Vitiligo is a chronic skin condition that causes pale white patches to appear on the skin. A lack of Melanin, which is a pigment found in the skin causes Vitiligo. Although vitiligo can affect any part of the skin, it is most common on the face, neck, hands, and skin creases. It can also begin in the lips, tips of fingers, and genital areas.
Vitiligo affects people of all skin colours, but it may be more visible in people with dark skin. This disorder is not fatal or infectious, and while it is classified as an autoimmune disorder, it is rarely associated with problems in other endocrine organs such as the thyroid or adrenal glands.
The appearance of vitiligo, on the other hand, can cause stress and low self-esteem. It's difficult to predict how this disease will progress. Without treatment, the patches may stop forming. In most cases, pigment loss spreads to cover the majority of the skin. In rare cases, the skin regains its colour.
Signs and Symptoms of Vitiligo
The symptoms of vitiligo can appear at any phase of life. The signs include:
Loss of skin colour in patches, usually seen first on your face, hands, arms, legs, and feet
Early paling of your body hair, including hair on the lashes brows and face if the areas are involved.
Mostly it is asymptomatic and there are no symptoms like itching or pain.
Thyroid and Adrenal gland problems.
Detection of Vitiligo
Following a skin examination, a dermatologist will be able to detect vitiligo. In order to rule out other skin conditions, the doctor will look for symptoms associated with them, such as other hypopigmentary disorders like common eczemas or healing psoriasis lesions. The doctor will most likely examine every area of your skin to determine which type of vitiligo you have based on where the patches appear. Patches are easy to spot on dark skin.
However, because there is less distinction between affected and unaffected skin in lighter-skinned people, the doctor may use a tool called a Wood lamp (which emits ultraviolet light). Under this type of light, vitiligo skin will appear different. The application can also be used to differentiate between loss of pigment and reduction in colour.
The appearance of lightened patches and the patient's medical history are sufficient to diagnose vitiligo. Doctors may, however, recommend additional tests for confirmation. A skin biopsy, for example, will reveal whether or not melanocytes are present. The absence of melanocytes can be used to confirm a vitiligo diagnosis.
A skin biopsy can also reveal whether the patient has hypopigmented cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a type of skin cancer. A blood test is frequently recommended by doctors to determine whether the vitiligo is caused by an underlying autoimmune disease, such as anaemia or type 1 diabetes.
Because of the association with other autoimmune diseases and endocrinopathies, patients with suggestive signs or symptoms may require additional testing to rule out an underlying condition. Thyroid disease, diabetes mellitus, pernicious anaemia, Addison disease, and alopecia areata have all been linked to vitiligo.
Although there is no cure for vitiligo, proper treatment can halt or slow the discoloration process and restore some colour to the skin. The procedures' goal is to achieve an even skin tone by either restoring colour (repigmentation) or removing the remaining colour (depigmentation). Some of the most common treatments for vitiligo include camouflage therapy, repigmentation therapy, light therapy, and surgery. (Dr. Sunil Prabhu, MBBS, MD, DNB Dermatologist, Venereologist and Aesthetic Physician)
Read More► Health Concerns Men Should Keep A track Of
Biological, social and behavioural factors have led to differences in the most common causes of health problems faced by men and women. Men die younger than women and bear a greater burden of disease throughout their lives. They get sick at a younger age and have illnesses that last longer than women. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and depression are the top male killers. However, men also face male-specific issues such as prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Heart disease comes in many forms. All its manifestations can lead to serious and fatal complications if they are not noticed. One in three adult men has some form of cardiovascular disease. Hypertension and stroke are also common in men under the age of 45. Lifestyle modification and routine medical checkups can help manage heart-related risks, as your doctor can calculate your risk for cardiovascular disease based on several risk factors, including cholesterol, blood pressure and smoking habits.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in men after heart disease. Skin, prostate, colon and lung cancers are among the most commonly diagnosed cancers in men. The combination of a healthy lifestyle and regular checkups ensures that disease stays at bay. Regularly applying sunscreen, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and reducing red meat consumption all help reduce the risk of cancer.
Diabetes usually sets in without showing any signs. It raises blood sugar levels and eventually passes into the urine. Increased urination and thirst are the first visible signs of diabetes. High glucose acts like a slow poison on blood vessels and nerves throughout the body. Heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney failure and amputations are the consequences for many men.
If left untreated, diabetes causes nerve and kidney damage, increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, causes vision problems and blindness. Men with diabetes are also at risk for lower testosterone levels and sexual impotence, which in turn can lead to increased depression or anxiety.
