Ignoring Lyme Disease Could Be Injurious to Your Health

Whenever you go to dense woods or brushy areas, you have some chances of falling sick from Lyme disease. Usually, it happens when an infected tick bites you; however, at times you may not be even aware about it. Over 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported every year in the US alone. Lyme disease was first detected in Connecticut in the early 1970s; however, since then most states in the US have registered cases of tick bites. Dense woods or brushy areas often are the sources of ticks. Be aware that even your pet can also get infected with Lyme disease and ignoring Lyme disease could be highly hazardous to your health.

It is important to note that previous infection from Lyme disease does not reduce the chance of repeat infection if bitten by an infected tick again. The incubation time is found to be between 3 and 30 days of the bite; however, the rash that appears is usually not itchy or painful. On average, it takes about 7 days for rash to become prominent. While rash on the skin expands in several days, its size can be as large as 12 inches. Rash appears like a ‘bull’s eye’ with a red ring and center.

Usual symptoms of Lyme disease are fever, chills, fatigue, headache, joint and muscle aching, swollen lymph nodes, along with a typical skin rash known as erythema migrans. Lyme disease causes body temperature to rise above 100.4 degree F in children as well as adults. Shivering and chills are usual symptoms clubbed with pain in muscle and joints. Intermittent sweats can also be observed. Heart rate becomes rapid when inflicted with Lyme disease. The patient may feel dizzy or lightheaded and may experience weakness and fatigue. If temperature rises above 104 degree F then it may lead to hallucination, convulsions or confusion.

 

Untreated infection may result into spreading the disease to other parts of the body developing specific symptoms such as severe headaches, stiffness in neck due to meningitis, swelling, or pain in knee and other joints, or loss of muscle tone on sides of the face. It is important to note that nearly 10% to 20% of patients with Lyme disease may continue with certain symptoms even after treatment. Such prolonged symptoms are: joint pains, fatigue, sleep disorders, or cognitive disabilities. They are often known as Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS).

Diagnosis is done by reviewing the patient’s history. In early stages of disease, blood testing for antibodies cannot help much; however, in later stages, a laboratory test called “EIA” (enzyme immunoassay) may be performed to ascertain the disease. When this test provides positive results, another test called “Western Blot” can be performed. When both tests provide positive results, it is diagnosed as Lyme disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasize that a Western blot test should not be conducted without completing the first-level blood screening because the Western blot alone may lead to false positive results; this may lead to unnecessary Lyme disease treatment. The Food and Drug Administration does not permit urine or other tests to ascertain Lyme disease infections.

Lyme disease can be treated by oral administration of antibiotics. When the patient is treated in the early stages of Lyme disease, the chances of complete recovery are high; however, when complications reach to the stage of cardiac or neurological involvement intravenous treatment with higher antibiotics may be necessary.

Finally, make it a point not to ignore Lyme disease. In case, if you observe the symptoms typical to Lyme disease, rush to your physician immediately before the disease inflicts a permanent damage to your vital organs.

 

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Bibliography

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Lyme Disease. Web. 27 January 2015.

http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/lymedisease/understanding/pages/intro.aspx

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lyme disease. cdc.gov. Web. 27 January 2015.

http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/signs_symptoms/index.html

 

 

 

 

I Don’t Know How to Brush My Teeth!

Tooth brushing is such a habit that is present among almost all the races of the world. It the most essential practice for keeping your teeth in good health and for retaining your precious and beautiful smile.

But a study carried out by researchers from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London (UCL) found out that humanity doesn’t know the right way to brush their teeth. Yes, you heard it right. No matter how confident and sure you were about your tooth brushing technique till now be prepared to be shaken because what the report says is true. The study was published in the peer-reviewed British Dental Journal, by the way.

What the researchers did back there is just conducting a gigantic Google and Google Scholar research on the net over the accumulated data on dental health and tooth brushing from 10 countries. The countries were Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries were selected because they are deemed to have researched most on the issue of dental health. Then they searched for all the available techniques of tooth brushing cited by dentists, medical analysts, dental associations, toothpaste and toothbrush companies, dental textbooks etc. But to their dismay they found no unity among the shared techniques. Moreover the techniques have differed from one another by great degrees.

Although this study was conducted in a small basis it reflects a fundamental issue for the field of dentistry. That the most essential part of dental health is still unknown to us. We don’t know whether to brush side to side or with a circular motion of the bristles. Nor do we know exactly how many times we should brush. Nor do we have any age appropriate technique for brushing our teeth. The researchers even searched for the right angle of the bristles and the options of power tooth brushes but to no avail.

The brushing techniques varies even more in case of particular dental cases like tooth decay or gum diseases. In these particular cases the experts are also divided.

In such a situation our expert opinion is to go with the feel. Follow what suits you and your teeth the most. If you are comfortable with brushing once in the morning then it is perhaps okay with you. Or if you like to do it once more before going to bed as the most prominent custom dictates then do that. But make sure that you, your mouth and your teeth feel clean to you and your dental conscience. Apart from that we can only hope that the scientific discipline of dentistry will come up with something pretty soon.

Always remember that failure in properly keeping your teeth as a result of inappropriate tooth brushing may cause severe dental cases which ultimately may lead to losing some of your valuable teeth. And don’t forget the pain that accompanies such a situation. Believe me tooth aches are one of the worst sort of pain one can experience.

