Can Celiac Disease Trigger Other Health Issues?

celiac deseaseCeliac disease is a condition that affects individuals who are affected adversely by the consumption of gluten. Being an autoimmune condition, celiac disease impacts the proper functioning of the large intestine making it more permeable than usual. The result is that essential nutrients are able to pass through thegut lining without being absorbed properly first. This can cause severe nutritional deficiencies in the individual and trigger other heath related concerns for the patients.

Type 1 diabetes: This type of diabetes surfaces in childhood, so it may be a lot later that any apparent signs of celiac disease become visible. There are generic symptoms like flatulence, bloating and abdominal discomfort caused by celiac disease that may begin to cause distress, but since these are highly commonplace symptoms for a lot of conditions, a diagnosis for celiac disease may not be established clearly. Statistically, numbers indicate that one diabetic in every twenty others may also be affected by celiac disease.

Autoimmune thyroid disease: Because many autoimmune conditions can coincide, celiac patients have been observed to be more susceptible to developing thyroid related complications than other people. Research shows that both these health issues can have a genetic predisposition. Individuals with celiac disease are 4 timely more likely to also suffer from thyroid diseases while those who have a confirmed diagnosis of a hypothyroid condition, have largely been observed to be gluten intolerant as well.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis: Once again a concurrence of the two conditions is highly possible. Since it is easier to identify and diagnose arthritis, this condition is confirmed well before the other one may be suspected or detected. Both conditions can be genetically oriented but arthritis may also be triggered by environmental factors. The incidence of juvenile idiopathic arthritis is found to be greater in individuals affected by celiac disease.

Sjogren’s syndrome: A condition that affects the moisture secreting glands of the eyes and mouth is also an autoimmune disorder. Affected individuals suffer from a very dry mouth and dry eyes and the condition is commonly accompanied by other immune system disorders, one of them being celiac disease. Both these conditions have been recorded to co-exist in celiac individuals and if diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome but also displaying celiac symptoms, individuals are advised to get checked for celiac disease as well.

Dermatitis Herpetiformis: Both celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis are direct consequences of gluten intolerance. This skin condition is also referred to as a gluten rash because there are a number of similarities between the two conditions. Firstly, both celiac disease and DH are genetically inherited and secondly, both are a result of inflammation in the body. Just as membrane permeability results from the presence of gluten in the gut, the skin rash also results as a reaction to gluten in the body.

With complete elimination of gluten from the diet, intestinal symptoms may recover faster, but those affecting the skin will take much longer. If someone is diagnosed with dermatitis herpetiformis, it is very likely that they also suffer from celiac disease.

Can Immunotherapy Prevent Allergies and Improve Health Outcomes?

immunotherapyAllergies are essentially the immune system disorders. The defense system of body gears itself to fight against misidentified alien or foreign elements that eventually results into a condition called allergic reactions. A person could be allergic to substances such as molds, dust mite, pollens, smells, certain foods, microorganisms. Regardless of the nature of allergies, the condition affects our health significantly. As per the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, over 50 million people in the US suffer from allergies. The medical science yet does not know why some people are more prone to allergens; however, it is fairly clear that our immune system tends to react to higher allergy counts.

Our nose serves as the first line of defense for our lungs as it filters the air that we inhale. Nose hairs trap airborne substances during our breathing process. Usually, pollens in small quantities do not cause any damage to our lungs. Blood vessels inside the nose tend to dilate if they find more harmful substances in the air. The mechanism, thus, attempts to block entries to harmful particles. The system works fine with non-sensitive individuals; however, people with sensitive immune system react differently. Dilation of the blood vessel is an overreaction to the presence of these substances in the air leading to swelling, inflammation and itching symptoms.

With the onset of spring, allergy-related complications increase across the US. Unusual bloom of mold spores, pollen is considered a primary reason to spreading of allergens in the atmosphere. The months of February through April are critical months as pollens are found in abundance in atmosphere; however, certain location such as South Florida in the US is full of airborne allergens during most part of the year. The weeds such as sorrel, ragweed, mugwort release pollen in the fall. Weeds release pollens to initiating reproductive processes of the season. The increased pollen levels in the air trigger allergies to those who are sensitive.

Allergies are easy to identify by associated symptoms such as sneezing, running nose and eyes, sniffing or frequent nose rubbing. Chronic cold-like symptoms are also indicative of allergies that fail to subside and last for more than a week. Usually, the condition is accompanied by runny nose, nasal choking, sneezing, and throat soreness. Throat and mouth feel repeated itching along with tingling sensations.

Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for allergies but it can be managed in several ways to diminish its effects.

Studies indicate that avoidance of allergens such as pollen is a good long-term measure to prevent allergic triggers. Keeping track with the weather forecast might help a lot to take necessary precautions. Moreover, air cleaner and air conditioner can help keep home free from mold spores and pollen. Antihistamines offer the first line of treatment to provide relief to the patients; however, they cannot cure the condition. adding bcaa in the diet may improve muscle health.

Immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots can do wonders to stimulating the immune system. It can provide a lasting solution to the allergy issues as it helps body not to overreact when exposed to the same allergens. This kind of therapy is effective with allergies from pollen, mites; however, it may take several months to several years before it becomes effective. It is certainly a cost-effective approach when overall impact of sickness due to allergies is taken into consideration.

 

Bibliography

Allergy Shots (2015). American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Retrieved January

Pollens (2015). Allergy–The Body’s Reaction to Allergens. Retrieved January 27, 2015

About Rheumatic Heart Disease

rheumatic heartRheumatic heart disease is one of the major health complications affecting the third world countries today. It has been linked with the high mortality rate amongst young people stemming out of cardiovascular complications. According to Liu, Lu, Sun, Zheng and Zhang from the Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, rheumatic heart disease claims about 250,000 people in a year globally. However, they say that the disease can be treated through effective screening during its initial stages.

Maybe it is important to start by defining what rheumatic heart disease is. Essentially, rheumatic heart disease is a complication of the heart that causes a permanent damage resulting from rheumatic fever. One of the main outcomes is a heart failure or at times may require someone to undergo a cardiac surgery. The disease is common amongst children in many parts of the world. Its severity is very alarming as it can lead to the inflammation of the heart hence leaving a permanent damage to the patient’s heart – mainly the heart valves.

Heart valves function as one-way doors. They allow the pumping of blood through the heart in unidirectional flow. Therefore, a damaged heart is a condition whereby the valves of the heart cannot function in a normal way. Basically, the heart comprises of 4 sections which can be described as rooms or chambers. Heart valves control the flow of blood in between these chambers making sure there is no wrong flow experienced.

The main cause of rheumatic disease is an abnormal autoimmune response connected to group “A” streptococci infection in a genetic host that is highly vulnerable. The severe rheumatic fever is the main antecedent of the rheumatic heart disease. It can infect a number of organs and ultimately amount to heart failure and irreversible damage of valves. A common treatment of this disease is the antibiotic penicillin. Antibiotic prophylaxis has been emphasized through the disease’s treatment procedures against persistent severe rheumatic fever episodes which is cost effective and viable.

Main Symptoms of Rheumatic Heart Disease

Patients suffering from rheumatic heart disease are always in a very precarious situation. In most cases, they get very ill due to the flow of blood in the wrong direction. What results during such a flow is tiredness and running short of breath. The condition deprives them of their energy and it is unlikely they will take part in strenuous activities like sporting activities, or even the simplest of all, walking.

It is unlikely that Rheumatic heart disease will cause symptoms. However, some symptoms may show at times. These include:-

  • Palpitations of the heart
  • Problems during breathing while the patient is lying down
  • A requirement to stand up or sit when waking from sleeping
  • Swells
  • Shallow breathing on exertion
  • Fainting
  • Pain in the chest

There is heart medicine that is usually given to people with rheumatic heart disease. If that is not the case, the affected may find themselves lying at the hospital for a very long time. In a worst case scenario, the disease may cause death resulting from improper treatment. Therefore, the disease is a major cause of concern within the healthcare fraternity.

Bipolar Disorder

bipolar_disorderBipolar Disorder was historically known as manic-depressive illness. It is a mental condition that is characterized by your mood swinging high up an elevated mood and then down to a very low sad mood.

This elevated mood is the manic phase whereas the low one is the depressive phase. The two states vary with severity. That means for some it could negatively affect their ability to complete daily routine tasks. Not only do the swings and shifts in mood affect your day-to-day activities, the corrode your relationships,affect your performance at work or at school which can push a person over the edge which can sometimes result in an attempt to end their life.

