Every Important Fact That You Need To Know About Mold

When you start spotting some allergens during the hot days, you know that summers have arrived. Further, you’ll get to know more about the mold mainly. You will also get to know about the effects it can cause on your health and other details relating to its growth and survival at your home. So, let’s start with understanding mold.

What is Mold?

In layman’s term, Mold is nothing but a fungus. It is useful for us undoubtedly but only when it is outside. Mold has the properties of disposing of the decaying matter.

It develops with the help of microscopic spores. If by any chance a spore falls upon a slightly damp area, it will add moisture to the spore. This helps in providing it nourishment, thus growing more of these molds.

Is all Mold Bad?

Generally talking, molds are very essential for the environment for the purpose of decomposition. If there wasn’t mold on the surface of the earth, it would be full of dead leaves, decaying trees, and other masses in unbearable quantity. Not just this, molds are even known for making cheese and a few antibiotics. Out of over 1000 different varieties of mold, Penicillium mold produces the penicillin antibiotic naturally.

However, you shouldn’t appreciate the formation of mold in your home or office, as indoor mold have some adverse effects on our health.

Adverse Health Effects of Indoor Mold

There are multiple reasons why you should not have mold within the premises of your house. Some of them are discussed below:

  • Allergies – If you by chance inhale the spores of mold or even touch them, you can catch allergies.
  • Asthma – Molds trigger asthma symptoms in people breathing around it.
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) flare-ups – There are many people who cannot bear Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Molds produce these and hence can trouble people with their presence.
  • Respiratory Problems – As per the study and research done by the Centre for Disease Control, mold causes respiratory problems. It was even observed in healthy children.

How Does Mold Get Into a House or Building?

Following are a few main sources which can initiate mold formation:

  • Overflowing waters from water bodies like rivers etc. Even heavy storms can be a reason.
  • Leaking from the rooms or blockage of the gutters.
  • The rain that seeped in through windows or doors.
  • Leakage from the pipes.
  • Improper drainage, hence leading to damping of basements.
  • Water released from the surface of cold places.

Common Types of Mold in Homes

The differentiation of the types of mold is possible on the basis of the color as follows:

·        Black Mold:

This is the most dangerous kind of mold that you will ever come across. It can cause fatal issues including lungs failure and death if left untreated. It is mostly found in damp basements or other areas which are open to some leakages. The scientific name for these bacteria is S. Chlorohalonata.

·        Green Mold:

You can spot this kind of Mold only in the areas where fruits are grown. The penicillin products are also grown using this mold. Despite this being a component of antibiotics, it is also extremely harmful to your body. In case you have direct contact with the mold or you consume it directly, it can cause severe issues. Green mold is easy to occur in units providing refrigeration at your home and at damp places as well.

Penicillin and Mold

Penicillin is an antibiotic which comprises of a group of molds called Penicillium. It cures infections caused by Bacteria and was found in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming. The molds used in medicine are commonly known as green or blue molds. Penicillium is also commonly known for spoiling the fruits.

How to Prevent Mold Growth?

Here are the main reasons which lead to condensation of your surface which you can avoid to prevent mold growth:

·        Relative Humidity:

The term condensation usually refers to the phenomena of contact of humid air with a cold surface. This results in the formation of water droplets. Most commonly ignored places include washing machine dryers, coolers, bathroom mirrors, etc. Keep these areas clean. Also, ensure that you dry them up time to time and not leave them unattended for long.

·        Temperature:

It is a scientific fact that the warm air contains more moisture than the cold air. Also, mainly the warm air is responsible for causing condensation as well. Hence, maintaining the right temperature is extremely important in the house. If you do not have proper insulators installed at the possible areas of moisture, you are prone to give rise to mold formation.

·        Poor Ventilation:

Mold growth increases in places where the chances of ventilation are low and trapping of air is highly possible. Condensation rates get higher in the areas where there is no cross ventilation of the air. Ensure usage of exhaust fans; assemble your furniture a little away from the walls etc. You can further ensure that the house is clean. Check all the damp places and dry them up in time. Fix the leaks, check the drainages regularly, and remove standing water immediately.

