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Apart From Heart Problems, Know 5 Other Conditions Which Can Cause Chest Pain

The Kashmir Monitor

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Chest pain is a common problem that people across the world suffer from. No matter how mild or severe the pain is, chest pain must be always taken seriously. Chest pain is associated with any kind of pain from the parts of upper neck to the upper abdomen of the body, including pain in right arm, cervical spine, and back. Chest pain depends on factors such as intensity of the pain, duration, sex, age, health conditions and quality. Dull pain, piercing and stabbing pain are common when suffering from chest pain. Other symptoms of chest pain include nausea, dizziness, vomiting, heavy sweating, and drowsiness. It is a myth that all kinds of chest pain are related to heart problems and cardiac conditions. Apart from the heart, any disturbance in lungs, nerves, stomach, pancreas and chest muscles can also lead to chest pain.
Here are 5 conditions that can lead to chest pain, apart from heart problems:
1. Bone problems can cause chest pain
There are two bone areas in the body – ribs, and sternum. They both are connected to chest pain. Any kind of rib fracture may toughen one’s chest movement, may cause deep breaths and induce critical chest pain. If there is any affected bone area, the area may produce a continuous pain and throbbing in the chest. Many times, places in the body where the rib meets the sternum can cause inflammation. This condition is known as costochondritis.
2. Lung related causes of chest pain
One of the most common origins of chest pain is lungs. Chest pain, ache, and conciseness of breath are caused due to a blood clot in pulmonary arteries. This condition is known as pulmonary embolism. Sometimes, chest pain or pressure is caused because of pressure in arteries carrying blood. Chest pain often occurs in the sides of chest, where lungs deflate. This results in constant deficiency of breath. Pneumonia also causes chest pain along with coughing, muscle aches, and fever.
3. Muscle or nerve disorder can cause chest pain
Nerve breakdown leads to many intractable obstacles including burning or sharp pain in the chest. Another source for such severe pain is shingles and painful rashes with blisters during chickenpox. Chickenpox infections counter on the nerve distribution of the chest and deliver a sharp pain on one side of the chest. Chest muscles are inflamed due to overuse of severe coughing spells, the area becomes tender which results in severe chest pain.
4. Gastrointestinal causes of chest pain
Some parts of the gastrointestinal tract are present in the upper portion of abdominal areas. Inflammation or rupture of oesophagus can cause endless pain which elevates when you swallow something or take deep breaths. Gall bladder inflammation, gallstones, or complete bile duct blockage can cause suspended or constant aching which is notably painful. Pancreatitis or pancreatic duct blockage at times produce upper abdominal and/or lower chest pain which is further transported to the back. This pain may increase while eating.
5. Psychological causes of chest pain
People tend to neglect this factor but psychological disorders like depression, stress, anxiety and panic attacks do cause chest pain. These disorders cause high pain in chest because of fast heartbeat. Fast-paced heartbeat can cause extreme ache. These are accompanied by an anxious state of mind, dizziness, fear, mania, heavy breathing, and sweating.


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Health

Hepatitis A Causes and Symptoms

The Kashmir Monitor

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Generally speaking, hepatitis A is more common in parts of the planet that are developing. It’s for the fact that sanitation and food handling practices are by and large poor. However, medical experts say that living in developed countries can also put you at risk of having hepatitis A, but it’s really a rare occurrence.

Just like what’s mentioned earlier, hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus or HAV. It can be spread around by someone who has hepatitis A because he or she is a carrier of the virus behind it. It is said that a person with hepatitis A is most infectious about 2 weeks before he or she begins to experience signs and symptoms.

Here are some of the ways that hepatitis A is spread around:

 

Consumption of food that is prepared by a person who has hepatitis A. This is most especially true if he or she has not properly washed his or her hands.

Drinking of water that is contaminated with the hepatitis A virus.

Intake of raw or undercooked seafood obtained from contaminated water.

