Thursday, August 7, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Today is World Glaucoma Day!
Ophthalmologists and glaucoma specialists around the world, including the Philippines, are spearheading activities to increase awareness of glaucoma through the first ever World Glaucoma Day.
Why is it important that people know about this disease?
- Glaucoma is second leading cause of blindness worldwide.
- Blindness caused by glaucoma is irreversible.
- Glaucoma is a silent disease, especially in the early stages. Hence, people with glaucoma may not necessarily know that they have glaucoma.
- There is no cure for glaucoma. But there are treatment strategies (medication, laser or surgery, as the case may be) that may slow down or halt the progression of the disease. Therefore, early detection and management is essential.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
What is diarrhea?
Stools that are loose and watery, usually occuring more frequently than the usual bowel movements.
What causes diarrhea?
Most cases of diarrhea are caused by an infection of the gastrointestinal pathway, either viral, bacterial or parasitic. Other less common causes are as follows:
- Eating foods that upset the digestive system
- Allergies to certain foods
- Radiation therapy
- Diseases of the intestines (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis)
- Malabsorption (where the body is unable to adequately absorb certain nutrients from the diet)
- Some cancers
- Laxative abuse
- Alcohol abuse
- Digestive tract surgery
What needs to be done?
The mainstay of treatment is the prevention of dehydration and electrolyte losses. Make sure the patient is given adequate fluids. The best choice would be ORS (oral rehydrating solution), which contains adequate concentrations of electrolytes.
In mild cases of dehydration, water, soups, juices, sports drinks and other fluids may be used in the meantime if ORS is not immediately available.
If the patient has difficulty drinking fluids, intravenous fluids may be given instead.
Moderate dehydration requires ORS to be given more frequently.
Severe dehydration requires hospitalization for IV rehydration and observation.
Some cases of diarrhea may require antibiotic treatment. The majority of cases are, however, viral and do not require antibiotic therapy.
What should we watch out for in diarrhea?
We have to watch out for dehydration. The signs of dehydration may include the following:
- Dark urine
- Small amount of urine (less number of diaper changes in small children)
- Rapid heart rate
- Dry skin
- Dry mouth and tongue
- Sunken eyes or cheeks
- No or decreased tear production
- Irritability or listlessness
- Skin that stays pinched instead of flattening out after being pinched
Other signs to watch out for are: fever, blood, undigested food or mucus in the stool and weight loss.
All the above conditions require medical attention.
We must especially be wary of diarrhea in very young or very old patients, or if the diarrhea lasts for weeks.
How to prevent diarrhea?
Most gastrointestinal infections are transmitted via the fecal oral route. Handwashing with water and soap before eating, before and after food preparation and after defecating would prevent trasmission of the microbes that could cause diarrhea.
All water intended for drinking should be adequately disinfected. A simple and effective way is by boiling the water for at least 15 minutes.
Hygiene should always be observed during food preparation.