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We’ve  all  had  the  occasional  tummy  ache  or  have  endured  some  form  of  ‘abdominal  pain’,  like  the doctor would put it. Abdominal pain occurs between the chest and pelvic region. It can be crampy, dull, a sharp shooting or stabbing pain, or come in intervals or pulses. In other words, there are several types of  tummy  aches  and  that’s  probably  why  a  stomach  ache  is  one of the toughest things to figure out. Most of the time it’s pretty straight forward and is quick to resolve on its own. However, sometimes a more intense stomach pain warrants a deeper look.

How common is abdominal pain?

Statistics  suggest  that  a  stomach  ache  is  a  symptom  that  leads  to  millions  of  outpatient  clinic  visits, perhaps  even  more  than  chest  pain.  In  fact,  according  to  the  Annals  of  Translational  Medicine  2016, acute  abdominal  pain  or  stomach  aches  that  occur  suddenly  account  for  7-10%  of  all  Emergency Department visits.

The following graph shows emergency department visits for chest pain and abdominal pain in adults in the United States over a span of 10 years.

The  green  bars  are  for  abdominal  pain  and  the  blue  ones  for  chest  pain.  It’s  easy  to  tell  that  the percentage of abdominal pain is consistently higher throughout over the span of nine years.

What are the different types of abdominal pain?

Let’s have a look at the different types of abdominal pain and learn more about them. The abdomen is divided into 9 areas or zones that represent the basic arrangement of organs and structures within the abdomen. This makes it easier for doctors to diagnose the pain depending upon the organ in that zone. The  first  and  most  obvious  question  your  doctor  is  likely to ask is where it hurts. You can localize the pain  on  your  own  too.  All  you  have  to  do  point  a  finger  at  where  it  hurts.  That’s  the  first  step  indiagnosing  and  treating  a  tummy  ache  because  it  is  most  likely  to  indicate  where  the  pain is coming from. Here is a picture that shows where different abdominal organs are located.

As complicated as it may seem, compartmentalizing internal organs makes a doctor’s job much easier!

5 tummy troubles that are more common than you think!

1.    Appendicitis

Most people associate appendicitis with children. Well, here’s some news for you! In the United States, in 20 people will get appendicitis, most commonly between the age of 10 and 30. Although the appendix  lies  in  the  lower  right  part  of  the abdomen, the pain initially begins in the center or around the belly button area. Most cases of appendicitis are treated as emergencies and require surgery.

2.    Diverticulitis

This condition affects the large intestine or the lower part of the gut i.e. the colon. Diverticula are small pouches that are formed in the walls of your digestive system. Constipation or straining during bowel  movements  may  facilitate  diverticula  formation.  If  the  diverticula  become  infected  or inflamed,  it  is  called  diverticulitis.  Diverticulosis is  quite  common and  occurs in 10% of people over  age  40  and  in  50%  of  people  over  age  60.  Typically  characterized  by  pain  in  lower  left abdomen, some individuals complain of generalized lower stomach pain.

3.    Acute Cholecystitis

One  of  the  most  common  complaints   is  that  of  stomach pain after eating or stomach pain at nightWhile  there  is  a  long  list  of  causes,  acute  cholecystitis  is  among  the  more common ones and should be ruled out. It affects 10-20% of the population. Gallstones is the most common cause of  inflammation  of  the  gallbladder.  The  pain  usually  occurs  in  the  upper  right  region  of  the abdomen but can move to the back and shoulder as well.

4.    Pancreatitis

Inflammation  of  the  pancreas can cause a sharp stabbing pain right in the middle of your abdomen. It usually  occurs  suddenly  and  constantly  hurts  at  the  same  place.  It  is  prevalent  in  males  as compared  to  females  with  a  3:1  ratio.  Excessive  alcohol  consumption  and  gallstones  are  the leading causes of pancreatitis.

5.    Hernia

A  hernia  occurs when an organ pushes through a part of the abdominal wall that holds it in place. For instance,  umbilical  hernias occur in the umbilical or belly-button region and inguinal hernias in the  groin  area.  Hernias can be painful and frequently appear as abdominal swellings. Statistics suggest that hernias affect 15 out of 1000 individuals.

So, the next time you encounter a belly ache, you might be able to work things out in your mind before reaching a doctor. For expert medical advice you can reach out to an online doctor and book an online appointment with doctor by downloading an app to find a doctor on your smartphone. My Live Doctors  is  one  of  the  best  medical  apps  for  patients  that  is  FREE!  After  registering  with  the  online doctor  app  you  can  look  up  your  doctor  and  book  your  doctor  appointment  online within minutes! Getting  an  online  medical  consultation  for  a  tummy  ache  has  never  been  easier!  Engage  with  your online  doctor  in  a  video  visit  and  get  treated  at home. All you need to do is point to the pain and go from  there.  A  doctor’s  consultation  is  always  your  safest  bet  so  do  not  attempt  to  self-diagnose  or self-treat.

So contact top-notch online doctors at www.mylivedoctors.com  and share your concerns with them. If further  investigation  is  advised,  book  a  local  appointment  right  there  and  then.  It  will  not  only  save precious time but money too!

 

The ‘C’ word can be a scary term to hear at a doctor’s office. It sounds more like a death sentence than a diagnosis. Even the cancer symbol is that of a crab, a creature that has the ability to ‘root itself’ and stick around, much like a hub of cancer cells. Cancer is one of the most feared health conditions but sometimes facing your fear makes you realize that not knowing more about it not only helps you heal but conquer as well.

Are you a cancer survivor? Have you cared for someone with cancer or lost someone to it? It’s likely you have a lot of unanswered questions or concerns. There are hundreds of sources online from which you can acquire ample information on this topic, but much of it can be overwhelming and confusing as well. So, let’s try to cover some fundamentals of cancer first, and go from there.

What is cancer?

Among the many definitions, the simplest one is that cancer is an abnormal growth of cells, that continue to divide in the body and invade or spread to surrounding tissue. Cancer cells can stem from or attack any cell, tissue or organ.  Under normal conditions, old cells die within the human body and are replaced with new ones. The growth and division of cells is tightly regulated by different control mechanisms within the body. When the control system fails, cells divide uncontrollably and give rise to cancerous cells.

How many types of cancer are there?

There are more than 100 types of cancer making it the second leading cause of death in Americans. The most common type of cancer affecting men is prostate cancer in the United States. According to the CDC, cancers of the lung, colorectal, bladder and melanoma follow next in line. The most common cancer that affects women is breast cancer, followed by colon, endometrial (uterus) and lung cancer.

Another way to look at cancer is whether it is potentially harmful or not. In other words, they are either malignant or benign. Malignant neoplasms (tumors) spread to and infiltrate secondary sites whereas a benign growth remains localized and does not have the potential to cause harm, even when left untouched.

What causes cancer?

Like the disease itself, the answer to this question is complicated. Extensive research and study suggest the following factors responsible for cancer:

  • Genetics:

Genes make up our DNA and DNA controls cellular function. Some people are born with genetic mutations that may manifest as cancer at any point in life, but such types are rare. More commonly, genetic mutations occur after birth that may be caused by factors such as smoking, obesity and exposure to cancer causing chemicals. Inherited or not, genetic mutations make you prone to different types of cancer.

  • Chemicals:

Cancer causing chemicals, also known as carcinogens, are associated with several cancer types. For instance, tobacco is considered a potent carcinogenic substance that is responsible for 90% of lung cancer. Head and neck cancer, pancreatic, laryngeal, stomach, bladder and esophageal cancer can also be caused by inhalation of tobacco smoke. Over 50 different carcinogens have been identified in tobacco smoke alone making it a potential health hazard with the ability to cause extensive damage.

  • Obesity:

Approximately 35% of cancer related deaths can be tied to obesity, lack of physical activity and poor dietary choices. There is sufficient evidence from clinical trials and studies that shows a significant link between obesity and cancer. For instance, obese and overweight woman are four times more likely to develop endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterus lining). Other cancers that share obesity as a common risk factor are, esophageal, gastric, liver, pancreatic, colorectal, multiple myeloma and kidney, to name a few.

  • Infections:

Some viral infections tend to progress to cancerous conditions. They are called onco-viruses. Examples include human papilloma virus, Epstein-Barr virus, Hepatitis B and C viruses. Some bacteria and parasites have been linked to cancer as well.

  • Radiation:

Exposure to sunlight is a great risk factor for melanomas and other skin malignancies (skin cancer) since it comprises of non-ionizing ultraviolet radiation. Ionizing radiation sources include radon gas and medical imaging.

  • Hormones:

Sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone increase the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Men with higher levels of testosterone more prone to developing prostate cancer as compared to those with lower levels. Insulin like growth factors also play a role in cell proliferation, differentiation and cell death (apoptosis) advocating its role in carcinogenesis.

  • Physical agents:

These substances cause cancer through their physical effects rather than chemical ones. For example, prolonged exposure to asbestos may lead to development of mesothelioma (cancer of lung lining). Other asbestos-like agents are rockwool, glass wool and attapulgite.

Warning signs of cancer:

Cancer signs depend upon the type of cancer. Unfortunately, most forms of cancer are caught in the later stages and remain silent at the beginning. However, there are certain signs and symptoms considered red flags that you should look out for:

  • Persistent fatigue, nausea or vomiting
  • Change in bladder or bowel habits
  • Delayed or non-healing wounds or infections
  • Unusual or unexpected bleeding from an orifice
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Significant and rapid weight loss

The above symptoms should not be ignored. Seek expert medical advice from top online physicians at www.mylivedoctors.com or download the online doctor app My Live Doctors and look up your doctor or instantly connect to a specialist and get an online medical consultation within minutes after downloading the app on your smartphone or mobile device. The online doctor appointment booking system at My Live Doctors is quick, efficient and saves big bucks too!

How do you treat cancer?  

Primary treatment options for cancer management are:

  • Chemotherapy. This encompasses the use of cytotoxic drugs that kill the harmful cells and spare the healthy ones, a regimen known as targeted chemotherapy. Currently, target therapy is used for breast cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma and other cancers.
  • Radiation. Ionizing radiation is used to damage the DNA of cancerous cells. The radiation beams are carefully aimed at the cancer site to spare the surrounding healthy tissue. Radiotherapy is usually used in combination with chemo or surgery for desired results.
  • Surgery. Operative assistance is required for solid, localized masses that may cause additional pressure symptoms by affecting surrounding organs. Signs and symptoms are often relieved following surgery.
  • Palliative care. This is perhaps the most important aspect of care. Taking care of the patient’s needs and comfort can affect overall well-being. Supportive care can be a great booster of motivation and willpower.

Cancer can be one of the toughest things to face in life. Show your support by being kind and empathetic towards cancer patients. Sport a pink cancer ribbon in patronage or donate to cancer research. There is still a lot more work to be done! An online appointment with doctor can save a lot of time and put your mind at rest. It’s one of the best medical apps for patients. So download and sign up for FREE today!

Women are all too familiar with the term ‘yeast infection’. Up to 75% of women are affected by this infection at some point in their lifetime. If a yeast infection hasn’t crossed your path yet then consider yourself to be lucky.

Most vaginal yeast infections are caused by candida albicans, a type of fungus. Some may question your personal hygiene if you’ve encountered the notorious candida. Is it fair? Not really. While inadequate sanitation may be a contributing factor, fungi thrive in moist, covered and concealed environments. In fact, candida resides in about 20-50% of healthy women without causing any signs or symptoms. It shares the environment with vaginal bacteria. When the balance between yeast and bacteria is disturbed, it results in the overgrowth of candida and manifests as a yeast infection. So now you know how that fungus got there. It is not uncommon to mistake a yeast infection for an STD (sexually transmitted disease), and research shows that it affects sexually inactive women as well.

How do I know it’s a yeast infection?

Great question! As a woman, here is some basic info you should know about a vaginal yeast infection. Signs and symptoms include:

  • A thick, whitish gray vaginal discharge which is typically odorless. (If the discharge is smelly and has a distinct odor, it’ most likely a bacterial infection)
  • Intense itching
  • Irritation
  • Burning sensation
  • Pain or burning during urination or sexual intercourse
  • Soreness or swelling of the vagina or vulva

A sign that deserves separate mention are yeast infection bumps. They are open sores that may occur on the skin around the genital area, around the mouth and other parts of the body. It’s important to give your doctor your complete history so your skin bumps aren’t mistaken for something else.  

Risk factors for developing a yeast infection

Take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. Besides the fact that there is more yeast compared to normal vaginal bacteria, here are some other factors that can increase the risk of developing a yeast infection:

  • Compromised or weakened immune system (like after chemotherapy or taking steroids)
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills)

How can I treat it?

Certain health conditions can make you uncomfortable and you might want to stay home instead of visiting the doctor. Or maybe ask for a medical opinion from home. Online medical consultations are great for receiving expert medical advice from the privacy and comfort of your own home! There are several doctor availability apps like My Live Doctors where you can look up your doctor and book your doctor appointment online. The online doctor app is a quick and convenient way to schedule an appointment without waiting days for one. One of the great things about telemedicine and an app to find best doctors online is that you can access top quality healthcare providers without having access to a medial facility. You can even get a prescription online and meds delivered to your door!

It’s always better to discuss your symptoms with your doctor, but if you don’t feel comfortable, you can contact an online doctor at www.mylivedoctors.com and engage in a live online session on the phone. Get prescription yeast infection medicine delivered at your doorstep too! How convenient is that!

If you’ve been having recurrent yeast infections, then you’re probably a pro at diagnosing it yourself by now. Thankfully, there are some quick and easy ways to treat your yeast infection at home using a couple of common ingredients you can easily find in your pantry.

Home remedies for a yeast infection

  • Apple cider vinegar. Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to a lukewarm bath and soak in it for about 20 minutes. Research suggests that the acidic nature of the vinegar will eliminate harmful microorganisms.
  • Tea tree oil. Among the many benefits of this essential oil, it has the ability to kill viruses, bacteria and fungi as well. Tea tree oil suppositories help treat vaginal infections and also maintain the normal vaginal flora.
  • Coconut oil. Studies show that coconut oil has antifungal properties and local application of pure, organic coconut oil is effective against c.albicans.
  • Greek yogurt. A research published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy shows that greek yogurt acts as a probiotic (because it contains live bacteria) against candida albicans. It helps restore the balance between the fungi and bacteria.

Hope these home remedies work for you. Natural products are usually the safest option. However, if you find they’re not helping at all, then contact your doctor. Fungal infections escalate rapidly, so don’t delay! You don’t want to have to pay a price for putting off health problem when you can get it looked at and treated effectively online for fewer bucks! For more information please visit www.mylivedoctors.com.

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! Now brace yourself for the incredible journey ahead. Pregnancy can set off a whirlwind of emotions you didn’t even know existed. New discoveries will be made, your body will endure changes and your mind will be challenged. It is exactly, what it sounds like -life changing!

Pregnancy is not a disease, illness or a condition, rather a normal physiological process that the body goes through to reproduce. Once a baby is conceived, the process of development of one or more offspring begins in the mother’s womb. Most women go for the clear blue pregnancy test to confirm the pregnancy at home. A pregnancy stick or strip is dipped into a urine sample to detect the presence of a pregnancy hormone known as B-hcg (human chorionic gonadotropin).

Other women resort to an online pregnancy test, which is a quick online test or quiz that tells you if you could be pregnant based on your signs and symptoms. The test will give you a final score in the form of a final percentage. There are even different calculators online that can predict your chances of getting pregnant, when you are willing to conceive a baby. If it is taking more time than you anticipated, an ovulation test might be able to help identify your ‘fertile window’. This is the time an ovary releases one or more eggs each month. It is only viable for 12-24 hours for fertilization.

Understanding your pregnancy can help you prepare for what you might experience over the course of 9 long months. Expecting moms receive an abundance of advice and at times, unwanted suggestions as well. Here are some popular beliefs about pregnancy that you may or may not agree with. Myth or truth, let’s find out!

  1. First childbirth experience is the worst!

Most first-time mothers-to-be are told tales of never-ending labor and painful accounts of how unbearable the whole experience of giving birth was. Rest assure, your story may be completely different, even if it is your first time. First pregnancies have their own advantages. For instance, the baby’s head tends to engage in your pelvis quicker and your water bag is most likely to break on its own and warn you that your labor is about to begin. Some studies say that subsequent pregnancies may be difficult to assess. False labor pains may increase and head takes a longer time to descend and engage.

There will be a certain level of uncertainty for first time moms since they don’t know what to expect, but you can mentally prepare yourself by reading up on the topic and discussing a birth plan with your obstetrician. If you have more questions or concerns, please visit www.mylivedoctors.com  and connect with a licensed obstetrician to guide you through your pregnancy.

The memory of your first pregnancy can be a good one, so yeah, this is a myth!

  1. Epidurals are dangerous

Epidural anesthesia is given to pregnant women during labor to relieve pain. Epidurals block the nerves supplying the lower half of the body. It is administered by inserting a needle in an area surrounding your spinal cord in your lower back region. A catheter is then placed in the epidural space through the needle. The needle is slowly removed and medicines are supplied through the catheter.

There is a substantial reduction in pain which will allow you to conserve your energy in case of a prolonged labor. It will most likely provide a positive birthing experience by helping you stay relaxed and focused.

However, epidurals are not without risk. They can cause your blood pressure to fall, severe headaches (rare), shivering, difficulty urinating and you may find that pushing in your final stages is harder since you cannot feel your contractions.

So, in all fairness, risks and benefits both have to be taken into consideration before you make a decision, but to say that it is potentially ‘dangerous’ would be a false statement-a myth.

  1. Eating pineapples can speed up labor

Some research studies suggest that pineapples, in any form, should be avoided during the first trimester as they increase the risk of miscarriage. It induces uterine spasms which may lead to miscarriage, diarrhea or allergies. Modern day nutritionists share a different opinion. They say this is a myth and including up to two servings of pineapple a week is safe.

Consuming pineapples near the end of pregnancy is often recommended as a safe and natural way to induce labor. It contains an enzyme called bromelain that causes ripening of the cervix and stimulates uterine contractions. High amounts can increase gut motility, which can also stimulate the uterus. If you have reached term and want to initiate labor, make sure you eat the inner core as well, as it contains the highest amount of the enzyme. It’s true!

Whether it’s your first, second or fifth, each pregnancy will be different. Just let nature take its course and trust your body. It already knows what to do. You can do your part by being well informed, attending workshops or birthing preparatory classes. Involve your partner in the whole process. Caring partners will provide the emotional support you need.

Try to stay as active as you can over the course of pregnancy, but don’t push yourself. As the months progress, you will find yourself tossing and turning the night away because a bigger belly can make it difficult to rest in a comfortable position. Use a pregnancy pillow or multiple pillows to ease into place.

The most important aspect of a smooth pregnancy is maintaining an honest and open relationship with your doctor. Share your concerns and discuss the possible birthing options. Take your supplements regularly and any additional meds that may have been prescribed. Pregnancy is an unpredictable journey and unprecedented things can happen at any time. It might be a good idea to keep in touch with your doctor or midwife through an online doctor app  like My Live Doctor. It’s a great tool that allows you to connect with online doctors within minutes. This way your pregnancy can be monitored from home at times you aren’t able to make it to the clinic. You can even get a prescription online for meds or supplements that you’ve ran out of. However, in case of an emergency do not stay at home and rush to the hospital immediately.

Heart diseases are the leading cause of death, more common than other diseases in US and rest of the world. According to a CDC report, an estimated one-fifth of all deaths in the US occur as a result of a heart attack or other heart related diseases. Heart attack symptoms are not always apparent but physicians suggest that if patients with pre-existing risk factors do not take their medicines on time, the risk of developing heart disease increases.

Staggering stats!

Over thirteen million people across the US suffer from heart attack or other related heart diseases every year and four out of ten die from these attacks. According to the World Health Organization, more than 30% of all global deaths were related to heart disease and a whopping 85% is due to heart attack and stroke. Ischemic heart disease is a leading cause of death in several developed countries.

What are the signs and symptoms of a heart attack?

Some common signs of a heart attack include anxiety, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting and some even have a feeling of impending doom. Others may feel weakness. It is not an uncommon symptom. This is not all, some individuals may have a silent attack without any apparent symptoms at all. Silent attacks are common in diabetics. Research suggests that every third heart attack is silent and does not consist of any pain or other symptoms.

Doctors often find different heart attack symptoms in women, such as a feeling of weakness, fatigue and shortness of breath. Irrespective of the gender, knowing the warning signs of a heart attack could save someone’s life. Here are some important heart attack symptoms or warning signs to look out for:

  • pressure over the chest
  • tightness
  • squeezing or aching sensation
  • breathlessness
  • cold sweat
  • light-headedness
  • sudden dizziness

Heart attack symptoms can mimic other conditions too. For instance, non-specific symptoms such as throat or jaw pain, fatigue, snoring and sweating and heartburn can also signify an underlying heart attack. Not all people who have heart attacks have the same symptoms. They may vary in duration and severity.

How long does a heart attack last?

There’s no definite time frame of how long a heart attack lasts. A heart attack may typically last for at least 15 minutes or longer. A heart attack usually arises suddenly, but warning signs and symptoms may occur many days in advance. The earliest warning sign may be chest pain that occurs at rest or while walking or climbing the stairs. This chest pain is known as angina, which is caused by a temporary lack of blood flow to the heart.

What are the risk factors of a heart attack?

The coronary arteries supply the heart with blood. When one or more arteries become blocked, you’re likely to get a heart attack. There are certain factors that contribute to blocked arteries. They include:

  • Obesity. Obesity is associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and and diabetes. Experts say that losing just 10% of your weight can lower this risk.
  • Increasing age. Men above 40 and women above 55 have a higher chance of getting a heart attack compared to younger individuals
  • Smoking. Long-term exposure to tobacco and smoking can increase the risk of a heart attack.
  • Co-existing medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes can increase the chances of a heart attack
  • Drug abuse. Drugs such as cocaine or amphetamines may trigger a heart attack
  • Stress. Stress sets off physical changes in the body which may increase the chances of a heart attack
  • Family history. Experts say that chances of a heart attack increase if a parent or sibling has had one before the age of 50.

When you should see a doctor

You should act immediately in the case of an emergency. The heart stops working when its blood supply is cut off. If you don’t act quick, death can occur within minutes! The 3 most important signs of sudden cardiac arrest are:

  • sudden collapse
  • unresponsive to touch and sound
  • no breathing or gasping

Here’s what you do when you experience or witness the signs of a heart attack.

