In between an exercise session or before halfway through your cycling you let out a loud shout holding the wrist/leg calling for help. It would mostly be that you have sprained/strained your leg. While both words are used interchangeably in practical life each holds a very different meaning from the other.
Quite often after a game of basketball or running we complain of a sprain whose prime areas of occurrence include the wrists, ankles, thumbs and knees. This is nothing but a torn or twisted ligament. Ligaments are tough tissues that act as connecting factors between bones or cartilages located around the joints. The severity of the sprain is directly dependent on the number of tissue fibers affected. Common symptoms include pain, bruise, swelling, inability to move the joint freely or apply weight on the joint. Common causes that can induce a sprain include:
This is a torn or twisted muscle or tendon mostly occurring in the legs, back, knee and feet. Tendons are tough bands of fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones. Unlike a sprain that happens suddenly, a strain can happen suddenly or over time. Common symptoms include swelling, bruising, pain, muscle weakness/spasms, muscle cramps and restricted movement in the affected area. A strain that occurs suddenly is called an acute strain while the one that takes time to develop is called a chronic strain each of which has different causes. Causes of acute strain include slipping, jumping, running or lifting a heavy object. Causes of chronic strain include involvement in some sports activity such as tennis, running or rowing (basically any sports that involves repetitive movement) and sitting/standing in odd positions might also trigger a chronic strain at times.
Both strain and sprain follow the RICE technique to relieve pain and swelling. This includes:
Rest:Immediately stop the ongoing activity, be it sports or physical exercise, and don’t apply pressure over the affected limb.
Ice: Keep an ice pack over the injured area for a maximum of up to 20 minutes every 2-3 hours. In the absence of ice pack, you can use even a pack of chilled milk or frozen vegetables.
Compression:Decrease swelling by wrapping the affected area with a bandage and if you feel numb/increased pain over time loosen the bandage.
Elevation:Always try to keep the injured area elevated above the chest level whenever possible.
When results are not favorable and if you experience any of these its better to meet a physician:
Devoid of any noise, sitting in a room alone or even inside a sound-proof room do you hear a whooshing, ringing or a humming sound in the ear? Its presence can be constant or you feel that it comes and goes at intervals, in one ear or both ears or even in the middle of the head. This completely confuses you and makes you think of all the weird explanations possible. People search for some external factor for the noise’s root cause and keep on searching until they find that its deep within them. Rarely some people hear music too in their ears that.
This perception of sound when there is no external noise present is called as tinnitus which is commonly reported in people across all age groups. Its been shown that almost 30% of people experience tinnitus at some point in their life but there is another 10% of people who live it this problem constantly. For most people they find no difficulty in continuing their day-to-day chores but for some of them tinnitus affects their routine life and causes ample problems.
Tinnitus is no disease or illness but the result of a mental or physical change that needn’t be related to hearing all the time. To understand the cause for tinnitus we need to first understand the concept of hearing. There are thousands of sounds around us such as the ticking of the clock, traffic outside, chirping of birds, the constant sound of drilling in the neighborhood and so on. If our ears were to process all these sounds each of us would be only listening to them without doing anything more. Our brains play a major role in processing these sounds and filtering the wanted from the unwanted ones. While hearing, sounds travel into the ear from which the hearing nerves take them to the brain. The brain is responsible for making sense of the sound, filter out all of the unwanted background scores and help us recognize the essential ones. Trouble arises only when the amount of information sent to the brain changes due to hearing loss, ear infections, etc. The brain tries to fetch as many information from the ear as possible and this extra information is the sound manifested as tinnitus.
Our brain and not our ears are responsible for tinnitus. So, beyond hearing problems and infections even changes in our stress levels affecting the brain can result in tinnitus. Physicians have often heard people complaining of hearing noises in the ear during a cold, wax blocking or some ear infection or become aware of hearing sounds after a stressful situation which makes them notice more and more of the sound. The problem decreases/fades away once the stress levels subside or ear infection goes away but rarely, it does remain persistently even after the underlying problem is cleared. But its good to know that tinnitus can rarely be a sign of some other serious problem. Managing stress is an art and www.firsteatright.com is the best place to learn this art and practice it for a better life.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Talk to your physician once you doubt tinnitus. The ENT doctor might be of help here as he/she understands the symptoms and confirms the presence of tinnitus. Whatever happens, don’t stop leading your normal life but make a few changes here and there to make it more relaxing and simpler. Many people become frightened when they first realize that they are hearing sounds but find it helpful to know that it settles down after a while. It’s just like hearing the building work that’s happening in your neighborhood but the sound fades away once you get used to it and start focusing on the work at hand.
Living with Tinnitus
World Malaria Day (April 25th)
Size doesn’t matter and this is very much true in the case of mosquitoes which disrupt our lives quite often. While there have been steps taken worldwide to eliminate malaria, a disease caused by mosquitoes, the last couple of years have seen a downside in their efforts and this is very much true in the case of the year 2017 which witnessed 219 million cases of malaria worldwide compared to only 217 million in 2016. Shockingly, 70% of the world’s malaria cases are completely concentrated in 11 different countries that includes India and ten others in the African continent.
Malaria is a preventable disease caused by one of the four Plasmodium parasites that’s transmitted to humans after being bitten by the female mosquito from a specific genus that spreads the Plasmodium parasite. It takes around 7-18 days for the symptoms to appear after being infected with the parasite. Rarely, it could even take as long as a year to appear. Scientists have been working on this-trying to stop the parasite from pursuing its action from an earlier stage.
