Menu
X

Category Archives: Diseases & treatments

Back Pain Treatment: Signs You Should Never Ignore

Most of us must have experienced back pain sometime in your lives, which we often tend to ignore unless the problem aggravates or interferes your regular day-to-day activities.

But a recent research published in the European Journal of Pain, will compel you to never taking casually that back pain treatment. A study conducted by experts at the University of Sydney, Australia warns that a regular back pain can increase your risk of dying early, by almost 13% compared to people who do not suffer any kind of spinal (back and neck) pain.

The study notices, a person’s regular back pain was not the actual cause of death, rather signs of other factors such as poor health or low physical abilities, linked to an increased risk of death. Thus back pain “is part of a pattern of poor health.”

Causes of back pain

There can be numerous causes of back pain. Your back, especially the lower back or lumbar region is a complex, interconnected network of nerves, discs, spinal muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons. Any kind of strain, pressure or compression in any of these parts can cause pain. It can be from mild to severe. This can occur due to wrong body postures during sitting, sleeping or standing positions, falls from heights, accidents, strains due to sudden activity, or sports injuries.

It is important to know here when your back pain needs your doctor’s attention. Visit your doctor if the pain lasts over a month or doesn’t get better even after rest, pain medications, or back pain therapies such as ice or heat pack, exercises, yoga, physiotherapy etc.

Kind of back pain in which you must see your doctor

  • Chronic back pain i:e., persisting for a long time or constantly recurring
  • Back pain occurring during night time
  • If the pain extends downward along the leg, it may be sciatica pain
  • Pain is on the left side of the back
  • In case of numbness, tingling sensation in the back
  • Acute aggravating pain from neck to lower back
  • Weakness in your lower body including arms which may be a sign of some spine injury
  • If the pain increases on coughing or bending forward
  • If the back pain is accompanied with fever or problem in urination
  • If the back pain is accompanied with bladder or bowel dysfunction
  • Back pain combined with unexplained weight loss
  • Back pain after taking steroids or some medication

Surgery as back pain treatment

Surgery for back pain relief is only done when all other alternatives treatment methods fail to relieve pain or improve your mobility. Surgeries are usually recommended for severe chronic pains, sciatica, slip disc or disc herniation.

Some common back pain surgeries are spinal decompression surgery such as Laminectomy, Discectomy (surgical removal of the whole or a part of an intervertebral disc), spinal fusion, disc replacement surgery, of neck or lower back.

There are some advanced minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) procedures like Radiofrequency denervation, Endoscopic Discectomy or lumbar fusion for back pain relief. The minimally invasive spine surgery involves specialized instruments to access the spine through small incisions contrary to the open spinal surgery that requires big cuts or incisions. MISS procedures are known for less bleeding, low doses of medicines, less post-surgery pain and a quicker recovery.

Have a serious problem that needs treatment? Contact us

 

Which Knee Implant is Best for You?

With rapid rise in knee replacement surgeries there has been a surge in the types of implants available. Today large number of different kinds of implants in the market are promoted by various manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson (DePuy), Stryker, Zimmer, Synthes, Smith & Nephew and Biomet. Since the type and quality of knee implants are crucial to the knee replacement surgeries, you want to get the best one for yourself. But with vast information and advertising available on Internet, as a patient you are bound to be confused and worried as which knee implant is best for you.

Knee implant brands and claims

All the knee implants available in market today are medically tested and are launched after much research. Due to growing demand and competition, manufacturers these days are coming up with claims like gender-specific implants targeting growing women patients, or bending and rotation almost like natural knee. This trend of customized implants may appear good to achieve the best results possible. But, such claims are still at niche stage, not clinically proven or show no data related to their success in long term.

The ideal implant is only which permits normal movement for many years. This can only be seen if studied in long term that is for decades. There are no studies or research available today that proves the superiority of one brand of implant over another in terms of durability or improvement in function.

Then, how to select your knee implant?

You should understand the best implant for you is the one which meets your specific needs. This is best judged by your orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon selects the implant based on your age, weight, medical conditions, bone quality, lifestyle and level of activities expected.

