Tag Archives: Inflammation

Skin Conditions: Five Types Of Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis (CD) is among the most common inflammatory dermatological conditions and includes allergic CD, photoallergic CD, irritant CD, photoirritant CD (also called phototoxic CD) and protein CD. Occupational CD can be of any type and is the most prevalent occupational skin disease. Each CD type is characterized by different immunological mechanisms and/or requisite exposures. Clinical manifestations of CD vary widely and multiple subtypes may occur simultaneously. The diagnosis relies on clinical presentation, thorough exposure assessment and evaluation with techniques such as patch testing and skin-prick testing. Management is based on patient education, avoidance strategies of specific substances, and topical treatments; in severe or recalcitrant cases, which can negatively affect the quality of life of patients, systemic medications may be needed.

Studies: What Makes For Successful Recoveries

Inflammation is the body’s first line of defense, occurring as droves of immune cells rush to the site of injury or acute illness to make repairs and stem further damage.

When successful, inflammation helps the body survive and heal after trauma. However, when recovery following an inflammatory response goes awry, it signals that damage is still occurring — and the inflammation itself can cause further injury, leading to more-severe illness or even death.

But what differentiates a good inflammatory recovery from a bad one?

A new study, led by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, published Aug. 22 in Nature Communications, yields critical clues.

The scientists identified universal features of the inflammatory responses of patients who successfully recovered after surgery or acute illnesses such as COVID-19, heart attack, and sepsis. These features, they discovered, include precise paths that white blood cell and platelet counts follow as they return to normal.

Read more

Inflammation: Treating Ulcerative Colitis (UC)

Since ulcerative colitis (UC), a condition that causes inflammation in the colon and rectum, is never medically cured, certain lifestyle behaviors can help you manage symptoms and better cope with your condition. In addition to managing stress, paying attention to what you eat can have a big impact on your quality of life.

A notepad with "ulcerative colitis" printed on it and a stethoscope laying next to it.

You should eat a well-balanced, healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, such as a Mediterranean style diet. Avoid preservatives and emulsifiers, such as carrageenan, carboxymethylcellulose, and polysorbate-80.

If you have inflammatory bowel disease and also irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a low-FODMAP diet may be helpful. FODMAP stands for the short-chain carbohydrates known as fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. Some people who eat high-FODMAP foods have an increased risk of problems like diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, and flatulence. FODMAPs include the following:

  • disaccharides, such as lactose (in milk and other dairy products)
  • monosaccharides, such as fructose (for example, in apples and honey)
  • oligosaccharides, such as fructans (in wheat, onions, and garlic, for example) and galactans (commonly found in beans, lentils, and soybeans)
  • polyols, such as sorbitol and mannitol (in some fruits, vegetables, and artificial sweeteners).

A low-FODMAP diet can help reduce abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea and improve stool consistency in people with IBS who also have well-controlled IBD. Consult with your doctor and a nutritionist about how FODMAP reduction may fit into your dietary plan.

Read more

Arthritic Conditions: The Signs & Symptoms Of Gout

#Gout is a common & complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone. It’s characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in joints, most often in the big toe.

An attack of gout can occur suddenly, often waking you up in the middle of the night with the sensation that your big toe is on fire. The affected joint is hot, swollen and so tender that even the weight of the bedsheet on it may seem intolerable.

Gout symptoms may come and go, but there are ways to manage symptoms and prevent flares.

Symptoms

Gout in the big toe

The signs and symptoms of gout almost always occur suddenly, and often at night. They include:

  • Intense joint pain. Gout usually affects the big toe, but it can occur in any joint. Other commonly affected joints include the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers. The pain is likely to be most severe within the first four to 12 hours after it begins.
  • Lingering discomfort. After the most severe pain subsides, some joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks. Later attacks are likely to last longer and affect more joints.
  • Inflammation and redness. The affected joint or joints become swollen, tender, warm and red.
  • Limited range of motion. As gout progresses, you may not be able to move your joints normally.

Read about the ways to manage symptoms & prevent flares. https://mayocl.in/3P29WFA

Dr. C’s Journal: Signs & Symptoms Of Prostatitis

Prostatitis seems to be a catchall diagnosis varying anywhere from clear cut acute bacterial infection of the prostate gland with burning on urination, fever, positive cultures, and response to antibiotics, through recurrent nagging symptoms that can include pain on urination, urine flow obstruction, sexual dysfunction, blood in the urine, and chronic pain syndromes affecting the pelvic region.

