What You Need to Know about Ovarian Cancer.

Ovarian cancer is one of the top cancers that affect women. The cancer can arise from any of the three types of cells found in the ovary. These are:

  • The outer layer of the ovary called epithelium. A big percentage of ovarian cancers arise from these cells. Histology examination classifies cancer from this layer into a few other sub-types.
  • Germ cells. These cells are responsible for ova production
  • Stromal cells that form the ovary supporting structures.

Ordinarily, there are many swellings or tumors that are found in the ovary but in most cases they are not cancerous. But when such tumors cause symptoms and they have to be removed, they must be taken for histological examination to rule out presence of cancer.

Ovarian Cancer

 

Symptoms of ovarian cancer

Early symptoms are non-specific and difficult to associate with ovarian cancer. They can mimic other abdominal symptoms such as digestive system problems and menstrual disorders. Later as the disease progresses, more pronounced symptoms may be observed.

  • Abdominal distension
  • Lower abdominal or pelvic pains
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Micturition problems
  • Painful sexual intercourse

 

 

 

What causes ovarian cancer?

Like many cancers, the exact reason why there is an abnormal mutation in the DNA which starts a multiplication of abnormal cells is not fully understood. There are however, factors that have been identified as risks to the development of this cancer. Some of these are:

  • Ovarian cancer is rare in women below 40 years.
  • Use of fertility drugs
  • Use of androgens (male hormones)
  • Family history of ovarian cancer or breast cancer. The risk is high when a close female relation such as a sister, a mother or a daughter has been a victim of any of these hormone dependent cancers. This is due to inherited faulty genes referred to as BRCA1 and BRCA2 (Breast Cancer 1&2 genes)
  • Low parity. A fertile woman sheds at least one egg a month. This process is traumatic to the uterus and it increases chances of cancer development from the egg detachment site. Contraceptive pills, high parity and prolonged periods of breastfeeding reduce these traumatic incidences and hence chances of developing ovarian cancer.
  • Women on hormone replacement therapies.
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

 

Diagnosis of ovarian cancer

Routine examination may discover abnormal feeling of the ovaries and surrounding structures. More specific screening tests which are not very accurate are:

  1. Transvaginal ultra-sound
  2. Ca-125 test that suggests cancer presence but can also point to other non-cancerous conditions. However, the levels of Ca-125 can be used as markers to assess effectiveness of treatment. Dropping levels means that treatment is effective.
  3. Tissue biopsy can be done to confirm the presence and type of the ovarian cancer.

 

Treatment of ovarian cancer

Treatment usually employs more than one technique and will depend on many factors such as the type of ovarian cancer and the stage of the disease. Common strategies include:

  • Surgery where the ovary and associated structures are removed. The invasiveness of the operation will be determined by whether the cancer has spread or it is localized.
  • Chemotherapy is the use of cytotoxic (cancer cell killing) drugs. This can be a follow-up strategy after surgery or it can be used primarily in advanced cancer cases where surgery may be of little benefit.
  • Post-treatment follow-up and support is recommended to help the patient cope with definite changes that ovarian cancer and treatment effects bring to their lives.

Healthy lifestyle incorporating a healthy diet and healthy weight has been shown to lower the risk of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer

 

 

 

 

IMPACT OF VIT. B12 DEFICIENCY ON ENERGY LEVELS AND WEIGHT LOSS

Vitamin B12 is assumed as a real part in various body’s fundamental capacities, including DNA synthesis and the arrangement of red blood cells. Vitamin B12 likewise helps the body to transform fats and proteins into energy. Although it’s stated that vitamin B12 does not result in weight reduction, it helps in weight reduction however by helping in metabolizing proteins and fats. At the point when protein and fat are metabolized, it produces energy and having energy helps people lose weight. Vitamin B12 is frequently promoted as an energy enhancer and an athletic performance and endurance booster. Vitamin B12 deficiency is characterized by anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, and weight loss. In a recent study, a strong relationship was observed among Vitamin B12 deficiency and low energy level and performance of individuals (Lukaski, 2014). In another study, authors claimed that: those patient who were complaining fatigue, weakness and low energy levels were cured by utilization of Vitamins e.g. Vitamin B12 (E Huskisson, 2014). Some researchers also claimed that folate help out in maintaining the mitochondrial one-carbon transfer cycles by regulating mitochondrial enzymes (Depeint F, 2006). A group of researchers also stated that Vitamin B12 is essential for metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and the synthesis of proteins and also interacts with folic acid metabolism (E Huskisson, 2007).