How to Clean Mold?

Cleaning mold is no rocket science. Following are a few household measures which can help you do the same:

  • Baking soda – Take a spray bottle and put in baking soda and water in equal quantity. Spray the formed solution on the area where the mold is forming and alongside it. Wait for ten minutes and then using a wet sponge, you can clean it off.
  • Hydrogen peroxideForm a solution with water and 3% hydrogen peroxide in it. Then sprinkle the solution on to the affected area. Let it rest for ten minutes after which you can clean it off with the help of a cloth.
  • Vinegar – Form a mixture of vinegar and water. On the affected area where you can see the mold, spray the made solution. Let it rest for an hour at least. Then wipe it off using a wet sponge.

When to Call a Professional?

Although you can treat molds at home itself as mentioned above, in case you see more than 10 square feet of the area affected, you need to call a professional for help. It becomes necessary then to seek professional help. A Mold Assessment Professional will find the places where the formation of mold is possible and will take action to stop the unwanted overgrowth of mold.

Conclusion:

Mold can grow almost anywhere if there is moisture, and it is not at all safe to ignore the formation of mold in your house. As soon as you see mold spores in your place, you need to take action to stop the overgrowth of mold. Hence, these were the basic details about mold. Knowing these facts can prevent you from encountering unwanted harms.

 

Sources:

https://restorationmasterfinder.com/restoration/green-mold-is-it-dangerous-and-how-to-remove-it/

https://www.cdc.gov/mold/dampness_facts.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mold-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20351519

https://www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/common-areas-for-mold-growth

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/fromdnatobeer/exhibition-interactive/illustrations/penicillin-alternative.html

EPI disease – Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Prevention

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency or EPI occurs when there is an acute deficiency of the enzymes secreted by the pancreas. The various enzymes are necessary for the digestion of food, but when a patient is suffering from EPI the body becomes unable to produce the fluids. This results in maldigestion because the food consumed does not get digested properly. Patients suffering from EPI experience conditions like bloating, oily diarrhea, and gas. Since the pancreas does not work properly and the food fails to get digested, the patients suffer from the lack of proper nutrition.

According to worldwide statistics, the united states of America is the leading nation in the number of patients suffering from EPI. The market for EPI is supposed to be followed by the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America in the next few years. Patients suffering from Chronic Pancreatitis and Cystic Fibrosis are likely to develop exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. In the US, around 28 to 42 people per 100,000 of the population suffer from Chronic Pancreatitis and are likely to develop EPI in the next 10 years or so.

Symptoms

The symptoms of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency may not be noticeable initially. Many of them resemble those of GI and cannot be easily recognised. Other gastrointestinal diseases which have similar symptoms are Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.

Pancreatic insufficiency, in simpler terms, is the body’s inability to break down the food and digest it properly.

Here are a few symptoms of EPI disease:

  • Frequent diarrhea:Since the food particles remain undigested they easily get passed through the digestive tract resulting in diarrhea.
  • Stomach ache: people suffering from EPI cannot easily digest food which causes gas, bloating and stomach ache.
  • Bloating: Again undigested food always creates gas and bloating.
  • Foul-smelling stool: Many peopleexperience steatorrheawhichis the excretion of oily and foul-smelling stool that refuses to get flushed easily. These people are unable to absorb all the fat consumed with the food.
  • Weight loss: People suffering from EPI disease looses weight remarkably because the body does not get any nutrient whatsoever with the food. The body cannot digest proteins, minerals or carbohydrates. The body also suffers from the lack of various vitamins like Vitamin A,E,D, and K.
  • Feeling full: People suffering from EPI disease always feel full becausethey have gas and bloatedness which makes them feel heavy and unnaturally full.

Who can get EPI?

EPI results from various other diseases like pancreatic cancer, cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis, HIV/AIDS, diabetes or even cytomegalovirus infection.