Knee replacement is a most predictable replacement surgery with over 95% success rate. At present most knee implants available functions more or less same. The surgeons also usually prefer the tried and tested options available while the success of your knee replacement surgery largely depends upon:

  • Expertise of your orthopedic surgeon
  • His familiarity and experience in using certain implant
  • Care after the surgery including physiotherapy, exercises

It is advisable to discuss with your doctor your concerns, how a recommended implant would benefit you, and then take an informed decision. Remember, knee replacement procedure is a life changing surgery. Whichever implant is used the care, exercises, precautions and physiotherapy after the surgery are very important to gain maximum benefits.

If you have any query or need guidance for your knee replacement procedure, you can call our Patient Advisors for free guidance.

3 years ago Diseases & treatments

Aplastic Anemia: Timely Treatment Can Lead to Cure

Aplastic Anemia is a rare blood disorder in which the stem cells found in the bone marrow do not make enough new blood cells – red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This can lead to several health issues such as heart failure, stroke, bleeding, or infection. A severe and long lasting aplastic anemia can even be fatal, if not timely treated.

Aplastic anemia is often misunderstood as a kind of cancer, as some of the treatment modes are similar to that of cancer such as bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy. It is important to note the disease is treatable if timely identified and diagnosed.

Who are at risk of Aplastic Anemia?

Aplastic anemia can occur at any age. It can be either inherited from your parents or acquired in course of time. Often, there are unknown factors for the disease, such aplastic anemia is known as idiopathic aplastic anemia.

Below are some the causes of acquired aplastic anemia:

  • Chemo or radiation therapy given to cancer patients can lead to Aplastic Anemia as a temporary side effect of these treatments.
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals such as those found in pesticides, insecticides, benzene in gasoline
  • Intake of certain prescription drugs such as some antibiotics or those given to treat rheumatoid arthritis
  • Autoimmune disorders, when your immune system starts attacking healthy stem cells in the bone marrow
  • Viral infections such as hepatitis, certain herpes viruses, cytomegalovirus (CMV), or HIV etc., can damage the stem cells ability to produce healthy cells

Symptoms & Diagnosis of Aplastic Anemia

The diagnosis of Aplastic Anemia is done through blood tests and bone marrow biopsy. The disease can either develop gradually over weeks to months, or may surface suddenly. It is essential that the symptoms are not ignored, timely identified and diagnosed for getting best treatment results. The symptoms mostly resemble anemia.

  • Fatigue, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain
  • Pale skin
  • Bleeding
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Enlarged heart
  • Heart failure or stroke
  • Infections

Aplastic Anemia Treatment

Bone Marrow Transplant: A bone marrow transplant replaces the defected stem cells from your body with healthy stem cells from a donor. The donor can be a sibling, blood relative, or a volunteer whose bone marrow closely matches you. If the matching donor is not available, you may be recommended immunosuppressive therapy.

Immunosuppressive therapy: Immunosuppressants are recommended to those who cannot undergo BMT or stem cell transplant. It is also suggested when the cause of Aplastic Anemia is possibly an autoimmune disorder. The immunosuppressive therapy involves medicines that suppress the immune cells that are damaging your bone marrow. Gradually your bone marrow recovers and forms new blood cells.

Medications: Certain medicines can stimulate your bone marrow to start making new blood cells. These are known as bone marrow stimulants.

You may also be put on antibiotics or antivirals to prevent infections as Aplastic Anemia weakens your immune system making you vulnerable to infections.

Blood Transfusions: Pregnant women with aplastic anemia are suggested blood transfusions to restore blood cell counts to normal levels.

Govt Reduces Heart Stent Cost by 85%

The decrease in the pricing of the stents used in angioplasty surgeries has come as a big relief to patients requiring this heart surgery. In a welcoming move National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has fixed the ceiling prices for coronary stents which will make angioplasty procedure more affordable for patients in India.

A Drug Eluting Stent which has been costing between INR 40,000-1.9 lakh is now capped at INR 29,600. While a Bare Metal Stent, as per new order will now cost INR 7,260, in contrast to previous INR 30,000-75,000. The given prices are exclusive of value added tax (VAT).

