Novel drug against advanced prostate cancer

A candidate drug, which acts in a novel way, has shown promising results in the laboratory against advanced prostate cancer that was insensitive to reduced levels of male sex hormones, according to a paper published in Nature Communications journal.

Prostate cancers initially tend to be sensitive to male sex hormones, known as androgens. Treatment to reduce androgen levels, either with drugs or surgically, can inhibit the growth of such cancers. However, prostate cancers can become insensitive to androgen levels. There are limited treatment options for such ‘castration-resistant prostate cancer.’

The ‘androgen receptor’, a molecule found inside cells, has a critical role in the development and progression of prostate cancer. When androgens bind to the receptor, it became activated and set off a process that allowed cancer cells to proliferate. In late stages of the disease, the receptor could be in a permanently activated state.

However, the androgen receptor does not act alone – it needs help from a protein known as PELP1.

Ganesh V. Raj, a urologic cancer surgeon at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas in the U.S., and his colleagues have designed a small protein-like molecule that could block the androgen receptor’s interaction with PELP1.

In the Nature Communications paper, they reported that the molecule, D2, was able to prevent tumour growth in a mouse prostate cancer model. Current treatment options for advanced prostate cancers targeted either the production of androgen or the androgen receptor where the androgen binds, observed Dr. Raj in email. These methods did not work for a long as the prostate cancer then evolved mechanisms of resistance, either by producing more androgen or changing the receptor so that it was no longer responsive to the drugs.

“The drug we created, D2, blocks the androgen receptor in a fundamentally different manner and prevents the androgen receptor from functioning even if androgen is present,” he pointed out.

“D2 is in advanced pre-clinical testing and we hope will make it to clinical trials soon,” he added.

Source - The Hindu

New way to develop influenza A vaccine

APTHE PROOF: The 2009 H1N1 pandemic demonstrated how long it took to develop a vaccine.

Protection against H1N1 and H5N1 in mice and ferrets is expected to last for three to six months

Precious time lost in developing an effective vaccine against influenza A viruses that jump from animals to humans and spread across the world causing a pandemic is quite close to becoming history.

According to a study published today (May 30) in the Science Translational Medicine journal, an effective vaccine would be available for use against influenza virus in a matter of weeks.

This is a far cry from the current situation where scientists are ill-equipped to immediately develop an effective vaccine when an influenza virus strikes. This was in full display when the H1N1 pandemic struck in 2009.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, U.S. who completed trials on animals — mice, ferrets and monkeys — have got promising results. Phase I trials on humans to study the safety of the vaccine could well begin any time.

Changing gut bacteria through diet affects brain function, UCLA study shows

UCLA researchers now have the first evidence that bacteria ingested in food can affect brain function in humans. In an early proof-of-concept study of healthy women, they found that women who regularly consumed beneficial bacteria known as probiotics through yogurt showed altered brain function, both while in a resting state and in response to an emotion-recognition task.

The study, conducted by scientists with UCLA's Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer Family Center for Neurobiology of Stress and the Ahmanson–Lovelace Brain Mapping Center at UCLA, appears in the current online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Gastroenterology.

The discovery that changing the bacterial environment, or microbiota, in the gut can affect the brain carries significant implications for future research that could point the way toward dietary or drug interventions to improve brain function, the researchers said.

"Many of us have a container of yogurt in our refrigerator that we may eat for enjoyment, for calcium or because we think it might help our health in other ways," said Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, an associate professor of medicine at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine and lead author of the study. "Our findings indicate that some of the contents of yogurt may actually change the way our brain responds to the environment. When we consider the implications of this work, the old sayings 'you are what you eat' and 'gut feelings' take on new meaning."

Researchers have known that the brain sends signals to the gut, which is why stress and other emotions can contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms. This study shows what has been suspected but until now had been proved only in animal studies: that signals travel the opposite way as well.

"Time and time again, we hear from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they started experiencing problems with their gut," Tillisch said. "Our study shows that the gut–brain connection is a two-way street."

The small study involved 36 women between the ages of 18 and 55. Researchers divided the women into three groups: one group ate a specific yogurt containing a mix of several probiotics — bacteria thought to have a positive effect on the intestines — twice a day for four weeks; another group consumed a dairy product that looked and tasted like the yogurt but contained no probiotics; and a third group ate no product at all.

