Blighted Ovum: Causes, Symptoms, and How To Treat It

Blighted Ovum: Causes, Symptoms, and How To Treat It

 

This article would prove helpful if you have recently come across this term or your doctor has told you that you have experienced a blighted ovum.

 

A blighted ovum, also known as an anembryonic pregnancy, is a condition when a fertilised egg successfully implants into the uterus lining, but it fails to develop into an embryo. Although the placenta and embryonic sac form, they remain empty, and no baby is growing inside the womb. This condition is also known as anembryonic gestation.

 

An anembryonic pregnancy is one of the leading causes of miscarriage detected in certain pregnancies. This is because even though no embryo develops, the placenta still produces hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) – the pregnancy hormone that maintains the pregnancy throughout.

 

Since urine and blood pregnancy tests detect human chorionic gonadotropin, a blighted ovum can result in a positive pregnancy test, even though the pregnancy isn’t progressing. You may have the typical early pregnancy symptoms such as feeling nausea and sore breasts, but the hormone levels decrease, and the symptoms fade with time.

 

Therefore, this article will examine the symptoms, causes, and where to find support if you happen to be undergoing a blighted ovum.

 

Causes of Blighted Ovum 

 

Now that we have a brief on the topic and what it is about, let’s discuss what causes/triggers its appearance.

 

If you have suffered a blighted ovum, rest assured that there was nothing that you could have done to avoid it. The causes of blighted ovum have nothing to do with what you did before or after being pregnant.

 

Unfortunately, there is no exact cause of blighted ovum. Researchers are still invested and are trying to find what causes it. However, a few sources claim that this condition could happen due to some issue in the chromosomes.

 

Some claim that a blighted ovum pregnancy happens due to chromosomal abnormalities that occur within the fertilised egg. This could be due to the influence of genetics or even because of the poor quality of sperms. However, constant blighted ovum pregnancies can be due to problems in chromosome 9. Therefore it would be best to talk to your doctor. 

 

The reason why it often goes unrecognised is that it occurs pretty early. As far as blighted ovum pregnancies go, most women go through the following:

 

  • Happen to have quite successful terms and babies after going through an anembryonic pregnancy.
  • Go through such pregnancies either during their first time or more than once.

 

Symptoms of Blighted Ovum 

 

Just as mentioned before, a blighted ovum pregnancy can happen without even knowing. In the same way, it can end without you even realising that you were once pregnant. However, you may experience some pregnancy symptoms such as:

 

  • A positive pregnancy test
  • A missed period
  • Sore breasts
  • Morning sickness

 

As the pregnancy ends, the symptoms begin to resemble a miscarriage. Such symptoms include the following:

 

  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • The disappearance of sore breasts
  • Abdominal cramping that could be mild to moderate

 

Pregnancy tests measure the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin. Hence, a blighted ovum pregnancy continues until the term ends.  

 

If you are experiencing any of these signs, you may be going through a miscarriage. Therefore, it is vital to see a doctor or a healthcare professional.

 

Diagnosis of Blighted Ovum 

 

Going through the symptoms of a blighted ovum pregnancy can really put women in a rough spot. Nevertheless, a blighted ovum is often first discovered in an ultrasound during an appointment.

 

This is tough for women, especially those with successful pregnancy terms and who have heartfelt experiences during ultrasound testing.  

 

The sonogram will show the placenta, and an empty embryonic sac, indicating a blighted ovum pregnancy in the 8th to 13th weeks of the pregnancy term.

 

Treatment of Blighted Ovum 

 

If a blighted ovum pregnancy comes across during an ultrasound check-up, or if you have been experiencing any of the symptoms – the doctor may advise any of the following treatment options:

 

1. Dilation and Curettage (D&C) 

 

Dilation and Curettage is a surgical option that helps remove the contents of the uterus. During this surgical treatment, the doctor or healthcare professional will dilate the cervix and use specific medical tools to eliminate the pregnancy tissues. This operation either happens under general anaesthesia or sedation.

 

2. Natural Miscarriage   

 

Your doctor will ask you to follow the natural miscarriage process if it is a safe treatment option. Your body will eventually end up releasing the pregnancy tissues. You will go through cramping, intense abdominal pain, and bleeding once the miscarriage starts. It can take up to days to weeks for this process to begin.

 

3. Induced Miscarriage 

 

In this treatment option, you’ll have a medicine induced miscarriage. For this process to occur, a medication named Misoprostol brings on a miscarriage. The medicine speeds the process instead of just waiting for it to begin. You’ll experience bleeding, cramping and abdominal pain within thirty minutes to ten hours after taking the medication.

