Home Authors Posts by Elvis Augustin

Elvis Augustin

59 POSTS 0 COMMENTS

4140

Molecule Able To Protect The Brain After Stroke Discovered

A new study that will be published in the March issue of Translational Stroke Research led by Nicolas Bazan, MD, PhD describes the discovery of a new compound that is able to protect the brain of an experimental model in case of stroke. A patent was issued in order to register the discovery of a compund named LAU-0901, drug with a low molecular weight that is able to cross the blood-brain barrier.

The most common type of stroke is ischemic stroke, necrosis of a part more or less important of the brain, caused by the obstruction of the arteries that irrigate that particular region. Cerebral infarction is the most severe form of cerebral ischemia (reduction of blood perfusion to the brain). The most frequent cause is thrombosis (blockage with a clot or thrombus), favored by the presence, inside the artery, of a plaque buildup (cholesterol deposit). A second cause is embolism, migration of a fragment of thrombus or plaque buildup in the upstream of artery (carotid or thoracic aorta) or heart.  During this episode of ischemic stroke, the body reacts and releases certain compounds that promote the inflammation of the brain. PAF or platelet-activating factor builds up causing neurons to die. It is therefore very important to stop this process.

BrainStroke
According to Dr. Baazan, the molecule, LAU-0901, reduces the incorrect body reaction due to stroke and inhibits the cellular receptor that binds the platelet-activating factor, leading to a decreased inflammation of the brain tissue and therefore to a less severe stroke event.

In order to assess effectiveness of this treatment option, scientists used imaging techniques like MRI together with behavior and immunohistopathology (also known as “immunohistochemistry” is a technique that uses antibodies to stain histological sections needed for for examination under a microscope). When the LAU-0901 molecule was administered about two hours after the first stroke symptoms, it reduced the severity of brain injury and also improved motor movements in experimental models. Given the fact that no side effects were reported, we can conclude the results may suggest that LAU-0901 is a very promising future treatment option for patients suffering a stroke.

Currently, stroke is one of the major causes of death and disability worldwide. Conventional stroke treatments make use of drugs that prevent coagulation and thrombosis, and when possible, surgery in order to correct the abnormalities of certain blood vessels in the brain.

2842

New Protein That Inactivates The Immune Response Discovered

According to a new study conducted at Trinity College Dublin and published in the journal Nature Communication, a new “off switch” mechanism of the immune system was discovered. By manipulating this mechanism, either in terms of blocking or stimulation, scientists hope to treat autoimmune diseases which are caused by a over-stimulation of the  immune system and  also improve the effectiveness of various vaccines.

This off switch mechanism is represented by a protein called TMED7 which has the capacity to inactivate different parts of our own immune system after an infection was annihilated and eliminated from the body. By manipulating this new discovered protein, researchers can limit the response of the immune system so that they can prevent immune system to attack our own body .

“Without stop signals like TMED7 our immune system would continue to rage out of control long after the infection has been cleared, leading to diseases such as septic shock,” says Dr Anne McGettrick, the leader of the research team.

White blood cell observed under an electrical microscope

Immune System Cell

In some diseases such as Malaria and HIV, blocking the inhibitory activity TMED7 protein and increasing the activity of our immune system can have some advantages, as this two major world wide health problems do not benefit from effective vaccines, although there many studies in this direction.

Lack of response after vaccination is due to our own immune system that is not capable to produce a strong immune response to the vaccine, making the vaccine simply ineffective. Researchers hope that in the future they will be able to remove TMED7 protein from cells (this protein inhibit a compound of vaccines called TLR4) leading to a stronger and better response of the immune system, making vaccination against varoius infectious diseases more effective.

Other disorders that could also benefit from this type of discoveries are autoimmune disease, in which an over-stimulation of the immune system determines the attack of the body’s own structures. By manipulating TMED4 protein, which has the capacity to inhibit the immune system, scientists hope to be able to stop destructive processes caused by over-expression of the immune system in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis and other collagen diseases.

TMED7 represents the first studied member from a big family of proteins that are involved in the control and response of the human immune system. Researchers also discovered, certain proteins in some species of flies that are involved in the limitation of anti-bacterial response and are similar to TMED7 protein, showing that this family of proteins have been preserved throughout evolution.

Researchers are hoping that in the future they will be able to discover if other members of this big family of proteins are involved in the immune response and maybe will lead to a better understanding of the function of our immune system.

3240

Future Study Aims To Assess The Outcomes Of Obesity Surgeries

Obesity represents a worldwide health problem with an increasing incidence among adults. For this reason the University of Bristol started a study named BY-BAND, aimed to compare two commonly surgeries used in practice to treat morbid obesity. Due to the fact that obesity surgery increases the quality of life, this study will compare stomach bypass operation and stomach band operation, in terms of effectiveness and clinical benefit for patients, as until now is not known for sure which type of surgical intervention has a better prognosis.