The decrease in prices will not only make the heart surgery cheaper by about 85% for the patients but will also keep a check on unethical practices linked to selling and marketing of heart stents from the manufacturers, distributors, and hospitals. The NPPA step will also help in level playing field for the Indian stent manufacturers with foreign manufacturers.

Hospitals have been ordered to separately mention the cost of the coronary stent along with its brand name, name of the manufacturer/importer/batch number and other details, if any, in their billing to the patients. As per the Drug Price Control Order 2013, hospitals are also required to display the prices in the hospital premises.

A policy welcomed by the health industry and seen as in larger public interest, the concern prevails for the patients who want to opt for more advanced, sophisticated stents. These stents are expensive and due to the cap in the pricing, they might not be available in the market. Dr. Naresh Trehan, a renowned cardiac surgeon and Chairman of Medanta Hospital, Gurgaon in an interview to CNBC-TV18 welcomed the price slash, but felt the policy doesn’t address issues of pricing of advanced stents and those in already in inventory.

The coronary stents market is India is estimated to be US$ 531 million. In over a decade India has witnessed a spurt in the cases of coronary heart diseases, which require stenting in the heart.

It is yet to be seen how the government along with price regulation on stent will not allow compromise on the quality of the angioplasty procedure and stents. Also, it should take steps towards availability of advanced specialized stents for the patients who require them.

Need medical assistance?

Corneal Transplant made Effortless for Kenyan Patient

It is Mosis Mazrui’s second visit to India. This time it is for a follow-up for the corneal transplant surgery that he underwent six months back at Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) in Gurgaon, India.

‘I would say it has been an effortless experience to come to India for my eye surgery,’ shares Mosis sitting relaxed at the hospital’s lobby with his wife. The whole process was so streamlined. Being quiet happy and satisfied with the surgery and the results, next he plans for some sight-seeing with his wife before leaving for Kenya.

Mosis recalls how he was gradually losing vision of his right eye and the continuous pain made it unbearable. When he visited the ophthalmologist in Kenya’s Mewa Hospital, the doctor recommended a corneal transplant.

Mosis was aware India has state-of-the art facilities for such serious procedures. ‘Flying to India was the best option for me as Kenya does not have advanced facilities and I could not take chances with my eyesight,’ he added. Most of his acquaintances in Kenya had visited cities like Mumbai, Chennai or Hyderabad for their different treatments. But he was not sure where in India he could get his surgery done as per his need.

Mosis contacted his medical insurance agency and they connected him with the Fortis Hospital at Gurgaon location. Within a month he was in India for the surgery. Dr. Anita Sethi, Director Opthomology, FMRI and her team conducted his surgery. The hospital staff had been also very supportive. All his surgery cost was covered in the medical insurance.

Mosis feels he is lucky that his travel and treatment went on so smoothly. In Kenya there are many patients who are delaying their treatment due to lack of genuine knowledge or guidance as to how to initiate the medical care in India. ‘We need services like MedGurus who can provide honest guidance for treatment in India,’ he adds.

(The name of patient has been changed on anonymity.)

African Wife Gains New Perspective after Husband’s Cancer Battle

African Wife Gains New Perspective after Husband’s Cancer Battle

Nelson was silent but calm today sitting in the international patients lobby at Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon.  After going through stressful two months of chemotherapy and radiation therapy for his intestinal cancer, he was feeling relaxed as doctors had confirmed, he can now go back to his country.

Amanda, his wife gave me a warm handshake with a smile on her face. ‘Healthcare is so much better in India,’ she said. We are happy finally going home and Nelson is doing well. We will come back after two months for follow-up.

Living in Kigali, a capital city of Rwanda, an east African country, where Nelson was diagnosed with cancer, India was an obvious choice for treatment, reveals Amanda. Through a King Faisal Hospital in Kagali, where Nelson sought initial treatment, they came to know about Medanta – the Medicity Hospital in Gurgaon, India.

Cancer disease also brings with it a mental trauma not just for the patient but the family too. Amanda recalls how the whole family was initially in shock but the disease makes you stronger and tougher.

The timely right treatment has given new lease of life to Nelson. Though they will have to again come back to India probably more than once for further chemo or radiotherapies as the doctors would suggest, but they are happy with the treatment and especially grateful to Dr. Tejinder Kataria who is taking care of Nelson’s case. “Our doctor is really very nice, once back to our country we will be in touch with her about my husband’s condition through mail and phone.’