 

Keep in mind that your mental health, medical history, and current emotional state is kept in check when coming up with a suitable treatment option.

 

Conclusion

 

A blighted ovum pregnancy can take a toll on the women who go through it. Even though there is no baby, it is still a pregnancy loss.

 

Not only are such pregnancies emotionally draining, but they can take a reasonable amount of time to finish and can be longer than anticipated. That is why some women prefer to get rid of it surgically or through medicines. On the other hand, some women wait for the pregnancy to fade with time.

 

It is essential to note that a blighted ovum pregnancy isn’t something one can keep on the bay. Therefore, if you’re worried that a condition like that could affect your plans, it would help if you talked to your doctor about genetic causes.

 

Talk to your partner, look up success stories, or even reconnect with the hobbies and people you love to improve yourself emotionally. 

 

Going through a blighted ovum during your first pregnancy can be an intense hope crusher. However, it is crucial not to let it get to you and give your body time to heal. Women who experience blighted ovum pregnancies go on to have successful terms as well.

 

What Is Lipedema? Symptoms, Treatment, and Its Relationship to Lymphedema and Obesity

What Is Lipedema? Symptoms, Treatment, and Its Relationship to Lymphedema and Obesity

 

Lipedema is known as a long term condition that affects women primarily. It causes a massive buildup of fat beneath the skin, usually among the body’s lower region, i.e. legs and hips. But in some cases, it affects the arms too. However, it does not affect the hands or the feet of the individual.


There are four main stages of Lipedema, and as the disease advances, so does the fat accumulation in the targeted region. In addition to the increased fat accumulation, the targeted areas also suffer from extreme swelling and pain levels.


Lipedema is a chronic condition with a few reports where men have contracted the disease. This condition can cause a lot of physical discomforts, but because there isn’t a lot of public awareness on this, it can allow such affected people to be a victim of emotional stress.


Therefore, in this article, we will dive deep and discuss what this condition is, what causes it, what are the symptoms, its possible treatment plans, and what relationship it has with other physical and health issues such as obesity.


Before we begin, it would be best if you knew that Lipedema and Lymphedema are two different conditions. Though both conditions are often confused, we will discuss what sets them apart.


Causes of Lipedema


The causes of Lipedema are unknown, and doctors haven’t discovered them well.


Nevertheless, it is taken more like a condition that is inherited/genetic and could run in certain families. In addition, some healthcare professionals believe it could also happen or trigger due to the female hormones since the condition mainly occurs in women.


The reason why some believe that hormones may be the culprit is that it starts to worsen during the following life stages of a woman:


  • Puberty
  • Pregnancy
  • Around the time of menopause.

Even though Lipedema doesn’t get triggered or happens due to obesity, most affected people are overweight or obese.  


Since Lipedema is a chronic issue in women, even dieting can’t aid in losing weight in the lower region. However, it can significantly reduce the upper part of those dealing with Lipedema.


Symptoms of Lipedema 


Some of the Lipedema symptoms areas are mentioned in the list below:


  • There is an increased amount of fat buildup in the calves, buttocks, legs, and sometimes in the arms.
  • A feeling of constant pain and discomfort in the lower region of the body.
  • As the condition worsens, the ability to walk around is drastically affected.
  • Most patients are emotionally distressed due to their lower body growing at an alarming rate.

As the fat keeps accumulating or storing beneath the skin, there comes a time when the lymphatic pathway is blocked. The blockage of the lymphatic course causes an increase in the amount of a fluid known as lymph. This state is known as Lymphedema.


It is essential to remember that Lymphedema and Lipedema are two different things. Lymphedema is due to the excess buildup of the fluid lymph, and Lipedema happens due to the surplus fat stored.


Though Lymphedema doesn’t cause tender legs, it is possible to be affected by both Lipedema and Lymphedema at the same time.


Types of Lipedema 


Generally, doctors and healthcare professionals divide Lipedema into five main types based on where the condition affects the body.


The five main types of Lipedema are as stated:


  • Type 1 – when the fat accumulates between the bellies and hips. It covers the pelvis and buttocks region.
  • Type 2 – when the fat is around the pelvis region, down to the knees.
  • Type 3 – when the fat starts storing at the pelvis area until the ankles. A person affected by this type may have prominent fat around the ankle.
  • Type 4 – when the fat spreads from the shoulders and continues until the wrist.
  • Type 5 – when the fat majorly accumulates in the region of the calves.

Treatment of Lipedema 


As for the treatment plans, there is no cure available for the disease itself. However, there are a few ways through which the symptoms of Lipedema are manageable.


