Some causes of lead poisoning are ingesting lead paint and eating or drinking from certain imported, improperly lead-glazed ceramics.
Very high levels of lead in the blood may cause personality changes, headaches, loss of sensation, weakness, a metallic taste in the mouth, uncoordinated walking, digestive problems, and anemia.
The diagnosis is based on symptoms and a blood test.
Testing household water, ceramics, and paint for lead can help identify potential sources of lead poisoning.
Treatment consists of stopping exposure to lead and removing accumulated lead from the body.
Lead poisoning is far less common since paint containing lead pigment was banned (in 1978 in the United States) and lead was eliminated from automotive gasoline (in 1986 in the United States and by 2011 in all but 6 countries in the developing world). However, lead poisoning is still a major public health problem in cities on the East Coast of the United States as well as in other isolated cities, most notably, Flint, Michigan.
Lead poisoning is usually caused by direct ingestion (eating) of lead. This typically happens in
How to Do a Pap Smear|when do i need a pap smear
A pap smear is a simple, quick, and relatively painless screening test, used to detect cancerous or pre-cancerous cells in the cervix. Getting regular pap screens is essential for the early detection and treatment of cervical cancer. To understand how to prepare for a pap smear and learn more about what the process involves, start with Step 1 below.
Make sure your appointment won't coincide with your period. When scheduling an appointment for a pap smear, try to time it so it doesn't overlap with your next period. Blood from your period can interfere with the results of the pap smear, making it less accurate.
However, if you experience any unexpected bleeding or spotting right before the appointment, there is no need to cancel
How to Prevent Hair Loss After Chemotherapy|permanent hair loss from chemotheropy
Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that kills fast growing cancer cells. Unfortunately, chemotherapy also kills normal fast growing cells such as those that contribute to hair growth. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy can lose hair all over their bodies, but it is often most distressing for patients to lose the hair on their heads. Preventing hair loss after chemotherapy was impossible in the past, but an innovative technique called scalp hypothermia has led to impressive results for cancer patients who are fearful of losing their hair to chemotherapy. Scalp hypothermia involves wearing a tight fitting cap made of silicon gel or rubber that is cooled to -22 degrees F (-30 degrees C) and used during chemotherapy treatments. The temperature of the cap causes the blood vessels in the scalp to constrict reducing the amount of chemotherapy drugs that can attack the hair follicles. The following are steps cancer patients on chemotherapy can take to prevent hair loss using scalp hypothermia
How to Screen for Colon Cancer|alternatives to colonoscopy for colon cancer screening
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer. The average person has a 4.5% chance of developing it in their lifetime. This is why screening tests are so important, and fortunately, for colon cancer, the screening tests are very effective. With screening, precancerous and/or cancerous lesions can be detected as early as possible, giving you the best chance of removing the lesions before they become problematic or life-threatening
Begin screening at the age of 50. For the general population (those who have not been designated to be at a heightened risk of colon cancer), screening is recommended to commence at the age of 50. The options to consider are a stool test (recommended once every one to two years), a colonoscopy (a more invasive test that is recommended every 10 years), or a sigmoidoscopy or CT colonography (both of which are recommended every five years. The one you choose for your own personal screening will depend upon your preference.
Opt for a stool test. Both blood and/or DNA can be tested for in your stool, and a positive test indicates suspicion that you may have colon cancer. It does not indicate that you have colon cancer - it simply means that you are at a heightened risk and should undergo more extensive medical evaluation. The advantage of stool testing is that it is an easy and non-invasive test. You can collect the stool sample(s) at home (depending upon how many are requested by your doctor) and simply send them into the lab for formal evaluation.
How to Self Screen for Colon Cancer|alternatives to colonoscopy for colon cancer screening
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer. However, there are excellent screening tests available and, when caught early, colon cancer is able to be treated and cured in 90% of all cases. This is why following through with the recommended screening is so important. See your family doctor to learn how to self-screen for colon cancer via the at-home stool test, which is recommended every one to two years for people over the age of 50. Though colon screenings performed by trained doctors are always best, an at-home test is better than nothing and could point out issues that you'll need to address.
Evaluate your level of risk for colon cancer. Everyone is eligible for colon cancer screening beginning at the age of 50; however, if you have a family history of colon cancer, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, both of which increase your risk of developing colon cancer) you may be eligible to begin screening earlier. Don't wait to discuss this with your doctor — even if you are still young, it is important to notify your doctor if you have any risk factors.
See your doctor at age 50 to begin self-screening, and earlier if you believe you have additional risk factors (in which case your doctor will let you know at what age you are eligible to begin).