“Obesity is an increasing health problem in the UK, which is predicted to worsen. Current national guidelines recommend that surgery should be considered for morbidly obese people or for those remaining obese after trying other options. The BY-BAND study will compare two types of operation, gastric bypass and gastric banding, to find out which one has the greater benefits”, said the leader of the study, Professor Jane Blazeby, Upper GI Surgeon.

The main goal of this study is to compare during a period of three years which type of this two surgical interventions will lead to major changes in body weight in a shorter time period and will also better improve the quality of life of obese patients.

Obesity Surgery

Obesity Surgery

The study will include over 700 patients with morbid obesity in randomized trials and for the results to be more objective, researchers will take into account possible complications which may arise at the time of the surgical intervention and in the next three years. One half of patients will be treated with gastric band intervention and the other half with gastric bypass. Due to the fact that none of these two surgical interventions are new, nor in the experimental experimental and both used in the current medical practice, the type of surgical intervention will be randomly decided by researchers. Patients will be asked to answer to a series of questions about their quality of life for the future studies regarding obesity and also asked to donate two blood samples.

For the first phase of this study only two centers from United Kingdom will be included, the University of Southampton and Tauton and in the second phase, eight. Researchers will start to recruit volunteers in April 2012 and the study will be conducted over a period of eight years, until the last patient that is included in the study is monitored for a period of three years. This clinical trial will include obese volunteers until 2015 and the first results will be made public in 2018.

3542

Study Links Reduced Lung Function With An Increased Risk Of Heart Failure

It is not a new thing that smokers have a higher risk of developing heart failure compared with people who don’t smoke but according to a new study published in the European Journal of Heart Failure, it seems that reduced lung function and obstructive airway disease are independently associated with heart failure.

The based-population cohort study, supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), was conducted on a sample of 16,000 adults, aged between 45 and 64, followed over a period of nearly 15 years. Study results showed that the long term risk of developing heart failure increases proportionally with reduced lung function, measured as FEV1 (forced expiratory volume). These results were not influenced by age, preexisting cardiac disease or other cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking.

Lung

Lung

Heart failure is the main reason for hospitalization in people over 65 years. Heart failure a pathological condition in which the heart can not pump enough blood to supply the body functions. There are many causes that can lead to heart failure: hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and others. Common symptoms are chest pain, shortness of breath, leg edema, ascites, hepatomegaly. Even if people survive many years after the inital diagnosis, heart failure is associated with an overall annual mortality rate of 10%.

Smoking increases the risk of developing heart failure by placing an added strain on the heart, causing it to work harder to pump blood and potentially damaging the heart muscle over time. In other words reduced lung function is a risk factor for heart failure, independent of smoking and this means that physicians should adopt another strategy for treating their heart failure patients.

Dr Sunil Agarwal from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA, the study’s first author, says that a low FEV1 is more important as a risk factor than diabetes and hypertension. This observation is important because smoking and pollution adversely affects lung function. It is therefore important to determine whether improved lung function is associated with a lower risk of heart failure.

The study confirms other similar findings which indicate  that a low FEV1  is associated with heart failure. The finding requires further research to prove that improving FEV1 reduces the risk of heart failure. Dr Gerardo Heiss, the study’s senior investigator, noted that even if COPD is common among cardiac patients, we cannot say that screening for COPD reduces the risk of heart failure. However, Dr Gerardo Heiss points out that clinicians should be aware that patients with COPD are at a greater risk of developing heart failure.

5354

Hidden Properties Of Genetic Mutations Leading To Cancer Revealed

Researchers have discovered that some types of cancer caused by genetic mutations contain electronic signatures ‘hidden in better ways’ than other types of mutations. This characteristic may help them to stay undiscovered by the human body' s defence mechanisms.

The physicists from Taiwan and the University of Warwick have conducted a new study according to which the electronic features of the DNA could be used for diagnosing and detecting mutation hotspots.

The power of supercomputers was used by the researchers in order to create a model for every possible mutation of the 162 disease-related genes, this resulted in a total of 5 billion calculations. After comparing these models with real medical databases consisting of mutations known to cause cancer in individuals, scientists discovered that theoretical mutations not documented in real life do not have an electronic structure as stealthier as the real-life mutations.

Mutation

Mutation

These mutations responsible for disease, have created, in the DNA molecule, a smaller electronic structure which might make them less visible to cell repair mechanisms.

“We studied the scale of change in electronic charge transport for pathogenic mutations when compared to all possible mutations, said the professor Rudolf Roemer, member of the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick.

According to professor R. Roemer the mutations having the smallest change in the electronic characteristics have a correspondent in those mutations already known to be responsible for causing the real life cancer.

Rudolf Roemer explained the undetectability of these disease“causing mutations by comparing them with planes that use stealth technology to remain undetected by radar systems.

