Archive for November, 2017

1st Dec, World AIDS Day

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

AIDS is not a virus but a set of symptoms caused by the HIV virus. HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system, which is our body’s natural defence against illness. White blood cells are an important part of the immune system. HIV infects and destroys certain white blood cells called CD4+ cells. If too many CD4+ cells are destroyed, the body can no longer defend itself against infection.

The last stage of HIV infection is AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). People with AIDS have a low number of CD4+ cells and get infections or cancers that rarely occur in healthy people. These can be deadly.

If HIV is left untreated, it may take up to 10 or 15 years for the immune system to be so severely damaged it can no longer defend itself at all. However, the speed HIV progresses will vary depending on age, health and background.

Basic facts about AIDS

  1. AIDS stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
  2. AIDS is also referred to as advanced HIV infection or late-stage HIV.
  3. Treatment for HIV means that more people are staying well, with fewer people developing AIDS.
  4. There is effective antiretroviral treatment available so people with HIV can live a normal, healthy life.
  5. The earlier HIV is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can start – leading to better long term health. Hence, regular testing for HIV is important.

What causes HIV?

HIV infection is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus. You can get HIV from contact with infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluids. Some common reasons are listed below:

  1. Unprotected sex with someone who has HIV.
  2. Sharing drug needles with someone who is infected with HIV.
  3. The virus can also be passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding.

What are the symptoms?

HIV may not cause symptoms early on. People who do have symptoms may mistake them for the flu or mono. Common early symptoms include:

  1. Fever.
  2. Sore throat.
  3. Headache.
  4. Muscle aches and joint pain.
  5. Swollen glands (swollen lymph nodes).
  6. Skin rash.

Some common myths and facts related to AIDs:

1.Myth: You can get HIV just by being around HIV-positive individuals in your daily life.

Fact: HIV is transmitted when infected material (blood, semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk) comes in direct contact with a mucous membrane (mouth, vagina, anus), damaged tissue, or is injected directly into the bloodstream. HIV is not spread by kissing, hugging, sharing food/drink, toilet seats, sneezes/coughs, sweat, touching, or through insect bites.

2. Myth: HIV can be cured.

Fact: There is no cure for HIV. With treatment, HIV-positive individuals can control the virus and live long, healthy lives.

3. Myth: Being diagnosed with HIV is a death sentence.

Fact: The HIV virus was earlier less understood, how it was transmitted, or how to treat it. As a result of this lack of knowledge, combined with the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS, many of those who were diagnosed died. With better awareness and advanced medication people can live long healthy lives.

4. Myth: If both partners are HIV positive, use of condoms is not required.

Fact: Do not forget that antiretroviral therapy (ART) will not protect you from unwanted pregnancy or other STDs. Additionally, it is possible for an HIV-positive individual to become infected with a second strain of HIV, which is called HIV re-infection. This could potentially hamper the current treatment.

5. Myth: The elderly do not have to worry about HIV

Fact: HIV does not discriminate against age, gender, race, sexual orientation, class, or any other identifier. Age doesn’t stop people from having sex and if you are having sex, then you are at some risk of contracting HIV or other STDs.

Let us all get together and bring an end to the AIDs epidemic. Over the years public efforts have spread the anti-AIDs message strongly leading to reduction in deaths due to AIDs. Let us be responsible citizens.

To get yourself tested for HIV, please see our below website to avail of the most suitable health check-up package for you:

https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/manage/shop/

The Real Reason behind Your “Fatigue”

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Do you often ask yourself, “Why am I so tired?” Do you feel like no matter how much sleep you get, you’re still tired all the time? It does not mean you are lazy.

Getting a good night’s sleep is important, but how many of us make it a priority. Stimulants like coffee and energy drinks, alarm clocks, and external lights — including those from electronic devices — interfere with our circadian rhythm, or natural sleep/wake cycle. A good night’s sleep is needed to replenish your energy levels. But if you are getting enough rest and still feel exhausted, then your low energy level may be an indicator of an underlying problem.

Here are some possible reasons for your fatigue:

  1. Sedentary Lifestyle –With the technology boom it is common for many people to develop a sedentary lifestyle, be it office goers or home makers. Everything is available at your doorstep and easily accessible with apps. However this has a downside. Your body was made to move, in absence of regular activities, you can experience mood issues, sluggishness, fatigue, and weight gain. Regular exercise does wonders for the body by releasing endorphins, boosting your stamina and lifting your mood.
  2. Junk food diet – Diets high in saturated fats, trans fats , processed foods and added sugars can deplete your energy levels.  Choose a healthy diet filled with many fresh fruits and vegetables.
  3. Stress – Stress can be a major reason for feeling tired and fatigued. Work life, personal life, prolonged illness, career pressure all may be reasons of stress. Make the right choices to avoid being in stressful situations. Try to manage your stress by yoga, meditation and taking up any hobby you enjoy.
  4. Vitamin D deficiency – Research suggests a link between low levels of this vitamin, low energy and depression. Consult your doctor and take vitamin D supplements if needed. Regular morning walks in sunlight also help get natural sunlight.
  5. Thyroid Disease – Fatigue, moodiness and muscle and joint pain are some of its symptoms. Get yourself tested today. It may be the hidden cause of your fatigue as the thyroid gland helps control your metabolic rate and energy levels.
  6. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – It affects up to 80 percent of adults worldwide and is caused by a hormonal imbalance. Your adrenal glands release more than 50 different hormones, including the energy-regulating hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These key hormones increase and decrease according to the amount of stress being put on your body.
  7. Anaemia – Anaemia is a condition where a person has a lower than normal level of red blood cells. Anaemia is related to a low supply of oxygen reaching cells and tissues throughout the body. Felling tired and fatigued is one of its main symptoms.
  8. Not enough omega-3 – Try to incorporate foods in your diet that provide beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. It helps to reduce depression, which can make you feel fatigued. Foods rich in omega-3 include seafood, leafy greens, chia seeds and ground flax seed. Try to include more of these foods into your diet.
  9. Dehydration – Dehydration occurs when there is an excessive loss of body fluids, especially of water and electrolytes. When you’re dehydrated, your heart sends oxygen and nutrients to your brain, muscles and organs at a slower pace; as a consequence, you begin to feel fatigued, lethargic, moody.

