Herpes-Causes,Symptoms,Treatment And Prevention


Herpes (commonly called herpes simplex) is a viral infection that attacks skin cells, usually in the mouth or genital area, resulting in blistering and soreness. In advanced cases, the virus can infiltrate the nervous system and cause brain damage. Herpes is a chronic virus, and sufferers may experience outbreaks of the disease throughout their entire lives.


herpes-on-lips-stages-710There are two strains of the herpes simplex virus. HSV-1 (herpes simplex virus 1) causes cold sores on the lips and cornea of the eye while HSV-2 (herpes simplex virus 2) usually causes blisters and sores on the genital areas. However the distinction is not always absolute since HSV-1 may sometimes cause genital infections,for example through oral sex. The infection can also occur in other sections of the body like the gastrointestinal tract and the brain. The disease may also spread widely in the body, especially in people with weak immune system (such as HIV patients) or newborns.

Herpes simplex virus is highly contagious and can easily be spread by coming into direct contact with sores. Even contact with people who are infected but have no sores can also lead to infection. It cannot be transmitted through touching objects like toilet seats, contrary to common belief. There has to be skin to skin contact. The disease is commonly transmitted through oral or normal sex, kissing and general contact with the genital area of infected people.


Oral Herpes

Oral herpes or cold sores are extremely common. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus 1(HSV-1) and the virus normally flares up when the carrier is ill and their immune system is weakened. Normally the virus is in a latent (dormant) state in the carrier’s body. The danger with this condition is that you may think that the sores are the result of the common flu and the virus may remain untreated and spread easily.oral-herpes

The most recognizable symptom of oral herpes is a cold sore on the mouth which then multiplies and spreads quickly.Before the sores appear you may experience itching and discomfort in the area. You may also have a fever, headache or body ache. Then fluid filled blisters may form and break open, leaving behind the sores which then form a scab. This scab may fall after about two weeks and the flare-up ends. Sometimes the redness and tingling may occur without being accompanied by blisters.

Genital Herpes

This is a terrible condition caused by the herpes simplex 2 virus. It has very uncomfortable and unpleasant symptoms, which means many people are embarrassed and wait too late before getting medical help.

The first symptoms include discomfort, aching or itching in the groin areas. After this come the sores on the genital areas and the rectum. The sores will usually be preceded by painful blisters in the thighs buttocks or anus,and these sores are similar to those of oral herpes. Sometimes you may only notice red bump that feel slightly sore, but mostly these will be extremely itchy and will also accompanied by a burning painful sensation. Women may also develop blisters on the vulva and will experience pain when urinating .They will also notice a vaginal discharge.


Doctors are usually able to recognize HSV infections quite easily. In case it is not clear, the doctor will normally use a swab to collect some samples of material from the sore and send it to the lab. The swab is then used to grow a culture which is used to identify the virus. The doctor may also use a microscope to examine some material scraped from the blister. Even though the virus is not visible, these scrapings may have giant infected cells that are symptomatic of infection by a herpes virus.

There are certain blood tests which are done to identify herpes antibodies in the body. The doctor may also carry other blood tests to determine if you have a HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection.Where the doctor suspects you have a brain infection, magnetic resonance imaging may be done. A spinal tap can be used to obtain a sample of your cerebrospinal fluid for testing.


Herpes has no known cure. Fortunately, the sores usually clear without any treatment. An antiviral ointment or cream can alleviate the itching, tingling or burning. There are also pills or injections that can control a herpes outbreak. Several prescription antiviral medications like Famciclovir or Acyclovir have been approved for the treatment of the two types of herpes simplex. These are used to combat the frequency and severity of outbreaks of the disease. They also prevent those who are infected from spreading the virus.


Since a herpes infection is highly contagious, people with an infection of the lips should not engage in kissing when they experience the first tingling or when a blister appears until any sores have healed completely. They should also avoid sharing drinking glasses or even touching their lips. Infected people must also abstain from oral sex.

If you have genital herpes, you should use a condom always. Even if you have no blisters or other symptoms, the virus may exist on the genitals, and this can spread to your sex partner. It is also important to wash your face and hands as often as you can. Avoid sharing items such as cigarettes or razors and always drink using a clean cup or glass.

People with herpes should avoid certain foods or activities that are known to trigger flare-ups. For example if you have an oral herpes simplex infection, minimize exposure to sunlight as much as you can. Currently, there are vaccines to prevent herpes infections that are under development.

