It is often difficult to isolate pain to a specific part of the digestive tract beyond the stomach. Pain in the esophagus is usually felt in the chest, Pain in the stomach is felt under the left ribcage and upper left part of the abdomen. But the coiling of the intestines, both small and large, makes it difficult to isolate the pain to a specific point. It is usually experienced as abdominal pain but whether this arises from the small intestine or colon can be tricky to identify.
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There are many types of parasitic worms that can infest the human body. Most of us know about worms that live in the gut and feed off nutrients in the food we eat. But there are parasitic worms that can even live within the organs in the body or bloodstream. Flatworms are one category of parasitic worms that live in the body. It is also known by the common term ‘flukes’. There are many different types which can infect humans and reside at a variety of sites within the body.
Having a bowel movement is not something that most of us give much thought to on the average day. But for some people it can be marked with pain and discomfort which makes an otherwise mundane body process an unpleasant event to fear. Pain before, during or after a bowel movement is not normal. When it does occur, it should be investigated further to find the underlying cause and treat it appropriately. Sometimes the cause is just a temporary disturbance or illness but at other times pain with a bowel movement may be the symptom of a very serious and even life-threatening ailment.
The human hair follicle can become infected with bacteria and fungi, but many people do not know that these tiny hair-producing organs can also become infested with insects. The demodex mite is one such insect that can infest the hair follicles. Most people carry a few of these mites without experiencing any problems. However, in some instances these mite infestations can cause severe symptoms. Demodex mite infestations tend to affect the eyelids and eyes more than other areas of the body. It is easily treated but can be a serious problem for people living with HIV or suffering with other causes of a weakened immune system.
The nerves are the communication lines of the body. It has to work efficiently to ensure that messages are transported throughout the body for the system to function. Sometimes nerves become diseased or damaged in various ways, or malfunctions despite the nerve structure being intact. When this happens, then the communication to or from a specific part of the body is impaired. It can lead to a myriad of symptoms and affect functioning in different ways. This is sometimes referred to as weak nerves.
The summer months bring out many tiny insects that feed on human blood and skin. One of these is known as chiggers. It is not as well understood as ticks or mosquitoes but chiggers is a relatively common problem especially for the outdoor explorer. Although chiggers is considered relatively harmless in North America, some Asian species can spread a disease known as scrub typhus. The rash caused by the chiggers bites are often mistaken for mosquitoes or ticks but chiggers is distinctly separate insect.
The odd upset of the bowels are not uncommon. We all suffer with a bowel upset at some point or the other in life. For most people it is short-lived and recovery is quick, often within a few days. For others, these upset bowels can last for years or even a lifetime. Understanding what is occurring in the bowels, and the conditions that may give rise to the symptoms referred to as upset bowels is important in identifying the possible causes.
Scabies is a well known skin problem that is caused by a tiny mite (insect). It is often thought to be associated with poverty, poor personal hygiene and living in an unhygienic environment. However, this is not the case. Any person of any socioeconomic status can get scabies and personal hygiene is not a factor. Children and the elderly are the most prone for several reasons. Around 300 million cases of scabies are reported throughout the world every year. While it is more common in developing nations, outbreaks of scabies occurs in industrialized nations occur every now and then. It is therefore important to understand how scabies affects humans and the ways to prevent it.
Heartburn is the main symptom of the most common upper gastrointestinal problem – acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) as it medically known. GERD affects between 25% to 40% of Americans and about 10% suffer with symptoms daily. While we all know the typical symptoms like heartburn and nausea, many people do not realize that acid reflux also affects sleep. In fact acid reflux may occur for many of the same reasons that affect sleep. It can be a vicious cycle that leads to long term sleeping problems despite the use of strong prescription sleeping pills.
Salmonella bacteria mainly cause food poisoning illnesses that more commonly occurs in summer. These bacteria may be acquired from a range of foods, contaminated water and by handling tainted products. It often leads to small outbreaks throughout the year. Organizations like the Center for Disease Control (CDC) keeps track of these outbreaks and regularly reports findings and issues warnings to the public. Salmonellosis (the disease caused by Salmonella bacteria) can lead to life-threatening complications which can be avoided with prompt treatment of the infection. However, the purpose of tracking and reporting outbreaks is to prevent Salmonella infection before it occurs.
Swimming pools have become such a common luxury in modern life that we often do not consider it to be a health hazard. One of the major problems with swimming pools is that it is a large and exposed body of water which can easily become contaminated. The other issue is that swimming pools are shared by many people. While a properly maintained pool may not always pose as much of a health risk, there is no avoiding some of the hazards especially with frequent exposure to swimming pools.
The skin is the main physical barrier that keeps the delicate inner tissues and organs separate from the environment which is often teeming with bugs and germs. Despite its protective ability, the skin itself can become diseased by these organisms. Some microbes live on the skin and play an important role in human health. It does not pose any threat. However, when the skin is damaged or diseased, this very same naturally occurring bacteria can pose a problem. Here are some of the bugs that can infest and infect human skin.
Technological advancements has also given rise to new medical conditions, and computer vision syndrome is one of these. It is associated with prolonged staring at a computer screen. While it is not a disease as such, it does highlight the importance of educating people about using a computer appropriately in terms of eyestrain, hours of use and good posture while staring at a screen. Unfortunately this is not included as part of computer learning programs. Computer vision syndrome is gradually becoming a more widely known condition. Despite its name, computer vision syndrome does not only cause visual symptoms.
Sleeping pills are widely used for the treatment of sleep-related disorders. However, it is not the first approach recommended for treating sleeping problems by many medical authorities. Non-pharmacological intervention, including cognitive behavioral therapy, patient education about sleep hygiene and relaxation techniques, are the first measures that should be considered before drugs are prescribed. Sleeping pills do have distinct benefits but should always be taken with caution. While these drugs are effective, it can also have side effects and there is the risk of addiction.
The discharge of eye mucus is a normal physiological process. The mucuous membranes of the conjunctiva secretes this mucus in small quantities. It mixes with tears an oily substance (meibum) and dead skin cells to become thick and watery. However, when exposed to air for long periods it may harden and form a crust. This is more prominent when awaking after sleep. For this reasons, it is often referred to as sleep dust. Hardened eye mucus is also known as eye gunk or eye boogers but the more correct medical term is rheum.
Ticks and fleas are two common parasitic insects that bite and feed on humans. It is largely due to human exposure to animals, be it pets in the home or livestock on a farm. Wild animals in urban areas, like birds, may also bring these insects in close contact with humans. People who camp, hike and hunt frequently may also be affected by ticks and fleas that live on wild animals. It is not possible to avoid a tick or flea bite throughout life and in most cases it is harmless. But sometimes these ticks and fleas can cause serious diseases which may be life-threatening.
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