The professor also said that: “Similarly the real-life mutations that show up in the medical databases are likely to be the ones that didn’t have a sufficiently dramatic effect on the structure of the DNA when they first appeared, which is why they were not spotted and repaired early on by the body’s molecular defence mechanisms.

Using stealth properties gives those mutiation the possibility to remain undercover and elude the body’s defence mechanism, making them very dangerous in their ability to burst out all of  a sudden and cause a disease like cancer.

According to Dr. Stephen Wells from the Department of Physics in the University of Warwick, this was the very first time when scientists have discovered a link between mutations and the electronic features of the genes. These new findings may suggest that these differences in electronic signatures could someday be used as a method for early cancer detection.

8936

Deep Venous Thrombosis

Deep venous thrombosis is a disease characterized by thrombi formation in the deep veins, especially veins in the legs. Because deep venous thrombosis can lead to occurrence of pulmonary embolism, prophylaxis and treatment of this condition should be done as accurately as possible.

Treatment of deep venous thrombosis:

The main aims of treatment for deep venous thrombosis are to prevent:

  • Increasing in size of the thrombus;
  • Detachment of thrombus and appearance of pulmonary embolism;
  • Development of post-thrombotic syndrome, a condition that causes pain, swelling and sores in the affected limb
  • Recurrence of the thrombi.
Legs Venous Thrombosis

Legs Venous Thrombosis

Initial treatment

Once the diagnosis of deep venous thrombosis is made, the treatment should be started immediately, to prevent the increasing in size and embolization of thrombus or its detachment. Early therapy also decreases the risk of post-trombotic syndrome.

Deep venous thrombosis is usually treated with anticoagulants like heparin or warfarin. Heparin is administered by intravenous injection and warfarin is administered orally. Heparin acts immediately, while warfarin is effective in a few days after the administration. Treatment begins with both drugs, but the administration of heparin will be discontinued after warfarin becomes effective.

Patients with deep venous thrombosis in the thigh veins will continue treatment with warfarin for 3-6 months, sometimes more. After 3-6 months, depending on the risk factors, the doctor may recommend that the treatment with warfarin should be continued, but in low doses, as a maintenance therapy to prevent recurrence of the thrombi.

Venous Thrombosis

Venous Thrombosis

For the treatment of deep venous thrombosis are available two types of heparin: unfractionated heparin, which is administered in the hospital and fractionated heparin (low molecular weight heparin), which can be administered at home, is easier to use and is cheaper. Also, low molecular weight heparin does not require periodic tests to monitor its effects. Both types of heparin are equally effective.

Patients with deep venous thrombosis in the leg veins require anticoagulant therapy for 6 to 12 weeks. If anticoagulation is contraindicated, can be administered NSAIDs, like aspirin or naproxen and should be performed periodic ultrasound monitoring of the thrombus. Other measures, such as raising the legs, when is possible, the using of warm compresses and the using elastic stockings, are helpful to alleviate pain that appear in deep venous thrombosis.

If anticoagulation therapy is contraindicated, can be installed filters in the inferior vena cava or other drug therapy may be given.

Maintenance treatment

Patients with deep venous thrombosis in the thigh veins, will continue the treatment with warfarin for 3 to 6 months, sometimes more. After 3-6 months, depending on risk factors, the doctor may recommend that warfarin to be used  in a lower dose as a maintenance therapy to prevent recurrence of the thrombi.

During anticoagulant therapy must be done regular tests to monitor the action of anticoagulant drugs. Test that measures the time of forming a blood clot is called the prothrombin time.

Certain medications (especially antibiotics), diet and  some habits may influence anticoagulant drugs. Is indicated that blood tests to be done periodic for accordingly adjust of the drug doses.

Warfarin

Warfarin

In pregnant women, oral anticoagulants, like warfarin, are contraindicated, because can cause birth defects. It can still be given, if necessary, intravenous anticoagulants. Oral anticoagulant therapy can be started immediately after birth.

Although not proven, the use of  elastic stockings is recommended in the case of deep venous thrombosis accompanied by symptoms. Elastic stockings can relieve pain and leg swelling, in some people. Certain types of compressive stockings (elastic) can help prevent deep venous thrombosis in individuals with high risk of developing this disease. The use of elastic stockings can also prevent post-trombotic syndrome.

Home treatment of deep venous thrombosis:

Home treatment refers to the realization of a safe anticoagulant therapy, because it increases the risk of bleeding.
Anticoagulant therapy, in a first episode of deep venous thrombosis lasts 3 to 6 months. During this treatment is indicated:

  • Administration of anticoagulants after doctor’s indications.
  • Monitoring the response to treatment, this may require blood tests once or twice a week in the first 2-4 weeks of treatment.
  • Avoid activities that have an increased risk of injury.
  • Following a indicated diet. Certain foods can interfere with the action of anticoagulants.
  • The patient should consult his physician before taking other drugs or before stop or change the dose of some drugs that are administered simultaneously with anticoagulant therapy.
  • Moderate alcohol consumption.

