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Monthly Archives: July 2016

Reblog: Understanding HCV Testing

Premier-banner-HCV-TestingHepatitis C is a debilitating disease that can lead to cirrhosis of your liver, liver failure, or liver cancer. The disease is caused by the blood borne Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). The danger here is that you may not be aware that you are carrying the virus, until much damage has been caused. According to Web-MD, telltale signs you are infected include achy muscles, joint pain, fatigue, dark urine, and jaundice. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), exposure to HCV can lead to chronic and acute hepatitis infections. The WHO noted that there are currently 130-150 million people worldwide who are infected with HCV, and that 500 000 people die annually as a result of hepatitis C related infections.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested that those with risks to HCV infection be tested, since 1998. Testing works by identifying if you have the RNA of the HCV virus in your bloodstream. It also identifies whether your body has produced the proteins or antibodies utilized when fighting a HCV infection. If the antibodies and RNA is present, it’s likely you are infected with HCV. These are the various types of HCV testing available. If you know you may have placed yourself at risk to contracting the virus via infected blood, especially if you work in the medical profession, it’s best to be tested for all types. This will ensure that the right type of HCV is treated.

The HCV Antibody Test

This HCV test will detect if you have HCV antibodies in your bloodstream. Your health care practitioner may conduct an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) test initially here.

Be advised that this test may not be able to detect whether a present HCV infection is chronic or acute. Your doctor may conduct this test if you have had some of the symptoms related to Hepatitis C. He or she may also conduct this test if your results reflected as abnormal on a liver panel. This test will also be able to detect if you’ve had a previous HCV infection.

The RNA HCV Test

This test identifies whether or not you have the genetic material of the virus in your bloodstream. This form of testing utilizes a polymerase chain reaction to detect if you have a current infection.

Your doctor will take a tiny sample of your DNA and use the polymerase enzyme to duplicate copies of your DNA. This test may also ascertain whether you have a mutation in your genes that may cause diseases.

Detection via the RIBA HCV Test

Your health care practitioner will usually conduct this test after a HCV antibody test. Reason being is that this test can check if a positive result obtained for an EIA test is correct, and not a false-positive.

A false-positive result occurs when an infection is detected when there is no infection. The RIBA test will essentially detect whether your body has produced HCV antibodies.

Testing for Viral Genotyping

It’s always beneficial to know what genotype of the virus is present if HCV is detected in your bloodstream. This will ensure that you receive the correct treatment, as there are six different genotypes of the virus. A genotype classes a virus based on its genetic material or RNA.

Viral Load HCV Test

This test comes in very handy if you are diagnosed and being treated for an HCV infection. The viral load test deciphers the necessary duration of your treatment, and also whether or not your current treatment is effective.

If the treatment is not that effective, your doctor may make some changes for better results.

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Reblog: Testing Patients for Hepatitis C

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Talking to Patients about Hepatitis C Testing

You may wish to present the hepatitis C test as simply one in a set of routine tests conducted to assess general health. The following script was designed to help facilitate a discussion about hepatitis C testing.

Recommended Testing Sequence for Identifying Current Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection

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Interpretation of Results of Tests for HCV Infection and Further Actions

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Reblog: What is Hepatitis C?

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Inforgraphic provided but HealthLine. For more information you can also go to http://www.healthline.com/health/hepatitis-c/facts-statistics-infographic#1

 

What is Hepatitis C?

What makes Hepatitis C dangerous is the fact that even though you are infected with this virus, you will, most likely, have no symptoms.  In the meantime, an infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus can attack your liver leading to its inflammation.  While you are unaware of a hepatitis C infection, your liver may be damaged, and the damage may not show up until routine tests are performed on you decades later.

As many as 3.5 million people in the U.S. are infected with the disease.  Since most of them have few symptoms, they simply don’t know they are infected.  Many forms of the hepatitis C virus exist, however, the most common in the U.S. is type 1.  Of all the forms, none is more serious than the others, but each respond to treatment differently.

Hepatitis C Symptoms

Although there are usually no symptoms for Hepatitis, you might notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Jaundice: This condition causes yellow skin and eyes and dark urine as well.
  • Appetite loss
  • Pain in stomach
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

How Can You Get Hepatitis C?

You can contract Hepatitis C through body fluids or blood of a person infected with the virus.  You can catch this virus in any of the following ways:

  • The sharing of needles and drugs
  • Being stuck with infected needles
  • Having sex with several partners or by having rough sex especially if you have an HIV infection or an STD.