Nelson works in a private company and hopes to get back to work after going back to Kigali. While Amanda has other plans, she wants to work to spread cancer awareness in her country. ‘I have realized cancer today is treatable, if correct timely treatment by good oncologist is given,’ she observes.

Before leaving she quips, ‘This time we could not see India, hopefully during next visit we plan to see Delhi,’ Amanda smiles holding Nelson’s hand.

image

Stem Cell Therapy to Replace Orthopedic Surgeries

Stem Cell Therapy to Replace Orthopedic Surgeries

For all those patients of arthritis or bone degeneration disease who have been advised hip or knee joint replacement surgery can opt for stem cell therapy and get back to their normal selves without undergoing the knife. Stem cell therapy is a non-surgical single-day procedure and an alternative to surgery or bone joint replacement.

The therapy is an advanced medical technique, though still in its development stage, doctors see it as a promising minimally invasive procedure that reduces the risks involved during surgeries. It is already being used by orthopedic doctors as a substitute for knee or hip replacement.

What is a stem cell therapy?

Adult stem cells are present throughout your body inside different types of tissues such as blood, blood vessels, brain, bone marrow, skeletal muscles, skin, and liver. They have the unique ability to multiply and give rise to new healthy cells, thus replacing the diseased ones.

In an attempt to utilize this ability of stem cells, they are now being seen by medical scientists as a means to cure various chronic diseases. A widely use example of stem cell therapy is Bone marrow transplant. Doctors and scientists are doing various clinical trials using stem cells from different body tissues to treat orthopedic injuries.

Stem cell therapy in bone & joint treatment

The stem cell therapy procedure basically includes three steps – withdrawing stem cells from bone marrow, concentrating them in a lab and then re-injecting into the injured body tissues using advanced imaging guidance such as fluoroscopy and MSK ultrasound.

Retrieving stem cells from the body is a simple and least painful procedure. A special needle is inserted into the bone to withdraw marrow blood, which contains the stem cells. The re-injected stem cells boost the natural repair of degenerated bone joints, injured tendons, and ligaments.

You will be able to return to normal activities, avoid the long painful recovery period following invasive joint surgeries. The therapy is also a major breakthrough in confronting the natural breakdown process of tissues due to aging, overuse or injury.

When should Women get Heart Screening done?

Women are mostly unaware of right age when healthy heart screenings should start, according to a new report by The American Heart Association which is based on survey done by Orlando Health National.

Most women believe the right age of heart screening is 40 years and above. Even if they have a family history of heart disease they do not get screen themselves before this age. While The American Heart Association recommended healthy heart screenings should begin at 20 years of age, yet 60% of women in the U.S. said heart screenings should start in late 30s age. The report suggests this may be partly the reason for increase in death rate of women due to heart diseases.

The doctors believe, earlier the better to identify the risks. According to Dr. Kristal Young, Cardiologist, Huntington Hospital, “If you can identify them in your 20s or 30s, the likelihood of you having heart disease in your 70s or 80s may be less.”

The hardening of the arteries and cholesterol begins developing during teenage and early 20s. “Women can develop atherosclerosis, plaque in their arteries, in their teens and early twenties. Therefore, it is vital to understand risk factors and make appropriate life changes as early as possible,” said Dr. Carolina Demori, a cardiologist who leads the Women’s Cardiac Center at the Orlando Health Heart Institute.

Cardiologists advise, women should be aware about their family history of heart ailments, and prioritize heart screening in their 20s to avoid the chances of developing serious life threatening heart diseases.

What does a heart screening include?

Typically, a heart screening includes blood pressure, body weight, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels. It may involve echocardiogram (EKG or ECG) in some cases.

Also read:

Angiography

Angioplasty in India

3 years ago Diseases & treatments

Why you need to know your Blood Group?

Do you know the blood group of your family members? God forbid, what if, you or your near one ever needs blood transfusion in case of any surgery or trauma? It is absolute necessary to be aware about your blood type and how in case of emergency this can help. Not only this you can be also be the one who can save someone’s life. Let’s first understand the ABO system in naming blood group.