It is recommended the use of warm compresses for 20-30 minutes for 3-4 times a day and to walk 5-6 times per day is possible, because these measures can help to reduce pain and swelling.

Options of medication:

Anticoagulants

Anticoagulant drugs prevent the formation of new clots and prevent the increasing of a existing clot, but do not break and dissolve thrombi which are already formed.

Anticoagulants are used for:

  1. Treatment of  installed deep venous thrombosis
  2. Prevention of thrombus formation after some surgical interventions
  3. Prevention of thrombus formation in people with high risk.

The types of anticoagulant used to treat deep venous thrombosis are:

  1. Heparin – there are two types of heparin: low molecular weight heparin that can be given by injection at home and unfractionated heparin that is administered intravenously and requires hospitalization.
  2. Warfarin – oral anticoagulation.
Lovenox

Lovenox

Is preferred low molecular weight heparin because is effective and does not require hospitalization and the monitoring of blood tests.

The ideal time to perform oral anticoagulant therapy varies and is still considered to be in study. In general, the therapy is continued for 3 to 6 months. Studies have shown that anticoagulant therapy reduced the risk of recurrent of the thrombosis from 25% to 5% and the pulmonary thromboembolic risk by 60-70%, in the first 3 months of treatment.

After the initial treatment with warfarin, it may be indicated a continuous administration of warfarin, but in a lower dose, to prevent relapses.

The administration of a new anticoagulant agent, called ximelagastan have demonstrated that is reducing the risk of recurrence of deep venous thrombosis in people who received conventional therapy with warfarin, for 6 months. Unlike warfarin, ximelagastan dose not require frequent blood tests to adjust the dose.

Thrombolytics

This are drugs that are rapidly dissolving the clots and for this reason, are sometimes used to treat deep venous thrombosis with large thrombi, that are recently formed and produce severe symptoms. These drugs increase rapidly the risk of bleeding, so are given only in certain situations where the risk of bleeding is less higher than the risk of allowing the thrombus to be undissolved. Generally, thrombolytics are given only when symptoms are severe or potentially life-threatening or the patient can lose his foot.

Thrombolytics can reduce the risk of developing the post-thrombotic syndrome.

Thrombin inhibitors (hirudin and hirulog) are introduced as new agents with a mechanism of action that interfere with the action of thrombin, a component used in thrombus formation.

Heparin

Heparin

Aspirin may prevent thrombus formation and reduce the risk of pulmonary embolism. A study showed that aspirin reduce the risk of pulmonary embolism after surgical procedures by 33%. This study showed that aspirin can be administered with great benefits in patients with risk of thrombosis.

Surgical treatment:

Surgical treatment consist in thrombus removal and represents a alternative only in rare cases, like deep venous thrombosis with large thrombus, that is causing symptoms and is blocking a major vessel. Surgery increases the risk of the development of a new thrombus.

Other treatments:

Installation of the filters at the level of vena cava, represents a alternative in patients with bleeding disorders, malignancy or bleeding from a gastric ulcer and can not take anticoagulation therapy. These filters prevent transporting of blood clots from the veins into pulmonary vessels.

Filters in the vena cava can be used in cases where:

  • The thrombi appear, even during a anticoagulant therapy;
  • Recurrent thrombi and pulmonary hypertension.

Prophylaxis:

Prophylactic measures can be done before and after some procedures or events that are increasing the risk of deep venous thrombosis. These measures may include:

  1. Administration of anticoagulants to prevent blood clots after certain types of surgical interventions. It is also used in people who have an increased risk of thrombus formation or those who had deep venous thrombosis in the past.
  2. Exercises which are involving the lower limb and improve the circulation at this level.  The toes are moved to stretch the lower leg muscles and then to relax them (the toes are pulled toward the head, in lying position). These exercises are especially important when the person is obliged to maintain a certain position for a longer period of time.
  3. Getting up from the bed as soon as possible after a surgery or a illness.
  4. Use of elastic stockings to prevent thrombosis in individuals at high risk.
Compression Stockings

Compression Stockings

Long plane flights are increasing the risk of developing deep venous thrombosis, even in people without risk factors. Many doctors recommend the use of elastic stockings for flights longer than 8 hours. During long flights is indicated to get up from a chair to make some movement every hour, leg movements every 20 minutes, drinking large amounts of liquid in a large glass every 2 hours and avoidance of alcohol or caffeine consumption, because it produce dehydration and increase the risk of developing blood clots.

People who have an increased risk of developing deep venous thrombosis should go to a medical consultation, before taking a long plane flight.

For prophylaxis of deep venous thrombosis can be used pneumatic compression devices. These devices allow rhythmic inflation and deflation of some boots that are covering the leg up to the knee, in this way the blood circulation of the leg is stimulated. These pumps are commonly used in hospital after surgical procedures.

Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment

Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment

41309

Swollen Feet

Due to swollen feet, doctors can sometimes make the decision to treat a patient with diuretics, drugs that eliminate water from the body. It is important that your doctor decide whether you present edema or not. If not prevented or treated, over time, swollen feet (edema) can lead to stretching of the skin, which can lead to other annoying situations. If you have swelling and difficulties during breathing, then it is a sign that you should seek immediate medical help. Pregnant women who notice legs swelling must be kept under medical observation.

Treatment

Edema can be treated only by stimulating the evacuation of fluids in the urine by the kidneys. To reach this result,  diuretics and keeping a salt diet are required. Treatment varies for each type of edema depending on the cause that lead to it. A unilateral swelling of a leg, caused by phlebitis, is reduced by anticoagulant treatment. If venous insufficiency is the cause edema can be improved by wearing special stocking. A bilateral lower limb edema, attributable to heart failure, is treated by administering anti-diuretic drugs, and vasodilators.

Swollen Leg

Swollen Leg

Home Remedies

Swollen feet can be caused by excessive accumulation of fluid in the tissues, generally painless, usually found in older people, overweight persons, pregnant women or a consequence of long periods in standing or sitting position.

Symptoms and medical conditions may indicate excessive fluid retention as a  body response to certain cardiovascular diseases, liver or kidney failure. Other medical situations that could trigger legs inflammation include burns, insect bites, infections and varicose veins, and certain drugs.

The only way to treat leg swelling is to remove the cause that lead to their appearance. Here are some of the actions that you can take to reduce the swelling:

  • Put a pillow under your legs when resting to keep the feet in a higher position than the rest of the body
  • Wear elastic stockings that you can buy in pharmacies and specialized stores – the pressure they exert on tissues that can prevent the accumulation of fluid in the legs.
  • Do not spend too much time standing or in the seated position without changing position.
  • Listen to your doctor advice in terms of salt and fluid intake.
  • Exercise – can reduce swelling of the legs. Blood flows naturally from the legs to the heart. Exercises stimulates normal blood circulation.
  • Raising the legs above the heart – promotes blood circulation to the brain.
  • Weight loss – Obesity slows blood circulation in the entire body, and one of the consequences can be swelling of the feet. Losing weight helps blood to circulate better and can reduce inflammation of the extremities.
  • Reduce salt intake and adopt a balanced diet
  • Applications with vinegar – alternation, one hot, another cold is an alternative treatment for leg swelling. For this purpose you can mix two equal parts of water and vinegar on a towel, which will be applied around the legs for 7 to 10 minutes. The process is repeated two to three times.
  • Molasses and aniseed – water added. Boil 250 ml water, 1 / 2 tablespoon molasses 1 tablespoon anise. Keep it boiling until only a half of the mixture will remain. Drink this composition in three or four rounds day as it can reduce swelling of the feet, provided it is not triggered by a chronic disease. Treatment is effective, including in pregnant women who suffer from this drawback.
Leg Swelling Pillow

Leg Swelling Pillow

Physical exercises for swollen ankles

Swollen ankles are most frequently the result of different types of trauma, a sprain for example, or fluid buildup in the lower body (lymphedema, sodium intake, prolonged standing.

Preparing for exercise

Often when a person is experiencing swollen ankles, especially because of the pain, may avoid exercise. However, if your doctor recommends rest and recreation (as for sprains), you must seek advice before starting physical activity. Training will begin gradually.

There are several types of movements that might be useful:

  • Exercises keep joints flexible and prevent stiff ankles. These include bending and rotation. Raise the heel as much from ground as possible, standing on the tips of the feet.
  • Walking is an excellent exercise for swollen ankles due to fluid retention. As a person is walking, leg motion and fluid flow determines  normalization of the lymphatic system function. It is recommended that the patient begins in the first stage to walk on foot for short distances, and then extend the walks time.
  • Toning and stretching
    Toning and stretching exercises prevents fluid retention, ankles become stronger. This can be done by stretching the calf muscles in a sitting position or standing. Stand on the chair and wrap a towel around the ankle foot, pull the towel heads, keeping leg straight in front and the toes pointed upward. Another exercise involves tightening calf muscles climbing stairs on the calfs and down stairs on fingertips on the heels.

Swollen feet could also be a case of a sprained ankle – if this is the case you can find a fast and complete solution here

9321

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the eyelid lining (thin tissue located on the back of the eyelids with a defending role and maintaining the eye moist).

Conjunctivitis Causes

The most often incriminated causes in the occurrence of conjunctivitis are:

  • Virus infection
  • Infection with bacteria (such as gonorrhea or chlamydia)
  • Irritants such as shampoos, dust, cigarette smoke, gases and other environmental pollutants, chlorine used for water treatment (swimming pools)
  • Allergens, especially dust, makeup, pollen, contact lenses.
Pink eye

Pink eye

The cause of infectious conjunctivitis (viral or bacterial etiology) can be transmitted from person to person but can not cause serious complications if conjunctivitis is diagnosed and treated early.

