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How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes

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Diabetes is a condition that occurs when your blood sugar is too high. This occurs because the disease makes it difficult for your body to make enough insulin or use it properly. There are two types of diabetes. Type I diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes and it occurs in children and young adults. This type occurs when the body doesn’t make insulin. The second type is Type II diabetes. This type can occur at any age and it is caused if your body doesn’t make insulin or if it doesn’t use it well.

If not treated properly, diabetes can cause serious health problems including:

  • Kidney disease
  • Food problems
  • Nerve damage
  • Dental problems
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Eye problems

What Is Diabetic Eye Disease?

Diabetic eye disease is more than one disease that can affect people who suffer from diabetes. People who don’t keep their diabetes under control are at greater risk of eye complications. Also, each of the conditions can cause serious vision loss and even blindness. If you suffer from diabetes, it is important that you understand each of the diseases and what they can do to your eyes.

  • Diabetic Retinopathy: Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss and blindness in people who have diabetes. The condition affects the blood vessels in the retina, which lines the back of the eye. If your blood sugar is often high, it can cause damage to the retina’s tiny blood vessels. This can result in the blood vessels bleeding or leaking fluid which can cause distortions in the vision. When the condition progresses, it can result in scarring and cell loss in the retina, causing complete blindness. In many cases, vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy is irreversible. Early detection and treatment can reduce your risk of going blind by 95 percent.
  • Diabetic Macular Edema (DME): DME often occurs in people who have diabetic retinopathy. While it often occurs when the disease progresses, it can occur at any time. It is a build-up of fluid in the macula. This part of the eye is used for seeing straight ahead to read, drive, and recognize faces. Half of the people who develop diabetic retinopathy develop DME. If left untreated, it can cause vision loss.
  • Cataracts: A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens. When a person has cataracts, their natural lens would be removed and replaced with an artificial one. Anyone can develop cataracts, however, people with diabetes are two to five times more likely to develop cataracts than those who aren’t diabetic.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma damages the eye’s optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain. Glaucoma is often the result of high pressure in the eye, and it is very common in people with diabetes. Studies have shown that adults who suffer from diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma than those who don’t have the disease.

Preventing Diabetic Eye Disease

The only way to prevent diabetic eye disease is to be vigilant when it comes to your blood sugar levels. You should also see your eye doctor every six months. The sooner a problem is detected, the sooner it can be treated, saving your eyesight. Many of the diabetic eye diseases won’t show any symptoms at first, therefore, it is very important that you see your eye doctor regularly.

Diabetes can wreak havoc on many of the body’s systems including your vision. The only way to prevent permanent vision loss and blindness is to check your blood sugar levels regularly and take the necessary steps to keep it at a healthy level.

 

 

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Hepatitis Causes and Prevention

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Image is from National Hemophilia Foundation

Hepatitis means inflammation of a person’s liver cells due to an injury to the liver. There are different types of hepatitis you can get that can be determined through a laboratory test. Hepatitis can heal on its own without the need of treatment, but in some cases, treatment is necessary since the virus causes a chronic infection. The main types of hepatitis are A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis A, B, and C cause the most liver damage.

Hepatitis can be a symptom of another disease, and it is mainly a symptom of autoimmune diseases. The hepatitis is a disease that is mainly caused by a viral infection. Hepatitis often starts as an acute disease but can progress and become chronic if not detected early. The disease can cause liver cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer to the patient.

Causes of Hepatitis

Hepatitis can be caused by toxins from drugs, alcohol or other sources of toxins. It can also be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the liver. However, the most known common cause of hepatitis is a virus.

Hepatitis A and E are short term viral infections that are mainly transmitted through water or food that is contaminated by human or animal waste. Other sources of these forms of hepatitis include under cooked food or raw food that has not been handled in a hygienic way.

Hepatitis B can be spread through having direct contact with infected blood. It can also be sexually transmitted or spread to a child during childbirth.

Hepatitis C can be spread through direct contact with infected blood. It is rare for the disease to be spread from mother to child during childbirth or during sexual intercourse.

Hepatitis D can also be spread through infected blood. However, you can only get hepatitis D if you were infected with hepatitis B. Those who are at the greatest risk of getting the infection include drug users since most share needles. Other at-risk groups include those who have unprotected sex with multiple partners.

Prevention

New cases of hepatitis have been significantly reduced through vaccinations. There are vaccines available for prevention of hepatitis A and B. the vaccinations are effective in reducing the number of infections in children as well as adults.

