Ingestion of foreign bodies in children

Foreign bodies being ingested by toddlers and children have been an occurrence that is rampant throughout the world. In general, children belonging to the age range of 6 months to 3 years are ones that are known to ingest foreign particles. Medical attention is given to most cases who have been reported by parents or someone who may have witnessed them swallowing something that appeared like a foreign body. Most of these children are asymptomatic or have symptoms that are transient at the point of ingestion.
Children have a tendency to put everything in their line of sight into their mouths to feel it and it is almost impossible to child-proof one’s house completely as there will always be something that they might intake in any case. Even after having your house, the daycares made child-proof, there is still a great possibility of your child ingesting something that he/she might be playing with such as an eraser, torn part of a nipple, hair clips, chalk, pencil shards, etc.
Let us further discuss the risks, diagnosis, and management for such situations in detail.
Background
The background of these cases must be considered to detect and understand such situations. Children with psychiatric conditions or any mental anomaly may ingest foreign objects voluntarily without the awareness of their consequences. Unsupervised children below the age of 4 years are likely to eat or swallow foreign bodies too. The ingestion of any foreign particle is unlikely to cause grave damage to the child as it is highly likely to be excreted eventually, but the risk lies if the foreign bodies get lodged in their esophagus by any chance which would need immediate attention.

Main points
• Most of these cases of ingestions hold little or no risk to the child’s life and can be managed first hand.
• Consumption of button batteries and magnets may pose a direct threat to the child’s life and can prove to be fatal.
• Foreign objects bigger than 6cm and wider than 2.5cm have a high risk of getting stuck in the pylorus.
• Failure of transit through the stomach of lead-based products are highly likely to lead to acute systemic lead absorption.

Identification/Assessment
• It is extremely important to identify the object that your child may have swallowed and time must be noted for future requirements at the doctor’s clinic.
• It’s necessary to identify any high-risk item, so measures can be taken accordingly.
• It must be noted if the child has developed any signs of vomiting, abdominal pain, convulsions, coughing, drooling, etc.

Treatment
When a child ingests any kind of foreign bodies such as plastic shard, a piece of a toy, straw, buttons, etc generally comes out of the body naturally through the digestive tract without much complication.
If the condition requires medical attention then you must visit the doctor at once after which the child can be managed as usual if he/she is able to eat or drink normally, is completely pain-free and does not complain of any breathing trouble.

How blood donation can actually help your health

Blood donation is not a novel act as it has been prevalent for decades, however, it is considered to be extremely noble. Blood donation is the process of having one’s blood drawn voluntarily and further used for blood transfusions and made into biopharmaceutical medications through fractionation. Though donating blood is rampant but there are several myths and misconceptions about it. This article is aimed to educate you about blood donation and how it can actually help your health and encourage you to donate blood and do your part to help someone in need.
Blood donations are generally required when patients require transfusion due to cancer, chronic anemia, bleeding disorders, sickle cell anemia, severe accidents, hereditary blood abnormalities.

So, here are some reasons why blood donation is a boon and can help improve your health:

Prevents Hemochromatosis
Hemochromatosis is a condition that is caused by excessive absorption of iron in one’s body that may be caused by anemia, alcoholism or other disorders. It is known to help reduce the risk of Hemochromatosis.

Cleanses your system
Blood donations are very useful in order to cleanse your body. Blood generally replenishes itself within one day and donating blood not only might save someone in need but also helps cleanse your system. It also helps in maintaining a good blood circulation.

For a healthy heart & Liver
Blood donations have high chances of reducing the risks of liver and heart ailments that may have been caused due to over-absorption of iron in the blood. Excessive iron in the body causes liver cirrhosis, liver failure, etc and donating your blood will help maintain the iron level in your body.

Weight Loss
Blood donors who donate blood regularly usually lose weight. This kind of weight loss is often considered healthy. Blood donation also helps reduce risks of cardiovascular diseases especially for those who are obese or on the verge of obesity.

