Health Care

Find information on wellness, diet, fitness, weight loss, mental health, anti-aging, conditions & diseases, drugs & medications, and more on Health Care.

Cocktail Open Sandwiches

Ingredients

Brown bread – 1 loaf
Butter – 250 gms
Processed cheese – 250 gms
Boiled potatoes – 1 no.
Boiled egg – 1 no.
Carrots – 1 no.
Black olives – 5 to 6 in no.
Boiled chana–2 tbsp
Mustard sauce – as required
Mayonnaise sauce – as required
Thousand island dressing – as required
Tomato ketchup – as required
Salt, pepper, oregano, chili flakes to taste
Mint, coriander and dill leaves for garnish

Method


  1. Take a hot pan and grease it with butter. Now heat the bread slices on it to make them crisp. Remove the edges.
  2. Cut these slices into different shapes like circles, stars, triangles and so on. Butter these well.
  3. Place these on a serving dish. 
  4. Now place some boiled chana on one of them. Add some mint leaves and coriander leaves on the side. Sprinkle some grated cheese on it and add some pepper on top.
  5. Place the slice of a hard-boiled egg on another one. Add a drop of mayonnaise sauce and a drop of tomato ketchup on the side. Sprinkle some oregano on top and garnish with dill leaves.
  6. Place some mashed boiled potato on a slice. Put a drop of Thousand Island dressing next to it. Sprinkle salt and pepper on it. Garnish with mint leaves.
  7. On another bread slice place a slice of carrot and one or two olives.  Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Place a drop of mayonnaise sauce on the side. Garnish with chopped dill leaves. Sprinkle chili flakes on top.
  8. All these are cold sandwiches. You do not have to serve them hot. These are bite sized and hence easy to serve and eat.
  9. Add on any toppings that you want. This can include chopped cabbage, boiled beans, rajma, finger chips, grated radish, roasted boneless chicken, salami, ham, mutton seekh kebab and so on. While the Indian dishes taste best with tomato ketchup, add any other sauce as per your taste. Add any garnish to add color to the whole dish. Sprinkle some condiment of your own choice.

This is a dish that children love to prepare. It is easy to make and does not require much cooking too. Rather, it lets their creativity flow. You can have as many options as you want. If you wish to serve these for a kids’ party, then you can replace the vegetables with fruits. Hence it can be a piece of cherry, a slice of pineapple, a slice of orange, a piece of banana, kiwi, and mango and so on. Then you would have to replace the sauces with some fruit syrup such as strawberry, vanilla and so on. You may add a dollop of cream on top. If required you can even sprinkle some sugar crystals on to. Add a dash of chocolate where required by grating it on top of the fruit. The bread slices can even be fried in oil as that will make them more crisp as well as tasty.

People who wish to start a healthier lifestyle by juicing or blending fruits and vegetables may ignore the difference of these two methods. Most may even think that they are the same or at least knows the basic distinction which is that one keeps the pulp while the other does not. Some may also choose either juicing or blending for their taste and texture preference. But to be aware and understand the difference of these two deeper is actually very important and beneficial especially if you have a reason for doing such effort. To know more about these techniques, here is a comparison of the two.

Blending

Fiber is retained when the fruit/vegetable is blended which could also be gained by simply eating the fruit/vegetable. Because everything, the whole fruit/vegetable and its fiber, remains and is included even after blending, this means that your body would need to exert more energy and take time to absorb the nutrients and digest it.

The absorption of sugar in your blood also becomes slower in this situation. But this may be an advantage and highly ideal for some while it prevents a sudden change in the blood sugar level. In return, this would allow you to feel full for a longer time than juices and help you with your diet and weight management.

However, you should understand that because the fiber is not fully extracted in blending, your digestive system may not be able to get all the nutrients it has. The body may instead release the fiber even when it still has some nutrients left; thus, its benefits are not maximized in the body.