Chronic pancreatitis may be considered as the foremost damage of the pancreas organ because it causes an inflammation that through the years majorly damages the organ. It also damages the cells that produce insulin, thereby leading to diabetes. Excessive smoking, alcohol consumption, and genetic mutations have been known to cause chronic pancreatitis.

Cystic Fibrosisare inherited and can affect the lungs, reproductive organs and digestive parts. The condition produces a thick mucus in different organs of the body including the pancreas. These patients have difficulty in digesting food which may also be due to EPI.

Pancreatic cancer often leads to EPI and can be treated with pancreatectomy.

Pancreatectomy means the removal of the pancreas, surgically. It can be performed due to various reasons like an injury, tumor, or even cancer. Whether removed partially or fully, the condition is likely to create trouble in digestion.

Gastrointestinal Surgeries also affect the way the pancreas can produce the digestive juices.

Diabetes is caused when the pancreas gets affected and the organ faces trouble in producing insulin, which aids in controlling blood sugar. Diabetics may also have endocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

How is EPI diagnosed?

A visit to the doctor is important in case the patient notices any of the symptoms. Some tests like the fecal fat test, fecal elastase test, and pancreatic function test may be advised to diagnose the conditions properly because many of the symptoms resemble other diseases.

Treatment of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

Treating EPI is crucial for the health of the people suffering from the disease. Since the digestive system does not function properly patients need to select proper food which can be easily broken down and digested.

  • Doctors will always recommend a diet which contains low-fat because it will cause less gas and bloat.
  • Consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables is important because people suffering from EPI disease can’t get sufficient nutrients from food.
  • Eating smaller meals is necessary so that the body can digest it somewhat easily and without much stomach ache.
  • Abstaining from smoking and drinking is important for preventing further damage to the pancreas.
  • Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy can help in the management of the exogenic pancreatic insufficiency along with gastric discomfort and the malabsorption of nutrients. This must be done under the expert guidance of a doctor because every patient needs varying quantities of enzymes depending on the condition of the patient. The enzymes have to be taken before or during the meals and never after eating. The medications should be taken along with cold water rather than the hot one because it can cause a reaction with enzymes and damage their effect. These medications contain digestive enzymes which aid in breaking down the fat and digest the carbohydrate andprotein. More fat in the food will require more enzymes to digest the same.
  • Patients suffering from pancreatic insufficiency have to be kept under long-term observation and all allied conditions which are leading to the problem should be treated at the earliest to cure the condition.

Can EPI be prevented?

Preventing this disease is possible if the underlying causes are treated in time. Genetic reasons or unknown causes cannot be avoided of course. The prognosis of the disease also depends on the underlying cause. Patients can live with EPI if the diet is controlled and the medication is taken on time. Preventing weight loss can be a bit of a challenge, but patients can always take the help of a nutritionist to eat the foods that help in retaining weight.

Tingling in Hands and Feet

The tingling sensation in our hands and feet is not exactly the most desired sensation. Sometimes they are temporary. The temporary sensation is actually a result of unwanted pressure when you use your arm as a pillow to your head during your sleep. The joints are foldable, but they have nerves passing through it. From those nerves, there is blood flowing to each and every corner of your body. If the blood is not distributed uniformly in the right proportion for far too long, the sensation is experienced. It is a reflex action or in simple words, a way of letting you know that there is an issue with the blood flow. It may be an act of pressure generated on your nerves when you cross your legs for far too long. The burning and piercing feeling is not painful, and it is neutralized if you remove the pressure on the nerves by releasing the joint folded or bringing it back to the default state of comfort.

In a lot of cases, the tingling sensation in our hands and feet is hereditary or in a more easy way of approach, chronic. It may invite certain other issues like pain, numbness, muscle wasting, and itching. During such cases, the tingling may indicate towards the damage of nerves, which can be an act of certain causes like injuries on repeating scale due to stressor traumatic injuries. Other contributing factors that can cause the tingling in your hands and feet are viral or bacterial infections, chronic and toxic exposures or hormonal abnormality oriented diseases like diabetes.