Currently, there is no vaccine for hepatitis D. however; the disease can be prevented once you get immunized for hepatitis B.

Babies who are delivered to mothers suffering from hepatitis B should get the vaccine within 12 hours of birth to prevent them from getting infections.

Other things that can be done to prevent infection include the following:

  • Washing your hands and encouraging other people to do the same with water and soap after changing a diaper, after coming from using the bathroom and before handling any food.
  • Avoid eating raw foods from unknown places and always drink bottled, boiled or chemically treated water.
  • Practice safe sex. Using condoms goes a long way in preventing the spread of the infection.
  • Do not share sharp objects or toothbrushes.
  • When performing first aid, always wear gloves.
  • Disinfect all blood spills and wear gloves when cleaning up any body fluids.
  • Seek regular prenatal care when you are pregnant.

To reduce the risk of getting a non-viral type of hepatitis, avoid taking excessive alcohol. Also, consult a physician before starting a new prescription and on taking supplements. Hepatitis is a disease that needs to be taken seriously as it can cause severe damage to your liver.

 

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Hepatitis Awareness Month

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Image is from American Liver Foundation

The Purpose of Hepatitis Awareness Month

The CDC strives to inform and educate individuals, communities, organizations, the medical community, and groups on Hepatitis.

  • What Hepatitis is
  • The symptoms
  • How it impacts lives
  • The treatments available
  • Testing available
  • Resources available

May is the time to heighten your awareness of Hepatitis to help yourself and those around you to become aware and educated about this insidious disease, many times a hidden and severe threat to your loved ones.

Hepatitis is a Dangerous Virus

You have no doubt heard about Hepatitis, or maybe not, but if you do you know what hepatitis is and how this can impact your life you will want to spread the word. Gain knowledge and information put out by the CDC during Hepatitis Awareness Month in May.

Many people have Hepatitis and are not even aware that they are infected. Hepatitis is a well-hidden illness of epidemic proportions. Millions of people suffer from Hepatitis in America every year.

In a nutshell, hepatitis is an inflammation process within your liver. This inflammation can remain as such or spin out of control causing fibrosis.

Fibrosis is a scarring of the liver tissues. This scarring hardens the liver tissue, which in the end resembles a stone. Hepatitis can cause you cirrhosis or cancer in the liver.

All forms of hepatitis cause liver damage in differing ways, some types of Hepatitis offer no indications the person even has a health problem. Other people suffer from minor symptoms of this disease. Other people have serious complications resulting in death.

Hepatitis, unfortunately, is very common and caused by substance abuse such as too much alcohol all the time, street drugs, and certain diseases related to immunity disorders.

Five Types of Hepatitis

There are five types of Hepatitis, A, B, C, D, and E. Type A caused by the ingestion of contaminants from food and water. Type B causes a chronic disease leading to cirrhosis and cancer, caused by contact with infected body fluids. Type C causes a chronic illness leading to cirrhosis and cancer, caused by contact with infected body fluids. Type D caused by contact with infected body fluids, and type E caused by the ingestion of contaminants from food and water

Universal Transmission

  • Blood transfusions and blood products
  • Contaminated invasive medical equipment
  • Infected pregnant women
  • Sexual contact
  • Sharing of needles among drug users
  • Accidental needle pricks among medical personnel
  • Poor sanitation conditions.
  • Symptoms

Symptoms may include a yellow tinge to the skin called jaundice, dark urine, severe fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

Work to Spread the Word

May is set aside as Hepatitis Awareness Month across the Untied States. The CDC set the 19th day of May as the day of hepatitis testing.

The CDC recognizes how hidden and elusive hepatitis and their focus is to shed light on this deadly epidemic, threatening the populace.

Become a Proactive Citizen for Hepatitis every year. May is the time of year to push the CDC’s agenda for Hepatitis Awareness and what this illness stands for throughout the United States.

Help to promote things that you, your friends, and your family can do to protect them from this hidden medical menace. You can help spread the word.

  • Take the Hepatitis Risk Assessment. This assessment only takes a mere 5 minutes of your time and is well worth taking.
  • Learn vaccination recommendations
  • Access educational videos
  • Wear buttons and badges and hang posters
  • Be prepared to answer questions and provide the basics of hepatitis.

Support the CDC and May Hepatitis Awareness Month the CDC in their endeavors to make every May a successful hepatitis awareness month.

