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Friday, March 22, 2013

difficulty breathing breathlessness dyspnoeaDyspnoea or Breathlessness can be defined as an awereness of increased drive to breathe. It is normal on exercise. It is pathological if it occurs while doing something that does not require much exertion.

Breathlessness is a non-specific symptom as it can be caused by cardiac, respiratory, neuromuscular and metabolic conditions. Today we will look at the cardiac causes of difficulty breathing.

There are several caused of difficulty breathing  due to heart problems:
  1. Acute left heart failure
  2. Chronic heart failure
  3. Arrythmia
  4. Angina equivalent

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

fat woman punching bathroom scale because she can't lose weight
I am sure you understand the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and probably the reason you are reading this article is because even though you are trying, you are just not being able to lose weight!

There can be many reasons for not being able to lose weight. Some you can control and some (your metabolic rate) you can't control. Let's look at the ones you can.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Differentiate between obesity and overweight. Find out your BMI and compare it with the BMI chart.

Although the terms overweight and obesity may sound alike, they are two different things.

What is considered overweight?

Overweight is defined as any weight in excess of weight recommendations for a given person (> 18 years) in the desirable weight table (see the table below).

Heighta (IN.)
Weight (LB)


109 ± 9b

115 ± 9
133 ± 11
122 ± 10
142 ± 12
129 ± 10
151 ± 14
136 ± 10
159 ± 14
144 ± 11
167 ± 15
152 ± 12
175 ± 15

a = Heights and weights without shoes and other clothing.
= Desirable weight for a small framed woman at this height would be approximately 109 lb. minus 9 lb., or a total of 100 lb; for an average framed  woman, 109 lb.; for a large framed woman 109 lb. plus 9 lb., or a total of 118 lb.
Source: Food and Nutrition Board, National Research Council

Causes of excess weight

The cause of excess weight might include:
  • Excess fat.
  • Extra-heavy skeletal framework.
  • Excessively muscular physique due to weight lifting or prolonged physical activity. 
A person can be overweight without being fat. Studies of college freshmen show 23 percent of the male students and 36 percent of the female students are overweight!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Today we present you with our list of top 10 common foods with high vitamin C. Hope you enjoy it!

Vitamin C Rich Foods
Vitamin C is just awesome!
Did you know that man, monkey and guinea pigs are perhaps the only species known to require vitamin C in their diet?

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, just like all the other vitamins! We need vitamin C for many good reasons, and one of them is the production of Collagen.

Collagen is a protein that accounts for 25% of the total body protein! It forms the supporting structure for blood vessels, bones etc. Without vitamin C, body doesn't produce enough collagen, and even the collagens that are produced are not strong enough to support the different structures. So, deficiency of vitamin C leads to a disease condition called Scurvy, which is characterized by bleeding gums, subcutaneous bruising, weak bones, delayed wound healing and so many other things.

So, since we humans can't produce vitamin C, the only way to make sure we get enough vitamin C is by eating lots of foods which are high in vitamin C.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

It is extremely important to have a healthy and adequate diet during pregnancy to make sure you and your baby stay safe and go through the whole process of pregnancy smoothly. You diet should be rich in a wide variety of nutritious foods to meet the needs of your baby and your body. It is only natural that the daily requirement of energy increases in pregnancy as well as lactation.

what vitamins to take during pregnancy good pregnancy vitamins

Today's post is about "What vitamins to take during pregnancy?". Please do not have the misconception that the vitamins that I am going to mention today are the only vitamins that you have to take during pregnancy.

Your body requires all the vitamins in certain amounts, whether you are pregnant OR not. This post is about some particular vitamins that you have to take in additional amounts during pregnancy (and lactation).

Saturday, March 9, 2013

What is the classification of vitamins? Read to find out!

Vitamins are extremely important essential micro-nutrients for your body even though they are required by the body in very small amount. Vitamins do not produce energy but they enable the body to use other nutrients to produce energy. In the coming weeks I'll write more about vitamins and minerals. Let's start today by classifying vitamins.
Vitamins for Energy!
Classification of Vitamins!

Friday, March 8, 2013

What are minerals?

Minerals are inorganic substances required by the body in minute amounts for growth, repair and regulation of body functions.

Classification of minerals

1. Major minerals: Present in the body in large amounts and their daily requirement in man to maintain optimum nutrition is appreciable. A few examples are, Ca2+, Na+, K+, Mg2+.