In addition, if the fruit/vegetable is blended too long, enzymes may be lost or decreased from the heat created in blending. Bloating may be experienced as well for those who are sensitive to fibers and since the blended smoothie includes a lot of air.

Juicing

On the other hand, there is no insoluble fiber left when juicing is done where the result is in liquid and concentrated form. This is not a completely bad thing because this rather allows your body to get most of the vitamins and minerals immediately with less effort and time. This is beneficial for those who have poor digestive system as the fruit/vegetable’s nutrients are already squeezed and extracted from juicing.

But take note that the juice should be drunk as soon as possible after extraction to avoid oxidation that minimizes the amount of nutrients it could bring to your body. Juicing vegetables is also good for healing purposes as the cells in your body could get the nutrients directly to provide an energy boost. Because of these, the juicing method is advisable for those who feel weak because of a sickness.

This may cause a problem, though, for diabetics as the sugar produced would directly hit and flow through the bloodstream to significantly affect the blood sugar level. Blending then becomes a better option that may act as a medicine for diabetes with the right fruits/vegetables with its slower release of sugar.

To compare the two techniques is to weigh what matters more to you. If you wish to have the fiber, feel full longer and avoid blood sugar spikes, blending fruits/vegetables is the right process to do. But choose to juice them if you want to get more of the nutrients immediately after drinking and increase your energy level.

Author Bio:
Ianna Reign Stevenson is a professional writer based in London, England. She is a young mother of a 3 year old toddler and a working mom on the lookout for the medicine for diabetes for her since she is experiencing the pre-diabetes stage. Connect with her on Twitter.
Sores around the corner of the mouth, Under eye dark circles,Facial flush,Cracked and chapped lips,Dark skin patches,Butterfly rash


Your skin reveals a lot about your lifestyle and health. From poor digestive system to deficiency of iron or vitamins, your face spells out everything. Whether you have a dry face or an oily one, your skin problem explains what is going inside your body, and it must not be ignored. Good health flaunts itself through the skin texture and thus lines, wrinkles, dry skin etc. can be blamed on aging and stress. To know what your skin condition is saying, read on further:

Sores around the corner of the mouth

Sores around the corner of the mouth is a skin condition caused due to deficiency of Vitamins B. Skin specialists recommend inclusion of whole grains and green leafy vegetables in your diet. Meat is also full of Vitamin B, if you are a vegan, Vitamin B supplements can be helpful. But consuming it naturally is something, one must try.

Under eye dark circles

If you are not one of those, who remain awake till late in the night, the reason behind this skin problem could be your bad diet. Dark circles and puffed eyes are caused by fluid buildup and loose skin under your eyes. This can be due to many reasons-- allergies, too much weeping or not getting enough sleep, but one of the main reason behind this is eating too much salt. Foods high in sodium promote water retention in the body and skin under the eyes are affected first.

Facial flush

Skin condition on your face may not be very good as it appears red and you feel embarrassed about it. Facial redness with skin sores that look like acne sores is a common symptom of rosacea, a chronic skin condition. Due to enlargement of blood-vessels, people with rosacea experience redness on the face. Bumps and pimples may form overtime, and the nose may grow bulbous.

Cracked and chapped lips

Your lips say a lot about your health. Severely cracked lips could be due to reaction of some medication, an occupational hazard or could be a symptom of allergy, infection, or other conditions. Cracked mouth corners can sometimes be a symptom of Sjogren's-- an immune system disorder. It also causes dry eyes, dry mouth and joint pains. It is extremely common among American women. Dryness due to weather condition outside require gentle skin care.

Dark skin patches

It is common in people with insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity and in some rare cases, cancer can also develop dark patches. A ring at the back of your neck might appear crying for a gentle scrubbing, but in real, it maybe acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition, in which skin appears darker, thicker and even velvety. But, it is not a definitive sign of diabetes.