ABO Blood Group System

There are four major blood groups – A, B, AB and O determined by the presence of antigens, antibodies and Rh factor on the red blood cells (RBCs). If you have a blood group AB, you are a universal blood recipient, i:e, you can receive blood from any blood group type. Those of you with blood group O are universal donor, but can receive blood from only O type.

The Rh factor determines negative or positive type of blood. Rhesus or Rh factor is actually an inherited protein that comes from parents to their children. It is found on the surface of RBCs. If your blood has Rh, you’re Rh positive (+) while in absence of same your blood group is Rh negative (–).

Below is the table showing who can donate blood to which blood group type.

Who can donate blood to whom

As a healthy person, it is safe to donate blood at the gap of at least three months. For those of you who are frequent or regular blood donors, doctors advise certain precautions and care. You should eat nutritious and well-balanced diet that includes iron and vitamin C rich foods. You can also take multivitamins with iron but only in consultation with your doctor.

Below table shows the possible blood group and Rh factor of the offspring

Inheritence of blood group and Rh factor

Blood Donation – what & how much you can donate?

As a blood donor, you can donate either whole blood or specific blood components – red cells, plasma, platelets or cryoprecipitate. Blood transfusion is mostly necessary in all kinds of major surgeries. Depending upon the surgery, condition and the disease type, you may require either whole blood or any of its four main components – RBCs, WBCs, platelets, and plasma.

blood components and donationWhole blood includes red blood cells, white cells, and platelets suspended in plasma. – It is required in trauma and other surgeries like knee replacement, hip replacement, coronary artery bypass etc.

Red blood cells contain hemoglobin (Hb) having iron that carry oxygen from lungs to other parts of body and take carbon dioxide back to lungs to be exhaled. RBCs transfusion is mostly required in cases of trauma surgery, anemia, blood loss, blood disorders like sickle cell.

Platelets are colorless cells in the blood whose main role is in clotting. They stop or prevent bleeding. Platelets transfusion is generally required during Cancer treatments, Organ transplants like kidney transplant, liver transplant surgery, or Dengu fever cases etc.

Plasma is a fluid, composed of about 92% water and 7% vital proteins. It is generally transfused to the patients of burn, shock, or bleeding disorders.

Cryoprecipitated Antihemophilic Factor (Cryo) is a part of plasma. It is prepared by freezing and then thawing the frozen plasma. It is transfused in patients of Hemophilia, Von Willebrand disease (most common hereditary coagulation abnormality).

Below table presents approximate units of blood required in saving life during various surgeries

Blood required to save life for different surgeries

It takes about 15 minutes to donate one unit (450 ml) of whole blood while for apheresis (donating blood components – plasma, platelets etc.) the entire process is of about two hours.

From a unit of whole blood donated, generally two to three of these blood components are produced. Thus, your donated one unit of blood can save up to three lives. Any healthy person of at least 50 kg body weight can donate blood from the age of 18 years up to 60 years of age. For any blood transfusion, blood types are matched.

Donating blood is a safe process. Always a new, sterile, disposable needle is used for every blood donation, which is discarded once used. According to myth, you cannot get any infectious disease or AIDS by giving blood. Within 24-48 hours of blood donation, your body will soon replace the lost blood. While it takes around eight weeks to completely replenish all the components of the lost blood.

Every second someone needs blood. Be it for accident cases, major surgeries, or premature born babies. India has over 2,700 blood banks from where you can get blood in need.

3 years ago Diseases & treatments

Improper Teeth Positioning? Visit an Orthodontist

Dental care procedures are just not limited to root canal, gums care, fillings, crown, teeth whitening, dentures, or simple braces done by a dentist. Sometimes you may need more specialized treatment in case like mostly improper positioned teeth and faulty jawline, a condition which is also known as malocclusion. Here the role of orthodontist comes in to whom you may also be referred by your dentist.

Orthodontists specialize in treating improper teeth positioning, which results in an improper bite and other problems.

Orthodontics does not only mean treating with different types of braces. An orthodontist can correct the wrong position of your teeth and also ensure future right development of teeth in case of children. They cure the symptoms and side-effects occurring due to malocclusion.  He/she can treat conditions such as crowded, overlapping teeth, improper jaw growth, tooth or jaw deformity due to an accident or tooth development problem. Moreover, they ensure aligned teeth and jaws that make good smiles and keep your teeth healthy.

