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What is Psoriasis?

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Image is from healthline.com

Psoriasis is a skin inflammation caused when your body has an overactive immune system.

This skin inflammation can present itself in the form of red patches of skin. These patches can be itchy, scaly, and silvery in appearance. These red patches can be intensely itchy. Those individuals diagnosed with psoriasis arthritis experience joint swelling, pain, and stiffness.

If your doctor diagnoses you with a skin condition called “Psoriasis,” you may have one of the five types of psoriasis such as plaque, guttate, inverse, or pustular Erythrodermic. Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis that affects upwards of 80 to 90 percent of the American populace.

The kind of psoriasis you have determines the type of treatment the doctor says is the correct treatment for you.

Where Does Psoriasis Commonly Attack the Skin?

Psoriasis commonly attacks skin areas that you do not usually cover with clothing such as,

  • Scalp
  • Neck
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Lower Back

These areas of skin inflammation frequently come under the scrutiny of other people who simply do not know about psoriasis.

Your primary doctor can give you the diagnosis of psoriasis, but may refer you to a dermatologist so you can have the benefit of the most current and up-to-date treatment options.

Your particular type of psoriasis demands a specific kind of therapy, and this is up to your doctor. Your responsibility is to follow your treatment plan and report back to your doctor any improvements, increased skin problems, and noted treatment side effects.

Other People Can Be Cruel

If you have psoriasis, you may have experienced strange looks from people who are uneducated in your diagnosis. Many people think that you have something contagious, not getting too close for fear of catching your skin condition. Constantly educate those less informed individuals and never let someone’s lack of knowledge impact your life.

Some Treatment Option Available

Your doctor will take a history from you to help determine why this problem arose. The doctor may pinpoint certain triggers such as stress, insomnia, or diet. Triggers demand an individual treatment as much as the diagnosis itself.

Your doctor may recommend that you use a particular skin moisturizer to decrease skin dryness and irritation. These moisturizers can be over-the-counter or require a prescription. Many doctors find that the use of steroid creams like a cortisone cream helps to reduce the appearance of psoriasis.

Some simple treatments like vitamin D creams or some topical contribute to lessening the rate of inflammation by reducing skin cell growth.

Scalp psoriasis may require a special hair cream or shampoo. Light therapy is a proven effective treatment for some people when used on inflamed skin areas. Doctors frequently combine known and effective treatments together.

What you need to remember is that everyone reacts differently to the diagnosis of psoriasis and the treatment options available. The length of time it takes to see improvements also varies because everyone’s body is different

In Conclusion

If you have psoriasis, no matter what type, you know that it can cause you mental anguish, anxiety, stress, depression, low self-esteem, time off from work, and isolation. And, unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriasis, but you can keep this skin condition at bay by working with your doctor to find the most effective treatment for your body.

Also, not following your appointed treatment regimen can cause secondary infections, health problems, and escalating health care costs.

It is vital to follow your doctor’s orders so that you can see a decrease in your skin problems. You can live a healthy life, enjoying your life to the fullest with your psoriasis diagnosis.

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Symptoms & Treatment of Psoriasis

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Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease that can occur in any age demographic, gender or race. The most common form of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis and people who suffer from this condition tend to have other health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. Often enhanced or irritated by environmental factors, psoriasis is genetic and can be passed on to future generations. There are a number of different forms of this condition that cause different symptoms and include psoriasis vulgaris, inverse psoriasis, pustular psoriasis and more. The most common symptom however, tends to be the red, scaly rash that people are most familiar with.

What Are The Symptoms

Psoriasis prevents itself as a scaly looking rash that forms in patches most of the time. It tends to be very red and very itchy. The most common places that people will have outbreaks of psoriasis include on the scalp of the hear, the knees and the elbows. Though, these patches can present themselves just about anywhere on the body. The rash itself is not contagious and cannot be passed to others. Though many people feel embarrassed by their psoriasis and try to hide it, the stress of this condition will only make the problem worse. You can however, go into remission and be symptom free for a long duration of time if you are properly taking care of yourself and your skin. There is a form of psoriasis arthritis that affects not only the skin but it also has an affect on the body’s joints, causing pain and stiffness. This is something a rheumatologist can assist with and help treat.

