Friday December 15, 2017

This woman has survived major tumours and is still fighting the rare Von Hippel-Lindau disease

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payel

By Shreya Upadhyaya

Have you ever heard of Von Hippel-Lindau? At 35, Payel Bhattacharya has already endured eight major surgeries including a liver transplant and brain tumour operation due to it.

Payel suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL), in which blood tumours constantly form in blood vessels. The disease is so rare that out of over a billion Indian population, only 70 have been detected with the syndrome so far.

VHL syndrome is caused by a gene mutation and leads to an abnormal capillary growth in internal organs like the lungs, heart, pancreas, liver and intestines. Normally, our capillaries branch out like trees. In VHL patients, little knots of extra capillaries form tumors that have to be removed.

Unaware of the genetic disorder at first, Payel was detected of it at the age of three. She underwent her first surgery at the age of 12 to remove a tumour in the left foot. 23 years later, she underwent a brain tumour surgery and then doctors confirmed VHL.

The biggest shock came in four months later, when she was diagnosed with tumours in her liver. Since then Payel has suffered from a minor stroke and paralysis of the left side after her brain surgery. Till now she has had tumors removed from her foot, knee and brain which was followed by a liver transplant surgery.

After this, she had to take regular doses of immunosuppressant drugs which greatly weakened her immunity. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the bones, which is resistant to any possible treatment. She had to undergo a surgery on her neck for the removal of an enlargement. She has now turned partially blind as the tumours have spread over her eyes and is on a life-long medication of three anti-convulsants.

Biggest Loss

Her father’s death in 2009 made her life even more difficult as she lost a strong pillar of support. And the reason of his death was that he could not undergo a heart surgery due to lack of funds because all his retirement benefits were exhausted on Payel’s previous surgeries.

Over the years Payel and her mother have moved several houses. From their 2,200 square yard ancestral home in Kolkata to a windowless one bedroom home in a crowded and suffocating unauthorized colony in South Delhi, hers has been a tough journey. Her previous landlord asked her to leave as he thought hers is a contagious disease.

However, Payel has been and continues to be a fighter and her condition has not weakened her passion for life.

True Grit

She has been optimistic. She says that she “loves life and wants to live it to the fullest.” She adds that she is aware that her genetic disorder is incurable, not terminal.

But financial worries constantly loom large over Payel as given her genetic disorder, emergency can crop up any time.

“Many donors pay for one or two months. But I need lifelong medical support. I can lead a normal life with medicines, but my resources are limited and fast exhausting,” says Payel.

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Kidney disease may increase the risk of Diabetes: says a study

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Kidney disease may increase the risk of diabetes.
Kidney disease may increase the risk of diabetes. IANS

New York, Dec 12: If you are suffering from kidney dysfunction, you may be at high risk of developing diabetes, finds a study.

The risk may be attributed to the rising level of urea — the nitrogen-containing waste product in blood, which comes from the breakdown of protein in foods.

Kidneys normally remove urea from the blood, but it can build up when kidney function slows down, resulting in greater insulin resistance as well as secretion in the body.

“We have known for a long time that diabetes is a major risk factor for kidney disease, but now we have a better understanding that kidney disease, through elevated levels of urea, also raises the risk of diabetes,” said the Ziyad Al-Aly, Assistant Professor at the Washington University in St. Louis.

“When urea builds up in the blood because of kidney dysfunction, it often results in increased insulin resistance and impaired insulin secretion,” Ziyad added.

The findings, published in the journal Kidney International, are significant because urea levels can be lowered through medication, diet — for example, by eating less protein — and other means, thereby allowing for improved treatment and possible prevention of diabetes, the researchers said.

For the study, the team evaluated the records of 1.3 million adults without diabetes over a five-year period, beginning in 2003.

Out of these, 117,000 of those without diabetes — or 9 per cent — had elevated urea levels, signalling poor kidney function and were at 23 per cent higher risk of developing diabetes. (IANS)

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Five Benefits of Honey and Lemon Drink that Can’t be Ignored

Lemon and honey mixture helps you lead a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

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Lemon and honey drink. Pixabay.
  • Lemon and Honey drink helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • The mixture gives you the right amount of nutrients and removes toxins from the body.

The advise of drinking warm water mixed with lemon and honey has been given to all of us. But how many of us do really follow the advise? Very few. We tend to avoid natural remedies and seek for synthetic ways to improve our health and skin. But, this is one remedy which cannot be ignored. From physicians to gym trainers, everyone will give you a heads up to the healthy mix. All you need to do is, mix some warm water with half lemon and honey and wait for wonders to happen.

How To make the honey- lemon drink (low-calorie drink):

  •   Boil a cup of water and allow it to cool until it is just warm to touch.
  •   Add a teaspoonful of organic, unprocessed honey and stir well to dissolve.
  •   Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the honey water, give it a stir and drink up.

Below are some benefits of Honey-Lemon drink:

  1. Boosts your immunity:

Lemon juice is a cocktail of all kinds of the body’s most essential nutrients. It has Vitamin C that help in fighting cold. Lemon is high in potassium as well, which stimulates nerve function, controls  blood pressure, helps in balancing pH Levels and reduces the overall acidity in the body. And, lemon juice’s mixture with honey cleanses the liver. This is one of the most amazing benefits of honey-lemon drink.

2. Helps in weight loss:

Lemon
Lemon juice mixed with honey helps you in losing weight. Pixabay.

Your health conscious friends would be the first ones to recommend you the healthy drink, as it prevents obesity. Since it cleanses the liver leading to body’s detoxification, your system’s metabolism rate gets boosted, and you start functioning better. The concoction is rich in pectin fiber, which helps in battling food cravings.

