Tag Archives: Infection

Mosquitoes and global warming

Small is powerful, when more in number!

Today malaria is a big burden of economically poor developing countries of the temperate region of the world. Western nations, most of which are geographically at latitudes where temperature is much cooler generally are free from the problem of malaria (hence lucky!).

But as said, if you get a infection in your toe and if you don’t take care of it in time, the infection might spread to remaining part of your body; the same principle probably applies in case of our planet too, we will have to suffer from all the harmful consequences together, some earlier and some later. There is no escape unless you move the civilisation to other planets like Mars. May be that’s the hidden agenda for countries competing for space mission, alike the wars conducted by powerful nations for crude oil. Continue reading Mosquitoes and global warming

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Causes of Loose motion

After cramming for last few days about what should be the next post in health section of this blog, thought of dropping down few lines on loose motion. If you have never heard about this phrase before, let me help you, it means loose stool. Not sure if this is an officially acceptable phrase or not but this is used by many doctors and patients around the globe.

Diarrhea may be a common phrase for many, which probably means the same as loose motion. Loose motion or diarrhea can be watery or bloody. When loose stool is accompanied by blood, it is called dysentery.

Although many people tend to take loose motion less seriously, it can be fatal and in developing nations is an important killer of children. Today in this post we will try to explore the various causes of this problem.

Firstly, lets look into the infective causes. Well loose motion can occur due to infections caused by viruses, bacteria, protozoa etc.

Viral diarrhea is common in children and a common virus responsible for this is rota virus. There are plenty of other viruses which can cause loose stool.

Bacteria are too blamed for causing loose stool. Some bacteria can precipitate sudden massive episodes of loose stool, due to food poisoning, generally with in 4 to  6 hours of consumption of contaminated food; staphylococcus is particularly important in this regard. Certain vibrio species infection can occur after ingestion of certain sea fishes like shellfishes.

Cholera is also cause by bacteria (a common strain in this regard is known as Vibrio cholerae). Generally they present with watery stool often its consistency is compared with rice water.

Campylobacter, another bacteria, can cause loose motion, which might be watery or bloody. They are generally common after eating infected poultry products.

Without mentioning which, discussion on bacterial diarrhea can’t be complete is Clostridium difficile. This bug causes diarrhea after a person is for sometime on certain antibiotics like clindamycin or ampicillin. They are generally treated with antibiotics like metronidazole and vancomycin depending upon the scenario.

Fungal diarrhea might also occur, we are not discussing it here.

Next, lets check out the protozoans which can cause loose motion. Infamous in this list can cause giardiasis, amebiasis etc. In Giardiasis, stool is generally watery, whereas in amebiasis its bloody. Another bug in this list is called cryptosporidium, which causes diarrhea in immunocompromised individuals like those infected with HIV.

Everyone don’t tolerate milk

Other than infection, intolerance to certain food products can cause loose motion too. For example, those who are deficient of an enzyme called lactase are more susceptible to a condition called lactose intolerance, in which consumption of milk or milk products cause loose stool along with bloating and passing excessive flatus.

Another similar digestion defect related diarrhea is caused by a condition called Celiac disease. In this disease condition the affected individual is unable to digest edible products made of grains containing gluten like wheat, barley, rye etc. This condition happens due to some antibodies, which are formed by our body. These antibodies, attacks our own gastrointestinal system when they find gluten products in our body and causes destruction of intestinal villi which is required to absorb the food products. Therefore, gluten causes inflammation in side our gut and resulting to loose stool.

In the list of autoimmune type diseases two more important are Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis. These diseases can present with long term loose motion, often associated with blood and can cause colon cancer in long run, therefore requires regular checkups.

Certain cancers like those of colon may present with diarrhea but not necessarily.

In the list next are drugs. Certain drugs might cause loose stool as their side effects. The list is huge, therefore we will talk about some of those. Certain antibiotics can cause diarrhea, which we already discussed above. Next are anticancer medications (also called chemotherapy) which can also cause diarrhea. Commonly used anti-ulcer drugs like omeprazole and cimetidine might also be listed as dirty drugs causing loose stool episodes.

That was a quick discussion about various possible causes of loose stool. The topic is huge and here I just tried to keep few important fragments of it, in simple format. Latter on we will discuss various ways of prevention and treatment of loose stool.

