Treating male infertility

Treating male infertility

Treating male infertility

Dealing with the psychological factors

Most infertile couples or males would go through several emotional states on learning that they are unable to achieve a pregnancy by the man being infertile or the woman being infertile. They go through feelings such as having:

  • States of shock
  • Anxiety and fears
  • Sadness
  • Anger and resentment
  • Shame
  • Feeling of loneliness
  • Self blame

Read moreTreating male infertility

Testing for Fertility in Men

Testing for Fertility in Men

Testing for Fertility in Men

It is now obvious that no matter what your female fertility testing indicates, most men must also be evaluated for their own fertility. Male fertility testing is typically much simpler and straightforward than the woman’s. The reason being that

  • The male reproductive organs are located outside of the body.
  • The male hormones are usually steadier and not subject to the monthly cyclic changes as seen in women

In the first visit to the doctor, he/she will take a detailed medical, drug, social and fertility history.
After the history ad physical examination, the doctor will perform some tests to help in diagnosis of infertility and try to find the exact cause. The following are descriptions of a variety of tests and procedures that you may encounter during your fertility evaluation.

Blood tests

The tests done in blood are helpful in finding out the normal factors such as:

  • Hormone testosterone tests. Testosterone is a primary male hormone, directly linked to sex drive and function. It is also associated with sperm growth and maturation
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) which both play a key role in sperm production
  • Prolactin hormone test may indicate presence of a pituitary brain tumor or could be a sign of an abnormal thyroid function
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) test
  • Hepatitis test
  • Syphilis (VDRL) test.

Semen analysis tests

The semen will be checked for the presence of white blood cells. If a large number of white blood cells are present, this may indicate an infection. Other tests done on semen include tests for specific bacteria and viruses. The following are the key infections typically checked during a basic fertility evaluation of semen:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea

Urine tests

A urinalysis is performed to help diagnose

  • The presence of bacteria and the white blood cells. White blood cells may indicate an infection either within the urinary tract or the prostate gland.
  • The urine is also checked for the presence of sperm. A high concentration of sperm in the urine may indicate retrograde ejaculation where sperm go backward into the bladder instead of moving forward into the penis.

The semen analysis test

During ejaculation, semen is produced from a concentrated suspension of spermatozoa, stored in the paired epididymides, mixed with, and diluted by, fluid secretions from the accessory sex organs. The semen is emitted in several boluses. About 90% of semen volume is made up of secretions from the accessory organs mainly the prostate and seminal vesicles, with minor contributions from the bulbourethral (Cowper’s) glands and epididymides.

Semen analysis test is a major part of the male fertility assessment. This test checks for both the quality and quantity of sperm. The semen sample is obtained by the male partner through

  • Performing masturbation either at home or in other situations, the semen sample must be obtained at the clinic or laboratory.
  • Using the non-spermicidal condoms used during intercourse at home

How to prepare for semen collection

Preparation

  • The healthcare provider will provide a private room near the laboratory, where you will collect the semen and hand over to the lab staff. The specimen container should be kept at ambient temperature, between 20 °C and 37 °C, to avoid large changes in temperature that may affect the spermatozoa after they are ejaculated into it. This helps to minimize the exposure of the semen to fluctuations in temperature and to control the time between collection and analysis
  • The man is advised to abstain from sexual intercourse for minimum of two days and a maximum of seven days. The doctor must give you clear written and spoken instructions concerning the collection of the semen sample. You are advise to report any loss of any fraction of the sample as this is also measured

Semen collection

Collecting semen at the laboratory;

The man should:

  • Pass urine all urine
  • Wash the hands and penis with soap, to reduce the risk of contamination of the specimen with bacteria or viruses from the skin.
  • Rinse the soap away from the hands and the penis with water.
  • Dry hands and penis with a fresh disposable soft towel.
  • Perform the masturbation and ejaculate into a sterile container.

Collecting semen at home

This is only done in exceptional circumstances, such as a demonstrated inability to produce a sample by masturbation at the laboratory or the lack of adequate facilities near the laboratory. The same instructions are followed.

  • The lab technologist will provide a pre-weighed container, labelled with the patient’s name and identification number.
  • The same cleaning procedure is advised and semen collection time and delivery time recorded.
  • During transport to the laboratory, the sample should be kept between 20 °C and 37 °C if possible

Collecting semen by condom

The same reason applies for this means as in the collection using a container at home

  • The man is provided with special non-toxic condoms designed for semen collection. Such are available commercially.
  • Information on how to use a condom is usually provided
  • The time of collection and delivery to the lab must be recorded. The same should be stored at a temperature between 20 °C and 37 °C.
  • It should e noted that coitus interruptus is not a reliable means of semen collection, because the first portion of the ejaculate, which contains the highest number of spermatozoa, may be lost.

Testing the semen specimen

Once the semen sample is obtained, it is analyzed in the laboratory. The semen sample is typically evaluated under a microscope and/or by computerized evaluation.

The key features studied are:

  • Semen volume per ejaculation
  • The thickness (viscosity) of the semen
  • The quantity (concentration) in terms of the number of sperm present in the semen
  • The shape (morphology) of the sperm in percentage of normally shaped sperm against the abnormal ones
  • The sperm movement (motility). This can be forward, circular or irregular movements.

Continue reading Testing for Fertility in Men part two.

Check list for male infertility

Check list for male infertility

Check list for male infertility

Traditionally, most couples with fertility problems would want to visit a doctor for the lady to have a thorough medical check up. How ever, due to changing lifestyles, increasing consumption of toxins n foods and many other factors, this is becoming a problem of both males and females. Some infertile couples with an unremarkable female evaluation and normal semen parameters are termed unexplained infertility. It is therefore important for the doctor to evaluate the males with a thorough medical history in these categories:

Read moreCheck list for male infertility

Safety at home; does your house meet the standards?

Safety at home; does your house meet the standards?

Safety at home; does your house meet the standards?

The house one lives in entails his environment .It has an important influence on health. A standard house should have the following:

  • Be structurally stable.
  • Free from dampness.
  • Have a sink with satisfactory supply of hot and cold water.
  • Have a toilet available for exclusive use of occupants in the house.
  • Satisfactory provision of heating, lighting and ventilation.

Damp houses

Damp housing has effects on health though other factors influencing health may such as smoke, overcrowding and low income. Occupants are encouraged to heat their houses properly. Housing conditions are positively associated with   physical ill health in children. Symptoms such as pain, diarrhea, anxiety, and coughs are more frequent in children from damp houses

Damp /cold houses are also hazardous to the elderly and chronically sick   need to heat their houses longer yet many live in houses without a central heating. Sometimes people find themselves homeless    or lacking housing because of reasons beyond their control. These include people living in refugee camps after civil wars, hostel inhabitants who include the mentally ill, alcoholics on rehabilitation or drug abusers.

Read moreSafety at home; does your house meet the standards?

Are fish oils the cure for mental health?

Are fish oils the cure for mental health?

Are fish oils the cure for mental health?

This month in our Health promotion calendar we are focusing on mental health.

