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      Leg Cramps, Muscle Spasms: Definition, Causes, Treatment, Prevention.

      ARTICLE IS UNDER DEVELOPMENT.

       

       

      Muscle cramps are sudden, painful contractions of one or more muscles. They are involuntary, and they affect the mobility of the involved limb.

      Leg cramps, mainly the calf muscle, is the most affected. In many cases, spasm is harmless, and last only from a few seconds to several minutes.



      This is a fairly common condition. Most people experience it during their lifetime.

      It occurs more frequently in the young generation, especially athletes that overuse their muscles during competitive sports.

      Older people experience muscle cramps also, due to weakened muscles that cannot keep up with the requirements of daily life activities.





      However, you can develop muscle cramps at any age, especially if it results from a secondary health condition.

      The causes of leg cramps are not always known, but dehydration or overuse of the muscle can lead to this condition.

      Weather factors play a role. Too hot or too cold temperatures increase the chances of developing cramps.






      some muscle spasms may be related to an underlying medical condition, such as:

      Electrolyte or vitamins deficiency.

      vessels obstruction.

      diabetes,
      thyroid dysfunction,
      or low blood sugar.





      Muscle spasms can also be the side effect of some medications,
      like statins, medicines used to lower cholesterol levels.
      antipsychotics,
      diuretics and birth control pills.

      Too much caffeine or alcohol can be factors for muscle cramps.

      If your leg spasms wake you up at night, this condition is called nocturnal leg cramps. Such a condition is more often linked to the nervous system, and not vessels obstruction.







      To stop leg cramps immediately, you should forcefully stretch the affected muscle, which will normally promote rapid relief.

      Cold pads, or warm pads can reduce the severity of pain.
      A warm bath promotes relaxation of the muscles.
      A gentle rub can also provide relief.






      after the cramp occurs, you can implement some of the following measures to prevent this condition from happening again:

      Drink enough water to be adequately hydrated.

      Limit the intake of alcohol and caffeine.






      Consuming enough protein, is vital for the muscle tissues to repair themselves properly.

      Eat a healthy diet, or supplements to replace a deficiency in calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Bananas are rich in some of these minerals.

      Some studies, showed a particular benefit of vitamin B6, in reducing the occurrence of leg cramps of unknown causes.





      To prevent muscle cramps from happening during an activity, take the time to stretch and warm up the targeted muscle group, then gradually increase the activity, and remain well hydrated all the time.

      To treat Muscle cramps with a known cause, we should treat the underlying problem first to resolve the recurring muscle spams.




      Thank you for joining us in another video covering health-related topics with medical arts officials. Subscribe to support our channel. Like and share with your friends. Leave your comment below about your thoughts, questions, or suggestions.

      Spanish flu vs COVID-19

      Spanish flu vs COVID-19

      A century apart two pandemics caused by flu viruses, what are the similarities and differences that have changed in 100 years?

      Below you can find the scripts to our youtube video Spanish flu (1918) vs COVID 19 (2019)

       As we enter the second year of a World Pandemic Marathon

        It is worth reminding ourselves of the Spanish flu between 1918–1920.

        There were three waves of the "Spanish flu" that infected 500 million people, accounting for one-third of the world's population.

      In the spring of 1918, the first wave was regarded as mild, with a mortality rate not unusually high.

      This period witnessed WWI that involved traveling millions of troops, which contributed to the spread of the virus across the oceans.

       The second wave spread from France to England and then on to Spain.

       Where it killed eight million people and became known as the Spanish flu

       A unique feature about this infection is that nearly half of the deaths worldwide were in the healthy 20–40 year old age group.

      During the last four months of 1918, the United States reported 380,996 deaths.

      The third wave in early 1919 was less severe, but the age distribution of deaths was similar.

      The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide.

       A report by the Paris Medical Academy for the prevention of influenza was published in 1918.

       It consisted of personal hygiene measures, as mouthwashes.

      Gargle twice a day with a glass of warm water added with a solution of chlorinated soda.

      Prevention of overcrowding, washing, and disinfection of tramways and railways carriage, school closure.