Symptoms

Symptoms of conjunctivitis vary depending on the degree of inflammation in the conjunctiva and includes the following:

  • Conjunctival hyperemia (redness of conjunctival mucosa)
  • Excessive amount of tears)
  • White-yellow discharge, which is stored at the root of lashes and the corner of the eye, especially after sleep
  • Thick green discharge
  • Conjunctival pruritus (itching, appeared in conjunctival mucosa, which may increase hyperaemia due to scratching)
  • Burning eyes sensation
  • Blurred vision
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light).

When any specific conjunctivitis symptoms appear, you need specialized medical advice. The ophthalmologist will perform a thorough examination of the eye and eventually harvest, using a sterile swab a sample of pathological ocular secretions. Microbiological examination of the eye discharge may identify the cause conjunctivitis (viral or bacterial infections), including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and therefore conjunctivitis can be treated accordingly.

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis

Treatment

The correct treatment of conjunctivitis depends firstly on its etiology.

Bacterial conjunctivitis, including STDs (sexually transmited diseases), are usually treated with eye drops with antibiotic (eyewash), ointments or pills. Eye drops and ointments have to be applied to the conjunctiva 3-4 times per day for a period of 5-7 days. Antibiotic pills are also given for several days (5-7 days). Conjunctivitis symptoms get better or disappear after about week after starting treatment. It is very important that patients diagnosed with conjunctivitis should be treated by an ophthalmologist and do not stop even if symptoms have improved, to avoid the appearance of relapses.

Viral conjunctivitis is one of the most common eye infections and is usually caused by influenza and parainfluenza virus (seasonal). Viral conjunctivitis is one of the first manifestations of common colds and it has a self-limiting evolution (heals without treatment) after an interval of 5-7 days after onset.

Allergic conjunctivitis is most common in people with atopy (allergic predisposition) and is usually treated with specific anti-allergy medication. It is important to identify allergens that cause conjunctivitis in order to prevent the new episodes of allergic conjunctivitis.

Conjunctivitis caused by irritants (substances from the environment, which can cause physical or chemical irritation of the lining). In this type of conjunctivitis rapid removal of the irritants is very important (washing) . In case of conjunctivitis caused by acid or alkaline substances (bleach), medical help is mandatory.

Eye drops are the most common treatment used for the eradication of conjunctivitis, so it is very important that this is done correctly. It is mandatory to carefully read the prospectus before applying any medical treatment. The conjunctiva should not be reached directly by the bottle to avoid contamination with infectious agents (bacteria or virus). After applying the solution in the median eye angle (above the lacrimal sac), close eyes and keep them closed for 1-2 minutes, to facilitate local absorption of the drug. Usually 3-4 applications are given daily for a period of 5-7 days, depending on the type of product used.

Remember that  the ophthalmic container can be used by only one person and should not be shared, also it can not be reused (its shelf life is approximately 30 days after first use).

Conjunctivitis Treatment

Conjunctivitis Treatment

Prevention

To prevent and relieve symptoms caused by conjunctivitis, we recommend the following:

  • Eye protection against dust and external irritants (sunglasses, eye hygiene)
  • Avoiding use of cosmetics (makeup), especially in people with increased sensitivity
  • Proper use of contact lenses with regular removal and washing.
  • Use “artificial tears” (eye drops specifically made to keep the eye moist and clean)

These drops can relieve unpleasant symptoms caused by conjunctivitis caused by irritants (itching, burning, intraocular foreign body sensation). It is important to note that not all eye drops are indicated in conjunctivitis, some eyewash (drops) may even worsen symptoms and cause complications. It is also very important to use proper containers and avoid contamination of the container which can cause ocular reinfection.

Prophylaxis and treatment of conjunctivitis in children

For children with conjunctivitis:

  • Avoid scratching (rubbing) and touching the infected area
  • More frequent hand washing with soap and water
  • Wipe pathological secretion that occurs in the eye with a sterile swab for at least 2 times a day
  • Things of personal hygiene, such as bed linen (pillow), towels have to be washed and disinfected properly
  • Avoid using collective makeup (mascara, makeup), and avoid sharing other facial care products.
  • Do not share contact lenses
  • Is recommended to use glasses instead of contact lenses when the eye has an irritation or infection.
  • Wash hands after applying  local ointments
  • Avoid of sharing towels and bed linen
  • It is forbidden to use a used eye drops container to a healthy baby after it has been previously used by a person with infectious conjunctivitis
  • It is important that any child with infectious conjunctivitis should be isolated from the rest of the children who may come into contact with.
Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis

Complications

Conjunctivitis is a self-limiting disease (it heals without treatment after a certain time) or disappears after correct etiological treatment (antibiotic). However, it should be noted that there are certain forms of conjunctivitis that can worsen, causing serious complications that can lead to vision problems. Gonorrhea and chlamydia conjunctivitis can create serious complications. Infectious conjunctivitis is a highly contagious disease and so there is no 100% way to avoid possible contamination. However maintaining a proper hygiene reduces the risk of contamination and appearance of conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis has a cyclical trend (seasonal), depending on exposure to allergens that cause the disease, so it is important to avoid possible exposure to allergens (pollen, dust, contact lenses, etc.)