  1. Call 911 (or call your local emergency number)
  2. If you don’t have access to an emergency facility, get someone to drive you there. Avoid self-driving but go for it if you have no other option.
  3. Start CPR on the non-responding person.
  4. Take nitroglycerine if prescribed by the doctor

These are just some basic maneuvers you can do while waiting for help to arrive. If you don’t know what to do and your emergency number isn’t responding either, connecting with an online doctor through an online doctor app for expert medical advice can be an option too! Experiencing a heart attack can be scary. If you have any of the above risk factors like obesity or high blood pressure it’s a good idea to keep in touch with your doctor remotely as well. My Live Doctor is one of the best medical apps for patients. Use it to book an online appointment today! Chronic conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure can be monitored without stepping foot into a doctor’s office! Download the app on your phone for FREE and look up your doctor. You can even get a prescription online too!

6 NATURAL WAYS TO TREAT BUG BITES!

We’ve all been bitten by bugs right? Mosquito bites, bee stings and the works! That irresistible itch can be tough to soothe at times. Let’s see if we can whip up something at home to cool down that bug bite burn!

Fun facts!

Insects, also known as arthropods are the most diverse group in animal kingdom. More than half of the total living organisms is represented by ‘class Insecta.’ The estimated number of species is around 8 million! Therefore, human contact with insects is inevitable. Most insects are made up of a hard shell called exoskeleton, a segmented body and three pairs of legs.

An insect bites trying to defend itself, when it’s agitated or wants to feed. Come to think of it, we all get a bit ‘hangry’ at times too, don’t we? The bite induces a toxic or allergic reaction in response to the protein in the insect’s saliva or venomous stings.

What are the signs and symptoms of an insect bite?

Insect bites are usually harmless. The signs and symptoms may vary from very mild local irritation to generalized symptoms and even a serious life threatening anaphylaxis (extreme allergic reaction). Insect bites may cause:

  • irritation
  • redness
  • swelling
  • itchiness
  • lump formation
  • pain
  • wheal formation
  • papules and blisters
  • dizziness

An insect bite is different from a sting. A bite is caused by the mouth parts of an insect whereas a sting is caused by stingers that are sharp venomous organs usually located at the rear end insects. Stinging insects include wasps, bees, scorpions and hornets. The probability of catching a disease from an insect bite is lower in colder climatic conditions, whereas near or at the Equator an insect bite may cause diseases like Malaria, Dengue Fever, Zika virus, Lyme disease or Sleeping sickness.

What a typical insect bite looks like

An insect bite causes a laceration, or a puncture wound which may form into a minor lump and may or may not be filled with serous fluid and cause itching. It usually goes away in a few days. Scratching the wound can me it go red, peel off the overlying skin and lead to infection. Warm overlying and surrounding skin, hardness or may even drain pus. Prolonged irritation, itching and constant scratching may cause the skin to thicken resulting in “lichenification” of the skin.

If you’ve been bitten by an insect and feel like it’s going from bad to worse then go to your nearest healthcare provider immediately. We don’t want the infection to spread. If you’re not sure about what to do, connect instantly with a doctor by downloading an app to find best doctors online on your smartphone or mobile device for FREE! Get expert advice on how to treat your bug bite through an online medical consultation. You can engage in a live video call or send in a picture of the bug bite to the doctor for a clearer and better assessment. Get a prescription online too. For more details, please go to www.mylivedoctors.com.

Different bugs and bug bites

Mosquitoes, midges and gnats may cause lump formation and mild itchiness which soon subsides. Mosquito bites can cause deadly diseases like Malaria, Dengue, Yellow fever and Encephalitis. The bite might be accompanied by symptoms such as fever, chills, body ache and headache. Tick bites can wear off in around three weeks. Ticks can also cause Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis among others. Flea bite typically forms an itchy wheal followed by papule formation. They are responsible for diseases like Typhus and Plague.

Bed bugs pose a major problem of public health. They infest clothing, bedding and mattresses. Their bite in sensitive individuals can lead to wheal formation, itching and papules. Horsefly bite can be painful with accompanied allergy like symptoms, itch, and dizziness and generalized weakness. Fire ants are aggressive and their bite can cause instant extreme pain and burning. Sensitive individuals can go into anaphylactic shock from their sting.

How do you treat an insect bite?

Bug bites treatment depends upon the severity of symptoms. First line treatment of a symptomatic insect bite is thorough cleansing of the affected area with soap and water, icing and over the counter painkillers like Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen. Topical steroids and insect bite cream may help in easing discomfort and reducing the swelling. If bitten by a bug which is still attached to the skin, use tweezers to remove it.

Generalized systemic symptoms like dizziness, generalized swelling or difficulty in breathing calls for a quick and vigorous medical intervention. A serious local reaction may require oral antihistamines and oral painkillers. Widespread swelling may require oral steroids. If large area of skin is affected with generalized symptoms, the patient is treated for allergic reaction and desensitized by a specialist. Fleas, mites and bed bugs infested clothing, bedding and furnishing should be treated and decontaminated. Pets, if any, should be also checked for infestation.

Complication may arise if the insect bite gets secondarily infected by bacteria causing serious and painful conditions like cellulitis, impetigo and lymphangitis which require antibiotics to be treated. Other transmitted diseases like Malaria and Lyme disease are also treated with antimalarial and antibiotics respectively.

Natural treatment for bug bites

Some natural instant home remedies include:

  • Oatmeal. It has anti-irritant properties. Oatmeal paste applied on a burning and itchy insect bite may relieve the symptoms. In case of multiple bites, an oatmeal bath is preferred.
  • Applying crushed ice can ease inflammation and cause numbness which reduces irritability.
  • The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of honey can help ease the local symptoms.
  • The gel of aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory properties that can help heal minor wounds and local infections.
  • Eugenol, a chemical compound found in basil helps relieve an itchy skin.
  • Itch can also be eased by a dab of vinegar.

How do you prevent bug bites?

Insect bites can be prevented by minimizing the contact as much as possible, wearing long sleeved and light colored shirts and long boots. Avoid going to grassy areas and marshes. Cover garbage containers. Avoid formation of stagnant water bodies and draining them to prevent mosquito habitat. Use structural barriers like window screens and netting while sleeping. Insect repellants can also be used with caution avoiding direct spraying onto face and edibles. Repellants shouldn’t be sprayed on children. Be cautious when near beehives, ant hills and wasp nests.

The thing is, we can’t avoid being outdoors and bug bites are only inevitable since we share the ecosystem. What we can do is respect their space, their breeding grounds, and keep our environment clean. If we do encounter an insect bite, try treating it home first. It’s likely to get better. If it doesn’t contact your doctor as soon as possible or go to www.mylivedoctors.com for help.

 

 

A headache is one of the most common presenting complaints at a Doctor’s clinic and a symptom that is most often ignored as well. Headaches have become a regular part of the day, say experts, and it’s sadly an increasing trend. Over 15 percent of adults suffer from headaches or migraines in the US. That is approximately 1 in 7 Americans. It is more prevalent in women in their reproductive years. Recent statistics also seem to be leaning against the younger age group as compared to those above 65 years of age. Headaches can really tamper with your day and become your worst enemy. The occasional throb is usually of no concern, but chronic sufferers can have a hard time adjusting. Finding out the cause and type of headache can certainly help alleviate the condition.

How do you know which type of headache you have?

The medical definition of a headache is ‘pain affecting any region of the head or neck’. Headaches aren’t as simple as they seem. Different types comprise of different characteristics and must be managed according to duration, intensity and cause. Here are the various types of headaches:

  • Tension-type headache is the most common type which is popular among young adults and teenagers.  It may present as a dull and aching pain all over your head. It comes and goes and is usually triggered by stress. Treatment with over the counter painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen often relieves the pain.
  • Cluster headache is often described as a burning or piercing pain behind or around one eye or one side of the face. It may be associated with nasal congestion, drooping of the eyelid and teary eye, all affecting the same side of the head. They are called ‘cluster’ headaches because they occur in groups, sometimes 3 or 4 times a day and can last anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours. Not sure about the exact cause, they can be treated with sumatriptan, oxygen therapy and lidocaine (local anesthetic). Steroids, melatonin and calcium channel blockers may be affective in putting the condition into remission.
  • Migraines are typically throbbing or pulsating in nature. Lasting for days on end they can affect daily routine life. The pain is usually unilateral (affecting one side of the head). Common associative symptoms are nausea and vomiting. Bright light and noise may act as triggers or worsen the migraine. Migraines are often misdiagnosed as sinus headaches (unknowingly referred to as sinus migraine). Migraines are mostly treated with medicines belonging to the ‘triptan’ family. They can be used in the form of pills, nasal sprays or injections.
  • Sinus headache or sinus pressure headache occurs secondary to a sinus infection or allergy. Sinus headache symptoms are usually limited to the sinus areas in front of the face characterized by congestion, dull or stuffy pain and feeling of heaviness. Sinus headache relief can be achieved by using over the counter antihistamines, nasal decongestants and painkillers.
  • Exertion headache, as the name indicates is caused after periods of intense physical activity. Common triggers for exertion headaches include running, swimming, weight lifting and sexual intercourse. Basically, any activity that increases the blood flow to the head may result in a throbbing headache. The pain typically affects the whole head and thankfully resolves after some rest and over the counter painkillers.
  • Ice pick headache can be one of the worst types of headaches you encounter. The name itself is kind of self-explanatory. Ice pick headaches are typically excruciatingly painful and come without warning. They are characteristically pin point in nature and can occur anywhere in the head. Even though they only last for a couple of seconds, they can recur as abruptly as they end. Due to such a short duration, they can be challenging to treat. However, ice pick headaches have shown association with migraines and cluster headaches so treating those disorders can decrease the incidence of ice pick headaches as well.
  • Cough headache is not as uncommon as you think. It is a strange type of headache linked to coughing or any other activity that involves some sort of straining such as sneezing, blowing your nose, a fit of laughter, crying, or even after having a difficult bowel movement.
  • Primary cough headaches are usually piercing or stabbing in nature and affect the back of the head. The pain can last for a few hours and is treated with medication such as propranolol (relaxes the blood vessels), diuretics and anti-inflammatories.
  • Secondary cough headaches may result from a defect in the brain matter or skull, a brain aneurysm, tumor or leak of the spinal fluid. Surgery is often required for a permanent fix.
  • Cervicogenic headache begins in the cervical spine i.e. the neck or base of the skull. Other than stress-induced situations such as eyestrain, tension, fatigue or trauma, the cause of a cervicogenic headache can be traced back to a problem in the nerves, muscle or bone of that region. It is termed a ‘head’-ache because the pain tends to travel to the head and may even mimic a migraine. Depending on the cause, it can be managed by simple painkillers, physical therapy or surgery if needed.

When do you get help?

Headaches may seem like a regular, every day problem but they can genuinely ‘mess with your head’ (in every sense of the phrase). If you can relate to any of the symptoms mentioned above, the sooner you contact your physician the better. Just remember, persistent, lingering and intensifying symptoms are never a good sign.

You can contact and access a licensed physician online with MyLiveDoctors, one of the best medical apps for patients. It’s a great doctor availability app that helps you connect with online doctors instantly! Book your doctor appointment online without having to wait long hours and engage in an online medical consultation. You don’t have to visit the ER for that occasional headache. Get help from the comfort of your own home by consulting a physician online and seek expert medical advice. The best part is that the online app for doctor is absolutely FREE! Never take your health for granted, no matter how small the symptom is!

You’ve probably experienced the occasional sore eyes. No matter how many times you’re told not to touch them, the constant irritation can be irresistibly hard to ignore! They may be itchy and teary or completely dry and just down right annoying. Is there something in my eye, or could it be an infection? This is probably the question you ask yourself while contemplating a doctor’s visit.

Let’s face it, most people don’t want to schedule an appointment at a clinic that’s miles away for something that might just be an allergic reaction. So why not get an online medical consultation? An online doctor app is a super convenient option when it comes to everyday health problems. Experts say that more than 80% of non-urgent healthcare concerns can effectively be treated at home. Download a doctor availability app on your smartphone and connect instantly to healthcare experts from different fields and book your online appointment with doctor today!

What caused my eye infection?

Eye infections occur when any part of the eyeball or surrounding area is invaded by harmful microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria or fungi. Depending on which part of the eye was affected and the causative agent, eye infections can be divided into the following types:

  • Conjunctivitis. Also known as pink eye, it is highly contagious in nature and affects both children and adults. Usually caused bacteria or viruses. Infants can also acquire conjunctivitis, in which case a pediatric eye doctor or pediatrician should examine it.
  • Keratitis. Other viral eye infections include ocular herpes caused by Herpes simplex virus. Fungal keratitis is common in individuals who use contact lenses. Contact lens wearers are also at an increased risk of acquiring Acanthamoeba keratitis, a parasitic eye infection. They should avoid wearing lenses in swimming pools and hot tubs.
  • Trachoma. This eye infection is commonly seen in more under-developed regions, where basic sanitation and hygiene is an issue. It is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis and flies are the vectors that help spread the disease. It infects the inner eyelids, then causes scarring and destruction of the cornea which may result in permanent blindness.

While your doctor can make the final diagnosis, here are some signs and symptoms you can watch for that may indicate an underlying eye infection.

9 eye infection symptoms you should know about!

  1. Pain
  2. Discomfort (like something is in your eye)
  3. Itchy eyes
  4. Burning eyes
  5. Teary eyes
  6. Small, painful swellings or lumps under eyelids or eyelashes
  7. Tender eyelids or eyeball
  8. Irritation
  9. Light sensitivity

Besides these symptoms, you may also notice changes like:

  • Yellow, green or clear discharge in one or both eyes
  • Redness in the white part of your eye
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Change in skin color of eyelids
  • Crusty eyelashes
  • Difficult eye opening due to eyelids sticking together
  • Vision might be affected (blurry vision)
  • Fever in case of extensive or severe infection
  • Swollen regional lymph nodes around your ear

Commonly asked questions about other eye conditions:

Is lazy eye also a type of eye infection?

No, lazy eye or amblyopia is a condition that causes reduced or blurry vision but is not attributed to an eye disease. For some reason, the brain focuses on sending and receiving visual signals in one eye and ignores the other (hence the term ‘lazy eye’).

Early diagnosis and treatment can improve the condition in most cases.

Is LASEK eye surgery used for treating eye infections too?

No, LASEK is used to correct vision abnormalities such as astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness.  

Treatment of eye infections:

If you’re having any of the 9 symptoms mentioned above, it’s best you pay a visit to your nearest eye center or eye specialist for a more detailed evaluation. You can also visit www.mylivedoctors.com and get your eye examined online by a Board-certified specialist before booking an in-clinic visit just to make sure.

Most eye infections can be treated with antibiotics and by making sure that your eyes are kept clean at all times. You can get your prescription online too and begin treatment without delay! Make sure you follow doctor’s orders to ensure complete recovery!

 Do you feel slightly under the weather? Some days just feel like a drag, even when you get up on the right side of the bed! You can’t really put a finger on it but know that something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the weather, or long hours at work. Even the cat seems grumpy. You don’t feel sick enough to stay home but not well enough to face the day either. Your thermometer confirms a fever. Ugh!

Every so often, fever is mistaken for an illness itself. Well it’s not. The body has a way of sounding off an alarm when something is wrong. It is the one of the first clues given by the body’s defense system signifying an unfamiliar invader in the midst. It compels you to dig deeper and find out the cause. Generally, a slight fever (low grade fever) isn’t of much concern. It should normalize in a day or two with minimal intervention.

Medically, fever refers to ‘any body temperature above the normal i.e. 98.6 F (37 C)’. It becomes significant when the temperature rises above 100.4 F (38 C). A fever occurs as a result of an immune reaction by the body to a foreign agent such as virus, bacteria, fungi etc. Hence, it actually benefits the body as it tries to fight off an infection.

Types of fever

A fever can reveal a lot about the underlying cause. It exhibits different patterns, some of which are specific to certain conditions. Here are the common types of fever:

  • Continuous fever. The temperature remains above normal throughout the day and is typically non-fluctuating. It is common in conditions such as pneumonia and urinary tract infections.
  • Remittent fever. The temperature remains above normal throughout the day and generally fluctuates more than 2 C. It’s the most common fever pattern.
  • Intermittent. The temperature gets back to normal throughout the day but spikes either every day or every other day. Typically seen in malaria, septicemia and pyemia.

Causes of fever

Fever causes are misinterpreted as ‘fever symptoms’ most of the time. Among the several causes of fever, infection is the most common. Most bacteria and viruses operate well at normal body temperature, but have a tough time surviving at higher temperatures. Viral fever is popular during the winter season, making it the most frequent cause of fever in adults. As the name indicates, it is caused by viruses.

Symptoms include runny nose, cough, sore throat, ear ache and muscle aches. Some may experience chills or an upset stomach as well. A typical viral infection can last up to two weeks. Treatment is usually symptomatic and your immune system has to battle off the rest of the infection. Some cases may warrant anti-viral medication and vaccinations can be administered for future protection.

Viral and bacterial infections run rampant in children as well. A toddler temperature can be worrisome for parents. Some children, particularly under 4 years of age may experience seizures with high temperatures, a phenomenon known as ‘febrile fits’. In a case of febrile fits parental judgment is obscured by fear and temperatures that may seem low can be a potential hazard for the child.

Other causes of fever include:

  • Tumors /Cancers (neoplasms) such as lymphomas, blood cancers, pancreatic cancer, bone and lung cancer
  • Vasculitis and other vascular causes such as pulmonary embolism and acute myocardial infarction
  • Physical trauma, stress and burns
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and collagen disorders
  • Hormonal imbalances such as thyrotoxicosis
  • Heat stroke
  • Radiation sickness
  • Vaccinations or immunizations in children

What’s the best way to treat a fever?

Since fever is a sign of illness, the underlying cause will most likely navigate the path it takes. Low grade or mild fevers that usually last a couple of days and are mostly stress induced require plenty of rest and hydration. Simple, over the counter drugs such as Pandaol/Tylenol or Ibuprofen are potent fever reducers.

Persistent more aggressive fevers, accompanied by chills rigors and other serious symptoms should be examined in more detail. It is best to consult your doctor at this point and get evaluated. A quicker solution could be to contact an expert physician online. Connect with online doctors with an online doctor app. Book a GP appointment online and get treated from home or even on the go! Get professional advice and get prescription online without the waiting and hassle of the emergency room. Most of the above-mentioned conditions require attention, care and a thorough check on medicine administration. It can be painstaking at times just to remember the timings and doses of all the medicines. Look up your doctor, schedule an online doctor appointment and be monitored remotely!

For more information please visit www.mylivedoctors.com.

The importance of a correct diagnosis goes without say. However, certain measures to reduce the temperature initially that can be employed at home are:

  • Over the counter anti-pyretics
  • Cold water sponging
  • Lukewarm bath
  • Rest
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Use a fan to keep body cool
  • Cold foods such as ice chips and yogurt help cool the body from the inside
  • Drinking herbal tea can induce sweating which will in turn bring down the body temperature

Treating a fever in a child can be tricky because children may appear active even during an ongoing illness or infection. In most cases being active is a good sign but it can also throw you off right track as a parent. It’s best never to ignore a feverish child. Here are some first aid techniques to cool a child down:

  • Encourage the use of fluids to prevent dehydration
  • Dress child in light clothing
  • Cold sponging or soaked socks can be worn to cool the body down
  • In case of chills, cover with light blanket until chills subside and sweating begins

There’s a famous saying that ‘feed a cold and starve a fever’. Although a fever initially shows its face as a friend, if dismissed, it can become a foe. Be smart when it comes to your health. Good sense and good health are two of life’s greatest blessings!

ARE YOU FORGETTING THINGS MORE THAN USUAL?

You could have this condition

It can be tough to receive a completely unexpected diagnosis. It’s human to think it could never happen to you. To suffer from a physical illness has its own challenges but a slow progressing illness that affects the brain, behavior and memory can be an unparalleled burden. Alzheimer’s is an example of such a condition. It causes subtle changes over time. Did you know that according to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s dementia? Around 5.3 million are above 65 years of age and approximately 200,000 have younger onset Alzheimer’s.

Is Alzheimer’s and dementia the same thing?

Dementia is basically an umbrella term. It refers to a group of symptoms comprising of cognitive impairment that affects memory and reasoning. Alzheimer’s disease falls under this category. In fact, 60-70% of dementia cases are due to Alzheimer’s rendering it as the most common form of dementia.

Some basics about Alzheimer’s   

Alzheimer’s is a chronic, neurodegenerative condition which, unfortunately, only gets worse over time. Although increasing age is a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s, it is important to note that it is NOT a normal part of the ageing process. Age-related changes in memory are associated with occasional forgetfulness, not significant memory loss that interferes with daily life.

In its early stages, memory loss is mild and easily overlooked, but as the disease advances significant behavioral changes and cognitive impairment become evident. Individuals may have trouble responding to simple questions and may seem aloof to their surroundings. Keeping up a conversation may seem like a difficult task. Individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s may find themselves becoming increasingly unaware of their environment.

What causes Alzheimer’s?

  • Death of brain cells. The underlying pathology of Alzheimer’s is similar to other types of dementia i.e. brain cell death. Since it is a chronic condition, death of brain cells is a slow and gradual process. An ongoing reduction in nerve cells and nerve connections causes the brain to shrink in size eventually.
  • Protein accumulation in the brain. The degeneration of neurons leads to the formation of ‘tangles’ due to the breakdown of a protein known as ‘tau’. Microscopic examination also reveals the formation of ‘plaques’, in the form of tiny inclusions, found between the dead cells. They form due to build-up of a protein known as beta-amyloid hence these clusters are also referred to as ‘amyloid plaques’.
  • Plaques and tangles are the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. There is still much plodding in the field of Alzheimer’s research as many questions remain unanswered. However, the effect that Alzheimer’s has on the brain is clear.

Are there any risk factors?

Experts have recognized the following risk factors which may play a role in the development in Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Genetics. A positive family history increases your chance or tendency of acquiring Alzheimer’s especially if a parent or sibling (first degree relative) has the disease. Genetic research has unveiled certain genes with strong associations to the disease. Two types of genes have been discovered; ‘risk genes’ that increase the probability of getting the disease but do not guarantee the occurrence and ‘deterministic genes’ which will undoubtedly initiate the disease process in one who has inherited it.
  • Gender. Women are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as compared to men. At the age of 65, 1 in 6 women have a chance of acquiring Alzheimer’s whereas the incidence for the male population is 1 in 11. Prevalence of this disease is so high that research suggests that after the age of 60, women are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than attain breast cancer!
  • Age. According to the Alzheimer’s association, despite age being the greatest known risk factor, the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s should be distinguished from that of the normal ageing process.
  • Downs syndrome. Research suggests that a gene in the chromosome that causes Downs syndrome is implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and increases the risk of getting it. It has a tendency of appearing before the average age i.e. 60-65 years.
  • Pre-existing cognitive impairment. Individuals with mild memory loss are at a greater risk for developing dementia later in life. Adopting a healthier lifestyle may slow down progression of disease.
  • Heart disease. Conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels (that supply oxygen to the brain) are associated with a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s or ‘vascular dementia’. They include obesity, stroke, diabetes etc.

Signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Early stage:

  • Difficulty with remembering new information
  • Mood swings
  • Changes in behavior
  • Confusion
  • Unawareness of time and place
  • Baseless suspicion for family and friends

     Advanced stage:

  • Cannot function without help of caregiver
  • Verbal dissociation
  • Considerable loss of speech
  • Aggressiveness
  • Apathy
  • Fatigue and exhaustion

If you think you have any of the above symptoms and they’re a posing concern, contact your doctor as soon as possible. You can also get expert medical advice online at My Live Doctors, an online doctor app that connects you to online doctors instantly! Download the FREE app on your smartphone and book tele appointment with doctor today! An online medical consultation may give you the answers you’re looking for quicker. You don’t have to wait endless hours at a doctor’s office for doctor’s advice anymore and it’s lighter on the pocket too!

Is there a cure for Alzheimer’s?

Unfortunately, there is no certain cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but much attention and funds are directed toward research and development. The mainstay of management is mostly palliative (supportive) in nature.

Management:

  • Medication. Medicines that regulate certain chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain which play a role in Alzheimer’s may be prescribed by your doctor. There is little evidence that drugs help in halting the disease process. Risk factors such as high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia, etc. are also controlled by meds.
  • Psychological intervention. Behavioral cognitive therapy may help in the early stages. The aim of cognitive treatment is to reduce cognitive deficits and re-condition the brain with information about time, place or person
  • Caregiving. In the advanced stage, individuals with Alzheimer’s become completely dependent on their caregivers who must ensure to take necessary precautions around the home to make it a safe environment for the patient.

Deteriorating brain health can be a devastating condition to endure alone. A great way to empower yourself is through education and awareness. Get tested for the Alzheimer’s gene. This will not only prepare you and help you manage your situation better but will make you a great empathizer of those who suffer from this condition. To support this cause, you can join Alzheimer’s walks (marathons) or donate money for research purposes.

If you are concerned that you may have Alzheimer’s or have questions about this illness please visit www.mylivedoctors.com.  You can access our panel of top online physicians from anywhere at any time. Keep your hopes up, for hope is an activity of the mind that leads to nothing but positivity and a positive mind is a healthy one!

 

DOES BIRTH CONTROL SAVES LIVES?

Find out right here!

Birth control in the has stirred up quite a controversy in recent days as access to free birth control pills has become harder in the U.S. under the current administration. Women have taken to the streets with banners and signs to protest this decision. After all, it’s their body, their choice!

Being a sensitive subject, it is surrounded by all sorts of ethical, religious and moral relic. Is it right or wrong? Should it be allowed or not? How young is too young? The answers are quite subjective. To each her own.  Well, whatever the stance, you can’t undermine the medical importance of it. Stats and figures are backed by evidence and data collected over the past several years. Fake news? No. It’s fact. Let’s check it out.

In 2017, the revenue generated from over the counter oral birth control pills amounted to $366 million! (1) This is the highest it’s been in the past 8 years. Despite these figures, data reveals that there an estimated 38 million women in the United States that are still in need of contraceptive tools and services.

Many women get their supplies from public funded family planning clinics scattered across America, but they don’t even meet half the demand for contraceptive tools. Furthermore, legislators are cutting funds for these clinics. So, men (with no formal medical background) get to decide what’s best for women’s health. Maybe that’s why they fail to understand that the birth control pill isn’t used for just preventing pregnancies.

Let’s enlighten them by answering a couple of basic questions, shall we?

What is birth control and why is it so important?

Birth control or contraception not only prevents pregnancy but helps you control pregnancy timing and spacing between consecutive pregnancies. This allows the mother and baby to maintain their health. It provides women with time to plan their families and careers so they can advance in the workplace.

What is a birth control pill and what is it used for?

It’s medication that’s made up of synthetic hormones, namely progesterone and estrogen. Single and combination pills are available in the market. That’s what makes it applicable to so many other conditions.

Other uses include:

  • Menstrual disorders
  • Helps with irregular menstrual cycles
  • Used for moderate to severe acne treatment
  • Lowers the risk of ectopic pregnancies
  • Helps with heavy bleeding during menstruation
  • Reduce menstrual cramps

For any more questions you may have about birth control and family planning methods you can get expert medical advice from online doctors at My Live Doctors. Download this doctor availability app on your smartphone for FREE and connect instantly. Look up your doctor, book your doctor appointment online and even get a prescription online too! This is one of the best medical apps for patients to get an online medical consultation from the comfort of your own home!

Your doctor decides which pills are best suited for your condition. Even though most of them are OTC drugs, make sure you talk to your doctor first and are sure how to go about using them and for how long. As with any pill, they come with a long list of side-effects.

Some birth control pills require a daily dose. Missing a couple of pills here and there can mess up your cycle and frankly, sometimes it’s hard to remember where you left off. Your online doctor can monitor your medicine intake remotely and is only a click away if you need to ask a question or need a refill prescription! For quick, reliable and expert advice you can contact a Physician or specialist online at www.mylivedoctors.com. Confide in your doctor and discuss your thoughts on birth control. You both can create a plan based on your life goals, health concerns and convenience.

Are there other types of birth control?

Yes! Other contraceptive methods or birth control types are:

  • Internal and external condoms
  • Intra-uterine devices
  • Natural methods
  • Emergency contraception

Birth control can save lives! Research says that planning pregnancies not only reduces maternal and infant mortality, but there are fewer HIV transmissions and of course the obvious-fewer abortions, particularly unsafe abortions.(2)

While disputes about birth control rage on, it’s more likely you’ll find women who testify to being benefited by it rather than not. People in power don’t realize that it’s not just about a pill, it’s a lifestyle. It’s about planning and making life decisions. It could literally be a matter of life and death for someone. So yes, this is why women should have a choice. It’s the power it gives you- a chance at a healthy and safe life for you and your children!

 

7 TRIED AND TESTED SLEEP SOLUTIONS

THAT WILL HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER!

 

We’ve all experienced the occasional sleepless night, twisting and turning the night away for no apparent reason. Well, it’s okay when this happens once in a while, but if it becomes constant and unremitting, it’s a health concern.

A good night’s sleep is an important part of a healthy life. It comes right at the top with healthy eating and exercise. A good 7 to 9 hours of sound or deep sleep is recommended for an average adult. Fewer hours of shut-eye is bound to make you feel groggy and out of sorts the next morning.

Scary sleep disorder statistics

Research suggests that:

  • Up to 70 million American adults have a sleep disorder
  • Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, with short term issues reported by about 30% of adults and chronic insomnia by 10%
  • More than 70% of adult Americans suffer from sleep deprivation

Check out some more quick facts about insomnia in the chart given above. As you can see, lack of sleep doesn’t only affect physical health but takes a toll on mental well-being as well. Other effects of sleep deprivation include:

  • Mood changes
  • Accidents
  • Weakened immune system
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased libido or sex drive

Not only this, but experts have collected data that shows that insomnia prevalence increases with co-existing medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus and heart disease.

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Persistent insomnia is also a risk factor for developing psychiatric disorders in the future. The following graph shows two groups of patients, one with resolved insomnia and the other with unresolved insomnia. Their progress was monitored for a period of one year. The results at the time of one-year follow-up show that the percentage of patients with unresolved insomnia suffer from major depression, anxiety disorders and alcohol abuse.

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Can insomnia be cured?

The quickest solution that comes to mind that might help you sleep well is sleeping pills. However, experts say that long-term use of sleeping pills can actually make your insomnia worse. A study at Harvard revealed that cognitive behavior therapy for persistent, chronic insomnia proved to be more effective than prescription medication.

A university student in Pennsylvania started a bakery that specialized in insomnia cookies. Freshly baked cookies, warm out of the oven were delivered at night to students on campus to help them sleep better. There are now over 100 branches of the business across the country.

If you suffer from chronic insomnia or have trouble sleeping, maybe it’s time you consult a sleep expert or ask your primary care physician to refer you to on

e. You can search for a specialist at www.mylivedoctors.com and engage in an online medical consultation! MyLivedoctors is an app to find best doctors online that will instantly connect you with qualified healthcare professionals in your region or anywhere around the world. You can book your doctor appointment online and get a prescription online too. The online doctor app is FREE. Download it on your smartphone or any mobile device and get expert medical advice without leaving home. This online doctor appointment booking system is effective and much cheaper than a conventional doctor’s appointment.

Here are 7 effective sleep solutions on how to fall asleep quicker

1.Increase exposure to daylight

Your body works according to an innate body clock known as ‘circadian rhythm’. A healthy circadian rhythm is maintained by adequate exposure to natural sunlight or bright light during the day. It helps regulate sleep hormones, daytime energy and night time sleep patterns.

2.Avoid caffeine later in the day

Caffeine is a well-known CNS stimulant. It activates the brain, boosts your energy levels and makes you more wakeful. Cutting down on caffeine consumption later on in the day is more likely to help you fall asleep quicker.

3.Avoid daytime naps

Sleeping during the day can affect sound sleep at night. Individuals suffering from chronic insomnia are asked to avoid naps before bed time. Some studies suggest that people ended up being sleepier during the day after daytime naps.

4.Set a comfortable bedroom environment

Your surroundings play an important role in helping you fall asleep. It helps to switch off all unnecessary light emitting sources in the room, such as laptops, TV and cellphones. Make sure the temperature of your room is comfortable enough.

5.Shower/bath before bed

Some experts believe that hot showers or baths help relax the body and mind. It creates a calming effect which helps you sleep faster at the end of a long day.

6.Make sure your mattress and pillow are comfortable

It is recommended that you change your bedding every 5 years. A study revealed that changing to a new mattress considerably decreased back pain, shoulder stiffness and increased sleep quality in about 60% of the participants.

7.Reduce fluid intake right before bedtime

Attending nature’s call in the middle of the night can be really annoying. People often have trouble falling back to sleep once they wake up. To prevent this, it’s best to avoid drinking large amounts of fluids 1-2 hours before bedtime.

Developing good sleeping habits is known as sleep hygiene. It is an integral part of a happy and healthy life. Get help today!

 

FIND OUT WHAT DEPRESSION IS REALLY ALL ABOUT

When you hear the word depression, gloomy faces and grey memes come to mind. The term is loosely thrown about and terribly misused, greatly undermining the authenticity of this condition. It is often used to describe feelings like occasional sadness, indecisiveness, stress, and fatigue. Depression is not limited to a few emotions or defined by a ‘bad day’. It is in fact, a mental health issue that should be taken seriously and treated accordingly.

What is depression?

Depression, also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression is a mood disorder. It is characterized by and extreme and persistent feeling of sadness that causes you to regress from daily activities. You may lose sense of confidence and self-esteem and lose interest in your surroundings.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, the symptoms of depression must last for at least 2 weeks to receive a diagnosis.

Depression can take several forms and present itself in different ways. You can’t always tell if someone is suffering from depressive symptoms. Sometimes, the symptoms are masked or sub-clinical. Since mental health issues, such as this one is a taboo topic, people tend to hide their feelings and force themselves to show up at social events and gatherings to avoid gossip.

What are the different types of depression?

Each form of depression is slightly different from the other:

  • Persistent depressive disorder. In this condition, the symptoms of depression last for at least two years. There may be periods of severe depression followed by phases of less severe symptoms.
  • Perinatal depression. Some women experience real ‘lows’ during pregnancy which continue after the birth of the baby as well (post-partum depression). They find it extremely difficult to care for themselves and their babies during this period due to health anxiety and exhaustion coupled with feelings of extreme sadness. Overcoming anxiety by reducing certain stress factors can help manage the condition better.
  • Bipolar depression. This term refers to episodes of extreme sadness that meet the criteria of depression, but are associated with alternating episodes of mania, or extreme happiness. This condition in which, an individual may experience spells of both ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ is called bipolar disorder.
  • Unipolar depression. Depression without episodes of mania is referred to as unipolar depression. The individual is in a consistent state of sadness.
  • Psychotic depression. This type refers to depression associated with psychotic symptoms such as delusions (false beliefs), hallucinations (seeing or hearing something that isn’t really there) or paranoia.

How do you know if you really have depression?

If you have been suffering from the following symptoms for at least two weeks or more, it is best to get evaluated by your doctor or a trained psychiatrist:

  • Persistent sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling of emptiness
  • Feeling aimless
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Becoming unaware of surroundings/environment
  • Extreme low self esteem
  • Poor self confidence
  • Don’t feel like getting out of bed or leaving the house
  • May have suicidal thoughts
  • Appetite and weight changes
  • Restless
  • Irritable
  • Low energy levels
  • Fatigue

How does depression get so bad?

There are several factors that influence or contribute to depression. Some people might plunge into depression due to intolerable circumstances, unforeseen life events, loss of loved ones, ill health, personal or family problems.

For instance, grief is often confused with depression as there are long periods of extreme sadness. You may feel lost and overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness, but as tough as this phase may be, the intensity of emotions tends to decrease with time. You eventually accept that ‘passing on’ is a natural and unavoidable part of life and learn to move on.

However, if this period of grief lingers and overlaps with other components of depression like feelings of loneliness, guilt and anxiety, over time, it should raise concern and professional help should be obtained immediately. Mounting anxiety can lead to panic attacks which will further increase the depression. It’s a vicious cycle. For beginners, you can see where you stand by taking an anxiety test online. It is a questionnaire which assesses your answers and provides you with a final score at the end.  It could be used as a self-evaluation tool at home.

If you think going to your doctor seems like too much of an effort, feel free to contact an online doctor at Mylivedoctors, one of the best medical apps for patients. Download the online doctor app on your smartphone and connect with qualified healthcare providers and specialists in your region or anywhere in the world. Sign up for FREE and gain access to quality healthcare from the comfort of your own home. Look up your doctor on a list and book an tele appointment with doctor right away and get the counseling and guidance you need. You can engage in an online medical consultation through phone calls, video calls, texts or email. Appointments on the phone usually give people more confidence and assurance without having to actually ‘show up’ for them. Mylivedoctors is a safe online space and an effective online doctor appointment booking system that is not only quick and convenient but much lighter on the pocket too.

Another strong associated factor that enhances depression and its symptoms is alcohol consumption. Alcohol and depression go hand in hand when it comes to neglect and misuse. Taken in excess, it turns into a substance of abuse which only worsens the situation. You tend to make bad choices while ‘under the influence’ and will probably regret them later. Intoxication leads to brain damage which will exacerbate the symptoms of depression. Some people even take their anti-depressants with alcohol, which is a BIG no! The alcohol counters the effects of the medicine and makes the symptoms harder to treat.

How do you treat depression?

Treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and how long you’ve had them. The earlier you get help, chances are the sooner you will recover. The mainstay of treatment is medication and psycho-therapy.  However, non-medicinal, more natural methods such as exercise and dietary changes may be tried as well.

Antidepressants are commonly prescribed by the doctor and may take 2 to 4 weeks for visible improvement of symptoms. So, don’t be quick to judge and do not stop taking them without doctor’s advice. Most antidepressants are tapered off gradually by the end of the course, which may last from 6 months to a year. Multiple medicines have to be taken during the day and some may cause fogginess and sedation.

Psychotherapy or counselling can be acquired at depression treatment centers or related institutions. A couple of sessions a week, spanned over a reasonable time frame can help overcome self-esteem and confidence issues as well as facilitate social interaction again.

Mental health is just as important as physical health, if not more. Living with depression is not easy.  Fight the taboo and be an advocate of mental health in your community. To find out more about mental health, please visit www.mylivedoctors.com.


 

THE DIABETIC DIET THAT WILL NORMALIZE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS!

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic health conditions today. It’s always making headlines in the field of medicine in terms of new studies and research. With ongoing developments in treatment and changing guidelines it can be confusing to keep up. Particularly if you’re not regular for your follow-up visits to the doctor. However, not much has changed when it comes to diet. How much sugar is too much sugar? How many fruits a day can you have? Should you eliminate carbs entirely? Are artificial sweeteners safe, and the list goes on.

According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population, had diabetes. This is stark in comparison with a report released this year by the CDC which states that over 100 million US adults are now living with diabetes or pre-diabetes. These figures impose an increasing burden on overall morbidity and diabetes related death.

They say the word ‘disease’ is a misfit or misnomer for diabetes. Diabetes is more of a lifestyle. Small changes in your eating habits can go a long way in controlling blood sugar levels. Let’s go over some basic dos’ and don’ts when it comes to the types of food you put on your plate.

What are the different types of diabetes?

There three main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 is an autoimmune condition in which the insulin producing cells of the pancreas are destroyed by the body’s own cells. This prevents the body from using insulin for glucose metabolism therefore resulting in elevated blood sugar levels. It is also referred to as ‘insulin-dependent’ diabetes. Due to the lack of insulin in the body it must be treated by insulin injections.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 is a metabolic condition in which the pancreas produces insulin but the body’s cells are unable to use the insulin for proper uptake of glucose, a phenomenon known as ‘insulin resistance’. This results in high blood glucose levels, which if remain uncontrolled could lead to organ damage. This is the most common type of diabetes.

Gestational diabetes

This diabetes type occurs during pregnancy (as the name indicates) causing high blood glucose levels during pregnancy that typically return to normal after the baby is born. Women with gestational diabetes are more prone to develop type II diabetes some time later in life.

How do you know if you have diabetes?

The only way to be certain is by getting evaluated by your physician. Certain tests such as HbA1c, fasting and random blood glucose can indicate underlying diabetes. However, there are a few symptoms (common to diabetes) that you can look out for.

The fist warning signs of diabetes are:

  • Increased urination (polyuria)
  • Increased thirst (polydipsia)
  • Increased hunger (polyphagia)
  • dry mouth
  • increased susceptibility to infection (such as UTI)
  • unexplained weight loss
  • increased weariness/fatigue
  • blurred vision

The early symptoms of diabetes result from a persistently raised glucose level or a pre-diabetic phase. Glucose levels are borderline in the pre-diabetic stage. According to the American Diabetes Association, blood glucose levels should be between 70 and 130 mg/dl before meals, and less than 180 mg/dl two hours after starting a meal, with a glycated hemoglobin (A1C) level less than 7 percent. Sometimes, the initial signs and symptoms can be so mild that you may fail to recognize them. Others are usually diagnosed coincidentally during routine medical follow-ups.

How do you manage diabetes?

It can be an overwhelming to be diagnosed with diabetes, especially for a young individual. Administration of medicines and insulin (in the later stages) can be used to control blood glucose levels, but a recent research study suggests that a low-calorie diet can reverse type 2 diabetes, even six years into the disease!

Losing weight and adopting a more active lifestyle can allow you to live a symptom free, safe and healthy life. Newcastle and Glasgow Universities conducted a trial in which 9 out of 10 patients who lost 15 kg or more put their disease into remission.

Which foods not to eat

  • Processed food items and refined sugary products with almost zero nutritional value can expedite diabetes disease process. Here is a list of foods that cause diabetes, or can be considered to raise your risk of diabetes:
  • white flour, rice, sugar and other heavily processed carbohydrates
  • sweetened drinks with added sugars like sodas, sweet teas and lemonade
  • Fried and fatty foods which are high in trans fats
  • Butter, full fat milk and cheese which are high in saturated fats
  • Red meat and processed meats such as hotdogs and bacon due to high levels of nitrites and sodium

Some foods lie in the grey area. For instance, coffee lovers often worry about caffeine consumption. Coffee and diabetes can play together in a safe zone as long as it is taken in moderation without any added sugar or creamers. Some research studies link the magnesium in coffee to reduced sugar levels. However, other research suggests that caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee may increase the risk of developing diabetes by causing increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.

What are the best foods for diabetes?

Fortunately, there are more options of foods that you can eat than those you can’t. They’re delicious and will not only boost your energy levels but make you feel healthier than ever before!

  • Fish oil and diabetes is a popular topic when it comes it a diabetic diet. Fish oil capsules contain omega-3 fatty acids that is linked to insulin sensitivity and reduced blood sugar levels
  • Quinoa which is rich in fiber and protein makes it an ideal food choice for diabetics
  • Whole wheat or whole grain based products like bread, rice and cereal
  • Lentils are a super food that contains ‘resistant starch’, a carb that has minimal effect on sugar levels
  • Salmon which is great for the heart and can greatly reduce the chance of heart disease and stroke, both of which are potent risk factors for diabetes
  • Berries and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and raspberries are rich in anti-oxidants
  • Almonds are a great source of magnesium associated with insulin sensitivity

Hope this has helped you map out a strategy for the management of diabetes with a healthier and diabetic friendly diet. If you have any more questions or concerns regarding diabetes, its symptoms and management, talk to an expert online doctor at www.mylivedoctors.com or download MyLiveDoctors, an app to find a doctor on your smartphone for FREE! Look up your doctor and book an tele appointment with doctor and get a prescription online too. Chronic conditions like diabetes can easily be monitored from the comfort of your own home through an online medical consultation. Why wait hours for an appointment when you can get expert medical advice online.

Living with diabetes doesn’t need to be difficult. Eat smart, stay fit and live longer-even with diabetes!

 

 

THE FIGHT AGAINST MALNUTRITION !

 

Did you know that approximately half of all deaths in children under 5 years of age are due to malnutrition? According to a recent survey conducted by UNICEF, this global dilemma is responsible for 3 million young and unfortunate deaths each year! This deteriorated state of children’s nutrition is not only worrisome, it is an emergency. That being said, according to a report published in 2016, the number of children affected fell from 198 million to 155 million showing a positive overall trend. But is this enough?

Malnutrition is considered as a lack of food or is attributed to nutritional deficiencies only. Images of skinny kids with pot bellies immediately come to mind.  This is a misconception. Malnutrition occurs when the intake of nutrition is either too low or too high. In other words, poorly balanced. You can over eat and still be undernourished.

Here are the types of malnutrition:

  • Undernutrition: when you don’t get the required amount of nutrition
  • Overnutrition: when you get more the than the required amount of nutrition (obesity)

See, the more food you stuff your face with doesn’t necessarily mean your diet contains all the nutrients your body needs. More calories don’t equal more vitamin and minerals. Several years of research suggest that Americans suffer from substantial nutritional deficiencies. For instance, the typical American diet lacks plant derived nutrients, vitamin A, E and D, and essential fatty acids. It does contain increased quantities of refined food which leads to leads to obesity or overnutrition, leading to malnutrition.

