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What is Chronic Bronchitis?

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Coughing is a way for your body to get rid of harmful things in your lungs. But coughing too much can be bad, too. If you’ve had a cough that’s gone on for what feels like forever, you might have a serious condition called chronic bronchitis.

Chronic bronchitis is a type of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). COPD is a group of lung diseases that make it hard to breathe and get worse over time. The other main type of COPD is emphysema. Most people with COPD have both emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but how severe each type is can be different from person to person.

Chronic bronchitis is inflammation (swelling) and irritation of the bronchial tubes. These tubes are the airways that carry air to and from the air sacs in your lungs. The irritation of the tubes causes mucus to build up. This mucus and the swelling of the tubes make it harder for your lungs to move oxygen in and carbon dioxide out of your body.

Causes of Chronic Bronchitis

Cigarette smoking is by far the No. 1 cause of chronic bronchitis. More than 90% of people with the disease smoke or used to smoke. Other things that raise your chances for it include:

  • Secondhand smoke
  • Dust
  • Certain fumes, like hairspray if you work in a hair salon or house paint if you’re a building contractor
  • Air pollution, welding fumes, engine exhaust
  • Coal, fire smoke

Twice as many women get diagnosed with chronic bronchitis as men do. Most people who have the disease are 44 to 65.

Chronic bronchitis may make it easier for you to catch respiratory infections like colds, the flu, and pneumonia.

Symptoms of Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis fills your airways with thick mucus. The small hairs that normally move phlegm out of your lungs are damaged. That makes you cough. As the disease goes on, it’s harder for you to breathe.

Other signs of chronic bronchitis may include:

  • Cough, often with mucus
  • Wheezing
  • Tight chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired

Your symptoms may be worst in the winter, when humidity and temperatures drop.

When to call Doctor?

Many people dismiss symptoms of chronic bronchitis, believing they simply have smoker’s cough. However, it’s important to contact your doctor right away if you have even the slightest suspicion that you might have bronchitis. Failing to receive timely treatment for chronic bronchitis greatly increases your risk of severe lung damage, which can lead to respiratory problems or heart failure.

Call your doctor right away if your cough:

  • lasts longer than three weeks
  • prevents you from sleeping
  • is accompanied by a fever above 100.4°F
  • produces discolored mucus or blood
  • causes wheezing or shortness of breath

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your smoking history and listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. You may take tests, including:

Pulmonary function tests: This is a series of measurements of how much air your lungs can hold while breathing in and out.

Chest X-ray: Uses radiation to make a picture of your lungs to rule out heart failure or other illnesses that make it hard to breathe.

Computed tomography: This CT scan give a much more detailed look at your airways than a chest X-ray.

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Why Anemia is Common in Pregnancy?

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Every pregnancy is different. But there are a few things most women can expect. An increased risk for anemia is one of them.

When you’re pregnant, you may develop anemia. When you have anemia, your blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to your tissues and to your baby.

During pregnancy, your body produces more blood to support the growth of your baby. If you’re not getting enough iron or certain other nutrients, your body might not be able to produce the amount of red blood cells it needs to make this additional blood.

It’s normal to have mild anemia when you are pregnant. But you may have more severe anemia from low iron or vitamin levels or from other reasons.

Anemia can leave you feeling tired and weak. If it is severe but goes untreated, it can increase your risk of serious complications like preterm delivery.

Symptoms of anemia during pregnancy         

Early on, you may mistake symptoms of anemia for normal symptoms of pregnancy; some pregnant women are completely unaware they’re anemic until it’s revealed in a blood test. But as the condition progresses, you may experience:

  • Excessive tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • A rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Numbness or a cold feeling in your hands and feet
  • A low body temperature
  • Pale skin
  • Chest pain
  • Irritability (due specifically to a B12 deficiency)

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and are concerned it might be anemia, be sure to let your doctor know.

Types of Anemia during Pregnancy

Several types of anemia can develop during pregnancy. These include:

  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Folate-deficiency anemia
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency

Here’s why these types of anemia may develop:

Iron-deficiency anemia. This type of anemia occurs when the body doesn’t have enough iron to produce adequate amounts of hemoglobin. That’s a protein in red blood cells. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

In iron-deficiency anemia, the blood cannot carry enough oxygen to tissues throughout the body.

Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia in pregnancy.

Folate-deficiency anemia. Folate is the vitamin found naturally in certain foods like green leafy vegetables A type of B vitamin, the body needs folate to produce new cells, including healthy red blood cells.

Vitamin B12 deficiency. The body needs vitamin B12 to form healthy red blood cells. When a pregnant woman doesn’t get enough vitamin B12 from their diet, their body can’t produce enough healthy red blood cells. Women who don’t eat meat, poultry, dairy products, and eggs have a greater risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency, which may contribute to birth defects, such as neural tube abnormalities, and could lead to preterm labor.