Let’s declare war on TB

Every day, more than 5,000 people develop tuberculosis; nearly three lakh children drop out of school owing to the disease and more than one lakh women are rejected by families in India.

A middle-aged patient with a history of cough with blood-tinged sputum for three weeks duration consults a doctor. The physician puts forth a routine query whether anyone in his family suffers/suffered from tuberculosis? Annoyed, the patient responds: no one in our kindred has ever heard of the disease. The question irked him more than the ailment.

Unfortunately, this happens to be the attitude of a majority of our population. The stigma associated with tuberculosis is more horrid than its pathology. It’s felt as an affront to one’s reputation and underestimation of one’s social status.

Expert lists tips to avoid gastric problems | The Hindu

Having small but frequent meal, drinking plenty of water, eating fibre-rich food and eating slowly and chewing are some of the easiest habits one could make to avoid gastric problems.
Not overeating, not lying down for about three hours after taking food, not wearing tight-fitting clothes or belts around the waist, not exercising for at least an hour after eating, avoiding fast and deep-fried food on the ‘don’ts’ side will also help keep gastrointestinal (GI) problems away.

Symptoms of gastric problems such as heartburn, difficulty in swallowing, bitter or sour taste, cough or hoarseness of voice are caused by stomach acid rising up to oesophagus, according to consultant Gastroenterologist of Manipal Hospitals Y. Radhakrishna. It may also be caused by improper functioning of the muscle that separates contents of stomach from food pipe owing to obesity, lack of exercise or old age or excess stomach acid caused by heavy drinking, smoking or overeating, he elaborates. The advanced endoscopy technology of the Gastroenterology department of the hospital will help diagnose GI problems and provides therapeutic endoscopy/colonoscopy, says Dr. Radhakrishna.

Packages offered

On the occasion of World Digestive Health Day on Wednesday, celebrated every year by World Gastroenterology Organisation, the hospital is offering gastric/liver check-up packages including endoscopy at a discount.

S0urce - The Hindu

Schizophrenia most disabling mental illness, says professor

Schizophrenia is the most persistent and disabling of the major mental illnesses, said V. Radhika Reddy, Prof. of Psychiatry, Siddhartha Medical College, on Friday.

She was addressing an awareness programme on schizophrenia to mark World Schizophrenia Day, attended by family members and care-takers of the disease-afflicted people at the Indian Medical Association hall in the city.

Common symptoms

Pointing to the theme of the day this year - Mental Health and Older Adults - she said common symptoms of schizophrenia included delusions, hallucinations, illusions and thought disturbances. “While the causes of schizophrenia are not yet well understood, experts agree that it is most likely caused by a combination of several factors, including genetic predisposition, environmental conditions and differences in brain chemistry and structure. Because the causes of schizophrenia are still unknown, treatments focus on eliminating the symptoms of the disease. Treatments include antipsychotic medications and various psychosocial treatments,” she explained.
Early treatment must

With early treatment and good medicare, the symptoms of schizophrenia can be reduced or even eliminated. Many people suffering from schizophrenia still lead regular lives, have jobs and maintain healthy relationships, she said.

She said in most cases the patient does not have insight into his/her deteriorating health condition and so does not feel the need to seek medical help. “India has a population of nearly 1 crore schizophrenic patients but only 50 per cent of them get timely and proper treatment. Others are left to languish in their world of hallucinations,” she said, adding that almost 90 per cent of the world’s schizophrenia cases are found in developing nations.

Family role

Emphasising the role of family members, she said they must cope with the patient. “In case of fever or any other ailment, the illness is brief. But schizophrenia, at times, is a lifelong curse. Early detection of the symptoms and adequate treatment is the only solution,” she said.

Initial treatment must last for at least two years, she said, adding that family members’ unconditional support could play a vital role. This was followed by an interactive session wherein family members and care-takers cleared doubts with regard to the disease.

Source - The Hindu

High BP - The young and the restless

While not much research has been done on ‘hypertension among children’, a few studies indicate that 17 per cent of adolescents in India have high BP. The reasons for this range from obesity and sedentary lifestyle to lack of awareness.