      Since there was minimal understanding of influenza and no antiviral medications to slow its progression,

      therapies, such as Vicks VapoRub, aspirin, cough medicines, clean linen, ventilation, and hot soup were often prescribed.

      Hospitals were unable to accommodate all of the patients, even the most severe cases

      100 years later.

      In December 2019.

      There were reports of pneumonia clusters of an unknown cause at health facilities in Wuhan, China.

      Initially, these cases were linked to a wet animal wholesale market in the region. 

      Investigations identified a novel coronavirus.

      The outbreak quickly expanded locally and globally with large outbreaks.

      On January 21st, 2020, the United States had its first confirmed case.

      On March 11th, 2020, the WHO announced the coronavirus pandemic as an "International Public Health Emergency of International Concern."

        This was only the sixth time in history a global health emergency had been declared.

       We are not in a very different situation than in another period of our history when we managed the Spanish flu to face this pandemic.

       We do not know this virus, the characteristics of its disease, which drugs might give relief to patients!!

       We started relying on preventive measures as Physical distancing.

       Face masks To measure body temperature at the entrance of closed areas.

       To ensure disinfection rules in public contests as transports, shopping areas, schools, universities.

       Hand hygiene

       To protect healthcare workers with appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).

       Laboratories, research centers, and private industries have stepped forward to reduce this impact by investigating ways to slow the spread and finally by producing vaccines against some strains.

       In our century, there are vaccines to prevent a variety of influenza strains.

       Antiviral drugs to treat some flu illnesses, antibiotics to control some complications

       In both pandemics, there was a lack of global preparation and plan.

       As we examine the Spanish flu and COVID-19 pandemics, it is evident.

       There are lessons to be brought forward to manage the next pandemic better.

       Both diseases were caused by viruses, extremely contagious with high mortality,

       Both spread by breathing and by contact with contaminated surfaces.

       Since the 1918–1919 pandemic, there has been a century to study the origins of influenza strains, Which have created 7 pandemics in 100 years

       Rather than concentrating on when it will occur, we need to focus on the valuable lessons and carry them forward to future global disease outbreak preparation.

       Of course, the current availability of technology has made and continues to make a difference.

       Several strategies, such as health education, isolation, hygiene, and surveillance,

       have improved our knowledge of influenza transmission,

       Learn more about the human body and related topics: https://bit.ly/3eZjCSi 

       If you like our video, consider subscribing to our channel. 

       

      In this video, you will find answers to the following questions:
      What is the Spanish flu?
      When did the Spanish flu?
      How many waves happened during the Spanish flu pandemic?
      How many people were infected by the Spanish flu?
      How many people died because of the Spanish flu?
      What contributed to the spread of the Spanish flu in 1918?
      What happened during the second wave of Spanish flu? How many people died from Spanish flu in Spain?
      What age group was most affected by the Spanish flu?
      How did they treat people who caught the Spanish flu?
      A report by the Paris Medical Academy for the prevention of influenza was published in 1918. What did the recommendations consist of?
      When did COVID 19 / Coronavirus start? Where did COVID-19 start?
      When was the first case of coronavirus declared in the united states?
      What date did the world health organization (WHO) declare an international public health emergency?
      How many times in history has a global health emergency been declared?
      What are the differences between COVID 19 / coronavirus and the Spanish flu?
      How was COVID-19 handled?
      What measures were taken to control it?
      What are the similarities between the Spanish flu and COVID 19?
      What difference did the Laboratories, research centers, and private industries face the COVID 19 pandemic?
      What type of medicines are used to treat the coronavirus?
      What are our lessons from both pandemics?
      What should we do next?

      Read more

      Cardiac transplants - heart transplantation

      Cardiac transplants - heart transplantation

      Heart Transplantation

      The area of organ transplantation has progressed significantly over the last few decades,

      Yes, you can get a new heart and live for many more years!

      So, What is heart transplantation?
      It is a surgical transplant procedure to replace a failing heart with a healthier donor heart.

      or severe coronary artery disease when other medical or surgical treatments have failed

      Heart transplant rates have been growing exponentially.