Butterfly rash

This is a skin condition, that tells you that something is not right. There are many kinds of rashes, but this one stands out, particularly. It is a huge red rash that stretches out to both cheeks making a butterfly. It appears like a sunburn. It is a symptom of lupus-- an immune system disorder that affects skin, joints, blood and kidneys. These were a few skin conditions you should not take lightly. They may be a reflection of something bigger going inside you. These days many reasons contribute towards it-- smoking, drinking. Also, stress and your health are inversely proportional, you tend to get some health problem with this kind of lifestyle. 


Author Bio

Emma Brown is a skin expert by profession. She loves to share her knowledge and experience with people. She regularly contributes her write ups to health or skin care related websites. You can follow her on Twitter @BrownEmma07

A flu season is about the occurrence of all the flu viruses which cause respiratory infections within a given time. Flu seasons occur every year, even then it is hard to predict that which type of flu season it might be this year. And the time, length and severity do vary every year. Flu seasons in the United States are likely to rise in the fall and spring. Around 5 to 20 percent of the population catches seasonal flu every year during this time.

The Flu is usually characterized as the common flu that anyone can catch at any time and at any age. But flu is not just that typical common flu with chest congestion and headaches, it is a collective name for many types of the flu viruses which are included in it. There are many types of flu, some of the known types are Avian, Canine, Equine and Swine flu. You might take the sneezing and the respiratory problems casually, but in serious influenza conditions the infected person might also die. People who are 65 years or older with serious chronic conditions and the newborns are more likely to suffer from complications related to influenza.

The best way to tackle flu is to know about flu symptoms, identify the triggers which might lead you to have flu, how to prevent it and what is the treatment for the flu you are infected with. The intensity of flu varies person to person, so it is only you who can find out what exactly is the case for you.
The common symptoms of flu are fever, chills, tiredness, muscle aches, cough, headache and runny nose.  All of these symptoms when sudden and extreme are definitely flu.

The next thing is that during flu season everyone should wash their hands, as the influenza virus can live for 2 to 8 hours on the surfaces and touching anything might let you get in contact with them. Gargling with warm water and cleaning nostrils every day might also help. The person already infected with flu should definitely wash their hands every time they are about to use something and after sneezing or coughing. Touching the eyes, mouth or nose after sneezing will make the germs spread.

Central Florida is a wonderland. Don’t get upset that you will catch any unusual flu. The types of flu discussed here are found around the world and you are as prone to them as you might be in any other part of the world. The best part is that you have plenty of medical care clinics to rush to, whenever you experience symptoms of any kind of flu. There are many urgent care clinics in Central Florida to treat all your non-life threatening diseases (including influenza), without making you wait for hours or promising you some other time to come over. Getting treated for the flu as soon as possible with the right kind of medicines might shorten the span of flu and lessen its intensity.

So, stop worrying. There are many people to look after you here. Just feel free to explore the area without worrying about anything.
Healthy Appetizers for a Healthy Living
Food is always served in an arranged manner in a formal dining place. The main dish will be served right after the appetizers, that are regarded as the very first course. Appetizers are always presented first because these are the food items that stimulate ones food cravings. This will make the meal more noticeable for individuals who will eat it. There are healthy appetizers designed for individuals who are really conscious of their health. Appetizers are truly eaten utilizing one’s hands and it is presented in smaller silverwares.

Most common ingredients for appetizer recipes are those that are healthy and fresh. If you want your healthy appetizers to be sweet or salty, then you’ve got both options. For instance, great examples of sweet appetizers are fruits such as avocado or apricot. Wide selections of various appetizers are readily available for individuals who like to consume scrumptious treats. The primary ingredients that are usually added into these recipes are marinated shrimps, basil, and tomatoes.

Healthy appetizers are pretty easy to cook. You can basically scan on recipe books and whip up a recipe in less than an hour. Try out searching the internet for a lot more recipes as well as other means of planning appetizers. You’ll absolutely find the recipe that teaches how to create the appetizer that you would like simply because there are lots of them online. Moreover, if you don’t have a lot of experience in cooking, you can watch video demonstrations. This is one helpful way of preparing the food items correctly.