High BP is not just an old-age problem. Childhood hypertension is on the rise, says Dr. Arvind Kasaragod.

Hypertension is basically divided into primary hypertension when there is no identifiable cause, and secondary when there is a known cause. In children, hypertension is usually secondary to diseases of the kidney, heart, endocrine glands, blood vessels and due to medications.

Primary hypertension is more common in older children and adolescents and can exist with absolutely no symptoms till the organs are damaged. In addition, awareness of incidence and its consequences are lacking even among the medical fraternity.

In India it is not considered standard for paediatricians to measure BP in children. Further, those under the age of 12 are considered to be paediatric patients and those above 18 are considered adults. This leaves a large group of adolescents in a limbo with no one taking responsibility for their care. Finally, the belief that adolescents are generally healthy stymies any effort towards preventive healthcare. The screening of children for hypertension is recommended from the time they are three years old or earlier if they have risk factors as per international guidelines. An annual BP check after the third birthday is a good beginning. In fact it should be made mandatory for children to have their BP recorded at the time of entry to schools and colleges.

A multi-pronged approach is needed to find a solution to this problem. Untreated, this disease can lead to dysfunction of multiple organs leading to significant suffering and sometimes death. The cost of healthcare and well-being of the society will be significantly impacted if this is unrecognised and left untreated. Hence the need to collect local data is critical.

The medical community will need to address the issue of simplifying the definition and reach a consensus about the kind of BP apparatus. In fact pediatricians should be responsible for care of children till they are 18 years of age. The government should actively work towards informing the people about health issues that adolescents face. The media too plays a vital role in spreading awareness and should be roped into reach a larger audience.

In adolescents with primary hypertension, the focus should be on preventive health care and lifestyle modifications. In children with secondary hypertension, the focus should be on early identification of the cause and targeted therapy. Medication should be started one at a time and at the lowest dose possible. Patients who are resistant to standard doses can be treated with multiple drugs. As far as possible, combination drugs should be avoided unless they increase compliance.

The importance of weight loss in obese patients and maintaining ideal body weight in others must be stressed. A healthy diet with no added salt should be prescribed. Exercise should be encouraged at all ages. With a holistic approach, patients can lead a normal life if the disease is detected early and appropriate therapy is instituted.

Source - The Hindu

After $1 diarrhoea vaccine, Govt wants same for malaria, TB

Partnership with industry helps pool research abilities, expertise

Buoyed by the success of the public Private partnership experiment in developing the first indigenous rotavirus vaccine to combat a deadly form of viral diarrhoea, the Department of Biotechnology will now shift its focus to researching vaccines for dengue, tuberculosis and malaria.

Maintaining that affordability is the Government’s main mantra, the Department is ready to co-operate with the pharmaceutical industry to make vaccines that prevent killer diseases.

Dr T.S. Rao, who heads the vaccines and diagnostics section of the Department, toldBusiness Line that an inter-ministerial group has been formed to help the Rotavac, the one-dollar rotavirus vaccine, to get the necessary policy clearances.

Officials from the Health Ministry and the Indian Council for Medical Research will be part of the group, besides scientists from his Department.

Rao said that the dengue vaccine is ready to head to pre-clinical studies. “Tests in the animal model (are being conducted) now. We reviewed the process last month and are collecting data. We are at a very advanced stage,” he said.

He, however, said that a time frame cannot be fixed to make a product. “It took 20 years for us to make Rotavac.”

The Department will add more one or more industry partners for the vaccine at an appropriate time, Rao said.

It has already tied up with Hyderabad-based Cadila Pharmaceuticals to develop a vaccine for malaria.

“We reviewed the research work last month and are getting encouraging results.” Research and development of a tuberculosis vaccine is at an advanced stage.

Rao approves of the Government working with industry, saying the public-private partnership model was “very successful, particularly in research and development” as they could pool together both research capabilities and expertise. Roger Glass, Associate Director for Global Health Research, National Institute of Health in the US, said what India has achieved is a fabulous step.

“This vaccine was derived from an Indian strain, identified by an Indian scientist, developed by an Indian Company, studied in Indian populations, with support from the Indian Government.

