Friday, September 26, 2008

Urticaria: Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Allergic disorders constitute one of the commonest diseases affecting mankind. Respiratory system and skin are two most commonly effected tissues of our body. Urticaria is an allergic disorder of skin. It may be acute or chronic problem. It is marked by raised patches on the skin with redness and severe feeling of itching. Stiffness and stretching along with intense itching is a very common symptom in urticaria. Acute episodes of urticaria may subside with in a day or two with simple anti allergic treatment. The condition is said be chronic if it lasts more than four weeks. There are many factors which may trigger urticaria. Certain food stuffs, contact with certain plants, drugs and environmental factors could be the possible cause of acute or chronic urticaria. Underlying mechanism involves the immune interactions or hyper-sensitivity reaction. Urticaria rashes can affect any area of the body. There may be wheel and flare type reaction on skin with redness. Auto-immune disorders may also cause chronic urticaria. Self assessment of the cause of urticaria is possible. Assessment of urticaria due to food stuff is possible by diet elimination and provocation test. Do as follows:

  1. For three days stop all food stuffs except water, sugar and salt - urticaria due to food item will clear.
  2. On 4th day take milk in addition to above mentioned items - if no urticaria - no allergy to milk.
  3. On 5th day add potatoes to your diet in addition to above mentioned items - if no urticaria - no allergy to potatoes.
  4. On 6th day add wheat to your diet in addition to above mentioned items - if no urticaria - no allergy to wheat.
  5. On 7th day add pulses to your diet in addition to above mentioned items - if no urticaria - no allergy to pulses.
  6. Continue the same diet for a week - no urticaria
  7. On 15th day add rice (or suspected food item) to you diet in addition to above mentioned items - if urticaria occurs - you are allergic to rice (or suspected food item).

Always avoid the item causing allergy, since, prevention is better than cure.

Important: Food stuffs with preservatives should be avoided for good

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Piles in Children: Precautions and Treatment

Piles are most common condition of ano-rectal origin. The veins of lower anal canal are generally get dilated in piles and represent as a cluster of blisters. Single vein could also be involved in the initial stage. Piles may cause intermittent itching or bleeding due to bulging of piles. Conditions piles, anal fistula and anal fissures are conventionally considered to be the health problems of middle aged and elderly people. However, the situation is tilting scales and these diseases are being seen with increased frequency in children and younger people. Altered life style and changing food habits are the main cause of piles in children and younger people. Foods with less quantity of fibre and excess of starch generally cause constipation if less quantity of water is taken. Lack of exercise may further complicate the situation and net result is onset of piles. Piles could be avoided and in the initial stage be treated with high-fibre and less starchy diet. At least 50% relief in majority of patients with anal fissures and piles has been reported with high-fibre diet alone. Complete treatment is possible with high-fibre diet and local application of anaesthetic ointments like lignocaine or xylocaine ointment and diazepam ointment. In complicated cases a variety of treatments are available but a timely medical examination and advice could be of great help to avoid surgical procedures. The best advice is: avoid junk food, do exercise and drink sufficient water to avoid piles.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Large Hadron Collider and Higgs Boson

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 would be remembered a great day in the history of science for the successful completion of experimentation of proton collision. The event would be remembered as a great step in understanding the Big Bang and creation of the Universe. The experiment was completed at 0836 GMT (10.36 IST) in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) developed by the scientists of the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) under the directions of Robert Aymar, Director General of CERN and Lyn Evans the Project Leader. The huge particle smashing machine, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is built underneath the Swiss-French border at the cost of 9 billion dollars. Physicists around the world now have much greater power than ever before to smash the components of atoms together in attempts to see how they are made.

According to a theory propagated by an Indian scientist Satyendra Nath Bose and later endorsed by the British scientist Peter Higgs in 1964, it is believed that the collision of Hadrons (protons) was the cause of creation of matter. The experiment is a great leap to testify the theory that there exists a "Higgs Boson" that gives matter its mass. The particle has been named after Higgs and Bose the conceivers and propagators of the theory.