This article will deal mainly with undernutrition and focus on the causes, signs of malnutrition in children, and malnutrition treatment. Eating well from the beginning will ensure a healthy life in the long run. For more information on obesity consult with online doctors at www.mylivedoctors.com. Or download MyLiveDoctors, a doctor availability app on your smartphone that will instantly connect you to qualified medical professionals from the comfort of your own home.

If you are suffering from obesity and want to lose weight but don’t know how to, professional guidance is always a great way to begin. Find best doctors online at Mylivedoctors and get an online medical consultation regarding your condition. Work out a plan that will help you fight malnutrition and its effects. Online health services are convenient and quicker than the conventional doctor’s appointment. Your online doctor will be able to monitor your progress remotely. Schedule an online appointment with doctor and get regular follow-ups too!

Medical criteria for malnutrition:

The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Parental and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) have cultivated a standardized set of diagnostic characteristics to identify and document malnutrition. At least two or more of the following six characteristics must be present:

  • Insufficient energy intake
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Loss of subcutaneous fat
  • Localized or generalized fluid accumulation that may sometimes mask weight loss
  • Diminished functional status as measured by hand grip strength

Causes of malnutrition in adults and children

Malnutrition can be caused by various conditions:

  • Medical conditions that either cause loss of appetite such as cancer and liver disease or prevent proper digestion and absorption of nutrients such as Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
  • Dysphagia and odynophagia; difficult or painful swallowing
  • Mental conditions such as depression or schizophrenia
  • Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa
  • Physical factors such as poor dental hygiene, disabilities, ill-fitting dentures etc.

The causes of malnutrition in children are similar to adults. However, medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, congenital heart disease or childhood cancers can lead to a significant decline in nutritional status. Malnutrition due to insufficient intake of food may be rare in the western world, however is the leading cause of malnutrition in developing countries.

An interesting point worth mentioning here is that the youth, especially teenagers, in the west struggle with ideals of a certain ‘body image.’ They are always plagued with perceptions of ‘fitness goals’ and what they consider to be ‘beauty’. Stress eating and eating disorders are on the rise, inevitably leading to malnutrition in adolescents.

Moreover, malnutrition causes a wide array of signs and symptoms, the most common being unexplained weight loss. It can be sudden or over a period of time. Other symptoms of malnutrition include:

  • Feeling tired most of the time
  • Getting sick more frequently
  • Longer recovery time after sickness
  • Poor concentration
  • Depression
  • Difficulty in keeping warm
  • Delayed wound healing

If you have been experiencing any of the above malnutrition symptoms, please don’t brush them under the carpet. It’s a good time to visit your primary physician or use the doctor availability app MyLiveDoctors and book a GP appointment online. A teleappointment with doctor will save you time and money! Gain access to specialists in your region by just a few clicks and you’re good to go!

Signs of malnutrition may sometimes go unnoticed as many of them are non-specific such as dry skin, brittle nails and hair fall. You can take pictures if you notice such signs and send them to your online doctor at MyLiveDoctors for a better assessment.

Malnutrition in children manifests as stunted growth or failure to grow at expected rate for that specific age, discoloration of skin and hair, irritability and sluggishness. Low energy levels as compared to other children and getting tired more easily are also signs to watch for. The effects of malnutrition does not only influences the physicality of a child but hinders mental and emotional growth as well.

Understanding how malnutrition affects child development fosters better management and care. The effects of malnutrition places children at risk for short-term complications such as frequent infections and a weakened immune system as well as long-term complications including stunted growth and weak bones. Cognitive impairments such as learning difficulties, memory deficits and impaired school performance may also occur.  

It is safe to say that even the most privileged societies may have underprivileged segments when it comes to nutrition and health. Thankfully, malnutrition can be corrected. For an improved path to wellness you can try the following:

  • Make healthy dietary choices. Consume more fruits and vegetables and replace fatty processed foods with lean meat and whole grains.
  • Opt for healthy snacks in between meal times such as nuts, granolas, dates and raisins.
  • Replace salt with flavorful herbs and spices so you could enjoy your mealtime. Add colorful vegetables to your platter to tempt your taste buds even further!
  • Try exercising a couple of times a week. Just take a stroll around the neighborhood. Physical exercise will ensure strong and healthy bones in the long run.
  • Plan your weekly groceries ahead of time. Make a list of the fresh produce you want to include and look up interesting recipes. Homecooked meals will always trump those greasy burgers from the fast-food place.
  • Nutritional supplements can be incorporated in your routine, be it in the form of pills or energy shakes.

Just remember, to nourish is to flourish. The healthy choices you make today will impact the greater part of your tomorrow!

 

CAN I USE ONLINE HEALTH SERVICES TO TREAT MY SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE

Online health services like online medical consultations through doctor availability apps are a great way to find best doctors online. Experts say that more than 80% of non-urgent health conditions can be treated online effectively. Sexually transmitted diseases are among many health conditions that need to be addressed as soon as possible. If you don’t have the time or the means to get to a doctor nearby then connect with an online doctor at www.mylivedoctors.com so that treatment can begin.

According to a report released by the California Department of Public Health, more than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were reported. That is 45% higher than what the figures were five years ago.

This may come as a surprise to many as sexually transmitted diseases or STDs are often thought to be prevalent in low-income regions or areas with limited resources. This is clearly not true. Most infections, in the beginning are asymptomatic and can cause serious complications if they remain unchecked. That’s why screening for STDs is so important. It will allow identification, testing and treatment of infected persons as well as their partners.  

Some say that the region is afflicted by the stigma and shame associated with STDs. Health and sexual education is still somewhat brushed under the carpet and not taken as a serious issue by the community. Here are some poignant facts you should know about STDs.

What are sexually transmitted infections?

Not all infections are transmitted by sexual intercourse. There are more than 20 types of infections that are, but here are the most common ones.

Some of the most common STDs are:

  • Chlamydia
  • Genital herpes
  • Gonorrhea
  • HIV/AIDS
  • HPV
  • Syphilis
  • Trichomoniasis

The people of California are mostly affected by syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Health officials stated that they were concerned about the occurrence of stillbirths associated with syphilis. It is transmitted to the newborn baby during birth, a condition known as congenital syphilis. There were 30 stillbirths due to congenital syphilis in California in 2017. This was the highest number reported since 1995.

What are the signs and symptoms of STDs?

The following is a list of STD symptoms in both sexes that should not be ignored.

STD symptoms in men:

  • No signs at all.
  • Itching at the tip of the penis.
  • Rash on and around genitalia
  • A milky white, yellow, thick or thin discharge
  • Pain with urination.
  • Pain with ejaculation.
  • Painful blisters on the genitals (penile spots/penile bumps)

 These symptoms should be taken as male STD warning signs. It would be careless to overlook them.

 

Signs of STD in female:

  •  No symptoms.
  • Milky white, yellow, or green discharge from the vagina.
  • Vaginal itching.
  • Blisters in and around the genital area.
  • Vaginal rash or rash in the genital area.
  • Burning urination.
  • Painful urination.
  • Pain during intercourse.

 Most STDs present with similar symptoms, more or less. Bleeding between periods, painful periods, and abdominal pain with fever can be added to the spectrum of chlamydia symptoms as well. Health officials in California say that chlamydia and gonorrhea rates are highest among individuals under 30. Chlamydia rates highest among young women, and males account for the majority of syphilis and gonorrhea cases.

 When do symptoms of STD start?

It really depends on what type of infection you’ve acquired. Chlamydia, for instance, typically starts to show symptoms after 1 to 3 weeks, as is with syphilis. With gonorrhea, it is much sooner i.e. within 10 days. Again, the time can vary greatly. Sometimes, the infection remains asymptomatic for years.

 So, if you’re not sure about whether you have an infection or not, it’s best you visit your healthcare provider or simply contact an online doctor at www.mylivedoctors.com. Discuss your concerns in an online medical consultation and use these online health services to book an online doctor appointment for a follow-up too!

You can even go online and search for an STD symptom checker or look up some STD symptom pictures and tally your symptoms there for a clearer perspective. If there’s something you’d like to show your doctor you can take pictures and send them to your online doctor. Online medicine services will enable you to get a prescription online too. Find best doctors online by downloading an app for online doctors called MyLiveDoctors for FREE! This online health service is not only quick and convenient but is lighter on the pocket too.

 STDs is a health condition that individuals take personally. An tele appointment with doctor might be a concern with respect to confidentiality and safety. MyLiveDoctors is a safe and secure online space where doctor-patient confidentiality is guaranteed! You will have access to your medical records at all times and can even share them with another doctor if you want. Getting professional medical advice from the comfort of your own home or even on the go has never been easier. Online health services such as this have made it easier for people living in rural or remote areas to get quality healthcare. Online doctor apps like MyLiveDoctors are breaking barriers between doctors and patients in terms of distance and accessibility.

 Prevention is better than cure!

Health conditions like sexually transmitted diseases are very much treatable. However, in case of delayed treatment or neglect complications may arise. This just makes it harder to treat and cost of treatment also goes up. Using an online health service like MyLiveDoctors helps you keep track of your health at all times and online doctors ensure you’re getting the treatment you need!

 The CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer issued statements that "STDs are preventable by consistently using condoms, and many STDs can be cured with antibiotics," They pressed on about the importance of regular testing and treatment for people who are sexually active, even for people who have no symptoms. Most people infected with an STD don’t even know it.

  

3 EASY WAYS TO QUIT SMOKING

Of the several health scares out there, there is one in particular, which is not only backed by hard core evidence but jaw dropping statistics world over. Despite being the most talked about health concern, cigarette smoking and tobacco use remain the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in America.

If you’re a smoker, you’ve probably read all this before. Sometimes the seriousness of a matter doesn’t really sink in until it’s too late. So, here’s another reminder about why you should quit smoking today!

Tobacco facts and figures you should know!

  • Smoking claims more than 480,000 lives every year in the United States
  • More than 15 of every 100 adults were current cigarette smokers (2015) in the United States (Current smokers refer to individuals who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime or smoke everyday)
  • More than 16 million Americans suffer from a smoking related disease
  • Smoking is more prevalent in males (17.5%) as compared to females (13.5%)
  • Current cigarette smoking is higher in individuals living below the poverty line
  • Individuals experiencing serious psychological stress/distress are more likely to smoke (35.8%) compared to those who aren’t (14.7%)

Burden of tobacco use and smoking related chronic disease in the United States:

Smoking related illness is increasing healthcare costs by the millions, more than $300 billion a year to be precise. $170 billion goes to direct medical care for adults and $156 billion in lost productivity.

Smoking is linked to several chronic health conditions such as:

  • Stroke
  • Blindness
  • Gum disease
  • Heart disease
  • COPD
  • Asthma
  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • Reduced fertility

There is a strong association of smoking with several types of cancers:

  • Head and neck
  • lung
  • Pancreatic
  • Stomach
  • Bladder
  • Cervix

These specifics should be convincing enough for any smoker to at least consider quitting. If it’s not, let’s discuss the most common health issue related to smoking. Almost every smoker develops some symptoms of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Do you have any?

Smoking and COPD

Smoking is the number one cause of COPD and a potent trigger for flare-ups. It is a chronic inflammatory condition in which airflow is obstructed in the lungs. Chronic exposure to chemicals, irritants and particulate matter in tobacco smoke results in the inflammation of the lining of the lungs.

Stages of COPD:

The severity of COPD is assessed by determining the how healthy your lungs are. COPD stages are as follows:

  • Mild COPD. Individuals may not show symptoms in this stage hence don’t realize that they might have a problem. They may experience occasional bouts of cough with phlegm and slight difficulty in breathing.  
  • Moderate COPD. In this stage, people begin to seek medical attention due to increased breathing difficulty, frequent coughing with increased mucus production.
  • Severe COPD. Lung function has deteriorated considerably by this stage. Individuals find the slightest activity to be strenuous. Difficulty in breathing increases and a wheezing sound can be heard as well. Fatigue and inability to exercise is not uncommon.
  • Very severe COPD. This stage is often life threatening. The oxygen supply can become so compromised that individuals may show cyanosis (blue discoloration) of lips, nose and extremities.

3 easy ways to quit smoking!

You never value something good until it’s gone! Don’t take your health for granted. Care for your lungs so they can take care of you. The benefits of quitting smoking can improve your quality of life! Try these tips for help:

  1. Mark a ‘quit day’ on your calendar and commit! You can’t really prepare or plan for it much. That will just lead to procrastination. It’s like ripping off a band-aid. Just do it!
  2. Contact your doctor and ask whether nicotine patches would be a good option for you.
  3. Remember that there is no such thing as just ‘one more cigarette’ after you quit. Keep away from smoker company and take up other activities that you enjoy. Great way to bounce back!

An easy and convenient way of contacting a doctor for expert medical advice would be online. An online medical consultation with online doctors is a great way to treat non-serious medical conditions and health problems without having to wait hours at a doctor’s office. Mylivedoctors is one of the best medical apps for patients that allows people to get treated from the comfort of their own home for basic, everyday health problems that do not require emergency care. Chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and COPD can be monitored through telemedicine apps such as Mylivedoctors. All you have to do is download the online doctor app on your smartphone or mobile device for FREE and look up your doctor. Book your doctor appointment online and get the answers you’re looking for! For more details please visit www.mylivedoctors.com.

DID YOU KNOW THAT CONSTIPATION AFFECTS OVER 4 MILLION AMERICANS

Constipation refers to infrequent bowel movements or passing of stool. Medically it is defined as fewer than three stools per week and severe constipation as less than one stool per week. Whether constipation is acute or chronic, it can be extremely distressing. Did you know that constipation is the most common digestive complaint in the U.S. and that it affects more than 4 million Americans?

The definition of constipation may vary from person to person depending upon what a normal bowel habit may be for that individual. For instance, ‘going’ 3-4 times a week may be normal for you but may not be for someone who goes everyday. However, when defecation becomes tough and stool becomes hard and impacted, that’s when you know you’re constipated.

Along with hard stool, some other symptoms include:

  • Bloating
  • Straining to go
  • A feeling of incomplete evacuation
  • Abdominal pain

Here is a picture showing the anatomy of the rectum. The one on the left is a normal rectum that experiences regular defecation with soft stool. Individuals with chronic constipation however, develop a dilated and enlarged rectum due to impaction of large, hard stool.

So, the question is, where do things get stuck? (pardon the pun).

What causes constipation?

There are a number of conditions that result in chronic constipation such as:

  • Anal fissure
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Colon cancer
  • Narrowing of the colon
  • Rectal cancer
  • Rectocele
  • Spinal cord injury that affects the nerves supplying the rectum and colon
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Hypothyroidism

Factors that increase risk for developing constipation

As you can see in the picture above, there are several factors that can influence bowel habits. If you fit into one or more of the categories above, and are experiencing abnormal bowel movements, bleeding or pain while passing stool, you should contact your doctor for further evaluation.

It might be a medicine you’re taking, or maybe your water intake is insufficient. Do you think you move around enough or lead a more sedentary lifestyle? Do you consume a bowel friendly diet? Ask this and more at www.mylivedoctors.com. If you can’t find the time to go to a doctor any time soon, you can get expert medical advice online through a tele appointment with doctor booking system. Download the telemedicine app MyLiveDoctors on your smartphone and gain access to qualified healthcare providers right away! Book your doctor appointment online and engage in an online medical consultation. This is one of the best medical apps for patients that is not only quick and convenient but cheaper too! My Live Doctors provides quality healthcare to individuals living at rural and remote locations. Look up your doctor and get the answers you’re looking for.

How can you relieve constipation?

Your doctor is likely to prescribe a laxative or stool softener to ease the passage of stool. If it is painful, there are topical anesthetics like lidocaine that can be applied around the anus to numb the area. It also helps lubricate the region.

If these things don’t work, there are other steps you can take along with medicines for quicker relief. Here are some home remedies for constipation.

  • Increase water intake

An intake of 8-12 glasses of water per day is recommended. Decreased water consumption causes the stool to become dry and hard. To prevent this, it is important to stay hydrated.

  • Include more fiber in your diet

High fiber foods such as avocados, whole grains and lentils add bulk to the stool and makes it soft. A study shows that 77% of people with chronic constipation benefited from supplementing with fiber.

  • Exercise

Increasing physical activity increases bowel movement. The only way to get things moving is to get going. Literally. A good peristaltic movement is all you need for complete evacuation.

  • Drink coffee, tea or other hot beverages

Some people benefit from drinking caffeine, tea or warm milk. It is shown to activate the bowel and trigger an urge to pass stool.

  • Prunes and other dry fruits

Prunes for constipation are the way to go. They are not only a great source of fiber, but consist of a natural laxative known as sorbitol. Prune juice is highly recommended. You can also add other dry fruits to it like shown in the infographic below.

Hope these tips help. Constipation may seem non-serious, and most of the time it is. But it can really stress you out at times and cause complications in the long run if not managed timely. You know what they say, when the going gets tough, the tough geAt going! So do just that!

 

5 OF THE MOST RIDICULOUS FAD DIETS YOU’LL COME ACROSS

So summer is almost here, and you know what that means right? FAD diets are going to be filling your newsfeed! A FAD diet is a diet that is only popular for a certain amount of time. They vow to shed maximum weight in the shortest time. While it may sound promising, it’s not always the healthiest option to go for.

With the rising trend of people googling weight loss hacks, they’re likely to come across ‘quick fixes’ and promotions endorsing ridiculous drinks and crash diets. Instead of searching for diets you can search doctor availability apps for online medical consultations with online doctors that can guide you to a healthier way of life and safer diet plans for weight loss.

Let’s take a look at some of the quirkiest FAD diets out there!

  • The Drinking Man’s Diet- How to Lose Weight with a minimum of will power

There are so many things wrong with the title alone! Losing weight is just as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one. A 50-page paperback published back in the 1950s endorsed that a high protein, high fat and low carb diet would help men preserve their ‘masculinity’. Not sure what that implies. While cutting down on carbs does help you lose weight, it’s important to know the difference between good and bad carbs.

Healthy carbs include natural forms of carbohydrates like fruits and vegetable. Brown flour, rice and sugar should replace the white counterparts. Such FAD diets may give you results, but can also come with a list of unwanted side effects.

  • The Beverly Hills Diet

Published in 1981, it was popularly promoted by actors and other celebrities. A lady named Judy Mazel with no formal science or nutrition background opened a diet clinic in Beverly Hills and sold a diet that helped her lose weight. Judy’s book sold a million copies despite receiving criticism from doctors and other qualified professionals. They couldn’t accept her theory that weight gain is caused by undigested food that gets ‘stuck’ in the body. Lady, that’s called constipation! Seems like things haven’t changed much in the past 30 years or so. The weirdest things went viral back then too!

If you come across a weight loss diet plan that interests you, consult your doctor before you begin or you could contact an online doctor with the online doctor app Mylivedoctors. Download the online doctor app on your smartphone or mobile device for FREE and instantly and find best doctors online for expert medical advice.

  • Sylvester Graham’s Diet

So that’s where graham crackers come from! Mr. Graham was a minister back in the 1800s that had some sort of spiritual awakening and proclaimed the stomach as ‘the helpful minister of your body’.  His dietary principles were derived from his interpretation of the 10 commandments which somehow translated into carbs and meat causing ‘over-stimulation’ that ultimately led to immoral behavior. Strange but true. Despite stating that this diet could prolong life up to 100 years, he died at 57.

  • Fletcherism

Being a wealthy businessman, clearly Fletcher had no idea how to put his money to better use. He came up with a theory that food was to be eaten in a ‘good and hungry’ state. How do you define good though? A good state for one may not be for another- so this was an obvious drawback in this theory. But here’s the catch. Fletcher said that in order to lose weight you had to chew 100-700 times before swallowing and solid food had to be spat out! Today we know that chewing aids digestion of food so yes you should chew your food as much as you can but spitting it back out is just absurd!

  • Liquid Diets

One of the first meal replacement drinks was concocted in 1930. It consisted of starch, milk chocolate, whole wheat and bran and was to be consumed at breakfast and lunch. This paved a way for a much profitable industry, that is still very much prevalent today. Liquid supplements for children, the elderly and hospitalized patients is applicable an understandable, but they can’t be used to completely replace meals. Nutritionally balanced? Maybe. Practical solution for weight loss? No, not entirely.

The cabbage soup and ‘juicing’ diets are among popular liquid diets too. Advertising a 10-pound weight loss in a week is a high-set bar! If you’re a sucker for rapid results then go ahead and try it. It is likely to cause fatigue and weakness though-like most shortcuts! Life gives you enough lemons as it is! So, make lemon juice and burn off the heat instead!

These diets are still very much prevalent today in different forms with different names. FAD diets often leave out key foods and therefore may cause the following signs and symptoms:

  • Dehydration
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Nausea

If you think you’re suffering from any of these side effects after following a diet plan contact your doctor immediately or connect with one at Mylivedoctors an online doctor app that you can download on your smartphone for FREE. It’s a quick, safe and convenient way to get expert medical advice from the comfort of your own home or even on the go!

Instead of wasting your time with 10, 15-day weight loss ‘solutions’, make it a lifestyle. You know it’s not going to work anyway. Have everything in moderation. Fill your picnic basket with some graham crackers and cheese, a healthy whole wheat sandwich and juice it down at the beach!

Before beginning any diet plan, make sure you discuss it with your doctor or licensed nutritionist. You can visit www.mylivedoctors.com and instantly connect with a Board-certified specialist!

 

KIDNEY DISEASE CAN BE A SILENT KILLER

A complex functioning machine, such as the human body, that works around the clock and produces a lot of waste as well. Your body must not only rid itself of unwanted substances and toxins but must retain and reuse the necessary components as well. The kidneys are nature’s filtration system. Without adequately functioning kidneys, you basically die unless you go on dialysis or get a renal transplant.  

Kidneys remove unwanted waste products and excess fluid from the blood which then exit the body in the form of urine. Through this process, your blood is kept in a state of balance.

Most cases of kidney diseases and disorders (or renal disease) happen to be discovered during routine doctor visits. When an individual does not yet show symptoms, the disease has most likely just begun i.e. it is fortunately in the early stages. However, basic lab investigations may show some red flags. For instance, raised urea and creatinine levels bring concern which are then pursued further by additional, more specific tests.

If you need a second opinion for a particular lab result, an online doctor is a great option. Download Mylivedoctors, an online doctor app and  book your online doctor appointment right away. Upload your lab results and get that second opinion from the comfort of your own home. It beats the hassle of the waiting room and long commutes for medical advice.