“That’s entirely new. When this vaccine came in the US it cost $200 for each child,” Glass, who provided training for the Indian team of scientists at various stages of the research, told Business Line. “I am bowled over. I didn’t know this will work or not. When they called us and gave the result, I was like an expectant father,” he added.
Source - the hindu business line

Body Rash-Symptoms, Cause and home remedies for treatment

Body rash is also known as dermatitis. It results in redness or irritation of the skin. Rashes may trigger itching, dryness and scaling of the skin. They may appear as bumps or blisters in a localized area of the skin. Most people experience some type of body rash at some point in their lives. Body rash is usually a mild condition and not really a cause for concern. However if it is accompanied by symptoms such as fever or muscle aches, it may be indicative of a serious illness. Hives or urticaria is a serious condition caused by an allergic reaction. This may require immediate medical care. Hives appear as reddish lumps on the skin and occur when the body releases histamine. This occurs when there is exposure to an allergen such as insect stings, certain foods and certain medications. Some of the most common types of body rashes are as follows:
  • Atopic dermatitis or eczema tends to develop in children. It leads to dryness and bumpy areas on the skin especially around the knees and elbows.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when there is exposure to an allergen. It leads to redness, itching and scaling in the area of contact. Some people develop this rash when they wear nickel jewelry. Touching poison ivy can also result in allergic contact dermatitis.
  • Irritant contact dermatitis develops when your skin comes in contact with substances such as chemicals, soaps and perfumes. It may lead to swelling and itching.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis leads to redness, scaling and dryness of the scalp, facial area and ears.
  • Psoriasis is a scaly skin eruption that mainly occurs on the scalp, knees and elbows.

Remedies for Body Rash

The treatment for any kind of body rash depends on the cause. There are some anti-histamine pills and syrups that help to alleviate pain, itching and other symptoms of a rash. If you are unsure about the cause of the rash however, it would be best to consult your doctor. Rashes in children, when accompanied by symptoms such as drowsiness, stiffness in the neck and fever should be examined by a doctor. Here are some common home remedies for skin rashes:
  • Wash the affected area with chamomile tea to relieve itching and inflammation.
  • One of the best home remedies for itching is olive oil. Apply a small amount of olive oil directly to the affected area. This will penetrate into the skin and help in healing.
  • Aloe vera gel is one of the best natural cures for skin rashes. The efficacy of aloe extracts has been supported by various studies, and it can help soothe a variety of inflammatory skin conditions.
  • You can also apply vitamin E oil to skin rash. Cut open a vitamin E capsule, extract the oil and apply it over the affected area.
  • Many studies show that an oatmeal bath for rashes is one of the best ways to alleviate body rash. Add one cup of raw oatmeal to your bathwater and soak in it for some time. This helps to stop itching and also restricts the rash from spreading.
  • A beneficial herbal skin rash treatment is a poultice made with the herbs dandelion, yellow dock root and chaparral.
  • To reduce itching and pain arising from a rash, soak a clean cloth in a solution of comfrey and water and place it over the affected skin. This helps to soothe inflammation.
  • The best way to protect the body against infections and skin rashes is to consume plenty vitamin C. It works as an antioxidant and promotes quick healing of the rash.
  • Try to identify the allergens that can cause a skin reaction and take the necessary steps to avoid exposure to them.
  • Refrain from rubbing a skin rash as it can spread or worsen. If you feel the need to itch, instead take a cotton swab and gently dab at the area.
  • Avoid using chemical based soaps on the affected skin. Use herbal cleansers instead.
  • Use sunscreen on your skin when going out as heat can worsen a skin rash. A cool shower when you get back should offer some relief, but this may depend on the kind of rash, as certain skin conditions respond better to warm water soaks.
  • Avoid bathing excessively as it can cause skin dryness and result in flaking and scaling.
  • Use a gentle moisturizer on your skin to keep it soft and protect it from dryness.
  • Rub a few drops of almond oil on the affected area to moisturize the skin and stop itching, provided the rash is caused by dryness of the skin.
  • Try to manage stress effectively as it can affect immunity and make the body vulnerable to rashes and other health problems.