Casual contact, food or water does not spread Hepatitis C.

Who Should be Tested for the Disease?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you be tested for the disease, if you:

  • Received blood from a donor with the disease.
  • Had an organ transplant or blood transfusion before July 1992.
  • Have injected drugs at any time.
  • Have HIV.
  • Have been on kidney dialysis long-term.
  • Were born between 1945 and 1965.
  • Were born when your mother had hepatitis C.
  • Have had abnormal liver tests or have had symptoms of liver disease.
  • Received concentrates for blood-clotting that are used in treating blood disorders before 1987.

Hepatitis C Virus Tests

At your first exam at your doctor’s office, he or she will question you in order to know your past medical history.  After an initial physical exam, you doctor will check the enzymes of your liver in order to determine whether they are high.  If these enzymes are high, this can be considered a sign that you may have the hepatitis C virus.

If your doctor thinks that there is a possibility that you have the hepatitis C virus, he or she will order the following:

  • Test for hepatitis C virus: A blood test is performed to check as to whether you have antibodies in your blood that fight against the hepatitis C virus.  If the antibodies are present, it means that you have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus.
  • Your doctor will also have your blood tested for the genetic material of the hepatitis C virus in order to determine whether you are indeed infected with the virus.
  • Your doctor will also order a blood test to determine the genotype or kind of hepatitis virus you have.  The genotype will determine if you need to be treated as well as what is the best treatment for you.

Hepatitis C Home Test
You can find out whether you have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus by  purchasing the Home Access Hepatitis C Check kit at your local drugstore.  However, it is essential that you discuss the results with your doctor.

 

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Reblog: What are the warning signs of Hepatitis C

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Hepatitis C virus causes an infection to the liver. Many people encounter the disease every year. There are many types of the hepatitis C virus; the most common type is type one hepatitis C virus. All the types of the virus are equally dangerous. The main difference between these types is that they respond to different treatments.

Often there are very mild or no warning signs of the disease. You might not even know that you have been infected by the hepatitis C virus. The virus is spread through blood and the exchange of bodily fluids. At an initial stage, the disease has very mild symptoms. These early symptoms start to appear after six to seven weeks of being exposed to the virus.

However, following are some of the warning signs that hepatitis C patients show.

  • Loss of Appetite: Loss of appetite is a common symptom of hepatitis C. If you have a considerably poor appetite without any other apparent health reason, it could be a sign of hepatitis C.
  • Jaundice: Jaundice is a health condition where the eyes and skin from the patient turn yellow along with dark-colored urination. This condition often develops in people infected with hepatitis C virus.
  • Stomach Pain: Stomach pain is another warning sign you should look for, if it is accompanied with jaundice and loss of appetite, it could be a sign of hepatitis C.
  • Nausea: Many people have the onset of nausea before they are aware that they have been infected with hepatitis C virus.
  • Joint or muscle pain: If encountered with the hepatitis C virus, a patient may feel joint or muscle pain without any particular reason.
  • Feeling Tired:  Mild fatigue is a common warning sign of hepatitis C, many patients often complaint about fatigue before the awareness that they have been infected by the virus.
  • Developing a Fever: Sometimes patients develop a mild fever when they encounter the hepatitis C virus.
  • Abnormalities in Bowl Movements: Abnormalities in bowl movements are noted by many patients who develop hepatitis C, and this is an important warning sign of the disease.

Delayed Signs and Symptoms:

Some patients may develop the signs of hepatitis as early as two weeks after being exposed to the virus. In others it might take as long as several months or years before the symptoms start to appear. The symptoms of the hepatitis C virus are related with the extent of damage done to the liver of the patient and it can take years for the virus to cause damage to the liver. This is the reason why many people show delayed symptoms of the disease.

Tests and Diagnosis to Confirm Hepatitis C

As it is quite difficult to tell based on the symptoms, whether you have contracted the hepatitis C virus, the wise thing to do is get tested for it. A simple blood test can assess whether you may or may not have developed the condition.

After the initial confirmation of the disease from the blood test, your doctor may recommend to undergo a biopsy of your liver in order to make an assessment if you have chronic hepatitis C

Conclusion

Hepatitis is a serious disease that can lead to permanent scarring and damage of the liver. Liver cancer and cirrhosis are the most common complications of the disease. If you have any of the above-mentioned warning signs, and you suspect you might have encountered the disease, it’s important to get tested immediately. Treatment is easier if the disease is diagnosed early, and you can prevent any major damage to your liver.

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What are the 6 Allergy Myths?