WHO definition of Health

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

With this in mind then it is clear that mental health is a priority for healthcare providers and should be a concern of all adults just as much, if not more than the concern and care that goes into preserving their physical health.

The rationale here is: if one is willing to wake up at 6 am and jog for 1 hour or sweat it out in the gym, choose carefully what they eat and dedicate time to living a healthy lifestyle then some effort should be spared towards promoting mental health. Here is some information on how to achieve the same with your mental health.

OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS:

What are they?

The Omega 3’s are a group of essential fatty acid nutrients derived from marine or plant sources. The two principle types of Omega-3 are EPA and DHA – both found in fish oil. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to have mood stabilizing effects, and fish oil has become a very popular choice among those with bipolar disorder and depressive illnesses seeking natural treatment for their symptoms.

Fish, particularly fatty ocean fish, is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. At least three clinical trials have observed a marked improvement in depressed patients given relatively high doses of fish oils. This has spurred other scientists to look closer at the potential benefits of fish oil supplementation. At the moment there are at least 10 clinical trials underway evaluating fish oils in the treatment of depression, attention deficit disorder, and schizophrenia

Fish oils: A cure for depression?

According to a BBC report, on a worldwide basis more working days are lost to depression than to any other illness. The incidence of depression is growing with people born within the last 50 years being twice as likely to suffer from it as were their parents.

Dr. Joseph Hibbeln of the National Institutes of Health believes that the reason for the increase in depression can be directly attributed to a major shift in dietary patterns, specifically fat intake. He points out that the vast increase in the use of soy, corn, palm and cotton seed oils in the last 100 years has totally changed the traditional ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in the diet. Soy oil consumption in the US, for example, has increased thousand-fold in the last 100 years helping to skew the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio from about 1:1 to today’s 16:1.

The brain consists pretty well entirely of fat so clearly one’s fat intake could affect one’s brain composition, particularly the ion channels which channel signals in and out of the brain. There is also evidence that low levels of omega-3 fatty acids are associated with low levels of the mood hormone serotonin.

Dr. Hibbeln’s hypothesis is supported by the fact that the incidence of depression is considerably lower in countries with high fish consumption.

HEALTH EFFECTS OF FATS:

BENEFITS:

Omega 3 fatty acids have been linked to various clinical and behavioral conditions involving mental function. These include depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, violence, aggression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

These fatty acids are also associated with certain neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. A common feature of these disorders is low levels of the marine or fish oil omega-3s, EPA and DHA and arachidonic acid.

Low levels of omega-3s have not been shown to cause any of these disorders, but they appear to significantly increase the chance of developing them. Other factors are often involved, such as family history and environmental influences. All the same, there is a plausible basis and growing evidence for the involvement of marine omega-3s in brain function in these conditions.

Depression: This is the most common form of mental affliction. The National Institute of Mental Health in the U.S. estimates that about 4% of adolescents also get seriously depressed. More than just feeling «down,» depression affects a person’s ability to work, sleep, eat, and experience pleasure; it can be disabling. It is more common in women than men, particularly after childbirth.

Depression is least common in countries where people eat the most fish, such as Japan, Iceland, and Korea, while countries with low fish consumption have the highest rates. They include the U.S., Canada, and West Germany.

People with depression often have low levels of EPA and DHA in their tissues compared with healthy people, but it is not clear what this means.

Several studies have reported positive outcomes in depressed patients who took EPA along with their usual medication.

Schizophrenia: Less common than depression, schizophrenia is a crippling mental illness that affects about 1% of the US population. There are several neurological and biochemical alterations in this condition, including reduced cell membrane levels of arachidonic acid and DHA. Occurrence of schizophrenia in different countries does not appear to be linked to seafood consumption. Nearly all patients are treated with medications, so studies of supplementation with omega-3s include drug treatment too. Some medications may reduce cell fatty acids, so it is difficult to distinguish the effects of more than one treatment.

Studies have confirmed that people in this country and in many other countries around the world are not eating enough of the right kinds of fish and are therefore not getting enough of the right type of fatty acids. This not only leads to depression but can have horrible effects on physical health as well. The only documented side effects of the Omega 3 fatty acids seem to be nausea, diarrhea, and a fishy aftertaste.

Editor’s comment: Daily supplementation with 1-3 grams of high quality fish oil is entirely safe and may not only improve your mood, but help protect you from heart disease, stroke and arthritis as well!
I don’t know about you but I’m off to purchase some omega 3 as soon as possible.

On that note, here are some locally available preparations:

  • Seven seas: caps and suspension
  • Omega 3 caps.

Sources:
Small, Meredith F.  The happy fat. New Scientist, August 24, 2002, pp. 34-37.
www.fatsoflife.com
BBC.

Adult ADHD

Adult ADHD

Adult ADHD

Have you ever had trouble concentrating, found it hard to sit still, interrupted others
during a conversation or acted impulsively without thinking things through? Can you
recall times when you daydreamed or had difficulty focusing on the task at hand?

Most of us can picture acting this way from time to time. But for some people, these and
other exasperating behaviors are uncontrollable, persistently plaguing their day-to-day
existence and interfering with their ability to form lasting friendships or succeed in
school, at home and with a career.

Experts used to believe children would grow out of ADHD by the time they were adults.
In recent years, it’s been recognized that ADHD can continue on into adulthood. This
relatively recent acceptance of adult ADHD means that many adults remain
undiagnosed and aren’t aware their symptoms and behaviours are actually part of an
identifiable condition.

Unlike other mental disorders such as depression, ADHD does not start in adulthood.
Adult ADHD is a continuation of ADHD from childhood. The main difference is in the type
of difficulties and symptoms experienced. Adults are less likely to have intense
hyperactivity.

Rather than problems at school, its work lives and relationships that prove troublesome.
Instead of hyperactivity, one is likely to feel restless, fidget a lot, have difficulty relaxing
and feel on edge a lot of the time.

A typical ADHD adult may have gone through life being constantly misunderstood:
One’s behavior and actions may have caused difficulties with teachers, friends and work
colleagues. One may have been called clumsy, hyper, rude, abrupt, lazy, insensitive and
irresponsible. Smoking, drinking alcohol and, in some cases, drug taking are also more
common among ADHD adults.

What are the symptoms of adult ADHD?

Like childhood ADHD, adults share the symptoms of inattention, impulsiveness and
hyperactivity. For some adults, the hyperactivity part of things calms down and is more
controllable as they get older.

Adults can experience ADHD in different ways, but some of the common symptoms
include:

  • Concentration problems
  • Forgetfulness and poor short-term memory
  • Lack of organization
  • Problems with creating and maintaining routines
  • Lack of self-discipline
  • Impulsive behaviour
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Restless mind
  • Restlessness
  • Poor time management
  • Impatience and frustration
  • Poor social skills and making inappropriate remarks
  • Feelings of underachievement.

Diagnosis difficulties with adult ADHD

As an adult, getting a diagnosis of ADHD is not straightforward. ADHD adults will have
experienced their symptoms for most of their life and, despite frustration, are likely to
have reluctantly accepted them as part of their unique make-up. Some will have learnt to
develop their own coping strategies and may remain unaware they have a recognisable
condition. In most instances it’s friends, family or work colleagues who instigate a visit to
a doctor.