      And there are more people on the waiting list now than is the organ availability.

      About 3,500 heart transplants were performed in the U.S. in 2019.

      Heart transplants are among the most complicated procedures.


      When was heart transplantation invented?

      Christiaan Barnard, who was born in 1922, established a successful open-heart surgery program, and with his team,

      performed the world's first human-to-human heart transplant operation on 3 December 1967

      Although the first heart transplant patient survived only 18 days,

      And four of the first 10 patients survived for more than one year,
      two living for 13 and 23 years respectively.

      This relative success amid many failures worldwide did much
      to generate guarded optimism that heart transplantation would eventually become a viable therapeutic option.

      From 1968 to 1983, Chris Barnard and his team continued to make significant contributions to organ transplantation, notably the development of heterotopic heart transplants.

      Today, heart transplantation has become a relatively routine and commonplace procedure.

      In general, the indication of elective heart transplantation:

      End-stage heart failure, patients who have disabling symptoms requiring mechanical circulatory support and inotropic support despite optimal medical management

      non compensated heart failure affecting the quality of life

      Urgent referral for a heart transplant is indicated in some cases
      Refractory cardiogenic shock despite maxed out inotropes
      persistent requirement of mechanical circulatory support

      contre indications for a heart transplant
      Unfortunately, many patients with advanced heart failure who meet the indications for a heart transplant may not be able to get it as they have one of the following contraindications :

      active infection

      chronic liver disease

      other severe medical conditions that compromise the quality of life despite a usually functional heart

      There is a limited supply of heart donors, so the criteria are relatively strict.

      How is the surgery performed?
      The key equipment needed is a well-preserved donor heart and an eligible recipient.

      Ideally, a donated heart has only 4-6 hours to be transplanted
      Cardiopulmonary bypass is required during the procedure.

      The whole surgery is carried under general anesthesia.

      How long does a heart transplantation surgery take?
      A heart transplant surgery procedure takes approximately four hours.

      During the procedure, the patient is aided by a heart-lung machine for blood circulation throughout the body.

      What is the survival rate for heart transplant patients?
      Approximately 85-90% of heart transplant patients live up to one year after their surgery.

      With improvements in medications suppressing the immune system and preventing all kinds of infection, the survival rate among heart transplant patients has increased.

      The annual death rate after one year is 4%.

      Both early and late complications can fail heart transplants.

      Hence, careful supervision is needed in the immediate post-operative period as well as years after transplant.


      An integrated interprofessional team is involved in the process, starts with the first check-up and continues with post-operative follow-ups.

      A cardiologist, cardiothoracic surgeon, trained nursing staff, and pharmacist well trained with titration and side effects of immunosuppressants can significantly improve heart transplantation outcomes.

      Risks of heart transplant
      Besides the risks of having open-heart surgery, which include bleeding, infection, and blood clots, risks of a heart transplant include :

      Rejection of the donor's heart
      Primary graft failure
      Medication side effects

      The immunosuppressants the patient takes for the rest of their life can cause severe kidney damage and other problems.

      This group of medications decreases the chances of a donor's heart rejection by the immune system.

      Immunosuppressants decrease the ability to fight infection.

      and can also increase the risk of developing cancer

      How much does cardiac transplantation cost?

      Have you ever thought about how much this surgery costs, even though the heart is taken from a dead person and therefore typically free of cost?

      A heart transplant is one of the most expensive types of surgeries.

      It costs approximately $1,500,000 USD for one operation

      But of course, this price varies from place to place.

      Subscribe to our YouTube channel To learn more details about the indications, contraindications, and preparation for heart transplant surgery in our upcoming videos

      Read more

      What are autoimmune diseases?

      What are autoimmune diseases?

       Autoimmune diseases!?

      An increasing threat to our quality of life

      Rheumatoid arthritis
      Vitiligo
      Some most common thyroid diseases
      Are all examples of autoimmune diseases

      As we know :
      A healthy immune system is the wall of defense against disease and infection.

      But if the immune system malfunctions, it mistakenly attacks healthy cells, tissues, and organs.