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References

Depeint F, B. W. S. N., 2006. Mitochondrial function and toxicity: role of the B-vitamin family on mitochondrial energy metabolism. Chem Biol Interact, Volume 163, pp. 94-112.

E Huskisson, S. M. M. R., 2007. The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Energy Metabolism and Well-Being. The Journal of International Medical Research, Volume 35, pp. 277-289.

E Huskisson, S. M. M. R., 2014. The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Energy Metabolism and Well-Being. J. Nutr., Volume 144, pp. 2027-2033.

Lukaski, H. C., 2014. Vitamin and mineral status: effects on physical performance. Nutrition, 20(7-8), pp. 632-644.

 

 

Understanding Prostate Cancer .

The prostate is an important part in men’s health. Majority of men who develop some degree of poor urine flow have this small walnut shaped gland to blame. Naturally the prostate gland increases in size with age. This swelling is called benign prostate hypertrophy or BPH. This swelling is non-cancerous and when troublesome, it can be removed through an open abdominal surgery or through the urethra in an operation called trans-urethral resection of the prostate – TURP. This gland may however, at times develop malignant changes which lead to cancer of the prostate.

Prostate cancer is a male hormone supported cancer which proliferates better in the presence of male hormones (androgens).

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Types of prostate cancer

The commonest type is called adenocarcinoma. Other types are:

  • Sarcomas
  • Small cell carcinomas
  • Transitional cell carcinomas

 

Symptoms of prostate cancer

There may be no symptoms at all and the cancer may be diagnosed on routine screening. Most of the early symptoms are related to passing urine. The patient may notice difficulties including blockage and a gradually weakening stream. Other symptoms may include:

  • Erectile problems
  • Pelvic pains
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood stained semen.

 

Causes of prostate cancer

What causes the initial cancerous changes in the prostate gland are not known.  There is DNA mutation which leads to the abnormal proliferation of cells. There are however, factors that appear to increase chances of developing this type of cancer.

  • Family history. There appears to be some genetic connection such that a person whose close relative has prostate cancer is more likely to develop the cancer unlike another with no family member affected.
  • Obese men have a higher risk
  • Black men are more prone than their Caucasian counterparts.
  • Men who have mothers or sisters with breast cancer (another hormone regulated cancer).
  • Older men are also at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

 

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

Routine screening may reveal high levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). A direct rectal examination (DRE) may also reveal abnormalities of the prostate gland. If these initial tests are abnormal other tests to follow can include:

  • A trans-rectal ultra-sound (TRUS)
  • Prostate biopsy.

It is after this that the cancer if present can be staged. The next step is to determine if the cancer has spread. This is done by doing:

  • Bone scan imaging tests to rule out cancer spread to the bones
  • Computerized tomography and computerized axial tomography (CT and CAT scans) are also used in looking for cancer cells spread.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), lymph node biopsy and Prostascint scans can all be done depending on what the prostate cancer team are looking for.

 

Treatment of prostate cancer

The stage of the disease, the age of the patient and the general condition of the patient are a few of the many factors that doctors consider in determining the best treatment to adapt.

 

Treatment options available

Apart from the specific treatment directed at the cancer, other symptoms like pain, nausea and maybe vomiting must be addressed. Measures taken include:

  • Doing nothing and monitoring the state of the patient
  • Surgery which may involve therapeutic removal of the testes
  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Prostate cancer vaccine which is reserved for advanced prostate cancer that is poorly responding to other forms of therapy.
  • For prostate cancer that has spread, more innovative therapy techniques can be used. One of these is radiopharmaceuticals. These are medications containing radioactive substances that settle in areas with malignant cells and kill them off.

Recurrence after prostate cancer treatment is possible and so follow-up is important.

Understanding Basics of Diabetes.

 

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that is characterized by the body’s inability to control the blood sugar levels. Naturally, the blood sugar is controlled within a certain normal range by the corresponding levels of insulin. Insulin is like a pillsforall in your boby. High blood sugar calls for higher levels of insulin which brings it down. In diabetes there are two common scenarios that lead to uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

  1. Lack of insulin production. This can be due to a primary pathology in the pancreas and particularly within the beta cells that are responsible for insulin production. This type of problem is mostly seen in children and leads to what is referred to as type 1 diabetes.
  2. Low insulin production or poor utilization of the amount produced. This insulin ineffectiveness is called insulin resistance. This type of diabetes is seen in adults and is referred to as type 2 diabetes.

