Diabetes

Cirrhosis of the liver

General Infomation
Definition: 

Cirrhosis of the liver is a condition in which the organ’s outer layers develop nodules and fibrous scar tissue in response to repeated toxic damage. These nodules and fibers disrupt the blood supply to remaining healthy tissue in the liver. Eventually, cirrhosis leads to a loss of the liver’s normal function.

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Symptoms: 

Signs and Symptoms Of Liver Cirrhosis

Early cirrhosis may produce no symptoms. It may be discovered during a routine physical or through a blood test given for some other reason.

The main symptoms of cirrhosis are-

1. Weight loss,
2. Nausea, vomiting,
3. Jaundice,
4. Weakness,
5. Stomach pain,
6. Varicose veins,
7. Constipation or diarrhea,
8. Generalized itching, and reddening of the palms of the hands.
9. Some people develop ascites, or abdominal swelling caused by fluid accumulation.

If untreated, cirrhosis can lead to a decline in brain function caused by toxins that would normally be disposed of by the liver. It could also cause kidney failure or hepatic coma, and cirrhosis can lead to liver cancer.

Causes & Complication
Causes: 

CAUSES AND COMPLICATIONS OF CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER

While cirrhosis can be a result of hepatitis C infection, malnutrition, or chronic inflammation the most common cause of cirrhosis is long term over consumption of alcohol. The amount and duration of alcohol abuse, rather than the type of alcoholic beverage consumed or the pattern of drinking (binge versus non-binge) determines the onset of cirrhosis. Women are more susceptible to this disease than men, probably because of differences in body weight and size.

Alcohol causes cirrhosis by overwhelming a key component of the livers detoxification system known as p450 enzymes that leads to increased damage from harmful free radicals, which can attack liver cells. This enzymes prevent liver tissue from efficiently using oxygen and increases the production of collagen, a substance that becomes fibrous scar tissue. It also increases the rate at which the liver converts alcohol into acetaldehyde, a chemical that damages proteins.

Conventional treatment is more supportive than curative. The idea is to reduce the livers workload as much as possible so that this resilient organ can repair itself, as long as too much tissue has not been destroyed. Standard treatment also addresses the symptoms and complications seen in cirrhosis. The secret to successful treatment, though, is helping the liver heal without activating the enzyme involved in cirrhosis development. Herbal medicine can accomplish this goal and can be used with conventional treatments. Be aware that some herbs may have a negative impact on the liver and /or interact negatively with conventional medicines. Always work with a qualified health care practitioner.

Beneficial herbs
1. Alfalfa – helps build a healthy digestive tract and is a good source for vitamin K, which is deficient in most people who suffer from cirrhosis.
Form and dosage
- Liquid or tablets; take as directed on the label.

2. Green tea – treats infections that cause or aggravate cirrhosis, including viral hepatitis.
Form and dosage
Catechin extract; take 240 mg 3 times daily. Or tea bag; prepared with 1 cup water; take 1 cup 3-5 times daily

3. Milk thistle - may be able to reverse cirrhosis.
Form and dosage
- Silymarin gel-cap; take 600 mg daily.

4. Schisandra – protects against progression of cirrhosis to liver cancer.
Form and dosage
- Capsules; take 1000 -2000 mg twice daily.

5. Soy lecithin – protects liver from damage by alcohol and other toxic chemicals.
Form and dosage
- Capsules; take 1500- 5000 mg daily.

6. Turmeric – slows rate at which alcohol is converted into a toxic form within the liver.
Form and dosage
- Curcumin tablets; take 250-500 mg twice daily, between meals.

Recommendations
• Eat two to three daily servings of dark-green, yellow, or orange vegetables for essential nutritional support.

Eat a low-protein diet to avoid putting extra stress on the liver. The process of digestive protein produces ammonia, which can build up and cause serious health problems.

Eat the right kinds of fats in moderate amounts fat calories should total at least 10% but no more than 20 % of the diet. Fish oils (except for cold –liver oil) seeds, and nuts are the best sources of essential fatty acids, which are needed for cell protection. On the other hand, corn oil, palm oil, margarine, and lard all fuel a biochemical process that creates inflammation in the liver. These should be avoided.

Drink grape juice, which contains a substance that can decrease the enzymatic conversion of many potential toxins to toxic forms by the liver by 30 %.( avoid grapefruit juice, however, if you are taking a calcium channel blocker for high blood pressure or- although this is unlikely in cirrhosis- if your doctor has given you any kind of anticoagulant drugs). Red chilli pepper also contains a similar compound.

Limit your intake of certain types of fish –haddock, bluefish, salmon, and sardines- to a maximum of two servings a weeks. Do not eat raw or under cooked seafood. A damaged liver cannot handle the amount of vitamin A in these foods.