What treatment is available?

Although there’s no complete cure for ADHD, a number of treatments can significantly
help with the management and control of symptoms. The most appropriate treatment
regime varies according to individual needs and set of symptoms. The best treatment
should accommodate all areas of need.

Treatment focuses on helping behaviour, emotional problems and social difficulties
caused by ADHD. The main treatments for adult ADHD are:

Behavioural therapy

It helps one learn about the disorder and ways to manage it effectively. For example,
manage and maintain daily schedules better through making lists, cope with large
projects at work by breaking them down into smaller chunks.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy helps treat the emotional disturbances of people with ADHD. Sessions
can take place:

  • on a one-to-one basis with a professional
  • in a group
  • in conjunction with a partner if relationship difficulties are the main problem.

Psychotherapy can help remove or modify troublesome emotional symptoms and help
you cope with the daily challenges of living with ADHD.

Medication

Is usually used alongside other therapies; The most common medication for adults is
stimulants, but some people benefit from taking antidepressants – particularly if they
have co-existing symptoms such as anxiety and mood swings.

It is important to note that a treatment plan is developed according to the
individual needs of each person.

Treating breast cancer

Treating breast cancer

Treating breast cancer

There are several modes of treatment for breast cancer including:

  • Surgical management of breast cancer
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Chemotherapy or endocrine therapy
  • Diet management. Dietary phytoestrogens such as those found in soybeans have a chemical structure that is similar to that of 17b-estradiol and can bind to the estrogen receptor to compete with estrogen. Their consumption may have a weak protective effect against breast cancer and are good for preventive treatment.

Treating the invasive breast cancer

Surgery in treatment of breast cancer

  • Treatment with surgery involves removal of the lump in the breast. For patients with tumors smaller than 5 cm are best managed with lump removal (lumpectomy) followed by irradiation treatment to the affected breast.
  • In larger tumors a process called mastectomy (removal of the breasts) is preferred. In this procedure, there an additional use of drugs for treating cancer. In estrogen-receptor positive tumors, endocrine treatment is added to the mastectomy to shrink the tumors before surgery
  • A process of axillary node (lymph nodes in the armpits) evaluation should be performed on most women who are suitable candidates for preventive (adjuvant) treatment. In this process, the sentinel node (the first lymph node where metastatic spread of cancer goes to) is taken for biopsy. Some oncologists will inject a dye, isosulfan blue dye, a radioactive isotope compound around the primary tumor or areolar area of the breasts to help identify the first node (or nodes) draining the primary lesion. Majority of patients have the sentinel node in the same side of the arm pit as the breast. In a study, about 60% of patients with positive tests for the sentinel node, there have been results of only the sentinel node having the tumor.

Breast reconstruction surgery

This type of procedure is performed at the same time with breast mastectomy. With this, women have a chance to overcome the psychological effects of loosing their breasts. A woman will feel complete and better with both breasts intact and the psychological effect of restoring to the original shape the lost breast is paramount.

The choice of breast implants to be used is also important to the patients. Several types are in the market including saline or silicone implants and are less costly and generally easy to implant.

Other types of reconstruction include the use flaps or grafts from other parts of the body. It is recommended to go for the implants in cases of loosing large amounts of tissue during surgery of the breasts.

Psychosocial Support

Loosing a breast to a woman is a tragedy. She will not feel complete and this affects her body image and to some extent her sexual sense too. There is a greater need to have psychological support and counseling before and after the procedure. The good thing is that most implants and types of reconstructive surgeries in the market help in restoring theta lost confidence.

There is need to offer psychosocial support shortly after diagnosis is made, especially to the most vulnerable or the most distressed, to cope better.

Preventive treatment

Preventive (adjuvant) therapy is defined as the use of chemotherapy, hormonal drugs, radiation or a combination of these before, during, or after definitive treatment of the primary breast cancer.

  • The objective of adjuvant therapy is to destroy small, hidden (occult) distant tumor spreads( micrometastases)
  • In addition, adjuvant therapy helps to delay cancer recurrence for a median of 2 to 3 years in the majority of treated women.
  • Those who require this type of treatment are those in menopause, have large tumor size, poor tumor grade, tumor spread to lymph nodes, positive HER2 status and positive estrogen and progesterone status.

Adjuvant Endocrine Treatment

  1. Tamoxifen is used to treat patients who are in postmenopausal stage and are estrogen or progesterone receptor positive. Its estrogen-agonist effects on bone and liver help to maintain bone density and to lower cholesterol levels in postmenopausal women. The risk is that it may cause bone loss in premenopausal women, risk of endometrial cancer, increase the risk in developing deep venous thrombosis and exacerbate hot flashes in 10 to 30% of postmenopausal women.
  2. The use of aromatase inhibitors such as anastrozole, exemestane and letrozole are used in endocrine management of breast cancer too. Unlike tamoxifen, aromatase inhibitors are not associated with an increased risk of vein thrombosis or endometrial cancer. There common risks are joint pins, muscle aches and bone loss with fractures.

Chemotherapy

  • There are various drugs in the market for treating breast cancer. Most treatments involve the use of combination therapy to achieve the best results. These are also superior in the management of breast cancer
  • The commonest drugs used in management include: Anthracyclines such as epirubicin or doxorubicin, taxanes, humanized monoclonal antibodies such as trastuzumab against a protein encoded by the HER-2 gene.

Radiation treatment of breast cancer

  • Studies have proven that breast irradiation following removal of the affected breast lumps ( lumpectomy)reduces the risk of breast tumor recurrence
  • This kind of treatment involves the streaming of radiation beams to the chest wall following mastectomy. There is a significant decrease I rates of recurrence besides killing of the tumor in early stage cancer
  • The treatment is offered to women who have lumps ranging is sizes of > 5cm in diameter and those with extensive lymph node involvement.
  • There is a risk of developing Lymphedema in the upper limbs and on the side of the mastectomy in radiation treated patients.

Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer

Introduction

Cervical cancer is uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells and tissue within the cervix (the neck of the uterus). The uterus is the womb where babies are grown. There is then an abnormal growth of cells presenting with hypertrophy (increase of cell size), hyperplasia (the increase of the numbers of cervical cells), anaplasia (formation of atypical shapes of cervical cell shape), and poor cervical cell function.The increasing cell size and numbers lead to an increase in the size of the surrounding tissues with the invasion of more abnormal cells from the cervix.

The cells are so aggressive and invade the surrounding tissues by competing for blood supply to the tissues. These cells are easily detected by a Pap smear test as they are shed from the.

Cervical cancer causes

There are several know causes of cervical cancer. The main cause of cervical cancer is an infection with Human papilloma virus (HPV) serotypes 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, and 56 which account for more than 80% of all invasive cervical cancers.

However most of the causes are associated with specific risk factors that women face. A regular Pap smear tests is important as a screening tool and a preventive measure for cervical cancer among women.