17336

Rational Diet – How Should We Eat To Stay Fit And Healthy

By eating rational means ensuring a optimal intake of  food both qualitatively and quantitatively, which ensures the maintenance of life, growth and development and contributing to health recovery in case of illness. A balanced diet should contain both macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and lipids), which provides the energy for normal activities, as well as vitamins and minerals, which are considered micronutrients.

Diet

Diet

Caloric Necessary (Energetic Necessary)

As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), caloric necessary is that the best food energy intake, which provides an ideal energy balance necessary to maintain normal body weight and composition, long-term preservation of health, physical and intellectual activity performing and browsing physiological periods (growth, pregnancy, lactation).

To achieve this is advisable that the energy intake to be equal to energy consumed. Energy intake is supplied by food and energy expenditure is necessary for:

  • Ensuring basal metabolism (60% of total energetic consumption);
  • Volunteer activity, physical and psychological (30% of energetic consumption);
  • Dynamic action, which is specific for each aliment separately (10% of energetic consumption);
  • Thermogenesis.

Daily caloric necessary is generally higher in young than in the elderly, men than in women and depends on your ideal weight, physical activity and physiological states mentioned.

In adults, the simplest estimate of caloric needs can be done by multiplying the ideal weight (in kg) by the number of calories expended per kilogram of body weight and day, depending on the activity performed:

  • Bed rest = 25 kcal per kg body weight / day;
  • Mild physical activity = 30-35 kcal per kg body weight / day;
  • Moderate physical activity = 35-40 kcal per kg body weight / day;
  • Heavy physical activity = 40-45 kcal / kilogram body weight / day.

For calculating the ideal weight there are many formulas available, but the most used is the Broca formula:

  • Ideal weight = Height (cm) – 100 ( in men);
  • Ideal weight = Height (cm) – 105 (in women).

Food Principles

Food principles are represented by carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins, minerals and water.

Optimal amounts indicated for each food principle (meaning those quantities that involve a reduced risk for developing chronic carential diseases and are enough for physical activity and can provided a good energy balance) are provided by the guidelines developed by specialists.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates have an important energetic role, because one gram of carbohydrate provides 4 kcal. They are present in foods in the form of monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides. According to all recommendations, carbohydrates should represent between 55% and 65% of total caloric intake,because the minimal amount carbohydrates which ensure the glucose needed for the adult nervous system is 130 g / day.

The main sources of carbohydrates are cereals and cereal products (flour, bread, maize, pasta, rice), vegetables, fruit, sugar and sugar products, the last two sources are not obligatory.

  1. Monosaccharides are represented by glucose and fructose, found in fruits, cereals, syrups and honey. Glucose is oxidized into cells and represents its major energy source, on the other hand it is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen (energy reserve).
  2. Disaccharides are represented by sucrose (glucose + fructose), maltose (glucose + glucose) and lactose (glucose + galactose).
  3. Polysaccharides important for nutrition (starch and glycogen) are formed by polymerization of glucose molecules. The main sources of starch are cereals, cereal products and potatoes, while glycogen is found in some organs (liver, kidney, muscle).
  4. Sugar and sugar products are not indispensable, but when they are consumed, daily amount of sugar should not exceed 10 g-20 g, so about 4% of caloric intake (up to 10%, according to WHO).

To ensuring an adequate intake of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, balanced diet should contain 200 g-300 g of fruits and 300 g-500 g of vegetables.

Balanced Diet

Balanced Diet

Lipids

Lipids are the most powerful energy source of the body, one gram of fat generates 9 kcal. Some of them play an important structural and functional role, entering in the composition of cell membranes, central nervous system, hormones and cellular messengers. A balanced diet should contain fat at a rate of 20% -30% of daily calories (1 g / kg body weight / day). The minimum required, one that provides fat-soluble vitamins is 40 g / day.

Fatty acids are classified as saturated and unsaturated (mono-and polyunsaturated), depending on the presence and number of unsaturated double bonds in the chain of carbon atoms. Transsaturated fatty acids originate from the conversion of unsaturated fatty acids during thermal or industrial preparation.

Saturated fatty acids originate from animal fats: butter, cream, whipped cream, egg yolk, cheese (cottage cheese, cheese),fatty meat.
Oils (vegetable fat) contain polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated.
The optimal ratio of dietary fat, the animal and vegetal origin is 1 / 1. For a day, diet should contain 10% rational polyunsaturated fatty acids, 10% monounsaturated acids, saturated fatty acids maximum 10% and a amount of 300 mg cholesterol. It is recognized that such a diet does not favor atherogenesis.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are of essential fatty acids, which means they can not be synthesized by the body. Their presence is necessary both for normal growth and development, as well as heart and nervous system function. Depending on the position of first double bonds to the methyl end of the carbon chain, there are two classes of PUFA: omega 6 and omega 3.