Manual Lymphatic Drainage 


Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a form of gentle massage that stimulates the movement of the lymph fluid around the body through rhythmic pumping movements.


This massage can help drain lymph fluid from all the crowded areas into the healthy vessels of the body. This helps in reducing the risks of scarring and increases blood flow. In addition, increased blood flow may help with pain reduction.


Compression 


Compression therapy can also help control Lipedema. This treatment option includes using stretchy bandages or clothing items that aid in inducing pressure on the tissues located inside the swollen limbs.


Even though this is a cosmetic option/treatment, it may significantly reduce a person’s chances of having more fluid buildup in their limbs.


Liposuction 


Liposuction is a highly effective way of controlling Lipedema. It happens when other options fail to manage the condition. Liposuction includes removing the Lipedema fat while sparing the body’s lymphatic vessels.


The process follows as a surgeon inserts an instrument under the skin during the operation. This instrument can break up the buildup of fatty tissues and remove them from the body with the help of a powerful vacuum.


There are two types of Liposuction known:


  • The tumescent technique involves injecting a saline solution into the fatty substances before removing the Lipedema fat. 
  • Water-jet Assisted Liposuction (WAL): During this, the surgeon uses saline or Klein solution that releases the fat for Liposuction. 

Conclusion


Lipedema is a chronic disease that has no cure available as of now. However, if one catches on to their symptoms earlier and seeks medical assistance right away, the patient will recover a lot better.


Unfortunately, one of the drastic consequences of living with Lipedema is suffering through poor quality of life. In most cases, Lipedema is misdiagnosed or misunderstood, which can negatively affect the person’s life.


If you believe that you have all the symptoms of Lipedema, then it would be best to contact your doctor immediately. This can help in controlling the situation rather than worsening it. In addition, one of the best ways to cope with this condition is to find support for people suffering from this disease. It may help the affected to balance them emotionally.

 

Endometriosis Symptoms: What Are They? How Can You Treat Them?

Endometriosis Symptoms: What Are They? How Can You Treat Them?

 

Endometriosis is a painful disorder where a similar tissue like the one that lines inside a uterus happens to grow outside. The lining of the uterus is known as the endometrium.


Endometriosis typically involves the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and the tissues lining the pelvis region. It’s uncommon for this tissue to spread beyond the pelvis region, but it is not impossible. These tissues are known as endometrial tissue, and this tissue growing outside the uterus is known as the endometrial plant.


Specific changes in the hormonal activity of your menstrual cycle affect the misplaced endometrial tissue, making the area swollen, inflamed, and painful. Hence, the tissue will grow, thicken, and eventually tear/break apart. Finally, it will have nowhere to go and become trapped in the pelvis region.


The tissue trapped in the pelvis region can cause the following conditions to happen:


  • When endometriosis involves the ovaries, it can cause cysts known as Endometriomas
  • Irritation
  • Formation of scar tissues
  • Adhesions – bands of fibrous tissues that cause to bind the organs and tissues together
  • Fertility issues
  • Unbearable menstrual pain during the cycle

Therefore, this article will examine the symptoms, causes, risk factors, complications, and possibly effective treatment plans.


So let’s get started!


Symptoms of Endometriosis 

 

There are different symptoms of endometriosis. Some people experience mild symptoms, while others experience regular to severe symptoms. In some cases, there is a possibility that some might not even go through any symptoms.


The primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain and is often associated with the menstrual cycle. Although most women experience cramps, those with endometriosis- their description of period pain is way worse than usual. In addition, this degree of pain may increase over time.


It is also important to note that the degree of your pain isn’t supposed to match the severity of your condition. For example, one could have a mild form of the inflicted disease but could be going through painful symptoms.


Aside from the general pelvic pain, you may go through the following symptoms too:


  • Painful periods accompanied by severe back pain
  • Bad cramps around 1 or 2 weeks of the cycle and abdominal pain
  • Feeling uncomfortable and pain during sexual intercourse
  • Discomfort with bowel movements and urination
  • Infertility issues

Causes of Endometriosis


The exact cause of endometriosis is uncertain. Doctors haven’t cracked or discovered any reliable reasons why it occurs. However, theories over the years have been presented to know why it happens, but none of them is scientifically proven.


Retrograde Menstruation


In retrograde menstruation, it is said that menstrual blood that has the endometrial cells flows back by the fallopian tubes and into the pelvis region instead of going out of the body. These cells stick to pelvic walls, where they grow, thicken and bleed throughout each cycle.


