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Hernia (Abdominal)

Hernia is a condition that develop due to a spot weakness in a muscle, through which an organ or tissue squeezes through. The most common types of hernia are the inguinal hernia, incisional hernia, Femoral hernia, and Umbilical hernia. Inguinal hernia accounts for about 80% of all hernias. In this case, the intestine or bladder protrudes through the abdominal wall into the groin. In an incisional hernia, the intestine pushes through the abdominal wall at the site of a previous surgery over the abdomen. The femoral hernia is more common in women, especially those who are pregnant and obese. It occurs when the bladder or intestines enter the canal carrying the femoral artery to the upper thigh. Umbilical hernia is common in newborn babies and women who have had many children. Here, the small intestine passes through the abdomen wall near the navel. Hernia is mainly caused by muscle weakness and strain. Poor nutrition, over-exertion, smoking, obesity are factors which cause weakness in t…

Gallstones

Gallstones are small hard crystal-like deposits that develop in the gallbladder or in the bile ducts, that drain bile from the liver. Bile is a digestive juice which is produced by the liver and is stored in the gallbladder, a small pear-shaped organ. Bile is made up mainly of cholesterol and Bile acid. It is only when these stones get lodged in the duct and block the free passage of bile does the symptoms arise. There are three types of gallstones, viz., Cholesterol stones, Pigment stones, and Mixed stones (which has pigment and cholesterol content). It is caused mainly by an increase in blood cholesterol levels, as also the break-down of Red Blood Cells (RBCs) due to some infectious diseases like sickle cell anemia or malaria. It can also result from an infection of the gallbladder. Some risk factors which can further trigger gallstones include obesity and pre-existing liver diseases.
Symptoms Gallstones have a sudden onset. It would entail pain in the right and upper abdomen, as well…

Frozen Shoulder

It is a restriction of shoulder motion and movement in all directions. It is either due to an inflammation of tendons that move the shoulder joint or due to the fibrous capsule of the joint. Sometimes a swelling of the soft sac that cushions the joint can also lead to this condition. It is caused mainly by prolonged immobilization, common with people doing sedentary work, without much exercise or activity, as also with people in their old age. Another major cause is diabetes.
Symptoms It restricts the motion of one’s shoulder and there would be considerable difficulty in shoulder movements in any directions. Routine stuff like reaching up to brush hair, fastening buttons or zip at back, removing the wallet from the hip pocket will be met with difficulty and stiffness that worsens over several weeks. There would also be pain and a feeling of tenderness in the shoulder. The pain and stiffness may extend to the neck and the upper arm.
Do's and Don’ts To deal with a frozen shoulder, regul…

Flatulence

Flatulence is gas building in the stomach and the intestines. It can cause considerable discomfort and it has an embarrassingly audible way of showing its presence or escape. The gas can be expelled from the digestive system either by (i) belching from the stomach. (ii) flatus from the rectum, both of which attracts attention. It is mainly caused by the intake of high-fiber food items such as beans, vegetables, fruits, and grains. Since fiber is tough to digest, bacteria will grow on the partially digested food material and produce gas. Also, you can take in the air in your digestive tract while eating or drinking, especially if you eat quickly or while drinking through a straw, or while smoking. Any infection of the digestive tract may increase the gas content.
Symptoms Symptoms of flatulence include the bloating of abdomen, abdominal pain, belching, and passing gas through the rectum.
Do's and Don’ts This is primarily a digestive problem and ensuring digestive health is crucial to d…

Febrile Convulsion

A febrile convulsion is a situation causing fits or seizure with fever in infancy (3 months) or up to 5 years of age provided the underlying cause is not of origin from the nervous system. If the fit is without fever, then it is not considered to be febrile convulsion. It is short lasting and it occurs only once usually within 24 hours. It is a generalized fit or convulsion. If a problem in the nervous system, like meningitis or a tumour, gives rise to a convulsion, then it is not called febrile convulsion. Febrile convulsion is caused by infectious fever, be it bacterial or viral and be it a fever in the respiratory tract, influenza, gastroenteritis, measles, ear infection, mumps, or acute tonsillitis. Children, whose brother or sister has a history of convulsion, are 2-3 times more at risk than others in contracting these convulsions. It is worth noting that febrile convulsions are just temporary and they do not cause any development delay, retardation, behavioral abnormalities, or …