Damage as such has a medical name, which is peripheral neuropathy as it disturbs the distance of nerves. The network associated with the brain as well as the spinal cordmostly in the case of the areas associated with the hands and feet are affected. There are at least 100 different categories of peripheral neuropathy. Itmay go from bad to worse in time. Certain situations may result in the immobility of limbs. Over 20 million people in America are likely to suffer from peripheral neuropathy out of which the majority includes older adults.

It is very important to look out for proper treatmentif the sensation is stubborn in the hands and/or feet areas. The sooner your tingling is recognized, treated and controlled, the better your chances are to not suffer from any severe consequences. You shouldn’t take it lightly. The after effects of this, gone critical, are not particularly simpatico with you and your medical tolerance.

Causes of Tingling in the Hands and Feet

Around 30% cases which include peripheral neuropathy are due to diabetes itself. If you are affected bydiabetic neuropathy, the tingling sensation and the other symptoms which are associated with itusuallyoccur in the feet and moveupwards towards the legs. It is then followed by the tingling along with the other associatedsymptoms that may affect the hands and continues to move upwards towards the arms. According to a survey, almost two-third of the majority of the populationsuffering from diabetes are also suffering from some other severe harm occurred in the nerves. In most of the cases, it is often observed that such symptoms are theprimarily discoverablesigns of diabetes and you should consider taking them more seriously than a simple tingling.

On another ground of around 30% cases of peripheral neuropathy, the reason behind is idiopathic or obscure.”

There are a variety of reasons for the remaining 40% of the cases, which are as follow:

  1. Nerve entrapment syndromes: This section includes carpal tunnel syndrome, peroneal nerve palsy, ulnar nerve palsy and radial nerve palsy.
  2. Systemic diseases:This category of diseases includes kidney problems, liver diseases, vascular damage and blood diseases, amyloidosis, connective tissue disorders and chronic inflammation, hormonal imbalances (which include hypothyroidism), cancers and benign tumors which initiate on nerves.
  3. Vitamin deficiencies: Vitamins E, B1, B12, B6, and niacin etc. are important for proper nerve functioning. The deficiency of Vitamin B12 may result in pernicious anemia, a significant factorwhich causes peripheral neuropathy. But B6 consumption at an abnormal rate may also create tingling in hands and feet.
  4. Alcoholism:Deficiencies of thiamine or other important vitamins similar to it are found in alcoholics. These deficiencies are the result of their inappropriate dietary habits which further results in peripheral neuropathy. Another possibility of alcoholism is nerve damage. Theresearchers coin this condition as alcoholic neuropathy. To remove alcohol from our body, our body uses a huge amount of water and energy which in the process, dries up the entire body. That is the explanation of a hangover.
  5. Toxins:Toxins category is comprised of heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, lead and thallium along with variouschemicals exhausted from industries as well as the environment surrounding them. Toxins are also found in a variety of medications,especially the chemotherapy treatment for treating cancer. It also listsa wide variety of antiviral and antibiotic medications.
  6. Infections: Thiscategory includes Lyme disease, shingles (varicella-zoster), cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr, herpes simplex, and HIV/AIDS.
  7. Autoimmune diseases:This list of diseases includes chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, Guillain-Barre syndrome, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  8. Inherited disorders: This category includes a collectionthat may consista few sensory and motor symptoms,. Among them, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is the most popular and commonly foundtype.
  9. Injury:Related to trauma in most of the cases, nerves usuallygo under certain conditions and be compressed, crushed, or damaged, and as a result,pain initiates on the nerves. Examples of such cases consist of nerve compression,which is usually caused due to adamageddisc or a bone that’s dislocated.

