6 Things You Should Know About Piles

Piles happen around the lower rectum and look similar to varicose veins. These result from various conditions including strain during a bowel movement or increased pressure when pregnancy or during sexual intercourse. Piles can be present inside the rectum and externally outside the rectum. External piles are the commonest and come with bleeding, pain, itching, and difficulty sitting. Read on to discover things you should know about piles. 

Understanding piles

Also known as hemorrhoids, piles are swollen and inflamed blood vessels in the anal cushions. Internal piles are 2 and 4 centimeters above the anus opening. External piles are usually on the edge of the anus. People of all ages can get piles although the condition is common in people over 65 years. Even overweight people are likely to suffer from piles especially during pregnancy. The condition results from various causes including excessive strain during bowel movement causing swelling of blood vessels. 

Causes of piles

The causes of piles vary including increased pressure on anal blood vessels. People who don’t include enough fiber in their diet usually suffer from constipation.  This is a likely cause of piles for increasing strain during a bowel movement. Another likely cause of piles is lifting heavy objects putting pressure on the anal blood vessels. Pregnant women suffer from piles due to rapid weight gain during pregnancy. A physician can diagnose whether you have piles and tell you the possible cause. Fortunately, Healthbay  has a natural remedy for piles. 

Other possible causes of piles include:

  • Obesity
  • Anal intercourse
  • Genetics or family history
  • Prolonged sitting or squatting 
  • Complications from chronic diarrhea

Symptoms of piles

Various symptoms can tell that you have piles including bleeding from the anal canal. Additionally, you might experience itchy skin around the rectum, slimy discharge, with pain or discomfort during a bowel movement.  When you notice any of these symptoms, never hesitate to visit a doctor to diagnose the problem. Piles are very common in people but the related symptoms might reveal a serious health condition. 

Other symptoms of piles include:

  • Development of lump and swelling near the anus
  • Painful lump and sensitive to touch near the anus
  • Bleeding during bowel movements
  • Mucus discharge when having bowel movements
  • Pain in the anal region when sneezing or coughing

Piles inside the rectum are invisible and you can’t feel them. However, damage to the surface of the piles can happen to result from strain leading to bleeding. Usually, internal piles might get pushed out at the anal opening from excessing strain. This leads to prolapsed or protruding painful piles. Sometimes external piles have a blood pool. This thrombus encourages inflammation, extreme pain, severe pain, and swelling. You are likely to have a hard painful lump near the anus that is removed through surgery. 

Complications from piles 

Hemorrhoids come with complications including anemia resulting from excessive loss of blood. Anemia results from lacking healthy red blood cells for oxygen circulation. Internal strangulated piles are painful resulting from a lack of blood supply leading to a blood clot and infections. Excessive bleeding from the anus encourages anemia, infection, and lack of bowel movement control. Another complication from piles is an anal fistula. This leads to the creation of a new channel between the skin surface near the anus and its inside. 

How a doctor can diagnose piles 

You are likely to experience severe complications when you don’t get relief for piles. It is very important to visit a doctor for an appropriate diagnosis including discussing the symptoms you are having. Doctors usually do an internal examination to assess the piles. This examination requires checking the anus opening gently using a gloved finger. 

However, there is also a likelihood of using a proctoscope. This is a narrow telescopic camera for the doctor to have a clear picture of the piles and nearby area. Never hesitate to visit a doctor when having symptoms of piles. Undergoing a colonoscopy test will give a better picture of the extent of the piles and to be sure of any potential conditions. 

Possible treatment for piles

Change in diet and lifestyle relieves uncomfortable symptoms of piles . A fiber-rich diet is essential to allow easy passing of stool to reduce strain during a bowel movement. Alternatively, you can take a warm bath regularly to relieve itchiness. The best thing is to take natural pills for relief from the uncomfortable symptoms resulting from piles. 

Depending on the severity of the piles, there is no medication to give you a quick fix. Medication regularly takes about six weeks for the symptoms to go away. If the problems persist, the doctor can recommend non-surgical treatment including banding. Here, a tiny plastic band is placed tightly on the base of the piles to cut off the blood supply. With time, the piles will die and fall off. 

In conclusion

Piles are very uncomfortable to live with. You are likely to have trouble sitting with a risk of anemia from prolonged bleeding. Fortunately, you can purchase natural pills online for relief from this discomforting condition. 