Side-effects of improper positioned teeth

Improper positioned teeth or malocclusion can result in improper bites, crowded teeth, speech problems, sleep apnea, snoring, breathing issues, or crooked smile. In many, it can be a cause of low self-esteem too.

Right age to visit an orthodontist

There is no age limit to visit an orthodontist for the treatment but earlier the better. Not only it will bring better treatment results but also take lesser time and be less expensive to treat the disorder.

As the growth of permanent teeth starts in children, mostly after seven years of age, visit the orthodontist in case of uneven growth. Some orthodontists prefer 10-11 years as ideal age to start the treatment. It is better to visit as early as possible to control the condition and avoid further complications.

Teenagers and adults can get treated for improper aligned teeth too.  However, for adults the treatment will be longer and expensive.

Orthodontic treatment

Based on your type and severity of malocclusion, he/she may recommend various treatments methods. The treatment time may vary based on your age and condition but it takes as long as over a year. Below are the treatment options your orthodontist may suggest:

  • Dental braces, aligners, splints etc., to correct the position of the teeth
  • Teeth removal to treat overcrowded condition
  • Use retainers, plates or wires to stabilize the jaw bone
  • Teeth reshaping
  • Jaw surgery

3 years ago Diseases & treatments

Organ Donation in India

What You Can Donate to Save Lives? Organ donations can save hundreds of lives. Let us know which organs and tissues you can donate for life-saving organ and tissue transplant procedures. But before that, you must be aware of the basic criteria for organ donation. An organ or tissue donor should be:

  • Registered organ donor
  • Have family’s consent to donate
  • In case of deceased (or brain dead) and non-registered donor family should willingly agree to donate the organs of their loved one
  • Donor’s age above 18 years and preferably below 65 years of age
  • If parents give consent, children can also be organ donors
  • Healthy and fit medically, especially free from diseases of the donated organ
  • Do not have diseases like Cancer, Hepatitis, or HIV

Organs that can be Transplanted

Heart – Donor heart can be transplanted from a brain dead or deceased person within six hours of a person’s death. The heart donor’s age should be less than 60 years of age and should not have any heart disease. Heart transplant candidates are those at end-stage heart failure due to coronary heart disease, birth defect, or damaged heart valves and muscles etc.

For More Read: Heart Transplant Surgery in India

Liver  – Donor liver can be obtained from a living or a deceased person. The donor’s age should be between 18 to 55 years and should be free from any kind of liver disease or other serious medical condition. Liver is the organ that can regrow within few weeks and only a half of the liver of the living donor is used for transplant.  In case of deceased donor, the liver has to be removed from the body within eight hours of the person’s death. Liver transplant is only advised when a liver failure cannot be fixed and the only choice is liver transplantation.

For More Read: Liver Transplant in India

Kidneys – Donor kidney can be obtained from living or deceased person. The donor’s age should be between18 to 55 years. He or she should be free from any kind of kidney ailment. A kidney transplant is recommended in case of end-stage renal disease.

Lungs – Lungs can be donated by a living or deceased donor, although living donor lung transplantation is rare and a complex procedure. The lung donor should be between 18 to 55 years of age. Lung transplants are required for those with severe last stage lung disease.

Pancreas – Donor pancreas usually comes from a deceased person. A living person can donate a partial pancreas. Pancreatic transplantation is done usually in Type I diabetic patients.

Intestines – Intestine can be donated by a living or deceased person. A living donor intestine transplant is preferred from someone in a family of age between 18 to 50 years. The intestine donation is a safe procedure. The living donor does not usually have any serious complication. For a deceased donor intestine transplant, there is no age limit for the donor’s age. He/she can be an infant, kid or an adult up to 50 years of age.

Tissues that can be donated

Along with organs you can also donate body tissues like blood, bone, cartilage etc., to treat the patients suffering from tissue related diseases. Tissue donation involves removal of the tissues from the deceased person’s body to transplant into the recipient patient. Below are the tissues that can be donated:

Cornea (eyes) – Donor eyes can be obtained from the deceased person within six hours of the death. There is no age limit for corneal transplant.  The transplant is a blessing for those who are almost or completely blind. Cancer patients can also donate corneas.