Treatment

Something to keep in mind is that if you have been diagnosed with a form of psoriasis (as much as 3 percent of the population has been diagnosed), this condition can not be cured. Yes, remission can be achieved and maintained but this is not a curable condition. New therapies and drugs are constantly being developed to help manage psoriasis and with the help of medication, many patients can remain symptom free. Not all medical professionals are highly knowledgeable on this condition. You should make sure you seek out a professional in your area that is well versed in psoriasis treatment. Typically this will be a rheumatologist or a dermatologist while a general practitioner can ensure you are taking your medication properly and managing any other health conditions you have. Many people who suffer from certain forms of psoriasis tend to develop liver issues at some point in their lives so this is something your doctor can watch out for over time.

Risk Factors

The actual cause of psoriasis is still unknown but there are some factors that contribute to the development of this condition including genetic predisposition and environmental factors. Many medical professionals believe that this condition can be a result of an immune system disturbance. When white blood cells target healthy cells rather than targeting foreign substances, this can cause a dermatological reaction. Psoriasis is basically an inflammation of the skin and anything that can increase inflammation in the body can cause a problem in theory.

While psoriasis may be an unsightly condition to have to deal with, it is very common and at this point, many people have heard of the condition making it quite accepted amongst the population. No person with psoriasis should feel self conscious with themselves during a flare up but the problem may signal something else going on and medical attention should be acquired during a flare up. A trusted medical professional can help you determine is a medication would be beneficial.

 

 

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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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Causes and Symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis

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Image is from Arthritis Foundation Blog

Juvenile arthritis is a disease that affects children ages 16 and under, and it involves inflammation of the tissue that lines the inside of the joints. This tissue is called synovium.

What are the Causes?

Most forms of juvenile arthritis are caused by a malfunction of the immune system, which places it in the category of autoimmune disorders. An autoimmune disorder occurs when the body attacks it’s own healthy cells and tissues. The result is inflammation of the synovium.

However, not all cases of juvenile arthritis are autoimmune. Another cause is labeled an autoinflammatory condition. The disease process behind an autoinflammatory condition is different from that of an autoimmune disorder.

While autoinflammatory conditions result in inflammation and involve an overactive immune system, the similarities between it and an autoimmune disease end there. With an autoimmune response, the body releases proteins called autoantibodies that attack the body. An autoinflammatory condition involves a more primitive part of the immune system, and the reason it malfunctions remains unknown.

What is Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis?

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis is the commonly accepted term for the seven different types of arthritis that affect children. These are:

  • Systemic
  • Oligoarticular
  • Polyarticular with a negative Rheumatoid factor
  • Polyarticular with a positive Rheumatoid factor
  • Psoriatic
  • Enthesitis-related
  • Undifferentiated

What are the Symptoms of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis?

General symptoms include:

  • Joint pain
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Warmth
  • Swelling

These symptoms last for more than six continuous weeks. The following symptoms are specific to each type of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis:

  • Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – Arthritis symptoms with or preceded by an intermittent fever that lasts for at least two weeks. One or more of the following symptoms accompany it: lymph node, liver, or spleen enlargement, inflammation of the lining of the lungs or heart, a flat, pale, pink rash that does not itch and can move from one part of the body to another.
  • Oligoarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – Arthritis affecting one to four joints for the first six months of the disease.
  • Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (Negative Rheumatoid Factor) – Arthritis in at least five joints for the first six months of the disease and all tests for the presence of Rheumatoid Factor proteins are negative.
  • Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (Positive Rheumatoid Factor) – Arthritis in at least five joints for the first six months of the disease and two out of three tests for the presence of Rheumatoid Factor proteins are positive. Tests must be taken at least three months apart.
  • Psoriatic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – Patient has both arthritis and psoriasis or arthritis and at least two of the following: a relative diagnosed with psoriasis, nail splitting or pitting, or inflammation of one entire toe or finger.
  • Enthesitis-related Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – This occurs where a joint capsule, tendon, or ligament attaches to the bone. The most common locations are the Achilles tendon behind the ankle and around the knee. Both arthritis and inflammation must be present or either one with at least two of the following: inflammation of the sacroiliac joint with inflammatory bowel disease or acute inflammation of the eye, enthesitis arthritis, arthritis in males over six years, a positive HLA blood test, a family history of ankylosing spondylitis, or inflammation at the base of the spine or in the lower back area.
  • Undifferiented Arthritis – Symptoms do not fit with any of the six previous categories.