Surgical Scars   


After an inevitable surgery, for example, C-section or Hysterectomy, it’s possible for the period of blood to leak in the pelvic cavity because of the endometrial cells that may attach themselves to the surgery scar/incision.


Transportation of the Endometrial Cells 


Another theory is that the endometrial cells are transported out of the uterus through the lymphatic system. However, another theory claims that a problem with the immune system may make the body unable to recognise the tissue growing.


Apart from the theories claimed and stated, some people say that the development of endometriosis could also be linked to environmental factors and genetics.


Risk Factors and Complications of Endometriosis  


Several risk factors put one at more risk than others of developing endometriosis. Some of these include the following:


  • Never given birth
  • Disorders of the reproductive tract
  • One or more relatives have endometriosis
  • Any medical condition that prevents the passage of blood during periods
  • Heavy bleeding of the menstrual cycle lasts more than seven days

As for the complications, the conditions below could pose a life-long problem for some people.


Infertility 


Unfortunately, having issues with one’s fertility is one of the significant complications of endometriosis. Only those with milder cases can conceive and carry a successful term, while others have difficulty getting pregnant.


However, a few success stories show women could conceive after the complete removal of the scar tissue. If you cannot create even after having the tissue removed, you could go for options such as IVF to improve the chances of having a baby.


It would be best to talk to a doctor or a healthcare professional to have better guidance on the whole case. 


Cancer 


It is claimed that ovarian cancer occurs at a higher rate in endometriosis. However, the overall risk of ovarian cancer is low, to begin with. Endometriosis-associated adenocarcinoma; is a rare type of cancer that can deepen its root in those who happen to have endometriosis.


Treatment of Endometriosis


Endometriosis can interfere with your daily activities if left untreated. However, some medical and surgical options are available to manage the symptoms. Since everyone has different symptoms, your doctor will prescribe the best options according to your condition.


  • Medications: You might be advised to help overcome the pain if your symptoms aren’t that severe. 
  • Hormonal Therapy: Taking some supplementary hormones can relieve the pain and halt the spread of endometriosis.
  • Hysterectomy: This is a last-resort surgery- that will be recommended if the other treatment options go in vain. During this surgery, the surgeon removes the uterus and cervix. However, there are two types of surgery depending on the condition. 

Although hysterectomy is an option, it is not regarded as a cure. It is not taken as a treatment as after the surgery, one would be unable to get pregnant. If you’re thinking of starting a family, it would be best to discuss other options before agreeing to the surgery.


Conclusion


Endometriosis is when the tissue resembling the one in the uterus starts developing in other areas, especially the pelvis area. It is a chronic disease that is yet to discover its causes. Moreover, it doesn’t seem to have a cure. 

 

However, if you happen to feel that you are going through the symptoms mentioned above in the article, it would be best to seek medical help or talk to a healthcare professional.


Through the help of effective treatment plans, one’s symptoms and pain are manageable. Consult a doctor or a healthcare professional and seek better guidance for your case, as they would be able to come up with a specific plan according to the symptoms and the degree of pain you’re going through.

 

Fallopian Tube Problems: Blockage, Salpingitis, Hydrosalpinx

Fallopian Tube Problems: Blockage, Salpingitis, Hydrosalpinx

 

Fallopian tubes, also known as the uterine tubes and oviducts, are the female structures of the body responsible for the ova’s transportation from the uterus every month.


Eggs pass from the ovaries to the fallopian tubes and then to the uterus. As for the female reproductive tract, there is a single ovary and a fallopian tube on each side of the uterus. In the presence of sperm and fertilisation, the fallopian tubes take the fertilised egg to the uterus for the process of implantation to take place.


It is vital to note that the fallopian tube is essential for the female reproductive system. They are the direct pathways for the egg cells to go from the ovaries to the uterus. Hence, without these tubes or any disorders in them, it would be nearly impossible to get pregnant or carry a successful term.


The blockage of the fallopian tubes is one of the main reasons or causes that lead to female infertility. If any part of this tube is damaged due to an infection or a specific surgery, there could be blockage because of scar tissue.


Therefore, this article will discuss the different disorders such as blockage, how they affect the tubes, and when to seek medical help.


So let’s get started!


Fallopian Tube Blockage


If a fallopian tube is blocked, it is most likely that the passageway of the sperm reaches the eggs – and the way back to the uterus to the fertilised egg is blocked too.


Symptoms of Fallopian Tube Blockage


In most cases, blocked fallopian tube blockage doesn’t cause any alarming symptoms that one can catch on easily. Many women don’t even realise that they have blocked fallopian tubes until they go through the following:


  • Get pregnant
  • Problems regarding conception
  • Suffer mild to regular pain in the abdomen region

However, a blocked fallopian tube may cause some women to experience pain in the belly or pelvis area. They might have this pain during their periods, or it could be that this might be constant.


