Tag Archives: Causes

Viral Infections: The Risks And Causes Of Shingles

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Although shingles can occur anywhere on your body, it most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of your torso.

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.

Shingles isn’t a life-threatening condition, but it can be very painful. Vaccines can help reduce the risk of shingles. Early treatment can help shorten a shingles infection and lessen the chance of complications. The most common complication is postherpetic neuralgia, which causes shingles pain for a long time after your blisters have cleared.

Skin Conditions: What Are The Causes Of Rosacea?

  1. Alcohol. Alcohol can dilate the tiny blood vessels in the face, causing the face to flush. Drink in moderation only on special occasions, if at all. Not only can drinking alcoholic beverages cause flare-ups, but so can topically applied alcohol in various facial cleansing products. Always check product ingredients and avoid those containing alcohol or other overly drying ingredients.
  2. Spicy or hot foods and drinks. Foods that contain spicy ingredients can affect the blushing areas of the face, leading to redness. If you love spicy food, go with mild spice and only enjoy these dishes on occasion. Since hot (temperature-wise) food and drinks often trigger facial flushing, you should allow your food or warm beverage to cool a bit before consuming.
  3. Exercise. Regular exercise is important for everyone, but it’s also a common trigger for rosacea flare-ups. But don’t abandon your exercise routine. Rather, limit outdoor exercising to morning or evening hours to avoid midday heat and sun exposure. When exercising outdoors, use shaded trails for cycling or jogging. And always remember to keep yourself well hydrated.
  4. Sun and wind exposure. Sun exposure, hot and cold temperatures and wind exposure frequently aggravate rosacea symptoms. Always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen when outside, even on cloudy days. If possible, stay inside on particularly hot, humid days. If you must venture out in the cold or wind, cover your cheeks and nose with a scarf.
  5. Anxiety and stress. Stress and anxiety can cause rosacea symptoms to worsen, so use stress management techniques when needed. Make sure to get plenty of rest and practice deep breathing when you feel anxiety creeping up.

Diagnosis: The Causes Of Fever Of Unknown Origin

Fever is just one of the number of symptoms that accompany most infections such as Covid and  influenza. When doctors can’t find a diagnosis for the fever, and it lasts for a few weeks, however, it is called fever of unknown origin, or FUO.

There are a bewildering number of illnesses that produce fever, and the mixture of these illnesses is different depending on geographic location, the type of hospital, and socioeconomic conditions.

Just like weight loss of unknown origin, or abdominal discomfort of unknown origin, fever without obvious cause is quite possibly be due to cancer in affluent America, and if you go in early you might have better outcomes with your treatment.

Fever has been known since earliest times, and was often considered a diagnosis on its own. In the past, the great majority of the fevers were infectious, and the outcome grave. In the mid 20th century, when I went to medical school, fevers were still mostly infectious. Antibiotics were the magic bullet, and were unfortunately overused. In underdeveloped countries, infections are still the most common cause, but in the developed world difficult to treat viral infections, autoimmune conditions, and cancer have been gaining in prominence.

When fever becomes excessive, and medication is needed, NSAIDS may be used, and works better on fever from infection than on fever from cancer. The take-home message for me is that if you use Naprosyn for a persistent fever, and isn’t effective, you might notify the doctor.

The motivation for me writing this article came from a very good posting in the New England Journal of medicine. They used a little humor, stating that modern FUO might be called “fever of too many origins”, what with all the indwelling catheters, implanted medical devices, shunts and long hospital stays. There is a separate category made for fever acquired in the hospital.

In people with AIDS, the evaluation is different depending on whether or not they are on treatment.

Tuberculosis is still a very common cause of fever.

Drugs are becoming increasingly responsible for troublesome fevers. In the early days of antibacterial therapy, sulfa  was the only drug available, frequently caused fever.  Now, sulfa is less used, and the penicillin derivatives are more common causes of fever.

If you have a fever, and have been traveling recently, be sure to tell the doctor. Your fever might be due to a tropical parasite such as malaria, particularly if you’ve been to West Africa.

Fever is an evolutionarily conserved body defense reaction and helps a person recover from an infection. The normal body temperature cycles according to the time of day; it is lowest first thing in the morning, and is higher later in the afternoon. The average body temperature used to be 37°C, or 98.6 F., but has been declining in recent decades, and is now about 36.5°C or 97.6°F. The use of electronic thermometers has cut down the amount of time needed to assess the body temperature, but added variability. I still prefer the old-fashioned thermometer.