Researchers now believe that both environmental and genetics play a part in the development of juvenile arthritis.

 

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Men’s Health Week

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The International Men’s Health Week is an annual event that is held around the world. The Men’s Health Network led six leading men’s health organizations from around the world during a meet in Vienna, Austria in 2002 and they resolved to work as a unit in increasing awareness of men’s health issues. In addition, the group resolved to encourage intra and inter-national institutions in developing health policies and services that meet the needs of men, boys and their families.

During the Men’s Health Week, to be held from June 12 to 18 2017, communities across the world are expected to come together and create engaging and fun events, activities and promotions aimed at increasing the awareness of the needs of boys and men. The events are focused on maintaining and improving the health of the male members of the society, while having meaningful conversations related to body and mind health.

The Beginning

Men’s Health Week is a creation by Congress in 1994 as a response to increasing awareness of preventable health issues, while encouraging early detection and treatment of disease among male members of the community. The bill, sponsored by former Congressman Bill Richardson and former Senator Bob Dole, is a means of bringing in a significant shift from treatment to prevention in disease control. The week involves increasing public awareness and spreading information on disease prevention through nationwide screenings and events.

How to Participate

One way to participate in the event in your workplace is by encouraging both male and female employees to support the day by:

  • Choosing a day in the week to celebrate a the men’s health week
  • Set an amount of money you would like to raise, so that you have something to go for
  • Choose blue as the color-code for the day; from blue accessories, head to toe blue work attire or just give staff members an excuse to go casual, whatever works for your employees
  • Let your group members choose whether they would like to wear blue or whatever amount of money they would like to donate
  • You can also sell blue prostate cancer pins as support of fighting against prostate cancer

Show your customers and others what you have accomplished by posting photos of your event to your social media channels. In addition, to doing the above you could also consider some of the following suggestions:

  • Plan a health fair that can be held in the workplace, hospitals, churches or community centers
  • Plan a mini health fair by asking a local health educator, doctor or nurse to give a short lecture related to men’s health
  • Plan a fundraiser for MHN’s prostate cancer outreach efforts
  • Create awareness for men’s health through bringing together your neighbors or coworkers through walking, tennis, bowling, bicycling or even hiking.

How to Participate at Home

Whether it is your spouse, boyfriend, dad, brother or friend, show that you care about their health by wearing blue. If the last Friday of the Men’s Health Week will not work for you, then pick a date and have fun wearing blue all day. Use the Wear Blue day to escalate awareness on money for education related to regular checkups, testicular cancer education, skin cancer, lung cancer, gout, cardiovascular disease and more.

Remember, men are living sicker and dying younger. Wearing blue was created to raise awareness on the importance of men’s health and to encourage men to actively seek living longer, healthier lives. The response to this event has been overwhelming and thousands of people are actively participating in awareness activities in the U.S. and all over the world.

 

 

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Men’s Health Month

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Image is from Healthcare South

Wear the Blue!

The Friday before Father’s Day is approaching and on that day people dressed in blue will seek to bring awareness to Men’s Health. Do you have men in your life you care about? Support the cause and show your true colors when you don the blue. Even with all the medical advances that have emerged men are still struggling with chronic sicknesses and passing away earlier than women. Men’s Health Month seeks to provide tested health solutions to the men in everyone’s life!

