Chronic Liver Disease

Join Chronic Liver Disease forum.Post your query about CLD related issues/concerns or share your experience about possible interventions to improve quality of life.

Chronic Liver disease (CLD) is a condition characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over time. CLD can be asymptomatic in early stage.Common symptoms of CLD includes easy fatigability or tiredness, reduced appetite, Jaundice, weight loss, swelling over leg or abdomen, muscle cramps/ pain etc.

Common cause of chronic liver disease are Viral Infection (Hepatitis), Alcohol abuse.

Hepatitis-

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. It can be caused by drugs, alcohol use, infectious agents (e.g. virus, bacteria etc.) or certain medical conditions. But in most cases, it's caused by a virus. This is known as viral hepatitis, and the most common forms are hepatitis A, B, C and E.

Diagnosis-Hepatitis and its subtype can be determined by blood investigations in laboratory.

Complications- Commonest complications of chronic hepatitis is cirrhosis (see below). Another complication liver cancer which is more common with chronic viral hepatitis B or C. So people with chronic hepatitis B or C need monitoring even if they feel healthy. Blood tests can detect proteins that suggest the presence of liver cancer. Ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs can reveal abnormality in the liver.

Cirrhosis-

Cirrhosis is a serious disease that occurs when healthy cells in the liver are damaged and replaced by scar tissue, usually as a result of alcohol abuse or chronic hepatitis. As liver cells give way to tough scar tissue, the organ loses its ability to function properly. Cirrhosis cannot be reversed or cured except, in some cases, through a liver transplant.

Radiologic imaging like ultrasonography, CT scan, MRI can diagnose cirrhosis. Liver biopsy is essential to determine severity and microscopic subtype of cirrhosis.

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COPD/Asthma

Join COPD/Asthma forum.Post your query about COPD/Asthma related issues/concerns or share your experience about possible interventions to improve quality of life.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung ailment that is characterized by a persistent blockage of airflow from the lungs. It is chronic and life-threatening lung disease that interferes with normal breathing and is not fully reversible. The more familiar terms of chronic bronchitis and emphysema are no longer used; they are now included within the COPD diagnosis.

Asthma:-

Asthma is a major non-communicable disease characterized by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing, which vary in severity and frequency from person to person. Symptoms may occur several times in a day or week in affected individuals, and for some people become worse during physical activity or at night. Recurrent asthma symptoms frequently cause sleeplessness, daytime fatigue, reduced activity levels and school and work absenteeism.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms are breathlessness (or a ""need for air""), abnormal sputum (a mix of saliva and mucus in the airway), and a chronic cough. Daily activities, such as walking up a short flight of stairs or carrying a suitcase, can become very difficult as the condition gradually worsens.

Common Risk factors

· Tobacco smoke (including passive exposure).

· indoor air pollution (such as solid fuel used for cooking and heating);

· outdoor air pollution

· occupational dusts and chemicals (vapours, irritants and fumes);

Diagnosis

Chest X ray and Pulmonary function test (""spirometry"") help to diagnose severity of disease.

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Diabetes

Join Diabetes forum.Post your query about Diabetes related issues/concerns or share your experience about possible interventions to improve quality of life.

Diabetes is a chronic disease, which occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. This leads to an increased concentration of glucose in the blood (hyperglycaemia).

Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent or childhood-onset diabetes) is characterized by a lack of insulin production.

Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes) is caused by the body’s ineffective use of insulin. It often results from excess body weight and physical inactivity.

Gestational diabetes is hyperglycaemia that is first recognized during pregnancy. Women with gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of complications during pregnancy and at delivery. They and their children are also at increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the future.

Common complications of diabetes?

Diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves on long term:

· Adults with diabetes have a 2-3-fold increased risk of heart attacks and paralysis (brain strokes).

· Combined with reduced blood flow, neuropathy (nerve damage) in the feet increases the chance of foot ulcers, infections.

· Diabetic retinopathy is an important cause of vision impairment or blindness. It occurs as a result of long-term damage to the small blood vessels in the retina.

· Diabetes is among the leading causes of kidney failure.

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Home and Palliative care

Join Home Care forum. Exchange your knowledge & experience about Home care or Palliative care and possible interventions to improve quality of life.

Home care (also referred to as domiciliary care or care at home), aims to provide supportive care to patients at home after major hospitalisation/surgery or after chronic debilitating illness or terminal stage illness. Such care may be provided by family member or professional paramedical staff (e.g. nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist etc.) under guidance of qualified doctors.

Scope of Home care is from basic supportive care to complex multidisciplinary care depending upon patient’s medical condition.

Basic supportive care:-Major segment of Home Care consists of basic supportive care in which care assistants help the individual with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, eating, using toilets. Nurses or rehabilitation therapist may provide medical treatment or rehabilitation which can reduce unnecessary hospitalisation and improve functional status of patient/individual.

Complex multidisciplinary care: For patients having chronic debilitating illness or terminal stage illness, home care may include palliative or hospice care. Palliative care is required for a wide range of diseases. The majority of adults in need of palliative care have chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (e.g. heart failure), cancer, chronic respiratory diseases (e.g. COPD), AIDS and diabetes. Many other conditions may require palliative care, including kidney failure, chronic liver disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, neurological disease. Such care involves coordinated efforts from doctors, nurses, physical therapist and care assistants depending upon clinical condition of patient.

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Low/Lower Back Pain

Join Low/Lower back pain forum. Post your query about Low/Lower back pain related issues/concerns or share your experience about possible interventions to improve quality of life.

Low back pain is one of the most common disorders. Majority of people have at least one episode of low back pain during their lifetime. Factors that increase the risk of developing low back pain include smoking, obesity, older age, female gender, physically strenuous work, sedentary work with improper sitting posture and psychological factors such as anxiety or depression.

Common causes include

Nonspecific low back pain, which means that there is not a specific disease or abnormality in the spine clearly causing the pain.

Degenerative disc due to Wear and tear or the breakdown of the spinal discs. It can occur normal aging and frequently cause no symptoms,

Spondylolisthesis — Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one of the vertebrae of the lower spine slips forward in relation to another.

Herniated disc — Recurrent mechanical stress on spinal discs can lead to herniation of a disc, in which the outer covering is weakened or torn, and the soft inner tissue extrudes (a ""slipped disc"").

Lumbar spinal stenosis — Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the vertebral canal (the open space inside the vertebrae) is narrowed. This is often caused by inflammation due to one or more damaged discs, and is particularly common in older patients.

Less common causes of low back pain — An infection, tumor, spinal compression fractures due to osteoporosis.

Back pain and work — Factors that may contribute to low back pain at work include poor posture while sitting or standing, sitting or standing for long periods of time, driving long distances, improper lifting techniques, frequent lifting, or lifting excessively heavy loads. Low back pain is as common among clerical workers who sit for prolonged periods as in people whose jobs require heavy lifting. Psychological factors like stress, anxiety and depression can contribute to low back pain.

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