2. Minor elements: Also known as trace elements. They are required by the body in amounts less than few milligrams per day. A few examples are Iron, Iodine, Copper, Cobalt, Zinc, Fluorine, Molybdenum, Selenium, Chromium, Tin, Nickel, and Manganese.

Functions of minerals

1.Formation of bones and teeth
2.Contraction of muscles
3.Transmission of nerve impulse
4.Specific functions like formation of thyroid hormones by iodine
5.Maintenance of osmotic pressure of fluids.

Let's have a look at some of the most important minerals individually.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, if not treated. Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely, even with treatment. So once you get HIV, you have it for life.

Diabetic Foot
Diabetic Foot

Introduction to diabetic foot

The foot is a frequent site of complication in long-standing diabetic patients. The patients usually come with diabetic foot gangrene, ie, necrosis of the foot with super-added putrefaction (The process of decay or rotting in a body). And in majority of the cases the final treatment is amputation of the foot.

What are the causes of Diabetic Foot?

Diabetic foot is mainly caused by injury to the foot followed by infection in the presence of diabetic complications like diabetic neuropathy and diabetic vascular disease.The injury may go unnoticed because most of the time it is a small injury and also because the pain can not be felt due to nerve damage (neuropathy).
Diabetic Neuropathy and Diabetic Vascular Disease
Diabetic Neuropathy and Diabetic Vascular Disease

Due to diabetic vascular diseases (diabetic macrovascular disease) in diabetes the blood supply to the foot decreases in considerable amount (ischaemia). 

Diabetic neuropathy also contributes to the formation of diabetic gangrene or ulcer because healing is delayed or hampered in areas with damaged nerve supply (neuropathy).
The extent to which either ischaemia or neuropathy develops varies from person to person.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Today we will learn about the properties, genetics and diseases caused by HIV- Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is an RNA virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). There are two types of HIV virus - HIV 1 and HIV 2 - and they both cause AIDS.

HIV 1 is found worldwide but HIV 2 is found primarily in West-Africa.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Find out everything you need to know about shock: definition, types, pathogenesis, morphological changes in the body, clinical features, stages and treatment of cardiogenic, hypovolaemic and septic shock...

What is SHOCK?

Shock is a disorder that result from systemic hypo-perfusion due to reduction either in cardiac output or in the effective circulating blood volume.
Common Causes of shock are profuse haemorrhage, large myocardial infarction, severe diarrhoea, severe vomiting, extensive burn, trauma, bacterial sepsis, and pulmonary embolism.

Effects of Hypo-perfusion:

Due to hypo-perfusion there is less supply (hypoxia) of oxygen and nutrients to the cells and tissues and inadequate removal of metabolites. 
Hypoxia leads to less aerobic and more anaerobic metabolism with increased production of lactic acid. At first there is reversible injury to cells which passes on to irreversible injury with persistence or severe shock (see stages of shock below). Finally there may be necrosis of cells or even death of the patient.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Get to know about the Clinical features/Sign and Symptoms, Complications, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention of Herpes simplex 1 and 2. Also find out the difference between herpes simplex virus 1 and 2

Herpes Simplex virus 1 and 2:

They cause various widespread mucocutaneous infections
HSV 1 usually involves the skin of the head, neck and trunk (above the waist) while HSV 2 involves the skin of the genital organs (below the waist). These viruses infects sensory and autonomic neurons and cause latent infection in the nerve ganglia. Primary infection is followed by episodes of reactivation throughout life.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Rheumatology is a branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of rheumatic disorders involving the joints, muscles, blood vessels and other connective tissues.

Some people think that rheumatology is a part of physical medicine which is not correct. Rheumatology and physical medicine do overlap but they both are separate specialties.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory condition of the airway which is classically characterized by:

Asthma most frequently occurs between
the ages of 3-5 years

  1. Airflow limitation which is usually reversible spontaneously or with treatment.
  2. Airway hyper-responsiveness to a wide range of stimuli which would cause no ill effects in the normal airways of nonasthmatic individuals.
  3. Inflammation of the bronchi/airway with T lymphocytes, mast cells, eosinophils with associated plasma exudation, oedema, smooth muscle hypertrophy, matrix deposition, mucus plugging and epithelial damage.

What happens during an asthma attack?
The underlying genetic basis for hyper-responsive airways is not entirely clear, although significant advances have been made in understanding the pathogenesis and environmental triggers of asthma "attack." In some cases, the attacks are triggered by exposure to an allergen to which the person has been previously sensitized, but often no trigger can be identified.