Making healthy appetizers doesn’t need any person to be a professional simply to create a great result. The truth is, even those who don't know just how to cook can still make healthy appetizers. It is just a matter of combining or tossing the ingredients together. Nevertheless, the ingredients must be full of nutrients and are fresh. That way, you can be sure that you are having only just what is great for your health. It might be much better if you see instructional videos so that you'll definitely find the precise ways of preparing it. The reason for this is that in videos, the procedures are explained well. There are also guidelines given for all viewers in these clips.


Appetizers are not just essential for fine dining since these could also serve several other purposes. It is far better to consume healthy appetizers compared with overindulging high-fat and high-sugar foods just like burgers, ice creams and a lot more. You must increase your servings if you feel starving. Their colors and the scent is enough to make your mouth water with anticipation. Most kids actually like eating appetizers especially if the presentation is striking. This would serve as your best technique to spoil your child with veggies.

If you or any family members suffer from allergic reactions, then you should be really mindful. Check first the ingredients needed before you prepare any recipe for healthy appetizers. See to it that all the ingredients won't trigger the allergy. In case there exists a certain nutritional food choice for your family’s health, then speak to a nutritional expert first. This is simply because they are the ones who know what exactly is best for you and your family’s well-being.
Experts Guide to Reduce fat in 10 Days
Weight loss has become a multi-billion dollar business nowadays. It seems that every day a new product is emerging in the market to help us lose weight. However, most of the times they are very costly. Luckily, there are a lot of home remedies which can help us achieve our goal of getting rid of the excess fat in our body. We will discuss below about some important home remedies which will help us to reduce fat in just 10 days.

Water

Develop a healthy habit of drinking a glass of water before each meal to reduce your hunger. Water helps to fill you up faster and therefore, you will consume less food. Whenever you feel like eating junk food, drink a glass of water. This will surely divert you from gaining those unwanted calories. Apart from this, keeping your body hydrated will also make it function like it is supposed to.

Green Tea

It has been proved that green tea causes the body to release unnecessary fat cells and burn calories. The property present in green tea which causes this fat loss is called catechins. Green tea is also used in cancer treatment, and is noted for an ideal drink for Type 2 diabetics. Drinking two to three cups daily, provides a situation where it is possible to shed inches, even pounds.

Mint

Drinking a few glasses of mint water every day can also help people lose extra weight. The water helps to hydrate the tissues and mint helps our digestive system. Mint motivates the digestion of unnecessary fat cells and helps in getting rid of its toxins. It has been proved that consuming a mint leaf is similar to chewing gum after your meal, and it eliminates your cravings for food.

Eat Frequent Meals

Try to devour smaller meals during the whole day because these mini meals will prevent you from eating surplus food, and also increase your metabolic rate and provide you with more energy, which in turn assist in the weight loss. The mini meals must be a proper balance of fiber, protein and carbohydrates. Make it certain that the meals don't constitute more than 300 calories per serving.

Replace White Foods

White flour carbohydrates have to potential to cause considerable gain in weight, particularly if it features among your daily diet. Try to replace the white food products such as white rice, sugar or breads which are made from white flour, with brown rice and whole grain breads.

Exercise

Exercise does not mean only lifting weights, and there are various types of fun filled workouts like dancing, swimming or cycling which do not cause fatigue and boredom. You might include a walk before your meal and/or after your meal is over a brisk 10 minute walk thrice daily burns calories and you will be able to easily lose almost two pounds per week. These different types of fun activities will not cause boredom to you and also it also will keep your body toned while you lose the extra pounds.