Setting the Line between Major and Minor Surgical Procedures

Surgery is often viewed by many as any medical procedure that requires cutting open body parts and sewing them back up together using various tools. While that is somewhat true, not all procedures cut as deep to the bone but are still regarded as surgery in the medical field. Here we tackle the two different categories of surgery – major and minor procedures – and determine their similarities and differences. 

A surgical procedure is any form of invasive therapy that makes use of instrumental and manual techniques on a patient to provide treatment for a pathological condition such as an injury or a disease. They are also done to improve defects in desired body functions and to remove failing parts. Due to the various diseases and injuries that one can acquire, several surgical procedures have been developed in the medical field for their treatment. As mentioned, the two broadest classifications of surgery are the major and minor procedures. 

Procedures are defined either as major or minor depending on the depth of the invasive techniques needed to successfully perform them. If the procedure only requires incisions on the skin, connective tissues, or mucous membranes, then it is considered a minor surgical procedure. Examples of this category include treatments on the skin for hemorrhoids and tissue neurosis. This also includes invasive procedures for obtaining body specimens such as biopsy which is a technique for procuring body fluids or tissue samples using a needle. 

In the field of dentistry, tooth extractions and gum grafts are also considered as minor procedures. This is because the incisions needed to perform them are only on the external surface level of the mouth. Minor procedures are also known for needing only local anesthesia and only a  few personnel to perform. In most cases only one practitioner is needed. Since the procedure is done on the skin, the affected surface must be disinfected before the surgery proper. This is done to prevent contamination in the area of surgery. Aside from those mentioned, there are also other examples of minor procedures. 

On the other hand, major surgical procedures require more depth of incision into the body cavity. Here, internal organs are involved and more pathological expertise is needed to correctly perform them due to the sensitivity of the structures affected. Conditions that require major surgery include diseases that cause organ infections, injuries causing limb or joint destruction, and major corrections in defects of a body’s pathological structure. Major surgery is already required when the body is in dire need of repair and further delay can be fatal for the patient. The extensive study must be done first on a patient’s condition to determine if the major procedure is necessary along with the scope of the surgery to be performed.    

Due to its complexity, the entire procedure will need more dosage of anesthesia to be performed. In most cases, the patient is rendered unconscious to prevent movement. They also need a team of personnel, each with their own set of tasks, to complete the entire procedure. Vital signs are extensively monitored to ensure the patient’s safety while the procedure is ongoing. After completion of the procedure, the patient must still stay confined for a few more days to monitor his stability and check for any undesired effects of the surgery. 

The development of these procedures, whether minor or major, has made a significant impact in prolonging the lives of individuals when they are inflicted with disease or injury. Knowledge of the different surgical procedures available is important for us to better understand when they are needed depending on the medical condition we are experiencing. 

Everything you need to Know about Eczema

The skin is considered the largest organ of the human body. Being the largest and most exposed to the outside, it can be affected by many diseases and conditions. One such condition is Eczema which is mainly characterized by patches of our skin that are becoming inflamed, dry, itchy, and rough. When Eczema arises due to the immune system, the condition is known as ‘Atopic Dermatitis’. Here is a rundown of the condition including its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

Aside from the red patches that form in the patient’s skin, blisters can also be observed in these areas. Though symptoms may vary on a person’s age, having these red patches is the most prevalent symptom common to most or all of them. Atopic dermatitis is more common in infants and children below 5 years old, half of which carry the condition towards adulthood. There are periods wherein the patient will experience the worst of the symptoms, while there are also periods wherein their condition will improve or their skin will no longer flare-up.

The location of the patches can vary depending on the patient’s age. For infants and toddlers below 2 years of age, the disease typically exhibits itself in the form of rashes on the scalp and cheeks which swell up and excrete fluids. Meanwhile, for kids from 2 years of age until puberty, these patches are often found behind the elbow and knee creases. Lastly, for adults, they can develop on the nape of the neck. These rashes are described to be ‘extremely itchy’ in nature, interfering with a person’s sleep cycle. Skin infections may also arise due to excessive scratching. 