Diagnosis of Tingling Hands and Feet

To get rid of the tingling sensation in your hands and feet by proper treatment, you will have to go through a series of detailed physical examination tests recommended by your doctorand go through every medical history according to the display of your symptoms along with certain other factors such as an office environment, usual social habits (including use of alcohol), exposure to toxins, risk of HIV or infectious diseases. Your doctor may also look into yourfamily history related to the neurological disease for any heredity incomings.

You might need to undergo some additional tests like:

  • Blood test:You might undergo a variety of tests in this to find out the dysfunction of kidney or livervitamin deficiencies, diabetes, multiple metabolic disorders and some common and predictable signs of improper immune system functionality.
  • The cerebrospinal fluid examination: In this test, the antibodies are being identified which is linked with peripheral neuropathy.
  • Ectromyogram (EMG): An EMG is an electrical activity test of muscle and the response associated with.
  • Nerve conduction velocity (NCV)

There might me some other tests also, which include the following:

  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Nerve biopsy
  • Skin biopsy to check nerve fiber endings

Treatments for Tingling Hands and Feet

If the treatment is supposed to be successful, then the entire procedure will depend on a precise diagnosis and the discovery of the hidden causes of the inconvenient tingling. If the peripheral nerve cells are not destroyed, they can regenerate again and act on the same inconvenient way.

There is no any available treatment for the inherited category of peripheral neuropathy. Theinherited types have a better luck to improve with appropriate treatment. A comparatively healthy blood sugar level that has been in controlfor diabetes can decreasethe diabetic neuropathy down; vitamin supplementations can also repair peripheral neuropathy among individuals with vitamin deficiencies.

The suggestion for general lifestyle includes maintaining acorrect weightaccording to the height, avoiding consumptions and also minimal toxin exposure, following an exercise program supervised by an expert, takinga complete balanced diet withno alcohol consumption or limiting it to an appropriate quantity. It is also recommended that one should quit cigarettes. Smoking cuts off thesupply of blood to the blood vessels that restrict the supply of nutrients to the peripheral nerves.

Sometimes tingling and other such symptoms of peripheral neuropathycan be limited with prescriptions that are originally prescribed for the sole motive to provide treatment for seizures and depressed state of mind.

We hope you like this article. Let us know what you think with your comments below. If you think that the information is helpful and informative, please share and help someone else in need. Thank you for reading.

Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are thought to produce many health benefits when ingested. Many people are surprised to learn that the human body actually needs certain bacteria in order to function properly and that not all bacteria is harmful. The Harvard Medical School cites over 500 different beneficial microorganisms being present in a healthy human intestinal tract. Most commonly used in treating digestive problems, probiotics are friendly bacteria that can be taken as a pill or powder supplement, or ingested in some of your favorite foods and beverages.

 

Yogurt can be a great option when introducing probiotics into your lifestyle. Choosing one can be a challenge, though, as not all yogurt is made with live cultures and cow’s milk. Different yogurts contain different microorganisms, with Activia being one of the best choices due to its use of the bacteria Bifidus regularis, which is known to help regulate the digestive system. Cured olives that are free of sodium benzoate and apple cider vinegar are also excellent options to consider. Fermented olives contain lactobacilli, a microorganism that reduces pathogens found in the digestive tract and relieves the discomfort often associated with gut dysbiosis and Chron’s disease. The apple cider vinegar contains raw apples that help the stomach acid digest important nutrients and proteins, and feed the healthy bacteria located within the digestive tract.

 

Probiotics are also used to treat other conditions such as those affecting the mouth and colic in babies. In both cases, the bacteria Lactobacilli is the live microorganism. When using probiotics to treat or prevent tooth decay, the lactobacilli was found to reduce streptococcus and candida growth (the cavity causing bacterias). Probiotic use for colic in infants is considered typical throughout Europe. In fact, Dr. Indrio of the Aldo Moro University in Italy says she routinely prescribes probiotics to cure and/or prevent colic in babies up to 3 months of age. The lactobacillus bacteria is used as liquid drops and regulates the infant digestive system, reducing common gastrointestinal issues like acid reflux and constipation.