European Health Insurance Card is not a replacement for travel insurance and it will not cover any expenses for private medical treatment. One must have both travel insurance and European Health Insurance Card together while travelling, because it is possible that the insurance company might discard the claims of payment just in case the tourist does not have a legal EHIC card. This card will enable the traveler to receive the same kind of treatment in the country where he/she is visiting as being received by the resident of that country. The card is very helpful during emergencies and is valid for five years for all British, EEA, EU or Swiss residents. There is no need to pay any cash to access it therefore, tourists who are overweight and are therefore prone to various diseases, must carry the European Health Insurance Card with them when travelling abroad as a precautionary measure.
Feeling down lately? Like the burden of everything is upon you and you see no escape route out? Gloomy, dejected, bleak are the words that come to your mind when you think of your life at the moment.


Then you need to make some changes and too as soon as possible! Stress is a major silent contributor to our decreasing health and chaotic state of mind. The damages done by stress cannot be easily connected to the aliment we are suffering from but what is sure is that it is an aiding factor to it and many a times causes irreversible damage. Eliminating this little bugger from our lives is very important or at least bringing it levels low.  As being realistic one cannot expect to have a stress free life and to be honest a little stress keeps the wheels going and gives momentum but most of us have surpassed the little stress point and now have reached where stress has taken up our lives.

Here are some pointers that will help you systematically regain control of your life and also improve it to a better standard:

  • Realize that you have too much stress in your life and make notice of this fact as this is the starting point until this recognition is made by you! Sit down take a moment to understand what is happening in your life and then take any corrective measures that you may need to take.
  • Travel! Take a flight to Bangkok using Airbridge Travel or to any destination of your whim. Even with financial problems a short weekend trip to town is possible most likely so avail the opportunity. Nothing stress’s more than some change in scenery and people.
  • Hit the bull in the eye! Find the biggest aspect of your life that is the greatest contributor of stress in your life. Is it your finances, or home life, or maybe work? Finding a root cause and then solving whatever is the stress giving factor would cut your stress levels by half.
  • Also find your tendencies. Many people have different tendencies that they indulge in which are often the source of their stress such as guilt, procrastination, anxiety and more. Find the one tendency that you indulge in the most as we all experience each tendency at different intensities. I tend to feel guilty about things that really are out of my control and always feel that I am the guilty person in the situation – the I-could-have-done-better-syndrome.
  • Expand your locus of control. There is nothing worst then thinking that you have control to everything in your life. You simply do not as during the course of your life you shall have to dependent on people, some luck factors are includes while some tasks and their completion is not in your hands.
  • Get active. Having an outlet for your daily stress and worries is very important as if this isn’t done then it all boils and simmers until you reach your melting point and positively burst. Physical exertion has proven to be a great mental outlet but there are also other methods such as reading or listening to music. Find an outlet that works best for you and then stick to it.
  • Say NO. This is a very handy trick and that is to simply say no. most often we take on work which we could have refused and clutter our already barely stable work or home life. Saying no at certain times doesn’t mean that you are selfish or rude it just means you don’t have the time to do that certain task. Also, why do a task that you can’t complete properly and leave it half finished? You should certainly help your friends and family but also find time for yourself as a happy and stress free you mean a better relation to them. 


Author Bio-
A dedicated travel writer Anas Ahmad who loves to transfer his wanderlust onto a page and also read other’s experiences about travel. A spicy food aficionado along with things sweet.  Lives on the personal motto of “bring it on!” and a particular lover of simplicity.
Motherhood begins the moment you hold that tiny tot in your arms, feel his tiny limbs and hold him close to your breasts and feed him. It is the most liberating experience for a new mother and a very powerful psychological experience which sets the foundations of a strong bond between the mother and child & in a way serves as a 'health insurance' for the infant in the years to come.


Every year 1-7th August is celebrated as World Breastfeeding Week by the WHO and UNICEF as an effort to promote breast feeding. As interns during our MBBS days, we were made to go into the community and explain the new mothers and the would be mothers the importance of breast feeding their infants post pregnancy, the correct technique of breast feeding, clear their myths and misconceptions and educate them so that they are able to achieve a successful lactation. What makes breastfeeding such an important agenda for WHO is the simple calculated fact that breastfeeding can prevent deaths of at least one million children every year which is also the top most priority in developing countries like India.