Premier-banner-allergy-myths

There are many allergy myths floating around, and even some are believed by doctors, from shunning gluten to skipping flu shots, these myths are quite common in the general public. These myths have been fueled by lack of scientific evidence concerning allergies and the vast amounts of misinformation that is circulating on the internet and for people who go out to do their own research, they may be skewed in the wrong direction by what may seem as a reliable website. Another reason why these myths have persistently remained despite science refuting most of them is because the correct information has not yet permeated into our culture. Below are some of the myths and the truths behind them.

Allergy caused by artificial dyes

There are many people who attribute asthma and symptoms of chronic hives to being allergic to artificial food coloring. However, there has not been any scientific evidence that has been able to connect food colorings to any form of allergies. Many people make the mistake of listing this in their official medical report which makes it tough to prescribe to them some medications and these significantly changes the form of therapy they receive and can add unnecessary cost.

Egg allergy and flu shots

People who suffer from egg allergies may feel the need to skip the seasonal flu vaccine, but the truth is, these vaccines are safe for individuals who suffer allergies due to the egg protein despite the fact that this virus is grown in hen’s egg. The vaccine contains very little amounts of egg protein that is not sufficient to cause nay allergy. After the 2009 swine flu epidemic, many trials have been conducted, and they have shown that the vaccine does not contain a significant amount of egg protein.

Seafood allergies and CT scans

The iodine that is abundantly found in seafood is also used as a “radiocontrast agent” in CT scans to aid in better imaging. This has led some people who suffer from seafood allergies to be wary about CT scans. These all was started by a 1957 study which showed that 15% op people who had an adverse reaction during a CT scan also had allergies to Shellfish. This has however been refuted by modern science since iodine is contained in table salt and also is in abundance in our bodies. What these people suffered from was a particular protein in shellfish and not iodine since the same number of individuals in the study had reported allergies to certain foods such as milk and eggs.

Allergenic foods and babies

A guideline issued back in 2000 by the American Academy of Pediatrics stated that foods such as fish and nuts should not be given to children under the age of 12 years. However, these were later changed in 2008 due to lack of evidence. However many care givers still follow the old guidelines. Studies have shown that giving your children foods commonly known to cause allergies earlier in their lives may help them build a resistance towards the allergies.

Allergy to gluten

There are no allergies caused by gluten; it is a particular protein found in bread that is responsible for the allergies. However there are people who have gluten intolerance or celiac disease which may cause inflammation.

Hypoallergenic pets

Many people have this belief that it’s the fur in pets that triggers allergies (Hollywood has not been helping the situation). Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat or dog. All pets in reality secrete some allergens in their sebaceous glands, saliva and perineal gland.

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What is the differences between COPD vs CHF

Premier-banner-COPD-CHFChronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF) both are debilitating and leave you feeling short of breath. These two serious conditions share symptoms and common risk factors, but you should be aware that the causes, treatments and prognosis of each differ significantly.

COPD Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD is a term for serious respiratory conditions of several types that block airflow to the lungs. The two main conditions of COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Regarding effects of bronchitis, the airways connecting your trachea to your lungs become inflamed. Emphysema is a dysfunction that occurs when serious damage occurs to the tiny air sacs in your lungs where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged. These both leave lungs unable to work fully, making it very difficult for the patient to breathe.

CHF Congestive Heart Failure

CHF or congestive heart failure occurs when your heart becomes too weak to pump blood through your body. If your blood isn’t pumped out of the heart effectively, then unfortunate fluid levels build up or can become congested. When blood backs up or develops blood pools in the heart, the heart beats harder and faster and expands to handle the greater blood volume in it. This makes heart failure much worse.

Similar symptoms

Wheezing and shortness of breath are shared symptoms of both COPD and CHF. Breathing difficulties are developed following any physical activity and have a tendency to develop gradually. Initially you may be out of breath after simple activities such as climbing a set of stairs. As COPD and CHF each worsen, wheezing and shortness of breath occur with very little physical effort.

Chronic coughing is a main symptom of COPD. The cough sometimes brings up mucus but can also in the alternative be a dry cough. People with CHF also tend to have a dry, but one that produces sputum. Sputum is the coughed up mucus that may contain bacteria, blood, or pus.

COPD could produce chest tightness. CHF doesn’t lead to chest tightness, but you may feel the sensation of your heart beating irregularly or very rapidly.

