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Narcolepsy

October 30th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Narcolepsy)

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects sleep and wakefulness. The affected individual experiences daytime sleepiness and uncontrollable intermittent episodes of falling asleep in the daytime. The sleep attacks usually happen during any type of activity and anytime throughout the day.

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In the cycle of sleep, we first enter the early stages of sleep and followed by deeper sleep stages and eventually after about 90 minutes, the rapid eye movement sleep (REM) starts. Among people with narcolepsy, REM happens immediately in the sleep cycle and during waking hours and it is in the REM that we have dreams and paralysis of muscle which is one of the symptoms of narcolepsy. This usually happens between the ages of 15-25 but can be noticeable at any age.

People suffering from narcolepsy have difficulty staying awake for long periods of time and causes disruptions in the daily routine. Sometimes, narcolepsy can cause loss of muscle tone or cataplexy that can result to losing muscle control and weakness and can also be caused by a strong emotion, usually laughter.

Symptoms

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in which the affected person experiences cloudiness, lack of concentration and energy, lapses in memory, extreme exhaustion and depressed mood.
  • Sudden loss of muscle tone that causes feelings of weakness known as cataplexy. The person experiences slurred speech, total body collapse and can be caused by intense emotions such as laughter, surprise or anger.

    Narcolepsy

    People suffering from narcolepsy have difficulty staying awake for long periods of time and causes disruptions in the daily routine.

  • Symptoms that cause temporary inability to speak or move while sleeping or waking up and last for only a few seconds or in several minutes which is known as sleep paralysis.

Causes

  • Narcolepsy can be caused by a deficiency in the production of chemicals called hypocretin by the brain.
  • Some abnormalities in some parts of the brain that regulates REM sleep.

Treatment

  • Maintain a regular schedule when going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, usually 7-8 hours of sleep every day.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine and eating heavy meals in order to help prevent interruption of sleeping
  • Consume a diet that is rich in vitamins and mineral content and avoid processed foods as much as possible.
  • Schedule naps during the day such as taking a 20 minute nap at least 2 times every day.
  • Avoid driving a vehicle or operating a machinery when feeling sleepy
  • Perform moderate regular exercises at least 4-5 hours before bedtime every day since it makes a person feel awake during day time and have a better sleep at night.
  • Using cayenne also help with the condition. It can be consumed in the diet together with juice to help lessen the episodes of narcolepsy.
  • Take magnesium supplements at least 1000milligrams every day

Baker’s cyst

October 30th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Baker’s cyst)

Baker’s cyst is a tear in the cartilage of the knee or the arthritic joints that can lead to the accumulation of fluid at the back of the knee. There is tenderness, tightness, swelling and pressure felt at the back of the knee. The pain becomes severe when flexing or extending the knee or being active.

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Baker’s cyst is also called popliteal cyst which is an issue with the joint of the knee such as arthritis or a tear in the cartilage. These two conditions cause the knee to produce plenty of fluids which leads to the development of Baker’s cyst.

Symptoms

  • Presence of pain in the knee
  • A swelling at the back of the knee and sometimes radiates to the leg
  • Inability and stiffness in flexing the knee
  • The symptoms become severe when standing for long periods of time.

Causes

Baker's cyst

A swelling at the back of the knee and sometimes radiates to the leg

The synovial fluid is a lubricating fluid that helps in swinging the leg smoothly and minimizes friction between parts of the knee that are mobile. Sometimes, the knee produces plenty of synovial fluid that causes the accumulation of fluid in the area found at the back of the knee which is known as popliteal bursa which can lead to the development of Baker’s cyst. This can happen due to an injury to the knee such as a tear in the cartilage and also inflammation of the joint of the knee like arthritis.

In some cases, a Baker’s cyst can burst and if it happens, it has similarities with the symptoms of blood clot which causes swelling, pain and redness in the calf. If this happens, seek medical help immediately.