Infants grow the fastest during the first 6 months. This is the time to make sure they get sufficient fluid and adequate food which is a balanced composition of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and
vitamins. Nature offers this perfect diet in the form of breast milk. In fact breast milk is such a complete and ideal food that no other food is required by the baby until 6 months after birth. It is for
this very reason that WHO advocates the norm of "Exclusive Breast Feeding” for 6 months, which means giving nothing orally other than Colostrum and breast milk. Not even water in the summer season.

An important practice, more of a malpractice actually, observed in the Indian societies is to dismiss the first milk which is produced just after the baby is born as 'dirty and useless' owing to its colour and
consistency. This is actually the colostrum which forms the basis of the immune system for the baby. It carries the ready-made antibodies(like Ig A) and cells like leucocytes which help fight and ward off any
foreign body which enters the baby's system. It acts as a natural Laxative for the baby and helps the new born's digestive system to grow and function. By the end of 3-5 days after birth Colostrum
changes to mature milk.

Mature milk also contains antimicrobial factors (such as macro-phages, lymphocytes, secretory IgA, anti-streptococcal factor, lysozyme and lactoferrin). This forms the Passive immunity for the Baby protecting it against diarrhoreal diseases, respiratory infections and gastro intestinal infections. The Breast milk has a very specific long chain omega 3 fatty acid DHA(DocosaHexanoic Acid) and it is important as it leads to better visual acquity & overall neurological development including an IQ which is 8 points higher than a non-breast fed baby. The action of sucking helps in the development of Jaws and teeth of the baby. The incidence of scurvy and rickets; and also the tendency to obesity is highly reduced in babies on breast milk.                                                                                                                                                            

There is a reason why we are attached more to our mothers. And it stems from the emotional connection we developed, when our mothers nursed us, for it alone is the most powerful human contact. Breastfeeding has advantages for the mother as well. As she feeds her infant, she  boosts her own immune system, lowers her chances of postpartum haemorrages, anaemia and gains protection from ovarian cancers, breast cancers and osteoporosis.

Women has the strength to bear a life within her and then provide that life with a wholesome meal right out of her own body. What else can be more fulfilling than this! The benefits of breast feeding last a life time. So all the-new-moms-to-be make sure you choose breast milk for your baby over formula feeds because its the best gift you will be giving him and offering him the best health insurance cover even before he turns one.
You eat healthy during the week, you didn't skip the aerobics classes and you already feel better, but the weekend is coming and you are afraid that your diet will collapse. The weekend is the enemy of diets, primary because people go out in bars and restaurants and allow themselves a little more pleasure that the food and beverages bring.

How to Stay on Diet When Eating Out at Restaurants
Tips to Stay on Diet when Eating Out

If you want to have a healthy life and keep your line, you have to reconcile with the fact that you can't avoid the occasional eating in restaurants but you need to learn how to make the right choices from the menu to save the effects of your diet.

DIET

Don't starve when you are in a restaurant, but make smart food choices.

Experts offer a variety of tips, tricks and strategies to help people stay on track when greasy delicious food tempts you. Here are some of the most popular:

-Plan in advance what you'll order. Today many restaurants and bars have their own websites or facebook pages where they post their menu. So, before going out, see what's offered in the menu. That way you can make a choice before you get there.

-Do not go out of home hungry. About 30-60 minutes before you leave the house, eat small snack (e.g. half of a handful roasted almonds, banana, apple, bowl of soup or low calorie fruit yogurt). If you arrive at the restaurant hungry, there is a risk that you'll overeat.

-Order first. Do not wait for others to make their orders because you'll feel more tempted to join them and you'll purchase something more caloric. Order early to avoid influence from others.

-Start with water. While waiting for the meal to be delivered, drink at least one glass of water. Water will help you to fill your stomach and also reduces the number of calories intake.