Mental Health and Depression
Depression in men can go unnoticed because the symptoms don't always match what they expect. Men sometimes experience depression as anger or irritability rather than sadness. They are also more likely to sweep these feelings under the rug.
It is often believed that depression affects women far more than men. In fact, it may be a tendency for men to hide feelings of depression, or to present them differently than women. When it comes to mental health issues like anxiety and depression, men are reluctant to seek help, which significantly increases the risk of suicidal behaviour. Given the stigma associated with mental health problems, especially among men, it is crucial to dispel misconceptions and make therapy more available to those in need.
The most common cause of erectile dysfunction is atherosclerosis, the same condition that causes stroke and heart attack. In fact, having ED usually indicates that blood vessels throughout the body are not in good condition. Erectile dysfunction is considered by doctors to be an early risk symptom of cardiovascular disease. Although erectile dysfunction is not a life-threatening condition, it does indicate a serious health problem.
Erectile dysfunction affects two thirds of men over the age of 70 and up to 39 per cent of men under the age of 40. Men with erectile dysfunction are less happy and more likely to be depressed.
The bad news is that the average man pays less attention to his health than the average woman. The good news is that men can be healthy by taking control of their lifestyle. Whether it's eating better, quitting bad habits like smoking, or getting regular check-ups, here are some steps you can take to prevent common health problems in men of all ages. Whatever health issues you face, you can take control of your well-being by taking preventative and proactive measures today. (Agency)
Read More► Is there a link between Diabetes and Frozen Shoulder?
The SARS-CoV-2 virus can directly infect a specialised type of kidney cell, explaining why acute kidney injury is one of the main complications observed in patients with severe Covid-19, finds a study.
Primarily known to infect cells in the respiratory tract, physicians were surprised to see that many patients, especially those with severe Covid, were also developing injuries to their kidneys.
"It was shocking to hear doctors describe how patients who were healthy suddenly developed kidney injury and needed to go on dialysis after contracting SARS-CoV-2," said Samira Musah, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and medicine at Duke University.
"It was clear that the virus was doing something to the kidneys, but it was so early in the pandemic that nobody was sure what was going on," she added.
For the new study, described in the journal Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, the team worked worked with a pseudovirus version of SARS-CoV-2 on a previously developed model of podocyte cell, a specific type of kidney cell that helps control the removal of toxins and waste from the blood.
When the pseudovirus was introduced to the podocyte cell model, the team discovered that the spike protein of the virus could directly bind to numerous receptors on the surface of podocytes.
"We found that the virus was especially adept at binding to two key receptors on the surface of the podocytes, and these receptors are abundant in these kidney cells," explained Titilola Kalejaiye, a postdoctoral fellow at Duke.
"There was a strong uptake of the virus initially, and we also found that when you increased the dose of the virus, the uptake would increase even further. The virus seemed to have a strong affinity for these kidney cells."
Further, the team tested their podocyte model with the real SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Just like with the pseudovirus, the team observed that the live version of the virus had a strong affinity for podocytes.
Once the virus infected the cells, it damaged the podocytes, causing their long, finger-like structures, which help filter blood, to retract and shrivel. If the injuries to the cells were too severe, the podocytes would die.
"Beyond the structural damage, we saw that the virus could hijack the machinery of the podocytes to produce additional viral particles that could spread to infect additional cells," said Maria Blasi, Assistant Professor of medicine at Duke.
Now the team hopes to expand their work to study how the different variants of SARS-CoV-2 behave in kidney cells.
Read More► Omicron Ups Risk of Upper Airway Infections, Cardiac Arrest in Small Kids
London: Genetic variants that damage the genome are associated with reduced reproductive success and an increased likelihood of not having children, suggests research.
According to researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the UK, one mechanism of natural selection that is removing damaging genetic variation from the population is increased childlessness.
It is likely linked to genetic influences on cognitive and behavioural traits, which may mean that men and women with these genetic variants are less likely to form reproductive partnerships.
However, the study, published in the journal Nature, also showed that this genetic link may play a very minor role in the overall likelihood of being childless. It accounts for less than one per cent when compared to more influential factors such as sociodemographic factors and choice.
In the study, the team included more than 340,000 participants, and investigated whether damaging genetic variants were associated with lower reproductive success by calculating for each person, how much damaging genetic variation they carry across their entire genome, known as their 'genetic burden'.
