the allergen. What Causes Contact Dermatitis? Contact dermatitis can be caused by various irritants and allergens. Some common contact dermatitis causes include: Irritants: Substances like soaps, detergents, solvents, acids, and alkalis can directly irritate the skin, leading to irritant contact dermatitis. Allergens: Allergic contact dermatitis can be caused by exposure to allergens such as nickel (found in jewellery), fragrances, preservatives, rubber, and certain plants like poison ivy or poison oak. Chemicals: Chemical compounds present in cosmetics, hair dyes, latex gloves, and topical medications can promote contact dermatitis. Metals: Metals like nickel, chromium, and cobalt commonly found in jewellery, metal tools, and belt buckles can cause allergic reactions leading to contact dermatitis. Plants: Certain plants like poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac contain oils that can cause allergic contact dermatitis upon skin contact. What Are The Symptoms Of Contact Dermatitis? Contact dermatitis presents with various symptoms, including: Pruritus: Itching is a common symptom which is associated with contact dermatitis. Erythema: The affected skin appears red due to contact dermatitis inflammation. Edema: Swelling may occur, causing the skin to become puffy as a sign of contact dermatitis. Vesicles: Small fluid-filled blisters may develop on the skin due to contact dermatitis. Dryness: Skin affected by contact dermatitis can become dry, rough, and scaly. Crusting: Crusts may form over affected areas, especially in severe cases of contact dermatitis. Ulceration: In severe cases of contact dermatitis, open sores may develop, leading to ulceration. How Do You Get Rid Of Contact Dermatitis? Measures for contact dermatitis prevention and cure include: Identify And Avoid Irritants: Identify and keep away of the irritants that can trigger the contact dermatitis reaction. Cool Compresses: Apply cool, moist compresses to affected areas to reduce itching and inflammation associated with contact dermatitis. Lukewarm Baths Or Oatmeal Baths: Soak in lukewarm water or an oatmeal bath to soothe the skin and reduce itching and other symptoms of contact dermatitis. Moisturise Frequently: Use moisturisers to keep the skin hydrated and prevent dryness from contact dermatitis. Avoid Scratching: Avoid scratching the contact dermatitis-affected skin to prevent worsening the irritation and potential infection. How Is Contact Dermatitis Diagnosed? The diagnosis of contact dermatitis is primarily based on clinical evaluation, including: History: Health care providers collect information about the patient's exposure to potential irritants or allergens and the occurrence of symptoms. Physical Examination: Examination of the affected skin for characteristic signs such as redness, swelling, vesicles, and crusting aids in diagnosis. Patch Testing: Allergy testing using skin patches may be conducted to identify specific allergens responsible for allergic contact dermatitis. How Is Contact Dermatitis Treated? Contact dermatitis treatment typically involves the following approaches: Avoidance: Identifying and avoiding the triggers or irritants that cause the condition is paramount. Topical Corticosteroids: Prescription-strength corticosteroid creams or ointments are applied to the affected skin to