More advanced cases of renal disease may present with evidence of abnormal kidney function such as high blood pressure, swelling of ankles or generalized swelling of the body, or blood in your urine. Even something as common as nausea can be an underlying indicator of kidney disease. Once a general physician picks up signs and symptoms specific to kidney disease, the patient is best referred to a kidney doctor or nephrologist for further treatment. Finding out the underlying cause, duration and severity of disease is crucial for further management.  

In order to better understand the changes the body goes through on encountering common kidney problems, here is a list of the signs and symptoms that most often occur with kidney disease:

  • increase in the urge to urinate
  • decreased urination
  • swelling around ankles and in feet
  • itchy and/or dry skin
  • foamy urine (with bubbles)
  • blood in urine
  • back pain
  • fatigue
  • troubled sleep
  • puffy eyes
  • reduced appetite
  • muscle spasms/cramps

Pain, swelling and changes in urination may be indicative of enlarged kidneys. Although relatively uncommon, these symptoms should not be taken lightly. Enlarged kidneys may be caused by stones, tumors, radiation, polycystic kidney disease, or abscess formation around the kidney.

Types of kidney disease

There are broadly two types of kidney disease based on disease duration. This is the simplest categorization of kidney disease which will help you gain a better understanding of the disease process.

  • Acute kidney disease/failure:

This is a sudden downward spiral of kidney function over a matter of hours to days. Five percent of all hospital admissions and 30% of ICU admissions are also found to be in acute renal failure. Renal injury results in an immediate rise of kidney enzymes such as urea and creatinine in the blood. If you have been experiencing unexplained and sudden outbursts of nausea, vomiting, malaise or feel disoriented, it might not be the occasional upset stomach.

It’s always better to get it checked out. Go to the Emergency Department with anything urgent. For non-urgent symptoms you can always contact an online doctor at www.mylivedoctors.com and look up a kidney doctor. Book a tele appointment with doctor and receive an online medical consultation. It is a quick and convenient way to get treated for basic medical problems without having to go to the doctors office.  

  • Chronic kidney disease:

Up to 20 million Americans are affected with chronic kidney disease. That is about 1 in 9 adults! There is progressive loss of kidney function over a period of month to years. Greater than 70% of the cases are attributed to Diabetes Mellitus and Hypertension (high blood pressure). Whatever the cause of impaired kidney function, most symptoms arise from secondary complications. For instance, difficulty in concentrating, subtle memory changes, restless legs, weakness and altered sensation in the limbs can develop as the disease progresses.

The treatment of kidney disease, whether it is acute or chronic, mostly relies on symptomatic management and treatment of the underlying condition. The aim is to slow the progression of disease and assist the body towards recovery. After diagnosing the underlying cause, a long list of different medications are likely to follow suit. Steroids, diuretics, phosphate binders and calcium based agents are just a few of the conventional drugs that are used based on the particular diagnosis.

 Dialysis or renal transplant are opted for in life-threatening situations or when the kidney disease spirals down to the point of no return.

Since chronic kidney disease is largely irreversible, however certain lifestyle changes, particularly pertaining to diet have to be made. It is best to get evaluated by a nutritionist. Find an online nutritionist through www.mylivedoctors.com.

Here are some foods to avoid with kidney disease:

  • Protein based foods such as eggs, meat, poultry and fish should be removed from the diet. Research suggests that protein restriction slows the progression to end stage renal disease. The amount of protein intake and restriction should be carefully calculated prior to beginning treatment.
  • Salt and water. In the advanced stages of kidney failure, the kidney is unable to manage fluctuations of sodium. Increased sodium levels will lead to swelling, high blood pressure and may even lead to congestive heart failure.
  • Potassium rich foods. Dates, bananas, green leafy vegetables should be avoided. Ask for a detailed list of potassium content of foods and limit their intake.
  • Phosphate rich foods such as dairy products, eggs and meat should be taken cautiously.

Other lifestyle changes can be made to your routine may also go a long way in the recovery process. Here is how to cure kidney disease at home or at least how to prevent kidney disease:

  • Try to keep your blood pressure below 130/80mmHg
  • If you are diabetic, keep your blood sugar within the required range
  • Incorporate exercise into your daily routine
  • If you smoke, quit immediately
  • Don’t use supplements or herbal medicine without consulting an expert first

Kidney disease can go unnoticed for months and even years. Educate yourself and learn to listen to your body. Get your annual physicals. Don’t take your health for granted!  

 

HOW ONLINE HEALTH SERVICES CAN HELP WITH STROKE REHABILITATION

 

A stroke can limit your physical abilities and that’s why recovery and rehabilitation is extremely important in the following days. Online health services can provide the constant help and support you need post-stroke. You can find doctors online to help you map out a recovery plan. You can keep in touch with them to monitor your progress as you go along.

A stroke attacks the center of human function; the brain. It strikes when you least expect, without any warning. Online health services like online medical consultations can go a long way in helping you cope with disabilities and understand the whole process.

Stroke stats!

According to the WHO, 15 million people suffer a stroke worldwide each year and all of them may not have access to quality healthcare. Online health services such as online doctor apps allow such people to access healthcare professionals from the comfort of whatever their surroundings may be.

Of these, 5 million die, and another 5 million are permanently disabled. In the United States alone 700,000 people suffer a stroke each year and Europe follows not too far behind with about 650,000 per year! Although rehabilitation cannot reverse the brain damage, getting help through online medicine services can help cope with the disabilities that may ensue and ensures a better quality of life long term.

Stroke causes

So, what causes a stroke? A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off. Whatever the underlying reason may be, oxygen is prevented from reaching the brain cells and they begin to die. Depending upon the area of the brain that is affected, loss of cells means loss of function.

  • Here is a quick summary of how a stroke can affect different body functions depending on the part of the brain that is damaged:
  • Right brain: paralysis on the left side of the body, loss of memory, disturbed vision
  • Left brain: paralysis on right side of body, loss of memory, speech and/or language problems
  • Front of the brain (frontal lobe): loss of or altered emotions, behavioral changes, inability to solve simple problems, loss of attention and concentration
  • Back of the brain (occipital lobe): loss of vision and visual processing
  • Brainstem stroke: affects breathing and consciousness, heart rate and sleep cycle
  • Cerebellar stroke: loss of balance and coordination
  • Thalamic and basal ganglia stroke: may exaggerate certain movements, tremors, loss of coordination
  • Spinal stroke: caused by loss of blood supply to spine

The leading causes of stroke usually follow certain pre-existing medical conditions that increase the chances of getting one. Following are some major risk factors for stroke.

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

If you have diabetes, learn how you can control it through diet alone. The effects of obesity alone can be detrimental. Learn how to cut down on calories or how to quit smoking at www.mylivedoctors.comThe underlying pathophysiology of stroke affects stroke management and helps categorize it.

Here are 3 types of stroke:

  1. Ischemic stroke: This is the most common type and occurs when a blood vessel supplying the brain is obstructed. Research suggests that if a thrombolytic or ‘clot breaking’ drug is given within 3 hours of a stroke it reduces the chances of long term disability by 80%.
  2. Hemorrhagic stroke: This occurs when a vessel supplying the brain ruptured and bleeds into the brain substance. A vessel could rupture due to an aneurysm or more commonly due to high blood pressure.
  3. Transient Ischemic Attack: More commonly known as a ‘mini stroke’ is a temporary blockage of a supplying blood vessel. They act as ‘warning strokes’ and shouldn’t be ignored.

Brain stroke symptoms

The manifestation of stroke symptoms may vary from person to person but there are certain warning signs that one should know and look out for in case of emergencies.

The American Stroke Association has come up with a very smart acronym i.e. “FAST”. The term itself is a subtle indication that one must not only act fast but that time is of essence when it comes to the first aid management of stroke.

FAST stands for:

  • F-ace drooping
  • A-rm weakness
  • S-peech difficulty
  • T-ime to call 911 (or any other emergency service)

Early warning signs of stroke in women are pretty much the same as the above but some studies suggest that sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, severe headache, blurred vision, trouble in walking or loss of balance and coordination also occur. Of course, these symptoms are not exclusive to women, but have generally been seen to co-occur. Stroke treatment, recovery and rehabilitation

After a stroke has occurred and is relevantly managed in a tertiary care center with appropriate medication and investigations, the next step is perhaps the most crucial in the recovery process i.e. stroke rehabilitation. Various disabilities such as partial or complete paralysis/weakness, altered sensory functions, pain, emotional disturbances all should be dealt with patience and care. As high an incidence that stroke has with a person dying from it every 4 minutes in the United States, it is surprising to see the lack of awareness.

People are increasingly making unhealthy lifestyle choices such as leading more sedentary lifestyles, consuming fatty fast food, resorting to processed and packaged items and subjecting children to refined sugary items on pretty much a daily basis. Lack of exercise will ultimately lead to problems like high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, diabetes and obesity all of which are morbid risk factors for stroke.

Even when one is mindful of these facts, it is the non-adherence and failure to implement a healthy lifestyle and change in routine and eating habits that continue to pose as imminent threats. Using a doctor availability app like Mylivedoctors will help you find best doctors online to guide you towards a healthier way of life. Download it on your smartphone for FREE and instantly connect to expert healthcare professionals. Book your doctor appointment online and enjoy a confidential consultation from the comfort of your own home.

Mylivedoctors is an extremely convenient online health service that is quick, safe, ensures patient-doctor confidentiality and is lighter on the pocket as compared to a conventional doctor’s appointment! Remember that more than 80% of strokes can be prevented! We need to act today for a healthier tomorrow.

Meta: A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off. The effects of a stroke can limit physical activity depending upon the type of stroke. Warning signs of stroke include drooping face, arm weakness and difficulty speaking.

FIND DOCTORS ONLINE TO HELP YOU FIGHT OBESITY!

Obesity is the next ‘big’ thing, and not in a good way! Find a best doctors online to not only help you shed the excess weight but keep it off for a healthier life ahead. To put things into context, worldwide obesity has tripled in the past 40 years or so. According to a report released by the WHO, ‘most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kill MORE people than malnutrition’. That is unbelievable!

What’s the difference between being overweight and obese?

The terms overweight and obesity are often used synonymously, without realizing that there’s a slight distinction. Both conditions refer to abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Then how do you know which category you belong to?

How do you measure your body fat?

Well, a standardized formula known as BMI or body mass index of weight-for-height is used has been devised to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is calculated by using a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2).

BMI is used all over the world and is the most useful indicator of overweight and obesity for adults since it is the same for adults of all ages. For adults:

  • overweight is a BMI greater than or equal to 25
  • obesity is a BMI greater than or equal to 30

For children however, age is another factor (in addition to weight and height) that is used for classification purposes. Pediatricians all over the world use child growth standard charts and tables developed by the WHO. They are used to assess the growth pattern in children under 5 years of age and those from 5-19.

Getting into the normal BMI range is extremely important to avoid and prevent obesity-related complications such as heart disease and stroke and diabetes. For expert medical guidance download Mylivedoctors, an online doctor app and find doctors online to help you get your health back on track! Look up your doctor on the panel of qualified healthcare professionals and book an online doctor appointment today! The best part is that it’s FREE!  

What are the causes of obesity?

Obesity is not an illness or a disease. It is a condition or a state that you bring upon yourself most of the time. The most common cause of obesity is the obvious; eating too much and lying around on the couch all day waiting for your food to digest itself.

Consumption of high amounts of energy i.e. food comprising mostly of fat and sugar is bound to take a toll on your health. Most of the extra energy that isn’t used up or excreted from the body is stored as fat. Obesity occurs across every age, race and sex. It spares no one.

There has been a steady rise is in obesity prevalence over the past few decades. Initially it was thought that overweight and obesity were rampant in high income and developed populations, but research suggests that obesity occurs in low income urban populations as well.  

Besides overeating, other factors that contribute to obesity are:

  • Genetics. This is a topic of debate among experts, but some say that you are likely to be prone to obesity if your parents are obese. Genetics also plays a role in managing hormones that regulate fat metabolism. For instance, certain genes are responsible for leptin deficiency. Leptin is a hormone that is found in fat cells and placenta. It signals the brain and tells it to ‘eat less’ when the body has sufficient fat reserves. Inadequate production of leptin fails to provide this inhibitory response to over-eating resulting in weight gain.
  • Medication. Most common medicine that causes weight gain is that for diabetes (insulin, sulfonylureas, and thiazolidinediones) that are used to lower blood sugar levels. Antidepressants, anti-convulsants and hormones such as steroids, oral contraceptives also contribute to weight gain.
  • Sedentary lifestyle. People who remain inactive and don’t burn as much calories as they consume are going to gain weight due to surplus fat deposition.
  • Psychological factors. Some people resort to stress eating and succumb to their emotions and allow them to navigate their eating habits. Excessive eating is common in situations such as boredom, depression, and anger, a phenomenon often referred to as ‘binge eating’.
  • Hormonal imbalances. Diseases which are hormone dependent usually lead to weight gain. Common conditions include Cushing’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, insulin resistance and polycystic ovary syndrome.

What are the symptoms of obesity?

Battling obesity and even being overweight can be a daily challenge. Gaining weight not only affects your body but threatens your strength, potential and power. Here are some obesity symptoms that one may experience on a day to day basis:

  • Increasing fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Snoring
  • Increased sweating with minimal activity
  • Inability to bear sudden physical activity
  • Joint pains especially in weight bearing joints such as knees and back
  • Low self-esteem and low level of confidence

The signs of obesity become evident as soon as the first couple of pounds are gained. Unfortunately, once the effects of obesity are put into motion, they become part of a vicious cycle. Routine tasks become increasingly difficult and the pounds continue to pile up.

Are there any side effects of obesity?

Yes! Suffering from overweight symptoms initially then transitioning into obesity can be catastrophic for the human body and mind! The changes that come with this evolution can go unnoticed amidst all the other problems on the surface. A few conditions that can cause harm to your health are:

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Hypercholesterolemia or high cholesterol levels
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke and paralysis
  • Musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis
  • Cancers such as liver, gall bladder, ovarian, and breast

The risk of these diseases increases with higher BMIs. In a report released by WHO, obesity is causing a ‘double burden of disease’ in low and middle-income populations. Countries which already suffer from malnutrition and infectious diseases are experiencing an increase in overweight and obesity as well. Undernutrition and overnutrition now co-exist in the same communities.

How can you get help?

The first step to helping yourself is to accept that you have a problem. Self-assessment can serve as an important tool for self-healing. If you feel lost and have no clue where to start, feel free to find doctors online, ask questions and receive expert medical advice from online physicians at www.mylivedoctors.com. There’s no better day than today to take charge of your health!

 

Waking up with a groggy head and stuffy sinuses can be the worst way to start the day. Hopefully, your illness is self-limiting but before we go into some natural remedies, let's first understand what we are dealing with here!

According to the CDC, 5-20% of the population is infected with the flu every year in the United States. To note, flu outbreaks are especially severe in the winter months. The flu virus, also known as the influenza virus attacks your respiratory system. It affects the sinuses, nose, throat, and lungs. Depending upon the severity of the illness, the flu can typically last anywhere from 5-14 days. It can linger on in people with compromised or weakened immune systems.

What causes the flu and how is it spread so fast?

It is almost impossible to escape the flu as all it takes is for someone to sneeze next to you. The most common mode of transmission is inhalation of airborne droplets. They can also be picked up from touching different contaminated objects such as the phone, keyboard or currency bills. People tend to be contagious even before the symptoms begin. The influenza virus is a smart one. New strains emerge every year and can pose as a challenge for the body’s defense system. Previously formed antibodies generated by the annual flu shot may help lessen the severity and duration of the disease.

The most common flu symptoms are:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion
  • Body ache
  • Fatigue

If you have any of the above symptoms and can’t make it to a doctor’s office, find best doctors online and get your flu treated from the comfort of your own home. Download a doctor availability app, Mylivedoctors on your smartphone and instantly connect to an online doctor. You can even get a prescription online for your flu.

Complications of the flu:

You may suffer only just a minor cold and rarely need hospitalization. If the symptoms don’t get better within a week and instead are draining you further, the flu may be progressing to complications such as sinusitis, pneumonia, ear infections, or bronchitis. You may experience:

  • Increased difficulty in breathing
  • Fever accompanied by chills
  • Earache
  • Discharge from ear
  • Sweating
  • Productive cough often with thick green mucus/phlegm
  • Chest pain may occur
  • Increased pulse

 

Who is more likely to suffer from complications?

Most people completely recover from the influenza virus or flu within 15 days. Some individuals, however, are more susceptible and can develop complications. For instance:

  • Children (6 months to 4 years)
  • Adults above 65 years
  • Immunocompromised patients
  • Individuals with pre-existing lung conditions such as COPD
  • Pregnant women

How effective is the flu shot?

The advent of the flu vaccine was groundbreaking in terms of efficacy considering how expansive the influenza virus is worldwide. According to the CDC, getting a flu shot can reduce the chances of catching the virus by 60%. Having said this, this figure varies every year and ideally applies to healthy adults. The effectiveness of the flu shot is affected by several factors:

  • Age. The vaccine isn’t as efficient in children less than 3 years and adults over 65 years of age. The CDC now recommends a nasal spray vaccine for healthy children 2 years and above and a high dose flu vaccine for the geriatric population.
  • Overall health. Vaccines interact with certain cells of the immune system so that they can recognize the virus once it attacks. Weak immune systems are less likely to respond to the vaccine, but research suggests that the flu shot reduces hospitalization of those suffering from chronic illnesses by 70%.
  • Matching of the vaccine with the influenza strain. As mentioned earlier, the virus emerges as a new sub-type each year hence the vaccine must be altered and updated every year as well. The efficacy of the flu shot depends upon its accuracy.

Can the flu be treated at home?

When calling in sick is not an option at work and your morning coffee doesn’t wake you up, a couple of basic kitchen ingredients can help you kickstart your day! It can save you that trip to the Doctor’s.

  1. Ginger. Everyone has some ginger lying around in the kitchen. Just chuck a couple of chunks of ginger into boiling water. This concoction really is as simple as it sounds. Among the many benefits of the ginger root such as being anti-cancerous and helping in weight loss it also acts as a potent anti-inflammatory substance. In addition to this, its antimicrobial properties make it an ideal flu-fighting agent.
  2. Honey. Very well known for its ‘cure-all’ nature, honey does wonders for the flu. It possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that not only fights viruses but bacteria and fungi as well.  A sore throat is instantly relieved as honey lines the inside of the throat.
  3. Citrus fruits. Vitamin C is abundantly found in citrus fruit such as oranges, lemon, green leafy vegetables, and even chili peppers. It’s a powerful booster of the immune system. Adding a few drops of lemon juice to your tea will soothe your respiratory tract and relieve nasal congestion.  
  4. Saline water. Whip up some salt water for washing out that stuffy nasal cavity. Add a couple of pinches of baking soda and salt to about 8 ounces of warm water. Use a syringe to wash out your nose by keeping one nostril closed while squirting the mixture through the other. You’ll immediately be able to breathe better.
  5. Mint leaves. This is an herb that has been used for centuries for indigestion, weight loss, and flatulence. When added to tea or boiled with hot water it can also help to cope with the distress that the flu causes. It is famous for the soothing effect it has on the respiratory tract. Combine it with a dash of cinnamon to increase its anti-inflammatory response.

 

Sometimes you do need to talk to a physician though. Treatment of milder flu symptoms and prescription drugs can possibly be prescribed by an online doctor. Book a tele appointment with doctor with the Mylivedoctors app. For more details check out www.mylivedoctors.com.  

WHAT IS A SINUS INFECTION

How can you tell whether you have a cold or a sinus infection? Well, it depends on how long certain symptoms last. A runny nose, puffy eyes and headache are typical of a common cold or flu. If you’re not up and about in approximately 2 weeks, the congestion has most likely infected your sinuses.

Did you know that sinusitis is one the most prevalent human conditions? About 1 in 7 of the US population is affected by the chronic form of the disease! The word ‘infection’ sounds scary and serious. It can be, but not if it’s diagnosed and managed on time.

What do the sinuses do exactly?

Sinuses are air-filled cavities within the skull. They perform a variety of important functions such as:

  • They lighten the skull
  • Improve voice and help in voice resonance
  • Help filter the air through the nasal passages by producing a thin lining of mucus
  • Add moisture to the air in the nasal passages
  • Act as buffers against facial trauma

Where are the sinuses in your head?

The sinuses are hollow, air-filled cavities inside the skull that are interconnected. There are four pairs of sinuses:

  • Frontal sinus (front part of forehead)
  • Maxillary sinus (behind the cheekbones)
  • Ethmoid sinus (in between the eyes)
  • Sphenoid sinus (behind the eyes)

There is another sinus called the ‘cavernous sinus’ within the human head and comprises of blood instead of air. It is a venous sinus in the brain and carries several important cranial nerves and arteries. Infections from the face have the potential to reach the cavernous sinus through intricate connections between it and the smaller blood vessels in the face.

Is a nasal and sinus infection the same thing?   

A nasal infection occurs when the nasal sinuses become infected, inflamed and swollen. So yes, it is essentially the same thing. Some experts say that even though a cold isn’t a primary cause, it does serve as a potent breeding ground for a sinus infection. Bacterial contamination occurs from the constant rubbing and wiping of the nose with your hands. Since the sinuses are stuffed and congested with mucus, they are unable to drain. Hence, they have no choice but to harbor the bacteria.

What causes sinusitis?

Sinus infections are usually caused by viruses and generally attack the upper respiratory tract. It begins with symptoms that are similar to a cold. In some cases, bacteria or fungi (rare) may cause a sinus infection as well. Other conditions that may augment sinus pain include:

  • Nasal polyps
  • Allergies
  • Tooth infections.

In fact, the sinus infection-toothache combo can go both ways. Pre-existing tooth infections can contribute to sinus pain or sinus inflammation and swelling can cause toothache. The upper pre-molars and molars are seen to be affected due to their close proximity with the sinuses.

Symptoms of a sinus infection

Most physicians are in agreement that the presence of facial pain, nasal discharge and congestion are necessary to diagnose a sinus infection. Acute sinusitis can last up to 4 weeks whereas chronic infections can last up to 12 weeks!

Other symptoms include:

  • Pain and pressure in the forehead and behind or in between the eyes. Pain is one of the primary symptoms of sinusitis is usually associated with a feeling of heaviness or weight in the head. Swelling and inflammation of the sinuses can refer pain to your upper jaw, teeth and even ears.
  • Headaches are a common feature of sinus infections resulting from the pain and pressure. They can be throbbing, dull or pulsating in nature. Often worse in the mornings due to the overnight accumulation of mucus.
  • Difficult breathing. Nasal congestion involves swelling of the nasal passages preventing the influx of air. The sense of taste and smell are also affected in some and your voice may acquire a ‘stuffy’ tone.
  • Irritation of the throat caused by post nasal dripping. Most commonly seen at night when the fluid trickles from the nasal passages into the throat. It can be a real nuisance and provoke coughing, possibly compromising your sleep as well!  Your throat may feel goaded with a pins and needles sensation. That’s the worse!
  • Hoarseness of voice is caused by the continuous prodding of post nasal drip. The throat can become scratchy and affect your ability to phonate or speak resulting in a husky pitch.
  • Bad breath or halitosis may also occur due to the bacteria.