Builds positivity
This particular point might not be directly related to your health but definitely affects the overall aspect of your body. Blood donation is often done to help others in need, especially if you have a rare blood type, which implies that the person who might be in need of the same blood type was looking for someone’s blood for longer than the rest as it is rare to get such blood types. However, having donated your blood has a positive and motivating effect on you as you are made aware that you could be the reason of someone’s treatment or might even be the cause of saving someone’s life especially in cases of accidents, disasters, etc.

Overall, blood donation has more advantages than you can imagine. However, blood donation must be done regularly but after meeting the necessary criteria to do so such as age, prerequisite health conditions, etc. Once, you are given the green flag from the doctor to go ahead and donate blood, there is nothing that should stop you from doing so!

Anti-Aging Treatments for a Younger You

The constant stress of everyday life, exposure to pollution, reduced purity of consumables and air has greatly affected the quality of life among people. This has also led to the speeding up of the aging process among a large number of the population. With the hectic schedule that governs most people’s lives, it has become difficult to take up a beauty regime to rejuvenate and protect one’s skin and health. Some of the symptoms of aging that has become prominent in both men and women are as follows:
• Droopy facial skin
• Wrinkles
• Loose skin
• Uneven skin tone
• Blemishes & pigmentation
• Open pores
• Dullness

Thankfully with innovations in technology and the medical field, many new techniques, surgeries and processes are available that help brings out the natural beauty and health of the body. Technology for stopping the process of aging might not have been discovered yet, however, there are several techniques and medical procedures that can help slow down one’s aging and furthermore correct or change some of the existing signs.
Here are some of the anti-aging treatments that one can opt for, depending on their trouble areas are:

• Skin Firming
It’s considered to be one of the most effective ways to fix droopy skin. It basically works by transporting sound waves into the skin which causes microscopic fissures that stimulate the level of collagen production that consequently helps firming up the droopy and saggy areas.

• Skin Resurfacing
It is one of the most effective procedures for skin rejuvenation that plastic surgeons often perform. It is generally used to treat skin problems like brown spots, age spots, acne scars, large pores, etc. The laser treatments help to reduce the scars and fine lines caused due to aging.

• Facelift
A facelift essentially is the process of removing excess fatty deposits and tightening the muscles around the face. It also involves removing excess skin and also rewraps the skin around your face. Most often, a facelift is coupled with other surgeries such as blepharoplasty or brow lifts.

• Botox
Botox is a substance that is produced by a strain of bacteria. It is one of the most popular anti-aging processes that people use to reduce the visible signs of aging and also enhance or lift droopy and saggy skin on their face and neck.

• Dermal Fillers
It’s one of a non-surgical method that is extremely popular. It’s also called as soft tissue augmentation and is performed to correct eye wrinkles, skin scars and depressions.

Anti-aging treatments don’t just help people look younger; it provides them with more confidence in themselves. But an important aspect of taking on such treatments is where you get it. Such procedures should only be carried out after consulting with trained and certified cosmetic dermatologists or plastic surgeons. If not, people will have adverse reactions to the procedure and could also lead to fatalities. Understanding the risk and also the benefits is very important when opting for such procedures.

Family planning is a human right

It was declared that “parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their children” about 4 decades ago by the United Nations International Conference in Human Rights in 1968. Family planning is very closely associated with women’s empowerment and their rights as well as an aid to reducing poverty and help sustainable development.

Family planning is the right to be able to decide when a couple in matrimony want to bear children and how many they wish to birth. This decision is primarily based on the family’s income, the mental and physical strength of the woman and the ultimate decision lies with the couple based on their wish to become parents at a certain point in their lives. UNFPA strongly supports the cause of family planning in most developing countries by aiding them with an array of birth control measures along with helping them strengthen their nation’s health management system and by extensively promoting gender equality.

Family planning starts with the basic understanding of how many children a particular must bear and if the parents can sustain the life of another living being. The most effective way of going forth with family planning is by ‘planning’ your intercourse and making sure to incorporate birth control measures whenever necessary. The concept of birth control measures or contraceptives have been around for ages, however, it has been quite a taboo concept in our country especially when discussed in public. However, with people being far more educated and well informed, birth control concepts have now become a part of everyone’s life. The necessity of these measures have been discussed on public platforms, advertisements, social media and has been announced on the television as a public service announcement by the government as well.

