Patricia’s LiFe…

May 23, 2008

3 Diseases That Hit The World…Hard

Filed under: disease — Tags: , , — patriciaholdenmd @ 9:42 pm

During earlier times, medicine was not as advanced as it is today. So when a plague suddenly hits, you can imagine how much the death toll could have been. Even now, there are diseases that still have no cure and one isn’t always available whenever a new epidemic hits. Here are  three horrible disease outbreaks that not too many people have heard of.

Black Death – It happened around 1330 in Central Asia. A disease where the victim experiences fever and a painful swelling of the lymph glands called buboes. That is how it got its name – the bubonic plague. It spread towards Europe where the disease killed 25 million people, one-third of Europe’s population, in only a few years. What’s worse is that the disease only disappeared around the 1666 with England’s population dropping to around 6% at before that time.

The Sweat – Also known as Sweating Sickness or English sweate. It was a highly virulent disease that killed people within hours and the cause is still unknown. Apparently, it only appeared as a series of epidemics (1485 – 1551)  from England and then later, Europe. The symptoms, according to Physician John Caius, are cold shivers, headaches, severe pains in the neck, and exhaustion. After that stage, sweating breaks out accompanied by palpitating, extreme thirst, and delirium. A feeling of unbearable sleepiness afterwards result in the death of the victim.

Yellow Fever – Yellow Fever has been a source of different epidemics since the late 17th century. Several states in the US have experienced outbreaks of the disease causing deaths by a few thousand. Yellow Fever is an acute viral disease that causes vomiting, constipation, bleeding, and fever. On the third day of the disease, internal hemorrhage may occur. There is still no cure for the disease but vaccination would help prevent it. Aside from that, each symptom would be treated separately in case one gets infected.

April 14, 2008

Trojan Cancer Cells and Other Good News

Filed under: disease — patriciaholdenmd @ 9:31 am

This article makes me pleased. Living in the present, we can only hope that several advances in medical technology would be developed, and, with the promise of a treatment that might possibly eradicate cancer, it gives big hope to patients.

If you’re one of those people who watch Dr. Gregory House destroy just about any disease known to man on a week-to-week basis, then you’re a long-ways off. I’ve seen patients (in real life) just pass out from the pain. It’s a good thing that the American Association for Cancer Research have such dedicated individuals and groups, looking for the absolute cure.

Trojantec Ltd has invented a way to mask the Antennapedia treatment protein (p21) as a cancer cell, then, deliver a more efficient means to eradicate the tumors.

Christina Kousparou, Ph.D., head of research at Trojantec Ltd, said “intravenous treatment with p21 by this method brought the cancer cell growth and death cycle to a halt and slowed tumor growth. Mice given this protein also lived longer than a control group of animals.”

On the other hand, Imtiaz A. Siddiqui, Ph.D. may have just found a way to directly serve green tea to a tumor, helping in the prevention of a malignant growth. Though green tea testing results haven’t been spectacular, research green tea to cancer cell in the nanoparticle-level has shown the increased rate of cancer cell death and decreased its growth.

April 9, 2008

Tummy Aches

Filed under: disease — Tags: , — patriciaholdenmd @ 4:36 am

I’ve dealt with a lot of diseases in my practice and most of the time I get cases of stomach pains. Some may think that tummy aches is just a simple stomach pain and most of them ignores it. What we don’t know is most of the stomach pains can be caused by serious diseases.

Here are some of the underlying causes that can present as a simple stomach pain.

  • Food Poisoning

This may present as vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, weakness, headaches and chills.

  • Indigestion

Have belching, bloating, abdominal cramps and nausea.

  • Kidney Stones

First shows to have severe back pains, painful urination, urinary urgency increased, vomiting and nausea, abdominal pain, breast tenderness, blood in urine, urinary hesitancy, and fever.

  • Gastric Ulcers

Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and weight loss may present.

  • Viral Gastroenteritis

Have symptoms like nausea and vomiting, weight loss, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, blood vomitus, too much sweating, cold clammy skin, joint stiffness, and muscle pain.

So let us not ignore these symptoms since these may lead to more severe diseases in the future and may even cost us our lives. I shared this to all of you because I just lost a patient this morning because of food poisoning which could have been prevented and cured if they didn’t ignore the symptoms they felt.

March 25, 2008

Mysterious Diseases: Are you aware of it?

Filed under: disease — Tags: , , , — patriciaholdenmd @ 1:11 am

There are some diseases that we never really knew where it started or where it came from. It just mysteriously appears. I have made a list of mysterious disease that even medicine sometimes couldn’t explain.

  • Morgellons Disease

A very mysterious skin disorder has cropped up again just recently. It is said to have a creepy-crawly feeling on the skin and has an odd multi-colored fibrous filaments protruding from an open wound. It can sometimes be blamed as psychotic delusions but some medical communities say the symptoms are very real. Canada, Australia, UK, and the Netherlands are said to be affected by the disease. But majority of the reported cases came from Florida, California, and Texas.

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The classic MUPS or medically unexplained physical symptoms, it is the feeling of more than just being tired. Most patients often get bed-ridden for days. This disease is debilitating and can’t be resolved by bed rest. It can even persist for years, the cause has never been identified yet and no specific diagnostic procedures are available.