Is Ketogenic Diet For You? What You Need To Know


The sure way to know whether a ketogenic diet is good for you or not is to know all about it. This diet definitely comes with some merits and downsides. Having said this, most nutritional experts advise that one should start on a diet after consulting a professional; so as not to compromise on health. What exactly is a ketogenic diet and how does it affect the body? This is a good question and the insights are highlighted below.

What is a ketogenic diet?

This is a diet that is designed to spark a state of nutritional ketosis in the body. This means that the natural ability of the body to burn fat is optimized and this is often achieved by eating more fat, a moderate amount of protein and low amounts of carbs. By limiting the amount of carbs entering the body, the liver will produce ketones which are responsible for burning fat in the body more effectively. In essence, the body is supercharged to use its fat and the result will be weight loss. Many people can swear by this diet.

Merits of this diet

There are several advantages that have been observed when on this diet. First, a ketogenic diet will help you reduce hunger. This is because by eating a high fat content, the blood sugar is stabilized curtailing your cravings. According to research, people who followed this diet for a good amount of time will lose a good amount of weight while attaining a good or healthy cholesterol level. In addition, patients who suffer with diabetes can improve their sugar levels after following this diet. This is according to research conducted in this regard. Overall, research has revealed that low carb is better than low fat or low calorie when it comes to long term health and weight maintenance.

It is worth noting that the acidity of blood can rise greatly causing harm to the liver and kidneys when the body is in ketosis. However, this happens when people do not follow the ketogenic diet responsibly. In this light, it is good to know which foods to eat and the amounts therein. Below is an insight into some of the foods that should be eaten to implement this diet correctly. Some people will mix junk food or refined food in the diet and this can only be counter-productive. It calls for great discipline to see the ideal results in your body.

Ketogenic diet basics

The amount of carbs taken per day should be between 50 to 60 grams. Keep in mind that the source of these carbs matters a lot. They should be from vegetables and whole natural foods. Refined carbs like cereal and pasta should be kept at bay while on this diet. Because this is a high fat diet, it is critical to choose the healthy fats such as avocado, coconut oil and nuts. Your moderate proteins should come from chicken, fish and turkey; among others. Up to 70% of your calories should come from your fat intake. 35% should be from proteins while about 10% of your calories should be from carbs.

There are areas where people go wrong when on this diet. One of the mistakes that people make is eating a high amount of protein. If you go overboard with protein, you will not enter the ketone state where your body is able to burn fat optimally. In this respect, you will not enjoy the fruit of your labor. Therefore, this diet is for people who are looking to lose weight in a healthy manner. In addition, it is for people who are looking to stabilize their blood sugar while avoiding the danger of hunger.

Is ketogenic diet for you? This is a question you have to answer. There are people who enjoy their high carb intake and would rather avoid high fat diets. Whatever you choose, it is important to seek the advice of a trained expert before you begin on any diet. This way, you will be evaluated and given a go ahead to proceed. Some people have health conditions that would be made worse by this diet. The only way to know is to consult your health care provider. If this diet is for you, ensure to follow all the vital guidelines to realize the right results in due time.

The Importance of Vision Screening for Children

Did you know that 50% of eyesight problems around the world are avoidable? Yes, only if vision screening for children was every parent’s priority. Only a few parents take their children for vision screening and they only discover that their children have eye defects when it is a little bit too late.

For your information, vision screening is an inexpensive exercise (in some case free) that has so many benefits to the health of your child. In some quarters it is mandatory that you take your child for eye screening but in other it is upon the parent to make the right decision. With the improvement of healthcare, it has now become easy to get eye professional almost everywhere. But first things first, why is vision screening important?

The importance of vision screening for children


Vision screening for children is a very important procedure that parents should do regularly. But why is it so important?

To detect and address vision problems early: many eye problems are avoidable and more so if they were noted at childhood. That is why frequent early child screening is mandatory. At tender age, the eye and vision are not fully formed and any defect can be dealt with at this time. The processes for correcting eyesight problems for a child are way simpler and more successful than when such a problem is discovered in an adult.

For holistic development: vision is a very crucial part to the development of an individual. In a child it ensures both proper brain and physical development. With early and regular screening, a child is able to grow and develop in a perfect condition to bring out the best once he/she becomes an adult.

When should vision screening for children be done?

The time when vision screening is done on children can be the only chance to address the rising challenges with eyesight. Late diagnoses of vision problems increase the chances of blindness, myopia and other eyesight problems. So a good question would be when should vision screening in children be done?