What are the risk factors for cervical cancer?

  • Associated risk factors include
  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Women living in lower socioeconomic status
  • Cigarette smoking
  • A history of sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, HPV infection
  • Immunosuppression
  • Oral contraceptive use.
  • Certain types of sexual behavior such as
    1. Women who have sex at an early age
    2. Women who have multiple sexual partners
    3. Women who have partners who have many other sex partners
    4. Women who have sex with uncircumcised men
  • Smoking or nicotine
  • Infections with Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Diet with increased levels of homocysteine has been associated with increased risk of having cervical cancer. Vitamin deficiency has also been implicated in development of cervical cancer. Lack of
  • Prolonged use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
  • Women who have multiple pregnancies
  • Women living in low socioeconomic status
  • Injection with diethylstilbestrol (DES) drugs
  • Women who have relatives who had cervical cancer
  • Exposure to radiation of any type especially these on treatment for other cancers
  • Exposure to compounds that may affect nuclear genetic material such as benzene
  • Prolonged stressful conditions

Screening for cervical cancer

From the evidence obtained from large control studies, it is recommended that:

Screening for cervical cancer with a Pap smear test can achieve an 80% reduction in death rates from the cancer in the target population of women aged between 25 to 60 years.

It is also recommended that women have a screening interval of one year with conventional Pap smear tests or every 2 years using liquid-based cytology.

After the age of 30, women who have had three consecutive, technically satisfactory screening results may be screened every 2-3 years.

The American Cancer society recommend that cervical cancer screening should begin 3 years after the onset of vaginal intercourse and no later than age 21 years of age

Women who are age 70 years or older with an intact cervix and who have had 3 or more documented satisfactory cervical screening test results within the 10-yr period before age 70 may cease to have the routine cervical cancer screening tests

Those who have had uterus removal (with removal of the cervix need not undergo screening tests.

Cervical cancer epidemiology

Although cervical cancer is the third most common gynecologic cancer in the United States, it is the most common malignancy worldwide.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women in the world, with an estimated 500,000 cases in 2003.

Screening for cervical cancer with follow up and treatment has helped reduce the incidences of cancer. How ever this may not be true in some countries or regions such as the Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa, where cervical cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death in women

The incidences are high among the whites in the United States with an estimated 8.1 new cases per 100,000 each year as compared with 11 per 100,000 in African-American women and 14.4 per 100,000 in Hispanic populations.
Symptoms of cervical cancer

  • There are no symptoms in those in precancerous stage
  • There is an unusual vaginal bleeding, particularly after sex
  • A vaginal discharge with odor
  • Early invasive cancers may also present with no symptoms although some women will notice postcoital (after sex), between menses, or postmenopausal spotting.
  • Some women will present with malodorous vaginal discharge
  • Painful coitus (dyspareunia)
  • Cramping pelvic pain from uterine contractions
  • Chronic blood loss may result in symptoms of anemia in some patients
  • There may be pelvic pain
  • In advanced stages, there may b lower limb swelling (from occlusion of pelvic lymph vessels or thrombosis of the external iliac vein)
  • Advanced stages of disease may lead to anorexia, dysgeusia and unintentional weight loss

Diagnosing cervical cancer

  • The following tests may be performed to help in diagnosis of cervical cancer.
  • The healthcare provider will perform a detailed history and physical examination
  • Pelvic examination which includes examination of the vagina, cervical and related organs
  • Pap smear test.
  • Test for human papilloma virus (HPV) DNA. There is a high sensitivity for the detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia with these tests. This test helps to reduce the incidence of grade 2 or 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) or cancer detected by subsequent screening examinations.
  • Colposcopy The method of examining the vagina and by means of a binocular instrument known as the colposcope, to screen for cancer of the cervix. The clinician may also use this test to do biopsy and endocervical curettage.
  • Complete blood count
  • A squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) antigen test
  • Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)
  • Chest x-ray examination

Continue reading about Treatment of Cervical cancer.

Valentines Day: A complete woman’s guide

Valentines Day: A complete woman’s guide

Valentines Day: A complete woman’s guide

Imagine yourself in a movie. You wake up the following day, shower or just before that, stare at the figure in front of you on the mirror and …..oops! You see the best booby, the best behind and the cutest faces you ever saw.

Put that cucumber down- we’ll have plenty of time to play later. You’ll soon stop thinking like a man and learn to think like woman.

In the living room, you press on the messages and a number of them are waiting for you. «Hey gal, its mike from Club Dimples, we met yesterday? I thought…eerrrr…we could meet, if that’s ok with you. If you are ready, this is my number. Please call back. Then comes the next one: Hi cute little thing, its Jack. What’s up sugar? You were so moody last night. I couldn’t see you. Will you call me back?

Let’s fast forward to the mall, where you spend a fortune on facials, cosmetics and clothing. You had your nails done, pedicure, and massage…its party time. You start choosing what to wear….»But wait, don’t I look fat….» crying. «No, sweetie, your hips are good, your friend responds. You get weird thoughts about yourself. It’s an emergency here. Just few days to go to Val’s day, you need a complete facial and body makeover. Everybody is in it and you can’t be left behind.

Welcome back to earth. I hope I made you think of this day deeply. No more movies. In this planet, we have men. These are a certain species of beings with minds, and eyes, eyes that are predatory. And they make a kill out of them. Men are visual human beings. They look at facts and digest them instantly. Well they look at women and that’s it. A man has few things that are still carries on from childhood to adulthood.

From the time when mother’s breasts were all the beauty the world could offer, both sexes have had feelings of enlarged, enhanced life from seeing a gloriously naked woman. The male body holds no such primitive magic. It is one of the dissymmetries of our biological life.

In matters of love, you must understand that men are emotionally much more sensitive than women. Thus, it is much more humane to be firm and break a man’s heart early than to let him get his hopes up only to waste away in anguish or vindictiveness.

Women control intimacy. His is a powerful tool, and the extraordinary emotional power they have over men needs some form of responsibility to steer men in the right direction.

The game of love is a lot more complicated than sex. Do men only want one thing- – sex? No. If it were true that men only wanted one thing, then all men would be visiting brothels for this. Do all women want one thing– sex? If that were true then all women would be visiting gigolos. Men and women are two completely different creatures that must come together in a relationship.