This article aims to spread awareness and educate th readers about the importance and advantages of incorporating birth control measures in your daily lives. Below mentioned are some of the most common contraceptive measures used by women and men.

Birth control measures for women:

  • Birth control Implant:
    It is the process of inserting a thin rod which is the size of a matchstick which is also called as Nexplanon in to your arm that releases hormones which in turn stops the process of conception and stops chances of pregnancy. This method can help you from not getting pregnant for upto 4 years.
  • IUD:
    An IUD is a tiny instrument inserted inside the uterus to stop you from conceiving. It is scientifically known as INtrauterine Device and is shaped like a ‘T’. This method is a long term solution and reversible in nature which implies that removal of the same would make you capable of conceiving again.
  • Birth Control Ring:
    It’s one of the most simple, effective and affordable birth control measure that is inserted inside the vagina. It can be left in place for three weeks at a time, and needs to be removed on the fourth week. The ring gives off hormones that prevents ovary from releasing eggs and thickening the cervical mucus that blocks sperms from getting to egg.
  • Oral contraception:
    These pills are a combination of hormones such as estrogen and progestin. These hormones are responsible for development of eggs and lining of uterus for implantation of embryo. Progestin also help in thickening the mucus that surrounds egg making the penetration of the sperm much difficult. It is advised to take these pills after a prescription from a medical professional.

Birth Control Measures for Men:

  • Condoms:
    Condoms act as a barrier as it captures sperm preventing it from entering the vagina. They are easily accessible at stores and online and are affordable.
  • Vasectomy:

    A permanent birth control for men, involves closing the tubes that carries the sperm out of a man’s body hence preventing pregnating the woman. It is one of the most effective and safe surgical process for men. After 3 months the physician conducts a semen analysis to ensure the procedure was performed successfully.

  • Birth Control Shots:

    The injectable contraceptive for men, helps suppressing the sperm count in men by giving them 200 milligrams of progestogen (norethisterone enanthate) and also 1000 milligrams of an androgen called testosterone undecanoate (TU). Studies show that 96% of men who continued on shots were successful in preventing the pregnancy.

Family planning services are easily available and accessible at various centers. It is always advised to have a family planning in place to lead a happy life with your loved ones.

How to counter the effects of varicose vein

Varicose veins are gnarled, rough and twisted veins that can occur in any part of your body but the parts which are mostly affected are your legs and feet. They usually tend to appear dark blue or purple in colour and mostly grow when the small valves inside the veins stop working properly. This usually happens when the valves do not allow the blood to flow back to the heart, instead flow back down. Since the blood does not flow in the right direction, the veins become swollen and get twisted as a result. For many people, varicose veins could be a mild concern but for some it cause a lot of discomfort, aching and pain as it depends on the severity of it.

Facts related to Varicose veins :

  • Varicose veins can lead to aching and swelling of the nerves.
  • Varicose veins can be inherited.
  • They might become worse when you start to age.

Varicose veins are a point of interest for several researchers, however their occurrence has not proved to be of any severe threat or damage but are generally an aesthetic or cosmetic concern. They may also be associated to slight pain and discomfort but they are in fact known to cause little or no pain at all to people. However, these are the most common symptoms of a varicose vein:

  • Severe muscle cramps
  • Unexplained pain in particular areas around the veins
  • Throbbing or burning sensation in the legs
  • Extremely achy and heavy legs

Varicose veins and its symptoms are likely to become slightly more difficult to manage during warmer seasons as the blood vessels are likely to get dilated due to the high temperature that consequent to the improper flow of blood in the valves. Prolonged sitting or standing have high chances of aggravating the chances of blood pools forming around the ankles causing more pain.

How to get relief from varicose veins

Here are some of the tried and test methods of getting immediate relief from pain and discomfort caused due to varicose veins:

  • Elevate/raise your legs
    It is best recommended to raise your legs above your heart. Lay on the ground and elevate them or stretch it against a table, chair or washroom sink.
  • Timely stretches
    Make sure to pull your muscles gently or do a quick stretch every now and then to relieve yourself from pain, if any.
  • Cool Compress
    This is yet another way to reduce any inflammation, discomfort or pain caused by varicose veins. Dipping your feet in cold water or running it under a cold steam of water can help relax the blood veins and vessels. Lower temperatures help the pain reductions unlike higher temperatures that do the opposite to this condition.
  • Compression Stockings
    Most pharmacists and chemists have these stockings readily available and can be sued at night to help reduce pain and inflammation.