They tested whether genetic burden was associated with the number of children that the participants had, and found it was associated with men with the highest genetic burden having an average 0.26 fewer children - but this was not seen in women.
The team also found that increasing genetic burden was associated with a higher chance of being childless in both men and women, but much more so in men.
"It's important to emphasise that we have not found a 'gene for childlessness', as that implies a strong, causal effect of genetic variation on whether or not someone will have children. Instead we have shown that people with damaged genomes, particularly men, are slightly more likely to be childless," said Eugene Gardner at the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge.
"This is probably due to the effect of damaging genetic variants on cognitive and behavioural traits, which make these men less likely to find a partner to have children with," said Gardner, who was at the Wellcome Sanger Institute while doing the research.
While the genetic burden is not associated with infertility, both men and women with a higher genetic burden were more likely to have mental health disorders. (agency)
Read More► Antibiotics After Birth Affects Gut Microbes of Babies
लंदन: ब्रिटेन की स्वास्थ्य सुरक्षा एजेंसी (यूकेएचएसए) को एक अध्ययन से पता चला है कि जिन लोगों को कोविड का टीका लगा है, उनमें कोविड से संक्रमित होने की संभावना कम होती है।
बीबीसी के अनुसार, शोधकर्ता ने दुनिया भर के 15 अध्ययनों से अब तक के उपलब्ध साक्ष्यों को देखा और पाया कि कुछ लोग कोविड की चपेट में आए हैं, लेकिन उनमें संक्रमण का जोखिम कम हैं, लेकिन ऐसे लोगों में थकान जैसे लक्षण देखने को मिले हैं।
समीक्षा में कुछ अध्ययनों ने टीकाकरण के प्रभाव को देखा और पाया कि कोविड वाले लोग, जिन्हें फाइजर, एस्ट्राजेनेका या मॉडर्न टीके की दो डोज या जानसेन वैक्सीन की एक डोज मिली, उन लोगों की तुलना में लगभग आधे लोग कोविड से संक्रमित थे।
यह भी पाया गया कि 60 वर्ष और उससे अधिक आयु के लोगों में अधिकांश लंबे-कोविड लक्षणों के खिलाफ टीके की प्रभावशीलता सबसे अधिक पाई गई।
यूकेएचएसए के अनुसार, यूके की आबादी के लगभग दो प्रतिशत ने लंबे समय तक कोविड के लक्षणों की सूचना दी है, जैसे कि थकान, सांस की तकलीफ और मांसपेशियों या जोड़ों में दर्द शामिल है। रिपोर्ट में कहा गया है कि इस तरह के लक्षण संक्रमण के बाद चार सप्ताह से अधिक समय तक रह सकते हैं।
इसमें कहा गया है कि जिन लोगों को कोविड के खिलाफ टीके की दो डोज मिली हैं, उनमें कोविड लक्षण होने की संभावना कम है या उनमें कोविड के लक्षण कम समय के लिए दिखाई देंगे। (एजेंसी)
यह भी पढ़े► कोरोना के विषाणु सीवर की गंदगी को अपने में समाहित करने में सक्षम : शोध
Ayurveda defines cancer as a chronic imbalance of tridosha (pathophysiological entity), datus (tissue), and triguna (mental nature) and can be treated without side effects. In Ayurvedic concept, according to 'Charaka' and 'Sushruta Samhitas', cancer is described as inflammatory or non-inflammatory swelling and referred to as 'Granthi' (minor neoplasm) or 'Arbuda' (major neoplasm). The nervous system (Vata or air), the venous system (Pitta or fire) and the arterial system (Kapha or water) are three basic elements of Ayurveda and very important for the normal functioning of the body.
How Cancer Spread?
As a cancerous tumor grows, the bloodstream or lymphatic system can carry cancer cells to other parts of the body. In this process, cancer cells can develop into new tumors. This is known as metastasis.
One of the first places where cancer often spreads is the lymph nodes. The lymph nodes are small, bean shaped organs that help fight infection. They are grouped in different parts of the body, such as the neck, groin, and armpits.
Cancer can also spread to remote parts of the body through the bloodstream. These parts may include bone, liver, lungs, or brain. Even if the cancer spreads, it is named after the area where the cancer started. For example, if breast cancer has spread to the lungs, it is called metastatic breast cancer, not lung cancer.