Avoid alcohol in all forms. This includes the alcohol found in some conventional medication and in herbal tinctures.

Visit the doctor for regular blood tests. These will show how the liver is healing.

Considerations
• People with cirrhosis who continue to drink are much worse off if they also consume a high fat diet. The combination of excessive dietary fat and alcohol leads to the development of fibrous tissue into the liver.

• Be careful not to over eat. Over eating wears down the liver so that it may not be able to do its job as well as it should.

For comprehensive treatment from a specialist. Contact Dr Judah via this phone. +254720760419

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By Austine on 17 September 2019

Colic In Babies

General Infomation
Definition: 

Colic in Babies: Possible Causes, Remedies, and Tips

Most babies go through periods when they seem to be abnormally fussy or they cry for no apparent reason, but true colic is a condition in which the baby cries for a long time no matter what the parent does. It can begin around three weeks after birth, but it usually stops when the child has reached the age of three to four months. It is rarely experienced by a baby older than six months.

The cause of colic is believed to be discomfort due to indigestion and gas. An infant doubles in weight during the six months of life, and has to consume an enormous amount of food relative to his or her body weight to support the rapid growth. The sheer volume of food can cause indigestion. In addition, many infants swallow air during feeding, which can cause stomach upset.

When the child experiences gas pain, it is likely to be the worst pain of his or her life. The child shows distress in an arched back, a tense tummy with knees pulled up to the chest, clenched fists, and flailing arms and legs, all in addition to what seems like unstoppable crying. Suspect colic if the baby has crying bouts that last for several hours at a time and that always happen at the same time of a day. The crying begins and ends abruptly, and the infant seems angry and struggles when held.

Most of the traditional home remedies for colic are herbal. While all other remedies recommended here are given to the baby, breast –feeding mothers should take them as well. Be sure to note different dosages for mother and infant.

Beneficial herbs
1. Anise– a traditional colic remedy
Form and dosage
Tea bag- prepared with 1 cup of water .take 1 cup of water. Take 1 cup (mother) plus 1 tsp (baby) 3 times daily.

2. Chamomile – a traditional colic remedy. The effects of chamomile are cumulative. Effective treatment can take as long as 3 weeks.
Form and dosage
Germany chamomile tea bag; prepared with 1 cup of water. Take 1 cup (mother)
3. Fennel seeds– soothes colic .also eases lactation, flavours breast milk.
Form and dosage
Tea bag; prepared with 1 cup water. Take 1 cup (mother) plus 1 tsp (baby) 3 times daily

5. Peppermint- stops cramping, diarrhoea and gas. Fights foodborne bacteria.
Form and dosage
Tea bag; prepared with 1 cup water. Take 1 cup (mother) plus 1 tsp(baby) 3 times daily.

Recommendations
• If you are a nursing mother, you can use tinctures, which are stronger, instead of teas. Take ½ to 1 teaspoon of tincture in ¼ cup of water three times a day. Because tinctures contain alcohol, they should not be given to infants.

• If a nursing child becomes colicky, simplify your diet so that you can keep track of his or her reactions when you eat certain foods even ‘perfect’ babies can be sensitive to the foods their nursing mothers eat. The most common offenders are caffeine, chocolate cumin, curries, melon, pickle, citrus fruits, salsas, and spicy foods. Also avoid gas-forming foods, such as beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumbers, flaxseed, and green, red, or yellow peppers.

• Promote growth of the ‘good’ bacteria that help the body digest food. If breast feeding, take ½ teaspoon of lactobacillus acidophilus or bifidus powder twice a day. A bottled infant should be given 1/8 teaspoon of powder dissolved in formula twice a day

• Try different ways to soothe the baby; cuddling and rocking, a warm bath, or playing either soft music or a recording of a heartbeat (a sound the baby heard in the womb).

Considerations
• Drug treatment for colic are usually harsh. Relatively mild treatment is simethicone (mylicon drops), which breaks the surface of gas bubbles and relieves pain. If large gas bubbles causing a bloated tummy are the primary problem, this may be a workable treatment, but do not give a child simethicone without consulting his or her paediatrician, other drugs doctors give to colicky babies include antiflatulents, antispasmodic, and sedatives. These drugs sometimes give quick relief but, are too strong for continuous use.

Symptoms: 

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By Austine on 21 August 2019

DIABETES

General Infomation
Definition: 

The term "diabetes" is commonly called blood sugar. Blood sure is known as Glucose. It is the main source of energy or fuel for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues.

If you have diabetes, no matter what type, it means you have too much glucose in your blood. Too much glucose can lead to serious health problems.

Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Potentially reversible diabetes conditions include prediabetes — when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes — and gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy.

Symptoms: 

Diabetes symptoms vary somewhat, depending on what type of diabetes you have. You might experience some or all of the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes:
• Increased thirst
• Frequent urination
• Extreme hunger
• Unexplained weight loss
• Fatigue
• Blurred vision
• Slow-healing sores
• Frequent infections, such as gum or skin infections and vaginal or bladder infections

When to see a doctor
• If you suspect you may have diabetes. Contact your doctor. The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin.
• If you've already been diagnosed with diabetes, you'll need close medical follow-up until your blood sugar levels stabilize.

Causes & Complication
Causes: 

To understand diabetes, first you must understand how glucose is normally processed in the body.
How glucose normally works
Glucose is a main source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and other tissues. Glucose comes from two major sources: the food you eat and your liver. During digestion, sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. Normally, sugar then enters cells with the help of insulin.
The hormone insulin comes from the pancreas, a gland located just behind the stomach. When you eat, your pancreas secretes insulin into your bloodstream. As insulin circulates, it acts like a key by unlocking microscopic doors that allow sugar to enter your cells. Insulin lowers the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. As your blood sugar level drops, so does the secretion of insulin from your pancreas.
Your liver acts as a glucose storage and manufacturing center. When you haven't eaten in a while, for example, your liver releases stored glucose to keep your glucose level within a normal range.
Causes of type 1 diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, your immune system — which normally fights harmful bacteria or viruses — attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This leaves you with little or no insulin. Instead of being transported into your cells, sugar builds up in your bloodstream.
Causes of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes
In prediabetes — which can lead to type 2 diabetes — and in type 2 diabetes, your cells become resistant to the action of insulin, and your pancreas is unable to make enough insulin to overcome this resistance. Instead of moving into your cells, sugar builds up in your bloodstream. Exactly why this happens is uncertain, although excess fat — especially abdominal fat — and inactivity seem to be important factors.
Causes of gestational diabetes
During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones to sustain your pregnancy. These hormones make your cells more resistant to insulin. As your placenta grows larger in the second and third trimesters, it secretes more of these hormones — making it even harder for insulin to do its job.
Normally, your pancreas responds by producing enough extra insulin to overcome this resistance. But sometimes your pancreas can't keep up. When this happens, too little glucose gets into your cells and too much stays in your blood. This is gestational diabetes.

Complications: 

• High blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Your blood sugar level can rise for many reasons, including eating too much, being sick or not taking enough glucose-lowering medication.
• Increased ketones in your urine (diabetic ketoacidosis). If your cells are starved for energy, your body may begin to break down fat. This produces potentially toxic acids known as ketones.
• Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If your blood sugar level drops below your target range, it's known as low blood sugar. Your blood sugar level can drop for many reasons, including skipping a meal and getting more physical activity than normal. However, low blood sugar is most likely if you take glucose-lowering medications that promote the secretion of insulin or if you're receiving insulin therapy.
Long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually. The earlier you develop diabetes — and the less controlled your blood sugar — the higher the risk of complications. Eventually, diabetes complications may be disabling or even life-threatening.
• Cardiovascular disease. including coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke and narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis).
• Nerve damage (neuropathy). This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and over a period of months or years gradually spreads upward. Damage to the nerves related to digestion can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. For men, it may lead to problems with erectile dysfunction.
• Kidney damage (nephropathy). Severe damage can lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.
• Eye damage. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the retina (diabetic retinopathy), potentially leading to blindness.
• Foot damage. Nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of various foot complications. Left untreated, cuts and blisters can become serious infections. Severe damage might require toe, foot or even leg amputation.
• Skin and mouth conditions. Diabetes may leave you more susceptible to skin problems, including bacterial infections, fungal infections and itching. Gum infections also may be a concern, especially if you have a history of poor dental hygiene.
• Bone and joint problems. Diabetes may put you at risk of bone and joint problems such as osteoporosis.
Complications of gestational diabetes
Most women who have gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies. However, untreated or uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause problems for you and your baby.
Complications in your baby can occur as a result of gestational diabetes:
• Excess growth. Extra glucose can cross the placenta, which triggers your baby's pancreas to make extra insulin. This can cause your baby to grow too large (macrosomia). Very large babies are more likely to become wedged in the birth canal, sustain birth injuries or require a C-section birth.
• Low blood sugar. Sometimes babies of mothers with gestational diabetes develop low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) shortly after birth because their own insulin production is high. Prompt feedings and sometimes an intravenous glucose solution can return the baby's blood sugar level to normal.
• Respiratory distress syndrome. If your baby is delivered early, respiratory distress syndrome — a condition that makes breathing difficult — is possible. Babies who have respiratory distress syndrome may need help breathing until their lungs become stronger.
• Jaundice. This yellowish discoloration of the skin and the whites of the eyes may occur if a baby's liver isn't mature enough to break down a substance called bilirubin, which normally forms when the body recycles old or damaged red blood cells. Although jaundice usually isn't a cause for concern, careful monitoring is important.
• Type 2 diabetes later in life. Babies of mothers who have gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.
• Death. Rarely, untreated gestational diabetes results in a baby's death either before or shortly after birth.
Complications in you can also occur as a result of gestational diabetes:
• Preeclampsia. This condition is characterized by high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine. Left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to serious or even life-threatening complications for both mother and baby.
• Subsequent gestational diabetes. Once you've had gestational diabetes in one pregnancy, you're more likely to have it again with the next pregnancy. You're also more likely to develop diabetes — typically type 2 diabetes — as you get older.
Complications of prediabetes
Prediabetes may develop into type 2 diabetes.