Valentine’s Day is here and this is your chance to spice up the relationship

Love and romance

Think about the following things; «What about the two of you? What about your future? Where are you going?» It may not be for Valentines Day alone but from now on, a few tips could help you send him messages of your intentions. These include;

  • Your visit to his crib. While visiting him, leave your personal effects in his home. This is a clear territory demarcation. Other females will get the message too. By the way, even animals do this. Without territorial markings, you have no chance. Other will do it. Even if it means leaving your scarf in his car, send the message.
  • Your mother is your attorney. Quite interesting, the experienced lover has some lectures to give.
  • Have you met his family? You won’t get noticed. Probably Mike has another one at upcountry. Just check.
  • Gifts, gifts, gifts. Even lingerie for him.
  • Give him an ultimatum. You are not cheap to be used up. Let him prove your worthiness. On this day, you could play cat and mouse till the proves you worth.
  • Give him a complete home make over. Rearrange his kitchen, bedroom. After all one day it will be yours, you may do this just be for the main event.
  • Arrive unannounced at his home, with groceries, etc. But be careful this may sound that you are sneaking in on him. Some guys just don’t like it, and it may mean you raise your antenna.
  • When introducing yourself to others, your boss, your friends, church mates, mention these words; wife, mistress, or fiancée, it’s the weapon at your disposal.
  • Drive his car, but don’t crash it. It could crash your romance too. Men and toys are one thing.
  • Surprise him with midweek luncheon dates and come with two or three of your secretarial friends and/or your mother.
  • Clean up his house. You have the freedom to remove all unwanted magazines, his other women’s stuff,… and tell him

Continue reading Valentines Day time: A complete woman’s guide.

Diagnosing and screening breast cancer

Diagnosing and screening breast cancer

Diagnosing and screening breast cancer

What breast cancer may resemble

These non cancerous conditions may resemble breast cancer because of the presentation and on mammography examination

  1. Fibrocystic changes of the breasts
  2. Fibroadenoma
  3. Hamartoma

What test are done to diagnose breast cancer

The healthcare provider will perform a series of tests including taking a detailed history and physical examination from the patient. Among the test done include:

Read moreDiagnosing and screening breast cancer

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

Definition

Breast cancer is an invasive cancer of the breast affecting both men and women. The local cells of the breast grow abnormally and uncontrollable increase in size and spread to other area s of the body.

Other names

Carcinoma of the breast

What causes breast cancer?

Various causes of breast cancer have been explained, but the exact cause is still unknown. There are numerous risk factors that increasingly relate to the development of breast cancer such as:

  • The increase in age of a person. It is estimated that close to 50% of women with breast cancer in the western world are more that 60years of age
  • The earlier a girl gets in to menarche especially at <12 year, the higher the risk of developing breast cancer.
  • When approaching menopause late especially at over 55 years, one has an increased risk of developing breast cancer. This is an indirect cause.
  • The increasing the number of menstrual cycles could predispose women to greater DNA damage in the proliferating breast ductal tissue and thus could increase the risk of mutations that directly lead to breast cancer.
  • Child bearing at a later age is a predisposing factor to breast cancer in women.
  • Any form of benign breast tissue disease may increase the risk of cancer
  • Women who live sedentary lifestyles and do not exercise often are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer
  • Breast cancer has been associated with women who live in upper socioeconomic classes. This may also be associated with more sedentary lifestyles
  • Personal history of breast cancer (in situ or invasive)
  • Postmenopausal hormone replacement treatments with estrogen hormones (with or without progestin) have been shown to increase the risk of getting breast cancer. The risk is increased by about 1.5times
  • Developing obesity after menopause increases the risks of breast cancer in women
  • The use of oral contraceptives increases breast cancer risk minimally if at all. It is t known whether estrogen replacement alone increases risk. However there is a much more increased risk in using these hormones in leaner postmenopausal women. The exact mechanism of cancer formation is unknown but there is a possibly of interaction of ovarian estrogen and other types of estrogens of external origin with breast tissue that leads to susceptibility to develop cancer of the breast
  • Alcohol is also associated with increased risks of developing breast cancer. Surveys show that moderate alcohol intake (two to three drinks/day) has a 1 to 1.8 times the risk of developing cancer.
  • Diet effects. Increased estrogen levels have been found in women with a higher BMI. These pose as an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Family history of breast cancer is a risk factor in women. The risk in first degree relatives is 2 to 4 times more. Having relatives of known high risk factors also play a role. Having two first degree relatives with breast cancer increases the risk by 5 times.
  • Women with an increased bone density have been shown to have a risk of developing cancer.
  • Having children at a later age of more than 30 years poses as a risk to women to develop breast cancer. There is even an increased risk in non-child bearing women ( nulliparous)
  • Women with a personal history of endometrial cancer do have a risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Women with larger breast masses have a more breast density that increases the breast cancer risk. The density can be shown through mammography
  • Exposure to radiation to the chest poses as a risk of developing breast cancer in women.
  • Women with an established breast cancer gene BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 are associated with high risk of developing the cancer

Continue reading Epidemiology of breast cancer.

Lung cancer

Lung cancer

Lung cancer

Definition

This is primary lung malignancy that arises from the lung tissue. There are several types of primary cancer of the lung including squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, small cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. Here are some of the listed types

Adenocarcinomas: These types of cancers are common in North America and Japan. They tend to occur among smokers, although nonsmokers are more likely to develop adenocarcinoma than other lung cancer types. On radiological examination, they are found more peripherally, but can occur almost anywhere, and can be multifocal. They have been known to fill the entire lobe of the lung tissue. Other x-ray findings show that they are associated with solid opacities, ground-glass opacities, or mixed patterns. Epidemiologically, Adenocarcinomas represent 35%-40% of lung carcinomas. The variants of adenocarcinomas include types such as signet ring, clear cell, mucinous, and fetal adenocarcinomas

Squamous cell (Epidermoid): This type of cancer tends to occur centrally and is highly associated a history of smoking. It’s a malignancy that shows squamous differentiation 20% to 30% of lung cancers. It spreads by locally invading the surrounding tissues and forms cavities in the lungs. The differential diagnosis includes reactive processes that may result in squamous metaplasia with reactive atypia as seen during infections or radiation-induced injury

Read moreLung cancer

Exercise in pregnancy; what you need to know

Exercise in pregnancy; what you need to know

Exercise in pregnancy; what you need to know

Exercise in pregnancy; what you need to know

You may have been having a regular exercise program or are planning to have one. There are various types of exercises available programmed ranges from light to heavy depending on your ability to manage.

Now that you are pregnant, your exercise options become limited during but a number of excellent choices exist. Activities involving running or jogging, walking, aerobic dance, bicycling, swimming, and tennis can all be pursued to some degree. Some activities should be taken up before you conceive if you wish to continue them while you’re pregnant.

Running or Jogging

We advice that you start this before conception, otherwise your muscles may not be able to support your loosening joints. This type of exercise is aimed at giving most or your muscles some strength and stamina that will help you carry the pregnancy. Trust me; you will need that strength for 9 months. If you have been doing this for some time before becoming pregnant, you may continue to pursue these activities without harm. You may enroll in a gym to have this done on the treadmill or get out to the nearest club that has sporting facilities.

Walking

Brisk walking at any time, say while going to work, or from work, while going shopping or just work out at your neighborhood helps you burn a good number of calories. You are advised to start brisk walking anytime, including during pregnancy. To do this, begin slowly bearing in mind that the whole idea is to increase your activity level gradually. Start with 5 to 10 minutes at a time and slowly increase to 20 or 30 minutes three or four times per week. Avoid this in high temperatures or humidity but you may exercise outdoors. Remember also the type of shoes you wear, High heeled shoes are a NO, NO for this type of activity. Get some good comfortable shoes, which are not tight.