  1. Omega-6 PUFA have the principal representative linoleic acid of which, in the human body is synthesize arachidonic acid. The main sources of omega-6 PUFA are: sunflower oil, pumpkin oil, sprouts corn oil and soybean oil.
  2. Omega-3 PUFA are mainly represented by alpha-linolenic acid and are found in oily fish. Besides their essential role in growth and development, is considered that omoga 3 PUFA has antiatherogenous effects, so the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend, in general, eating fish at least twice a week, and for the people who have risk factors for coronary artery disease indicate omega 3 fatty acids supplementation with 600 mg/day and even with 1-2 g/day in subjects with a family history of sudden cardiac death.

Recommendations on the required daily amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids are for linoleic acid, 5% -10% of daily caloric necessary, and for alpha-linolenic acid, 0.6% -1.2%. In a rational nutrition, optimum ratio of omega-6 PUFA and omega-3 PUFAs should be 4:1.

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

Protein

Proteins are nutrients that are essential to life, the main roles are structural and functional. In second way are used as an energy source, one gram of protein provides 4kcal.

As structure and complexity protein are:

  • simple: albumin and globulin, which splits in aminoacids by hydrolysis;
  • conjugated: nucleoproteins (from RNA and DNA), mucoproteine, glycoproteins, lipoprotein, phosphoprotein and metallo-proteins (ferritin).

The basic structure of the protein consists of essential aminoacids and nonessential aminoacids.

  1. Essential aminoacids (threonine, tryptophan, lysine, leucine, isoleucine, methionine, valine and phenylalanine) are considered essential because their endogenous synthesis is insufficient for the metabolic needs and is necessary an additional contribution.
  2. Nonessential aminoacids (alanine, aspartic acid, asparagine, glutamic acid, arginine, glutamine, glycine, proline and serine) are equally important for protein structure, but if are not sufficient quantities for protein structures, they can be produced from the essential aminoacids or from other precursors.

There are certain aminoacids which can be synthesized by the body in normal conditions, insufficient quantity, but in some situations it is necessary to supplement them by exogenous input, they are called conditionally essential aminoacids (histidine, cysteine, tyrosine).

Functionally, food protein are sources for synthesis of tissue protein and are involved in anabolic processes providing aminoacids necessary for the body. Proteins compose the enzymes, hormones, antibodies and are therefore involved in immune system function. Proteins participate in transport of triglycerides, cholesterol, phospholipids and fat-soluble vitamins.

Optimal protein intake is 11% -13% of daily caloric necessary, or 0.8-1g/kg body weight / day. A rational diet should include animal and vegetable protein in a ratio of 1:1.

Proteins

Proteins

Vitamins

Vitamins are found in varying amounts in a daily diet and are essential for almost all body functions including growth and cell division. After solubility criterion, vitamins are classified as:

  • liposoluble (A, D, E, K);
  • hydrosoluble (C and B complex).

Minerals

Minerals are classified in macrominerals and microminerals.

  1. Macrominerals (sodium, potassium, magnesium, chlorine, phosphorus) are essential substances in the body with multiple functions and represent 4%-5% of body weight. The amount of sodium chloride in a rational nutrition is 4 g / day. Calcium and magnesium deficiency is responsible for the appearance of rickets in children and osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults. Dietary calcium requirement for adults is 1500 mg. Deficiency of magnesium and potassium can be incriminated in the occurrence of arrhythmias. Magnesium needs in adults is 300 mg-400 mg, and potassium at 3500 mg. Phosphorus intake should be 1500 mg.
  2. Oligoelements (iron, zinc, copper, iodine, fluorine, cobalt, selenium, manganese, molybdenum) are found in small amounts in the body, from where the name of the class, but they are essentials for growth, development and maintenance of normal life.

Water

Water is indispensable for life, being the major component of all tissues and cells and metabolic reaction substrate. In the human body is diveded into intracellular and extracellular water.

Fluid balance maintains balance between water intake and endogenus water, on the one hand, and the water removed, on the other hand.

Water Consumption

  • Water and beverages: 1400 ml
  • Food: 700 ml
  • Resulting from metabolism: 200 ml
  • Total: 2300 ml

Water disposal

  • Urine: 1400 ml
  • Faecals: 100 ml
  • Perspiration:  100 ml
  • Insensible losses: 350 ml
  • Elimination through the respiratory tract: 350 ml
  • Total: 2300  ml

Loss of water more than 20% of body weight (by diarrhea, polyuria, vomiting) may lead to death. Recommended daily fluid intake is 1 ml / kcal in adults, as water, teas, juices, milk, soups, to which 600-700 ml of water contained in foods is added.