 

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Complications for Type 2 diabetes

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The onset of Type II Diabetes occurs after adulthood, and usually between ages of 40 and 50. The causative factors and the treatment, however, is very much the same as for juvenile diabetes: Daily blood sugar level tests and injections of insulin and/or oral medication to provide the body with necessary insulin the pancreas cannot produce.

Carrying high glucose levels damage blood vessels, nerves, and vital organs. Even a mildly elevated glucose level without displaying any symptoms can have long-term and very damaging effects. Complications of Type II Diabetes are life threatening.

  • Heart Disease and/or Stroke

If you have diabetes I or II, you’re five times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke shortening your life and quality of it. Uncontrolled blood glucose levels over a long period of time increase the chance of atherosclerosis, causing your blood vessels to clog and narrow with fatty deposits. This commonly will result in poor blood supply to your heart, causing pain in your chest. This condition also increases the blockages of vessels in your heart or brain, causing heart attack or cerebral stroke.

  • Nerve damage

High glucose levels damage blood vessels in nerves, causing tingling and burning with pain spreading from your fingers or toes through your limbs. It also causes numbness, leading to ulcers of the feet, and these ulcers contribute to eventual amputation loss of that limb. Regular examination of a foot specialist is necessary for Diabetes I and II patients. Damage to the peripheral nervous system, including all of the nervous system outside the central nervous system, is peripheral neuropathy.

  • Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the name for the disease striking the light-sensitive layer of the retina, the tissue layer in the back of the eye. Blood vessels in the retina that have become either blocked or actually leaky can experience haphazard growth, preventing light to completely pass to your eye retina. This damages vision and can blind. Annual eye checks are necessary. If significant damage has occurred the patient can be referred to a specialist in treatment of eye conditions. Therefore, the more control you have over your blood glucose levels, the lower your risk of blinding eye problems. Diabetic retinopathy can be managed by specialists using laser treatment if early enough in the disease. However, this does not improve the sight; it only preserves the sight you have left after damage.

  • Kidney disease

If the smaller blood vessels in your kidney are blocked and/or leaky, your kidneys react by not working efficiently. This condition is linked to high blood pressure and treatment is an important management process. In severe kidney disease, kidney failure occurs, requiring a kidney transplant, dialysis treatment or resulting in death.

  • Sexual Dysfunction

For Men:

Males with diabetes, particularly smokers, suffer nerve and blood vessel damage leading to impotence, usually treated with medication.

For Women:

Women with diabetes may experience the following:

  • loss of libido and sex drive;
  • vaginal dryness;
  • inability to orgasm;
  • pain during sex.

Use of vaginal lubricant or gel can ease those dysfunctions.

  • Miscarriage and stillbirth

Pregnant women with diabetes have a high risk of miscarriage or a stillbirth.

If your blood glucose level is uncontrolled during early pregnancy, there’s also a higher risk of the baby being born with a birth defect. Pregnant women with diabetes must have their checkups in hospital or diabetic clinic to provide protection for their baby and the mother-to-be. This gives your pregnancy care team a close eye on your blood glucose levels and control of your insulin dosage, including monitoring development of your baby.

 

 

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How can a mother prevent HCV transmission to child

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Becoming a new mother to a precious newborn baby brings a lot of worry all on its own. Worrying about the ways to prevent HCV transmission to the newborn might be also a concern of yours if you currently have the viral infection.

To help ease your mind the information below will help provide you with a bit of insight on how to prevent the transmission of the virus to your baby during birth, but to help ease your mind even more passing the virus onto your baby if you do have it is more difficult than you think.

In general, it’s a hard disease to pass on since you cannot catch it through coughing, sneezing, kissing, or breastfeeding. The only way the disease can be caught is coming into contact with the blood.

How can mothers prevent passing HCV to their newborn?

Mothers can prevent the passing of HCV to their newborns by doing things to help support their immune system. In mothers with an HCV overload, meaning when hepatitis C is roaring its ugly head at the highest peak causing countless symptoms and illness seems to be when mothers can pass the virus onto their babies during childbirth.

Therefore, keeping the immune system healthy and strong by eating a good balance diet of lots of fresh fruits and veggies, lean protein, probiotic rich foods, and taking their prenatal vitamins daily is essential for preventing the spread of the virus from mom to baby. Even getting plenty of sleep, lots of rest and plenty of water into the body is vital for keeping the immune system up so it can fight off the virus, protect your baby and prevent the spread of infection.

Can breastfeeding a newborn right after birth pass it onto the baby?