    So, here is all you need to know about varicose veins, their symptoms, causes and prevention methods.

 

Peptic Ulcers – What you need to know

Peptic ulcers are open sores that generally develop on the inside lining of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. There are generally two types of peptic ulcers: duodenal ulcers and gastric ulcers. Peptic ulcers are caused by infections with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori or over usage of aspirin and other painkillers.

Spicy foods and stress cannot cause peptic ulcers; it’s a myth. However, they can aggravate the condition.

Peptic ulcers are caused when the acid in the digestive tracts start eating into the inner lining of the stomach or the small intestine. The digestive tract is usually coated with a layer of mucous that helps in protecting the digestive system from acids. But drop or rise in the levels of acid can be the cause of the peptic ulcers.

Peptic ulcers transpire after exhibiting the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Fatty substance resistance
  • Belching
  • Bloating
  • Feeling of fullness

A severe peptic ulcer may also involve symptoms such as:

  • Vomiting blood
  • Bloody stools
  • Indefinite weight gain
  • Rapid changes in appetite

It is highly recommended that you avoid the following items when suffering from any type of peptic ulcer:

  • Overthinking or excessive stress
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Eating excessive spicy food
  • Deep fried foods

 

It would be smart to visit the doctor in case of the symptoms being manifested in an aggravated level. A diagnosis could be made through undertaking the following tests and scans-

  • Test for H. Pyroli
  • Endoscopy
  • Upper Gastrointestinal Series

The treatment of peptic ulcers generally involve:

  • Antibiotic medication to destroy the bacterium H. Pylori
  • Medication that blocks acid and fastens the recovery process
  • Medication that protects your stomach lining and the small intestine from getting damaged further

Peptic ulcers can prove to be a very painful phenomenon and must be diagnosed and treated as soon as it is detected to avoid the symptoms from getting aggravating any further and becoming more complicated.

 

Tasting colours and seeing sounds: Just when we thought we knew the human brain.

Imagine seeing your favorite songs play out like colours on a bubble. Numbers that feel warm or cold or if certain words taste different. Weird? We’ll not really if you have ‘synesthesia’. A condition that has baffled medical science, however, the explanation lies in the perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. Simply put, when the ears listen to the sound, they are perceived by the eyes as a stimulus as well.

Often met with “it’s impossible” or “ how can this even happen?” is the reaction that synesthetes often get. Around 4% of the world’s population has involuntary synesthesia. The phenomenon is quite rare, the cross-wiring of the brain is certainly not common. However, it is not a matter of grave concern. Synesthetes lead normal lives, even more, colourful lives -quite literally.

There are almost 50 different kinds of synesthesia, but the 6 more popular categories.

  • Lexical-gustatory synesthesia: Perhaps the most intriguing type of synesthesia, people who experience this phenomenon report ‘tasting’ words. As weird as it sounds, people have reported that the word basketball tastes like waffles or the word jail tastes like cold bacon.
  • Mirror-touch synesthesia: Synesthetes report that they ‘feel’ the pain when they see the other person is in pain; this is not an empathetic response but the actual feeling of being in pain. However, in certain cases, people respond that feel the same sensation another person feel including a feeble touch.
  • Misophonia: The third kind and perhaps most rare hatred of certain sounds. Whether it is hearing people eat or even loud breathing.
  • Personification:  Synesthetes often report that they identify certain sequences like days or numbers or alphabets have certain personalities. Mondays are blue or they identify Monday as a grumpy day, even. (Well, that’s synesthesia that’s most of us relate to)
  • Number-form synesthesia: Number form Synesthetes often report seeing numbers as a map! Well, many mathematicians have reported that they see numbers in a unique sequence.
  • Chromesthesia: People have reported that listening to sounds make them see certain colours, Wassily Kandinsky and many budding artists have been creating pieces that feature famous songs. If you have synesthesia, you could perhaps replicate what the song ‘Imagine’ looks to you!
  • Grapheme-color synesthesia: The most common kind of synesthesia is one where people see colour in alphabet and numbers. While these could be unique, one of the examples is that the alphabet A is Red in colour!