Disc Prolapse or Slipped Disc

The discs are the shock absorbers of the spine. They are pieces of cartilage which separate different vertebrae from each other and it also helps to cushion them. The discs have a soft pulpy centre, which may bulge or burst out through the tough outer portion and irritate adjacent ligaments or a nerve root. This is what is called a disc prolapse or a slipped disc. It can result from strenuous activity, especially if the activity is sudden, like lifting something heavy or twisting something around violently. In most cases, the development of a disc prolapse is gradual, and it is prevalent more often between the ages of 20 and 50.
Symptoms A disc prolapse involves an agonizing back pain of a sudden onset. It restricts back movements and may even cause a sharp, shooting and electric-like pain that goes down to the legs. It can also cause a numbness and a tingling sensation in the affected leg or foot.
Do’s and Don’ts As a disc prolapse is a very serious injury, one should exercise sufficient…

Diabetes

Diabetes is an extremely frequent, and probably among the most familiar of disorders. It is a metabolic disorder in which there is an increase in the level of blood glucose and/or an excessive excretion of glucose in the urine. It is caused by a decreased or deficient supply of Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas whose main role is to keep tabs on the levels of glucose in the blood.
Diabetes can be of two types: Type I and Type II. Type I diabetes, also known as Insulin Dependent Diabetes, is caused by the shortage of insulin. Type II diabetes, also known as Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes, is caused by the body's inability to process insulin. Juvenile Diabetes is a Type 1 Diabetes which would be present in some persons since birth. The intensity of diabetes is known by measuring the glucose levels in blood and/or urine. Normal glucose levels, when checked before meals (Fasting Blood Sugar – FBS), ranges from 80-110, while for a post-meals check-up (Random Blood Sugar – RBS)…

Depression

Depression is a psychological low feeling accompanied by sadness and loss of interest in regular social responsibilities and atmosphere. It can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a sudden change of lifestyle, mental and emotional stress, medication, hormonal changes or by after-effects of infections like flu and typhoid.
Symptoms Depression entails a wide array of symptoms, such as persistent sadness and hopelessness; a feeling of worthlessness and helplessness; tremendous amount of guilt feeling; anxiety, irritability, and agitation; poor memory and concentration skills. It also flames in the patient persistent thoughts of suicide or death as also a desire to cry often. It can lead to a loss of interest in daily activities as also a change in sleep pattern. Depression can disrupt one’s appetite as well as weight, leading to sudden increases/decreases, and thereby cause a general lack of energy and easy fatigue.
Do’s and Don’ts When you are dealing with a complex problem like depr…

Dandruff

Dandruff is perhaps the most common skin disease one can see around. It is basically dry white flakes of skin on your scalp. Although it is not at all a health risk, it can be a source of embarrassment in public as well as private settings. Some people erroneously think that dandruff is caused by bad hygiene, while some others, (wrongly, yet again) believe that it results from washing one’s hair often. It is usually just that people having dandruff shed more skin than other people who do not have dandruff. However, some dermatologists also suggest that it is caused by a yeast fungus that is believed to breed in a combination of sebaceous oil and dead skin cells. Some possible trigger factors for dandruff include a family history of dandruff, excessive sweating of the scalp, excessive mental and physical stress, the use of alkaline soaps, cold and dry winter seasons, psoriasis of the scalp, and seborrheic dermatitis.