Right after giving birth moms infected with HCV are worried about passing the virus onto their babies through breastfeeding, but this cannot occur through breast milk unless there is blood on the nipples or the nipple is cracked and bleeding. If your nipples become sore and cracked during your first few days of breastfeeding, you may have to stop until they heal up again so you do not risk passing it onto your new little one. If your baby does catch the virus, their little bodies do wonders when it comes to naturally fighting it off because you have already passed the HCV antibodies off to them during the first few moments of breastfeeding.

What can doctors do to help moms prevent the spread of it during childbirth?

The best thing doctors can do to help moms prevent the spread of the virus during childbirth is ensure the babies comes into as little contact with the mother’s blood as possible. This can be difficult since tearing of the vaginal area can happen during childbirth, which causes bleeding. You can massage the area daily with a natural non irritating oil up until birth to help reduce the risk of tearing during childbirth. Some women have had great success with the method, which can reduce the risks of your baby coming into contact with tons of your blood during childbirth.

What are some end thoughts to keep in mind?

With all that mentioned, keep in mind if your baby does contract the virus the doctors are well educated on how to treat the virus successfully. Your baby might have to stay in the hospital longer along with you, but end results are promising and happy so let your mind be at ease. After all, you are about to receive the most precious gift of your life.

 

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Top 10 Health Risks in Females


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Risks of Modern Living

The World Health Organization (WHO) specifies ten threatening health conditions most prevalent in women:

  • Cancer
  • Reproductive Health
  • Maternal Health
  • HIV
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Violence Against Women
  • Mental Health
  • Noncommunicable diseases
  • Youth
  • Aging

Cancer

Did you know aspartame, a sugar substitute used in some diet sodas, is derived from the excretory refuse of e. coli? They feed e. coli a certain solution and it defecates aspartame. No wonder there are side effects. While not all sources definitively link artificial sweeteners to cancer, there have been compelling cases; and it’s hard to argue against the prevalence of processed food and food substitutes in modern society. These things can cause cancer. Generally, the best way to avoid cancer is eating healthy, non-processed foods, avoiding things like microwaves, and having healthy sexual conduct. Some cancers can’t be avoided, but many can.

Reproductive Health

Look, don’t listen to Hollywood or any mainstream media outlet when it comes to sex. Avoid those novelty shops with all the buzzing toys, and the plastics, hormones, and chemicals which those things are made from. You’ve got a flower of life-giving, developmental energy in you. Polluting it can actually lead to health problems. Additionally, promiscuity statistically leads to reproductive health issues, like genital warts, which can become cancerous. So don’t keep up with the Joneses, and don’t feed your sexual appetite without the bounds of healthy relationships. We’re talking monogamy. If you go a separate route, understand you’re putting yourself at substantial health risk.

Maternal Health

There are a lot of factors here. Firstly, though the 21st century has seen a marked increase in the positive facilitation of pregnancy, that’s not the case everywhere you go in the world; which sort of explains the WHO’s stance on the subject. Still, even in first-world countries things like substance abuse, depression, and poverty can make a pregnancy extremely difficult. Women need to eat and drink more healthily prior a pregnancy, and most don’t.

HIV

This is a greater danger in other countries, but is on the rise in America. As was said earlier, monogamy is the best defense.

Sexually Transmitted Infection

This won’t happen nearly so regularly in a committed relationship of the marriage variety, or in the case of abstinence. Sexuality today is a minefield beyond the relationship, and with things like Tinder, it’s getting worse all the time.

Violence Against Women

This isn’t nearly so much of an issue in America or most first world countries, though there are definitely instances. From the WHO’s perspective, this is going to be worse in places like the Middle East and China. Still, American women are abused too; something like one in three under fifty has experienced violence. Here’s the kicker: most of it comes from sexual kerfuffles. Certainly not all marriages are of the fairy-tale variety, but statistically there’s less violence in this kind of relationship than others.

Mental Health

A ubiquity of abuse, STIs, and sexual couplings can rip a psyche to shreds in short-order, and then the body loses vitality as integral health operations are abandoned.

Noncommunicable Diseases

Read: vice. Smoking. Drugs. Alcoholism. Car accidents. The WHO says 4.7 million women died of this in 2012.

Being Younger

Again, this one is mostly sexual. Teenagers are too sexually active, and they’re getting substantially life-threatening diseases younger and younger. Avoid promiscuity.

Aging

Beyond things like the hysterectomy, women don’t always have the same access to health benefits as their male counterparts. But eating healthy and avoiding life-threatening activities like vice and promiscuity go a long way to making a woman healthy enough to tackle life’s natural denouement.

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