 Currently, there is no definitive root cause yet for Eczema. However, it has been studied and found to be genetic and can also be triggered by environmental factors. It is not a contagious condition. Children who develop the disease often have parents or relatives that also have the condition or any sort of atopic disease. Certain substances in the environment are known to trigger the symptoms when the patient is exposed to them. These can include irritants such as soaps and detergents with strong ingredients. Certain bacteria and fungi are also known to make the itch worse. There are also certain foods that can aggravate itchiness such as dairy products, eggs, and nuts. There are a lot more possible external triggers that those with the disease should be familiar with. 

As of now, there is no cure yet for eczema. Treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms and preventing triggers depending on a person’s age, health, and severity of patches on the skin. Doctors can prescribe creams and ointments that are anti-inflammatory to soothe itchiness. They can also prescribe antibiotics and antifungal treatments in case of bacterial and fungal infections developing on the rashes. Moisturizers are also vital to promote restoration of skin areas that have been damaged due to excessive scratching. 

At home, the patient can take extra steps for self-care. To bring back moisture to their skin, they must apply moisturizers regularly and take lukewarm baths using mild soaps that do not have harsh ingredients. They must take note of external triggers that worsen the condition so that they know what to avoid. They must also take care not to perform activities that will make them sweat excessively. 

While eczema has some serious effects on a person’s skin, it can still be treated to provide relief to those affected by it. Proper knowledge of the condition, its triggers, and treatment are vital to be able to adapt to live with the disease. 

Uncovering the Most Common Sexual Issues among Men and Women

As we become more matured throughout the years, we start to encounter issues in our health in different aspects depending on our lifestyle. When we start looking for a potential partner, we might also come across problems in our sexual health. Such issues hamper with our ability to achieve satisfaction when engaging in sex. Since all of us will enter such a stage in our lives eventually, it is indeed worthwhile to discuss the most common sexual problems to better prepare ourselves and avoid catching them.

Sexual Issues in Men

Recent studies have shown that sexual issues are more common in men (43%) than in women (31%). This is because men are more prone to encounter physical health problems that can cause sexual dysfunction. Such medical conditions include heart diseases, vascular diseases, and diabetes. 

On top of that, they are also more likely to be involved in unhealthy practices such as the excessive intake of drugs and alcohol as studies also show. These medical conditions, when left untreated, can impend vitality during sex through the reduction of sexual desire for their partner. Diabetes can cause retrograde ejaculation which occurs when seminal fluid draws back into the bladder instead of the urethra.

Aside from physical aspects, sexual issues in men can also arise from psychological factors. These include anxiety, stress due to work, and past trauma. These can cause premature ejaculation which is the most common form of sexual dysfunction for men. Due to the overthinking of their performance, they tend to climax before the start of penetration. 

Another more serious condition is erectile dysfunction which is the inability of the penis to achieve an erection during sexual activity. It can be an effect of either medical problems such as diabetes and nerve disorders or psychological factors including depression and stress. 

To alleviate sexual problems among men, the patient may opt to consult a doctor which will perform a physical exam on him to rule out any other medical conditions which may have brought the dysfunction. Urologists specialize in the male reproductive system which makes them the ideal choice as the professionals to consult.

Sexual Issues in Women

Women also experience issues in their sexual health which can deter in their ability to engage in sex. For women, issues can come from a lack of sexual desire and difficulty to achieve orgasm (anorgasmia). These two issues break the sexual response cycle from progressing further for them since they are no longer encouraged to do the act. An estimated 7-10% of women face such issues related to their ability to orgasm.

Another prevalent issue is the pain experienced during intercourse. Otherwise known as dyspareunia, a female’s vaginal walls may not secrete enough fluid for intercourse to be enjoyable for them. This can be caused by gynecologic problems such as vaginal dryness brought by the lack of stimulation. Lower levels of estrogen among women is also a probable cause when they reach menopause. Aside from lack of fluids, the muscles along the vaginal walls may have spasms known as a condition called Vaginismus which is caused by scars from injury, childbirth, or abuse. If not from the causes mentioned above, lack of sensation can be a cause for women not to achieve orgasm which can be due to nerve damage from pelvic surgery or hysterectomy. 

For women seeking help for their sexual problems, they can also consult a gynecologist which is the best professional to ask. They can perform a few exams on the patient to determine if there are any other medical conditions external to the reproductive system which may have caused the sexual issues. When no problems are found, they can also recommend a mental health counselor if the issue lies in the patient’s mental state.