Symptoms of Body Rash

The most common symptoms of body rash includes:
  • Itching
  • Small bumps on the skin
  • Burning
  • Stinging
  • Inflammation
  • Dryness
  • Scaling
  • Blistering
  • Pus filled lesions
  • Pinkish rings on the skin
  • Fever

Causes of Body Rash

There can be various causes of body rash. Some common causes include:
  • Causes for body rash include viral infections such as measles, rubella, chickenpox and warts. Chickenpox is a common rash that occurs in childhood and leads to blisters. These blisters develop crusts as they heal. The infection may also be accompanied by symptoms such as itching, headache and fever.
  • Bacterial infections such as impetigo can also result in body rash. Meningococcal infection which causes meningitis is a more serious illness caused by bacteria. It may begin as tiny bumps on the skin that spread quickly and turn into bigger patches.
  • Scabies is a type of contagious infection caused by the scabies mite which burrows into the top layers of the skin especially between the fingers.
  • Ringworm is a fungal infection that causes a ring-shaped red patch to form on the skin. It causes intense itching and can also cause blistering and oozing.
  • Diaper rash which affects babies occurs due to infection by the yeast candida.
  • Other causes of body rash include insect bites, insect stings, chemicals, medications and allergies.

Diet for Body Rash

A body rash could have a variety of causes, and the appropriate diet would quite naturally depend on the underlying cause. When dealing with a wide range of rashes however, it would be best to follow a diet high in antioxidants and foods that nourish and rejuvenate the body. Dietary tips to promote healthy skin include
  • Balanced Diet: In addition to the meats and goodies that you find hard to avoid, include a good amount of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Fruits are the best source of nutrients like vitamins and antioxidants that are essential for the health of your skin. Moderate your intake of red meat and any fried and synthetic foods.
  • Juices: Vegetable juice such as spinach and cilantro juice is beneficial for boosting immunity and flushing out waste material from the body.
  • Cereal Grasses: Wheat grass and barley grass are great for cleansing your system and energizing the body.
  • Fiber: Consuming foods rich in fiber help to regulate bowel movements and thus help to get rid of wastes from the body. Fiber also plays an important role in the absorption of other nutrients.

Suggestion for Body Rash

Certain rashes may be indicative of serious underlying medical conditions such as arthritis and lupus. Therefore persistent or spreading rashes should never be ignored.

Source - home remedies for you

Boils-Symptoms, Cause and home remedies for treatment

A furuncle, commonly known as a boil, is a skin infection caused by staphylococcus aureus bacteria. As a result of the buildup of pus and dead cells, the infected area becomes swollen and painful. If several boils appear in a cluster, it is known as a carbuncle and is a more serious type of an infection.
Boils  Picture
Boils are skin infections that originate in hair follicles or in oil glands. At first, the area will become red and tender; thereafter, it may become either hard and firm or even tenderer. After four to seven days, it turns white because of the pus that collects under the skin. The white blood cells collect at the center of the boil to eradicate the infection. This collection of white blood cells, bacteria, and proteins is what pus is. A boil is also referred to as a skin abscess. An abscess is a condition wherein the infection spreads deeper into the tissues of the skin.
Boils can occur all over the body. However, the most common places for boils to appear are on the legs, armpits, face, neck, buttocks, and shoulders. Boils that occur on the eyelid are called stys.

Symptoms of Boils

Boils present themselves as one or more tender red spots, lumps, or pustules. The size of boils can vary greatly from some being small like a pea, to as large as a golf ball. A boil starts as a painful lump that is hard and red. Over the next few days, it becomes softer, larger, and more painful. A pocket of pus forms on the head of the boil and is indicative of an acute infection. The common symptoms for boils include:
  • Severe pain when it fills with pus
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Skin redness around the boil
  • Itchiness before the eruption of boils
  • More boils may appear around the original one
  • Skin lesions may be seen
  • Boils may be in the form of open sores or closed, domed nodules
  • Localized swelling, redness and in durations may occur
  • Affected area will be tender and warm to touch
A diagnosis can be made, based on the appearance of the boils. Further diagnosis involves examining the fluid from the lesion to find the cause of the infection.

Types of Boils

Besides furuncles, there are other types of boils.
  • Cystic Acne: Clogged and infected oil ducts cause acne. It affects deeper skin tissues and is most common on the face.
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa: This is a condition when multiple abscesses form in the armpits and groin area. Local inflammation of the sweat glands causes hidradenitis suppurativa.
  • Pilonidal Cyst: This normally forms in the crease of the buttocks. Prolonged sitting due to long travel or work causes pilonidal cysts.