 

Although the microorganisms found in probiotics are healthy and good for the body, taking introducing probiotics does come with risks due to the complexity of bacteria-host interactions. Typically, side effects are minimal and include ailments like gas and bloating. However, people who have compromised immune systems, for instance, those with autoimmune or metabolic disorders, premature infants and the elderly, are at risk for bacteremia which often leads to sepsis. Further research is being done on the long-term effects of probiotics. The overstimulation of the digestive system could cause gastrointestinal problems over time, and the effects of how probiotics affect genes are still unknown.

 

Current research on probiotics includes the Tulane University study on the use of probiotics to treat diarrhea in children of underdeveloped countries, the Tufts University research on the treatment of MRSA with probiotics and the Mayo Clinic trials focusing on using probiotics in the reduction of substances found in urine that would cause kidney stones. Once further research has been completed in the United States, probiotics could easily become a “go-to” natural treatment option for a number of diseases and disorders.

 

When taking probiotics, it is important to always do so under the care of your physician. If you experience any side effects you should consult your doctor. Keep in mind that not all probiotics are the same. Each one contains a different type of living microorganism. While one probiotic may cause you to become gassy, choosing a different one may yield only positive results. Probiotics have and will continue to be a rapidly growing alternative to prescription drug treatments.

 

Sepsis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Sepsis is known as the medical complication that is due to the acute immune response of the body against the infection. The biochemicals that are spread in the blood stream to remove the infection causes swelling in the body. This inflammation becomes the root cause for organ damage and even the blood clotting during sepsis results in obstructed blood flow to limbs and internal organs that blocks the flow of nutrients and oxygen.

In severe conditions, sepsis results in single or multiple organ failure. The advanced level of this condition leads into major falling blood pressure that is known as the septic shock conditions which may result in multiple organ failure at the same time including kidneys, lungs, and liver resulting in death. The common people usually get confused with the term septicemia that is condition of serious secondary level infection that worsens quickly and may result in death.

Sepsis Causes and Risk Factors

The most prevalent cause for sepsis is the bacterial infections; while it can be caused due to other infections also. This condition may occur by beginning of the infection in body due to bacteria or any other infectious microbes.

The conditions responsible for sepsis may vary from the simple infections that are negligible like cracked cuticle or broken skin as well as due to the serious medical issues like meningitis, appendicitis, bone rooted infections, pneumonia or urinary tract infection. The hospitalized patients suffering may also catch infections from the IV sets or other surgical procedures. Anyone may be affected by sepsis but certain categories of people are largely at risk which includes.

  • Patients suffering from weak immunity like as patients of cancer or HIV/AIDS. Apart the people taking immune suppressor for organ transplant may also get prone to sepsis.
  • Infants and very young babies
  • Old people with health issues
  • People who have undergone major surgery or prolonged hospitalization.
  • Diabetic patients.

Symptoms of Sepsis

As the beginning of the sepsis may initiate from any part of the body the symptoms are quite varied but the common signs include faster breathing and the change in mental state like increased confusion or diminished senses. Along with this the common symptoms that are observed in sepsis are as below:

  • Febrile Chills or too low body temperature
  • Low or reduced urine output
  • Higher pulse rate
  • Faster breathing
  • Nauseating and vomit
  • Diarrhea

Treatment of Sepsis

It is quite important to diagnosis the conditions of sepsis in early stage. The suspected patients are examined for differential tests that include the:

  • Presence of Bacteria in blood stream or other body fluids
  • Investigating of the infection source by methods like X-ray, Ultrasound or CT scan
  • Higher or reduced White Blood Cell count
  • Reduced platelet count
  • Continued Low Blood Pressure
  • Acidosis in blood
  • Disturbed Kidney or Liver related functions

In the case of sepsis the patients are placed in the ICU for preventing the conditions of sepsis and maintain the appropriate functioning of the organs.