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected knee.
  • Apply an ice pack around the cyst as soon as possible for 15-20 minutes at a time. Make the area warm to room temperature then apply again for another 15-20 minutes. The application of ice helps lessen the inflammation and swelling for the first 1-2 days after the injury of the affected area and also helps in minimizing pain.
  • Another way is wrapping a bag of ice or frozen vegetables such as peas using a towel and then place over the affected knee. Just remember to avoid applying ice directly into the area to avoid aggravating the condition.
  • Use a compression bandage such as an Ace wrap, trainer’s tape, brace or a piece of clothing around the affected area. The compression helps lessen the swelling of the affected area and also helps in stabilizing the knee. Avoid making the compression tight since this can cut off the blood circulation in the area.
  • Elevate the affected leg to help minimize the swelling and helps return blood to the heart. When lying down, raise the leg above the level of the heart or even as high as possible without causing pain. If the leg cannot be raised, make it parallel to the ground.
  • Another way is placing a couple of pillows under the legs when sleeping in order to keep them elevated.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen to minimize the swelling and pain.

Broken nose

October 30th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Broken nose)

A broken nose is also known as a nasal fracture which is a crack or break in a bone in the nose, usually the bone over the bridge of the nose. It can be caused by injuries such as a punch to the face or a fall, playing contact sports, vehicular accidents, physical fights and facial trauma caused by accidents. A broken nose causes pain, swelling and bruising under the eyes and around the nose. In most cases, the nose is crooked and there is difficulty in breathing.

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Symptoms

  • There is swelling on the nose and the surrounding areas
  • Discharge of mucus coming from the nose
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Tenderness and pain when touching the nose
  • Misshapen or curved nose
  • A sensation that the nasal passages are being blocked

    Broken nose

    There is swelling on the nose and the surrounding areas.

  • A bruising around the eyes or nose

Causes

  • Physical altercations
  • Vehicular accidents
  • Falls
  • Injury caused by contact sports such as football or hockey
  • Walking into steady objects such as a door or a wall or performing rough, wrestling-type of play.

Complications

  • A broken nose can cause pools of clotted blood which will cause a condition known as septal hematoma.
  • If a broken nose is caused by a strong blow from a vehicular accident, there is a high risk of cartilage fracture.
  • A vehicular accident can cause injuries to the neck. If the blow is strong enough to break the nose, it can cause damage to the bones found in the neck.

Treatment

  • When a break happens, allow the affected person to breathe through the mouth and lean forward in order to lessen the amount of blood that drains out of the throat.
  • Apply an ice pack immediately after the injury for 10-15 minutes at least four times every day for the first 24-48 hours in order to lessen the swelling. Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean wash cloth to help prevent frostbite and avoid applying too much pressure.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen to minimize the pain.
  • Elevate the head especially during sleeping in order to help minimize swelling and throbbing of the affected area.
  • For the first two weeks of treatment, avoid playing any sports especially contact sports for at least six weeks after the injury.
  • Avoid wearing glasses until the swelling is minimized and avoid picking or blowing the nose until it is totally healed.

If the pain becomes severe and cannot be minimized by commonly used pain medications, the swelling is worse, the nose appears crooked or misaligned, bleeding that comes and goes and fever, it is best seek medical help immediately.

Exfoliative cheilitis

October 2nd, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Exfoliative cheilitis)

Exfoliative cheilitis is a disorder of the skin that affects the lips which causes inflammation of the lips along with rapid and continuous peeling of the lips. Common symptoms of exfoliative cheilitis include dry skin, peeling of the skin of the lips, flaking and chapping of the lips and also the development of cracks or fissures, irritation and redness on the lips.

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Common causes

  • Factitious damage which is a condition where the affected person produces or exaggerates a symptoms feeling they have an illness.
  • An overgrowth of Candida yeast which is a fungal mouth infection can also cause exfoliative cheilitis. This yeast remains dormant for a time until it becomes stimulated which becomes reactive and begins an infection.
  • HIV infection which makes the immune system of the body erroneously attacks the healthy cells in the body.
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Deficiency in nutrition which can be primary or secondary which causes defective formation of keratin. Primary deficiency is caused by long term nutrient deficiency in the diet and secondary is caused by malabsorption in the small intestines.
  • A depressed immunity where the keratin is mistakenly seen as a foreign body and the immune system of the body eliminates the keratin and results to inflammation and in the process of eliminating the inflamed tissues in the body, it results in peeling of the lip.
Exfoliative cheilitis

Burning and itching sensation can be felt on the affected lip.

