January 22, 2020

Lassa fever outbreak- prevention, causes and symptoms

Lassa fever is an illness caused by Lassa virus, a single-stranded RNA hemorrhagic fever virus from the family Arenaviridae. It is an acute febrile viral illness lasting one to four weeks, and it occurs in West Africa mostly.
Lassa virus is typically transmitted by the urine or feces of rats to humans. Health workers may be infected by direct contact with blood, body fluids, urine, or stool of a patient with Lassa fever.

Causes and risk factors for lassa fever

Lassa fever virus is mainly a zoonosis (a disease that is animal-borne or spread to humans from animals).
It is spread to people through contact with household items, food, water, or air contaminated with the droppings or urine of infected multimammate rats (Mastomyces natalensis).
These rodents live throughout West Africa in homes, and they can shed this virus without being ill.
People most often become infected by inhaling air contaminated with aerosols of rodent excretions, swallowing the virus in food or contaminated utensils, preparing and eating multimammate rats (meat of wild or non-domesticated animals, called bush meat or wild meat, is often prized as a delicacy), and contact with open wounds.

Symptoms of lassa fever 

Symptoms of lassa fever begins with a flu-like illness:

  • fever,
  • malaise
  • generalized weakness
  • sore throat
  • severe headache
  • chest pain (especially behind the breastbone)
  • back pain
  • ringing ears
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea

Other symptoms includes:

  • Dry cough and respiratory distress may occur if illness involves fluid in the lungs.
  • Severe disease may cause encephalitis with confusion, tremors, seizures, and coma.
  • Organ failure and shock are often end-stage events.
  • Fair-skinned individuals may have a faint rash of the upper body that is not seen in dark-skinned individuals.
  • Some bleeding from mucous membranes occurs in severe illness.
  • Lassa virus infects all tissues, but infection of the liver is especially typical.
  • Hepatitis may be mild or severe, and laboratory tests may not reflect the level of injury.
  • Lassa fever virus often causes deafness as complication which may be noted in late-stage disease and during recovery period 
  • Loss of fluid from blood vessels into tissue may occur; this causes facial swelling, reddened whites of the eyes, and fluid around the lungs and heart.
  • Haemorrhage in severe cases 

Prevention of lassa fever 

Control of the rodent population in our community is impractical, so measures focus on the following:

  • keeping rodents out of homes and food supplies
  • Encouraging effective personal hygiene
  • Storing grain and other foodstuffs in rodent-proof containers
  • Disposing of garbage far from the home to help sustain clean households. 
  • Gloves, masks, laboratory coats, and goggles are to be used while in contact with an infected person, to avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
  • Public health. In less developed countries, these types of organizations may not have the necessary means to effectively control outbreaks.
  • Maintaining clean households and keeping cats.
  • Family members should always be careful to avoid contact with blood and body fluids while caring for sick persons.
  • In health-care settings, staff should always apply standard infection prevention and control precautions when caring for patients, regardless of their presumed diagnosis. 
  • These include basic hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, use of personal protective equipment (to block splashes or other contact with infected materials), safe injection practices and safe burial practices.
  • Health-care workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed Lassa fever should apply extra infection control measures to prevent contact with the patient’s blood and body fluids and contaminated surfaces or materials such as clothing and bedding. 
  • Laboratory workers are also at risk. Samples taken from humans and animals for investigation of Lassa virus infection should be handled by trained staff and processed in suitably equipped laboratories under maximum biological containment conditions.

Resources: file:///data/data/com.opera.mini.native/files/savedpages/81161934-cd68-4926-a83b-1f2866457aa6.mht

January 04, 2020

Varicose veins: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention.

Varicose veins, also known as varicoses or varicosities, occur when your veins become enlarged, dilated, and overfilled with blood. Varicose veins typically appear swollen and raised, and have a bluish-purple or dark purple colour.