Join in June

Supported by a congressional health program, Men’s Health Month is an outreach movement that strives to touch the lives of men and any loved ones affected by trying health issues. Early detection, screenings, and other proactive solutions are all a part of what makes June the one month out of the year that educates and brings awareness to the many men’s health issues that plague men worldwide.

Here are a few of the ways Men’s Health Month is making a difference today:

  • It draws attention to the diseases that are harming men everywhere. Many of these diseases might be preventable if caught and treated early on.
  • The spotlight is given to men’s health issues and encourages those in government positions to address the various problems afflicting men of all ages through policy making and championing awareness.
  • Media and individuals use the month of June to show their own concerns and support for Men’s Health by participating in special interest pieces or by encouraging the younger and older generation to participate in medical screenings, physicals, and monthly check-ups.
  • Participation in the “Plan to Wear Blue” that is embraced during Men’s Health Month encourages people from all walks of life to wear blue in united support of Men’s Health. It also encourages those interested to request allowing a day to wear blue at their job sites or to begin various “Wear Blue” events or fundraisers to raise money for men’s health.

What to Know

For men the need to stay informed and up to date on the state of their personal health is imperative. So what are some of the largest health issues men deal with now? Check out this list and see if you are, have or know someone who has faced or still deal with some of these terribly common health issues that affect men’s quality of life:

  • Cardiovascular disease- Hypertension commonly afflicts young men and close to 3 million men suffer from a stroke every year. Those incidents emphasize why periodic heart monitoring checkups are a must for men.
  • Respiratory disease-While most cases of lung cancer can be contributed to smoking, occupational hazards like asbestos are also known to cause lung cancer in men.
  • Various Cancers- Colon, throat, mouth, liver, and esophagus cancers are a higher risk for men who drink alcohol. They are hospitalized more than women for severe cases of alcohol use. It triggers higher death rates for males than females.
  • Depression- While women are more likely to attempt suicide more men are likely to die by suicide. Men, by comparison, are less likely to acknowledge they are struggling with depression and many will not seek help for it.
  • Diabetes- This disease lowers testosterone levels, increases depression and anxiety when left untreated. It can lead to kidney damage, heart disease, and vision problems.

Do you know someone who is struggling with tiresome and debilitating health issues? Are you? You are not alone. There is hope! Men’s Health Month is about giving men the ammunition they need to fight back against diseases that are destroying their quality of life.

 

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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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Types and Causes of Kidney Failure

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Image is from Medscape

Your kidneys are one of the most significant organs in the body. They are a pair of organs located towards your lower back and serve the purpose of filtering your blood to remove toxic and waste substances from the body. The toxic substances can be detrimental to your health if they are not removed out of the body.

What is a kidney failure?

Kidney failure is the condition where both of your kidneys or just one of them cannot serve their function to the required level of performance. This can be brought about by a myriad of factors that may interfere with the health and proper function of your kidney. Some of them include:

  • Kidney trauma
  • Some acute and chronic diseases
  • Toxic exposure to environmental pollutants
  • Severe dehydration

When your system is burdened with toxins and dangerous wastes resulting from a kidney failure, what follows are life threatening conditions that can be dangerous to your health. This is the reason why you should always seek the services of a doctor the moment you realize you have a kidney problem.

What causes kidney failure?

The following factors could predispose you to kidney failure

  • Loss of blood flow to the kidney

Kidney failure is often prompted by a sudden loss of blood flow to the kidneys. Some of the diseases and conditions that may lead to loss of blood flow to the kidneys include:

  • Heart attack
  • Severe burn
  • Dehydration
  • Liver failure
  • Allergic reactions
  • Urine elimination problem

When your body finds it difficult to eliminate urine from the system, there is a consequent build up and overloading of the kidneys. Certain cancers can lead to blockage of urine passageways. Such cancers include prostate cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, and bladder cancer. Other conditions which that can interfere with urination include

  • Trauma on the nerves controlling urination
  • Blood clots within the urinary tract
  • Kidney stones
  • Enlarged prostate

Other causes

Certain diseases and conditions can lead to kidney failure. They include:

  • A clot of blood in the kidney
  • Drug and alcohol
  • Dyes used in certain imaging tests
  • Chemotherapy drugs (medications that treat autoimmune diseases and cancer)
  • Overload of toxins from heavy metals
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. (A disorder that causes blood clot in tiny vessels)

Types of kidney failure

Below are the types of kidney failure

Acute Prerenal kidney failure

Without enough flow of blood into the kidneys, the kidneys find it difficult to filter out the toxic wastes hence the occurrence of acute perennial kidney failure. This problem is usually solved once the problem leading to the low supply of blood has been determined.