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Type 1 diabetes

The onset of this type of diabetes is mostly seen in children aged 4-7 years. Another peak of onset is seen in children aged between 10 and 14. It is not understood why it happens around this age.

The cause of this type of diabetes is thought to be due to an autoimmune process. This means that the body’s immune system mistake the insulin producing cells for ‘enemies’ and attacks and kills them off. The body can no longer produce any insulin and for survival, insulin has to be given by injections for life. And this is why we tell that insulin is like a pillsforall.

 

Risk factors for type 1 diabetes

Some of the factors that seem to be associated with this type of diabetes include:

  • Prenatal causes that could have caused stress to the unborn child. Preeclampsia has been shown to be a key risk factor.
  • Children born before their due dates
  • Children born below average birthweight
  • Children fed on formula feeds containing cereals and gluten before reaching the age of 4 months
  • Overweight children
  • Family history of diabetes.

 

Type 2 diabetes

This type is seen in adults from around middle age. The problem usually lies in insulin resistance so that despite insulin production, it is unable to control sugar levels in the blood. The onset of the disease can be insidious and some patients can remain symptomless (prediabetes stage) throughout their lives. Again, the exact cause of insulin resistance is not well-understood. There are however, associated risk factors that include:

  • Bad diet. Highly processed high calories foods which are usually loaded with saturated fats and sugar is one of the major risk factors.
  • Sedentary lifestyle. Too much calories and physical inactivity can lead to systemic problems that raise the risk of type 2 diabetes further.
  • Results of high calories diet and physical inactivity are the likelihood of obesity.
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Vascular disorders like hypercholesteremic states
  • Family history and genetic predisposition.

 

Some patients with type 2 diabetes can deteriorate so that their insulin production fails completely and they become insulin dependent as those in type 1.

 

Symptoms of diabetes courtesy of pillsforall 

Early symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Excessive and persistent thirst
  • Passing too much urine and too frequently
  • Drinking too much fluids

 

Later other symptoms can develop which may include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Vision problems
  • Recurrent thrush infections in the mouth and reproductive parts.
  • In diabetic crisis a patient may be seen delirious or even in coma.
  • Patient may also present with symptoms of complications of diabetes pointing to problems in the heart, the kidneys and nerves.

 

Diagnosis of diabetes by pillsforall

The history is very typical and a laboratory test for blood sugar levels only confirms what the doctor suspected. Usually the blood sugar levels are high. However, some diabetic patients may come with very low blood sugars if they have over-controlled their diabetes with medications.

 

 Pillsfoall Treatment for diabetes 

Treatment is determined by the type of diabetes but the aim is the same – keeping blood sugars within the normal range and preventing diabetes complications. Common approaches to treatment involve:

 

  • Insulin for all type 1 diabetes patients and those who had type 2 but have become insulin dependent. Type 2 patients who come in hyperglycemia crisis can also be given insulin initially.
  • These are mostly used in Type 2 diabetes in order to boost insulin production or to make it better utilized by reducing its resistance.
  • Lifestyle changes. Eating right as advised by your dietician and reducing weight can reduce the incidence of insulin resistance.
  • Becoming more physically active helps burn more calories and reduces the burden for insulin use.
  • Stem cell therapy has been tried on experimental basis and has shown some promise in cases of total failure in insulin production.

pillsforall treatment for diabetes

 

One of the best ways to prevent diabetes in adults is to lead a healthy lifestyle – a healthy diet, healthy weight and being physically active. Even where the disease has occurred, these measures will help in preventing complications associated with diabetes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic facts about High Blood Pressure.

High blood pressure is sometimes referred to as the ‘silent killer’. This term is appropriate because high blood pressure can remain symptomless for a long time such that the first symptom would probably be a last one in form of a stroke or a hemorrhagic cerebral vascular accident where it may prove fatal. Many patients are diagnosed with this problem while on routine check-up.

High blood pressure is defined as the sustained high force of blood in the arteries that is above the accepted average. In a day there are many factors that cause blood pressure fluctuations but it will always settle back. A blood pressure that is persistently higher than 90mmHg (diastolic) and above 140mmHg is considered high. A diastolic above 110mmHg is considered a medical emergency as the risk of a cerebral event is high at that range and above.