The entire credit goes to creative thinking and logical reasoning. In your daily life you watch the electron collider daily as the picture tube (CRT) of your television. Here accelerated electrons strike the stationary electrons in the phosphor coating on the inner side of the picture tube to form the images. In a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) images are formed due to collisions of electrons of the electron beam with electrons or protons of uranium and lead atoms. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a tunnel of 17 mile circumference, wherein protons or hadrons were made to collide at very high acceleration, probably the speed of light. The construction principle of the LHC and an Electron Microscope is identical in every aspect except for the cooling system since in the LHC the accelerating voltage for the protons ranges from 450 giga electron volts (GeV) to 7 tera electron volts (TeV) hence higher generation of heat and efficient cooling system is necessary. The temperature of superconducting magnets in LHC is maintained at -271.1 degree Celsius with liquid helium which makes it largest cryogenic facility in the world till date. The astronomical black holes are much different from the microscopic black holes supposed to be produced in the LHC. There was nothing to panic thinking about microscopic black holes.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

How to Prevent Vision Loss in Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition of the eye characterized by increased intraocular pressure. The condition may be primary or secondary. Increased intraocular pressure in an eye without previous disease is called primary glaucoma and increased intraocular pressure due to disease or injury on the eye is called secondary glaucoma. The major hurdle to the prevention of glaucoma blindness is the fact that the patient never has any symptom.

Glaucoma leads to blindness by damaging the optic nerve. Elevated intraocular pressure is a risk factor, but even patients with normal intraocular pressure may lose vision. The worldwide prevalence of glaucoma is increasing and about half of the people who have
, don't even know it. The key to preserving vision in glaucoma is timely diagnosis and treatment through regular eye examinations. Old people with hypertension, diabetes and/or migraine and increased intraocular pressure or having family history of glaucoma are at high risk of having glaucoma.

Glaucoma patients are diagnosed and monitored on the basis of intraocular pressure (IOP), visual field changes and optic nerve changes. The corneal thickness of the patient affects the intraocular pressure. The new advancement in the diagnosis of glaucoma is regarding nerve fibre layer analysis. Glaucoma could be detected at an early stage through nerve fibre layer analysis even before the onset of visual field changes. It is concluded that the key to preserving vision in glaucoma is timely diagnosis and treatment through regular eye examinations.

Probiotics for Good Health

Probiotics are non-pathogenic strains of bacteria which could be harbored in your body for beneficial effect. Inflammation is a major factor in a number of chronic diseases affecting millions of people across the globe and cause unwanted impact on the healthy tissue. Recently it has been explored through concerted research that Bifidobacteriun infantis 35624, a probiotic bacterial strain of human origin, could be used to modulate the inflammatory response in irritable bowel syndrome.

Old Age Management

Old age is unavoidable but we should never get worried with advancing age. Old age is equated with wisdom and experience and accorded more respect universally. Your balanced lifestyle and understanding of self worth may keep you energetic at the core of your inner self. Never discard your satisfying hobbies. Hobbies make us busy in creative thinking and provide sound mental health. A creative thinking takes us away from the barriers of time and space and we feel elated with joy. Psychological factors not only influence our health status but also affect longevity so, positive attitude should be adopted.

Balanced lifestyle is necessary for jubilant old age, and factors like diet, exercise and time management help us to maintain good health. Our positive attitude towards life helps us fight the stress factors. Age related diseases could be avoided through customized diet and exercise. Consult you doctor if you have any health problem and follow his/her advice. Always live in present and never worry about the future. Meditate for atleast for 15 to 30 minutes daily. If you do not know how to meditate then just sit in a chair with your eyes closed and try to listen to the sound of air passing through your nostrils. Keep happy and peaceful. Wish you good health and long life !.

Barking Dogs and Bitches

We often use the phrase, "Barking dogs seldom bite". But, what about barking bitches? Beware of barking canines because it may be a bitch and never try to find its sex. Barking bitches may bite you !

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Healthy Heart Mantras

Avoid Alcohol: Excessive consumption of causes high blood pressure and may cause cardiovascular disease. There is no distinction between good or bad alcohol or self made or foreign made alcohol. However, it is documented that one or two pegs (25 to 50ml) of alcohol day help protecting your heart from coronary heart disease.

Do Exercise: Exercise is must for fitness of heart since it is a muscular organ. Atleast 3o minutes of physical activity once daily is must. The activity should be intense enough to make you breathe heavily than normal and feel warmer. You can choose activity of your choice - like cycling, swimming, brisk walking, gardening or washing and cleaning your own car.

Diet Control: A customized diet may help you keep in perfect healthy condition. One gram of fat has more calories than one gram of sugar. Avoid fat and bad sugars. Eat fruits (fruits have good sugars) and vegetables along with proteins and minimum quantity of fat (ghee and oil).

Give up Smoking: If you smoke, then please give up smoking to protect your heart. Smokers are doubly prone to heart attack as compared to those who never smoke. Smoking damages the lining of arteries, leading to the atheroma and coronary heart disease.