Taking your temperature by whatever means you have available still remains a good idea when you don’t feel well.

—Dr. C.

Lymphoma: Its Types And Causes (Cleveland Clinic)

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system – our body’s immune system. The two main types of lymphoma are Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin. In this video, we break down how both types of lymphoma begin and the differences between them.

Chapters: 0:00 Intro 0:15 What are lymph nodes? 0:40 What is a cell mutation? 0:52 What is lymphoma? 1:15 What is the difference between Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma? 1:28 What are common symptoms of lymphoma?

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DR. C’S JOURNAL: CAUSES & SIGNS OF COLON CANCER

Colon cancer is one of the most common of all cancers, and one of the deadliest. Occurring out of sight in your intestinal tract, it often becomes advanced before it is first detected.

Any bowel symptoms, such as persistent diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal discomfort might be a warning symptom and indicate a trip to the doctor. Blood in the stools, either bright red or black and tarry, must be diagnosed. Unexplained weakness, fatigue, or weight loss might indicate cancer that is too far advanced for simple treatment, and of course requires a trip to the doctor.

The most satisfactory way to pick up the cancer is by a screening test called a colonoscopy. A virtual colonoscopy by x-ray is also used, but it still requires the most uncomfortable part of the procedure, the preparation; The bowel must be washed out in order to properly visualize the cancer, or more likely pre-cancerous polyps or growths.

Due to the increase in frequency of colon cancer in young people, the age at which screening colonoscopy is medically advisable has been lowered from 50 to 45. A tendency to get colon cancer, or more commonly colon polyps, can run in families. These are best discovered by colonoscopy starting at an earlier age.

Increased age, or chronic inflammatory conditions such as ulcerative colitis can predispose to colon cancer.  If you eat a lot of junk food (low fiber diet), or a lot of fat, You may be more susceptible. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, smoke  or drink alcohol, you may be more likely to develop this problem.

As usual, preventative measures are the best advice. Eating a lot of fruits, vegetables and whole grains might protect you. Exercising most days of the week and maintaining a healthy weight are good ideas. Limiting your alcohol and stopping smoking is always good advice.

I was a good boy and had colonoscopies every two years for a long time. I would have been happier had there been a blood test to pick up this dreaded disease. There are some simple tests like carcinoembryonic antigen, and a stool test for occult(hidden) blood, but these are not very accurate.

For treatment of colorectal cancer and other more complete information, please check with the following mayo clinic article.

—Dr. C.

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Type 1 Diabetes: What Causes Hyperglycemia?

In this video, you’ll learn about what causes hyperglycemia, what symptoms to look for, and how it affects the health of people living with type 1 diabetes.

COMMENTARY:

Hyperglycemia refers to an excess of glucose in the blood stream. The fact that we do not all have hyperglycemia is a tribute to the fine-tuned regulation, or homeostasis, of the normal body,

Glucose is our main source of energy especially for the brain. When we eat, our intestinal tract breaks down the complex starches and sugars we eat  into glucose, which is absorbed into the bloodstream. This triggers the pancreatic beta cells to produce insulin, which allows glucose to get through the cell membrane and into our cells.

Hyperglycemia results mainly when pancreas produces insufficient insulin, or our cells exhibit insulin resistance. This can occur in diabetes, other diseases affecting the pancreas or stressful conditions which decreases insulin sensitivity.

Excess of glucose in the blood stream washes out water and salts with excessive urination, causing thirst, and drying out of the cells; the distorted vision of hyperglycemia is one such symptom thot results.

In the most common types of hyperglycemia, the cells are starved of glucose, and need to  breakdown fats for energy. This produces a ketosis, or acidosis of the bloodstream, increasing  the dehydration.

My wife suffered from diabetes, and had her only severe episode in Canada. She started vomiting before we discovered the high blood sugar, and couldn’t drink enough fluids by mouth. She was hospitalized in Canada and received excellent treatment with intravenous fluid and insulin.

Over the years, chronic excess of sugar attached to the protein of her cells, as manifested by excessive hemoglobin A-1 C, or glycohemoglobin, in her bloodstream. She passed away a decade ago.

A healthy lifestyle, with good sleep, diet and exercise is essential
Sugar should be considered a poison.

Regular vegetables fruits and cereal grains help avoid the excess sugar of fast foods. Exercise helps to utilize extra sugar and mitigate stress.