Symptoms of varicose vein

In the majority of cases, there is no pain, but signs and symptoms of varicose veins may include:

  • aching and uncomfortable legs
  • swollen feet and ankles
  • burning or throbbing sensation 
  • muscle cramps, particularly at night
  • itchy skin over the affected area 
  • skin discolouration
  • heaviness or fatigue in the legs

Causes of varicose veins

Weak or damaged valves can lead to varicose veins. Arteries carry blood from your heart to the rest of your tissues, and veins return blood from the rest of your body to your heart, so the blood can be recirculated. To return blood to your heart, the veins in your legs must work against gravity.
Muscle contractions in your lower legs act as pumps, and elastic vein walls help blood return to your heart. Tiny valves in your veins open as blood flows toward your heart then close to stop blood from flowing backward. If these valves are weak or damaged, blood can flow backward and pool in the vein, causing the veins to stretch or twist.

What are the risk factors

Experts are not sure why the walls of veins stretch or why the valves become faulty. In many cases, it occurs for no clear reason. However, some potential risk factors include:

  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy
  • Being aged over 50
  • Standing for long periods
  • Family history of vericose veins
  • Obesity

The following risk factors are linked to a higher risk of having varicose veins:

  • Gender: Varicose veins affect women more often than males. It may be that female hormones relax veins. If so, taking birth control pills or hormone therapy (HT) might contribute.
  • Genetics: Varicose veins often run in families.
  • Obesity: Being overweight or obese increases the risk of varicose veins.
  • Age: The risk increases with age, due to wear and tear on vein valves.
  • Some jobs: An individual who has to spend a long time standing at work may have a higher chance of varicose veins.

How do you prevent varicose veins

There's no way to completely prevent varicose veins. But improving your circulation and muscle tone may reduce your risk of developing varicose veins or getting additional ones. The same measures you can take to treat the discomfort from vericose veins at home can help prevent varicose veins, including:

  • Exercising
  • Watching your weight
  • Eating a high-fiber, low-salt diet
  • Avoiding high heels and tight hosiery
  • Elevating your legs
  • Changing your sitting or standing position regularly.

Treatment of varicose veins 

Treatment may not be medically necessary unless symptoms are causing problems. However, some people may want treatment for cosmetic reasons, because they are unhappy with the appearance of varicose veins.
If varicose veins are small and not too uncomfortable, elastic compression stockings may be recommended. These are worn during daily activities and help to compress the veins, keeping them from stretching and limiting any discomfort or pain.
For more problematic cases a range of procedures – surgical and non-surgical – are available to seal or remove varicose veins. A combination of treatment techniques may sometimes be used. Treatment options for vericose veins have changed significantly in the past 25 years and continue to evolve, especially the development of less invasive procedures that don’t require having to stay in hospital.

Resourses: https://www.google.com/search?q=varicose+veins+treatments&client=ms-opera-mobile&espv=1&prmd=ivn&sxsrf=ACYBGNS5Vx7Gn0-s77lcInYPbpwBg7eZfQ:1578134050930&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjJyo283-nmAhUPHMAKHfK0AxwQ_AUoAXoECA4QAQ&biw=360&bih=564#imgrc=1qaKTCz9QiAzNM&imgdii=h9gzlWt5wkMcdM

December 23, 2019

Safer sex - Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Sex should be fun, pleasurable and enjoyable for you and your partner.
Having unprotected sex can increase your risk of having unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Safe sex: is a sexual activity where methods or devices are used to reduce the risk of acquiring or transmitting sexually transmitted infections.
If you desire to have oral, vagina or anal sex, the best way to prevent sexually transmitted infections is by using barriers e.g Condoms.