Acute intrinsic kidney failure

Direct trauma causes this kind of kidney failure to either one of the kidneys or both of them. An accident or physical impact can lead to the trauma. Its causes are ischemia and toxic overload making it difficult for the kidney to perform its function in the right manner. Ischemia may be caused by

  • Obstruction of renal blood vessel
  • Shock
  • Severe bleeding
  • Glomerulonephritis

Chronic Prerenal kidney failure

This is the condition where the kidney begins to shrink thus losing its function. The primary cause of this is insufficient blood flowing into the kidneys.

Chronic intrinsic kidney failure

This usually occurs when there is a long-term damage to the kidneys as a result of intrinsic kidney diseases. Direct trauma causes these intrinsic kidney diseases to the kidneys like severe bleeding or insufficient oxygen.

Chronic post renal kidney failure

This is caused by a long-term blockage of the urinary tract thus hindering urination. The consequent is pressure which in turn cause kidney failure.

 

 

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Understanding Hepatitis B

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Image is from MedicineNet

Hepatitis B is an infection in your liver. It can cause cancer, liver failure, or scarring, and it can be fatal if left untreated. It is transmitted when you come in contact with body fluids, blood, or open sores of an infected person.

The good news is, however, that most cases of the disease resolve in a few months, because your immune system kicks in to fight it it off. Once it is resolved, you are then immune to it, which means you cannot contract it again.

How Do You Know If You Have It

When you first get it, the warning signs include:

  • Jaundice – This is when your skin and/or the whites of your eyes turn yellow, and your urine turns orange or brown.
  • Bowel movements are light in color.
  • Fever
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

Your symptoms may not show up for one to six months, and about one third of those infected, do not experience any symptoms at all. It is important to see your doctor for a blood test if you believe you have been exposed.

What Happens If You Have It

Most people recover, and your doctor will be able to confirm that when your blood tests show no sign of infection.

A few people, however, will not get rid of the infection. This is determined if your blood tests are still positive after six months. At this point you may not have any symptoms, but you are a carrier of the disease. This means you can spread it to others by:

  • Contact with your blood or an open sore.
  • Unprotected sex.
  • Sharing syringes or needles.

The disease does eventually resolve in a small number of carriers. For the rest, it becomes a chronic condition, and due to the ongoing infection, you can develop the scarring or cancer mentioned above.

If you are currently infected or a carrier, you may not donate:

  • Blood
  • Plasma
  • Sperm
  • Tissue
  • Organs

You also have a responsibility to tell anyone you may infect, such as sexual partners, your dentist, or your doctor, so that the necessary precautions can be taken.

How It Is Treated

It is important to see your physician as soon as you believe you may have been infected. He or she will administer a vaccine and a shot of hepatitis B immune globulin. This protein will help fight off the infection by boosting your immune system. You may have to go on bed rest to ensure a faster recovery.

You will also have to avoid liver-damaging substances such as Tylenol and alcohol. It is important to check with your doctor regarding all drugs, supplements, or herbal treatments. Some of them can be harmful, too. Be sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet. This will also help you fight off the infection.