If you have any of the above symptoms consult a doctor or connect with an online doctor and get help from the comfort of your own home or even on the go! Download a best online physician app like Mylivedoctors on your smartphone and sign up for FREE! This doctor availability app will Instantly connect you to a panel of qualified medical professionals. Read patient reviews and choose one that you think can help you best. An online medical consultation is a quick and convenient way to treat basic health problems like sinusitis without having to step into a doctor’s office.

What is the best way to treat a sinus infection?

There isn’t a one-for-all treatment for sinusitis. It involves multi-management. Acute infections sometimes referred to as the ‘sinus cold’ are treated with a simple course of antibiotics. Chronic cases however may warrant the following measures to alleviate discomfort and pain:

  • Nasal decongestants open up the nasal passages by reducing inflammation and swelling. They should be used no longer than a few days as its effects can ‘rebound’ and swelling may recur. Nasal sprays, steroid and saline sprays are also recommended.
  • A thorough sinus rinse or sinus irrigation with saline solution will clear the airway and help you breathe better. Saline solutions are available for this purpose and can be administered by a syringe.
  • In case of allergy associated sinusitis, antihistamines can be useful by calming the runny nose and watery eyes
  • Applying warm packs or hot sponging the face can have a soothing effect on the sinus pain and liquify the mucus so it can drain from the nasal passages.
  • Surgery is the last resort if the symptoms don’t seem to be resolving. Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) may be recommended by your physician. It is a procedure in which an endoscope (tiny wire-guided camera) is inserted inside your nose and mucus is drained from your sinuses.

if your symptoms don’t seem to be improving and you have queries feel free to seek expert medical advice online at www.mylivedoctors.com.

The next time you have the allergies, a cold, or sinusitis, remember the 3 Ws:

W- wait it out

W- water it

W- wave it goodbye!

4 RED FLAGS OF BREAST CANCER

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer (excluding skin cancer) among women worldwide. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women in the U.S. and the median age at diagnosis of breast cancer for most women is 68 years. This median age seems to be younger for black women as compared to white women.

The importance of breast cancer awareness and screening cannot be emphasized enough. Health organizations are more focused on fostering awareness campaigns, workshops and mobile screening camps.  The overall rates of breast cancer have declined by 39% between 1989 and 2015. This can be attributed to improvements in treatment, periodic screening and early detection and diagnosis by mammography, but is this enough?

Breast cancer has been a social taboo for ages, inflicting women with both physical and mental agony. The information provided here will hopefully increase your understanding of breast cancer. For first hand info about breast cancer contact an online doctor at Mylivedoctors by downloading the FREE Android app for online doctors. It doesn’t have to run in the family, get screened no matter what.

What is screening?

Screening refers to the detection of breast cancer before symptoms occur. Just because your doctor has advised a screening test does not mean you necessarily have breast cancer. In fact, it is a precautionary measure, which helps in early recognition of disease. If abnormal cells or tissue are discovered during screening, it has the potential to be eradicated completely with treatment. By the time symptoms occur, the disease has often spread and invaded other parts of the body. In this condition, the cancer becomes aggressive and difficult to treat.

    Different types of screening tests:

  • History and physical examination. A proper and detailed patient history is essential to any evaluation. The information that you provide about your present health condition, family history and past medical history will help the doctor navigate the next step of management.

A physical exam checks you for general and specific signs of ill health. A quick head to toe overview is done first, then the breasts will be examined for any signs of breast cancer such as lumps, thickening, skin discoloration, tenderness and asymmetry. It is a careful manual examination of the breast, done by the doctor in the presence of a female staff member or attendant. Experts suggest that you should have a breast examination done by a health professional every year.

Even though women often discover lumps or abnormalities by breast self-examination, sometimes certain signs can be missed. What may seem ‘normal’ to you will be picked up much faster by an experienced doctor.

  • Laboratory investigations. Routine tests such as, blood tests and urine samples may indicate abnormalities, which could point in the direction of a cancer diagnosis.
  • Mammography. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. It detects abnormal breast tissue. There are two types of mammography i.e., films screen and digital. Both methods are effective for screening. Diagnostic mammography, on the other hand, focuses on specific areas of concern resulting from a previous suspicious screening or presence of lump. Mammography is not painful, but may be an uncomfortable experience.
  • Breast MRI. Magnetic resonance imaging is a more detailed imaging technique used for women, who have a higher risk of developing breast cancer based on family history and other risk factors. It is also used for a further detailed evaluation of a suspicious area, found on mammogram and for monitoring disease recurrence after treatment.

Which signs and symptoms to look out for:

The most common and initial sign of breast cancer is a breast lump. Most of the time it is a coincidental discovery. A lump isn’t always well-defined. Sometimes it appears as an area of thickening or hard mass. Pain is not a usual feature of a cancerous lump or swelling, but it is better to get it evaluated anyway. This is where, the importance of self-examination comes in, because a lump is not always seen and might be felt instead.

When should you see your doctor?

Please visit your health care provider as soon as possible, if you note the following:

  • Change in size or shape of breasts. One might become lower or larger than the other.
  • Change in texture of skin. Look for dimpling of skin.
  • Change in skin color. The skin may become orangey or red and warm (in case of inflammation)
  • Nipple discharge. Any unusual discharge may be alarming.

According to cancer research studies, 90% of lumps are benign i.e. they are not cancerous. However, this does not mean you should exempt yourself from getting assessed. Prevention is better than cure. If you notice something abnormal and want to consult a doctor immediately then online health services is a great option. Find doctors online on a doctor availability app and book your tele-appointment with doctor right away.

What are the risk factors of breast cancer?

If you have one or more of the following risk factors, that does not necessarily mean you will contract the disease, but may increase the possibility of getting it. On the other hand, women without risk factors should not free themselves of the responsibility of getting checked.

  • Increasing age
  • Inherited genetic mutations responsible for breast cancer (BRCA-1, BRCA-2)
  • Early menarche (before 12 year of age)
  • Late menopause (after 55 years of age)
  • Obesity
  • Hormone therapy
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Family history
  • Previous treatment with radiation for another illness
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

If you have any of the risk factors mentioned above, it will probably raise concerns. Please do not hesitate to seek help from a healthcare professional. If you feel uncomfortable having a face to face conversation with your doctor about it, visit www.mylivedoctors.com  or download Mylivedoctors, an app for healthcare solution on your smartphone and contact an online doctor instantly!  You can communicate with them over the phone, via texts or email. This might give you the boost of confidence you need to get evaluated. Cancer is serious and it should never be taken lightly especially when there are means to prevent it.

Raise questions and discuss your fears openly. Be breast aware and support the cause by purchasing breast cancer awareness merchandise like breast cancer bracelets, t-shirts, pink ribbons and badges. Participate in breast cancer walks, and other charity events. Let’s fight this together!               

WHAT IS DOWN SYNDROME?

Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal disorder. According to the CDC, 1 in 700 babies are born with Down syndrome in the United States! Also known as Trisomy 21, it is a condition caused when a baby develops an extra copy of the 21st chromosome while in the mother’s womb.

Here are some established Down syndrome facts you may not know about.

  • About 6000 babies are born with Down syndrome each year in the United States
  • According to the WHO a Down syndrome baby is born in every 1000-1100 live births
  • There are 3 types of Down syndrome, the most common being Trisomy 21. The other two are mosaicism and translocation. Whatever the type, they all have an extra copy of the 21st chromosome

What causes Down syndrome?

It’s known as a chromosomal disorder because that’s where the abnormality occurs. Each cell in the body consists of 46 chromosomes, 23 (or half) of which come from each parent. In Down syndrome, the affected individual has an extra (or partial) copy of chromosome 21. The DS chromosome results in the manifestation of certain physical and mental traits that vary from person to person.

There aren’t many causes of Down syndrome besides genetic mutations that occur during the developmental phase of a baby. However, the only other risk factor that is thought to increase the risk of having a Down syndrome baby is maternal age. Women older than 35 years are more likely to have a baby with Down syndrome but because of the higher birth rate in younger women, around 80% of Down syndrome babies are born to women under 35 years of age. There is no definitive research indicating a link between Down syndrome and environmental factors.

How is Down syndrome inherited?

Contrary to the fact that DS is genetic, it is not completely hereditary i.e. it is not passed on from parent to child. In fact, only 1% of all cases have a hereditary component. Trisomy 21 and mosaicism cannot be inherited, but the translocation type can be passed on from parent to child tracing back to the mother or father. About 5% of cases have been traced back to the father. The chances of Down syndrome recurring with a father carrier is about 3% compared to 10-15% with a mother carrier. Genetic testing can be done to find out the origin of the Down syndrome gene.

How do you diagnose Down syndrome?

Since Down syndrome is the result of a genetic mutation during the developmental phase, while the baby is still in the mother’s womb, certain prenatal tests are carried out. This process is called screening. Blood tests and ultrasound are used for prenatal screening tests that estimate the chances of having a Down syndrome baby. These tests are not definitive, they only provide a probability and come with a 1% risk of causing a spontaneous miscarriage. CVS is usually performed in the first trimester and amniocentesis in the second.

If you feel confused or have concerns about pregnancy or Down syndrome or maybe need a second opinion, an online medical consultation is a great option. You can look up your doctor and book your doctor appointment online with an online doctor app. It’s a quick and convenient way to get expert medical advice without having to go the doctors’.  A second opinion can really put your mind to rest and help make you a more informed decision in terms of how you want to carry your pregnancy forward.

Signs and symptoms of Down syndrome

There are certain Down syndrome symptoms and signs that are characteristic to DS. Such individuals have distinct physical features and health conditions that place them into the DS box. Mental and cognitive ability varies from person to person. Some may present with normal intelligence and cognitive function while other less so.

Some physical traits of DS include:

  • Upward slanting eyes with (epicanthic) skin folds on the inner corners
  • Small/short stature
  • Short neck
  • Flattened bridge of the nose
  • Low muscle tone
  • Single palmar crease

Having said this, these traits can also appear in individuals without DS, so a definitive diagnosis can only be achieved through ‘karyotyping’ or chromosomal analysis. This is done through a blood test in which chromosomes are lined up according to number, shape and size. Doctors can diagnose DS by analyzing the karyotype.

Unfortunately Down syndrome may come with its own set of complications. Some babies with DS have congenital heart defects. The DS life expectancy for children with heart defects is not great. They are found to be five times more likely to die within the first year of life compared to infants who do not have a heart defect. Research shows that around 75% of children with DS are more likely to suffer from hearing loss and eye disease compared to those without DS.

As far as cognitive ability goes, some may exhibit mild-moderate intellectual disability but this can greatly vary. Children with Down’s often show signs of developmental delay which means they tend to reach developmental milestones a little later than their peers. For instance a child with DS may:

  • Sit at 11 months
  • Crawl at 17 months
  • Walk at 26 months
  • have delayed speech

Such children may need speech therapy to help them with language and expression skills. There may also be problems with attention, behavior, judgment and poor gross and fine motor skills.

Can Down syndrome be treated?

There is no specific treatment for DS, however early screening and diagnosis is recommended. Early intervention can help minimize the disabilities and maximize the person’s potentials and prepare them for community integration.

The society has a huge role to play in accepting individuals with DS with an open mind. It is not a disease it is a condition. Children with DS need to be encouraged in schools and be given fair opportunities. Special educators, Physicians, speech therapists, and occupational therapists can all help.

If you have a child with DS and are looking for professional medical help, download the online doctor app Mylivedoctors and connect to an qualified healthcare provider from the comfort of your own home. This doctor availability app allows you to look up your doctor on a panel of established medical professionals and tele appointment with the doctor without having to wait hours in a doctor’s office. For more information go to www.mylivedoctors.com.

WHAT AND WHAT NOT TO EAT WHEN YOU HAVE DIARRHEA

Hunger pangs aren’t the only thing that make your stomach grumble. Leaving a meeting half way through or storming out of class can be outright embarrassing. But you know what they say, ‘when you gotta go, you gotta go! So, was it something you had for dinner last night? Perhaps the morning coffee didn’t quite sit well this time. Whatever the reason, diarrhea can be a pain in the butt! No pun intended.

This article will focus on the foods that cause diarrhea and how to stop diarrhea. Before we get into the depth of things, let’s start with the basics. Medically, diarrhea is defined as ‘loose, watery stools or a frequent need to have a bowel movement.’

What causes diarrhea?

Diarrhea usually lasts for a couple of days. A cramp here and there and it’s gone before you know it. No or little intervention is required. In other words, it is self-limiting. Depending on how long it lasts, diarrhea can be classified into two types; acute and chronic.

  • Acute diarrhea is when the condition lasts for a couple of days (typically less than a week). It may be due to a viral or bacterial infection-comes and goes-nothing serious. Frequent travelers often experience upset stomachs (or Delhi belly) as their exposure to different bacteria and parasites is high. A condition often referred to as ‘traveler’s diarrhea’.
  • Chronic diarrhea can last up to four weeks or more, generally indicating a more serious underlying cause like intestinal disorders that usually require further investigation. Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Inflammatory Bowel Disease, such as Crohn’s disease are common causes of chronic diarrhea.

Diarrhea can make you lose a considerable amount of body water and electrolytes, even in a few days. It’s extremely important to keep yourself hydrated during this time.  If the diarrhea persists for a longer time, you may experience abdominal pain, cramping, bloating and may feel feverish as well. Later on, signs of dehydration such as increased thirst, lightheadedness, dry mouth and decreased urination may begin to appear. If you feel increasingly tired and lethargic, it’s better to contact your doctor as soon as possible or can find doctors online by downloading an app for healthcare solutions on your smartphone or mobile device. An online medical consultation can help treat the diarrhea and you can even get a prescription online. The sooner the treatment begins the better.

Diarrhea in children

The most common cause of diarrhea in children is the rotavirus. According to a recent study, diarrhea associated deaths in the United States appear to be increasing in recent years. An average of 369 diarrhea-associated deaths occurred annually among US children aged 1 to 59 months.

Young children and babies can become dehydrated in just one day. They become irritable, sluggish, develop sunken eyes and dry mouth. They may cry without tears and you may notice a depression or a sunken area in the middle of the head, also known as a ‘sunken fontanelle’. You should take your child to the emergency room if the diarrhea persists with fever or occurs with blood or pus.

Pediatricians often get asked about ‘green diarrhea’, particularly by anxious first-time parents. No, it’s not because the baby is cold (myth). Typically, there is nothing to worry about. Green stool is in fact a common stool color change and is caused by the presence of bile pigments which are normally present in stool. Diarrhea moves the food so quickly through the gut that the intestinal bacteria aren’t able to break down the pigments, preventing the stool from attaining its normal brown color. Green vegetables and foods that contain green food color can also cause the stool to turn green. 

For expert medical advice connect with a pediatrician online with a doctor availability app like Mylivedoctors and ask about your child’s health condition. Find best doctor online through video call so your child can be evaluated for any visible signs of dehydration. In case of a fever you’ll be prescribed medication to help with that or called in for more extensive testing.

Diarrhea treatment

So how do you deal with an unexpected stomach bug? It really depends on how long you’ve been suffering from it and what the cause is. The first line treatment for diarrhea is aimed at replacing lost fluids. Just focus on drinking lots of water and if the diarrhea continues for more than a week, start consuming electrolyte replacement drinks/beverages. You should be able to get them easily at your local drug store. Sometimes, intra-venous fluids must be administered in case of dehydration to restore water and electrolyte imbalance. To be on the safe side, prolonged diarrhea warrants a visit to the clinic. It is best to consult your physician as antibiotics may have to be prescribed to eliminate any infection.

Various medications are used to treat individuals who suffer from chronic conditions like IBS. Anti-spasmodics, anti-motility agents and low dose antidepressants help control most symptoms.

Foods to avoid

Diarrhea treatment involves small but pertinent diet and lifestyle changes which can really help change the course of the disease process. There are a number of foods that exacerbate diarrhea and should be avoided:

  • Spicy food
  • Raw vegetables
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Coffee and other caffeinated/carbonated drinks
  • Onions
  • Fried and greasy food

Foods to eat

If you happen to encounter diarrhea in the morning and can’t afford to be late for work, grab a banana or munch on some toast before heading out. These foods won’t aggravate the digestive system. They act as ‘binders’ and will augment diarrhea treatment by firming up the stool.

Here are some other foods that stop diarrhea fast or have shown to give quick results: 

  • Rice
  • Apples/applesauce
  • Cooked cereal
  • Soda crackers

Remember to stay hydrated. You can take other liquids besides water as well such as:

  • Clear broth
  • Coconut water (without added sugar)
  • Sports drinks (they contain electrolytes)
  • Mild teas and herbs

Diarrhea prevention

There is a reason they say, ‘prevention is better than cure’. It’s less of a burden to stop something from happening than to repair the damage after it has happened. Here are a couple of quick pointers that can help prevent diarrhea:

  • Be more vigilant and frequent in cleaning the washing and cooking areas.
  • Immediately refrigerate cooked food after heating
  • Use bottled water while vacationing
  • Avoid raw food while dining out
  • Wash hands well
  • Use sanitizer when out

The next time your gut tells you something isn’t right, listen to it! For more information please visit www.mylivedoctors.com

BOOK AN ONLINE DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT TO RELIEVE ALLERGY SYMPTOMS IMMEDIATELY

Symptoms like runny nose and nasal congestion can be annoying and difficult to cope with. You might want to book an online doctor’s appointment to treat the allergy from the comfort of your own home before it gets out of hand. 

What is an allergy?

An allergy is a hypersensitive immune response to a foreign substance such as dust, pollen, an insect sting or pet fur. Some people are even allergic to certain foods/food products. The material that causes or triggers an allergic reaction is known as an allergen. Many allergens are harmless and do not affect most people.

Allergies are more common than you think. According to research, allergies affect between 10-30% of the population worldwide. In fact, sensitization to common allergens are increasing. When a person comes in contact with an allergen the body gradually builds up sensitivity to the substance before initiating a response. As it becomes sensitive to the substance, the immune system starts making antibodies to attack it. This phenomenon is known as sensitization.

For instance, sensitization rates to one or more common allergens among school children are currently approaching 40%-50%. Booking a tele appointment with doctor might give you a head start in treating your children’s allergies. Moreover approximately 13% of people 18 and over in the U.S. have sinusitis. Is sinusitis and allergy the same thing? Not essentially but having allergies can influence a sinus infection and symptoms can overlap. Symptoms that are common to the flu, sinus infections and allergies can be confusing. Even though the symptoms are similar, treatment options may differ depending upon the underlying cause.

Some people have seasonal allergies which usually peak between April and May, just as Spring begins as the pollen count in the air is much higher.

Allergy symptoms

An allergic reaction mainly causes inflammation and irritation of the affected region. An allergy may affect the airway, the gut, skin, eyes, sinuses or nasal passages. Here are some common allergens and relative symptoms.

Pollen or dust

  • blocked nose
  • itchy eyes and nose
  • runny nose
  • swollen and watery eyes
  • cough

Allergies may be confused with other condition such as conjunctivitis or pink eye. You might be asking yourself ‘how to tell the difference between allergies and pink eye’?. Even though both conditions have symptoms that ae common to both, there are certain signs that are unique to each as well.

Skin reactions

  • Flaking
  • Itching
  • Peeling
  • Rashes
  • Food

Vomiting

  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tingling sensation in the mouth
  • Stomach cramps
  • Blood in stool
  • Swelling of lips and mouth

Food allergies to certain nuts, dairy and certain fish are common in children. It’s extremely important to inform your child’s school and caregivers about these allergies.

Bug bite/Insect sting

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheeze
  • Swelling and redness at site of sting
  • Itchy skin
  • Sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Chest tightness
  • Anxiety

Medication

  • Skin rash
  • Itchiness
  • Swelling of lips, tongue and face
  • Anaphylactic shock in severe cases

The onset of allergy symptoms are triggered by antibodies, particularly IgE that is released in response to a foreign substance. The IgE antibody is released to combat the allergen and also causes the production of other chemicals like histamine that trigger the allergic reaction and symptoms such as tightening of the muscles in the airways and production of mucus by the nasal passage.

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that escalates quickly and can even be life threatening if not attended to immediately. It must be treated as a medical emergency. Research suggests that the airway and skin are most affected in an anaphylactic reaction.

Let’s take a look at some red flag signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis.

  • Hives all over the body
  • Itching and redness of body
  • Burning sensation of skin
  • Shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Blue tint to the skin due to lack of shortage of oxygen
  • Sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness and fainting

In case of such an event, call your local emergency number immediately. If you are unable to contact a medical professional at that time, connect with an online doctor through an online doctor app called Mylivedoctors. Download it on your smartphone for FREE and sign up. It’s a quick and convenient way to get expert medical advice wherever, whenever.

To treat, observe and get refill prescriptions online you can book an online doctor’s appointment with the online doctor app and receive online medical consultation without having to step into a doctor’s office.

How do you treat allergies?

The obvious and most simple way to treat an allergy would be to avoid the allergen that triggers the reaction altogether. However, sometimes that’s not easy to do and in some instances, you may not even know what the allergen is. For instance, dust and pollen constantly float in the air, more so during spring. How can you avoid that? What you can do is use appropriate protective gear such as masks. If you are exposed to chemicals at work, wear gloves and protective goggles too.

Medication

Your doctor may prescribe certain medicines to help relieve allergy symptoms such as:

  • Antihistamines. These block the action of histamine. Should be used with care in children.
  • Decongestants. These open up the airway and provide short-term relief of symptoms.
  • Anti-leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are chemicals that are released during an allergic reaction. These medicines block their action and help with symptom relief.
  • Steroid sprays. Provide quick relief by opening up the nasal passage.

A lot of people look towards natural remedies to relieve allergy symptoms. You can use natural ingredients in addition to meds to achieve a soothing effect.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy refers to exposure to small doses of an allergen of a period of years to slowly hyposensitize your immune system. This type of therapy rehabilitates the immune system and creates a long-term tolerance to the foreign substance.