Health Research: Expanding Horizons for Medicine

As humanity continues to thrive, our body of knowledge is continuously expanding across all fields. Research plays a huge role in pushing the boundaries of such knowledge to reach undiscovered areas of known information. While it may seem that an area has already reached its limits when it comes to discoveries, there are more breakthroughs to unlock. In the health sector, such research is referred to as ‘Health Research’ and through it, the medical field has achieved its discoveries and reached its current level of understanding to this day.

In simpler terms, Health Research is any type of scientific investigation geared towards advancing knowledge on human health. This includes expanding current information, testing principles, and improving existing treatments and medical procedures. 

Due to the ever-changing environment, we are living in, extensive research in health is paramount to maintain its effectiveness throughout time. Bacteria can evolve into unknown strains that may be resistant to current medicines. This can give birth to new diseases with treatments yet to be formulated. There also exist diseases that we have yet to find a definitive cure such as cancer. An immeasurable number of lives can be saved from the development of the treatment to the mentioned diseases, which furthers our survival as a species. 

Aside from breakthroughs, improvements in medicine and procedures are also included in the scope of health research. While we have yet to find a cure for cancer, we have developed techniques and technologies to prevent growth and kill cancer cells. Such improvements have increased the survival rate for cancer over the years. Individuals afflicted with incurable diseases greatly benefit from the improvement of these procedures as they are given more options for treatment that gets more effective as time goes by. 

Health Research is not confined to the academic community alone. It is a collaboration of experts, patients, and investors with a common goal of gaining a better understanding of medical conditions. Patients that volunteer for experimental treatments are of significant help to the research community since they freely allow themselves to undergo the treatment and be studied for its effectiveness. Lastly, patients are vital in the research since they are the individuals directly affected by the condition being studied. They can provide information on the symptoms they faced and the effects the condition had on their bodies. 

These inputs are collected by the experts, who compile them into bodies of knowledge that are shared by the entire community. Symptoms are determined universally, allowing earlier medication and preventing these diseases from getting worse for others that have them.

On the other hand, professionals undertake research endeavors to further knowledge of human health. They make use of existing knowledge to come up with breakthroughs in medicine, which in turn are used by other professionals to make even more discoveries. Through these chains of discoveries, the community can arrive at the development of new medicine or medical procedures. 

Health research can be costly however due to the various tools and compounds needed to execute certain steps in the investigation proper. Nowadays, a significant number of research endeavors are halted due to lack of funding Thus, governments and the private sector must also lend a hand in funding such undertakings. They must see health research as viable investments that are not only profitable but greatly beneficial for all of us.  

Health research is the horizon that all in the health sector head towards for a better understanding of existing and future medicinal conditions to arrive at better treatments and medicines for the benefit of all of mankind. Such research is not confined to the academe and needs the help of patients, governments, and the private sector. 

Ectopic Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Treatment

“I’m pregnant!” This is likely one of the most exciting expressions a woman can utter. Unfortunately, pregnancy is not as easy as it may seem. Anything can go wrong, and one of the most common problems that could transpire is an ectopic pregnancy.

What is ectopic pregnancy? Well, a pregnancy starts when the sperm and egg meet. Afterward, the implantation of the fertilized egg normally happens inside the lining of the uterus. Sadly though, the fertilized egg can also grow outside the uterus, and that condition is called ectopic pregnancy. It is an abnormal growth of the fertilized egg, and in most cases, the egg won’t survive.

Causes

The most common form of ectopic pregnancy is tubal pregnancy. Normally, the fertilized egg travels down by the fallopian tube going to the uterus. But if there are damage and deformity in the fallopian tube, the fertilized egg may be trapped on the way to the uterus. Another cause of ectopic pregnancy is a hormonal imbalance.

Symptoms

Ectopic pregnancy exhibits normal symptoms of pregnancy like morning sickness or feeling nauseated and vomiting, amenorrhea or absence of menstrual period, and tenderness of the breasts. A pregnancy test will also be positive. Early signs of ectopic pregnancy include pain in the pelvic area, light color vaginal bleeding and severe pain in the abdomen as blood drips from the fallopian tube. There’s also pelvic discomfort that triggers a bowel movement. Also, hemorrhage or heavy bleeding causes pain on the shoulder—or depending on the nerves affected or the location of blood accumulation.