-If you drink alcohol, choose wine. Cocktails and stinging alcohol contain many calories that will break your diet without even noticing. If you have already decided to drink alcohol, choose wine. The best choice is a white wine, because you can mix it with sparkling water. So you enter at least liquid calories.

-Don't starve. Many think that when they are on diet, they should only drink and skip the meal when they go out. It's a mistake. The hunger will make you feel depressed and will create frustration that can contribute for quickly quitting the diet. Moreover, the body needs food in order to burn calories.

-Pay attention to the way the food is prepared. Target the dishes that contain words such as roasted, grilled, boiled, cooked in steam, and skip the meals  with description like fried or breaded. There's a big difference between grilled chicken steak and breaded steak.

-Choose foods that are best fit for your diet plan. It is likely that the restaurant where you went to have a meal, don't serve food that matches with what is included in your diet. But you need to adjust to the conditions immediately. You'll never make a mistake if you order green salad , grilled chicken steak or mix of grilled vegetables. Also, a good choice is fish and rice with vegetables.

-Eat half from what you order. The other half, share it with your friends or ask to pack it for home. Ask for an extra plate and separate the meal immediately. So you won't be tempted to eat the whole.

-Eat slowly and enjoy the discussions. Chew slowly and enjoy every bite. Don't hold the fork in your hands all the time. That way you'll give enough time for the brain to realize how much food you ate.

-Skip the dessert. After the meal, put gum in your mouth or mint candy to satisfy the desire for something sweet. But if you can't resist and you still choose to purchase dessert, the best choice is fruit salad, without icing or chocolate icing.

-And remember, you don't have to adhere perfectly to your diet. One weekend enjoyment shouldn't make you give up the healthy eating. If you enjoyed a little more food, go to the extra class of aerobics or run in the park for an extra hour. It's important to have the desire to get back on track.
One of the most important organs of the human body is the Liver. A healthy liver performs a number crucial functions that help keep you feeling energetic and alert. It cleans and purifies the blood, helps the body break down certain substances and create others. Most drugs are metabolized in the liver. It detoxifies the blood and stores sugars, fats and vitamins until they are needed. If the liver is damaged as a result of Hepatitis or any other reason, the energy production of the body is affected and the person feels very tired and run down.  Hence, the Liver is rightly called so, as it helps a person “live” his life to the fullest.

All About Hepatitis
One of the most common infections that affects the liver is Hepatitis. Hepatitis means inflammation (tenderness and swelling) of the liver. It may be brought about by viruses, alcohol or medicines (drugs). Hepatitis caused by viruses is called Viral Hepatitis. There are 6 distinct which can cause Viral Hepatitis –A,B,C,D,E and G.

HEPATITIS A AND HEPATITIS E:

HOW DOES THE INFECTION SPREAD?
Hepatitis A can affect all age groups.
The Hepatitis A and E viruses are contracted by consumption of food or water that has been contaminated with these viruses. They can also spread by indirect contact with an infected person’s hands or contaminated utensils. Its spread is related to over-crowding, poor hygiene and poor sanitation.
Hepatitis A can also spread by sexual route and washing of genitals and use of condoms can help prevent the risk.

WHAT IS THE COURSE OF THE DISEASE?
Once a person is exposed to the virus, it takes between 2 to 6 weeks to produce symptoms.
Within six months of infection, usually the body successfully gets rid of the virus on its own. This six months duration is referred to as the “Acute stage.” If the infection continues beyond six months, it develops into a ”Chronic stage.”

WHAT ARE ITS SYMPTOMS?
A mild attack is usually without any symptoms. Sometimes, symptoms may be:
1) like flu-mild fever and weakness or
2) like digestive problems-particularly loss of appetite and nausea or
3) like jaundice- dark urine, light-coloured stools, yellowing of the skin and the eyes or
4) hepatomegaly (enlarged and tender liver)

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?
Since the disease resolves on its own, there is no treatment required except rest and a suitable diet.
Personal hygiene, such as careful hand washing, can minimize the risk of the virus being passed on.
Immunization vaccinations are also available as a course of 2 injections 6 months apart.