      These attacks can affect any part of your body,
      weakening bodily function and shorten your life expectancy!

      Autoimmune disease is an abnormal condition caused by the adaptive autoimmune response attacking the body's cells as if they were a virus.

      These conditions are becoming more and more common.

      The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that 23.5 million Americans are affected by autoimmune diseases.
      Stats of 2017 approx. 7% of Americans

      Unfortunately, the overall number of cases of autoimmune diseases is rising for unknown reasons!

      Women are disproportionately affected compared to men.
      Some diseases such as lupus affect ten times more women than men.

      Here are the key points of how autoimmune diseases occur

      Dysfunction of the immune system will result in activation of T cells or B cells or both,
      These functions are typically reserved for invading microbes into our bodies.

      Autoimmune reactions usually happen in the absence of an ongoing infection or other discernible cause.

      Cytotoxic T-cells directly attack the target cells and lead to their apoptosis.
      Phenomena are Also called programmed cell death.

      B-cells secret Autoantibodies that also cause damage through several mechanisms. One of them is the secretion of inflammatory cytokines.

      An example of an autoimmune dysfunction is Rheumatic fever (RF)

      Rheumatic fever represents an autoimmune response triggered by a streptococcal infection, also called strep throat.

      RF can be prevented if strep throat is diagnosed early and treated adequately.

      Scientists identified more than 80 autoimmune diseases.
      Crohn's Disease 1.3% of Americans

      Diabetes Type 1
      1.6 million Americans

      Multiple sclerosis
      1 in every 400 people

      Rheumatoid arthritis
      1.5 million Americans

      We will discuss and explain each of those diseases separately in the upcoming videos.

      Who is at risk of developing autoimmune reactions?
      Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated that genetic factors are crucial determinants of susceptibility to autoimmune disease.

      Familial clustering and the rate of concordance for autoimmune disease is higher in monozygotic twins than in dizygotic twins.

      However, even in a genetically predisposed person, some trigger is usually required for autoreactivity.
      A trigger might be environmental exposure or a change in the internal environment.

      An example of an infection causing autoimmune diseases is Guillain–Barré syndrome.

      Classification of Autoimmune Diseases

      Systemic (as in the case of systemic lupus erythematosus)

      Or Organ-specific (as in the case of type 1 diabetes mellitus).

      However, the distinctions become blurred as the effect of localized autoimmune disorders frequently extends beyond the targeted tissues, indirectly affecting other body organs and systems.

      What are the Symptoms of autoimmune diseases?
      The Clinical presentation of autoimmune disorders is disease-specific and often corresponds with the degree of inflammation and the systems involved.

      Some of the more common symptoms of autoimmune disorders include fatigue, general feeling of being unwell (malaise), dizziness, joint pain, rash, and low-grade fever.

      The diseases may also have flare-ups when they get worse and remissions when symptoms get better or disappear.

      Autoimmune disorders can be challenging to recognize and diagnose as they affect multiple organs, leading to highly variable signs and symptoms that can change in severity over time.

      Laboratory tests performed to diagnose autoimmune disorders depend on the particular disease the health practitioner suspects.

      An investigation usually includes blood tests for one or more autoantibodies.
      Tests for inflammation such as C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). Give a general idea about the presence of inflammation in the body.

      Are autoimmune diseases curable?
      Unfortunately, most of these diseases have no cure.
      Some require lifelong treatment to ease symptoms.

      Treatment varies based on the specific disease, its stage of presentation, and patient symptoms.
      The primary goal of treatment is to decrease inflammation, minimize symptoms, and lessen the potential for relapse.

      Sometimes doctors prescribe corticosteroids or other drugs that reduce your immune response.

      To identify an active disease, we need reproducible and reliable serologic and clinic methods to assess the risk of each autoimmune disease.

      For example, the use of the American College of Rheumatology criteria for a response in patients with rheumatoid arthritis allows clinicians to compare the efficacy of various drugs in different trials.

      Will A.I. and new technologies help us become more efficient in managing autoimmune diseases? We will discuss this in another video.

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      Thank you for watching!

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