Forms of safe sex

1. Condoms: These are one of the best ways to prevent sexually transmitted infections and also to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
There are two kinds of condoms, which are
-Regular condom (male condom that is worn over the penis)
-Internal condom (female condom that are inserted inside the vagina or anus)
Regular and internal condoms should never be used at the same time.
Condoms serves at barrier between penis and anus, vagina or mouth, to protect both partners by keepingaway fluids that carry infections (sperm and vaginal fluids) away from the other.
2. Dental dam: This is a sheet of latex used for protection during oral sex. It is used as barrier between mouth to vulva during connilingus, or between mouth and anus during anal-oral sex.
3. Medical glove: This is used to cover hands and fingers during penetration or sexual stimulation e.g masturbation
All this above can also be used to cover sex toys e.g Dildos, during sexual stimulation or penetration. If the toy is used by more than one partner or for more than one orifice.
4. Lubrication: The friction that happens during sexual intercourse when generals are rubbing together can irritate the skin and even cause small tears in the skin of your genital, this could increase the risk of sexual infections getting into your body.
Friction can also make condom break easily. Lubrication keeps sex nice and slippery.

Other forms of safe sex includes:

-Immunisation against certain sexually transmitted viruses e.g Hepatitis B and Human papilloma Virus (that causes cervical, penile, oral cancer and genital warts).
-Limiting numbers of sexual partners or restricting sexual activity to those who know and share their STI status.
-Communicating with partners about sexual history and status, safe sex practice and acceptable partnered sexual activities.

Safe sex activities 

1. Cuddling
2. Massaging
3. Kissing (Though, some studies has shown that deep throat kissing may spread oral gonorrhoea)
4. Masturbation
5. Mutual masturbation
6. Ejaculation outside and unbroken skin
7. Sex with barrier contraception.

Resources: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe_sex

November 08, 2019

Candidiasis infection: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Candidiasis is a fungal infection typically on the skin and the mucous membranes that is caused by candida.  .

Types of candidiasis

  • Oropharyngeal candidiasis or Oral thrush: Candidiasis that occurs in the mouth when candida ablicans accumulates in the mouth.
  • Vaginal candidiasis: Candidiasis in the vagina is commonly called a vaginal yeast infection or vaginal thrust.
  • Nail candidiasis: When dermatophytes infect the nails, the nails become thick, swollen and tender, split, become dull, and may fall off.
  • Armpit candida: when candida species affects the skin under armpit eventually skin turns red and can be little raw.

Causes of candidiasis

Candidiasis can be triggered by the following
  • Antibiotics
  • Steroids
  • Contraceptive pills
  • Catheters and IV drips
  • Pregnancy
  • Menstruation
  • Sperm
  • Diabetes

Risk factors of candidiasis

  • Patients who have a central venous catheter
  • When consumed with broad-spectrum antibiotics
  • Very low neutrophil in blood
  • People who experience kidney failure or undergoing hemodialysis
  • People who underwent surgery, especially gastrointestinal surgery
  • Eating a diet high in sugar and refined carbs
  • High alcohol intake
  • A weakened immune system
  • Taking oral contraceptives
  • High-stress levels

Symptoms of candidiasis

  • Oral Thrush
  • Tiredness and Fatigue
  • Recurring Genital or Urinary Tract Infections
  • Digestive Issues
  • Sinus Infections
  • Skin and Nail Fungal Infections
  • Joint Pain

Complications due to candidiasis

  • Depression
  • Psychosexual problems
  • Male thrush- If a candidiasis woman is having sexual contact with their partner male thrush arises.
  • If vaginal candidiasis is left untreated, it can cause vaginitis, which is an inflammation of the vagina
  • Fungal infections- The most common fungal infection that can occur is tinea (ringworm)

Treatment of candidiasis

Treatment of candidiasis varies, depending on the area affected:
  • Thrush – Usually treated with topical, antifungal medications such as nystatin (Mycostatin and others) and clotrimazole.
  • Oesophagitis  – it can be treated with an oral anti-fungal drug such as fluconazole.
  • Cutaneous candidiasis – This skin infection can be effectively treated with a variety of antifungal powders and creams. The affected area must be kept clean and dry and protected from chafing.
  • Vaginal yeast infections: Vaginal yeast infections can be treated with antifungal medications such as butoconazole (Femstat), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin), miconazole (Monistat, Vagistat, and others), nystatin (Mycostatin and others), and tioconazole (Monistat-1, Vagistat-1). A single dose of oral fluconazole can be used. Sex partners usually do not need to be treated.
  • Deep candidiasis: This infection usually starts with an intravenous anti-fungal drug, such as voriconazole or fluconazole. People with very low white blood cell counts may need an alternative intravenous anti-fungal drug, such as caspofungin or micafungin.

