Welcome ! I'm Dr. Ahmad and I will be pleased to offer help.. email me: ad_icare@yahoo.com أهلا و سهلا: يسعدنا إنضمامك لنا من خلال صفحتنا على الفيس بوك: استشارة صحية

Ovarian cancer : The silent killer

Thursday, 29 July 2010

i would like to greet you all. I hope you all are in the best state of health. That's why we all care about awareness.
Today i will talk about a killer to many women, which is ovarian cancer. This is one of the cancers that threaten women's life because in many cases it is asymptomatic

Let's talk in brief about the "ovaries". The ovaries are glands present on the sides of the uterus. The ovary has 2 functions:
1. To produce hormones (oestrogen and progesterone)
2. During child-bearing period, it releases an egg monthly
After menopause, the ovary ceases to release eggs but continues to produce hormones but at a lower rate
Ovarian cancer occurs when cells in the ovary start to multiply and grow rapidly. 
In many women who have ovarian cancer, there are no symptoms. And if there are symptoms, they are non-specific.
Let me tell you some of the symptoms of ovarian cancer:

- Abdominal discomfort or fullness
- Dyspepsia
- Pelvic pain
- Constipation
- Back pain
Because the symptoms are non-specific, usually patients present when spread has occured. That's why it is a "silent killer"

There are risk factors for ovarian cancer, such as:
Low parity, delayed childbearing, high fat diet.
Genetics can play a role in ovarian cancer. A gene known as BRCA 1 gene is associated with breast - ovarian cancer syndrome

Our goal is to detect ovarian cancer early and that will be by doing a routine yearly pelvic examination in the pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women. Besides a periodic ultrasonography coupled with CA-125 can be used to screen ovarian cancer

Once diagnosed, the treatment options will depend on the type of ovarian cancer present. There are many types of ovarian cancer and each one has it's treatment
At last, i want to thank the fan page's members who are always keen for awareness topics. Thank you everybody


Cardiomyopathy: types and how to live with it

Friday, 23 July 2010

the topic iam writing about today is an important one and more people need to be awared about. Today we will talk about
Cardiomyopathies are a group of diseases that affect the myocardium (which is the muscular layer of the heart) and weakens it. Besides it causes enlargement in the heart's size. 
There are three main types of cardiomyopathy: dilated, hypertrophic and restrictive. We will try to summarize each type in a simple way

First let us talk about the causes of cardiomyopathy which are:
1. Genetic
2. High blood pressure (long-standing)
3. Heart valves problems

4. Metabolic disorders
5. Pregnancy
6. Excess alcohol intake
7. Viral infections

Now lets talk about each type in brief.

1. Dilated cardiomyopathy:
This is the commonest cardiomyopathy. What happens is the left ventricle (the pumping chamber of the heart that pumps blood to the body) gets dilated and enlarges. This causes decrease in the contracting effect of the left ventricle.

2. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: 
In this type, the heart muscle thickens and becomes more stiff. This interferes with the pumping function of the heart. 

3. Restrictive cardiomyopathy:
This type is the least common. As it name suggests, the heart becomes rigid and doesn't receive the normal amount of blood.

Many people having cardiomyopathy do not have symptoms. However others can complain of 
1. Chest pains
2. Dyspnea
3. Fainting

I would like to talk about Prevention from having cardiomyopathy. 
1. Avoid alcohol intake
2. Avoid cocaine abuse
3. If you are a hypertensive patient, then make sure you are having your blood pressure in the normal range.
4. Have a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle

However if you have a cardiomyopathy, you can learn how to deal with it. There are guidelines for how to live with a cardiomyopathy:
1. Pay attention to your cholesterol level. Avoid excessive salt intake. And maintain a normal body weight
2. Quit smoking (very important)
3. If you are overweight, you need to reduce your weight
4. Discuss with your doctor about having some exercising, as this can help many patients
5. Get rid of alcohols 

Cardiomyopathy can lead to more serious conditions like:
1. Heart failure
2. Formation of blood clots
3. Cardiac arrest
4. Sudden death
Let's all try to control these diseases for a better quality of life. 
Last but not least, thanks to Graham who suggested this topic on our facebook fan page

Restless leg syndrome

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Dear reader, 
i would like to welcome you in here. Today we have an important post about "Restless leg syndrome" which is a common syndrome over the world.

What is Restless leg syndrome ?
It is a condition where you feel uncomfortable during sitting or lying down. You feel like getting up and starting to move around, which will cause a temporary relief to the unpleasant sensation.
It is a neurological movement disorder which is accompanied with an uncomfortable sensation in the limbs and an urge to move them when at rest.

You should know about it because it is unrecognised and under-diagnosed by many doctors. Besides it can be incorrectly labelled as anxiety.

Many patients will describe the uncomfortable sensation as one of the following:
Pulling,   Creepy,   Aching,   Burning,   Crawling,   Tingling,   Painful,   Cramping,   Itchy  

The diagnosis of Restless leg syndrome is made when the following criteria are present:
1. Urge to move the legs
2. Temporary relief with movement 
3. Onset or worsening of symptoms at rest or inactivity
4. Worsening or onset of symptoms in the evening and at night
Now a question will come up: 
                   What causes Restless leg syndrome ?
1. Primary:
This type occurs at any early age and there no underlying cause has been identified

2. Secondary:
This type means that the syndrome developed secondary to an existing condition like:
- iron deficiency
- pregnancy
- end stage renal disease
- peripheral neuropathy
- diabetes mellitus
- fibromyalgia

Does restless leg syndrome affect our daily life ?
Yes it does, because it will lead to poor sleep, inability to relax, poor concentration, depression

Who is more likely to get restless leg syndrome ? 
Women tend to be more likely to be affected than men. Besides the advanced age is another risk factor

How is this syndrome treated ?
There are pharmacological and non-pharmacological measures.