Skin – Donor skin is needed to treat severe burns, wounds, and skin infections. The deceased person’s skin is harvested within twelve hours of his/her death. In India the deceased skin donor should be atleast 18 years of age. There is no upper age limit for donating skin. All those suffering from any skin disease, skin cancer, AIDS, hepatitis, and STD cannot donate skin tissue.

Heart valves – A human heart valve donation can treat those who need heart valve replacement. Donor heart valve is obtained from a deceased person who does not have any cardiac disease.

Tendons – Tendons are tissues that connect muscles to bones. Donor tendons can be obtained from deceased donor within 12 hours of his/her death.

India is facing a huge gap between demand and supply of organ and tissue transplants required. Let’s pledge to donate our organs and contribute to the cause.

3 years ago Diseases & treatments

Abdominal Tuberculosis (TB): Symptoms you should never ignore

Abdominal Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious bacterial infection in the digestive system and abdominal cavity. It can affect from mouth to anus including your intestine, spleen, pancreas, and lymph nodes. It can be caused due to poor immune system, malnutrition, HIV, renal infections etc. Poor diet, consuming contaminated milk, alcohol and tobacco intake are also responsible for the disease.

Abdominal tuberculosis is increasingly getting common more due to its non-specific symptoms which may lead to delay in diagnosis, resulting in greater complications. Although the disease is curable, ignorance of symptoms postpones the treatment making it severe. Let’s understand the symptoms and when you need to see the doctor for timely treatment.

Symptoms of abdominal tuberculosis

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Loss of weight
  • Anorexia (abnormal low body weight)
  • Diarrhea / Constipation
  • Night sweats
  • Fever and cough
  • Swelling / tightness / doughy abdomen
  • Loss of appetite & fatigue

Diagnosis & investigations of abdominal tuberculosis

If you experience any of the above symptoms for longer duration or at regular intervals, do not try your own medications but visit your doctor as soon as possible. He/she would take your medical history and do physical examination to form the primary diagnosis.

To confirm or rule out abdominal TB, you would be recommended some blood tests and investigations, such as below:

  • Blood test
  • Mantoux test
  • Liver Function Test (LFT)
  • X-rays/ ultrasound / CT scan of abdomen
  • Endoscopy, colonoscopy and diagnostic laparoscopy
  • Peritoneal biopsy

Treatment of abdominal tuberculosis

Abdominal TB can be treated through medications and/or surgery. You would be prescribed a course of medications for a period six to nine months or even longer depending upon the response. A corrective surgery may be required if there is a perforation, abscess or fistula (an abnormal connection between organs) formation in intestines that cannot be treated through only medications.

Remember abdominal TB is a completely curable disease unless you follow a strict medicines course, suggested diet plan, and healthy lifestyle refraining yourself from alcohol and tobacco.

3 years ago Diseases & treatments

Understanding Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis

Pancreatic disorders are mostly linked to gall bladder disease and alcoholism. In fact more than 80% of pancreatitis cases are due to these two reasons. Although the disease is treatable in its mild form but when get severe causes serious health damages.

What is pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of your pancreas, a large gland behind stomach. Pancreas produces digestive enzymes and has an important role in maintaining your blood sugar level by releasing insulin and glucagon in the bloodstream.

When these digestive enzymes instead of helping in digestion start harming the organ itself, pancreas get inflamed and gradually its tissues start getting damaged. Your digestive system gets affected and you are at high risk of developing diabetes as the organ stops functioning normally. If not treated on time it can lead to serious conditions such as damaging your major organs.

Types of pancreatitis

There are two types of pancreatitis – acute and chronic.

Acute pancreatitis

It is a sudden pancreatic inflammation that mostly goes away soon and can recur also. This type of pancreatitis appears with symptoms like upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever etc. The intensity of acute pancreatitis varies from mild to severe health damage. You are at risk of diabetes and in severe cases it can even be fatal.  Acute pancreatitis can get life-threatening by completely damaging your pancreas and other organs of the body like heart, lungs, and kidney.