If your infection resolves, your doctor will tell you that you are an inactive carrier. If it does not resolve within six months, your diagnosis will be chronic active hepatitis B, and he or she may prescribe some of the following treatments:

  • Interferon alfa (Intron A, Roferon A, Sylatron) – This is an injection that you take for at least six months. While it does not cure the disease, it does treat the inflammation.
  • Lamivudine (Epivir) – This medication is available in liquid or tablet form that you take once per day. Most patients tolerate it well. It is not recommended for long-term use, because you can become immune to it.
  • Aidfovir dipivoxil (Hepsera) – This works well for patients who do not respond to Lamivudine treatment. It comes in a tablet form. High doses, however, can cause kidney problems.
  • Entecavir (Baraclude) – This is the newest medication available. It is available in a tablet or liquid form.
  • Tenofovir (Viread) – This medication is available in tablet or powder form. You will need routine tests to ensure it is not damaging your kidneys.

Should You Get The Hepatitis B Vaccine

You should be vaccinated if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • Come in contact with body fluids or blood of infected family members or friends.
  • Use needles to administer recreational drugs.
  • Have sex with more than one person.
  • Are a healthcare worker.
  • Work in a jail, school, or daycare center.

While Hepatitis B is not curable, it’s treatable and occasionally resolves on its own. Be sure to take the precautions above to minimize your risk of contracting the disease, and see your doctor as soon as possible if you develop any symptoms.

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Understanding Hepatitis A

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Image is from Travel Vaccination New York

Guidelines for Understanding Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious viral disease of the liver that can be transmitted up to 14 days before you show any symptoms yourself, as well as during your symptoms. Diagnosing the disease requires a medical blood test. The typical painful and depleting symptoms indicating Hepatitis A include:

Contagion Factors

Hepatitis can be transmitted through contact with foods that have been contaminated with exposure to a diseased person’s urine, fecal matter, and polluted with foods, water, ice and bodily fluids contaminated by a person with Hepatitis A. This can be avoided by being careful to never:

  • Eat fruits, vegetables, and any other foods that became contaminated during handling by infected workers,
  • Eat raw shellfish harvested from contaminated water,
  • Swallow contaminated ice,
  • Using shared hypodermic needles,
  • Unprotected sexual contact

Risk Factors are high for those residing with infected persons, traveling to areas with high concentrations of Hepatitis A and participating in sexual relations with an infected person.

Vaccine Immune Globulin

Getting vaccinated is your best defense against Hepatitis A. If you come in contact with someone with Hepatitis A, you should acquire the medication immune globulin within 2 weeks of exposure. Another defense is practicing good hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, before and after handling food or contact with soiled diapers and undergarments.

The vaccine is administered by your physician in doses and is urgently recommended for anyone who may have been or may be soon exposed to the hepatitis virus. This includes all of the At Risk for Contamination persons as above referenced, plus persons with blood clotting difficulties or diagnosed with a long-term liver disease.

While there is no set treatment for this strain of hepatitis, your physician will monitor you to determine that your liver is strengthening and healing. In healthy individuals, symptoms will cease in about sixty days. If the liver does not heal and deteriorates without the availability of treatment, the only recourse for the patient is to become a candidate for liver transplant, a stressful and serious procedure that is not always successful and requires prescribing of drugs affecting the auto- immune system, increasing the patient’s risk for other diseases. Fortunately, you can only become ill with Hepatitis A once if you have a healthy body to begin with, as your healthy body will build its own defense against a future infection.

Child Care Liver Disease Dangers

The disease can spread quickly in children’s day care centers. Workers could spread the virus if they don’t wash their hands thoroughly after changing each diaper. Washing their hands and putting dirty diapers in a covered diaper pail will help prevent Hepatitis A spreading into all age groups attended as well as all staff and personnel.

Children also spread the disease as well as similar ailments due to children not yet being well trained in safe hygiene in their toilet habits. Contamination can spread very fast through a day care center if the hygiene of children and staff is not strictly enforced and watch-dogged.

Resources for Families

There are resource agencies for the education and counseling of patients and their families pertaining to viral hepatitis. They include:

  • American Liver Foundation,
  • Hepatitis Foundation International,
  • Hepatitis Branch of the U. S. Center for Disease Control.

These agencies provide educational materials and group support assistance for family members as well as patients affected by Hepatitis A.

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