Causes of Boils

The prime cause for boils is a type of bacteria known as staphylococcus aureus (staph bacteria). It is harmless while it remains on the surface of the skin. However, when the bacteria enter deep into the hair follicles and tissues through damaged hair follicles, it can cause skin infections such as boils. Other factors related to boils are as follows:
  • Heat
  • Splinters or any foreign materials lodged in the skin
  • Certain health conditions such as diabetes
  • Low immunity
  • Anemia and iron deficiency
  • Poor hygiene
  • Exposure to harsh chemicals
  • Ingrown hair
  • Cuts or scrape in the body can develop into boils when infected with bacteria.
  • Infected sweat glands also cause boils.

Remedies for Boils

Boils may often heal in less than two weeks on their own. Before healing, they will often open and drain themselves. However, if they are large, they need to be drained by a health care provider. Treatment for simple boils can be done at home itself. However, it is important to begin the treatment as soon as a boil is noticed. Or else, it may lead to complications.
Heat application is the first line of treatment as it increases blood circulation to the infected areas. Increase in blood circulation facilitates the immune response to fight off the bacteria better by bringing in antibodies and white cells to the infected area.
Opening the area to drain pus can be done only after the boil forms a head. The person who has a boil will experience relief immediately after the boil is drained. It is best not to drain boils yourself at home, as this could lead to infection. Visit a doctor for proper draining of boils using sterilized equipment. Small boils such as those around the hair often drain their own.

Home Treatment

As mentioned earlier, the best treatment for most boil is heat application. Heat can reduce inflammation and discomfort and speed up the healing process. A warm, moist compress can be made by soaking a washcloth in warm water and applying it on the boil several times a day.
When the boil begins to drain, you will need to clean it with antibacterial soap. To ensure removal of all pus from the boil, clean the area using a warm compress. Never squeeze or cut open the boil or pop it with a needle as this will only worsen the infection.
Home remedies for boils include:
  • Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and blood purifying properties and consuming turmeric and/or applying turmeric paste on the boil will help cure the boil.
  • Garlic paste helps speed up the healing process.
  • Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and can be used in the treatment of boils.
  • Castor oil can draw out the pus and help to get rid of the boil quickly.


  • Using mild antibacterial soap and washing your skin regularly.
  • Cuts and wounds should be covered with a sterile bandage until they heal.
  • Maintain good personal hygiene to prevent boils from recurring.
  • Obesity can facilitate the occurrence of boils as the bacteria thrive in the folds of the skin. Losing weight helps.
  • Heavy perspiration and skin chafing activities should be avoided as they tend to aggravate the problem.


The most common complications of boils are
  • Permanent scarring
  • Abscess of the skin
  • Spinal cord infections
  • Brain infections
  • Endocarditis
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Sepsis
  • Spread of infection to other parts of the body or skin surfaces

Medical Treatment

Antibiotic treatment is necessary to cure large or recurring boils. Topical antiseptics such as povidone iodine cream can be applied to the boils. Boils should be covered with gauze to avoid further infections. Oral antibiotics may be prescribed to cure the boil as well. 

If the boils fail to clear up, a microbiological culture of the swab is necessary. Follow up is very necessary, whether the boil is drained at home or is lanced by a doctor. Until the wound heals, it is necessary to clean the infected area two to three times daily. After cleaning, apply antibiotic ointment, covering the wound with a bandage. If it gets infected again, you should consult the doctor immediately.

Diet for Boils

The efficacy of dietary measures to treat or control boils is not really supported by research, but some natural health enthusiasts claim that detox diets can help. This can be achieved by eating a light diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Drinking plenty of water (eight to ten glasses a day) and exercising regularly helps to get rid of toxins faster. Bitter gourd juice has the ability to clean the system. Drinking bitter gourd juice in the morning is recommended. Additionally, consuming iron tablets helps to reduce infection, and 1000 mg of vitamin C a day helps to improve deficient eutrophil function.

Suggestion for Boils

Maintaining good hygiene, following a healthy diet, and exercising regularly helps maintain optimum health and boosts immunity. This could help to avoid boils completely. If, however, you do get a boil, check with a doctor for suitable treatment options.

