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 25, 2008

Six Pregnancy Myths

Filed under: tips, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — patriciaholdenmd @ 4:50 am

Looking for current news online, I encountered this particular article about improving the chances of whether a new mother will conceive a boy or a girl. According to the article, a high energy diet would boost the chances of having a boy while the opposite would most likely yield a girl. After reading through the entire thing, I’m still unsure whether to believe the findings of the survey or not, but unless they are able to explain the details of how it works, I wouldn’t agree to the research just yet.

While we’re on the topic of pregnancy, although there are clinical methods of knowing the gender of an unborn child (I had ultrasound myself), there are also popular myths on how to find out.

Heart Rate – If a baby’s heart rate is below 140 then it’s a boy. On the other hand, if the baby’s heart rate is 140 and above, then it’s a girl.
Belly Shape – If you’re carrying low then you’re having a boy, but if you’re carrying high then you’re having a girl.
Urine – If your urine is bright yellow then it’s a boy, if it is clear then it’s a girl.
Breast – If the right breast is bigger than the left then it’s a boy, otherwise it’s a girl.
Chinese Calendar – By matching your conceiving age and month of conception, you can figure out if it’s going to be a boy or a girl. Here’s a link to the chart.
Ring Test – Tie a ring on a piece of string. Hold the string so that the ring hangs down in front of your belly. Gently swing the string and take note of the motion. If the ring moves in a circular pattern, you are having a boy, but if it moves in a straight line, you are having a girl.

April 18, 2008

Common beach-related injuries

Filed under: tips, travel — Tags: , , , — patriciaholdenmd @ 11:59 pm

With summer in full swing, I’m sure most of you are thinking of going to the beach for a vacation. It could be in Miami, French Polynesia, or even Bora Bora. Of course, there are unexpected events that can occur while traveling or even when at the destination itself. Here are some beach-related injuries and how to address or prevent them.

Kinetosis – It’s not beach-related but if don’t happen to live near a beach then you will surely have to travel. If you’re going to travel by commuting to your destination there’s a possibility that you may suffer from kinetosis or motion sickness. This happens when there is a disagreement between your perceived movement and the vestibular system’s sense of movement. You may feel dizzy, experience cold sweat, develop a headache, or worse, feel like vomiting (which would not help relieve motion sickness).

In case you run into the situation, let me give you some advice on what to do. One, if in a car or any other vehicle, try looking towards the horizon in front of the vehicle instead of the windows to your sides. Second is to take a nap, but be especially wary of passengers who might take your belongings. Of course prevention is still better than cure so try taking Dramamine or Bonine (you can purchase these over-the-counter) one hour before traveling.

DehydrationOf course, with the summer heat you’ll be sweating a lot. So try to replenish your body fluids with water every now and then – especially when you’re feeling dizzy or developing a headache. Those two mentioned could already be symptoms of dehydration, which could lead to unconsciousness and even death.

Sunburn – At the beach, try to stay under the shade as much as possible between 10AM to 2PM – the hottest part of the day. Overexposure to the sun could cause sunburn, especially if you do not apply sunblock to exposed areas of your skin. Try to avoid going into the water or make sure to reapply it afterwards. In case you do get sunburn, apply vinegar to sooth the pain. Pain-relievers or analgesics could also help. There is no immediate treatment for sunburn and it will heal in time.

CrampsI’m sure most of you who have tried swimming a few times would have already experienced having muscle cramps. Basically, a cramp is a painful, involuntary muscle contraction due to overexertion. This happening while swimming in deep water could be extremely dangerous. In case it does happen do not panic, immediately stop swimming, tread water, and relax to prevent further cramps from developing. Softly massage the cramped area then immediately move out of the water.

Eating potassium-rich foods could help prevent cramps from occurring so make sure to eat your potatoes. Other foods rich in potassium are avocados, bananas, and soybeans.

Jellyfish StingsJellyfishes are some of the creatures I fear when going into the water. When you are stung by one, focus on getting out of the water to get help. Isolate the infected part so as not to spread it on an another area. Rinse the infected part with seawater, not fresh water to prevent activating the nematocysts (jellyfish sting cells). Use forceps or protective gloves to remove the tentacles. Use pain relievers to control the pain and immediately seek medical help.

Make sure to remember some of these tips before heading out. Enjoy!

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.