Prevention of candidiasis

  • Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and non-fat dairy products.
  • Control diabetes: Good control of blood sugar levels decreases the risk of yeast infections anywhere on your body.
  • Avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics

November 03, 2019

Getting away from bad breath-halitosis

Halitosis is a condition in which a person emanates a persistent, unpleasant odour from their mouth. This is often called bad breath.
Halitosis can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems.

What causes halitosis 

●A dry mouth
●Post nasal drip
●A diet high in proteins
●Hormonal changes
●Medications which have dry mouth side effects
●History of diabetes

What are the signs and symptoms of halitosis 

●The most obvious sign or symptom of bad breath is noticing an unpleasant smell coming from the mouth
●Unpleasant or sour taste or changes in taste
●Dry mouth, and a coating on the tongue.

How is halitosis treated 

●Brush teeth and tongue: Be sure to brush at least twice a day, preferably after each meal.
●Floss: Flossing reduces the build-up of food particles and plaque from between the teeth. Brushing only cleans around 60 percent of the surface of the tooth.
●Brush tongue: Bacteria, food, and dead cells commonly build up on the tongue, especially in smokers or those with a particularly dry mouth. A tongue scraper can sometimes be useful.
●Avoid dry mouth: Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and tobacco, both of which dehydrate the mouth. Chewing gum or sucking a sweet, preferably sugar-free, can help stimulate the production of saliva. If the mouth is chronically dry, a doctor may prescribe medication that stimulates the flow of saliva.
●Diet: Avoid onions, garlic, and spicy food. Sugary foods are also linked to bad breath. Reduce coffee and alcohol consumption. Eating a breakfast that includes rough foods can help clean the back of the tongue.

What are the preventive measures of halitosis 

Preventing halitosis is always easier than treating it. By developing the right habits, you can effectively help prevent it.
●Eat foods rich in fiber: High fiber foods help prevent halitosis. Avoid eating heavily processed foods that contain refined carbohydrates such as cookies, cakes, sweets and ice cream.
●Use mouthwash: Some mouthwashes or oral rinses are effective at preventing bad breath. However, you should never use alcohol based mouthwashes because the alcohol makes the mouth very dry, which will actually make the problem worse.
●Drink green and black teas: They contain polyphenols that help eliminate sulfur compounds and reduce oral bacteria.
●Avoid drying medication: Try not to take antidepressants, diuretics, pain relievers, and antihistamines unless it is absolutely medically necessary. These drugs inhibit saliva flow and can cause chronic dry mouth.
●Avoid products with sodium lauryl sulfate or alcohol: Do not use any oral hygiene products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate or alcohol because the alcohol makes the mouth very dry, one of the most common causes of bad breath.
●Clean your mouth after eating meat, fish or dairy products: Practicing consistent and thorough oral hygiene is an effective prevention tool.
●Stop smoking: Studies have shown that smokers are at higher risk of developing periodontal disease and dry mouth. Furthermore, people who smoke may also engage in other habits that promote this condition such as dieting, drinking alcohol, and suffering from chronic anxiety conditions that require exacerbating prescription medicatcions.
●Breathe through your nose instead of your mouth: Try to address any snoring or sleep apnea issues that could be affecting your breath and causing dry mouth.
●Drink water: Keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of water.
●Clean your dentures at least once a day: Practice the same, proper oral care that you would with your original teeth.
●Eliminate dairy products from your diet: Lactose intolerance can be an underlying cause of halitosis.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), or premenstrual tension (PMT), is a set of symptoms, both physical and psychological, that some women experience before their periods. These symptoms usually go away when the period starts.

What are the causes of PMS

 Exact cause of premenstrual syndrome is unknown, but several factors may contribute to the condition:
•Cyclic changes in hormones: Symptoms of PMS change with hormonal fluctuations and disappear with pregnancy and menopause.