Obtain the testing package. The first thing you will need to do in order to self-screen for colon cancer is to obtain the at-home stool testing package. You will need to visit your family doctor to obtain this, and she will explain the procedure to you during this visit as well.
One stool test is called the Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT). This looks for blood in your stool that is not visible to the naked eye. It is the most commonly used self-screening test for colon cancer.
Another stool test option is called the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT). This i
How to Reduce the Risk of Colon Cancer|colorectal cancer information
Colon (or colorectal) cancer is among the top five most frequent types of cancer in both women and men worldwide. About half the people who have colon cancer die from it. However, over 50 percent of colon cancer cases can be avoided by following basic prevention methods. There are many ways to reduce your risk of contracting colon cancer, including regular screening and consultations, quitting smoking, eating well-balanced diet, and getting regular physical activity.
Get a colonoscopy. Colonoscopy screenings typically begin when you turn 50 if you have no other colon cancer risk factors, such as relatives who have had colon cancer. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, your physician may advise you to have a colonoscopy before your 50th birthday.
Prepare for your colonoscopy screening. The colonoscopy allows doctors to remove any polyps that may be forming in your colon. Polyps take 10 to 15 years to grow and may turn into colorectal cancer.
You may be required to fast and go through a colon cleansing.
Getting a colonoscopy performed will take less than one day.
Get a Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT). FOBTs are tests that look for hidden blood in the stool which can be signs of polyp growth or cancer. FOBTs are much less invasive than colonoscopy and can be done once a year.
You may often have the option of sampling your stool at home and mailing it, in a container provided to you by your doctor, to a lab to be medically tested.
Pomegranate, walnuts and red raspberries are examples of rich dietary sources of ellagic acid and the precursors to ellagic acid called ellagitannins. Some dietary ellagic acid is converted in your intestines into compounds called urolithins, which are also absorbed and may be responsible for some of the health benefits of ellagic acid. Ellagic acid and its metabolic products appear to have anti-cancer properties, especially against prostate cancer.
Sources and Metabolism
Ellagic acid is a small phytochemical that can occur naturally in foods, and it also can be produced as a breakdown product of larger phytochemicals called ellagitannins in your intestines. Many plant foods contain some ellagic acid. In addition to pomegranate, foods with relatively high levels include strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, walnuts and pecans. Absorption of ellagic acid from food occurs quite rapidly, with maximum levels in your blood after about one hour, after which blood levels decline as ellagic acid is metabolized to other compounds.
Ellagic acid metabolic products are found concentrated in prostate tissues of male mice fed pomegranate ellagitannins. In human subjects with prostate cancer or enlargement who were provided walnuts or pomegranate juice for the three days just prior to surgery, metabolic products of ellagic acid were found to be concentrated in prostate tissue, according to a study published in the March 2010 issue of “Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.” A study presented in the July 1, 2006, issue of “Clinical Cancer Research” reported a reduction in prostate cancer disease progression following surgery in patients given 8 ounces of pomegranate juice per day.
Several drugs are FDA-approved to relieve common symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Each works differently, says Westney. They either shrink the enlarged prostate or stop the prostate cell growth, she explains. "For many men, medications are very effective," Westney tells WebMD. "They have a significant change in symptoms, and side effects are very uncommon … so medications are an attractive treatment."
Doctors use the BPH Index to gauge how the patient responds to medication, Westney adds. "We see how symptoms are progressing … if they've stabilized or not."
Alpha blockers: These drugs don't reduce the size of the prostate, but they are very effective at relieving symptoms. They work by relaxing the muscles around the prostate and bladder neck, so urine can flow more easily. These drugs work quickly, so symptoms improve within a day or two. They are most effective for men with normal to moderately enlarged prostate glands.
The drugs: Flomax (tamsulosin), Uroxatral (alfuzosin), Hytrin (terazosin), Cardura (doxazosin), and Rapaflo (silodosin).
Alpha blockers were originally created to treat high blood pressure; dizziness is the most common side effect; other side effects are generally mild and controllable. Possible side effects include headache, stomach irritation, and stuffy nose. These drugs are not for men with significant urine retention and frequent urinary tract infections.
5-Alpha reductase inhibitors: These drugs can partially shrink the prostate by reducing levels of a male hormone -- dihydrotestosterone (DHT) -- which is involved in prostate growth. These drugs take longer to work than alpha blockers, but there is urine flow improvement after three months. These drugs can reduce risk of acute retention (inability to urinate) -- and also reduce the need for prostate surgery. You may need to take them for 6 to 12 months to see if they work.