The condition is incurable. Bipolar disorder can start at the age of 15 years old. However, the most frequent onset is between 20 and 24 years. The condition is quite complex. Some patients may only present with the depressive phase for years and get treatment for it only to later present with a manic episode. It affects both men and women equally. However, in women the cycle between mania and depression is more frequent in women than in men.

There are many factors that increase the risk of bipolar disorder in people. So far, there is no definitive cause.

Genetics: close relative e.g. parent with bipolar is more likely to pass it down to their children compared to those with parents or close relatives who did/do not have bipolar disorder.The exact gene has not been identified. It is still unclear how both twins known to carry the same genes present with bipolar disorder differently. Normally, one would be normal and the other exhibit typical bipolar disorder.

Brain morphology: functional MRI and PET scans show the difference between people likely to develop or already have bipolar to those with normal or other mental illnesses. Brain imaging of a bipolar disorder person was found to be similar to that of a person with mufti-dimensional impairment – a condition that is between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It was also found that the prefrontal cortex used for ‘executive’ function was found to be smaller in bipolar people or those at risk. These hinting points can aid in catching the illness early, which promotes better outcome of the illness.

Other factors include:certain environmental factors, neurophysiologic factors, biochemical factors etc.

A thorough clinical assessment is required in order to reach a correct diagnosis. Get a detailed understanding of patient’s complaints, severity of symptoms and their effects on daily functioning. Family, friends, colleagues can be of great help when taking history.

Symptoms include:

  • Mood swings
  • Grandiosity
  • Flight of ideas
  • Evident distractibility
  • Increased or decreased focused on a particular task
  • Seeking activities that often end in inflicting physical pain
  • Extreme irritable
  • Sad and hopeless for a long time
  • Diet and appetite changes
  • Contemplating suicide or already attempted

Excluding other causes of manic-depressive illness i.e. substance abuse or other mental illnesses is crucial in diagnosis.

A diagnosis is made after a manic episode of at least 1 week’s duration resultingin hospitalization or inability to perform routine tasks.

Bipolar can be managed effectively with medication but there is no cure. An effective treatment plan includes psychotherapy and a combination of medication.

Prescriptions include: mood stabilizers e.g. Lithium, anti-convulsants and other anti-psychotic drugs e.g. antidepressants e.g. Aripiprazole. Side effects of these drugs should be monitored closely and your therapist should be informed in all cases.

Psychotherapy treatment involves Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), social rhythm therapy, psychoeducation, a support system for example family-focused therapy which educates the patient’s family on how to deal with the episodes and how to help the bipolar family member cope with the condition.

Dealing with Oral cancer

oral cancerIn the modern world set up, cancer diseases have continued to cause a worrying trend both regionally and beyond borders. Essentially, cancer is an uncontrollable cells growth that attack and cause damage to body tissues in the area of invasion. Among the different types of cancer is oral cancer that occurs as an uncontrollable growth in the mouth. It may be characterized by cancers affecting your cheeks, lips, mouth floor, tongue, soft and hard palate, throat and sinuses. It is a dangerous health condition that needs to be diagnosed and given early treatment.

In most cases, an oral cancer takes place as a result of a long-term potentially malignant lesions and health conditions known as premalignant lesions. There is usually a pre-cancer state before reaching a full blown oral cancer condition. This condition can be diagnosed and treated through a suitable prognosis than in an advanced case. The risk of oral cancer can be mitigated with a possibility of preventing it completely through the understanding of the fundamental oral hygiene, various bacteria present in the mouth and the way in which diet affects oral cancers.

There is a growing interest on how diet relates to oral cancer. In a study conducted by Mangalath, Aslam, Abdul Khadar, Francis, Mikacha and Kalathingal from the Muslim Education Society Dental College, the intake of a well-balanced diet with effects of protection is believed to have a positive impact on the contraction of oral cancer. The proposed dietary composition in the diet includes vegetables, low cholesterol meat, refined grains, fruits, rice and fish.

Despite its severity, oral cancer can be prevented. Good hygiene practice for the oral cavity is a huge step to ensure a low risk in oral cancer contraction. A controlled use of alcohol and tobacco products is a very positive engagement towards the prevention of oral cancers. Actually, alcohol and tobacco are among the main causes of oral cancer. Some of the oral cancer symptoms include lumps, swellings, rough spots, eroded gums, lips and other internal mouth areas, mysterious mouth bleeding, the appearance of velvety red, white or red and white mouth patches. There may also be symptoms of the inability of your teeth to fit together normally and the sores on the mouth, neck or face without signs of healing fast, just to mention but a few.