There is no way to really prevent an allergy. However, you can use this knowledge to limit and treat one for sure. For more information on allergy-like symptoms, please visit www.mylivedoctors.com

 

online doctor’s appointment, 

FIND DOCTORS ONLINE TO HELP TREAT YOUR VOMITING

‘Unless you puke, faint or die, keep going!’  Or find doctors online to help you! Throwing up can catch you off guard and weaken you in the moment, so much so that it’s likened to losing consciousness or death. Also known as emesis, vomiting refers to the process of involuntary and forceful expulsion of gastric (stomach) contents through the mouth and sometimes nose. Sometimes you ‘don’t feel too good’ or ‘feel like vomiting, but nothing comes out’ before you actually throw up, a symptom strongly associated with vomiting known as nausea.

Vomiting is a symptom that is common to most illnesses and occurs in various conditions such as, pregnancy and migraines. Find best doctors online with a doctor availability app to diagnose the cause of vomiting. Online medicine services are quick, convenient and cheaper too!

Vomiting should not be confused with regurgitation or acid reflux (as it often is) in which there is a backflow of undigested food from the stomach, up the esophagus and into the mouth minus the force and discomfort associated with vomiting. Self-induced vomiting is exercised by individuals that suffer from eating disorders such as, anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

Why do we vomit and what causes it?   

Some experts say that vomiting is a protective mechanism of the body. It is a reflex that is prompted by various stimuli that trigger the vomiting center of the brain. The brain then sends signals back to the organs that set the reflex in action. There are chemicals in the brain known as neurotransmitters such as dopamine, histamine and serotonin that regulate the vomiting cycle.

A recent study suggests that nausea and vomiting may have protective effects during pregnancy against adverse fetal outcomes. The effects of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) was examined on rates of miscarriage, intrauterine growth restriction, congenital malformations, prematurity and developmental achievements. It was concluded that the protective effect of NVP was more prominent in women with mild or moderate vomiting, compared to those with little or none.

However, throwing up isn’t always this good-natured. Here are other possible causes of vomiting:

  • Gastroenteritis (Tops the list as one of the most common causes in adults, usually associated with abdominal cramps and diarrhea)
  • Indigestion
  • Overeating
  • Motion sickness i.e. nausea and vomiting associated with traveling
  • Migraine/severe headaches
  • Labyrinthitis or inner ear infection (causes dizziness, nausea and vomiting)
  • Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) (The side effect of anesthesia)
  • Chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Antibiotics
  • Opioid painkillers
  • Kidney stones and kidney infections
  • Gallstones
  • Pancreatitis
  • Excessive alcohol consumption (alcoholism)
  • Appendicitis
  • Brain tumors
  • Milk allergies
  • IBS

And the list goes on!

What causes green vomit?

When your vomit is green, it is usually suggestive of throwing up bile. Bile is a green colored, digestive fluid that is produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile may occur in vomitus on an empty stomach or in bile reflux. Bile reflux may cause abdominal pain, frequent heartburn, vomiting, nausea and an infrequent cough, hence the condition is often confused with ‘heartburn’. Vomiting bile can damage and cause distress to the lining of the stomach and esophagus. Bile reflux can also cause yellow vomit as well.

For expert medical advice find doctors online at www.mylivedoctors.com and discuss your health concerns with them. Or you can download the doctor availability app Mylivedoctors on your smartphone for FREE and avail an online medical consultation from the comfort of your own home!

Can vomiting be dangerous?

 Vomiting can sometimes require emergent medical attention, particularly in case of:

  • Excessive and frequent vomiting i.e. more than 3-4 episodes per day
  • Voluminous vomiting (in large amounts)
  • Lingering illness such as, gastroenteritis and food poisoning
  • Blood in vomit also known as ‘hematamesis’ may be caused by stomach ulcers, ruptured blood vessels or can indicate a form of cancer as well

Complications of vomiting:

The most obvious complication of vomiting is dehydration. Vomiting doesn’t only expel food, but fluids as well. The signs of dehydration become evident in individuals who suffer from persistent vomiting. Vomiting may lead to following complications:

  • Dry mouth
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry skin
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

Malnutrition is also a complication of vomiting that results from the inability to keep down solid food causing the body to lose out on nutrients. Prolonged illnesses and pre-existing conditions can lead to this state. Such cases may require hospital admission and administration of nutrients via intravenous injections.

If you feel like your condition is not improving and you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact your primary healthcare physician or find doctors online and share your concerns.

How to treat vomiting?

The first step of management depends on the underlying cause. Occasional vomiting requires little or no intervention, except hydration of course. Whatever the cause, staying hydrated is the most important element of treatment. Other treatment strategies include:

  • Avoid solid foods. Go for clear liquids and semi-solid lighter food options so the stomach can tolerate
  • Avoid greasy and fatty foods
  • Consume oral rehydration salts and electrolyte replacement beverages
  • Anti-nausea and antiemetics prescribed by your doctor help reduce vomiting episodes
  • Herbal teas and warm beverages may provide a soothing effect
  • Rest as much as poss

What triggers vomiting?

The nature, duration and intensity of vomiting really depend on the cause and associated medical conditions. However certain triggers of vomiting can be avoided by adopting a healthier lifestyle. Examples of such stimuli are:

  • Exercise right after eating
  • Overeating
  • Lying down right after eating
  • Stress
  • Spicy food
  • Lack of sleep
  • Migraines
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Unfamiliar smells/odors

  Is there any way to prevent vomiting?

Making small changes in your everyday life can help you prevent vomiting to a great extent:

  • Daily walks
  • Portioned meals
  • Increased water intake
  • Catch a quick power nap during the day
  • Go to bed early at night to ensure you have received the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep
  • Avoid binging on junk food and alcohol
  • Go for healthier and lighter food choices like, veggies with your choice of dip and natural juices
  • Alcohol can be consumed in moderation

Anything in excess can disturb the natural equilibrium of your body. ‘Health is wealth’ so be mindful of your body and take care of it. It’s the only place, you have to live!

WORKOUT AN ASTHMA ACTION PLAN AT MY LIVE DOCTORS

What is asthma?

Asthma is a condition in which the airways become inflamed and narrow. They swell and produce extra mucus which It makes it difficult to breathe. Periods of recurring wheezing (whistling sound on breathing) occurs along with chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing. It’s important for individuals with asthma to have an asthma action plan to manage their symptoms throughout the year as well as during an emergency. You should discuss it with your doctor or book a tele appointment with doctor online for professional guidance.

Before we get into the details of asthma here are some fun facts to note.

  • The number of people with asthma are increasing every year in the U.S.
  • 1 in 12 (25 million) people have asthma
  • Asthma cost the US about $56 billion in medical costs, lost school and work days, and early deaths in 2007
  • More than half the people with asthma tend to have an asthma attack, more children than adults

What happens during an asthma attack?

For a better understanding of asthma, you need to understand how the airways work. Airways are hollow tubes that allow the exchange of air into and out of the lungs. In asthma, these airways become inflamed, swollen and sensitive to inhaled substances. The muscles around the airways tighten as a result of this sensitivity narrowing the tube and making it difficult for air to pass through. The cells within the airways start producing excess mucus and swelling becomes worse further worsening the situation.

Signs and symptoms of asthma

Asthma signs and symptoms can vary from mild to severe. For some people it might just be a minor issue while for others it can be very serious and affect daily activities. Some common signs and symptoms include:

  • Coughing. Coughing is often worse at night or early in the morning, making it hard to sleep.
  • Wheezing. Wheezing is a whistling or squeaky sound that occurs when you breathe.
  • Chest tightness. This may feel like something is squeezing or sitting on your chest.
  • Shortness of breath. Some people who have asthma say they can't catch their breath or they feel out of breath. You may feel like you can't get air out of your lungs.

Mild asthma symptoms usually get better with treatment by asthma medication. Moderate or severe symptoms might take longer to treat or may even worsen causing a severe asthma attack. Acute asthma attacks are also called flare-ups or exacerbations.

If you experience these symptoms it doesn’t necessarily mean you have asthma, but it also doesn’t guarantee you don’t. To make sure contact your doctor as soon as possible or make a tele-appointment with doctor with the online doctor app My live doctors. Online medical consultations are not only quick and convenient but they save time and money too!

Signs of worsening asthma

  • When asthma symptoms become more frequent and bothersome
  • Increased breathing difficulty
  • Using inhaler more frequently

When should you see a doctor?

When asthma symptoms become severe it can cause an exacerbated asthma attack, in which case it can be life threatening. Signs of an asthma emergency include:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Worsening shortness of breath
  • No or little relief of symptoms after using inhaler
  • Shortness of breath during minimal activity

You should talk to your doctor about what measures you should take in an emergency asthma attack when your symptoms worsen and when you need emergency treatment. Online health services can help you connect to online doctors with a few clicks on your smartphone. Telemedicine apps like My live doctors can provide online medical consultation and work with you to devise an asthma action plan that you can use during an emergency.

Sometimes asthma symptoms flare up in particular situations such as exercise (exercise-induced asthma), at work if you’re exposed to harsh chemicals or irritants (occupational asthma) or when it’s triggered by allergens such as dust/pollen (allergy-induced asthma).

What causes asthma?

There are several triggers of asthma or things that can worsen asthma symptoms when you come into contact with them.

  • Allergens from dust, animal fur, cockroaches, mold, and pollens from trees, grasses, and flowers
  • Irritants such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, chemicals or dust in the workplace, compounds in home décor products, and sprays (such as hairspray)
  • Medicines such as aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and nonselective beta-blockers
  • Sulfites in foods and drinks
  • Viral upper respiratory infections, such as colds
  • Physical activity, including exercise

Asthma signs and symptoms are triggered by different things for different people and they react differently too. Your doctor will help you find out some of the triggers. Sometimes asthma symptoms are mistaken for allergy symptoms. Find doctors online for quick relief of allergy symptoms.

How do you diagnose asthma?

Diagnosis of asthma is based on a detailed history and examination of patient. The only way to confirm the diagnosis however is to check how your lungs are working by getting Pulmonary function tests. These tests measure the amount of air you breathe in and out and how fast you can blow air out. It also detects how your airway reacts to certain exposures.

Asthma treatment

To effectively control asthma you will need to team up with your doctor to manage asthma symptoms. There are certain points to note in asthma management:

  • Extensively work with your doctor to manage symptoms and other conditions that may interfere or influence asthma management
  • Avoid allergens or triggers that may illicit an asthma attack or worsen symptoms

Asthma is treated with short-acting or ‘rescue’ medication that provide quick relief of symptoms and long-acting medication that are taken over a longer period of time.

Short-acting medications include

  • Ventolin inhalers which are quick to open the airway and act within minutes to relieve asthma symptoms
  • Ipratropium or Atrovent inhalers which are also bronchodilators and work quickly to relax the airway.
  • Oral/Inhaled steroids are used for severe asthma symptoms.
  • Long-acting medication include:
  • Inhaled steroids and Beta agonists, both of which reduce inflammation and need to be used days or weeks ahead of an asthma attack to ensure maximum benefit. Beta agonists should be used in combination with steroids.
  • Leukotriene moderators are taken orally and help relieve asthma symptoms for up to 24 hours.

Bottom line

While there is no cure for asthma, it can be managed effectively enough for it not to hinder daily life activities. Just follow doctor’s orders monitor your symptoms, pace yourself and stay healthy. For more information or professional guidance please visit www.mylivedoctors.com.

 

FIND DOCTORS ONLINE AND KEEP A CHECK ON YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE WITHOUT GOING TO THE HOSPITAL

Do you know, what could happen with uncontrolled high blood pressure? High blood pressure is a deadly disease, which is not easy to control for many. A recent study demonstrates that only 54% of all adults with high blood pressure or hypertension actually have it under control. Are you part of the statistics for uncontrolled hypertension? If you answered yes then visit your doctor as soon as possible or find doctors online to get treated and learn how to manage it! Let us talk a little bit more about that. Are you concerned about your disease? Do you know, it is one of the major causes of heart disease and heart attacks? It can also lead to debilitating complications like stroke, vision loss and kidney failure.

What is blood pressure anyway?

Blood pressure refers to the force exerted by blood in the blood vessels. When the pressure exerted against artery walls becomes too high it may eventually cause health problems such as heart disease and chronic hypertension. How high your blood pressure goes depends on the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries

Let’s put this into perspective. Normal blood pressure is 120 over 80 mm of mercury (mmHg), but hypertension is higher than 130 over 80 mmHg. A high diastolic blood pressure i.e. over 90 mmHg can be life threatening. Broadly speaking, high blood pressure or hypertension is preventable. Your dietary habits and lifestyle play a huge role in keeping blood pressure within a normal and healthy range. Find doctors online and book a tele-appointment with doctor and receive guidance as to how you can make healthy lifestyle choices and prevent this dangerous condition. 

Hypertension is a growing health concern all over the world. Approximately 85 million people in the U.S. alone have high blood pressure. Monitoring and keeping a check on your blood pressure readings is important! Since there are mobile apps out there for everything now, download My live doctors, an online doctor app which not only connects you to online doctors but provides online health services like blood pressure monitors and logs where you can record daily blood pressure measurements and share with your doctor too!

What causes high blood pressure?

There are two types of hypertension:

  • Primary hypertension. Also known as essential hypertension, this type has no underlying or identifiable cause. It tends to develop slowly and gradually over many years.
  • Secondary hypertension. As the name indicates, this type is caused by an underlying condition. It usually occurs suddenly and various conditions such as stress can cause it. Other common causes of secondary hypertension include:
  1. Obstructive sleep apnea
  2. Kidney problems
  3. Adrenal gland tumors
  4. Thyroid problems
  5. Certain defects you're born with (congenital) in blood vessels
  6. Certain medications, such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and some prescription drugs
  7. Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines

What are the risk factors for high blood pressure?

Since hypertension is hugely preventable there are certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of getting high blood pressure.

  • Age. The likelihood of developing high blood pressure increases as you get older. Men are mostly affected before the age of 60, women are more likely to acquire it after 65.
  • Family history. High blood pressure tends to run in families. You’re more likely to get it if a first degree relative has it too.
  • Diet. Unhealthy food choices like refined and fried foods and foods with a high sodium content can contribute to the development of high blood pressure.
  • Being obese or overweight. The more you weigh the more blood you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. As the volume of blood circulated through your blood vessels increases, so does the pressure on your artery walls.
  • Lack of physical activity. If you’re not that active and tend to rest more than move around this will contribute to weight gain which will in turn contribute to high blood pressure.
  • Smoking. Cigarettes contain harmful chemicals and smoking or chewing tobacco can damage the lining of artery walls increasing the chances of getting high blood pressure.
  • Alcohol. Over time, heavy drinking can damage your heart. Having more than one drink a day for women and more than two drinks a day for men may affect your blood pressure. Drinking in moderation is alright.
  • Chronic disease. Long-term medical conditions like diabetes and kidney disease may increase your risk of getting high blood pressure.

If you ticked off any o the above and think you might be at risk of developing hypertension then contact your doctor or find best doctors online to help you make healthier choices and prevent hypertension altogether.

Signs and symptoms of high blood pressure

Most people may have high blood pressure and not even know it, which is why it is often known as a ‘silent killer’. High blood pressure may have no symptoms at all even at dangerously high levels. Those who do experience symptoms may have:

  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Nosebleeds

Although these symptoms are not exclusive to high blood pressure, it wouldn’t hurt to check your blood pressure if you ever experience such symptoms.

How do you treat high blood pressure?

Small changes in your lifestyle can go a long way like eating healthier, incorporating more physical activity into your day, losing weight and quit smoking.

Your doctor may prescribe anti-hypertensives which are pills that help control blood pressure. Treatment depends on blood pressure by age, risk factors and whether you have other medical conditions that may affect treatment.

Your doctor will talk you through all of it or if you would like a second opinion use online health services like My live doctors to find doctors online. For more information on heart disease or how to manage a heart attack please visit www.mylivedoctors.com.

5 SIDE EFFECTS OF EATING TOO MUCH IN RAMADAN!

Most of you are probably familiar with the Islamic month of Ramadan, or the month of fasting as they call it. It’s a time to reflect, do charity, and help the more unfortunate. It teaches self-control, discipline and a healthy way of life! Ramadan is celebrated by 1.8 billion Muslims all over the world!

With Ramadan also comes shopping, parties, family dinners with Grandma’s famous whatever recipe and more food! People basically ‘reward’ themselves for fasting the whole day and tend to over-compensate it with overeating! This can seriously affect overall health. You might want to book tele appointment  online  to   find doctors online to help incase you experience indigestion, bloating or heartburn. Online doctor apps not only save time, but are safe and cheaper too and since time is of essence is Ramadan this would be a great way to receive expert medical advice.

Did you know that overeating is actually more common a problem than you may think? It’s not only limited to Ramadan or other holidays. In fact, it only goes into overdrive during this time!

According to new CDC stats, 40% of U.S. adults are obese. It all starts off with overeating. Yes, overeating one time won’t make you fat, but chances are it won’t only be ‘one time’, unless you’re a health freak who can yoga yourself back to health.

People often underestimate their portion size and end up consuming up to 70% more than what their body needs! That’s a lot, and if this habit sticks, then slowly and surely, you’ll probably be a size or two bigger by next Ramadan! Online health services like My live doctors can help you find doctors online to work out a special diet plan for the month of Ramadan so you can stay active and reap the spiritual and physical benefits of fasting in the Holy month.

Health benefits of fasting

It’s an absurd notion to think that while fasting you were depriving your body of food. It’s quite the opposite actually. Research suggests that there are numerous health benefits of fasting such as:

  • Detoxification of blood from unwanted waste substances and toxins
  • Weight loss
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Mental health
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces cholesterol

So why overeat and throw away these amazing changes your body is going through. It’s only a couple of meals here and there you say? What harm can a little over-eating do? Let’s break it down.

How does overeating affect your health?

Overeating refers to consuming excess food in relation to the energy one expends. Let’s try to understand why you overeat in the first place, despite knowing that it’s not good for you.

Unfortunately, your body is quick to adapt to changing behaviors like overeating by releasing dopamine (a happy chemical) in the brain, so you feel pleasure while eating.

So, even if it causes some discomfort, you continue to indulge or feel compelled to continue eating. This is how food addiction begins, which will ultimately lead to unhealthy weight gain.

Other health conditions, that are quicker to show up are:

  • Heartburn

It’s not that chutney or sauce that caused your chest to catch fire! When you eat more than you’re supposed to, then some of the food along with stomach acid backs into your esophagus. It can be the worst experience for some and the chest pain is very often mistaken for a heart attack!

  • Abdominal pain

Having a tummy ache or discomfort after indulging in your pie is a no-brainer! What else did you expect? Normally, your stomach can store up to 1 to 2 cups of food. When this limit is crossed, then the stomach stretches and pushes up against the diaphragm. Now you know why it gets difficult to breathe after stuffing your face. No wonder Uncle Steve always loosens his pants before mealtime!

  • Bloating

Overeating is the most common cause of bloating, the condition of your belly feeling swollen. The feast you just had is going to wreak havoc inside your tummy and let off a lot of gas! Well, isn’t that a ‘volatile’ situation to be in?! Fatty foods and eating too fast may enhance bloating too.

  • Diarrhea

Filling your stomach too much and too fast may cause it to explode, literally! You might be spending the next couple of days counting the tiles in your restroom. Certain foods can irritate your bowels and stretch them exaggerating certain reflexes and transit time leading to diarrhea! Food that isn’t cooked thoroughly can leave you hanging for much longer than a couple of days.

  • Constipation

At the other end of the spectrum, if you consume too much junk food or foods that lack fiber like fruits, veggies and whole grains, your arteries aren’t the only things that will get blocked, if you know what I mean! Constipation can be a real pain the butt, in every sense of the word! Overeating makes you lazy and that doesn’t translate well to your bowels either!

The fact of the matter is, it’s alright to spoil yourself during holiday season and succumb to guilty pleasures, but at the same time it’s important to know when to stop. If you experience any of the above symptoms during Ramadan feel free to find doctors online with the online doctor app My live Doctors and get treated from the comfort of your own home. Download the app for FREE on your smartphone or mobile device, sign up and look up your doctor. You can go through patient reviews that will help you select an online doctor. It’s safe and reliable. Communicate with them through emails, texts, audio or video calls. My live doctors will help you find doctors online in Pakistan in no time. Online doctors are also authorized to write e-prescriptions so why go the doctor’s office when you can get a prescription online too!  

It’s always a good idea to contact your doctor to help you with a fresh start, and now you can get expert advice even on the go! Go to www.mylivedoctors.com and connect with a licensed physician or specialist and come up with a health plan you can stick to, even during Ramadan!

5 COMPLICATIONS OF DIABETES THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT!

There has been a lot of talk about diabetes in the past few years more-so than ever before, and that’s because the numbers of affected individuals are skyrocketing, not only in America but all over the world. This Is largely because people have stopped taking their health seriously.

If you think that you’re not living a healthy lifestyle then talk to your doctor and begin making small lifestyle changes today to prevent diabetes altogether! Another great way to get expert medical advice is through an online doctor app. It’s a quick and convenient way to avail online health services from healthcare professionals without having to go the doctor’s office.

Before we get into the details, let’s go over the basics of diabetes.

What is diabetes?

When your body doesn’t regulate glucose or blood sugar the way it’s supposed to resulting in increased levels of glucose in the blood, this condition is referred to as diabetes. Normally, the pancreas secretes insulin that regulates glucose levels, especially after a meal. Glucose is taken up the cells of the body and used for energy.

In diabetes, theirs is either little or no insulin production, hence the glucose remains in the blood instead of inside the cells where it’s supposed to be.

Different types of diabetes

There most common types of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2.

What is diabetes type 1?

Type 1 DM is also called juvenile diabetes because it typically begins in childhood. In T1DM, the insulin producing cells of the pancreas are destroyed by the body’s own cells, also known as an autoimmune process.

Studies suggest that there are certain genes responsible for causing T1DM along with other environmental triggers. Yep, your own body goes against you, if you’re lucky enough to be genetically susceptible. Just to be politically correct.

It ultimately results in high blood sugar levels. The real bummer is that it is an insulin-dependent condition, which means that daily insulin shots is the only way to manage it effectively.

What is diabetes type 2

Type 2 DM differs from Type 1 because,

a) it’s not insulin dependent

b) it typically begins in adulthood, though can occur at any age

c) the pancreas does produce insulin, but the cells become resistant to it, a phenomenon known as insulin resistance resulting in hyperglycemia or raised blood sugar levels.

What causes diabetes?

There are many factors involved in the development of diabetes such as:

  • Obesity
  • Genetics
  • Poor eating habits
  • Smoking
  • Other medical conditions associated with insulin resistance
  • Inactivity
  • Family history
  • Miscellaneous environmental triggers
  • Stress
  • Drug-induced
  • Gestational

For more information about the causes and risk factors of diabetes book a tele appointment with doctor online with an online doctor app called My live doctors. Download it on your smartphone for FREE, register online and look up your doctor right away!