At birth: it is very important that a newborn’s eyes are screened to ensure that no defects at birth. The same gives a chance for any problem to be addressed at the earliest opportunity possible giving a high probability for the child to have normal vision. For a child born at the mature time, a qualified health professional can conduct the screening. One of the basic tests is the red light reflex, which ensures that the child eye is normal. For children who are born prematurely or with other abnormalities, a medical doctor should be the one to conduct an eye examination (more advanced procedure than just screening)

6-months to one year: once screening is done at birth it does not mean that vision defects may not occur. Your child will have to be screened once more at 6 months and not beyond one year. If you have a family doctor, he/she would be best suited to screen your child’s vision. A pediatrician or a local qualified health professional can as well do the screening.

Before joining school: this is the best time for the vision of your child to be assessed. This is the time when condition such as myopia, astigmatism and hyperopia begin to show and would be better handled if diagnosed at this stage.

During school age: by now your child is above most of the childhood vision problems. But this does not mean that you should stop taking them for vision screening from time to time. This should be a regular exercise not only when there is a problem but more often to discover any eyesight anomalies that might emerge at this age. Myopia is one of the common problems for this age group but it can be easily corrected with glasses. For cases of alignment or
other complicated issues, a medical doctor is the best chance you have to address your child’s vision needs.

Vision is one of the most important qualities that a human has. But your child can be robbed of that gift at a tender age if you are not careful. A simple vision screening exercise is all that sits between you and your child’s perfect eyesight. Make the time today and take your child for vision screening.

The Unknown Truth of Vitiligo

Image from Wikipedia

Melanin is responsible for skin color and when its mechanism is destroyed, the skin will be colorless; forming white patches. This condition is commonly known as vitiligo – and is becoming a very common problem in society. It is not just the outer skin that can be affected by this condition; even the nose and eyes can be affected as well. Melanocytes are the cells responsible for skin color and vitiligo is the condition suffered when there is a disorder affecting these cells. This condition may affect anyone at any time and below is a highlight on some of the top causes.

What Causes Vitiligo?

There are many things that are thought to be the cause of this condition. In actual fact, there are no studies that show for sure what the cause of the disorder is. One of the perceived causes is an autoimmune disorder. This happens when the immune system starts attacking itself by mistake. In this regard, the melanin creating cells are destroyed in the process. Experts think that stress and even sunburn can trigger this problem. Some will say that genes have a role to play in causing the condition. All in all, a definitive cause is yet to be established.

The Symptoms

The major and most prominent symptom is the formation of white patches on the skin. The most affected skin area will be the hands and feet; sun exposed areas are the most affected. The white patches may also affect the navel, groin, mouth, eyes, rectal area; among many others. Another common sign of the disorder is when hair turns grey early. This is not to say that all people who have grey hair early will get vitiligo. The white patches do not follow a particular pattern when it comes to manifestation. Some people will have a few patches that spread slowly while others will have many that spread fast. Some patches will not spread at all in some. In this regard, the is no telling what direction vitiligo will take with this respect. Below are the treatment options available for those who are suffering from the condition.

Treatment of Vitiligo

There are several types of treatment available to manage this condition. There is no cure for it; and the choice of treatment will be determined by the extent and nature of the vitiligo. Some dermatologists might prescribe certain creams to apply on skin. Some medicines will be taken orally. Ultraviolet light is another treatment that is usually administered alongside oral medication to patients. In some cases where vitiligo is severe, the remaining skin color will be removed so that the white patches can be uniform on skin. Skin grafting is another treatment and it is surgical. Small areas of the skin can be tattooed to get rid of the white patches. Make-up that is cosmetic in nature is another treatment which will conceal the white patches on skin. Dyes and sunscreens are also part of the treatment regiment. The right support and counseling are other treatments that go a long way in helping the pateint cope with the disorder.

Our trusted authority at an Orange County dermatologist office says that treatment for this condition is something that can be easily performed for anyone that needs it. You should contact your local dermatology professional today and inquire about these procedures.

The Ups and Downs of Bipolar Disorder


Bipolar disorder is a condition of the extreme mood swings with both emotional highs and lows. It is also known as the manic depression. With this disease, one can either feel helpless or lose interest in all the activities or feel very excited energetic. It might be serious and can result in risky behavior such as high depression and suicidal tendency. It can be treated with medication and counseling.

