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

What Is West Nile Fever ?

Friday, 31 August 2012

West Nile Fever is a viral infection caused by West Nile Virus, which is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. 

66 people have died from West Nile virus infections this year and the number of human cases has grown to 1,590. That's the highest case count through the last week of August since the virus was first detected in the U.S in 1999.

Way of transmission of West Nile Virus:

The transmission cycle begins when a mosquito bites an infected bird and takes in blood that contains the virus. If the mosquito bites a human, it transmits the virus to him/her.
In a very small number of cases, WNV can spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, breastfeeding and even during pregnancy from mother-to-baby.

Symptoms of West Nile Fever:
The earliest symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, body aches, rash and swollen lymph nodes. 80% of people infected by WNV, will not show any symptoms at all.
Symptoms usually begin 3 to 15 days after infection. In about 1% of infected individuals, it may cause West Nile Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) which will present with high fever, stiff neck, convulsions, confusion, paralysis and coma.

People aged over 50 years old and those who spend more time outdoors are at high risk of getting WNV.

How is West Nile Fever treated ?
There is no specific treatment for this disease. Management is supportive in terms of replacing fluids and electrolytes as they are lost through insensible losses due to fever and decreased fluid intake.

Symptoms Of Stomach Cancer

Monday, 11 June 2012

Stomach cancer symptoms can lack specificity in the early course of the disease. This may cause the patient to ignore these vague symptoms till the disease becomes advanced which will then present with more obvious symptoms.

As its name suggests, stomach cancer is a neoplastic cancerous growth involving part or the whole of the stomach. The image below illustrates the 4 divisions of the stomach: Fundus, Body, Antrum, Pyloris.

Risk factors that increases likelihood of stomach cancer:

1. Factors related to nutrition:
- Salted meat or fish.
- High complex-carbohydrate ingestion.
- Low fat or protein ingestion.

2. Helicobacter pylori infection.

3. Smoking.

4. Male gender.

5. Previous gastric surgery.

Symptoms of stomach cancer:
As mentioned above, the diagnosis of stomach cancer is usually delayed due to the delay in seeking medical attention because of mild and vague symptoms which include:
- Dyspepsia (or indigestion, discomfort in the upper abdomen, painful digestion).
- Anorexia, asthenia, anemia, weight loss.
- Epigastric mass.

These symptoms rarely get proper attention which causes further delay in making the diagnosis.
However, in late cases a patient may present with signs of metastasis (spread of cancer) to the liver and lymph nodes (especially the left supraclavicular lymph node).

If detected early stomach cancer can be a curable disease. Treatment at this stage will mainly depend on removal of the stomach (or part of it) that contains the malignant growth.

Take care: Dyspepsia occuring in any individual above 40 years old should be taken seriously especially if medications are not effective enough to relief it. Investigations must be done thoroughly to exclude the presence of stomach cancer.

Please share this article and feel free to post your comments.

Aplastic anemia and Lupus

Friday, 8 June 2012

Q. "Is Aplastic anemia linked to Lupus ?"

Ans. Yes, both diseases are auto-immune disorders (which means that they occur because the immune system decides to attack the healthy body cells). Auto-immune diseases are caused by defective genes which can run in families. So it is normal to find that these diseases are affecting more than one in a single family.
In fact, aplastic anemia is a rare but serious complication of systemic lupus erythematosus. Aplastic anemia may pass unnoticed in many lupus patients because lupus itself may cause peripheral destruction of formed blood cells. So any lupus patient suffering from severe pancytopenia (decreased red blood cells, decreased white blood cells and decreased platelets) should get checked to exclude the presence of aplastic anemia.

What is aplastic anemia ?
It is when the bone marrow fails or is suppressed to form all blood cells including red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. People with aplastic anemia will suffer because of the deficiency of each of these blood elements in the form of:
- Skin pallor, fatique, palpitations (due to low RBC's).
- Fever and infections (due to low WBC's).
- Hemorrhage and bleeding tendency (due to low platelets).

How Soon Can I Do A Pregnancy Test ?

Saturday, 5 May 2012

This is a common question for women in the childbearing age and it involves a lot of physiological details that i will try to simplify in the rest of this article.

Answer: A woman can do a pregnancy test from the first day of her missed period.

Pregnancy tests will measure the presence of pregnancy hormone known as Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG). 

There are two ways of doing a pregnancy test - home pregnancy test and blood pregnancy test. 
Home pregnancy test will be done using a sample of urine which is collected immediately after waking up in the morning. This is because hCG hormone will be present in its highest concentration.
Blood pregnancy test will depend on testing the amount of hCG in blood, which is more accurate and can be used to assess the viability of the fetus.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Guillain-Barre syndrome is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks the nerves. It is usually monophasic (happens only once). Recurrence occurs in patients less than 30 years old, with milder symptoms and in Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS).

It occurs after a respiratory infection or stomach flu. The infection causes production of antibodies against the myelin sheath of the nerves and causes demyelination.

Symptoms start after 1-3 weeks from the respiratory or GIT infection.

Numbness in the peripheries and limb pains precede a rapidly ascending muscle weakness (starts in the lower limbs and ascends to affect trunk, respiratory muscles and upper limbs).
The patient may experience difficulties in facial movement, speaking, chewing or swallowing. 
Some patients may develop respiratory difficulties and may progress to respiratory failure due to paralysis of the respiratory muscles. When this happens, it is an EMERGENCY and the patient will have to be put on mechanical ventilation till recovery occurs.


Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Today we are going to discuss adhesions that develop after surgery and how can it affect the patient in the future.

First of all, i would like to apologize for the stop of the blog's post in the previous couple of months. We are now back and we have more posts that we hope you find it interesting.

Let's start by defining adhesions. Adhesions are fibrous bands that form between internal organs. Adhesions commonly occur in the abdomen and pelvis. It is a common complication of surgical operations. 

Symptoms of adhesions:
- Abdominal adhesions: is commonly asymptomatic. However it can cause small intestinal obstruction. In fact, abdominal adhesions are the commonest cause of small intestinal obstruction in adults. 
Symptoms of intestinal obstruction include severe abdominal pain, vomiting. Later on, the patient may suffer from constipation and abdominal distension. 

- Pelvic adhesions:
The following image shows bands of adhesions following a cesarean section:
Pelvic adhesions can be a result of surgery or pelvic inflammatory disease. Infertility or ectopic pregnancy can result from pelvic adhesions. This is due to the fact that adhesions distort the shape of the normal fallopian tubes.

Adhesions involving the vagina may cause dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse).

Treatment of adhesions:
If adhesions cause complications as infertility, it must be surgically divided. 
However if it causes adhesive intestinal obstruction, we can try conservative treatment before resorting to the surgical way. Adhesive intestinal obstruction tends to recur and so the surgical line of treatment is our second option.
Conservative treatment includes naso-gastric suction and intravenous replacement of fluids. Close observation is vital to detect if there is improvement. If there is no response in 24 hours, then surgery must be performed to divide adhesions.

I would like to know your feedback whether you write it here or on the facebook fan page. Do not hesitate to post any questions you have. 


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