Close contact with someone who has hepatitis A. This includes having sexual intercourse with an infected person, especially when the rectal or anal area has been touched with the fingers, mouth or tongue.

Using illegal drugs, especially when paraphernalia contaminated with the hepatitis A virus are used.

Symptoms

Medical experts say that it may take a while before the various signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A show up. They say that someone may experience them about 4 weeks after getting infected. It’s even possible for someone with hepatitis A to not experience any sign and symptom at all.

Some of the initial signs and symptoms of hepatitis A include:

Tiredness and malaise
Achy muscles and joints
Pain in the upper right section of the abdomen
Loss of appetite
Mild fever
Headaches
Sore throat
Diarrhea or constipation
Hives or raised rash that’s itchy

These initial signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A can last anywhere from a few days only to a couple of weeks. Afterwards, as the infection of the liver progresses, the following may be experienced by the individual:

Jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin as well as the whites of the eyes (sclera)

Pale colored stools
Dark colored urine
Skin itching

Tenderness and swelling of the upper right section of the abdomen

Although it rarely happens, hepatitis A can cause liver failure. When such develops, the person who is infected may experience severe vomiting, frequent bruising, bleeding of the nose and gums, drowsiness and confusion.

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Health

Busting myths around blood donation

The Kashmir Monitor

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As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

Contrary to the myth about blood donations making a person weak or anaemic, the body replenishes the lost blood in a matter of a few days, say experts.

“A healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets, so there is no question of becoming weak, much less anaemic. It is a myth and should not deter people from donating blood,” says Dr RK Singal, chairman, internal medicine department, BLK super-speciality Hospital.

 

The donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components, as there is sophisticated equipment available these days that extract relevant components from blood and the rest of the blood can be transfused back to the donor.

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

About 65% of India’s population is young and if this section donates blood regularly, chances of the country facing blood shortage will be remote. Hence, there is all the more reason for people, especially youngsters, to come forward and be regular blood donors.

How to prepare

Have enough fruit juice and water in the night and morning before you donate

Have a full meal 3 hours before donation; never on an empty stomach

Have some rest for about 10-15 minutes after donation

Have some snacks or a juice with high sugar content after donation

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Health

Erectile dysfunction’s connection with lifestyle

The Kashmir Monitor

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By Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal

healthy-lifestyle-can-reverse-effects-of-hypertensionAll over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED).

All over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED). From my research, I have found a strong link between ED and stress. Other major causes include smoking, drinking, diabetes, hypertension or high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. My advice to these patients is — do not get even more stressed over this situation. Instead, focus on taking the right medication and making some changes to your lifestyle, so you can once again enjoy a satisfactory sexual life.

 

DIAGNOSIS OF ED

We normally diagnose ED and its underlying causes by asking the patient a few questions about his medical and sexual history. This is sometimes done by sharing a questionnaire with the patient. The questions that we ask are designed to help us understand the cause of ED in the particular patient.

We also do a physical exam, ask for certain blood tests to rule out other medical conditions responsible for erectile dysfunction, and recommend imaging tests (if required) to determine whether the person is physically able to have an erection or not.

SHORT-TERM SOLUTION, LONG-TERM CURE

Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol levels) can cause ED. In these cases, ED can be reversed once the patient starts treatment.

In my experience, many men suffer from ED because of work stress, family pressure and anxiety. So, changes in lifestyle with regular exercise, yoga, abstaining from alcohol and smoking, and proper counselling help in treating ED. Along with this, medicines for ED are usually prescribed for about 3 to 6 months by which time lifestyle changes start to take effect and the patient is physically and mentally healthier, which helps resolve the problem.

An estimated 16% to 25% of men experience ED at some point in their lives. I would urge them not to be embarrassed about it. Seek medical help from a urologist or andrologist; get the necessary advice/medication; and go on to enjoy a healthy, fulfilling sexual life.

The author of this article is Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal, head, andrology, department of urology sciences, Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket

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