The lymphatic system is made up of lymph capillaries, vessels, and nodes, the spleen, thymus, tonsils, Peyer’s Patches, and lymphocytes (white blood cells). Red bone marrow is also a part of the lymphatic system. We have hundreds of lymph nodes. Lymph nodes can be found all around the lungs and heart, in the gut, in the armpits and groin, and pretty much all over the body.
Blood pressure causes plasma liquid to leak into tissues, and this pressure causes excess fluid in those tissues to move into the lymph capillaries. As this fluid leaves the cells, it takes cellular waste products and used proteins with it. The lymphatic capillaries pick up approximately 20% of the fluid that was delivered to the interstitial space. The venous system picks up about 80% of the fluid in the interstitial space. The unique structure of the lymphatic capillaries permits interstitial fluid to flow into them but not out.
Blood pressure, temperature, activity of muscle and joints, diaphragmatic breathing, and pulsation of adjacent arteries all cause lymph to move up to the subclavian veins at the base of the neck. Valves and pressure keep lymph moving in the right direction. Along the way, the fluid is interrupted by lymph nodes that filter dust, cancer cells, pathogens, and other unwanted matter. Lymph nodes also produce lymphocytes (white blood cells). The spleen, tonsils, and red bone marrow help produce lymphocytes as well.
The spleen, which is about the size of our fist, is the largest lymphatic organ. It is similar in structure to a lymph node, but it filters blood, not lymph. The spleen contains two main types of tissue, white pulp and red pulp. White pulp is lymphatic tissue containing white blood cells – B and T cells. T cells attack pathogens (such as bacteria and viruses) while B cells make antibodies that fight infections. Red pulp tissue removes old and damaged red blood cells and stores platelets. It also produces red blood cells in unborn babies and when certain disease
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Many people with mild lead poisoning have no symptoms. Symptoms that do occur usually develop over several weeks or longer. Sometimes symptoms flare up periodically.
Typical symptoms of lead poisoning include personality changes, headaches, loss of sensation, weakness, a metallic taste in the mouth, uncoordinated walking, poor appetite, vomiting, constipation, crampy abdominal pain, bone or joint pains, high blood pressure, and anemia. Kidney damage often develops without symptoms.
Young children who have been exposed to lead may become cranky and their attention span and play activity may decrease over the course of several weeks. Encephalopathy can then begin suddenly and worsen over the next several days, resulting in persistent, forceful vomiting; poor coordination and difficulty walking; confusion; sleepiness; and, finally, seizures and coma. Chronic lead poisoning in children may cause intellectual disability, seizure disorders, aggressive behavior disorders, developmental regression, chronic abdominal pain, and anemia.
Adults who are exposed to lead at work typically develop symptoms (such as personality changes, headaches, abdominal pain, and damage to nerves, with numbness and loss of sensation in the feet and legs) over several weeks or longer. Adults may develop loss of sex drive, infertility, and, in men, erectile dysfunction (impotence). Encephalopathy rarely develops in adults.
Children and adults may develop anemia. Children and adults who inhale the fumes from leaded gasoline may develop symptoms of psychosis in addition to typical symptoms of lead poisoning.
When a person has experienced known or probable exposure to a high dose of radiation from an accident or attack, medical personnel take a number of steps to determine the absorbed radiation dose. This information is essential for determining how severe the illness is likely to be, which treatments to use and whether a person is likely to survive.
Information important for determining an absorbed dose includes:
Known exposure. Details about distance from the source of radiation and duration of exposure can help provide a rough estimate of the severity of radiation sickness.
Vomiting and other symptoms. The time between radiation exposure and the onset of vomiting is a fairly accurate screening tool to estimate absorbed radiation dose. The shorter the time before the onset of this sign, the higher the dose. The severity and timing of other signs and symptoms also may help medical personnel determine the absorbed dose.
Blood tests. Frequent blood tests over several days enable medical personnel to look for drops in disease-fighting white blood cells and abnormal changes in the DNA of blood cells. These factors indicate the degree of bone marrow damage, which is determined by the level of an absorbed dose.
Dosimeter. A device called a dosimeter can measure the absorbed dose of radiation but only if it was exposed to the same radiation event as the affected person.
Survey meter. A device such as a Geiger counter can be used to survey people to determine the body location of radioactive particles.
Type of radiation. A part of the larger emergency response to a radioactive accident or attack would include identifying the type of radiation exposure. This information would guide some decisions for treating people with radiation sickness.