 

Imbalanced Routine is Detrimental to Progress

We’ve all been there – looking in the mirror, thinking that we need bigger biceps, shoulders, chest, or whatever. It can be tempting to start focusing on that muscle group more than you should. Training it more often than everything else and paying it special attention might seem like a good idea, but it’s actually detrimental to your overall progress. You don’t want to be the kind of guy who walks around the gym with ginormous arms and tiny shoulders, do you? It’s true that no muscle grows in a vacuum, meaning that even as you’re only training biceps (because this is the most common manifestation of the condition), you’re hitting other muscle groups, as well. Obviously this doesn’t work well for the other muscles being “hit” because it’s not training them properly, so thinking that while you’re focusing on your arms you’re developing the rest of your body is false logic.

 

Focusing on certain body parts causes you to skip others. Many guys skip legs in order to train more of that biceps. You probably know them as “curlbros” – the “bros” at your local gym who do biceps curls on the squat rack. You don’t want to be that guy. He has big arms, but his body is so imbalanced that he’s a walking injury waiting to happen. His legs are small because he hasn’t trained them, so even though he has massive arms and maybe upper body, he still looks ridiculous. Thanks to favoring certain exercises, his muscles are causing his posture to change over time. The humpbacks you see with their large chests and no backs are a fair example of this. They mostly train chest and biceps. Because of that, they develop big arms, chests, and front deltoids, but since they’re not training the other parts of their bodies (back is apparently “out of sight, out of mind”), their posture is like Quasimodo’s, but without his enormous forearms. This hinders overall progress because some muscles get overdeveloped, and others remain underdeveloped.

 

If you want to see proper progress and avoid potential injury, you should find a balanced program and train all your muscle groups. Focus more on compound movements than on isolated exercises. Compound movements are more effective, even when compared to the same basic pattern but on a Smith machine. Isolation exercises are good as auxiliary. Your main focus should be on compound movements because they activate more muscles, so they’re better for a balanced workout. When done correctly, bench press, military press, squats, and deadlifts are absolutely the best exercises you can do. Some people will tell you that they’re dangerous. While it’s true that there is a relatively high potential for injury, that is only caused by improper form or trying to lift too much weight. You won’t get injured if you do the exercise correctly and if you don’t overestimate your strength.  This way you will gain more overall muscle. You will look better (and more fit), and it will be easier for you to burn fat because muscle need more energy than fat, hence the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you will be burning by default. There is no downside to training properly. Gains will come eventually.

 

 

 

Hypertriglyceridemia is a form of dyslipidemia. It is when triglycerides levels in the blood increase above normal values (100mg/dL or 1.7mmol/L).

Hypertriglyceridemia is a risk factor for heart disease e.g. heart attacks. In extremely high levels >500mg/dL or >1000mg/dL, they double the risk of pancreatitis.

Typically, it is not an isolated condition. It commonly coexists with other metabolic syndromes including but not limited to truncal obesity, hypertension, low high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

Hypertriglyceridemia can be primary or secondary. Primary hypertriglyceridemia is due to a genetic defect that causes a metabolic misbalance of triglycerides. Secondary hypertriglyceridemia is when there is already an existing condition e.g. metabolic syndrome that cause the increase of triglycerides in the blood.

It is more common in men than in women. The levels of triglycerides tend to gradually increase in men until the age of 50 and then stop whereas for women it mildly increases as they grow older. Therefore, the condition is commonly seen in men in their 30’s and women in their 60’s. Hypertriglyceridemia changes from race to race e.g. Nonhispanic blacks generally have low levels of triglycerides in blood. The disease is asymptomatic until the levels hit 2000mg/dL in patients who are diabetic and consume high levels of high fatty foods like alcohol.

 

 

Common causes include:

  • Uncontrolled Diabetes Mellitus (Type I & II)
  • Untreated thyroid disease e.g. hypothyroidism
  • Kidney disease e.g. nephrotic syndrome
  • Drugs e.g. high doses of diuretics, beta blockers, glucocorticoids, ARV therapy, estrogen etc.
  • Alcohol consumption and other high fat food
  • Acute Pancreatitis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

The outcome of the disease is generally good if the patient is properly treated and observes doctor’s recommendations as expected i.e. dietary changes, lifestyle modification etc.

Hypertriglyceridemic patients typically show no symptoms. In severely elevated levels >1000mg/dL, they might complain of:

  • Pain – abdominal, chest, back etc.
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Breathlessness
  • Enlarged liver and spleen
  • Skin lesions called xanthomas
  • Memory loss, mild dementia, depression
  • Atypical but possible: yellow lesions around eyelids

To diagnose the condition, first your doctor has to exclude secondary hypertriglyceridemia by testing random glucose levels, Thyroid hormone, urinalysis, levels of estrogen in women and if they are on any hormonal therapy or oral contraceptives.

Once, the secondary causes have been ruled out, the doctor will measure your triglycerides levels by asking you not to eat 12 hours before the test.

Treatment of hypertriglyceridemia is similar to treating lipid disorders. Non-pharmacologic methods of intervention include lifestyle adjustments. This means quitting smoking, exercising regularly, losing a few pounds, a proper diet – oily fish is recommended. Reduce or stop drinking alcohol. These are only helpful when the patient has not started presenting with any symptoms.

Pharmacologic intervention is aimed at preventing pancreatitis. These include: fibrates, statins, niacin, Ezetimibe and omega acids i.e. fish oil.

Doctors will prescribe medication only if the levels are alarming >500mg/dL in combination with a lifestyle modification in order to reduce triglycerides levels to a normal range. For the secondary type, it is necessary to first manage any existing metabolic syndrome which will in turn normalize triglyceride levels.

Besides following doctor’s recommendations, patients should go for follow-up to ensure their triglycerides levels are kept within a normal metabolic range. Patients are expected to report any unexplained complaints e.g. weakness, muscle fatigue, or muscle pain for the doctor to assess whether or not they’re cause by fibrates and statins.