Medication and line of treatment for Sepsis

The common line of treatment for sepsis is base on the below steps:

  • Injecting the Broad-spectrum antibiotics to invade bacterial growth.
  • Managing the Blood Pressure by administering IV fluids.
  • Maintaining Oxygen saturation to maintain normal blood oxygen level

This is the first step in treating sepsis; while the root cause for bacterial infection is detected. After that the physician may start on the drugs for particular type of bacteria. In other cases as per the severity of the conditions that patients are given the supports like dialysis, or oxygen supply or in some cases surgical intervention may be required to remove the infection.

Gouts: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Gouts are a kind of inflammatory arthritis; recurrent swelling, tenderness, redness and hot attacks in joints characterize gouts. Gout pain comes quickly in duration of less than 12 hours. In almost half of the gout cases, the most affected part is the joint present at the base of the first (big) toe. Sometimes gouts also end up in kidney stones or urate nephropathy, or sometimes tophus due to the deposit of uric acid crystals. An attack of gout is always due to the high crystallization of uric acid deposited in joints and the surrounding tendons and tissues in crystallized form.

Causes of Gouts

Excess of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia) is the initial cause of gouts. Production of uric acid in the body is due to the breakdown of purines- in foods such as seafood, poultry, and meat, purine a specific chemical compound is very high. Kidneys filter the uric acid dissolved in the blood to excrete it from the body through urine, the excess of uric acid builds up needle-like crystals which cause inflammation in nearby tissues.

Factors that increase hyperuricemia and therefore gout

  • Lifestyle

Sweetened drinks (fructose), alcohol consumption in a large amount, seafood, meat, poultry etc are rich in purine, this purine-rich diet cannot be broken down by the body and therefore the removal of uric acid is difficult. This lifestyle of purine-rich diet is a major cause of gouts.

  • Genetics

Some genes like- SLC2A9, ABCG2, SLC22A12 are linked with gouts, variations caused in these genes double the risk of gouts. If during mutation SLC2A9 and SLC22A12 genes don’t mutate, hereditary hyperuricemia is caused which reduce urate reabsorption and secretion.

  • Age and Gender

Production of uric acid is more in men as compared to women. But, during menopause, the production of uric acid in women reaches the level of men.

  • Exposure to lead

Some rare cases of gouts are a result of prolonged exposure to lead. Chronic lead increases the level of uric acid and crystallizes, causing gouts.

  • Medical conditions

The occurrence of gouts is sometimes come along with other medical issues. Metabolic syndrome is a major cause found in approx. 75% cases, this is a combination of abnormal lipid levels, hypertension, abdominal obesity, and insulin resistance. Kidney failure, psoriasis, hemolytic anemia, myeloproliferative disorders, and solid organ transplant are some other conditions. Gouty arthritis is often related to Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome.

  • Weight

Overweight or obesity cause the extra turnover of the tissues, which is more production of uric acid. Production of proinflammatory cytokines by fat cells increase systemic inflammation, this is due to high level of fat cells caused by body fat.

Symptoms and signs

The main symptom is the recurrent attack of severe inflammatory arthritis. Gouts mainly affect the joint of the big toes, Fingers, ankles, elbows, knees and wrists. There are four stages:

  1. Asymptomatic hyperuricemia

At this stage, uric acid forms crystals and cause slight damages due to its deposit in the tissues and cells.

  1. Acute Gouts

At this stage, the deposited urate crystals cause sudden severe inflammation and stinking pain. This attack is also known as ‘flare’ which subsides, usually within 3-10 days.

  1. Interval or inter-critical Gouts

At this stage, more urate crystals get deposited. Flares may or may not occur for months altogether, but if not treated immediately they may occur more frequently and last longer.

  1. Chronic tophaceous gouts

This is the final stage, at this time joints and kidneys may have been permanently damaged. The patient may suffer from tophus and chronic arthritis.

Treatment

Severe attacks can be avoided by medications that decrease the levels of uric acid. Settling the symptoms of a severe attack is the first aim of the treatment. A decrease in pain can be observed by the application of ice for 20-30 minutes according to tentative evidence. Avoiding purine-rich diet or reducing the levels of uric acid intake can also be of great help.