Non-pharmacological: Preventive and symptom control

Preventive measures:
1. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, nicotine
2. Avoid medications that may aggravate this syndrome as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, anti-histaminics, anti-emetics and calcium channel blockers
3. Be active at evening
4. Good sleep hygiene

Symptom control:
1. Walking and stretching
2. Massaging
3. Mental alerting activities
4. Relaxing

Pharmacologically, drugs used in this syndrome are:
1. Iron
2. Dopamine agonist
3. Dopaminergic agonist
4. Anticonvulsants

This is an interesting syndrome and i think researches will show up a lot of information about this syndrome in terms of the causes and more better ways to treat it.

Last and not least, i would like to thank our facebook member, Linda, who suggested this topic to be posted today.

Thank you all for reading this and i hope you benefited from it.   

Snoring and Obstuctive sleep apnea

Saturday, 10 July 2010

This topic will be about about "Sleep apnea" and that was suggested by our facebook member Dorothy.
If you feel that you have a topic that you like to be posted about here, write it in this discussion topic: 
Click here to go to the discussion topic

Let's define apnea first:
Apnea is the cessation of airflow at the nostrils and mouth for at least 10 seconds in adults.

What is sleep apnea ?
It is the stop of breathing during sleep for more than 10 seconds

Types of sleep apnea:
1. Obstructive sleep apnea: there is apnea but the individual continues to do inspiratory effort to overcome this apnea
2. Central sleep apnea: there is apnea but all inspiratory efforts are abolished
3. Mixed apnea
Today we will explain more about Obstructive sleep apnea as it is more commonly encountered. 

As the name suggests, there is an obstruction that is associated with this type. 

The following is a small diagram to illustrate some important landmarks during this topic 

So how this obstruction can lead to apnea ?

If there is an obstruction above the level of the larynx, it will cause collapse of the oropharynx during inspiration during sleep --> Apnea

The increased carbon dioxide in the blood will cause stimulation of the nervous system that will cause arousal from sleep. It is then when the airway gets patent again and the individual regains normal respiration and then falls sleep again. This cycle can repeat more than once in a single night which is affects the normal sleep of the individual. 
What can cause supra-laryngeal obsturction?
In the nose, there can be polyps or a deviated septum. Also tonsils, adenoids, large tongue can cause obstruction

So who are more prone to get obstructive sleep apnea ?
Obese individuals and male sex are more prone to get obstructive sleep apnea

Clinical picture of obstructive sleep apnea:
1. Snoring: it is a vibration of the soft palate, lateral pharyngeal wall and base of the tongue. This vibration will lead to a noisy breathing. 

2. Obstructive episodes: an episode of apnea that may last from 10 - 60 seconds. During this period, the individual will be exerting a marked respiratory effort to regain the normal respiration
3. Excessive day time sleepiness: due to affection of the normal night sleep
4. Morning headaches and impaired concentration

What is the treatment one should have to get rid of obstructive sleep apnea ?
There is a non-surgical and a surgical treatment

Non-surgical treatment:
1. Lose weight
2. Avoid alcohols and sedatives
3. Avoid lying supine
4. Continous positive airway pressure: the patient will wear a mask connected to a pump that will blow air at a higher pressure to prevent the collapse of the airway

Surgical treatment:
Aims at removing the cause of obstruction. If the cause is tonsils and adenoids, then an adenotonsillectomy is done.
An important operation is being done in many patients nowadays which is called Uvulo-Palato-Pharyngoplasty (UPPP). Done by laser involves removal of the tonsils, trimming of the pillars, removing the uvula and a part of the soft palate, therefore creating a wider airway passage. 

Insomnia: definition, risk groups, HOW TO GET IT TREATED !!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Hello to all readers, please read it till the end
i would like to talk today about "insomnia", which is a common problem that everyone may have experienced during his/her life.

By definition, insomnia is difficulty in sleeping that can be due to either:
1. Difficulty falling asleep
2. Waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep
3. Waking up too early in the morning
4. Unrefreshing sleep

If you have one of the above, then you have insomnia

Factors that make you more likely to get insomnia:
1. Women are more likely to experience insomnia more than men 
2. Advanced age
3. Medical or psychiatric illness (as depression)

What causes insomnia ?
1. Stress
2. Environmental noise
3. Extreme temperatures
4. Change in the surrounding environment 
5. Sleep / wake schedule problems 
6. Medications (may cause insomnia as a side effect)

So what is the treatment for it ?
Drugs that contain anti-histamine are present over the counter. Besides there are sleeping pills that will help relief insomnia
However i recommend you read the following advices before rushing to the medications. 

Let's go:
1. Don't have caffeine drinks in the evening
2. Don't go to bed unless you feel sleepy
3. When on bed, if you didn't sleep in 15 minutes then get out of the bedroom and don't return unless you are sleepy
4. Avoid any behaviour in the bed or bedroom other than sleep or sexual activity
5. Establish a fixed wake time and eliminate the time u spend in bed without sleeping
6. Don't take your problems to bed
7. Avoid naps
8. Avoid clock watching in bed as this will lead to frustration and anger that will interfere with sleep


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