Also Read: Skin Benefits Of Coconut Oil: Beauty Tips using Coconut Oil

3. NO Acne! It promises you a clear and glowing skin:

If you’re dealing with an acne problem, then this is probably the best thing you could have.The anti bacterial properties of lemon and honey would do wonders to your skin.  The Vitamin C component reduces wrinkles and blemishes. Thus, a glass of this tasty and healthy drink, will in no time give you a clear skin.

4. Aids in food digestion:

Lemon
Lemon and honey mixture helps you with good digestion. Pixabay.

The honey & lemon drink helps the liver to produce bile, which is an acid required for digestion. Right digestion prevents constipation and heat burns.

5. Honey & Lemon Drink Boosts your energy early in the morning:

Lemon
The juice gives you energy to work throughout the day. Pixabay.

Benefits of honey & lemon drink: Lemon juice always freshens you up, but mixing it with honey will sustain your energy for a longer time. Honey is a food item providing lots of energy. Its composition of simple sugar like glucose and fructose will give you instant calories; therefore, giving you the power to work the whole day.

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by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.


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New Study Reveals Indian Population is the Carrier of Hepatitis B

The most common transmission route of Hepatitis in India is from mother to child. It has been said in a recent study that 3-5 % of Indian population is the carrier for Hepatitis B virus infection, the cause of viral hepatitis.

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Hepatitis A and E are the commonly transmitted hepatotropic viruses transmitted due to poor hygiene, contaminated food and drinking water, poor sanitation, Pixabay
  • Some common symptoms of Hepatitis are low-grade fever, body ache, lethargy, anorexia and joint pain
  • In Western countries, Hepatitis is increasingly recognized as a cause of chronic liver damage

New Delhi, July 28, 2017: Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. It can be caused by toxins, certain drugs, some diseases, heavy alcohol use, and bacterial and viral infections. Viral Hepatitis is a group of viral infections that affect the liver; the most common among these are Hepatitis A, B, C and E. Rarely other viruses like dengue, Chikungunya, herpes, and H1N1 can affect the liver. Although each can cause similar symptoms, they usually have different modes of transmission and can affect the liver differently.

Dr. Vinit Shah, Consultant Hepatologist, BGS Global Hospitals, low-grade fever, body ache, lethargy, anorexia and joint pain are some common symptoms. This is commonly called prodromal symptoms as it precedes the phase of liver attack by a period ranging from 1-2 weeks, mentioned ANI report.

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After Egypt, Pakistan stands Second in the world with maximum Hepatitis infected Patients

Hepatitis B virus infection is an extremely important cause of viral hepatitis, 3-5 % of Indian population is the carrier for hepatitis B infection, and some may be negative with virus damaging liver that is Occult hepatitis B and picking up viral DNA in blood or liver tissue. The most common route of virus transmission in India is from mother to a child.

Mostly there are chances that the virus can remain dormant in the body without any liver damage- asymptomatic carrier and is incidentally diagnosed during health checkups or pre operative checkups before any surgery. But, in some cases it can cause acute liver failure, chronic damage to the liver -chronic hepatitis, progression to chronic liver damage- cirrhosis or liver cancer –HCC in patients. The virus is known to have a tendency of suddenly returning to active multiplication from dormancy and causing severe liver damage (reactivation of hepatitis B).

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The high-risk groups are- pregnant women, health care professionals, sex workers or prior to proposed organ transplantation or chemotherapy administration and screening of them is of paramount importance. Once a patient is diagnosed with hepatitis, he gets referred to a specialized liver care team, further investigations involve testing the replication state of virus and extent of the liver damage so that return of virus to active multiplication and worsening chronic liver damage, liver cancer development are not missed.

The preventive measures involves  vaccination of the high risk groups especially, screening pregnant ladies and managing their infection properly during pregnancy and breast feeding with appropriate oral medications, proper delivery of the baby with immediate dual vaccination (vaccine plus hepatitis B immunoglobulin) to the child, screening blood and immunological products, safe needle and syringe practices, active screening of family members of infected patients and vaccination of those who are negative. Treatment involves early identification of a subset of people with liver damage and treating with oral antiviral medications and regularly checking them.

Hepatitis C virus has same modes of transmission as hepatitis B and can similarly cause chronic liver damage, liver cirrhosis, decompensation or liver cancer. No vaccine is available for hepatitis C so identifying infected patients and aggressively treating them to achieve complete viral response (SVR) is the only way to prevent progression to liver cancer and decompensation. With an advent of anti-viral oral medications (DAA’s) treating, hepatitis C is very easy, cost effective and highly successful now. But this should be done as soon as hepatitis C patient is identified and then referring him/her to a liver specialist.

ALSO READ: 

‘Coordinated action needed to curb hepatitis’

Hepatitis A and E are the commonly transmitted hepatotropic viruses transmitted due to poor hygiene, contaminated food and drinking water, poor sanitation that may lead to fecal-oral transmission. Pediatric age group (0-16 yrs old) is at risk for hepatitis A infection, in some cases, liver damage may be very severe (acute liver failure) leading to loss of liver function requiring liver transplantation.

Hepatitis E virus infection also has a similar way of transmission and pregnant ladies constitute the high-risk group for this viral infection and it is the most common cause of the disease during pregnancy.

In Western countries, it is increasingly recognized as a cause of chronic liver damage especially in post solid organ transplant recipients and as a result of consumption of contaminated pork, which is regarded as an important source of transmission. Prevention is again by ensuring proper hygiene and sanitation and vaccination of higher risk groups is in the research stage.

– prepared by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
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