Cycling

Before you start on this, make sure you have done this before, and you know how to ride a bike. Accidents happen and this is not the best time to have one. Cycling is important in that it gives you good cardiovascular workout. It’s not a weight-bearing activity and this means that the increasing weight of pregnancy will not affect your ability to continue. It is advisable to start on a regular cycling schedule before trying to conceive but even after conception this is safe. Remember always to start very easily and increase slowly. Stationary bicycles are probably the safest to use; and can be used by the pros and those who are learning to ride too. With stationary ones you avoid road traffic accidents and other risks.

Swimming

This is probably the best type of exercise. Water supports your weight during this activity. This is the best program and you may even forget that you are pregnant. Some facilities provide aquanatal classes with qualified instructors. Medical evidence indicates that submersion in water may help reduce leg edema (swelling) which affects at least 50 percent of pregnant women. It is postulated that the pressure of the water squeezes excess water from your body tissues into your bloodstream, which then gets rid of it. Avoid Jacuzzis, hot tubs, and water that is above 100°F, as these tend to overheat the body!.

Other Sports

There some sports that must be avoided. Skiing or horseback riding can cause traumatic injury to the fetus or separation of the placenta. Scuba diving has been associated with fetal hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and should be avoided. Tennis involve frequent turning, twisting, and jumping are not highly recommended during pregnancy.

Read moreExercise in pregnancy; what you need to know

Health Hazards of cigarettes

Health Hazards of cigarettes

Health Hazards of cigarettes

Smokes are smoked by over 1.1 billion people. While smoking rates possess leveled off or declined in developed nations, in developing nations tobacco usage continues to rise at a rate of around 3.4% per annum. (WHO SMOKING STATISTICS)

According to a rating by Wikipedia of cigarette usage per capita, Kenya falls 110th with 167 smokes per adult per year.
Hmmmh…At least were not in the top ten… I can hear some of you saying. But isn’t even appearing on the list is definitely bad enough? Since July 2007 apparently the federal government of Kenya thought so and therefore enforced the cigarette smoking ban in public.
Director of Medical Providers (DMS) James Nyikal said tobacco killed some 12,000 Kenyans each full year and a community ban would reduce that amount

Read moreHealth Hazards of cigarettes

Tooth discoloration; what causes it

Tooth discoloration; what causes it

Tooth discoloration; what causes it

Tooth discoloration is the change in color from the normal white enamel to the darkening or brownish discoloration. Persistent tooth discoloration can also occur as a result of the gradual thinning of the enamel layer of the tooth.

This thinning allows for more yellow -brown dentin formation underneath becoming visible. This is called amelogenesis imperfecta

What causes tooth discoloration?

Several factors play a role in this process. Exposure to some chemical s can also promote tooth discoloration in some individuals.

In amelogenesis imperfecta, the enamel is often absent and the exposed dentin has a yellowish-brown discoloration. This condition is an inherited disorder with defective tooth enamel formation caused by various gene mutations. The condition is treated with resin veneers and jacket crowns for anterior teeth, as well as steel crowns for posterior teeth

Tooth discoloration may be due to substances such as Fluoride. Excessive exposure to fluoride from drinking water, tooth pastes, supplements, and infant formulas results in fluorosis a condition of excess fluoride in the system. The excess fluoride interacts with mineralizing tissues, causing alterations in the mineralization process especially in the teeth. fluoride in the drinking water in excess of 1.5 parts per million causes coloration

  • Color disturbance may also be due to secondary to inflammation
  • Vitamin deficiencies can also cause color changes in teeth
  • Trauma to the enamel leads to the exposure of denting that shows a yellow-brown coloration
  • An isolated tooth with a grayish – blue hue may indicate the presence of a necrotic pulp, often due to prior trauma.
  • A tooth that appears pink (pink tooth of Mummery) indicates an internal tooth resorption.
  • Yellow to violet staining that fluoresces under ultraviolet light is normally due to exposure to tetracycline. It is advisable to avoid these drugs during pregnancy and up to 18 years of age as the teeth are growing and developing. Tetracycline also destroys the calcium deposits
  • It has been shown that regular use of Mouthwashes that contain Chlorhexidine as their active ingredient increases the incidence of tooth discoloration.
  • Tobacco smoking may lead to tooth discoloration.
  • Excessive consumption of coffee may cause tooth discoloration.

How to treat tooth discoloration

Tooth discoloration is an uncomfortable situation in many individuals. The causes can easily be treated and re-coloration established.

The following are some of the substances that can help treat the tooth discoloration

  • Use of toothpastes that contain substance such as soluble pyrophosphates as active ingredients may help to minimize the discoloration caused by chlorhexidine-containing Mouthwashes.
  • When applied to the teeth topically, or used as chewing gum, sodium bicarbonate help to reverse the discoloration by whitening the teeth. The substance also helps to remove stains from the teeth
  • Substances such as casein phosphopeptide when used topically to the teeth may remove the tooth discoloration by whitening them.
  • The commonest used bleaching agents for tooth discoloration include carbamide Peroxide (10% – 44%). This is an active ingredient in many bleaching agents and has shown success. It has to be used by a dentist for treatment
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (1% – 10%) is also an active ingredient in many other tooth bleaching gels used. Some of the gels can be purchased as over the counter drugs. Cautions; never buy the undiluted peroxide as it is very corrosive to the skin and mucous membranes.
  • Titanium Dioxide has for some time been used in tooth whiteners as a whitening pigment to polish the teeth.

Consult your dentist in management of this condition.

Why babies wake you up at night

Why babies wake you up at night

Why babies wake you up at night

Babies don’t think like you. They don’t have a plan and their biological clock is still underdeveloped, definitely not fit for you to maintain your normal daily routines. In fact babies’ sole programs on some days are designed to keep you awake as some may thinks.

After Bob and Nancy had their first child, they send a shout out to all the friends declaring their joy. One of the commonest responses that tagged their congratulatory messages was, ‘be ready to be on night shift’.
So what causes babies to cry especially at odd hours?

These are some of the causes:

  1. Hunger. When that brand new bundle of joy is hungry, it has only one way of communication, cry. They don’t talk, they don’t gesture out what they want, and they don’t tell you when to feed them. The point is study the times they need to feed.
  2. Thirst. Remember hunger and thirst goes hand in hand.
  3. Unusual temperatures. Keeping them in hot environs or not covering them brings out the cries, in them.
  4. Dirty diaper. The babies’ anal sphincters are not yet developed to have voluntary control. They will soil the clothing or nappies at any time, and when this wetness persists, they cry out for help.
  5. Boredom. You have one little individual who hates boredom. Keep him/her entertained when awake at all times. Or else.
  6. Pain. Colicky pains, tight fitting clothing, fever or anything that causes pain will bring out the cry.
  7. Fear. AS they grow up and start understanding the environments, they develop trust in the parents or caregivers. At certain ages, neighbors or strangers that are of course unknown to them will make then to cry out of fear.
  8. Overstimulation. Exposure to loud noises, music, sudden loud bangs or anything that stimulates them will elicit cries.