Tests
Tests and Diagnosis: 

Tests for type 1 and type 2 diabetes
In June 2009, an international committee composed of experts from the American Diabetes Association, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and the International Diabetes Federation recommended that type 1 and type 2 diabetes testing include the:
• Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. This blood test indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. It works by measuring the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells. The higher your blood sugar levels, the more hemoglobin you'll have with sugar attached. An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates you have diabetes.
If the A1C test isn't available, or if you have certain conditions that can make the A1C test inaccurate — such as if you're pregnant or have an uncommon form of hemoglobin (known as a hemoglobin variant) — your doctor may use the following tests to diagnose diabetes:
• Random blood sugar test. A blood sample will be taken at a random time. Regardless of when you last ate, a random blood sugar level of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) — 11.1 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) — or higher suggests diabetes.
• Fasting blood sugar test. A blood sample will be taken after an overnight fast. A fasting blood sugar level between 70 and 99 mg/dL (3.9 and 5.5 mmol/L) is normal. If it's 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher on two separate tests, you'll be diagnosed with diabetes.
Tests for gestational diabetes
Screening for gestational diabetes is a routine part of prenatal care. Most health care providers recommend a blood test known as a glucose challenge test between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy — or earlier if you're at particularly high risk of gestational diabetes.
You'll begin the glucose challenge test by drinking a syrupy glucose solution. One hour later, you'll have a blood test to measure your blood sugar level. A blood sugar level above 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) usually indicates gestational diabetes, but you'll likely need a second test to confirm the diagnosis.
For the follow-up test, you'll be asked to fast overnight. Then you'll drink another sweet solution — this one containing a higher concentration of glucose — and your blood sugar level will be checked every hour for a period of three hours.
Tests for prediabetes
The American College of Endocrinology suggests prediabetes testing for anyone who has a family history of type 2 diabetes and for those who are obese or have metabolic syndrome. Women with a personal history of gestational diabetes also should be tested.
The primary test to screen for prediabetes is the:
• Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. This blood test indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. It works by measuring the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells. The higher your blood sugar levels, the more hemoglobin you'll have with sugar attached. An A1C level between 6 and 6.5 percent suggests you have prediabetes.
If the A1C test isn't available, or if you have certain conditions that can make the A1C test inaccurate — such as if you're pregnant or have an uncommon form of hemoglobin (known as a hemoglobin variant) — your doctor may use the following tests to diagnose diabetes:
• Fasting blood sugar test. A blood sample will be taken after an overnight fast. A blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes.
• Oral glucose tolerance test. A blood sample will be taken after you fast for at least eight hours or overnight. Then you'll drink a sugary solution, and your blood sugar level will be measured again after two hours. A blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is normal. A blood sugar level from 140 to 199 mg/dL (7.8 to 11 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes. This is sometimes referred to as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or higher may indicate diabetes.

Medication & Prevention
Prevention: 

Type 1 diabetes can't be prevented. However, the same healthy lifestyle choices that help treat prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes can help prevent them.
• Eat healthy foods. Choose foods low in fat and calories. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Strive for variety to prevent boredom.
• Get more physical activity. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day. Take a brisk daily walk. Ride your bike. Swim laps. If you can't fit in a long workout, break it up into smaller sessions spread throughout the day.
• Lose excess pounds. If you're overweight, losing even 5 percent of your body weight — for example, 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) if you weigh 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms) — can reduce the risk of diabetes. To keep your weight in a healthy range, focus on permanent changes to your eating and exercise habits. Motivate yourself by remembering the benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy and improved self-esteem.

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By Anonymous on 25 April 2011