HEPATITIS B AND HEPATITIS C:

Hepatitis B and Hepatitis c viruses are most deadly and potentially dangerous.

HOW DOES THE INFECTION SPREAD?
Both HBV and HCV spread in a manner similar to HIV i.e. by exchange of blood and body fluids.
HBV spreads more through sexual route and HCV spreads more through transfusion of infected blood.

WHICH ARE THE HIGH-RISK GROUPS?
The high-risk groups are individuals with multiple sex partners, infants born to infected mothers, family and household contacts to Hepatitis B carriers, blood transfusion recipients, intravenous drug abusers, Health Care Professionals including medical and paramedical staff, technicians working in nclinical laboratories etc.  There is also a risk of infection through tattooing, body piercing, or sharing razors, toothbrushes or nail files.
However, approximately one-third or more of Hepatitis  B and C cases result from unknown sources. This means that you do not necessarily have to be among the “high-risk “ groups to get infected.

WHAT IS THE COURSE OF THE DISEASE?
If the body’s immune system is able to get rid of the virus in six months (Acute stage), the liver recovers. In some patients however, their immune system does not defeat the virus and the infection continues beyond 6 months (Chronic stage), even though the symptoms may have stopped.
In chronic hepatitis B or C, the virus may continue to cause injury to the liver over a period of time, possibly resulting in severe liver damage, liver failure or even liver cancer.

WHAT ARE ITS SYMPTOMS?
In some people, chronic hepatitis B or c can cause weakness, tiredness, body aches, fever, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, mild abdominal pain, loss of appetite, dark urine or jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the eyes). In others, there are no recognizable signs and symptoms and the symptoms become very obvious once the disease has progressed to advanced stages like cirrhosis or liver cancer.
However, because the symptoms are flu-like or mild or absent, many cases go undiagnosed. The only way they can be positively identified is through blood tests (Liver Function Tests).

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?

In the majority of patients with active HBV, symptoms will not be severe and treatment will not be required. The patient will be monitored and after a few months the patient’s immune system should fight off the virus, giving the patient natural immunity.
There is treatment available in India for both Hepatitis B and C.
Antiviral medication is given as treatment to those with chronic symptoms to help prevent further liver damage. These medications may be injected or given in pill form. Treatment usually lasts 6 months, during which time the patient will be carefully monitored. Regardless of whether the infection is producing symptoms or not, the patient will be advised to avoid alcohol, get plenty of rest and maintain a healthy diet.
Immunization is also available for Hepatitis B. A course of three injections is administered over a period of 3-6 months. Immunity should last for at least 5 years.
Although treatment has improved in recent years, the success rates vary depending  on which genotype the patient has and how long they have had hepatitis C. it I important to remember that even if HCV treatment is effective and the infection is cleared, it does not mean the patient has future immunity to hepatitis C.

WHAT IF TREATMENT IS NOT GIVEN?
Without treatment, some patients with chronic hepatitis B or C can have their disease lead to serious liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure or probably liver cancer and death.

HEPATITIS D:

Hepatitis D virus (HDV), also known as Delta Hepatitis, is spread in the same way as HBV. However, HDV infects only those individuals who are already infected with HBV.

HEPATITIS G:

GB virus C (GBV-C), formerly known as hepatitis G virus (HGV) and also known as HPgV is a virus known to infect humans, but is not known to cause human disease. There is current active research into the virus' effects on the immune system in patients co-infected with GBV-C and HIV.
WHD Globe.jpg
"WHD Globe" by FF2011 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

REMEMBER:
  • An important part of health care is detecting diseases before symptoms occur.
  • Some diseases like viral hepatitis may not show any symptoms until the disease has progressed.
  • Almost everyone is at some risk of getting viral hepatitis. Hence, good sanitation and personal hygiene and regular blood tests go a long way in preventing the disease.