Treatment of Oral Cancer

The treatment of oral cancer can be attained through various approaches. These include radiation therapy, surgery or chemotherapy as the situation would demand. Several treatment procedures can be combined for some patients. Treatment can be administered at any stage of the illness for purposes of managing pain along with other symptoms aimed at relieving the therapeutic effects and lessening the practical and emotional symptoms. This intervention is commonly referred to as supportive care, palliative care or symptom management.

Talking to your doctor when having any kind of health complication is always advised. This is especially with the development of new methods of treatment that are scientifically proved. You need to know what method is the perfect match for the condition of the oral cancer patient.

Chronic venous insufficiency

venous insufficiency“I feel heaviness in my legs. They hurt and swell all the time.”

Short symptom description of a patient with chronic venous insufficiency

What is it?

Chronic venous insufficiency is a term used to define later stages of chronic venous disease. This condition affects mostly the lower the limbs and is characterized by functional alterations of the venous system.A series of factors trigger the decrease of the function of the vein valves, which are structures present in the veins that prevent the backflow of blood due to gravity.This means that venous blood coming from the legs will have much more difficulty in returning to the heart. The loss of function of these valves leads to appearance of edema, varicose veins, and ultimately venous ulcers. Varicose veins are expanded, tortuous veinsoftenvisible from the skin, whereas venous ulcers are late stage complications of chronic venous insufficiency that may cause open wounds very prone to be infected (Word 2010, Eberhardtand Raffetto 2014).

Can it be treated?

The treatment of chronic vein insufficiency is typically associated to the use of compression stockings. There are several types in the market, varying in size and compression force. The doctor will recommend the one that best fits into the patient’s needs, depending on the stage of the disease and on any particularity of the patient’s case. The rationale of using compression stockings, as the name suggests, is that they exert compression in the legs, thus forcing the venous blood to go up(Blättler andZimmet2008).

Varicose veins may require a more direct intervention. There are several chemical, thermic and mechanical approaches approved for such interventions that vary in the degree of invasiveness and post-surgery recovery time. Some examples aresclerotherapy(chemical), ablation by radiofrequency or laser (thermic) and classical stripping plus ligation (mechanical) (Mowatt-LarssenandShortell 2012, Nesbittet al 2014)

There are also available some effective pharmacological approaches, also used in early stages of the disease, which aim at improving venous and lymphatic systems. In addition, patients should adopt a few life-style changes. The ones listed below are adequate both to alleviate the symptoms of chronic vein insufficiency as well as to prevent it (Perrin M andRamelet 2011):

  • The rule number one is not staying too much time in the same position, either standing up or sitting down (particularly in a cross-legged position). Therefore, if your job requires you to sit or stand up too much time, make sure you walk regularly and make circular movements with your feet.
  • Practice exercise, but not any kind of exercise. Pick exercises or a sport that does not require sudden movements. During exercise, the muscles of your legs together with the compression of the veins present in the sole of your feet will push venous circulation up and help the blood flowing up to the heart.
  • Avoid using high heels and tight clothes, in particular tight pants or belts.
  • Hot places should be avoided as heat favors vein expansion. On the other hand, cold induces vein contraction, which facilitates blood return. Therefore a cold bath every once in while is highly recommended.

 

Bibliography

Blättler W, Zimmet SE. Compression therapy in venous disease. Phlebology. 2008;23(5):203-5.

Eberhardt RT, Raffetto JD. Chronic venous insufficiency. Circulation. 2014 Jul 22;130(4):333-46.

Mowatt-Larssen E, Shortell CK. Treatment of primary varicose veins has changed with the introduction of new techniques. SeminVasc Surg. 2012 Mar;25(1):18-24.

Nesbitt C, Bedenis R, Bhattacharya V, Stansby G.Endovenous ablation (radiofrequency and laser) and foam sclerotherapy versus open surgery for great saphenous vein varices.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Jul 30;7:CD005624.

Perrin M, Ramelet AA. Pharmacological treatment of primary chronic venous disease: rationale, results and unanswered questions. Eur J VascEndovasc Surg. 2011 Jan;41(1):117-25.

Word R.Medical and surgical therapy for advanced chronic venous insufficiency.SurgClin North Am. 2010 Dec;90(6):1195-214.