Causes

COPD and CHF develop from different causes. The most common cause of COPD is smoking. While a medical history of smoking doesn’t mean absolutely you’ll get COPD, it certainly increases the likelihood of developing dysfunctioning respiratory problems. Smoking is also a risk factor for CHF and heart disease, not to mention the high risk for lung cancer.

COPD may be attributed to secondhand smoke or inhaling chemicals in your workplace, but a congenital family history of COPD can also increase your likelihood of developing it.

Heart failure can be caused by coronary artery disease (CAD). This heart disease occurs when one or more blood vessels in the heart become blocked. This usually causes heart attacks. Other causes of heart failure include diseases of the heart valves, high blood pressure, and diseases of the heart muscle itself.

Treatment and Lifestyle Changes

There is no cure for either COPD or CHF. Treatment with medication is necessary to slow progression of the disease and manage symptoms. Smoking contributes to COPD and CHF; therefore quitting smoking will improve your health, whatever your condition happens to be at the time.

Physical activity strengthens the heart and lungs, but COPD and CHF will definitely limit the types of exercises you can perform. Discuss safe activities with your physician, and understand precautions you should take.

Summary of Disease Differences

Both COPD and CHF can only be treated for symptoms. Therefore, prevention is the key to both diseases and your capability of a long healthful life.

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Difference between a cold and chronic allergies

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Infographic is from healthfeed.uofuhealth.org

When the warm weather comes, most people spend more of their time outdoors. This is also the time that allergies act up the most. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell if you are coming down with a cold or if your allergies are acting up. This can leave you wondering if you should be lying in bed with a bowl of chicken soup or asking your doctor to prescribe a different allergy medication. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can distinguish between the two.

Check Your Mucus

The first stage of a cold and allergies both produce a thin, watery mucus, which can make it difficult to determine between the two. If you notice that after a couple of days that the color of your mucus has changed and it has gotten thicker, and it is not green or yellow, chances are you have a cold.

Are Your Eyes Itchy?

Itching is one of the common symptoms of allergies. If you have itchy, watery eyes, an itchy throat, or even itchy ears and an itchy face, likely means that you have allergies. This is the best way to tell the difference. However, viral conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, can also be a symptom of a cold. If you are unsure which is causing your itchy eyes, you should visit a doctor. If not, an antihistamine should help with the itching until the allergy attack subsides.

Are You Having Aches and Pains?

If you are having pain in your head or face, it is likely due to allergies. If you are suffering from aches and pains throughout your entire body, you likely have a cold. Body aches cannot be caused by a typical allergy. If you have an itchy throat, allergies are likely the culprit. If you have a sore throat, you probably have a cold.

How Fast Did the Symptoms Hit?

If your symptoms came on suddenly without any warning, you most likely have allergies. If your symptoms came on gradually, you likely have a cold. Allergies are known to hit you full force all at once. The symptoms of a common cold start off minor and get worse and worse as the infection progresses. You might have a runny nose the first day, and a cold and sore throat the next.

How Long Have You Been Sick?

A common cold often lasts for just a few days to a week. The symptoms of an allergic reaction will last as long as you are exposed to the allergen. This can be just a few hours or for weeks at a time.

When and Where are Your Allergies Acting Up?

The time of year that you are experiencing the symptoms can help you determine if you have a cold or an allergic reaction. Allergies often occur during the spring and summer, and colds often occur during the winter. Keep in mind that you can catch a cold in the summer. If you notice that your symptoms are worse when you are at work or at a friend’s house, you are likely allergic to something in that particular environment.

If you are unsure if you are suffering from a cold or an allergic reaction, you will not know what type of medication to take and how to take care of yourself. If you think you have a cold, you will stay away from others. If it was just allergies, this would have been for nothing. The better idea you have of what is causing the symptoms, the better idea you will have of how to treat it.

 

Families in Canada order more medicines per human than any other area. The variety of medications marketed by companies is no doubt a contributing matter to formula medicament abuse epidemic. Various remedies are used to treat Bladder inflammation. Certainly it isn’t all. Kamagra is a medicament preassigned to treat many upsets. What do you think about http://levitra-cost.com/levitra-20-mg.html? When you order medications like Kamagra you have to have in mind about levitra 20 mg. More data about Kamagra available at levitra 20mg. Generally, both men and women are afflicted by sexual dysfunctions. At times another disease can cause to impotency. Preparatory to purchasing Kamagra or other generic, speak to your pharmacist if you have any allergies. Talk to your health care occupational any changes in libido you have skilled. Online pharmacy is a best way to find a doc in your area who treats this kind of disfunction.

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