reduce inflammation and itching of contact dermatitis. Emollients: Moisturisers can function as an instant contact dermatitis treatment that helps keep the skin hydrated and can be used to reduce dryness and itching. Oral Antihistamines: These may be prescribed to relieve itching and discomfort, especially if contact dermatitis is accompanied by a severe itching. Oral Corticosteroids: In severe cases of contact dermatitis, systemic corticosteroids may be prescribed for a short duration to control inflammation. Who’s At Risk Of Contact Dermatitis? Contact dermatitis can affect anyone who comes into contact with irritant or allergenic substances. Occupations that involve frequent contact with chemicals, metals or plants may increase the risk. People with a history of allergic reactions or having sensitive skin are more likely to develop contact dermatitis. How Can I Prevent Contact Dermatitis? To prevent contact dermatitis: Avoid contact with known irritants and allergens. Use protective equipment when working with chemicals or irritants. Maintain good hand hygiene by using proper hand washing techniques or hand sanitizer to avoid contact dermatitis. Immediately remove contaminated clothing and wash the affected skin. Moisturize regularly to maintain skin barrier health . What Can I Expect If I Have Contact Dermatitis? Contact dermatitis symptoms include itching, redness, swelling, and sometimes blisters or dry, cracked skin. It occurs in direct contact with an irritant or allergen that causes an inflammatory skin reactions. Management of contact dermatitis involves identification and avoiding factors by using topical corticosteroids, and antihistamines for symptom relief. Is Contact Dermatitis Contagious? Contact dermatitis is not contagious. It occurs due to direct contact with an irritant or allergen, leading to inflammatory skin reactions. The rash from contact dermatitis itself cannot spread from person to person. How Long Does Contact Dermatitis Last? The duration of contact dermatitis varies depending on its type and severity. It can usually take several weeks for the rash to clear after treatment. Allergic contact dermatitis can last for 2-4 weeks. Blisters may dry, but itching and thickening of the skin may last for days or weeks. However, with proper treatment, contact dermatitis symptoms usually resolve within two to three weeks. Conclusion In conclusion, contact dermatitis is an irritating condition characterized by an itchy rash caused by skin irritation or an allergic reaction to certain substances. Although it is not contagious, it can have a significant impact on your quality of life. Effective treatment of contact dermatitis involves identifying and preventing triggers, as well as providing appropriate treatment. However, rapid and accurate diagnosis through blood tests is essential to rule out other potential contact dermatitis causes and skin problems. Metropolis Healthcare, with its state-of-the-art labs and skilled technicians, offers comprehensive blood testing services, aiding in the precise diagnosis and management of various health conditions. Through convenient at-home blood sample collection and online report sharing, Metropolis ensures accessible and reliable healthcare services to individuals across India, empowering them to take control of their health proactively.