Take a note of the above factors while finding the underlying reason of your fatigue. If it does not help, get a complete body health check up done with us to rule out any underlying diseases. After all preventative care is always recommended. Please see below link for further details:

https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/manage/shop/executive-health-checkup

Epilepsy

Thursday, November 16th, 2017
What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behaviour, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness.

The seizure symptoms can vary widely. Some people with epilepsy simply stare blankly for a few seconds during a seizure, while others repeatedly twitch their arms or legs. Having a single seizure doesn’t mean you have epilepsy. At least two unprovoked seizures are generally required for an epilepsy diagnosis.

Anyone can develop epilepsy, at any time of life. It happens in people of all ages, races and social classes. However it is most commonly diagnosed in children and in people over 65. Epilepsy affects both males and females of all races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.

Treatment with medications or sometimes surgery can control seizures for the majority of people with epilepsy. Some people require lifelong treatment to control seizures, but for others, the seizures eventually go away. Some children with epilepsy may outgrow the condition with age.

Some symptoms may include:
  • Temporary confusion
  • A staring spell
  • Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • Loss of consciousness or awareness
  • Psychic symptoms such as fear, anxiety or deja vu
Symptoms vary depending on the type of seizure.

See a doctor immediately if:

  • The seizure lasts more than five minutes.
  • Breathing or consciousness doesn’t return after the seizure stops.
  • A second seizure follows immediately.
  • You have a high fever.
  • You’re experiencing heat exhaustion.
  • You’re pregnant.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You’ve injured yourself during the seizure.
Causes

Epilepsy has no identifiable cause in about half the people with the condition. In the other half, the condition may be traced to some of the below factors:

  • Genetic influence. Some types of epilepsy, which are categorized by the type of seizure you experience or the part of the brain that is affected, run in families.
  • Head trauma. Head trauma as a result of a car accident or other traumatic injury can cause epilepsy.
  • Brain conditions. Brain conditions that cause damage to the brain, such as brain tumors or strokes, can cause epilepsy. Stroke is a leading cause of epilepsy in adults older than age 35.
  • Infectious diseases. Infectious diseases, such as meningitis, AIDS and viral encephalitis, can cause epilepsy.
  • Prenatal injury. Before birth, babies are sensitive to brain damage. It may be due to an infection in the mother, poor nutrition or oxygen deficiencies.
  • Developmental disorders. Epilepsy can sometimes be associated with developmental disorders, such as autism and neurofibromatosis.
Complications

Having a seizure at certain times can lead to circumstances that are dangerous to yourself or others.

  • Falling. If you fall during a seizure, you can injure your head or break a bone.
  • Drowning. If you have epilepsy, you’re 15 to 19 times more likely to drown while swimming or bathing than the rest of the population because of the possibility of having a seizure while in the water.
  • Car accidents. A seizure that causes either loss of awareness or control can be dangerous if you’re driving a car or operating other equipment.
  • Pregnancy complications. Seizures during pregnancy pose dangers to both mother and baby, and certain anti-epileptic medications increase the risk of birth defects. Consult your doctor before planning your pregnancy.
  • Emotional health issues. People with epilepsy are more likely to have psychological problems, especially depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts and behaviours.
  • Status epilepticus. This condition occurs if you’re in a state of continuous seizure activity lasting more than five minutes or if you have frequent recurrent seizures without regaining full consciousness in between them. People with status epilepticus have an increased risk of permanent brain damage and death.
  • Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). People with epilepsy also have a small risk of sudden unexpected death. The cause is unknown, however people with frequent tonic-clonic seizures or people whose seizures aren’t controlled by medications may be at higher risk of SUDEP. Overall, about 1 percent of people with epilepsy die of SUDEP.

Fortunately, epilepsy is a treatable condition. Many people with epilepsy (two out of three) will achieve good seizure control with medication. When medication is not effective in preventing seizures there are other treatment options available.

Are you Epileptic? Here is a guide on healthy living with Epilepsy:

  • Follow a healthy diet and take care of your overall health.
  • Know and understand your epilepsy diagnosis.
  • Be in compliance of the best treatment for you.
  • Know your seizure triggers and make lifestyle changes to prevent or avoid them.
  • Speak to others suffering from Epilepsy. It help gain insights to manage the disease and improve your quality of life.

If you or a loved one is suffering from Epilepsy, meet our experts at our Centre for Neurosciences. Please find below link for further details on Epilepsy treatment:

https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/centresofexcellence/centrefor_neurosciences/epilepsy.html