Chronic pancreatitis

Pancreatic inflammation can damage the pancreas severely. It lasts for longer duration and usually occurs after an episode of acute pancreatitis. Chronic pancreatitis mostly appears suddenly without any prior symptom mainly to those who are serious alcoholics for many years.

Causes of pancreatitis

  • Heavy alcohol drinking
  • Gallstones in gall bladder
  • High level of fat in your blood
  • Intake of certain prescribed drugs
  • Hereditary abnormalities of the pancreas
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Due to any surgery in the abdomen like kidney transplant
  • Structural abnormalities of the pancreas or intestine
  • Rarely due to infections, such as mumps, HIV etc

Signs & symptoms

  • Intense abdominal pain on the right side that radiates to the back
  • Shallow breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Fever
  • Increased heart rate
  • Low blood pressure

Treatment

Your doctor will plan the treatment based on the intensity of the disease. It generally includes fluid, medications and antibiotics. The doctor would relieve you from the symptoms like fever, vomiting etc.

In severe cases of pancreatitis you would need intense care and may be kept in ICU (Intensive Care Unit). The treatment aims to decrease inflammation, limit infection, and to identify cause and treat complications.

In cases of chronic pancreatitis, a surgical treatment may be recommended like gallstone removal (endoscopy), pancreas resection (removal of infected/inflamed part of pancreas), or total pancreatectomy (removal of complete pancreas).

Prevention of pancreatitis

  • Stop or limit your alcohol intake as it will not only prevents pancreatitis but lower your chances of developing liver cancer or pancreatic cancer
  • Follow healthy diet that includes fresh vegetables and fruits to avoid gallstones
  • Stick to low fat diet and avoid high cholesterol foods like red meat and butter
  • Exercise and maintain healthy body weight
  • Stop smoking

If you need any guidance and information regarding any kind of Pancreatitis treatment in India call our patient advisors for ‘free’ guidance.

4 years ago Diseases & treatments

Understanding Leukemia – PPT presentation

Understanding Leukemia

image
4 years ago Diseases & treatments

What is silent heart attack?

silent heart attackA heart attack may not always be a rigorous one that is accompanied with a sudden pain in chest, shortness of breath, or cold sweats. It can happen without actually knowing that you have had a heart attack. Such a heart attack is called silent heart attack or silent ischemia when the oxygen supply to the heart is blocked. This leaves a scarring damage to the heart muscle similar to a normal heart attack, without the person actually recognizing it.

As the name suggest, silent heart attacks have no specific symptoms. But you would feel it like a stomach infection or flu, thus you tend to ignore. Mostly, the subtle signs of silent heart attack observed by doctors are:

  • Indigestion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heart burn
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Discomfort in the jaw
  • A bad flu
  • Shortness of breath

It can occur at rest or while you are active. The severity depends upon your age, gender and other medical conditions. Diabetics are more prone to such unrecognized heart attacks.

So the question arises how to recognize a silent heart attack to get treated on time and prevent serious heart disease? The best thing you can do is to closely monitor the above subtle symptoms and how you feel. An unusual feeling inside your body, a regular complaint of unexplained fatigue and restlessness along with upset stomach might mean you suffered a silent attack.

You need to see the doctor sooner, if you are above 40 years of age. For younger the age, the chances of such an attack is rare but cannot be ruled out. Other factors that put you at risk are habits of smoking, alcohol, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.

An MRI or ECG may discover that a person actually had such an attack few weeks or months before without actually knowing it. Study reveals 70{f311d33b9bbfc4f285bed43336857fd8e1ba4c3922f0121c3bf81697a3148487} of people with unrecognized heart disease who died of sudden cardiac arrest had previous scarring on their hearts, which was never before detected. So early detection is important for treating heart diseases before they grow into a serious problem

How to prevent a silent heart attack

People who are at high risk should keep track of their blood pressure and cholesterol; follow healthy lifestyle of regular exercise, healthy diet minus smoking and alcohol. Always talk to your doctor, if something feels unusual in your body. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

I want to thank GMA for being there whenever I needed sound advice for my IVF procedure. You have been always supporting and guiding. I wish you best of luck for all the good service you are doing by helping people to take well-informed decisions.