Please refer to the article on hyperglycemia by the Mayo clinic for a more complete discussion.

—Dr. C.

Read morehttps://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperglycemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20373631

Tachycardia: Types, Causes & Symptoms (Mayo Clinic)

Tachycardia is the medical term for a heart rate over 100 beats per minute. There are many heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) that can cause tachycardia.

Types of tachycardia

There are many different types of tachycardia. They’re grouped according to the part of the heart responsible for the fast heart rate and cause of the abnormally fast heartbeat. Common types of tachycardia include:

  • Atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a rapid heart rate caused by chaotic, irregular electrical impulses in the upper chambers of the heart (atria). These signals result in rapid, uncoordinated, weak contractions of the atria.Atrial fibrillation may be temporary, but some episodes won’t end unless treated. Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of tachycardia.
  • Atrial flutter. In atrial flutter, the heart’s atria beat very fast but at a regular rate. The fast rate results in weak contractions of the atria. Atrial flutter is caused by irregular circuitry within the atria.Episodes of atrial flutter may go away themselves or may require treatment. People who have atrial flutter also often have atrial fibrillation at other times.
  • Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). Supraventricular tachycardia is an abnormally fast heartbeat that starts somewhere above the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles). It’s caused by abnormal circuitry in the heart that is usually present at birth and creates a loop of overlapping signals.
  • Ventricular tachycardia. Ventricular tachycardia is a rapid heart rate that starts with abnormal electrical signals in the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles). The rapid heart rate doesn’t allow the ventricles to fill and contract efficiently to pump enough blood to the body.Ventricular tachycardia episodes may be brief and last only a couple of seconds without causing harm. But episodes lasting more than a few seconds can become a life-threatening medical emergency.
  • Ventricular fibrillation. Ventricular fibrillation occurs when rapid, chaotic electrical impulses cause the lower heart chambers (ventricles) to quiver instead of pumping necessary blood to the body. This can be deadly if the heart isn’t restored to a normal rhythm within minutes with an electric shock to the heart (defibrillation).Ventricular fibrillation may occur during or after a heart attack. Most people who have ventricular fibrillation have an underlying heart disease or have experienced serious trauma, such as being struck by lightning.

ORTHOSTATIC HYPOTENSION: ITS SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES

Our Nervous system is much more than consciousness and free will. Our neural networks automatically go about the job of keeping us alive without entering our awareness- unless it fails to perform.

This is true of our intestinal system, and especially our cardiovascular system. We would not have time for anything else if we had to consciously take each breath, command each heart beat, and for this discussion, open up (dilate) the blood vessels to our brain, and constrict the blood vessels in our legs whenever we stand up.

Our brains demand a constant supply of Oxygen and Glucose in order to perform their complex duties. Between 20% and 40% of the 100 Watts of energy our bodies consume is in our brains.

Whenever we stand up, the force of gravity “wants” to force our blood to our legs and away from our head. Unless that tendency is counteracted, our brains would be deprived of essential factors, and we would all have orthostatic (upright position) hypotension every time we stand up.

Normally, when the blood pressure drops from ANY CAUSE, receptors near the base of the heart and great vessels signal the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system to cause a speeding up of the heart and a dilation of the blood vessels in the brain. This compensates for the drop in blood pressure, which is determined by the blood flow and resistance to that flow.

The sympathetic nervous system is a reaction to STRESS, to a “flight or fight” decision. In the short term, it is beneficial, or adaptive. You may know the feeling, heart racing, cold hands (due to constriction of blood vessels), breathing rate increases, and sweating.

The asthmatic feels this from a shot of adrenalin, which delivers the sympathetic reaction to the whole body through the blood stream. The musculature of the bronchial tubes are relaxed, improving breathing, and improving the asthma.

What is adaptive in the short haul may be deleterious if it continues, felt as Anxiety if it lasts too long.

ORTHOSTATIC (postural) HYPOTENSION may be made worse by a variety of other influences, such as an abnormally slow heart, rate, dehydration, blood loss, certain medications and standing still too long.

Since the brain needs both Oxygen and Glucose, High altitude or a
low blood sugar will also facilitate faintness. If you have a tendency toward lightheadedness when you stand up, be careful lest you fall and injure yourself.

If you are unable to cope with these spells, a checkup with your Doctor may be in order; perhaps you have an underlying problem, such as with your heart, which is the next subject of discussion.

–DR. C