Read moreWhy babies wake you up at night

Common causes of hair loss in children

Common causes of hair loss in children

Common causes of hair loss in children

Hair loss in children is a common observation. There are several causes and most of them are easily treatable. Among the commonest know causes include:

Fungal infection (TINEA CAPITIS)

Fungal skin and scalp infections account for the majority causes of hair loss. The prevalence is about 90% of causes presenting to the doctor. The fungus has no known natural reservoir and persists for long periods on fomites, such as hairbrushes, combs, furniture, stuffed toys, and clothing. The highest incidence of this kind of infection is during school opening season when there is over crowding and contact with the infected persons. Most patients are between 1 and 10 years of age, but infection may occur at any age.

The infection survives in environments such as tight braiding, or the use of pomades.

How fungal infection presents:

The classic presentation is of one or more round to oval patches of partial to complete hair loss and with varying degrees of redness at the infection site. There may be repeated episodes of itchiness and scratching. The scratching may lead to secondary bacterial infection since there is introduction of bacteria to the injured area.

How is Tinea Diagnosed?

The bets diagnosis is clinical. The doctor examines and notices a clear pattern of presentation to the scalp. Some of the lesions may be noted on other sites such as the skin on the armpit, neck, fingers and interdigital spaces. A lab test with KOH staining also helps diagnose the fungi. The fungi are collected with a toothbrush on a culture plate or on a moistened culturette swab.

Treating fungal scalp infections

Treatment may be difficult in some patients due to various factors such as, repeated infections, poor drug compliance, incorrect diagnosis or resistance to treatment. Successful treatment requires a combination therapy with oral griseofulvin tablets and antifungal creams. Some antifungal shampoos are also available for use such as ketoconazole (candid –TV) shampoo. Griseofulvin is the agent of choice that is best taken with fatty food to promote absorption. The treatment may last 4 to 6 weeks or even up to 12 weeks depending on the response to treatment and severity.

Other types of shampoos in use include selenium sulfide 2.5%. This is done twice weekly

Partial hair loss (ALOPECIA AREATA)

Alopecia areata is a condition that is characterized by the sudden onset of asymptomatic round, bald patches located on any hair-bearing part of the body. The presentation is common on the head. There are no hair follicles and the patients have a scaly reddish crusting on the scalp. There may be pus formation too. Most patients recover well and have hair growing back in 1 to 2 years.

How alopecia areata is treated?

The main aim of treatment is to reduce the inflammation and infections. Treatments available include the use of topical steroids, topical minoxidil, tar preparations, and anthralin. Some healthcare providers may also use ultraviolet light to treat. The medications with minoxidil are used to promote hair growth and give good results.

TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM

This is a form of hair loss that is characterized by diffuse alopecia that is usually not clinically obvious to anyone but the patient and parent. The causes may be due to physiologic and pathologic stresses such as recent infections, high fever, severe influenza, surgery, and drugs. The hair follicles normally regress to the resting, or telogen, state of hair cycle. Telogen effluvium usually occurs 3 to 5 months after the stressor and is self-limited. The patients need not worry about it but may use minoxidil in cases of severe hair loss.

TRICHOTILLOMANIA

Trichotillomania is a type of hair loss that is caused by the compulsion to pull out one’s own hair. This applies traction to the hair leading to hair loss. The patients may present with areas of incomplete hair loss. Some of the hairs appear short and broken. Amazingly other areas involved include the eyebrows and eyelashes. This condition may be due to a psychiatric illness and treating it may help resolve the compulsion.

TRACTION ALOPECIA

Traction alopecia is hair loss that comes after forms of hairstyles that apply tension for long periods of time. Some patients also do like to pull on their hairs and this can cause hair loss (see Trichotillomania). The patients normally have noninflammatory linear areas of hair loss at the margins of the hairline, part line, or scattered regions, depending on hair styling or mode of traction used. The best treatment is avoidance of the causes of traction or styling products or styles that result in traction.

Diabetes: Are you scared of it?

Diabetes: Are you scared of it?

Diabetes: Are you scared of it?

What exactly is diabetes? What types do we know and what can we do about it –this is what this article is all about

WHAT IS DIABETES?

Diabetes is essentially all about blood sugar control.
Normally our blood sugar levels are all within a certain range between 3.5 mmol/L and 8 mmol/L depending on whether we are fasting or have just eaten. We have a delicate balance of blood sugar, controlled by a number of different hormones, the most important of which is Insulin.

We speak about Diabetes when the blood sugar goes above the normal reference ranges on a continuous basis.
What happens when the blood sugar is higher then normal?
It tends to stick to certain proteins in the body and leads to the symptoms & signs of diabetes, and eventually to complications if not managed adequately.

Read moreDiabetes: Are you scared of it?

Top 15 foods to take during menopause

Top 15 foods to take during menopause

Tofu

It is important to note that most plant foods have no cholesterol compared to animal foods. On the other hand, most animal foods have other important benefits too including high protein content. It has been proven that eating more tofu has helped some perimenopausal women.

The foods help protect the heart and arteries by making the fats in our blood less damaging and plaque less likely to form.  Studies show that tofu may alleviate many of the side effects (including hot flashes) associated with Female Menopause.

Practical Tofu Tips

Be sure to check the expiration date on the package before you buy it.
Always open the package only when you are absolutely sure you are going to use it.
Always cover any unused tofu with water, cover the container with plastic wrap, and then refrigerate it. Remember to change the water every day until you use it up.

Tofu can also be frozen. But note that when you thaw it out, it will crumble into pieces. This is a quality you might want if you are using tofu in certain recipes, such as chili.

Bee Foods

Royal jelly (RJ) from honeybees (Apis mellifera) is traditionally thought to improve the symptoms associated with menopause.  In studies to prove this, the reporter gene expression assays suggested that 0.1-1mg/ml of royal jelly activated estrogen receptors, leading to enhanced transcription of a reporter gene through an estrogen-responsive element.

Black Cohosh

This herb has been studies and found that it may alleviate many of the side effects of female Menopause due to the 27-Deoxyacteine content of Black Cohosh mimicking the actions of the hormone Estriol. Extracts of the rhizome of black cohosh (Actaea racemosa L., formerly called Cimicifuga racemosa Nutt.) were evaluated for potential mechanisms of action in the alleviation of menopausal hot flashes. There was a significant reduction in the hot flushes, depression and vaginal atrophy commonly experienced by females during Menopause.

Chaste Berry (Vitex)

This herb has been reported to alleviate the symptoms of hot flushes commonly associated with female Menopause.  The extracts of two essential oils derived separately from leaf and the fruit were used and found to have an effect in symptomatic relief of menopausal symptoms.

Dong Quai

This herb may facilitate the transition through female Menopause. It has been shown to alleviate many of the symptoms of female Menopause. The herb has been used for the treatment of symptoms such as hot flashes, skin flushing, perspiration and chills.  Its mechanism of action is presently unknown.  A study found the benefit of using 4.5 grams of dong quai root per day for 24 weeks to be useful for the women with menopausal symptoms.  In China, dong quai is never used alone but in combination with other Chinese herbs.