Types of Cancer
Doctors classify cancers based on where they occur. Four main types of cancer are here:
Carcinoma: Cancer begins in the skin or the tissue that covers the surface of internal organs and glands. Carcinomas usually form solid tumors. They all are the most common type of cancer. The examples of carcinoma include breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer.
Sarcoma: Sarcoma begins with the tissues that support and connect the body. Sarcomas can occur in fat, muscle, nerves, tendons, joints, blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, cartilage, or bone.
Leukemia: Leukemia is a cancer of the blood. Leukemia begins when healthy blood cells change and become uncontrollable. The four main types of leukemia are acute lymphocytic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, and chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Lymphoma: Lymphoma is cancer that forms in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of blood vessels and glands that help fight infection. There are two main types of lymphoma. Hodgkin's lymphoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Causes of Cancer
There can be various causes for cancer, some of the common reasons include:
DNA damage or mutations resulting in damage to genes involved in cell division
Carcinogens such as tobacco
Ultraviolet rays and automobiles
Passive smoking and chewing tobacco
Alcohol use and obesity
Lack of physical activity
Sunlight and excessive exposure to ultraviolet light
Exposure to X-ray radiation
Cell phones and cell phone towers
Symptoms of Cancer
Indigestion problems or trouble swallowing
Unexplained weight loss
Cancer Treatment in Ayurveda
Ayurvedic cancer treatment is very profound and holistic in its approach. Ayurveda treats illness according to the specific nature of the patient, the aggravated bodily energies involved, and the bodily tissues that are affected.
The treatment does not only focus on the area of the malignancy but on the entire system, as the entire organism must return to harmony so that the disease is treated permanently and does not recur elsewhere.
The body must be cleansed of toxins that cause cells to attack the body. Treatment includes the administration of herbs to cleanse the blood along with the adoption of a detoxifying diet. Circulatory-stimulating herbs are also prescribed to promote circulation, change blood stagnation, increase efficient elimination of toxins, and help heal tissues. Herbs and minerals that restore immunity are administered to increase the strength of weakened patients.
Important part of the treatment is the relaxation of the mind. Suppression of emotion or emotional stagnation is a significant causal factor and a barrier to effective treatment of this condition. The patient needs to heal himself at the deepest level of his individuality. Meditation, counseling, yoga, pranayama, and the study of spiritual philosophy are recommended to support this aspect of personal healing.
Ayurvedic treatment Ayurvedic holistic methods for cancer treatment include:
Abstinence from foods and lifestyle that cause tridosha (vata, pitta, kapha) imbalance, Elimination of toxins through Panchakarma, Restoration of healthy functions of jatharagni (digestive power), Rejuvenation through rasayanas, Ayurvedic preparations can act as an adjuvant or adjunctive therapy along with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It is also of great help in postoperative care, Ayurvedic medicines help minimize the side effects of these therapies.
Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is one of the effective cancer treatment therapies in which the body's natural defences are stimulated to fight cancer. This therapy works in either of two ways: it stops the growth of cancer-causing cells or slows the growth of cancer cells. Immunotherapy drugs are constantly evolving and are accepted by cancer patients as they have less well-known reactions or side effects compared to chemotherapy and radiation.
Doctors have identified several ways to reduce cancer risk, including:
Give Up Smoking: Quit smoking if you smoke. If you don't smoke, don't start. Smoking is reason of several types of cancer, not just lung cancer. Quitting smoking now can reduce your risk of cancer in the future.
Avoid Exposure to Excessive Sunlight: The sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can increase the risk of skin cancer. Stay in the shade, wear protective clothing, or apply sunscreen to limit exposure to sunlight.
Eat A Healthy Diet: Choose a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Choose whole grains and lean proteins. Limit your intake of processed meats.
Exercise Most Days of The Week: Regular exercise helps reduce the risk of cancer. Do atleast 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. If you don't exercise regularly, start slowly and exercise for at least 30 minutes.
Keep A Healthy Weight: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of cancer. Strive to achieve and maintain a healthy weight by combining a healthy diet with regular exercise.
If You Choose to Drink, Drink Moderate Alcohol: If you choose to drink alcohol, drink it in moderation. For healthy adults, this means up to 1 cup a day for women and up to 2 cups a day for men.
Schedule A Cancer Screening Test: Talk to your doctor about what type of cancer screening is best for you based on your risk factors.
Talk to Your Doctor About Immunity: Certain viruses increase the risk of cancer. Immunization can help prevent viruses such as hepatitis B, which increases the risk of liver cancer, and human papillomavirus (HPV), which increases the risk of cervical and other cancers.