How to prevent anemia when you’re expecting

While not all cases of anemia are preventable, getting enough iron in your diet goes a long way in helping you to avoid the condition. Before you’re pregnant, that means consuming 18 mg of iron per day; once you do conceive you should aim for 27 mg. While prenatal vitamin covers your bases — along with your requirements for other important nutrients like folic acid and vitamin B12 — you should also try to eat a variety of healthy foods that are high in iron. These include (note all measurements are approximate):

  1. Liver (5 mg in 3 oz of beef liver)
  2. Beans and legumes (4 mg in 1/2 cup of white beans; 3 mg in 1/2 cup of lentils)
  3. Green leafy vegetables (6 mg in 1 cup cooked spinach)
  4. Seeds and nuts (2 mg in 1 oz or 18 cashews)
  5. Dark chocolate (7 mg in 3 oz)
  6. Iron-fortified cereal (18 per serving)
  7. Baked potato (2 mg for a medium spud)

Cooking in cast iron cookware may also help give your iron intake a little boost, since foods absorb some of the iron from the pan. Also note that animal-based (meat) iron is absorbed by the body better than plant-based iron.

Though anemia during pregnancy can be scary, rest assured it’s also easily diagnosed and treated.

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What is Stomach Cancer?

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Abdominal cancer is a type of cancer that occurs when there is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in the abdomen, the area between the lower chest and the groin. The abdomen consists of many organs, including the stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, esophagus, and numerous blood vessels. Abdominal cancer is a general term for a variety of cancers.

Common forms of abdominal cancers include:

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Kidney cancer (renal cell cancer)
  • Stomach cancer (gastric cancer)

Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, can affect any part of the stomach. In most of the world, stomach cancers form in the main part of the stomach (stomach body).

Symptoms of stomach cancer

Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer may include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Feeling bloated after eating
  • Feeling full after eating small amounts of food
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Vomiting

What causes abdominal cancer?

Abdominal cancer occurs when old or damaged cells divide and multiply uncontrollably. The underlying cause of this varies depending on the specific form of cancer. For example:

  • Colorectal cancer commonly develops from adenomatous intestinal polyps in the colon that are not removed while still benign.
  • Liver cancer is often caused by certain types of liver disease, often chronic hepatitis B or C infection or alcoholism. Liver cancer can also be caused by another cancer in the body that spreads to the liver.
  • Stomach cancer is linked to significant risk factors but the exact cause is not known.
  • Pancreatic cancer is linked to significant risk factors but the exact cause is not known.
  • Renal cancer is not linked to a specific risk factor in most cases.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma, or cancer of the lining of the inside of the abdomen, is caused by exposure to asbestos.

Risk factors

Factors that increase the risk of stomach cancer include:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Obesity
  • A diet high in salty and smoked foods
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables
  • Family history of stomach cancer
  • Infection with Helicobacter pylori
  • Long-term stomach inflammation (gastritis)
  • Smoking
  • Stomach polyps

When to see a doctor

If you have signs and symptoms that worry you, make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will likely investigate more-common causes of these signs and symptoms first.

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What is Paralysis?

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Paralysis is a loss of muscle function in part of your body. It can be localized or generalized, partial or complete, and temporary or permanent. Paralysis can affect any part of your body at any time in your life. If you experience it, you probably won’t feel pain in the affected areas.

Paralysis can cause problems with blood flow, breathing, how well your organs work, speaking or swallowing, sexual responses, or controlling the urge to go to the bathroom, depending on where you’re paralyzed and how bad it is.

Types of Paralysis

Complete paralysis is when you can’t move or control your paralyzed muscles at all. You also may not be able to feel anything in those muscles.

Partial or incomplete paralysis is when you still have some feeling in, and possibly control over, your paralyzed muscles. This is sometimes called paresis.

Localized paralysis affects just one specific area, like your face, hands, feet, or vocal cords.

Generalized paralysis is more widespread in your body and is grouped by how much of your body is affected. The type usually depends on where your brain or spinal cord is injured.

  • Monoplegia is a kind of generalized paralysis that affects just one limb.
  • Diplegia affects the same area on both sides, like both arms, both legs, or both sides of your face.
  • Hemiplegia affects just one side of your body and is usually caused by a stroke, which damages one side of your brain.
  • Quadriplegia (or tetraplegia) is when all four limbs are paralyzed, sometimes along with certain organs.
  • Paraplegia is paralysis from the waist down.
  • Locked-in syndrome is the rarest and most severe form of paralysis, where a person loses control of all their muscles except the ones that control their eye movements.

What are the symptoms of paralysis?

Symptoms of paralysis may vary based on the cause, but are often easy to spot. A person born paralyzed due to a birth defect, or paralyzed suddenly due to a stroke or spinal cord injury, will be partially or totally unable to move the affected body parts. At the same time, the person may experience muscle stiffness and decreased feeling in the affected body parts.

A person who becomes paralyzed due to a medical condition might lose muscle control and feeling slowly. The person might feel tingling or numbing sensations or muscle cramps before losing control of his or her muscles.

How is paralysis diagnosed?

Diagnosing paralysis is often easy, especially when your loss of muscle function is obvious. For internal body parts where paralysis is more difficult to identify, your doctor may use X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, or other imaging studies.

Treatment

A doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes, medications, surgery, or other treatments to help manage potential complications.

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