Typical symptoms of asthma include wheeze (high pitched musical sound), cough, chest tightness and dyspnoea (breathlessness) particularly at night and/or early in the morning.

In chronic asthma, inflammation may be accompanied by irreversible airflow limitation as a result of airway wall remodelling that may involve large and small airways and mucus impaction.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cystic fibrosis is an autosomal recessive disease due to mutation in the long arm of chromosome number  7 (in the region 7q31.2) which codes for a critical chloride channel known as cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein.

The most common mutation in norther European and American populations is DF508 (deletion, phenylalanine at position 508).

Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease in Caucasians, with a carrier rate of 1 in 22 and an incidence of about 1 in 2000 live births.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bronchiectasis is abnormal and permanent dilatation of the central and medium-sized airways. This leads to impaired clearance of bronchial secretions with secondary bacterial infection and bronchial inflammation.

Changes in bronchiectasis
Changes in bronchiectasis

Causes of bronchiectasis:

In children:

1. Cystic fibrosis
Changes in airway
2. Congenital ciliary dysfunction syndrome, also known as Kartagener's syndrome or Immotile ciliary syndrome.

In young adults:

1. Pulmonary tuberculosis
2. Inhalation of foreign body

In adults:

1. Pulmonary tuberculosis
2. Ciliary dysfunction syndrome
3. As a complication of Pneumonia, where there is retention of sputum leading to lobar collapse and bronchiectasis.

Myopia is a type of refractive error of eye where parallel rays of light coming from infinity distance (6 m or more) gets focused in front of the retina.

Normal eye and myopia
Normal eye and Myopic eye

Features of Myopia:

1. Image of any object is formed in front of the retina.
2. Near vision is good but distant vision is bad.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Refractive errors: These are disorders of the eye, not diseases.

Emmetropia: A normal eye with no refractive errors is an emmetropic eye. Emmetropia means when parallel rays of light from infinity distance falls on the eye, it can focus them on the retina without any accommodation  Infinity distance in Ophthalmology is defined to be a distance of 6 m or more.
Emmetropia / Normal Vision
Emmetropia / Normal Vision

Ametropia: An eye with refractive errors when viewing objects at infinity distance is an ametropic eye. This eye has to accommodate the parallel rays of light to focus them on the retina.
Refractive Errors of the Eye
Refractive Errors of the Eye

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hepatitis A virus: (infectious hepatitis):
Structure of Hepatitis A virus


1.    It is a member of picorna group of enterovirus

2.    Single stranded RNA virus with one serotype

3.    Non-enveloped, Icosahedral nucleocapsid

4.    Replicate in the cytoplasm, inactivated by heat

5.    HAV is highly infectious and spread by the faeco-oral route

Some facts about Hepatitis A virus

NOTE: Infected individuals also may be asymptomatic, excrete the virus in faeces for about 2-3 weeks before the onset of symptoms and then for a further 2 weeks or so.

Viral hepatitis is a common cause of jaundice and must be considered in anyone presenting with hepatitis blood test (high aminotransaminase).

All hepatitis virus cause illness and similar clinical and pathological features and are frequently an-icteric or even asymptomatic.

They differ in their tendency to cause acute and chronic infection.

Classification of hepatitis virus:

A. Hepatotrophic / Classical virus:

Five commonly medically important virus are described as hepatotrophic virus as their main site of infection is liver. They are:

Structure of Hepatitis B virus
2.    Hepatitis B virus
3.    Hepatitis C virus
4.    Hepatitis D virus
5.    Hepatitis E virus
6.    Hepatitis G virus

B. Other viruses responsible for hepatitis:

1.    Epstein-Barr virus
2.    Cytomegalo virus
3.    Yellow fever virus
4.    Herpes virus
5.    Rubella virus
6.    Adeno virus

Friday, February 22, 2013

Herpes virus: 

Get to know Herpes virus, its classification, types, usual sites of infection, sites of latency, the diseases caused by herpes virus and their routes of transmission.  Also do you know what is herpes B virus?