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Preventive Healthcare

Uterine Prolapse: Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Management Strategies

What is uterine prolapse? When the muscles and ligaments of the pelvic floor, the crucial structures responsible for supporting the uterus, weaken or stretch beyond their capacity, it can lead to uterine prolapse. The condition primarily affects postmenopausal women who have had one or more vaginal births. Mild cases usually do not require treatment, but moderate to severe cases may benefit from appropriate interventions. What are the stages of uterine prolapse? Understanding each stage of uterine prolapse will help identify the uterine prolapse symptoms and select the appropriate treatment. Here are the primary stages: First stage of uterine prolapse: The uterus dips into the upper half of the vagina. Second stage of uterine prolapse: The uterus extends until the vaginal opening. Third stage of uterine prolapse: The uterus protrudes out of the vagina. Fourth stage of uterine prolapse (procidentia): The entire uterus slips outside the vagina. Who gets uterine prolapse? Although it can occur at any age, uterine prolapse mainly affects post-menopausal women who have given birth vaginally. Factors that increase risk include older age at first birth, obesity, chronic constipation, repeated heavy lifting, and declining estrogen levels post-menopause. What does a prolapsed uterus feel like? Mild uterine prolapse usually does not show symptoms; however, moderate to severe cases can lead to complications. Recognizing uterine prolapse symptoms is crucial in seeking timely medical attention. You might experience: A feeling of heaviness or pulling in the pelvis Feeling tissue bulge out of the vagina which is visible The bladder is not completely empty Difficulty with bowel movement, which should be eliminated by pressing on the vagina with the fingers Feels like sitting on a small ball or vaginal cloth rubbing against clothing Discomfort or pressure in the pelvis or lower back What causes uterine prolapse? The primary uterine prolapse cause is weakening of the pelvic muscles and supporting tissues. This can be due to factors such as vaginal birth, difficult delivery, the birth of a large baby or an ongoing illness such as a chronic cough or bronchitis. What conditions are associated with uterine prolapse? Uterine prolapse is often accompanied by other pelvic organ prolapses, such as: Anterior Prolapse (cystocele): This occurs when a weak connective tissue between the bladder and roof of the vagina causes the bladder to fall into the vaginal opening. Posterior Vaginal Prolapse (rectocele): This results from weakened tissue between the rectum and floor of the vagina, causing the rectum to bulge into the front of the vagina. How is uterine prolapse diagnosed? A uterine prolapse diagnosis typically includes a comprehensive medical history review as well as a physical examination. Your doctor may use an instrument called a speculum to view the vagina and cervix. You might also be asked to bear down as if during a bowel movement, simulating conditions that often cause a prolapse to protrude. How do you treat uterine prolapse? Whether you require a uterine prolapse treatment depends on the severity of your condition. Minor cases often require no treatment; however, moderate to severe prolapse may benefit from various approaches. Treatment strategies include: Physical Therapy: Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises can reduce pain. Vaginal Pessary: A medical device is inserted into the vagina to support the uterus. Surgery: Options range from pelvic floor tissue repair to hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), depending on the patient's condition and reproductive plans. It is essential to consult a doctor before opting for any form of uterine prolapse treatment. What happens if a prolapsed uterus is left untreated? If a prolapsed uterus is left untreated, it can lead to: Progressive Worsening: The prolapse can worsen over time, leading to increased discomfort and more severe symptoms. Impaired Mobility: Difficulty walking or standing for long periods due to pelvic pressure and discomfort Infection Risk: Increased susceptibility to vaginal infections and sores due to exposed and irritated tissues Impact on Daily Activities: Difficulty performing everyday activities and reduced quality of life Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Potential prolapse of other pelvic organs, such as the bladder (cystocele) or rectum (rectocele) What are the complications of uterine prolapse? Ignoring uterine prolapse  doesn't make it disappear and may lead to complications, including:    Urinary Issues: Difficulty urinating, urinary incontinence, frequent urination, and urinary tract infections (UTIs) Bowel Problems: Constipation or difficulty with bowel movements Sexual Dysfunction: Painful intercourse or a decrease in sexual satisfaction Vaginal Ulceration: Ulceration of the vaginal tissue due to persistent irritation and exposure Pelvic Pressure: A sensation of heaviness or pulling in the pelvis, leading to chronic discomfort Psychological Impact: Emotional distress, anxiety, or depression due to the physical and social limitations imposed by the condition How to prevent uterine prolapse? Preventing uterine prolapse involves adopting certain lifestyle modifications. Here are a few suggestions: Prevent constipation: A high-fibre diet rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains helps maintain regular bowel movements. Avoid heavy lifting: Always use correct lifting techniques that engage your legs instead of your waist or back. Control coughing: Seek treatment for chronic cough or bronchitis and steer clear of smoking. Maintain a healthy weight: Consult with your doctor about ideal weight guidelines and weight loss strategies, if necessary. What’s the outlook for uterine prolapse? With an understanding of uterine prolapse causes and proactive management strategies, living with uterine prolapse is possible. Remember, early detection and appropriate treatment go a long way in managing this condition effectively while minimising any potential discomfort. Conclusion Knowledge is power when it comes to managing your health. Understanding uterine prolapse symptoms, risk factors, and treatment methods can help you make informed decisions about your healthcare. If you suspect you may be dealing with this condition, do not hesitate to reach out to a medical professional. At Metropolis Labs, we are committed to delivering reliable pathology services and personalised care that empower you to prioritise your health. Our expert team of technicians is equipped to perform at-home blood sample collections that are processed at our advanced diagnostic labs, and the reports are shared conveniently online for easy access.