•Chemical changes in the brain: Fluctuations of serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter that's plays a role in mood states, could trigger PMS symptoms. Insufficient amounts of serotonin may contribute to premenstrual depression, fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems.

•Depression: Some women with severe premenstrual syndrome have undiagnosed depression, though depression alone does not cause all of the symptoms.

What are the symptoms of PMS

• insomnia
• nausea
• headache
• moodiness
• acne
• tension
• social withdrawal
• poor concentration
• change in libido
• depression
• confusion
• food cravings
• dizziness
• irritability
• anxiety
• hot flushes
• breast swelling and tenderness

Lifestyle changes 

•Eat regularly: eat small rather at a time, avoid excess salt, caffeine and carbonated drinks. If necessary, reduce your weight to an ideal level.

•Regular exercise often helps to reduce PMS symptoms.

•Do things that you find relaxing and enjoyable during this time. Stress aggravates PMS, so reduce stress wherever possible.

•Dress sensibly to cope with breast tenderness (e.g. a firm fitting bra and loose-fitting clothes around the chest).

•Some medicines may help for those with severe symptoms.
Examples of drugs that could help with premenstrual syndrome include: vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), analgesics, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, hormonal contraceptives and some antidepressant. If PMS persists discuss it with your health practitioner.

September 11, 2019

Dehydration- causes, symptoms and remedy

Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn't have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don't replace lost fluids, you will get dehydrated which could resulting in increase blood sodium and reduce blood volume.

What are possible causes of dehydration

▶️Severe burns
▶️Excessive sweating
▶️Excessive urination
▶️Excessive fluid draining drugs

What are the signs and symptoms of dehydration


Signs of mild or moderate dehydration include:

▶️Dry or sticky mouth
▶️Inadequate urination
▶️Dark yellow urine
▶️Dry, cool skin
▶️Muscle cramps

Signs of severe dehydration include:
▶️Very dry skin
▶️Feeling dizzy
▶️Rapid heartbeat
▶️Rapid breathing
▶️Sunken eyes
▶️Sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion or irritability

Remedies for dehydration 

The only effective treatment for dehydration is to replace lost fluids and lost electrolytes. The best approach to dehydration treatment depends on age, the severity of dehydration and its cause.

For infants and children who are dehydrated from diarrhea, vomiting or fever, use an over-the-counter oral rehydration solution(ORS). These solutions contain water and salts in specific proportions to replace both fluids and electrolytes.

Start with about a teaspoon every one to five minutes and increase as tolerated. It may be easier to use a syringe for very young children.

Most adults with mild to moderate dehydration from diarrhea, vomiting or fever can improve their condition by drinking plenty water or other liquids. Diarrhea may be worsened by full-strength fruit juice and soft drinks.

September 06, 2019

Inflammation is a response to injury or resistance by the tissue.
Examples include, arthritis(Inflammation of the joint), appendicitis(Inflammation of the vermiform appendix), cystitis(Inflammation of the urinary bladder) and so on.
Inflammation may be acute, sub-acute or chronic. It maybe local or systemic response.

What causes inflammation

1. Biological causes: micro-organism, bacteria, viruses and fungi
2. Immunological causes: trauma and pressure
3. Thermal causes: extreme heat or cold
4. Chemical changes: strong acids and alkaline, pesticides, poisonous drugs, irritating gases.

What are the signs and symptoms of inflammation 

Localized inflammation

1. Pain
2. Swelling
3. Redness
4. Hotness
5. Loss of function
6. Formation of our

Systemic inflammation

1. Weakness
2. Headache
3. Loss of appetite
4. Leucocytosis
5. High temperature
6. Tiredness

How to manage inflammation

1. Rest: to conserve body energy and reduce physically aggravation. Local inflammated area could be put to rest by using splints and sandbags
2. Elevate: raise the affected part to increase blood flow and reduce swelling.
3. Diet: consider diet high in carbohydrate, protein and vitamin especially vitamin C for fast healing.
4. Apply hot or cold compress to relief pain

Medical treatment of inflammation

1. Analgesic to relieve pain e.g paracetamol
2. Antibiotics to combat infection e.g Ciprofloxacin
3. Anti-inflammatory to reduce inflammation e.g ibuprofen
4. Sedative to induce sleep e.g lexotan

August 28, 2019

What You Should Know About Premenstrual Syndrome

Most females undergo series of physical and/or psychological symptoms such as headaches, abdominal pain, bloating etc. One week or two prior to there period. This condition is know as Premenstrual syndrome.