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Symptoms of high blood pressure

The disease can remain symptomless. When symptoms are there they may include non-specific symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Sudden nose bleeding which is severe sometimes. This is more likely in a hypertensive crisis.
  • Breathlessness
  • Difficulty in breathing during exertion.

 

Causes of high blood pressure

High blood pressure causes are classified into 2 groups.

  1. Primary high blood pressure. In this group no obvious factors can be attributed to the raised pressure.
  2. Secondary high blood pressure. Here there is an underlying condition that is causing the rise in pressure. The primary problem could be in the adrenal gland, kidneys, liver, the heart and blood vessels. If blood vessels are narrowed due to cholesterol plaques or due to vessel thickening, there is increased blood flow resistance and subsequent rise in arterial pressure

Risk factors that increase chances of high blood pressure include:

  • Obesity
  • Sedentary life
  • Diets high in common table salt, saturated fats and sugar. Highly processed foods are also a risk.
  • Smoking
  • Excess consumption of alcohol
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Other metabolic disorders such as metabolic syndrome
  • Those aged above 65

 

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Female doctor checking a young woman’s blood pressure

Diagnosis of high blood pressure

Unless a patient is already in a hypertensive crisis with diastolic pressure above 110mmHg, serial blood pressure taking and readings should be done and when they are consistently high, then a diagnosis of high blood pressure can be made.

 

Management of high blood pressure

The best form of treatment for this condition is to prevent it in the first place. This can involve maintaining a healthy diet and body weight. Physical exercises also go a long way in maintaining good heart health. Once the diagnosis has been confirmed it is good to look for the primary cause if it can be identified and have it treated or removed. Other measures include:

 

Medications

Apart from removing the primary problem, medications form the mainstay of high blood pressure management. There are many types of drugs that are grouped according to their mode of action in the body. Examples of these broad classifications include:

  • Diuretics or water pills as they are commonly called
  • Beta-blockers
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors.
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Renin inhibitors

These are only a few of the many classes of anti-high blood pressure groups of drugs. Under the broad classifications of there are many individual original as well as generic medications which are manufactured by various companies. Each of this group of drugs work in a specific way and it is the decision of the doctor on which drugs to use depending on many factors considered together.

Effective control of high blood pressure allows the patient to lead a fairly normal life. Poor control can lead to serious complications such as a stroke and paralysis or death.

 

 

 

Benefits of Morning Exercise on Health

Exercise in the morning is really important because it has numerous health benefits. Morning exercise proves really helpful for those who are looking to shed some pounds. It is good for your cardiovascular disease, mental health and lots of various health complications. The continuous morning exercises will help you to improve your health and increase your energy. For your convenience, the benefits of morning exercises on health are as under:

Easy to Follow High-Volume Training

In the morning, you have a high level of energy and you can perform high-volume training to reduce your additional weight. In the morning, you can do heavy exercises because your stomach is empty. The morning times are really convenient for you to do heavy weight training and lots of people can easily carry out this routine without any hurdle.

Better Impact on Your Heart

Early morning exercise will help you to improve your heart health because the morning time can actually increase the impact of exercise on your heart. It will make your heart healthy and beat faster. For cardiovascular benefits, you can do some extra workout in the morning. If you are a heart patient, then you have to consult your doctor before starting any exercise routine. An extra activity may lead to chest pain and even heart attack.

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Improve the Function of Brain

With the help of exercise in the morning, you can enjoy the excellent performance of your brain because it may increase your mental focus. The exercise in the morning will keep your brain and body in good shape for the whole day. It can increase your productivity and you will be able to perform better in your workplace.

Increase Your Weight Loss Speed

If you are working out to reduce some pounds, then the morning is a perfect time to exercise. You can go for a brisk walk, running or cardio at a gym and reduce your calorie intake for better results. It will reduce your appetite and your body may burn the calories throughout the day at a fast rate. The combination of low-calorie food and cardio exercises will put a great impact on your weight.

Increase Your Energy

With the help of morning exercise routine, you will really feel good because after exercise, your body release endorphins. It will enhance your mood and increase energy levels. The morning exercise will help you sleep better than the workout in the evening.

You will get Better Results

Technically, your body can perform well in the morning as compared to mid-afternoon. After making morning exercises a regular part of your routine, you will surely feel high in energy. You can get better results with the morning workout because you can give extra time to exercise.