Source - home remedies for you

Backache- Symptoms, Cause and home remedies for treatment

A backache or back pain refers to pain that occurs anywhere from the hips up to the neck. Pain centered in the area from the ribs to the hips is normally referred to as lower back pain. Backaches are among the most common of all health complaints after infections like the common cold, affecting nearly ninety percent of people at some point of time in their lives.
The back consists of a complicated interplay of vertebrae of the spine, bones, muscles, and tissue. The spine is quite literally the lifeline of the body and the 24 bones of the spine or vertebrae are stacked on top of each other to form a flexible and strong center. In between the bones of the spine are tissue and cartilage, which may rupture, erode, or ‘slip’ due to injury or degradation and deterioration with aging. When this happens, you will experience severe pain.
Backaches tend to build up over time and are caused by a number of factors. The two areas of the spine that are the weakest – at the nape of the neck and the base of the back are the most susceptible to injury. Since, there is a symbiotic relationship between the muscles, nerves, and bones in the back, injury or discomfort in one area can have a cascading effect to other parts of the body as well.
Backaches that cause severe pain, restricting mobility should be treated very seriously as they may be indicative of a severe injury or condition that requires medical attention. Milder backaches that are simply a source of pain and discomfort, or chronic backaches can be managed to a large extent with home treatments and modifications to your lifestyle. Persistent backaches, no matter how mild, should never be neglected however.

Symptoms of Backache

It is rather impossible to miss the symptoms of a backache. Back pain can start off as small twinges and cramps in specific areas in the back and then escalate to full blown radiating pain that severely restricts any movement. Backaches can get worse with sudden jerky movements, changing positions from sitting to standing or sleeping, and even when sneezing or coughing. A backache could also involve other symptoms like a feeling of numbness in your legs or trouble while urinating or during a bowel movement. In some cases, back pain is noticeable only when moving and does not interfere with sleep, whereas in other cases, it may be a chronic pain that does not let up through the day or night.
Some symptoms of a backache include:
  • Pain in the middle or lower back
  • Pain around the waist or hips
  • Radiating pain in the back and along the arms or legs
  • Difficulty in urinating and bowel movements
  • Loss of control over urination and bowel movements
  • Difficulty in moving about that may require bed rest
  • Numbness of legs and neck
In most cases, a backache will resolve in just a couple of days. However, if you find yourself suffering from back pain for more than a few days or if you suffer from pain that does not respond to over-the-counter pain relief medications, it may be better to consult with a doctor to diagnose the condition properly. A doctor will be able to identify the exact source of the pain and make an accurate diagnosis with x-rays or MRIs if needed. More often than not, the pain is indicative of stress and strain, rather than any serious problem.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor immediately:
  • Backache is accompanied by high fever
  • Loss of control over your bladder or bowel movements
  • Nausea and vomiting along with numbness in the legs
  • Backache is caused due to an accident or injury
  • Any movement is unbearable
  • There is a weakness in the legs that has developed along with the backache
  • Pain worsens when pressure is applied to the back and the skin on the back is red in color
  • The back pain radiates down the legs
  • Sudden weight loss preceding the backache
  • Backache persists for more than two weeks
  • Pain does not lessen with bed rest
  • You are above 50 years or below 20 years of age
  • You are on steroid medication for another illness or condition
  • You are HIV positive or have been using drugs
  • You have a medical history of tumors