NSAIDs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the initial treatment for gouts. These are taken orally and reduce pain and inflammation in the places affected by gouts.

Colchicine

If NSAIDS are intolerable due to side effects, Colchicine is a good alternative. It may intermingle with other supplementary prescribed drugs like atorvastatin and erythromycin.

Steroids

Improvements can be seen if steroids are injected. In the case of joint infection, steroids must be excluded as they worsen the condition.

Pegloticase

It reduces the levels of uric acid; it’s given out through intravenous infusion every two weeks. It can be used to treat tophi, but has a lot of side effects.

Constipation: Types, Symptoms & Treatment

The medical practitioners are quite cautious about the conditions related to constipation. It shall not be considered in a casual manner as it can be an alarming sign for many deadly complications. In this article, we will discuss the different aspects of constipation which include the types of constipation, symptoms, possible reasons, the line of treatment and precautions while taking medicines.

This will not only help us in getting information about the complications but also make us careful about any sort of health issues that we may already have in our bodies.

Constipation – Definition and categories

The most common definition of constipation is considered as the state of reduced or disturbed bowel movement that results in obstructed or difficulty in passing stools. This is generally a condition that everyone may face in life in some or the other way. Bowel habits and routines are different for different individuals. The tendency to constipate depends on various factors that we will discuss hereinafter.

Types of Constipation

It is mainly divided into two types; one is simple and the second is chronic constipation. Simple constipation may develop in anyone because of several reasons, including irregular food habits or due to side effects of any medicine. In chronic constipation, the patients suffer from the conditions pertaining to constipation for a continued period of time which may result in certain other complications.

Symptoms

The symptoms of constipation are quite similar in both the types which is indicated by the below conditions:

  • Fewer bowel movements
  • Difficulty in having a bowel movement (have to put pressure for passing the stools)
  • Less and Hard stools
  • Sensation to pass stools again and again
  • Pain in the belly or swelling in the colon region

When is the right time to call or visit a doctor?

It is advised to call or visit your doctor immediately when you feel constipation with pain in your paunch and you find it difficult to pass gas or stool.

Reasons for Constipation

There are several reasons for constipation that largely depends on the below areas that relate to various factors like medication, as the symptom of complications, or irregular dietary habits.

  • Due to medication: There are certain medicines that are known to develop constipation. The antacid medicines that contain aluminum or calcium are a major cause for the same. Sometimes less intake of water and consumption of antidepressants and iron pills result in constipation.
  • Due to changes in dietary habits or lifestyle: Many times the change in sleeping pattern and heavy diet may result in constipation. A lot of calcium-rich products like dairy foods may result in constipation. Pregnant women also have to face constipation.
  • Diseases: There are diseases that reflect constipation as one of the symptoms like colon cancer, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, neurological conditions like Parkinson’s & multiple sclerosis. The disorders in the digestive system, as well as hypothyroidism, may also cause constipation.

Treatments

In simple constipation related complications the things may be worked out by simple measures like bringing changes in routine. Maximizing the intake of water can simply help in resolving the complications along with the addition of roughage and dietary fiber to support bowel movements.

In chronic conditions, the treatments include the use of suppositories and laxatives for relieving from constipation.

Suppositories: These are administered in the rectal region for relieving constipation. These contain glycerin-based medicines that increase the water content in the intestine resulting in bowel movements. These are effective in relieving constipation within 15 to 60 minutes. Patients with piles and fissures shall be avoided to take this support.

Laxatives: These are usually known as stool softeners and consist of different medicines that fall into categories like fiber or lubricant based and stimulant-based laxatives. These three act in different ways to release constipation by relieving stools.

Precautions for taking Laxatives: The laxatives shall not be taken too often as it tends to form a habit for regularizing the bowel movements. Prolonged intake may reduce the natural tendency of bowel movements that cannot be restored to normal conditions easily making constipation as a chronic issue for you.