The baffling and intriguing phenomenon has given scientists an insight into the complexity of the human brain. Perhaps a peek into our consciousness. While popular theories around the cause for synesthesia lie in childhood experiences, the jury is still out. But Synesthesia is neither a disease nor is it a handicap. People with the condition of think of it as a gift or a unique ability one could compare to being double jointed.

The human mind and its many complexities are simply beautiful to uncover.

 

Watch this video to know more about the condition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEqmNX8uKlA

Classes For Expectant Mothers

Right from the time you get your pregnancy result positive, a journey towards understanding, learning, and becoming a mother begins. With all the well wishes, baby showers and lots of love pouring in, expectant mothers get a lot of guidance and counselling mainly coming from the elders of the family. While it is definitely a way to express their love and care towards an expecting woman, it is also important that you get little bit of extra help from professionals. As they would not only counsel you, but also try to figure out what would work best for your body and your little one.

Taking classes from professionals can definitely help expectant mothers in being prepared both mentally and physically. Some of the important classes include:

1. Prenatal Classes:

Prenatal classes will help you get familiar with what to expect during your pregnancy and are generally suggested during third trimester. These classes have two famous methods:

a. Bradley Method that focuses on nutrition and natural childbirth

b. Lamaze method that mainly focuses on breathing techniques and pain relieving strategies

These classes are designed to teach you what is normal and what requires special attention. Prenatal classes are given in the form of lectures, discussions and exercises that help you prepare for labor as well as early parenthood.

2. Breastfeeding / Lactation Classes:

Lactation classes are really important for every expecting mother, as they teach ideal lactation practices for you to adopt. These can include your baby’s first feed, various nursing positions and help you understand when your baby needs to be fed & basic hygiene practices which are important for your little one’s health.

3. Postnatal classes:

While you are busy understanding and learning new things to become a mother, it is important not to neglect your health post delivery. Postnatal classes generally talk about your nutrition that will not only help you but your baby to stay healthy. Based on various plans, these classes can include dietary recommendations that is important for a new mommy, nutrients you need for a healthy milk that will make your baby grow stronger and allow your body to heal in the right way.

At the end of this all, remember getting support in person, having solid knowledge about laboring and recovery process is always a better option. Being prepared for your wonderful journey of motherhood can help you and your baby to stay healthy.

 

Monsoon Fevers – Let us help you prevent them

Monsoon has arrived and with it a host of diseases that are spread through air and water. This season is fresh, green and moist and damp at the same time! That is why we want you to take special care and precautions so that you can stay healthy and keep your family free from any form of sickness as well. Here are a few of the most simple yet useful tips to make sure that nobody in your house falls sick or has monsoon fevers this season:

  • Avoid stagnant waters

Monsoon season means, there will be a lot of waterlogged spaces in and around your house. Make sure to not store any water in the kitchen/washroom in an uncovered container. This will reduce the chances of mosquitoes breeding in stagnant waters. Similarly, avoid going to waterlogged places such as parks, etc to make sure you are not exposed to mosquitoes.

  •  Repel those mosquitoes

Make sure to apply a good layer of natural/herbal insect repellent at all times. Especially on children, to protect them from getting bit by dengue-spreading mosquitoes.

  •  Eat fresh

Food habits need to be monitored closely during this time. Strictly avoid eating food from, no matter how much you crave it. Due to the weather conditions, these foods have a high chance of being infected with bacteria and viruses that can cause an upset stomach or worse, harm your immune system.

Eat only home-cooked food, fresh fruits and vegetables as much as possible. Also, e sure to eat freshly cut items immediately as it could be affected by the microbes present in the air.

  •  Monsoon apparel

Irrespective of your age, you must prepare well for the monsoon. Be it going to school or work, keep an umbrella handy at all times. Keeping a raincoat ready is another smart way to keep yourself from getting wet in untimely showers that are a sure fire way to fevers and respiratory infections.