In this article we will be looking at premenstrual syndrome, What PMS is? Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, Treatments and much more.

What is premenstrual Syndrome?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the name used for physical and emotional problems that occur prior to a womans menstrual period.

Symptoms may occur only one day or as long as 2 full weeks before the period starts. A woman may have only one symptom or she may have many.

Because the production of progesterone at the time of ovulation that seems to be associated with the onset of PMS, PMS can only occur during the time of ovulation until the menses begin (about 14 days).

Occasionally PMS symptoms may persist until the period is over, Problems that occur at other times during the month cannot be PMS.

What are the symptoms of PMS?

Symptoms tend to recur in a predictable pattern. But the physical and emotional changes your experience with premenstrual syndrome may vary from just slightly noticeable all the way to intense. Still, you don't have to let these problems control your life.

Treatments and lifestyle adjustments can help you reduce or manage the signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

Emotional Symptoms

👉 Tension or anxiety

👉 Depressed mood

👉 Mood swings and irritability or anger

👉 Appetite changes and food cravings

👉 Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)

👉 Social withdrawal

👉 Poor concentration

👉 Change in libido

Physical signs and symptoms

👉 Joint or muscle pain

👉 Headache

👉 Fatigue

👉 Weight gain related to fluid retention

👉 Abdominal bloating

👉 Breast tenderness

👉 Acne flare-ups

👉 Constipation or diarrhea

👉 Alcohol intolerance

For some, the physical pain and emotional stress are severe enough to affect their daily lives.

Regardless of symptom severity, the signs and symptoms generally disappear within four days of the start of the menstrual period for most women.

How do I know if I have PMS symptoms?

PMS symptoms usually occur 5-7 days before a girl/woman's menstrual period. There are actually a total of 150 known symptoms of PMS.

The most common symptoms include: mood swings, breast soreness, bloating, acne, cravings for certain foods, increased hunger and thirst, and fatigue.

Other symptoms may include constipation or diarrhea, irritability, and feeling blue or down in the dumps.

If you have any of these symptoms and they happen during the week before your period starts and go away when your period arrives or a few days later, you may have PMS.

If you feel blue or down in the dumps and these feelings last longer than the week before your period, its probably not related to PMS.

In this situation its particularly important to ask your primary care provider if you should talk to a counselor or therapist.

Since there are so many possible symptoms of PMS, its a good idea to keep track of them. Remember to note if the symptoms are mild, moderate, or severe.

Use a period and symptom tracker for 2-3 months and then bring it to your next medical appointment. A record of your symptoms can help your health care provider figure out the best treatment choices for you.

Key Facts on how to use a period and symptom tracker

👉 Review the sample Monthly Period & Symptom Tracker.

👉 Print out copies of My Monthly Period & Symptom Tracker.

👉 Put a check mark in the appropriate box (or boxes) for each day of the month. If you don't have any flow or any symptoms on any given day, leave the box empty. Refer to the Blood Flow Key at the bottom for Flow definitions.

👉 The dates at the top are the same as the dates in one month. Each month has 30 or 31 days (except for February which has 28 or 29 depending unless it is a leap year).

Remember to bring My Monthly Period & Symptom Tracker with you to your medical appointments.

Which non medical changes might help control PMS?

Nutrition and lifestyle changes are a first step.

The following suggestions are healthy recommendations for everyone and are particularly helpful for young women with PMS symptoms, according to research.

Nutrition Changes:

👉 Eat whole grains that are high in fiber (such as whole grain breads, whole wheat pasta, and high fiber cereals instead of white bread, white pasta, and sugary cereals).