Risk Factors

Every condition is predisposed by several risk factors. As for ectopic pregnancy, one of the major risk factors is having a history of ectopic pregnancy—if you’ve had one, you’ll most likely have another. Women who have undergone a surgical procedure on their fallopian tubes will likely develop a deformity on the fallopian tube and might increase their risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. A woman also has an increased risk for ectopic pregnancy if she has Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI). These are infections a person acquires through sexual intercourse with someone infected. Gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections.

Also, women who have undergone fertility treatment will make themselves at risk for developing ectopic pregnancy. Additionally, contraceptive methods can make women at risk. For example, becoming pregnant while using an Intrauterine device (IUD) could lead to ectopic pregnancy. Also, if a woman becomes pregnant after tubal ligation—an invasive procedure that involves tying off the fallopian tubes—this will also lead to ectopic pregnancy. Lastly, women who are chain-smokers and smokes during pregnancy have higher risks for developing this condition.

Treatment

Women who have ectopic pregnancy needs close monitoring. The doctor needs to monitor for bleeding and run some blood tests. Medications for pain are also given as needed. The most common intramuscular drug administered to women for the treatment of ectopic pregnancy is Methotrexate. This medication is given to stop the pregnancy by stopping the dividing of cells. After all, the fertilized egg won’t survive outside the uterus and there is no procedure yet for it to be saved.

But it doesn’t end there. The fertilized egg needs to be removed through surgery. And that involves the removal of the affected fallopian tube. The tube can be removed or repaired through laparoscopy. Laparoscopy involves a small incision in the abdomen. 

However, for emergencies like severe pain in the pelvis and heavy bleeding, the doctor needs to perform surgery through a larger incision in the abdomen, and this procedure is called laparotomy.

Levels of Pain: Tipping the Scales

As we go through our lives every day, we can encounter all sorts of accidents which will cause varying amounts of pain depending on the severity of the wounds we incur. Some small cuts and bruises can bring discomforting but tolerable pain. On the other hand, some may cut off our consciousness over the great amount of pain we feel such as dismemberment of a limb on a road accident. Indeed, pain can be classified depending on its severity, and distinguishing each can help us better understand what our brain is trying to tell is on the condition associated with such pain.

From a biological perspective, pain is our body’s ‘alert’ system. It is our brain’s way of telling us that something is wrong with our bodies. By determining the cause of pain, we can prevent further damage and alleviating the pain can mean that the issue is no longer prevalent. Depending on the severity of pain we feel, we can gauge just how much damage our body has incurred.

The first type of pain is the ‘psychogenic pain’ or pain felt from prolonged exposure to emotional, mental, or behavioral nuisances. Examples of these include back pain, headaches, and stomach pain from too much work. This type of pain usually goes away when the person is removed from the source. 

Next, we have the ‘phantom pain’ which is felt from the loss of an organ or limb. The inability of the body part to receive physical signals from the brain is countered by this form of pain. This pain is usually experienced by quadriplegics and amputees. 

We also have ‘acute pain’ that is felt suddenly but disappears shortly after. Lastly, the ‘chronic pain’ is the opposite of acute wherein it is felt for longer periods and can indicate other health conditions

Aside from the source of pain, we can also identify it through the level that we feel. The pain scale lists down the different intensities and behaviors of the people that have felt them. This is a form of assessment that enables professionals to gage pain from an objective standpoint based on accounts of others that went through them.

The scale starts at 0 and goes all the way to 10. Level 0 indicates no pain at all. In levels 1 to 3, the pain increases to the point of being noticeable, but still tolerable. Such pain arises from pinching, cuts, or injections. In these levels, the body is still able to adapt to the pain without much effort since it is still relatively weak.

Levels four to six fall to the moderate category. In these levels, the pain can interfere with daily activities and cause much discomfort since the pain is no longer adaptable. Incidents include a toothache, trauma to the body, and sprains. In level 5, the pain does not dull over time. In level 6, the pain begins to overdrive one’s senses, making it difficult to even think clearly. Performing activities can become almost impossible due to our inability to numb out the pain since it does not subside.

For levels 7 to 10, the body experiences severe pain levels to the point where we are unable to perform any activities and will require external assistance. Such is comparable to childbirth, throat cancer, and mutilated appendages. Those who experience it can also lose consciousness due to the brain’s excessive activity over the pain received. 

While pain varies among people, studies have been done to gauge it more accurately to improve our understanding of it. As of now, the different types and levels of pain help us paint a better picture of how our body works and how pain reacts to the different situations we encounter.