  • Boil and packaged water

Make sure to consume water that is boiled, filtered and purified at all times. In case, you are outside your house, try to carry the boiled water with you and consume it within 24 hours of it being boiled and when outside, stick to packaged drinking water only.

  • Infuse your water

The damp weather is highly likely to make you feel fatigued and lethargic but do not give in! A simple way to keep yourself awake and agile is by drinking warm/hot water infused with herbs, cloves, lemon, turmeric, spearmint, etc in moderation. This not only cleanses your internal system but also boosts it and helps in curing common cold and other monsoon ailments.

Vitamin C and D

Ensure the intake of Vitamin C to boost your immune system. Having citrus fruits like lemon, mosambi, oranges can help you a lot to keep away the sniffles and cough. Also, try to soak in Vitamin D whenever some sun peaks out or diligently consume the vitamin through tablets or other methods

  • Ventilation

Even though the weather is likely to stay gloomy and musty, it is important that you let fresh air and sunlight enter your house as it can naturally control the damp smell in the house and keep it fresh and healthy.

These are ways to keep yourself and your family safe and protected from the common cold, flu and monsoon fevers that this season brings along with it! They are simple but foolproof when it comes to keeping sickness far away!

 

 

All About Sickle Cell Anaemia

Sickle Cell Anaemia is one of the most common and severe kinds of Sickle Cell Disease(SCD) which produces abnormal haemoglobin in our body, this haemoglobin causes red blood cells to become sticky and shaped like a crescent moon or sickles.

Red blood cells usually live for about 120 days before getting replaced by new cells whereas sickle cells break apart or die within 10 to 20 days thus leaving a shortage of red blood cells (anaemia), also known as sickle cell anaemia. People with sickle cell haemoglobin are at higher risk of clogged blood vessels that cuts off the oxygen supply to tissues and organs.

Sickle cell gene gets passed from both mother and father’s defective form of the gene to the newborn. If only one of them passes the sickle gene, the child will have the sickle gene trait and will be able to make both normal haemoglobin and sickle cell haemoglobin. Generally, people with sickle gene trait will not show any symptoms but they can pass the gene to their offspring.

With increasing numbers of SCD being reported around the world, it is important to raise awareness about the disease and help understand the possible treatments available today. SCD causes complications that are fatal. ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) surveys conducted in India found that about 20 percent of children with the sickle disease died by the age of two and 30 per cent children with SCD among tribal communities die before they reach adulthood.

Symptoms of sickle cell anaemia

It is always a better option to get a newborn tested for sickle cells disease which can help them stay safe from life-threatening infections. Apart from the screenings done during infancy, you should always look for symptoms such as:

⦁    Blood clots

⦁    Periodic episodes of pain called a crisis, that can last for up to a week

⦁    Swollen hands and feet along with pain

⦁    Frequent infections

⦁    Shortage of healthy RBC can cause delayed growth in infants and children

⦁    Vision problems due to retinal damage

In case your child starts showing symptoms such as pale skin, signs of stroke that include paralysis on one side of the face, arms or legs, trouble walking, sudden vision problems, swelling of hands and legs, fever, you should visit an expert paediatrician at the earliest or seek emergency care.

Sickle cell anaemia can cause various complications such as a stroke, acute chest syndrome which leads to severe chest pain, fever and difficulty in breathing, pulmonary hypertension which usually affects adults, organ damage, blindness, gallstones and other complications.

Prevention

If you or your partner have sickle cell trait or anaemia, you can visit a genetic counsellor to understand the risk to your baby, the type of screenings available for confirmation and diagnosis of sickle cell anaemia and preventive measures and reproductive options.

Treatment

For children aged 2 or younger, frequent visits to the doctor are required, those older than 2 and adults need to visit the doctor at least once a year. Medications to treat SCA include antibiotics & painkillers. It is recommended to assess the risk of stroke, childhood vaccinations to prevent infections and blood transfusions for patients with higher risk of strokes.

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration approved a new treatment called Endari (L-glutamine oral powder) for patients aged five years and older with sickle cell disease to reduce severe complications associated with the blood disorder.

The only potential cure for sickle cell anaemia is bone marrow transplant but due to the risk factors involved with the procedure, it is recommended only for people with complications due to sickle cell anaemia.