Whole grains help to keep blood sugar levels more stable compared to refined grains such as white bread, which could keep cravings under control and prevent mood changes associated with PMS.

👉 Cut back on sugar and fat: Even though your body may be craving sweets or fast foods that are high in fat, try to limit these foods since they may add to your PMS symptoms such as bloating.

👉 Limit foods high in salt (sodium) for the few days before your period: For example, avoid: canned soups, Chinese food, hotdogs, chips, and pizza which are very high in sodium. Cutting down on sodium may help to control bloating by lowering the amount of fluid your body retains.

👉 Keep hydrated: Drink plenty of water to reduce bloating and help with digestion.

👉 Cut back on caffeine: Reducing the amount of caffeine you eat and drink (soda, coffee drinks, and chocolate) may help you feel less tense and may also ease irritability and breast soreness.

Try eating up to 6 small meals a day instead of 3 large ones and include a balance of foods and nutrients (lean protein, whole grain carbohydrates, fruits/veggies, and healthy fats such as olive oil or avocado) at each small meal. This will help keep your blood sugar levels even, which will give you energy that lasts.

👉 Dont forget calcium! Research studies have shown that getting 1300 mg of calcium per day helps with PMS symptoms such as mood swings, headaches, and irritability. This means you should eat or drink three to four servings of high calcium foods (such as milk, fortified OJ, or soy milk) each day or take calcium supplements.

Lifestyle changes

👉 Fit in exercise: Do aerobic exercise (such as running, dancing, or jump roping) for 30-60 minutes a day, 4 to 6 times a week.

👉 Dont miss your sleep: If youre a teen, you need about 9 hours of sleep each night.

👉 Try to maintain a regular schedule: This includes meals, exercise, and bedtime.

👉 Keep stress to a minimum: If possible, try to schedule events that you think could be stressful during the week after your period.
👉 Avoid alcohol: Drinking alcohol before your period can make you feel more depressed.

Are there medications that might help?

If your symptoms dont improve with a few nutrition and lifestyle changes, talk with your health care provider. He/she may be able to prescribe medicine that will help lessen or get rid of your discomforts.

There are many different medicines that are currently used to treat PMS symptoms.

The most commonly prescribed are oral contraceptives (birth control pills) which prevent ovulation and keep hormone levels even.

Most pills (particularly those that are low in progestin or contain drospirenone) can improve symptoms. Sometimes symptoms can improve even more if the pill is taken continuously (one active pill every day and no placebo pills).

Other medications include ibuprofen or naproxen sodium that can help to relieve lower back discomfort and headaches and mild diuretics such as Spironolactone to lessen bloating and mood changes.

If depression is a significant issue, your health care provider may prescribe antidepressants such as Fluoxetine, Sertraline.

Are there vitamins or minerals that will improve my symptoms?

Although more research studies are needed, there are certain vitamins and minerals that may help PMS symptoms. Several research studies show that calcium can significantly decrease many of the symptoms associated with PMS.

Make sure that you are getting the recommended 1300 mg/day from calcium- rich foods or drinks or from supplements. Other supplements that could help with PMS symptoms are magnesium (400 mg/ day), vitamin B6 (100 mg/day), and vitamin E (400 IU/day), but more research needs to be done.

Check with your health care provider about whether you should try them and how much you should take because taking high doses of supplements can have unpleasant or dangerous side effects. For example, high doses of magnesium may cause diarrhea in some people.

Sometimes other medical conditions can mimic or act like PMS symptoms, so its important to keep your health care provider up-to-date with any health issues you are having.

If your PMS symptoms are so severe that you feel very depressed, talk with a parent, guardian, or trusted adult, and make an appointment with your health care provider as soon as possible.

Remember Health Is Wealth 

Written by:  Isikadi Precious RN.