Symptoms

Dandruff causes flakes of skin, which may be small and white…

Corns and Callosities

Corns and Calluses are formed by the accumulation and consequent thickening of hard or dead skin cells over tender, sensitive skin that gets the most exposure in terms of pressing or rubbing against the ground and thereby the most pressure from the underlying bones. Corns usually occur on the toes and balls of feet while calluses can develop anywhere on hands, feet or other parts of the body with constant contact with hard foreign surfaces. For corns, badly fitting shoes are the most common cause. Calluses can result from any sustained contact and the resultant friction, like the callus that develops on the hands of workers who lift weight regularly.
Symptoms Where corns and calluses are about to arrive, places where maximum friction takes place, the skin gets hardened. The corns can become reddened and painful over time, and it can also get infected or ulcerated, with the discharging of pus. Calluses sometimes can act as a protection to the tender skin from possible wounds caused by fr…

Constipation

Constipation is a condition when there is a difficulty in passing stool. It is either that the bowel movements are too hard to pass, or that the passing is too infrequent (once in 2 or 3 days). The stool is most often hard and lacks water content. Sometimes, it may be a lack of urge, or an ineffectual urge to pass stools. At other times, after passing stool, there may be a sensation of incomplete stools. Broadly, all of these can be termed constipation. Many factors can cause constipation. The most common cause nowadays is modern lifestyle itself, which prevents people from eating enough food and drinking enough water. Another related problem is the lack of sufficient exercise in people’s lives. Emotional and psychological problems and eating too much of meat or dairy products compound to this. Other major causes include the chronic abuse of laxatives, pregnancy, the use of certain drugs like antacids, iron, calcium, blood pressure medications, certain digestive tract disease. some ca…

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a painful and disabling condition which mostly affects people who work with their hands. Middle-aged and pregnant women, and those who use their fingers a lot, like typists and pianists, are among the principle sufferers. In such people, this syndrome develops due to repetitive stress or overuse of a tissue inside a space in the wrist. The stress leads this tissue to swell up, resulting in the compression and pinching of a nerve. This, in turn, leads to the feeling of numbness in the hand and/or arm.
Symptoms The syndrome causes a tingling numb feeling in the hand, thumb and first three fingers. Later, it can develop into sharp shooting pain in the hand and forearm. Some major problems that carpal tunnel syndrome patients face include the difficulty to grasp small objects as also the inability to clench their fists easily. Symptoms usually are worse during the night.
Do’s & Don’ts Avoiding long periods of steady hand movements go a long way in alleviating…

Back Ace

Backache is a commonplace health issue which bothers many. It hampers efficiency and thereby takes a toll on one’s workplace attendance. A wide range of factors, such as injury, disc prolapse, vertebral fracture, cervical and lumbar spondylosis, and vertebral abnormalities can cause backache. Other major causes include pregnancy, urinary or pelvic infections, hormonal changes and weight gain.
Symptoms Backache may entail persistent aching or stiffness along the spine as also chronic aching in the lower or middle back. Localised and sharp shooting pain in upper back, lower back, or neck after some sort of strenuous activity is also a symptom.
Dos and Don’ts Following certain simple tips will considerably ameliorate your pain. Sleeping on a firm mattress is prime among that. Associated with this is the need to have a straight posture while sitting, standing or while working at a bench, table, or ironing board. While sitting in a chair or driving, it would help if a cushion is kept for your …

Acidity or Heartburn

Acidity is a general term which usually refers to regurgitation of acid or partly digested food from the stomach into the food pipe (oesophagus) or mouth. It happens when stomach acid flows back up into the food pipe. The stomach contains hydrochloric acid, a strong acid that helps break down food and protect against pathogens such as bacteria. The lining of the stomach is specially adapted to protect it from the powerful acid, but the oesophagus is not protected. A person may feel a soreness which is due to fermentation of food in the stomach or over secretion of acid. Heartburn describes a burning sensation behind the breastbone or sternum. It is very important to get diagnosed before getting serious issues. Some of the important symptoms are that there can be burning in the chest after having food and the patient may feel sour eructation and belching. Sometimes, we get a feeling that food is getting stuck even after swallowing. Many people doesn’t care even when they feel such disco…