For all your health concerns please be guided by your healthcare provider and not this blog. Cross check information here from other sources too.

Does exposure to cold causes common cold?

Many a times, we find that if we didn’t take proper protection from cold, we might catch a cold and have runny nose and fever for a week. That means we can get a viral due to cold sometimes.

Getting exposure to cold means getting a cold – is not the rule, if it was so then 99% of the inhabitants of the cold weather nations should have got flu 24*7 and 365 days. However, that don’t happen. Cold weather don’t necessarily mean you will get a ‘common cold’, a dirty viral illness which can spoil your new year celebrations. Continue reading Does exposure to cold causes common cold?

Does stress lowers the immunity?

Pre Stress 1
Pre Stress 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In today’s busy and  fast world its hardly possible to find a person who don’t experience stress. Stress may be experienced at the workplace or at home. It’s proved in science that stress has a lot of bad effects on our health including decrease in our bodies immune function. That means chronic long term stress can decrease our immunity to ward off infections or other diseases.

Now let us look into the scientific fact how really stress can lower our immunity. First, we should know what happen normally to understand the abnormal. Stress is a normal body response to cope with problems which are causing the stress. When we are in stressful situation, our body secretes a lot of cortisol hormone (a steroid hormone) from the cortex region of our adrenal glands (we have two such glands located above each kidneys). This cortisol helps us battle the stress. Now, if you have ever heard that long term steroid medications are harmful, the mechanism here in chronic stress is the same. During long term stress an individual is exposed to the excess body made steroid (i.e. cortisol) which lowers our immune capacities and make us prone to illnesses easily. Even long term stress can worsen your lipid and sugar profile too. Chronic stress can increase the blood sugar levels and lipid levels. This is because cortisol is meant to battle your stress by means of providing you a lot of energy, and to do so cortisol raises the blood glucose level. If you are a diabetic battling to reduce your blood sugar levels, a bit control of stress may aid in the process.

So, try relaxing and live a stress free life. Stress not only dampens your social relations and you mental peace, it damages your health too like a slow poison. Talk to your healthcare provider to learn the skills to keep stress away.

You may share your opinions below in the comments section. For all your health concerns please be guided by your healthcare provider. Please cross check information from other sources too.

Decreasing HIV risk, in injection drug users

About 80% of all AIDS cases that occur in regions like Eastern Europe and Central Asia are due to injection drug uses like heroin etc. Although much of this couldn’t be prevented till date, now there is some hope of preventing an occurrence of AIDS in these individuals.

A Bangkok based study revealed that use of anti-HIV medications by injection drug users can almost half the risk of acquiring AIDS. Previously such prophylaxis showed some promise in men practicing sex with same-sex individuals and also in those practising  heterosexual relationships.

This is a remarkable advancement towards AIDS prevention.

Spread of Aids in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Spread of Aids in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Please cross check information from other sources too. 
For all your health concerns please be guided by your healthcare provider. 
References- http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_137771.html

Beware of unclean endoscopies

diagram of a human digestive system
human digestive system

Endoscopy is becoming an increasingly common investigation these days. They are used to visualize various parts of our food path i.e. gastrointestinal system. Colonoscopy is also a type of endoscopy in which the colon is visualized. Recently in US, a report came out where many endoscopes (endoscopes are the long tube like instruments used during endoscopy) were checked if they were properly cleaned.The outcome showed that good number of improperly cleaned endoscopes were in use on patients. Such unclean endoscopes have high risk of contaminating one patient with another patient’s infection including some of the life threatening ones like HIV, Hepatitis B or C etc. Continue reading Beware of unclean endoscopies

Stool transplant

What are the various human body parts transplantation have you heard of – probably about liver transplantation, kidney transplantation, lung transplantation, pancreas transplantation etc. But have you ever heard of stool or feces transplant, may be you have but this is a new upcoming one. Fecal transplant is nothing but transplanting feces from one healthy individual without certain gut problems to another individual with certain gut problems. Now the question is what are those gut problems where stool therapy can be used, a range of colon diseases are thought of where it might be helpful but as of current date most achievement probably found in treating pseudomembranous colitis. Continue reading Stool transplant