Herpes virus is a double stranded DNA enveloped virus.
Structure of Herpes Virus

Properties of herpes virus:

  1. Virion: Spherical
  2. Genome: Double stranded linear DNA
  3. Capsid: Icosahedral
  4. Replication: Occurs within the nucleus and form intranuclear inclusions.
  5. Envelop: The only virus that develops envelop (lipoprotein envelop) from the nuclear membrane by budding.
  6. Enzyme: No viral polymerase enzyme. Uses host cell RNA polymerase.
  7. Serotype: Single.
  8. Size: large, 120-200 nm diameter. Second in size to poxvirus.
  9. Latent infection: Noted for their ability to cause latent infection. In such cases, the acute infection is followed by a period of asymptomatic period during which the virus is in acquiescent (latent) stage. When the patient is exposed to an inciting agent or immunosuppression occurs then reactivation of virus replication and disease can occur. ( Acute disease > asymptomatic period > latent state)
  10. Sensitivity: Ether sensitive.
  11. Giant cell: All produce giant cells.

Properties of dengue virus:

Dengue Virus
1.   Virus of flavivirus family

2.   RNA, enveloped virus

3.   Has 4 serotypes- DEN- 1,2,3,4

4.   Replication is in cytoplasm

5.   Females Aedes Aegypti mosquito transmit the disease

6.   Viraemia is present at the time of fever

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Rota virus

Properties of rota virus:

1.   Family - retrovirus
2.   Non-enveloped, RNA virus
3.   Double stranded, Segmented virus
4.   It is surrounded by a double-layered Icosahedral capsid without an envelop
5.   2 major sub-group, 6 serotypes of human rotavirus
6.   Transmission by faeco-oral route
7.   The outer surface protein is type specific Ag( viral haemagglutinin)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rabies virus

Properties of Rabies virus:

   1.            Rabies is a member of rhabdovirus family

   2.            Enveloped, RNA, single stranded virus

   3.            Bullet shaped, neurotropic virus

   4.            Attaches to the Ach receptor on the cell surface

   5.            Replicates in cytoplasm, killed by sunlight, heat or lipid solvent

   6.            If not treated, 100% mortality

   7.            Reservoir- Dogs, cats, bats, fox, raccoons, skunks, jackal, hyena, Mongoose

Structure of Rabies virus

Disease caused by Rabies virus:

Disease caused by Rabies virus is Rabies or Hydrophobia.

Structure and Characteristics of Polio virus:

   1.            Non-enveloped, RNA virus
   2.            Replicates in cytoplasm
   3.            Single, stranded, Icosahedral nucleocapsid
   4.            Acid and bile stable but no long term carrier state
   5.            Three serologic (antigenic) types  based on different antigenic determinants on the outer capsid protein
   6.            Release upon death of the cell
A child suffering from Poliomyelitis

Disease caused by Polio virus:

Disease cause by polio virus is poliomyelitis

Pathogenesis of Poliomyelitis:

          Transmission: faeco-oral route (by ingestion of contaminated food and drink)
          Host: Human
          Incubation period: 7-14 days
          Mechanism of pathogenesis:
                           1.            Polio virus enters into the body by faeco-oral route
                           2.            Replicate in the lymphoid tissue of the orophraynx and SI (Peyer’s patches)
                           3.            Spreads through blood stream to the CNS and also spreads retrograde along nerve axons
                           4.            Then replicates in the motor neurons located in the ant. Horn of the spinal cord
                           5.            Death of nerve cells
                           6.            Result: Paralysis of the muscle innervated by those neurons. Also affects the brain stem, leading to bulbar poliomyelitis (with respiratory paralysis) but rarely damage the cerebral cortex.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chalazion (Meibomian cyst)

Chalazion is the chronic inflammation of Meibomian glands due to blockage of its ducts.
Pathologically Chalazion is a chronic lipogranulomatous inflammation. It is not a true cyst as it is not lined by epithelium, rather it is lined by granulation tissue.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

LASIK (Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) :

LASIK is a type of eye surgery done to correct refractive errors of the eye.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Orbital Neoplasm

Classification of Orbital Neoplasm:

A) Orbital Neoplasm In children:

1.      Hamartoma and choristoma

2.      Vascular:

a.       Capillary Haemangioma (most common vascular tumor in children)
b.      Lymphangioma

3.      Neural:

a.       Optic nerve glioma
b.      Neurofibroma

4.      Mesenchymal:

a.       Rhabdomyosarcoma ( most common primary orbital malignant tumor of children)

5.      Metastatic:

a.       Retinoblastoma
b.      Leukemia
c.       Neuroblastoma

What is Hamartoma?

Hamartoma means excessive growth of normal tissue in normal site.
Eg: Capillary haemangioma and lymphangioma