Causes of Backache

There are a variety of factors that can cause backaches ranging from physical to psychological. Some common causes of backache include:
  • Injury or trauma caused by falls, sudden movements or lifting of heavy objects.
  • Repeated stress on the back due to bad posture and habits such as wearing high heels or sitting at a desk the whole day.
  • Chronic illnesses that demand bed rest and lead to poor muscle tone.
  • Pregnancy that puts extra pressure on the spine and the muscles of the back.
  • Fatigue and lethargy.
  • Obesity leads to backaches due to the extra weight and pressure put on the spine, muscles and joints of the body.
  • Mental problems such a depression can also cause backaches.
  • Problems with the feet, knees, and ankles that can put extra pressure on the back.
  • Lack of exercise that keeps the spine and back strong and flexible.
  • Poor nutrition leads to obesity that results in back pain.
  • Diseases such as kidney problems, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, prostate issues, gynecological conditions and arthritis can all contribute to the development of a backache.
  • Conditions such as gout and constipation can also cause backaches.
  • Herniated discs or a disc prolapse caused by strain on the spine can lead to acute backaches.
  • Fractures of the backbone caused by accidents can compress the spine irregularly and lead to long-term damage to the back.
  • Spinal stenosis involves the compression of the spinal column due to aging and results in backaches, typically of a chronic nature.
  • Certain deformities of the spine such as acute curvature or deviation of the spine can put severe stress on the back and spine and give rise to chronic backaches.
  • Athletes are prone to backaches due to rigorous exercising and training, often over exerting their bodies.

Remedies for Backache

Home remedies for back pain can be extremely useful, but you should differentiate between a mild backache and one that is serious. Backache remedies can come in handy when you suffer from the occasional backache, providing some much needed relief, and facilitating a return to normalcy. While home remedies for back pain relief are useful when faced with chronic back pain as well, in such cases home treatments can only be used as a backup to conventional treatment. There are several backache remedies for pain ranging from mild to acute. These include the following:
  • A simple backache cure is to watch your posture at all times. Sitting hunched over a desk the whole day or slouched on a couch will contribute towards a weakened spine and backaches. Keep your back straight and your shoulders back and tuck that tummy in for the best results.
  • Backache relief can be achieved with the application of heat on to the affected area. Use a hot water bag, a heated pad or warmed up wheat bags to reduce pain and discomfort. Some people may prefer a cold compress especially in the case of sprains and muscle injury.
  • Over-the-counter painkillers may help reduce pain and swelling in case of an injury or strain, but should never be relied on for recurrent back pain, as they will simply mask the symptoms that could be indicative of a serious problem.
  • Sleep on a firm bed with a proper pillow. A luxuriously soft mattress may seem extremely inviting, but it isn’t the best thing for your back.
  • Exercise diligently and move about slowly. Staying in one position for too long can aggravate the condition. Chronic back pain can be reduced through yoga. There are several yoga asanas that target the back and spine and make them stronger and more flexible.
  • Some excellent home remedies for back pain include the use of oil made with three to four cloves of garlic fried in coconut or mustard oil and rubbed on the back after it has cooled. This should provide instant relief from the pain. Leave the oil on your back for a few hours before washing off. Lemon juice mixed with salt and consumed twice daily also helps treat backaches. For much the same reason, vitamin C supplements can boost the immune system and strengthen the back.
  • Another home remedy for back pain relief involves applying raw potato on the affected area. This is especially helpful for lower back pain.

Diet for Backache

While your diet may have no direct bearing on a backache, it does have a direct influence on your general health. Poor nutrition with a low supply of nutrients essential for skeletal and tissue health would put you at a higher risk of developing bone and joint disorders, as well as spinal problems and backaches. It is recommended that people suffering from backaches should have a balanced diet that consists of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Raw salads, lightly steamed vegetables, fresh juices, and milk all help to improve your overall health. A healthy diet will also typically be low in foods that contain empty calories, which are high in fat and sugars, thus helping reduce weight and reducing pressure on the spine. Proteins, vitamin C, and foods high in vitamin D and calcium all help strengthen bones and muscles. Avoid all fatty, spicy, over-processed foods as well as too much tea, coffee, alcohol and tobacco. The changes to your diet should also be combined with regular exercise.

Suggestion for Backache

Some simple precautions will also help to minimize the risk of backaches and help facilitate recovery if you suffer from a backache:
  • Lift objects carefully by bending at the knees and not from the waist, to reduce pressure on the back and prevent any injury.
  • Avoid sitting or standing in one position for long periods of time. Take regular breaks to move about and stretch.
  • Make sure your workstation and chair is ergonomically designed to support your back and neck properly.
  • Make it a point to indulge in some physical activity daily. Taking up a non strenuous fitness regime like yoga or aerobics will help to strengthen your back and keep it flexible.
  • Your footwear is also extremely important, so trade in those stilettos for some trendy, if not as stylish, flats.

Source - home remedies for you


Custom Search

A News Center Of Health News By Information Center