Signs and symptoms of diabetes

The most common diabetes signs include:

  • Peeing more, especially at night
  • Feeling thirsty throughout the day
  • Increased appetite
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Recurrent vaginal or vulva infections in females

Long-standing diabetes can lead to a number of complications. Here are 5 of the most important ones that you should know about.

Diabetic gastropathy

When you begin to develop stomach problems more frequently, it may be due to diabetes. Stomach contractility begins to slow down, muscle tone is affected and overall it becomes extremely sensitive and leads to:

  • indigestion
  • frequent upset stomach,
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • bloating

It is the result of poor glycemic control. Your doctor may advise endoscopy to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.

 Diabetic neuropathy

If you begin to feel a tingling sensation in your hands and feet it may be one of the effects of hyperglycemia i.e. nerve damage. It may give you a ‘pins and needles’ like feeling on the extremities, often exhibiting a glove and stocking distribution. Patients may describe it as discomfort or burning as well.

 Diabetic retinopathy

Chronic diabetes can damage the blood vessels that supply the retina (light-sensitive tissue responsible for vision) situated at the back of the eye. According to the National Eye Institute, it is the most common cause of vision loss among diabetics and the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults! That’s a huge life adjustment for anyone! Signs and symptoms are usually progressive in nature:

  • Floaters
  • Distorted vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Micro-aneurysms
  • Hemorrhages

 Diabetic nephropathy

One of the major organs affected by diabetes is the kidney. It ends up becoming a long-term kidney disease caused by long-standing diabetes. It can even lead to end stage kidney disease or kidney failure! Symptoms include:

  • Swelling of feet or ankles
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • Increased urination
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Nausea and vomiting

Non -Alcoholic Fatty liver disease

As the name indicates, it’s a very common condition in which there is accumulation of excess fat in the liver of people who consume no or little to none alcohol. Diabetes is one the causes of a fatty liver. Liver function may be compromised and symptoms may manifest as:

  • jaundice or yellowish discoloration of the skin
  • mild pain on the right side of the abdomen beneath the ribs
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • flu-like symptoms

How to reverse diabetes?

Thankfully, the treatment of diabetes can in fact reverse the condition. Besides oral hypoglycemic agents and insulin, it really depends on how you treat your body and change your lifestyle for the better.

Diabetes treatment involves:

  • prokinetic agents for gastroparesis
  • gabapentins and pregabalins to improve symptoms of  neuropathy
  • ACE inhibitors, ARBs and diuretics to maintain blood pressure within the target range and relieve stress on kidneys
  • Laser treatments and surgery to treat and promote growth of new blood vessels in the eye
  • Vitrectomy surgery in the eye

These treatment modalities will only help delay the progression of disease and are of little use if you don’t step up to the plate and work for a healthier lifestyle.

You will have to make different choices now, to not only improve your symptoms but get rid of them completely! Studies show that patients have gotten off their meds and insulin (in T2DM) just by losing weight! In addition to that, you should:

  • Eat healthier
  • Increase activity
  • Exercise
  • Stop smoking

Find doctors online and discuss the best diabetes diet with them to help you live a healthier and happier life. To consult with a top-notch diabetologist, go to www.mylivedoctors.com and book an online appointment today!

6 TIPS TO STAY HEALTHY THIS RAMADAN!

With Ramadan just a few days away, you and your family have probably started preparing for this season of happiness. An important part of this month of fasting is food and it’s very easy to ‘overcompensate’ fasting by overeating. There are so many health benefits of fasting and by eating the wrong types of food you may end up becoming unhealthy by the end of the month.

If you want to avoid side effects of overeating like stomach problems, indigestion, heartburn and gaining weight you might want to work out a diet plan with your doctor for the month of Ramadan. Or you can contact an online doctor from your smartphone by downloading My live doctors, an online doctor app. 

The month of Ramadan can be tiring and it might take a couple of days getting used to. Even though this is a time that calls for celebration with family and friends, the best way you can enjoy it to the fullest is by sticking to a healthy routine.

Here are some health hacks you can incorporate into the month of Ramadan to ensure you stay active, healthy and happy during this month!

Never skip suhoor

Just like breakfast is the most important meal of the day, suhoor is the early morning meal that will keep you going throughout the day during your fast. Skipping suhoor will not only deprive you of the energy you need for the rest of the day but you will also tend to overeat at sunset as you break your fast. Make sure you have a well-balanced and nutritious suhoor consisting of:

  • Complex carbs like oats, wheat, lentils and grains. They are slow-releasing carbs, keep you feeling fuller throughout the day and keep your blood sugar steady.
  • High fiber foods like dates, figs, whole wheat cereals and grains. They also keep you fuller for longer and prevent constipation.
  • Proteins are an extremely important source of energy. `Foods such as eggs, cheese, yogurt and nuts will help replenish your energy throughout the day.

Talk to an online doctor or a dietician to help you with a special diet plan for Ramadan. Just download My live doctors on your smartphone for FREE and instantly find doctors online in Pakistan. Book an online doctor appointment with just a few clicks.

Drink lots of water and stay hydrated

Water is by far the most important ‘nutrient’ your body needs. Considering approximately 70% of your body comprises of water, it is constantly needed for different functions. When you fast during Ramadan a good portion of the day goes without water. At sunset when you break your fast make sure you have some water before you begin eating. It restores energy levels, regulates body temperature, helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy and also prevents muscle cramps and spasms. When your body is in a state of fasting it conserves water so your body can use it throughout the day but you need to refill it when you break your fast to make sure your body has enough for the next day as well.

Break your fast slowly

It might be tempting to stuff your face with delicious edibles when you break your fast but it is not a wise thing to do. During your fast your body has been deprived of food and water, your metabolism has slowed down so you should begin eating again slowly. Gradually increase intake so your digestive and metabolic system can adjust accordingly. Consider the following tips:

  • Break your fast with dates. It’s a great source of instant energy and contains potassium which regulates insulin levels. It has simple sugars which are easy to digest and absorb, perfect for a fasted body.
  • Avoid heavy, oily and fried food for iftar. It’s not easy to digest and may lead to heartburn and indigestion. It will leave you feeling bloated and won’t help restore energy levels.
  • Make sure you consume a good serving of fruits and vegetables and a small portion of carbs with some protein. Making sure you have a balanced diet incorporating from all the food groups will ensure a healthy body and healthy mind.
  • Try including soups as part of your meal when you break the fast. Soups are a great way to incorporate different vegetables, vitamins and nutrients. Warm soups provide a soothing effect to the gut and are light on the digestive system. Try to minimize salt intake as it can lead to high blood pressure. Find doctors online to help you keep a check on your blood pressure this month

 Much on something at home

The smartest way to maintain a healthy weight during Ramadan is to eat something before you leave home if you’re planning to eat out. For instance, have an apple with peanut butter or a whole grain bagel with cream cheese before heading out the door. They’ll keep your energy levels high and keep you half-full before dinner. This way you won’t be scouring for food at the restaurant and make healthier choices!

Pack some healthy snacks

Ramadan is a time for parties and festivities with family and friends. Even though there are always healthy food options at most parties, it might help to pack some nutrient-packed snacks of your own. If you’re going outdoors, you could grab a handful of nuts or a couple of granola bars. Filling and low on the calorie budget too! If you’re craving for something sweet, go for fruit instead of pie. Fresh seasonal fruits like a slice of cold watermelon or citruses will not only fill you up but keep you hydrated too!

Physical activity

Try to incorporate a lap or two around the block after breaking you fast or after dinner. It will really help speed up your metabolism and aid the digestion process as well. You won’t feel sluggish or beat even after a long and happening day! Avoid working out during fasting hours as it can cause a dip in blood sugar levels, low blood pressure and may lead to dizziness and fainting. It’s not safe or healthy. Having a light and nutritious meal at sunset will help you with light-moderate workout.

Bottom line

Nothing fancy or hard to remember. Just some basics that can really be a game changer so you can enjoy your holiday to the fullest! For more info on the effects of overeating please visit www.mylivedoctors.com.

WHY DO MY JOINTS ACHE ALL THE TIME

Do you ask yourself why your joints ache all the time? Have you tried to talk to your doctor about it? You could try to find doctors online for expert medical advice as well. Online health services are a quick and convenient way to get treated for more than 80% of your health problems. Why endure long waiting lines and doctor’s appointments when you can find doctors online with your smartphone?

Joints are the connections between bones. You have large joints such as the hip and knee joint and you have small joints like those of the hands and feet. Joints play a vital role in providing stability to the body and help in movement as well. Any damage or injury to a joint can cause can cause a lot of pain and make it difficult to move.

What causes joint pain?

There are several sudden joint pain causes. To find out why your joints might be aching find best doctors online with an online doctor app. Joint pain can not only cause discomfort but in severe cases it can be debilitating. There are many causes of joint pain. For instance, inflammation of tendons, bursae, adjoining muscles and ligaments. Other common causes of joint pain include:

  • Osteoarthritis. In this condition the affected joint becomes painful and stiff. It is the most common type of arthritis. It may affect a single joint or multiple joints, but most commonly the knees, hips and small joints of the hands are affected. Although pain and stiffness are hallmark symptoms of this condition, other signs and symptoms of OA include swelling, redness over affected joint, or crackling sound while moving the joint.
  • Gout. Gout causes sudden joint pain, usually affecting the big toe first or fingers, wrists elbows or knees. Along with pain in joint, you are likely to experience redness and swelling of affected joint. Gout is usually caused by increased levels of uric acid in the blood. This can cause uric acid crystal formation and deposition in joints. It is better to get it treated right away to avoid lasting damage to the affected joint. Make sure you contact your doctor if pain worsens or you come down with a fever. Or you can use online health services and find doctors online by downloading an online doctor app like My live doctors on your smartphone or mobile device.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. RA is a chronic condition which is characterized by pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints. It usually affects the joints of the hands, feet and wrists. Most patients complain of stiffness of joints when they wake up in the morning, also called ‘morning stiffness’ RA is also associated with generalized symptoms like fatigue, weight loss and lack of energy.
  • Strains and Sprains. A sprain usually involves ligaments, the tissue that connects two or more bones at a joint.  A strain affects the muscle or tendon, the tissue that connects muscle to the bone. Sprains and strains cause joint pain, stiffness, swelling and bruising. Some people also experience muscle cramping and difficulty in movement.
  • Bone cancer. Pain is the most common symptom of bone cancer. It usually becomes more noticeable as the tumor grows or cancer spreads. The bone or joint pain is a dull or deep ache. In the initial stages the pain may only occur at night or when you active.
  • Fractured/broken bone. Most people feel an acute stabbing type of pain immediately after a bone breaks. However, sometimes children get fractures and don’t even know it because there is no pain at all. You can expect the sharp, stabbing pain to lessen soon after the doctor fixes the fracture, but you may still experience mild pain for 3-6 weeks after surgery.

Injury to the bone or joint such as a ruptured ligament or knee fracture may cause bleeding into the joint as well. This is known as ‘hemarthrosis’. It is more common in people who take anti-coagulants such as warfarin. Signs that you should look out for are:

  • Swelling of the affected joint
  • Redness of joint
  • Warm on touch
  • Stiffness and bruising which usually occur soon after the injury.

If you have a very swollen knee soon after an injury and the joint pain seems to be getting worse then go the Emergency department as soon as you can to get it evaluated. In the meantime you can use the online doctor app My live doctors and find doctors online for expert medical advice, a second opinion or for follow-up consultations. If you run out of painkillers you can contact your e-doctor to get a prescription online too!

Less common causes of joint pain include:

  • Reactive arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Septic arthritis
  • Hemophilia
  • A tropical infection
  • Recurrent dislocation of the joint

Joint pain treatment

Management of joint pain includes measures like taking painkiller medication and topical pain relievers to relieve pain, stiffness and swelling. Your doctor may advise moderate forms of exercise or physiotherapy to ease your joint back into normal movement. Stretching is extremely important before exercising to make sure that you have a good range of motion in your joints.

If you’re overweight or obese, losing weight and maintaining it in a healthy weight range will reduce the stress on the joints. Obesity can affect your health in several ways. It’s better to find doctors online to help with obesity sooner than later.

Joint pain treatment depends upon the cause of your joint pain. You will  have to discuss treatment options with your doctor as well as alternative treatment methods like surgery.

For more information on this and other health conditions please visit www.mylivedoctors.com.

TACKLE HIGH CHOLESTEROL LEVELS NATURALLY

 

Do you have high blood pressure? Is your blood sugar high too? If your answer is yes, that probably means high cholesterol levels aren’t far away either! You might want to find doctors online to help you prevent or treat any of these medical conditions. Download My live doctors, a doctor availability app to connect with online health professionals by booking a tele-appointment with doctor today! These medical conditions often co-exist or developing one condition usually leads to the other. They can damage other organs and tissues by acting independently, but together they brew up the perfect storm!

How common is hypercholesterolemia anyway?

Did you know that around 73 million Americans have high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol? Uncontrolled hypercholesterolemia increases your risk of heart disease, the no.1 cause of death in the U.S. It has become a growing global concern.

What is cholesterol?

If your doctor hasn’t discussed this with you yet, you can always find doctors online to educate you about hypercholesterolemia. You’ve probably heard that poor eating habits, less exercise and sometimes even stress can have detrimental effects on your overall health and hypercholesterolemia or raised cholesterol levels is one of them. The fact of the matter is, you hear it all the time but you don’t think you’re going to get it- until you do. So let’s go over some basics and learn more about what cholesterol is and how it affects the body.

Online health services like My Live doctors can help you find best physician online. All you have to do is book an appointment for an online medical consultation.  Cholesterol is a hard, dense collection of fat found in all cells of your body. It is primarily produced by the liver and helps the body make hormones and Vitamin D. It’s also present in bile, which helps digest your food. Cholesterol has an expansive reach because it travels in the bloodstream.

Different types of cholesterol

There are two types of cholesterol:

  • Good cholesterol or HDL which is good for the heart and carries the bad cholesterol away from the heart to your liver so your body can get rid of it.
  • Bad cholesterol or LDL which deposits in the coronary arteries (those that supply the heart). It leading to atherosclerosis or ‘hardening of the arteries’.

The arteries begin to narrow and make it difficult for the blood to pass through. Kind of like water trying to get through a blocked drainage pipe. The pressure begins to build up because of increased resistance to blood flow in the arteries.

Only about 1 in 3 adults with high LDL levels have the condition controlled and less than half are getting the treatment they need to manage it!

Triglycerides is another type of fat in the body and it belongs to the LDL group. High TGL levels can cause heart disease, stroke and heart attack. Some people are genetically predisposed to producing high levels of cholesterol on their own.

When was the last time you had your cholesterol checked or went to the doctor’s office for a routine check-up? Maybe this would be a good time to get checked out before something takes you by surprise. Online health services like telemedicine platforms are a quick and convenient way to get in touch with professional online doctors. Find best doctors online to get a second opinion or expert medical advice form the comfort of your own home.

What causes high cholesterol levels?

High cholesterol causes serious medical conditions like heart attacks and strokes. Unchecked and untreated hypercholesterolemia can lead to high cholesterol symptoms like:

  • Chest pain/pressure/fullness in chest
  • Fatigue
  • Yellow lumps on upper and lower eyelids
  • Pain in lower legs

There are various factors that affect cholesterol levels some of which you cannot control. For instance,

  • Genes. People who are genetically prone to hypercholesterolemia tend to produce more fat and you just have to learn how to deal with it. It runs in the family.
  • Age. The higher up you go in numbers, the higher everything else gets too, including cholesterol levels if you don’t take care of yourself. So much for ‘ageing gracefully’.
  • Gender. Research says that before menopause, women have a lower total cholesterol level than men of the same age. The tables turn after menopause though, as LDL levels rise.
  • Race. African Americans show an increased tendency for high cholesterol levels as compared to Caucasians.

Now here are some factors you CAN control!

  • Poor diet
  • Obesity
  • Increased waist circumference
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking

How do you tackle hypercholesterolemia naturally?

Unless you want to experience a heart attack, just to say you had one (i.e. if you live to tell the tale) then go ahead and do what you’re still doing. Life after a heart attack is NOT easy! The only reason you’re alive is because your heart is beating. An attack weakens the heart muscle and it does not function the way it once used to. There’s a reason they say prevention is better than cure. It saves you whole lot of time, energy and money!

Having said that, it’s never too late to turn your life around! Here is how you can tackle high cholesterol and bring it back to normal naturally! High cholesterol treatment includes the following points.

  • Improve your eating habits. Make a U-turn when it comes to your diet! That is the first thing that should be on your ‘get back on track’ to-do list! Cross out all those fatty and fried foods, carbonated or fizzy drinks and try to cook fresh food at home as much as you can. Avoid anything white, like white sugar, white rice, white flour and replace them with browns and whole grains.
  • Increase activity. Take small steps to incorporate more physical activity into your routine. Walk to your local grocery store, avoid the elevator and maybe squeeze in a nice evening stroll after dinner before bed time. Take up sports or join a gym. It may even help you sleep better!

Weight management. Being overweight greatly increases your risk of developing hypercholesterolemia. If you’re tipping the scales a bit, then focusing on losing weight may help reduce your bad cholesterol considerably!

  • Manage stress. Research suggests that chronic stress can increase LDL levels over a period of time. Try to eliminate as many stress factors around you as you can. You can attend workshops on stress management or talk to your doctor about it.
  • Quit smoking. When you stop smoking, your HDL levels increase. The good cholesterol carries away the bad cholesterol, so just go cold turkey! Quit smoking today for a better heart tomorrow!

For more help on how to manage your cholesterol levels, go to www.mylivedoctors.com and contact an online doctor today! You can instantly book a tele-appointment with doctor a licensed physician and get expert medical advice on the go!

You know what they say, if it’s a matter of the heart, take it seriously!

 

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem that affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. Contrary to popular belief it is a treatable condition with proper medical guidance. If you think you have PCOS or would like to get expert medical advice on this topic, find best doctors online by using online health services and skip the waiting room at the doctor’s office altogether!

What is PCOS?

Women with PCOS have a hormonal and metabolism problems that may affect their overall health and appearance. The hormonal imbalance of PCOS may also cause infertility, but with the right treatment conceiving a baby is possible. Signs and symptoms of PCOS often develop around the time of the first menstrual period during puberty. You might develop PCOS later in life, for example, in response to substantial weight gain.

If you have unexplained weight gain and are trying to conceive but with difficulty, you might want to consult your doctor. A quick and convenient way to get medical guidance is through an online doctor app that will instantly help you find doctors online that you can discuss your case with. Data shows that 5% to 10% of women between 15 and 44, or during the years you can have children, have PCOS. Most women are diagnosed with PCOS in their 20s and 30s, when they have problems getting pregnant and see their doctor. But PCOS can happen at any age after puberty.

Who can get PCOS?

Women of all races and ethnicities are at risk of PCOS. Your risk of PCOS may be higher if you have obesity or if you have a mother, sister, or aunt with PCOS.

PCOS signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of PCOS may vary from person to person. A diagnosis of PCOS is made when you experience at least two of these signs:

  • Irregular periods. Infrequent, irregular or prolonged menstrual cycles are the most common sign of PCOS. For example, you might have fewer than nine periods a year, more than 35 days between periods and abnormally heavy periods.
  • Increased androgen levels. Elevated levels of male hormone may result in physical signs, such as excess facial and body hair (hirsutism), and occasionally severe acne and male-pattern baldness.
  • Polycystic ovaries. Your ovaries might be enlarged and contain follicles that surround the eggs. As a result, the ovaries might fail to function regularly. These changes can be appreciated on an ultrasound.

If you notice any of these symptoms, talking to your doctor about it would be a good idea. Or you could book a tele-appointment with doctor through an online doctor app called My live doctors. It not only saves time but is lighter on the pocket too! All you have to do is download the app on your smartphone for FREE, look up your doctor and book a doctor appointment online!

Does having PCOS mean you can’t get pregnant?

No. Having PCOS does not mean you can't get pregnant. PCOS is one of the most common, but treatable, causes of infertility in women. In women with PCOS, the hormonal imbalance may interfere with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation). If you don't ovulate, you can't get pregnant. You can talk to your doctor about ways to increase your chances of ovulation and to raise your chance of getting pregnant. You can also use an Ovulation Calculator to see which days in your menstrual cycle you are most likely to be fertile.

What causes PCOS?

The exact cause of PCOS isn't known. Factors that might play a role include:

  • Excess insulin. Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas that allows cells to use sugar form food consumed for your body's primary energy supply. If your cells become resistant to the action of insulin, then your blood sugar levels can rise and your body might produce more insulin. Excess insulin might lead to excess androgen production, causing difficulty with ovulation.
  • Low-grade inflammation. This term is used to describe white blood cells' production of substances to fight infection. Research has shown that women with PCOS have a type of low-grade inflammation that stimulates polycystic ovaries to produce androgens, which can lead to heart and blood vessel problems.
  • Heredity. Research suggests that certain genes might be linked to PCOS.
  • Excess androgen. The ovaries produce abnormally high levels of androgen, resulting in hirsutism and acne.

Diagnosis of PCOS

Your doctor will take a complete history and perform several tests to confirm a diagnosis.

  • Physical exam. Your doctor will measure your blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and waist size. They will also look at your skin for extra hair on your face, chest or back, acne, or skin discoloration. Your doctor may look for any hair loss or signs of other health conditions (such as an enlarged thyroid gland).
  • Pelvic exam. Your doctor may do a pelvic exam for signs of extra male hormones (for example, an enlarged clitoris) and check to see if your ovaries are enlarged or swollen.
  • Pelvic ultrasound (sonogram). This test uses sound waves to examine your ovaries for cysts and check the endometrium (lining of the uterus or womb).
  • Blood tests. Blood tests check your androgen hormone levels, sometimes called "male hormones." Your doctor will also check for other hormones related to other common health problems that can be mistaken for PCOS, such as thyroid disease. Your doctor may also test your cholesterol levels and test you for diabetes.

Treatment of PCOS

You can manage certain symptoms at home and try to improve them. For instance, try adopting a healthier lifestyle to facilitate weight loss. Losing weight will normalize your insulin levels blood glucose levels. It will also lessen inflammation. For excess body/facial hair you can try hair removal creams, laser hair removal or electrolysis at treatment centers.

Other than this your doctor might prescribe certain medications like birth control pills (for irregular periods) and anti-androgen medication among others to help with symptom relief. If you don’t have access to a healthcare provider you can find doctors online at www.mylivedoctors.com. Work out a treatment plan with your online doctor today for a healthier tomorrow!