Common symptoms

  • A persistent peeling off of the lips usually on the vermilion or the outer area of the lips
  • Burning and itching sensation can be felt on the affected lip
  • Swelling of the lip
  • Dryness and discoloration of the lip or lips
  • There is ulceration or fissuring of the affected lip or lips
  • A tingling sensation felt over the affected part of the lip or lips

Treatment

  • Apply a lip balm in order to help keep the lip moist at least two times every day. It also helps lessen the itching and burning sensations caused by dryness of the lips.
  • Apply anti-fungal creams can also be used to help treat the condition, especially when the yeast germs are on the swab taken from the affected lips.
  • Apply a cold compress on the affected lip since it helps in the fast healing of the condition. Vinegar can also be added to cold water.
  • Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables since they help in providing the needed vitamins and nutrients for fast healing.
  • Avoid coffee, alcohol and tea since they make the condition worse.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene
  • Minimize stress to prevent the condition from getting worse. Meditation and yoga are known to help lessen the stress.
  • Drink plenty of water in order to keep the body well hydrated as well as making the lips moist.

Prevention

  • Eat a variety of organic fruits and vegetables
  • Eliminate toxins in the body
  • Maintaining oral hygiene regularly
  • Clear the digestive tract
  • Proper intake of water
  • Using sunscreens and balms for the lips
  • Exfoliation and moisturizing the lips regularly

Tonsillitis

October 2nd, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Tonsillitis)

The tonsils are part of the body that is responsible in fighting infections and these almond-shaped balls of tissue are located at the back of the mouth and on either side of the throat. The tonsils helps the immune system of the body fight off bacterial and viral infections before spreading to the respiratory tract and other parts of the body.

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The tonsils have cells that trap any infection that enters the body, but the tonsils can get infected by the same germs that it fights off and when this happens, the tonsil will swell and become inflamed and even trigger discomfort and pain. The tonsils will have white spots which covers the coating of the surface which indicates that there is an infection.

An infected tonsil is known as tonsillitis which affects adults but it is more common in children, especially the school age children who are highly susceptible to this condition. Always bear in mind that tonsillitis can be acute and capable of recurring any time and can become chronic.

Common symptoms

Tonsillitis

There is difficulty when swallowing.

  • There is difficulty when swallowing
  • Swollen tonsils
  • The area found around the tonsils are inflamed and appears red in appearance
  • Headaches, fever and chills
  • Cold and cough
  • Nasal congestion and runny nose
  • Changes in the voice and loss of voice
  • Bad breath
  • The jaw and the throat are tender when touched
  • Coating on the tonsils that is yellow or grey in color
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Stomach pain, nausea and vomiting
  • Redness of the eye

Severe symptoms

In case tonsillitis is not treated early, the symptoms can eventually progress to severe ones that can be difficult to properly manage.

  • Throat abscesses
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Bacterial pharyngitis
  • High fever
  • Presence of pus in the throat
  • There is excessive drooling among children
  • A rash around the throat

Common causes

  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Tonsillitis can also be caused by allergens from certain foods
  • Artificially colored sweets, additives used in processed foods, ice cream and preservatives can also cause tonsillitis.
  • Eating fatty and processed food as well as sugary foods can cause tonsillitis
  • Extreme cold and damp weather environment and changes in temperature can cause tonsillitis

Treatment

  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen which helps lessen the inflammation and pain.
  • Gargle with salt and water mixture since it helps minimize the pain and swelling in the throat. Salt water helps clean the mouth and throat as well as prevents the condition from getting worse.

If the condition become worse, it is best to schedule an appointment with a doctor so that proper assessment can be carried out and start the suitable treatment.