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Preventive Healthcare

Horner Syndrome: Understanding Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

What is Horner syndrome? Horner syndrome is a rare disorder that results from damage to a nerve pathway from the brain to the face and neck. It usually affects only one side of the body leading to specific symptoms like decreased pupil size, a drooping eyelid (also known as ptosis), and reduced sweating on the affected side of the face. Named after Johann Friedrich Horner who first identified it, it's also known as Bernard-Horner syndrome or oculosympathetic palsy. Is Horner syndrome life-threatening? While Horner syndrome itself may not be life-threatening, it can be indicative of serious underlying health conditions such as stroke, tumour, or spinal cord injury. Therefore, recognising the signs early on can lead to prompt treatment for these underlying causes. Who does Horner syndrome affect? No one is immune to developing Horner syndrome. Although adults can develop this condition due to various reasons, such as injuries or underlying diseases like tumours or strokes, newborn babies could also present with this condition due to factors like birth trauma. What are the symptoms of Horner syndrome? Horner syndrome symptoms usually affect only one side of the face. Common signs and symptoms include: Decreased pupil size or a persistently small pupil (miosis) A notable difference in pupil size between the two eyes Little or delayed opening of the affected pupil in dim light Drooping of the upper eyelid (ptosis) Slight elevation of the lower lid, sometimes referred to as upside-down ptosis Sunken appearance of the affected eye Little or no sweating on the affected side of the face In children, additional Horner syndrome symptoms may include lighter iris colour in an infant's affected eye and changes in facial colour due to heat, physical exertion, or emotional reactions. What causes Horner syndrome? Horner syndrome's causes can be traced back to damage to a certain pathway in the sympathetic nervous system. The nerve pathway affected by Horner syndrome is divided into three groups, each associated with specific types of causes: First-order (central) Horner syndrome This neuron pathway starts from the hypothalamus at the base of the brain, passes through the brainstem, and extends into the upper portion of the spinal cord. Conditions that can disrupt nerve function in this region include stroke, tumours, diseases that cause loss of protective sheath on neurons (myelin), neck trauma, and cysts in the spinal column. Second-order (preganglionic) Horner syndrome This neuron path extends from the spinal column across to the upper part of the chest and into the side of the neck. Lung cancer, tumours of the myelin sheath (schwannoma), damage to major blood vessels leading from the heart (aorta), surgery in the chest cavity, and traumatic injury are potential causes of the Horner syndrome associated with this region. Third-order (postganglionic) Horner syndrome This path extends along the side of the neck, leading to the facial skin and muscles of the iris and eyelids. Nerve damage in this region may be associated with damage to the carotid artery or jugular vein along the side of the neck, a tumour or infection near the base of the skull, migraines, and cluster headaches. In some cases, no identifiable cause can be found. This is known as idiopathic Horner syndrome. How is Horner syndrome diagnosed? An accurate Horner syndrome diagnosis requires a combination of your medical history, physical examination, and specific tests. In some cases, an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) may confirm the diagnosis by administering medicated eye drops to both eyes and then comparing the reactions. To identify the site of nerve damage causing Horner syndrome, doctors may order imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), chest x-rays, or computerised tomography (CT). The results can pinpoint the lesion or irregularity disrupting the nerve pathway, thus assisting in diagnosing Horner syndrome. How is Horner syndrome treated? Currently, there's no specific Horner syndrome treatment. However, addressing the underlying cause can often resolve Horner syndrome symptoms. For instance, surgery might be recommended if a tumour causes your Horner syndrome. In cases where the cause cannot be identified, called idiopathic Horner syndrome, doctors focus on managing symptoms. How to prevent Horner syndrome? As Horner syndrome is usually a secondary condition resulting from an underlying medical problem like stroke or spinal cord injury, prevention measures primarily involve managing these potential causes: Regular health checks: Regular check-ups can detect conditions that may potentially lead to Horner syndrome early on. Healthy lifestyle: Adopting healthy habits reduces the risk of conditions like stroke, which could trigger Horner syndrome. Prompt Horner syndrome treatment: Timely treatment of identified health issues can minimise the risk of complications like Horner syndrome. What is the prognosis for Horner syndrome? The prognosis for Horner syndrome largely depends on the underlying cause. If it's due to a treatable cause, recovery is usually good. In some cases, the symptoms may disappear once the underlying condition is effectively treated. When to see a doctor? It's crucial to consult a doctor if you notice any signs or symptoms associated with Horner syndrome. Immediate medical attention is especially required if symptoms include: Appear suddenly. Follow a traumatic injury. Are accompanied by impaired vision, dizziness, slurred speech, difficulty walking, muscle weakness, or a severe headache. Prompt and accurate diagnosis can lead to effective treatment of the underlying Horner syndrome causes, reducing potential complications. Conclusion Understanding Horner syndrome is the first step towards managing it effectively. Remember, early diagnosis and an appropriate Horner syndrome treatment plan can make a significant difference. Regular health check-ups and embracing healthy lifestyle habits can also play a pivotal role in preventing conditions that might lead to Horner syndrome. Consider partnering with Metropolis Labs for your diagnostic needs. As one of India's leading pathology labs, we offer reliable blood testing and health check-up services right at your doorstep. Our advanced diagnostic labs ensure precise results that are shared conveniently online via email and our user-friendly TruHealth app.

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Preventive Healthcare

Deciphering Phenylketonuria (PKU): Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