False Unicorn

Studies have shown that false unicorn may be useful for the treatment of symptoms such as hot flushes, reduced vaginal mucous causing painful coitus and poor pelvic tone in females during menopause.

Hops

Phytoestrogens are a particular group of chemicals in the general phytochemical family. They are plant chemicals that are very similar in structure to estrogen and act like weak estrogens in our bodies. They act by either blocking or enhancing estrogen action in our bodies. Heyerick, A., et al did a study on the hops extract enriched in 8-prenylnaringenin (8-PN, the phytoestrogen in hops, Humulus lupulus L.) on relief of menopausal discomforts. The results prove that daily intake of a hop extract, standardized on 8-PN as a potent phytoestrogen exerted favorable effects on vasomotor symptoms in women during menopause. The hop-derived prenylated flavonoids may provide another attractive addition to the alternative treatments or herbal treatments available for relief of hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms.

Kava (Also known as kava kava)

A dose of 300 mg of Kava standardized to contain 30% Kava Lactones per day has been shown to alleviate the anxiety and depression associated with menopause. There is a significant improvement in mood in menopausal women.

Korean Ginseng

This herb has been show to particularly improve the fatigue, insomnia and depression, seen in postmenopausal women by RG seemed to be brought about in part by effects of RG on stress-related hormones. The study was done in women taking about 6grams of the processed product.

Kudzu

Also know as the Pueraria mirifica, Kudzu has been found to contain phytoestrogens. It has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of menopause also due to the isoflavonoid content in it. The isoflavanoids such as daidzein and genistein are know to prevent bone loss induced by estrogen deficiency in menopause.

Red clover

The red Clover may also help to prevent the increased rigidity (decreased elasticity) of blood vessels that occurs as a result of declining estrogens production during and after menopause. A study showed that treatment with 80 mg isoflavones (Promensil contained in the rd clover) per day resulted in a significant reduction in hot flushes. There was a significant decrease in the episodes of hot flushes of 44% of women during the study demonstrating the effectiveness of Promensil. The ingredients in promesil (flavonoids) include the genistein, daidzein, formononetin and biochanin isoflavones. So if you are at risk of heart disease, this is one of the best herbs to consider.

Tribulus terrestris

Tribulus terrestris has been widely studies for its effectiveness in eliminating female menopause-related symptoms such as apathy, depression, hot flashes, insomnia, and loss of sexual desire. It is good to consider such a preparations during menopause.

Soya beans

The Soybean is a vegetable from the Legume (Leguminosae) family. It contains isoflavanoids such as daidzein, genistein, and glycetein. In a group of menopausal women with an average of fourteen hot flashes per week, a study comparing the effectiveness of soy bean vs. that of wheat flour; the ones receiving soy flour experienced a 40% reduction in hot flashes. There are other proven benefits of soy such as reduction in cholesterol levels, prevention of uterine, endometrial, breast and prostate cancers. The side effects of soy include flatulence, indigestion and increased risk of hypothyroidism. It should be avoided in patients undergoing radiotherapy due to the genistein content that protects cancer cells from radiation

Flax Seeds

These seeds are high in phytoestrogens that may help to minimize the symptoms of menopause. The seeds also contain lignans. Many women who consume the lignan-rich flaxseed oil products have reported a reduction in symptoms such as breast tenderness, bloating, hot flashes, sweating, and vaginal dryness. Flaxseed is also a good source of soluble fiber (the type of fiber that blends with water to form a gel-like mixture in the intestines), which may help lower cholesterol.

Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds have been found to have a sex hormonal enhancement effect in postmenopausal women. In a study, when the sesame seeds, were given at a dose of 50 g/d for 5 weeks, there were significant decreases in blood dihidroepiandrosterone ( DHEAS), Total cholesterol, LDL-Cholesterol concentrations, the ratio of LDL-Cholesterol to HDL-Cholesterol levels. There was a noted decrease in serum DHEAS level after sesame ingestion.

References

References: Trickey, R. Women, Hormones & the Menstrual Cycle.  Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW, Australia. 1998:142

Ref: Mishima, S., et al.  Royal jelly has estrogenic effects in vitro and in vivo. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2005

Ref: Liske, E., et al.  Physiological investigation of a unique extract of black cohosh (Cimicifugae 163 racemosae rhizoma):  a 6-month study demonstrates no systemic estrogenic effect.  Journal of Women’s Health and Gender-Based Medicine 11(2):163-174, 2002.

Ref: Chopin Lucks, B. Vitex agnus castus essential oil and menopausal balance: a research update.  Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery

Ref: Kupfersztain, C., et al.  The immediate effect of natural plant extract, Angelica sinensis and Matricaria chamomilla (Climex) for the treatment of hot flushes during menopause. A preliminary report Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol.  30(4):203-206, 2003.

Ref: Heyerick, A., et al.  A first prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the use of a standardized hop extract to alleviate menopausal discomforts. Maturitas.  2005.

Ref: Bone, K. Tribulus for sexual dysfunction in men and women. The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, December 2004.

Ref: Cooney RV, Custer LJ, Okinaka L, Franke AA. Effects of dietary sesame seeds on plasma tocopherol levels. Nutr Cancer. 2001; 39:66–71

Alcohol overdose

Alcohol overdose

Alcohol overdose

Introduction

Poisoning from ingestion and overdose of ethanol (alcohol). It is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine. It is distributed uniformly to all organ systems, including the placenta if present. Most alcohol is metabolized in the liver.

As the blood level rises, the patient’s level of consciousness declines, that eventually ends in coma. Death is caused by aspiration or respiratory depression.

Physiologic Effects and Blood Alcohol Levels include:

  • Blood Alcohol Concentration (mg/dL) Effects
  • 20–50 Diminished fine motor control
  • 50–100 Impaired judgment; impaired coordination
  • 100–150 Difficulty with gait and balance
  • 150–250 Lethargy; difficulty sitting upright without assistance
  • 300 Coma in the novice drinker
  • 400 Respiratory depression

Read moreAlcohol overdose

Must Have Medical Tests for Women

Must Have Medical Tests for Women

Must Have Medical Tests for Women

Have you any idea that as women, we all need to have certain medical tests and health screenings throughout our lives? For example, did you know that vision and hearing screenings are recommended during every decade of your life? Learn why we need these and other health screenings.

Pap Test – The Pap test or a Pap smear is important for all women age 21 and above. Sexually active young women under 21 also need Pap assessments starting within three years of the first time sexual intercourse happened. The Pap test, originally developed by Dr. George Papanicolaou in the 1950s, detects abnormal changes in cervical cells that may led to cervical cancer if not detected by annual Pap smears.

Prior to the introduction of the Pap test, cervical malignancy was the leading cause of cancer death in women. Thanks to Dr. Papanicolaou’s research and his hard work developing the Pap smear, cervical malignancy is now 15th, among causes of cancer deaths in women with about 3,700 women dying of cervical malignancy each year.
More: What Happens During Your Pelvic Exam and Pap Test

Read moreMust Have Medical Tests for Women