You will find different types of the bipolar disorder. And the symptoms for all the types can vary from one patient to another. A proper diagnosis can help you to know what type of the disorder you have. But in most of the types, you will find the following signs and symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

  • Depressed behavior almost every day. It makes you feel sad, frustrated, empty, and helpless. You will find yourself in a helpless condition without any obvious reason.
  • No interest in social activities. You will not feel motivated and inspired to participate in different activities. This will happen with you every day.
  • You will either lose your weight or you can be overweight without any diet plan and workouts.
  • You will lose your interest in the food.
  • Sometimes, you might feel more excited about having food.
  • There will not be any constant behavior. It might be either overwhelming or depressed.
  • You might be suffering from insomnia or feel like sleeping almost all the time every day.
  • Noticeable slow behavior and restlessness. Loss of energy and fatigue almost every day.
  • Loss of concentration, reasoning power, and indecisiveness every day.
  • Feeling of guilt and worthlessness without any particular reason. It will be continual and you will feel it every day.
  • Suicide planning, attempt, and depressive behavior.

When should you visit a doctor?

If you find more of these symptoms in your behavior, then you should visit a psychiatrist. Remember that these symptoms will not go away automatically. A mental health provider can help you to control your thought process and negative feeling with proper medication and therapy. If you ignore it for a long time, you can find yourself in a more complicated situation and can harm you in different ways.

Usually, people do not take these things seriously and take it as a normal behavior. This approach can be dangerous and will only worsen the condition. If you leave it untreated, it can affect your personal and professional life. Moreover, you will find it difficult to adjust with your changing attitude. And in rare instances, you might try to take some extreme step like suicide. Hence, it is important to treat it as soon as possible.

Whenever you notice these symptoms in you and in any of your family members, first try to control it with positive thinking and strong will power. If you find it difficult, then it is better to take the medical help. The treatment is simple and effective. Your service provider can give you some medications. In some cases, they might ask for the counseling. If you feel that suicidal thoughts are coming into your mind, then go to the doctor right away.

Watch this very informative video called “Up/Down” on YouTube:

The Effects of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Can Be Painful

painAbdominal aortic aneurysms are usually asymptomatic in most people, but some may feel pulsations in the abdomen. Pain due to a worsening aneurysm is felt as a piercing pain deep down in the back, and leakage results in excruciating and continuous pain. Severe, unrelenting pain in the back and lower abdomen may be an indication of a ruptured aortic aneurysm. Pain and tenderness may be felt externally, over the location of the aneurysm. The rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm results in significant blood loss that leads to shock and eventually death, in most cases.

Diagnosis Of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

By the time pain due to aneurysm is felt by people, it may be too late. However, accidental discovery of aneurysm from an abdominal scan or X-ray, occasionally make early intervention possible, saving lives. A whooshing sound, called bruit, resulting from blood rushing by the bulge in the artery can be picked up by the stethoscope, when the doctor listens to the sounds from the mid abdominal area. A pulsation also can be felt. Aneurysms may be the cause of pain and tenderness when doctor presses on the abdomen and further investigations may be done. It is difficult to detect abdominal aneurysm in obese people through physical examination.

When there is calcification of the walls of the bulge, it may be detected in an x-ray, but that cannot be considered a conclusive evidence of the condition. Ultrasonography can give a better diagnosis of aneurysms in the abdomen and it can track their progress over a period of time. CT scan of the abdomen, with the injection of radio opaque dye, gives a very clear picture of the aneurysm but the high levels of radiation involved is a cause of concern. On the other hand, MRI scan does not have any risk of radiation but availability may be a problem.

Treatment Of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Smaller aneurysms do not pose any risk of rupture, and people are treated with blood pressure lowering drugs only. They are advised to discontinue tobacco usage, which is known to aggravate aneurysms. Aneurysms less than 2 inches wide are tracked at regular intervals to watch their progress.

To prevent the rupture of aneurysms larger than 2 inches wide, surgical repair is attempted, unless the patient is not in a condition to withstand the surgery which may take 3 to 6 hours. There are two methods; both involve grafts. In the traditional method, a large vertical incision, extending from below the sternum to a point beyond the navel, is made. The graft is first stitched on to the aorta with the walls of the aneurysm wrapped around the graft. It is a long surgery extending up to 6 hours and is done under general anesthesia. More than a week of hospitalization also may be required.

Immediate surgical intervention, either through open surgery or by endovascular stent graft, is necessary to handle an abdominal aortic aneurysm that has already ruptured or is on the verge of rupture. There is a risk of death of 50% during the surgical repair of a ruptured aneurysm; endovascular stent graft placement reduces it by almost half. There is a high probability of shock developing due to excessive blood loss; it can cause kidney failure, in which case, the prognosis becomes extremely poor. Fatality is 100%, if ruptured aneurysm is left untreated.