  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

A rare brain disorder, also known as the Mad-Cow Disease, is contracted from eating an infected beef. It can be fatal and quick acting, this disease develops even the doctors couldn’t possibly figure out and prevent. The incidence of death in the United States was said to be higher in patients aging from 55-65 years old.

  • Schizophrenia

A mental disorder which is considered the most puzzling, the patient suffers from inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality. The patients can be delusional, has hallucinations, disorganized speech, and lack of motivation or emotion. The disease has no defining medical tests.

  • Autoimmune Disorders

A disease that treats the normal body function and organs as the enemy such as Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis; they usually are debilitating, chronic, and it usually don’t have a cure and treatment is symptom-based.

  • Pica

Insatiable urge to eat non-food substances like paper, glue, clay, and dirt. This disease has no cause and no cure. Pica in children can be very dangerous, sometimes children eat paints that contain lead and they may suffer from lead poisoning leading to brain damage.

  • Avian Flu

A bird carried powerful flu virus, and mutates into a strain that affects humans. The death rate is actually 50% mostly by humans handling infected birds.

  • Common Cold

Common colds maybe a common disease but still mysteriously can’t be treated by antibiotics but a simple chicken soup and rest can do the trick. The doctors actually know a little about the nose-running, cough-inducing cold, and the root cause.

  • Alzheimer’s Disease

A degenerative brain disorder which manifests differently among different people. The root cause can’t be determined or understood and it can’t be treated effectively. Patients’ disease progresses from a mild cognitive impairment to advanced dementia.

  • AIDS

An acquired immune deficiency syndrome still has no cure. It is the most potent killer most especially in developing countries. We all know it started from monkeys and jumped into humans.

February 26, 2008

The Easiest Way to Prevent Traveler’s Diseases

Filed under: disease, travel — Tags: , , , , , — patriciaholdenmd @ 1:51 am

Most of us love to travel a lot without knowing what the consequences might be. We are not very aware of certain diseases that we can pick up from different countries that we travel to. So what are traveler’s diseases anyway? These are diseases that we contract when traveling away from home, most especially when we travel from a highly developed country to a less developed one. These diseases can be acquired by eating or drinking contaminated food or water, from animal droppings, from soil, close encounter with infected animals, and if bitten by vectors like mosquitoes, flies, and ticks. Some can even be derived from walking and swimming on the beach barefooted. Simple things that we ignore can actually be the cause of a dreadful disease.

Let me give you some of the most popular diseases that we can contract while on a travel, and I will be giving pointers on how to prevent from getting these diseases.

  • African Sleeping Sicknessafrican sleeping sickness

As the name implies, this disease can be contracted from the Eastern and Central Africa. It is also called the African trypanosomiasis. It is caused by a parasite and is transmitted by a tsetse fly causing a systemic disease. This is most abundant in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zaire, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. The disease would occur within the period of four weeks, with initial symptoms of fever, rash, skin lesions, swollen lymph nodes, and edema. And this can actually progress to meningoencephalitis, which is a very serious disease. Once meningoencephalitis has occurred, personality changes, progressive confusion, irritability, weight loss, slurred speech, seizures, insomnia, and difficulty in walking and talking will then follow.

There are no drugs or vaccine that can prevent this disease. But here are some tips to prevent insect bites.

1. Wear long-sleeved shirt and pants for protection, and it should be thick because tsetse fly can bite through clothing materials.

2. Tsetse flies are attracted to bright and dark colors, so it is better to wear something khaki or neutral-colored clothes.

3. Bed nets are best recommended while napping.

tsetse fly4. Avoid riding open vehicles like jeeps or pickup trucks. Tsetse flies are fond of dust created by moving vehicles.

5. Tsetse fly usually rest in the bushes during hot days, but they bite once disturbed. So avoid walking thru the bushes.

  • Mad Cow Disease

This is a bovine spongiform encephalopathy that affects the cattle but with the newmad cow variant, the disease was passed to humans. Both diseases cause fatal brain injuries and diseases. Most of the cases are found in Great Britain, the disease resulted from feeding a cattle with scrapie-containing sheep meat and bone. This disease can be passed to humans by eating an infected beef, causing the humans to have mental retardation and dementia. Travelers can reduce the risk of exposure by avoiding beef, or selecting beef products, instead of eating ground beef and sausages, it is better to eat solid pieces of beef.

  • Cholera

It is an infectious, acute disease from consuming contaminated water and food. The bacteria Vibrio cholera is to blame for this disease. It is mostly found in South Asia, Africa, and Latin America like Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru, and Columbia. The unsanitary disposal of excrement is the cause of an impure water supply attracting Vibrio cholera.

How can we prevent Cholera? As the center of disease control says “Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it”. Here are some preventive measures that we should remember.

1. Use and drink only boiled or chemically disinfected water. Use disinfected cholerawater for brushing teeth, washing your face and hands, washing fruits and vegetables, utensils, bottles, glasses.

2. Refrain from eating food and drinking beverages with unknown sources like unpasteurized milk or milk products, raw meats, shellfish, and any fish from tropical reefs.

Like what I always say, it’s better to be safe than sorry!