Burn Extra Body Fat

The exercising in the morning before your first meal will help you to reduce your appetite, increase your metabolism and fat burning rate. It may reduce the chances of overeating and you will feel energized for the rest of the day.

pillsforall working out

Increase Your Focus

With the help of morning exercise, you can improve your focus and reduce distractions. You can find it really easy to focus on one thing without any problem. It will make your brain calm and reduce stress as well as tensions.

Enhance Your Metabolism

With the help of morning exercise, you can increase the flow of oxygenated blood in your body. It will increase the fat burning speed because the morning exercise can increase the metabolism of your body. The food that you will eat after the morning exercise will convert into energy, replenish your body and store additional fat for later use.

Improve Physical and Mental Energy

Engaging yourself in the morning exercise is better than having a cup of coffee. The exercise will wake up your body and prepare your mind for the regular routine. You will get energy for your body and brain, and your mind can be ready to take the responsibilities of the regular activities. You will be able to accept challenges and complete them in a better way.

Get Rid of Insomnia

With the help of morning exercise, you can get rid of insomnia because the exercise can calm your body, quiet additional thoughts and enjoy a better sleep. It is better to develop a morning exercise routine instead of using sleep pills and antidepressants.

Perfect Treatment for High Blood Pressure

If you are suffering from high blood pressure, then only medications are not enough to control your blood pressure. You should start morning exercises because these will not only bring your blood pressure to a normal level but reduce your cholesterol as well.

In short, with the help of a morning exercise routine, you can get rid of numerous diseases. It will improve your health and increase your productivity and focus to efficiently perform both mental and physical tasks.

Arthritis, what you should know about it ?

Gout Arthritis

Gout is a common type of arthritis. It is among the so called lifestyle disease. It has also been referred to as the disease of kings. This is because in most cases, gout is associated with affluence than with anything else. The onset of the disease is sudden and many patients will talk of being woken up by a severe pain in one of their big toes. Some will say that they felt like their toe was being sawed-off.

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Symptoms

The typical joint pains occur when urate crystals accumulate and get trapped in the joint spaces creating a ‘grinding’ process in the joint and sudden inflammation.

  • Sudden onset of severe pain usually at night and involving one of the big toes.
  • Joint is swollen red and hot. It is very painful to touch and stiff
  • Skin changes around the affected joint and sometimes there is peeling
  • Other joints that can be affected include the wrist, the elbow and the ankle joints
  • Swellings on the ear called tophi may also be seen.

 

Causes of gout

The main pathology in gout arthritis is when the levels of urate in the body rise above normal levels. This can either be due to too much urate creation or poor excretion through the kidneys.  The sudden onset of symptoms is usually a culmination of a long standing buildup of urates that have now found their way into the joint cavity. Without intervention, this will lead to joint cartilage destruction and changes like those seen in osteoarthritis. Risk factors that can lead to gout arthritis include:

  • Some people inherit a disorder where kidneys are unable to clear urates fast enough
  • Obesity
  • Prolonged use of diuretics
  • Other diseases associated with lifestyle such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and the metabolic syndrome disorder.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Chronic fever
  • Dehydration

 

Diagnosis

True gout must be differentiated from a condition called pseudo-gout where instead of urate crystals causing the problem, crystals of calcium pyrophosphate are deposited in the joint spaces instead. This usually accompanies osteoarthritis and is more common in bigger joints.

Gout arthritis diagnosis is usually made based on the history and clinical presentation. Laboratory tests will reveal high urate levels.

Synovial fluid examination may show urate crystals which can also be demonstrated from tophi examination.

Affected joint X-rays will reveal joint changes if the problem is a longstanding one.

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Treatment of gout arthritis

During acute attack

  • Use of common anti-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is started as early as possible.
  • Colchicine is a strong anti-inflammatory drug that reduces gout inflammation effectively and fast. Do not use at the same time with any NSAIDs
  • Corticosteroids are given if the response to colchicine or the NSAIDs is not satisfactory.
  • Cold compresses on the affected joint can give temporary relief.
  • Lifestyle changes such as reducing weight, reducing or stopping alcohol consumption, reduction of excess consumption of beef roast, a lot of fish and managing other risk factors can all help reduce gout arthritis recurrent attacks.
  • Other drugs that can be taken daily to keep the levels of urates low are allopurinol and febuxostat

Other interventions may involve treatment of specific joint damage if it has occurred. If this are combined with a healthy diet and weight, most of the gout symptoms can be abolished and the disease can go into indefinite remission.