What is phenylketonuria (PKU)? Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a rare genetic disorder that affects the body's ability to break down and utilise amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Specifically, PKU interferes with the metabolism of phenylalanine, an essential amino acid found in protein-rich foods, and certain artificial sweeteners like aspartame. When digestion fails to process phenylalanine adequately due to PKU, it can result in high levels of this substance in the bloodstream. If left unchecked, this accumulation can lead to cognitive challenges and developmental delays. What are the types of phenylketonuria (PKU)? Just like many other genetic disorders, phenylketonuria, too, has varied types. PKU can manifest in several forms based on severity Classic PKU: This is the most severe form of PKU, with high levels of phenylalanine in the blood if untreated. Moderate or mild PKU: In this form, the phenylalanine levels are slightly lower than in classic PKU. Mild hyperphenylalaninemia: This is the mildest form, where phenylalanine levels are higher than normal but usually not high enough to cause intellectual disabilities. Who does phenylketonuria (PKU) affect? Phenylketonuria (PKU) can affect anyone who inherits two copies of the mutated PAH gene, one from each parent. Typically, parents of a child with PKU carry one mutated PAH gene but do not show any phenylketonuria symptoms as they have another normal PAH gene. When both parents pass on their respective mutated genes, the child inherits PKU. It's essential to note that every pregnancy between two carriers has a 25% chance of resulting in a child with phenylketonuria (PKU). What are the symptoms of phenylketonuria (PKU)? Recognising phenylketonuria symptoms is vital for early intervention and effective management of the condition. Although PKU screening at birth usually prevents noticeable symptoms, individuals with undiagnosed or untreated phenylketonuria (PKU) may exhibit signs such as: Eczema Lighter skin and/or hair compared to other family members A musty odour in their breath, skin, or urine Small head size (microcephaly) In more severe cases, delays in phenylketonuria treatment can lead to: Behavioural problems Developmental delays Intellectual disabilities Seizures Parents should remember that these symptoms may vary based on the type and severity of PKU. What causes phenylketonuria (PKU)? The primary cause behind phenylketonuria (PKU) is mutations in both copies of the PAH gene. This gene is responsible for producing an enzyme (phenylalanine hydroxylase) that converts phenylalanine into other useful components. When the PAH gene is mutated, this enzymatic process is impaired, leading to the buildup of phenylalanine that can damage our brain. How is phenylketonuria (PKU) diagnosed? The diagnosis of phenylketonuria (PKU) usually occurs shortly after birth as part of routine newborn screening via a blood test. If your baby’s blood sample exhibits high phenylalanine levels, healthcare providers will conduct additional tests to confirm the diagnosis and determine the PKU type. Are there screening tests to diagnose phenylketonuria (PKU)? Yes, newborns undergo a phenylalanine screening test 24 to 72 hours after birth as part of their newborn screening. Healthcare providers take a small blood sample from your baby's heel for this test, which detects phenylalanine levels in the blood. How is phenylketonuria (PKU) treated? Phenylketonuria treatment is lifelong. It involves a tailored approach that combines a special diet and, sometimes, medication. The primary aim of phenylketonuria treatment is to maintain safe levels of phenylalanine in the body. Diet: A special low-phenylalanine but nutrient-rich diet is recommended. Supplements: Intake of vitamins, minerals, and other supplements is often necessary. Medications: For some individuals with PKU, diet alone may not be enough to control phenylalanine levels. In these cases, medications like sapropterin dihydrochloride (Kuvan®) could be administered to break down the excess amino acid. Is there a diet for phenylketonuria (PKU)? Yes, there is a specific diet for those suffering from PKU who are not treated with Pegvaliase (a medication allowing people with PKU to eat an unrestricted diet). This dietary regimen is low-protein and includes foods low in phenylalanine while avoiding those high in protein, such as: Milk Eggs Cheese Nuts Fish Chicken Beef Beans Following a diet for PKU requires careful planning and regular consultation with healthcare providers or dieticians to ensure it's well-balanced and full of essential nutrients. While ensuring sufficient intake of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals is maintained through other food sources and supplements. What is the outlook for phenylketonuria (PKU)? Living with PKU doesn't mean living with limitations! With proper control over one's diet and regular phenylalanine monitoring, individuals with PKU can lead healthy, fulfilling lives. For women with PKU planning to become mothers, there's good news: with a carefully designed diet plan, the risk of complications for the baby can be significantly reduced. When to see a doctor? Early diagnosis and treatment are key to managing phenylketonuria (PKU). If you notice symptoms such as seizures, tremors, hyperactivity, or skin conditions like eczema in your child, consult a healthcare provider immediately. It's also essential to consult a doctor if you're planning a pregnancy and know that PKU runs in your family. Genetic testing can provide valuable insights into your risk of having a child with phenylketonuria (PKU). Conclusion Understanding phenylketonuria symptoms and phenylketonuria causes becomes easier when presented with simple explanations and practical examples. Although PKU is a lifelong condition, effective treatment options, including dietary changes and medications, can help manage the phenylketonuria symptoms and maintain a healthy lifestyle. At Metropolis Labs, we believe in empowering patients with accurate and timely health information. As a leading diagnostic lab in India, our team of skilled technicians offers at-home blood sampling for processing at our advanced laboratories. With reliable results delivered conveniently online via email or our user-friendly TruHealth app, prioritising your health has never been easier. Take the first step towards informed health decisions today!

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