Prostatitis constitutes perhaps 10% of urology practice, and is often frustrating to patients and physicians alike.

Symptoms are shared with BPH and prostate cancer, which are more clear-cut entities with standard diagnosis and treatment.

Prostate and bladder stones can give similar symptoms on rare occasions. STDs can be a diagnostic consideration in people with multiple sexual partners, and with international travel, we mustn’t forget parasitic infections.

From the patient’s standpoint, the important thing is to find a good urologist who can sort out the symptoms and find a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Please refer to the following Cleveland clinic article for a more orderly discussion.

—Dr. C.

Read more

Medicine: The ABCs Of Hepatitis (Mayo Clinic)

Approximately 5.3 million people in the US have hepatitis. Listen as Dr. Stacey Rizza breaks down the ABCs of hepatitis. Vaccines protect against hepatitis A, and are especially important for children and travelers. Hepatitis C is transmitted from person to person through bodily fluids. The virus can cause liver damage and death.

COMMENTS:

For the past three months, hundreds of cases of severe hepatitis cases among children have been noticed, especially in England and America, but present in more than 50 countries. These cases of Hepatitis were not caused by any of the usual suspects.

This puzzling increase in pediatric hepatitis apparently is due to Adenovirus 41, plus infection with adeno-associated virus 2. The double requirement is probably why it took a while to crack the causation mechanism. Genetic factors and the Covid lockdown may also have contributed.

—Dr. C.

Infographics: Chronic Wounds In Older Adults

  • Chronic wounds are common, costly, and are more likely to affect older adults.
  • Venous ulcers, neuropathic ulcers, ischemic ulcers, and pressure injuries each necessitate unique prevention and treatment strategies.
  • With the evidence and pragmatic guidance provided herein, providers will have the working knowledge to successfully manage chronic wounds.

Appropriate prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chronic wounds is important for providers across specialties. Wounds affect patients in all care settings and result in significant cost and morbidity. The burden of this condition falls largely on older adults, for whom the incidence of chronic wounds far exceeds that of younger populations.

 Medicare costs for wound care in 2014 were estimated at greater than $28 billion, and the prevalence for most wound types was greatest in patients aged 75 or older.

 Venous ulcers are the most common lower extremity wound type, comprising 45% to 60% of all wounds, followed by neuropathic ulcers (15% to 25%), ischemic ulcers (10% to 20%), and mixed ulcers (10% to 15%).

 Fortunately, new wound-treatment modalities continue to emerge. This review summarizes the latest information regarding prevention, identification, classification, and treatment of chronic wounds. Guidance on management of major wound types and pearls regarding dressing selection are provided.

Infographic: Colonic Diverticular Disease

Colonic Diverticular Diseaes is a condition in which small, bulging pouches develop in the digestive tract. It’s common in people over age 40.

Usually, no symptoms occur, unless the diverticula become inflamed or infected (diverticulitis) which can result in fever and abdominal pain.

Treatment generally isn’t needed unless there is inflammation (diverticulitis).

Infographic: Diagnosis & Treatment Of Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus (purulent material), causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing. A variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, can cause pneumonia.

Pneumonia can range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening. It is most serious for infants and young children, people older than age 65, and people with health problems or weakened immune systems.

Chronic Inflammation: What Is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that is characterized by chronic inflammation of any part of the gastrointestinal tract, has a progressive and destructive course and is increasing in incidence worldwide. Several factors have been implicated in the cause of Crohn’s disease, including a dysregulated immune system, an altered microbiota, genetic susceptibility and environmental factors, but the cause of the disease remains unknown. The onset of the disease at a young age in most cases necessitates prompt but long-term treatment to prevent disease flares and disease progression with intestinal complications. Thus, earlier, more aggressive treatment with biologic therapies or novel small molecules could profoundly change the natural history of the disease and decrease complications and the need for hospitalization and surgery. Although less invasive biomarkers are in development, diagnosis still relies on endoscopy and histological assessment of biopsy specimens. Crohn’s disease is a complex disease, and treatment should be personalized to address the underlying pathogenetic mechanism. In the future, disease management might rely on severity scores that incorporate prognostic factors, bowel damage assessment and non-invasive close monitoring of disease activity to reduce the severity of complications.