July 22, 2019

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Vaginal Odor

Unusual vaginal odor happens from time to time. Even when you’re taking good care of your body and your vagina, you may experience unfamiliar smells. What’s not normal, however, is persistent or strong odors.
The first question you should ask yourself if you consider your vaginal odor abnormal: Vaginas have natural odors and each woman’s odor is different. 
Vaginal odor is often more noticeable just after sex and can vary throughout the menstrual cycle. Normal sweating can also be a cause a vaginal odor. This is often where the the idea of using vaginal douching and other vaginal deodorant-type products comes to mind, but these products can actually increase irritation and other vaginal symptoms due to their chemical-filled ingredient list.
Instead of douching and other potentially toxic feminine hygiene products, try the following natural remedies.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar 
  • Apple cider vinegar contains amazing antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can help fight vaginal odor.
  • Taking a bath with apple cider vinegar can help fight off the toxins and bacteria that cause vaginal odor while restoring the acidic quality of the vaginal flora. Try drinking a glass of water mixed with one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily.
2. Baking Soda
  • Baking soda can be used to balance the pH level in your body. When the pH level is in balance, the problem of vaginal odor will drived away, which means you can add natural deodorizer to the list of baking soda uses. 
  • You can simply add half a cup of baking soda to your bathwater and soak for about 15–20 minutes. Then thoroughly dry your body before putting on your clothing. Make sure to not allow moisture to sit in any folds or the genital area of the body.
3. Probiotics
  • We love probiotics since they can help keep the gut healthy, but did you know that probiotics can do wonders for vaginal odor? Probiotic yogurt, for example, is rich in lactobacillus bacteria, which helps fight candida infection, a common cause of vaginal odor. It also helps restore the normal vaginal pH level, which can remove vaginal odor. 
4. White Vinegar and Sea Salt
  • While apple cider vinegar seems to get all the glory when it comes to home remedies, let’s not forget white vinegar. White vinegar can help neutralize odors by breaking down odor proteins, and a white vinegar bath may help eliminate vaginal odor and help restore pH levels in the vagina. 
  • Just a half cup each of white vinegar and sea salt in lukewarm bath water several times a week may do the trick.
5. Tea Tree Oil
  • Tea tree oil contains strong antifungal properties as well as being a great antiseptic. These characteristics help get rid of bacteria that may contribute to the problem of vaginal odor and discomfort. 
  • Add a few drops combined with water and witch hazel on a cotton pad and then applying it to the affected area daily can make a big difference. Make sure to dilute with the water and witch hazel since tea tree oil can cause some initial sensitivity to the groin area.
6. Garlic
  • It may seem odd to take one foul smell to get rid of another, but garlic is known for its antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It’s a natural antibiotic that may be just the remedy for vaginal infections as well as vaginal odor. The antifungal properties that garlic contains can help fight a yeast infection, which, in turn, gets rid of bad bacteria. 
  • Just incorporate garlic in raw or cooked form, on a daily basis, into your meals. Garlic is available in capsule form at your health food store, or you can eat one or two raw garlic on an empty stomach with a glass of warm water.
7. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
  • Fresh, organic, whole fruits and vegetables are always key to a healthy body and support vaginal health due to the numerous vitamins and minerals they contain. We know that vitamin C, found in citrus fruits, guava, strawberries, kiwi, and green and red peppers, is an immune system booster. 
  • Leafy greens should always be consumed in abundance since they help with circulation and prevent vaginal dryness. Eat plenty of spinach, kale, cabbage, salad, and other leafy greens by including them in your salads and smoothies. The avocado stimulates vaginal health and also helps with libido because it contains vitamin B6 and potassium, which supports healthy vaginal walls, reducing the risks of infection and bacterial growth. (9)
8. Nuts and Seeds
  • Adding nuts to your daily nutrition helps prevents vaginal dryness because they contain vitamin E. Look for sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts. Almonds and pumpkin seeds are also rich in zinc, which helps regulate the menstrual cycle, reduce itching and other symptoms of dryness that can cause bacterial growth and odor. 
9. Water
  • I cannot stress enough the importance of water and lots of it. The mucous vaginal membranes need water to function properly so they remain well-hydrated. Water helps lubricate your vagina naturally, which aids in diminishing vaginal smells.