Malarial drugs today work by reducing symptoms once the individual is affected by the disease and try to abort replication of the parasite in blood. These drugs neither prevent infection nor transmission via mosquitoes. A team of scientists tried to take control of the parasite as soon as it hits the human liver instead of waiting until replication proceeds leading to illness. This group tested thousands of compounds and have succeeded in narrowing down the list to 631 compounds and the names of these compounds have been made public to help anyone putting in their best efforts to succeed in delivering a malaria prevention drug. Mankind would witness a great advancement if this research brings about a positive result in the future.
While common symptoms include vomiting, shivering, diarrhoea, headache and muscle pain one specific type of malaria has the potential to lead to severe and deadly consequences such as organ failure too. Get a detailed insight about the disease from the website www.firsteatright.com.
Malaria doesn’t spread from person to person but only from an infected mosquito. And, most of the cases are due to night-biting mosquitoes as the individual is infected mostly during the night before the sun rises.
World Malaria Day
World Malaria Day is celebrated on April 25thevery year to spread awareness among people about this disease. The theme for 2019 is ‘Zero malaria starts with me’ whose main aim is to make you and me take control over the disease by safeguarding ourselves in every way possible. It is not just to eradicate a disease by eliminating the mosquito community and this is not fair too. We would be creating an imbalance in nature’s cycle by doing so too. All we can do is take precautionary steps to stay safe. Some of them include:
1. Use insect repellants directly on the skin and most importantly, reapply them often as their effects don’t stay for a long time. Always use one that has diethyltoluamide (DEET) as its ingredient and these repellents can be in the form of sprays, sticks, creams or even roll-ons.
2. Most air-conditioned rooms are devoid of mosquitoes as the rooms have been kept closed mostly. If you aren’t sleeping in an AC room, it is better to sleep under a mosquito net as repellants are not a great choice compared to repellants and nets.
3. Keep your doors and windows closed during evening hours as they offer a great scope for the parasites to enter the house. If you wish to keep them open, please take effective steps to install mosquito nets.
4. Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved clothes while avoiding short clothings as this exposes much of the skin surface making it easier for the mosquitoes to take a plunge onto our blood.
5. Avoid water logging in the form of muddles or pools. Ensure that there is no water stagnation as much as possible to avoid attracting mosquitoes.
Malaria is avoidable with much care and it is also easily treatable when detected in the initial stages. But, when the diagnosis is missed initially, treatment becomes difficult in the advanced stages as parasite reproduction takes place tremendously meanwhile. Take precautions and safeguard yourself from a preventable disease.
Body piercing has evolved as a fashion statement from the age-old concept of sexual desirability. It is the art of inserting a hole in the skin or body part to make provision for a piece of jewelry as a decorative ornament. In India, most girl babies and some boy babies have their ear lobes pierced as a part of their culture and no other body part is as dominantly pierced as this.
Body piercing was initially considered an extreme art form but now has been accepted with ease among the general population. Individuals desire to get their body piercing in different places and numbers and every choice has a motivational factor behind it. Seen initially as a tradition related to increased sexual desirability and experience, it is now seen as a trademark, trendsetter or a non-suicidal form of self-injury. Done with a sharp needle, the process definitely carries with it an increased risk of blood-borne infection and other problems, unless extreme care and precaution is taken by the piercer.
Done by professional piercers, individuals who face complications visit their piercer instead of going to their physician. These individuals feel that their doctors would be unmindful, ill-equipped or biased against them, especially when they have multiple piercings or piercing in intimate body parts. Common reasons that push individuals to meet their piercer include bleeding, infection, tissue trauma and scarring which is present in almost 50% of individuals who are pierced. Piercing can lead to metal allergy development and hence, the pierced individual should choose his/her ornamental jewelry with utmost caution. In today’s world, apart from earlobe piercing, common places to pierce include belly button, eyebrow, nose, tongue tip, nipples and genitals. Ear cartilage is also pierced by some people. Appropriate care of the piercing site becomes mandatory in certain circumstances-during pregnancy (genital piercing), lactation (nipple piercing) or surgery.
Infections at the Piercing Site: Any changes to the skin’s protective barrier paves way for skin infection due to staph or strep bacteria. Belly button piercing is the most commonly affected site during such piercing due to its shape. Antibiotics and skin hygiene are common treatment methods and there is no need to remove the jewelry.
Blood-borne diseases: Piercing immediately reminds anyone of bloodstream infections such as hepatitis B or C or tetanus. This is very common due to unhygienic and contaminated piercing equipment. The person getting pierced should take extra precaution and get himself/herself vaccinated for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and tetanus beforehand.
Dental illness: Tongue piercing can cause tooth fracture, chipped tooth, gum problems or enamel damage. The jewelry too is swallowed sometimes, when it is loosely fitted. Mouth or lip infections affect speech, food intake, swallowing and swelling problems that can block the throat.
Jewelry problems: Nickel jewelry can cause problems but most of the inexpensive jewelry contain nickel. Adolescents are bound to buy such ornaments as they mostly lack funds and are forced to choose cheaper ones. Also, never accept jewelry which was already used by someone. Choose the right size, too big or too small can lead to a tissue scar or skin damage. Jewelry in the genitals can lead to breaking of condom and unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.
Keloid Formation: Keloids are fibrous tissue overgrowth that can occur in people after a mild trauma to the skin and this is usually resolved with surgical excision, corticosteroid injections, radiation or laser dressing. Keloid formation is an indication to avoid piercing again.
How Can the Piercer/Person Getting Pierced Take Precautionary Measures?
The piercer must ensure to:
Once you are pierced, ensure to follow all precautionary measures as advised by your piercer. You would be asked to clean the pierced area with warm water and soap twice daily, use a liquid medicated cleanser while moving the piercing around and use an antibacterial mouth rinse when the tongue or lip is pierced.
After following all the instructions, if you face any of the following problems, please get in touch with your physician immediately without any hesitation:
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.