Sometimes, blocked fallopian tubes can lead to chronic to mild pain in one side of the abdomen. This type of blockage of the uterine tubes is better known as hydrosalpinx – a condition where fluid fills and enlarges the blocked tube. We will discuss this in-depth later in the article.


At other times, a blocked fallopian tube can cause a fertilised egg to get stuck, known as ectopic pregnancy. Women who believe they may be undergoing ectopic pregnancy – going through symptoms such as one-sided stomach and vaginal bleeding, then you must seek medical help immediately.


Causes of Fallopian Tube Blockage


There can be an array of reasons why some percentages of women end up with a blocked fallopian tube. Some of them are:


  • Have a history of issues in the pelvic region
  • Have contracted a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhoea
  • Have a history of surgeries performed in the pelvic area

Such problems can affect the fallopian tubes and cause scar tissue. These scar tissues, in turn, can block the tubes.


Salpingitis


Salpingitis is the inflammation of the fallopian tubes and a type of PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease). It is regarded as the infection of the reproductive organs of the body. Such infections are usually a result of sexually transmitted diseases.


The inflammation caused can quickly affect the other tube, thus leaving both the tubes to be affected. If Salpingitis isn’t paid attention to, it causes long term complications in women. Hence, it is vital to understand and know the symptoms to seek medical attention immediately.


Symptoms of Salpingitis


If one happens to be affected by Salpingitis, it may be possible that it has no symptoms at all. However, some women go through symptoms such as continuous pain in the pelvic region, fever, and feeling unwell.


Salpingitis requires compulsory and immediate antibiotic treatment since it can transition into a chronic disease. If the other symptoms of Salpingitis happen to be present, they may include the following:


  • Abnormal vaginal discharge along with an unusual colour and odour
  • Spotting between periods
  • Painful sex, ovulation, and menstrual cycle
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain on both sides
  • Lower back pain
  • Frequent urination

Causes of Salpingitis


Salpingitis is caused by bacterial infections that contract due to vaginal intercourse, but one is more at risk if:


  • They have had an STI before
  • They are engaging in sexual activities with numerous partners
  • They have performed unprotected sex

It is also essential to remember that Salpingitis can be acute or chronic. If one’s case is beyond saving, they face infertility, tubo-ovarian abscess, and ectopic pregnancy.


Hydrosalpinx


To make this easier – “hydro” means “water”, and “salpinx” means the fallopian tube. Hydrosalpinx is defined as a fallopian tube that is blocked due to a watery fluid. 


The fluid stays or accumulates there because of acute or chronic inflammation happening in the tube. The condition is normally caused by a previous infection of the pelvic region or a sexually transmitted disease.


Nevertheless, it can have a massive impact on a pregnancy term, as discussed below.


Symptoms of Hydrosalpinx


There aren’t many symptoms of hydrosalpinx to begin with. Most women don’t even know that they are affected until they can’t have kids since hydrosalpinx directly affects fertility. However, some of the symptoms that appear are:


  • Pelvic pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Flu-like symptoms

Nonetheless, if one of the tubes has been affected with hydrosalpinx, it is possible to conceive with the other open one tube if it’s healthy. However, given the delicate environment of the uterus – hydrosalpinx will most likely affect it, causing a low pregnancy rate.


Causes of Hydrosalpinx


There are a bunch of several reasons as to why hydrosalpinx may happen. However, some of the commonest ones of them are listed down below:


  • STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections)
  • PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)
  • Recent abdominal surgery
  • Endometriosis

Again, ectopic pregnancy or constant pain in the pelvic region are indications that hint towards one possibly having hydrosalpinx.


Conclusion


It would be better to stay on the safe side and be updated about one’s medical history when planning a pregnancy. Even though blocked fallopian tubes can cause infertility in most cases, it is still possible to give birth and carry a successful pregnancy term.


 In most cases, the doctor would advise laparoscopic surgery. This is a surgery where the blockage is removed, and one would have better fertility. However, if the damage done is grave, IVF could also be an option to pursue.


In the cases of Salpingitis and hydrosalpinx, with early diagnosis and effective treatment options, they can fully clear out through antibiotics. Nonetheless, if left untreated, they can result in health complications such as ectopic pregnancy and infertility.


One must immediately contact a doctor or seek professional medical help if they happen to experience the symptoms mentioned in the article for some time being.

 

What is Ricin Poison? Castor Bean Poisoning Symptoms and Antidote

What is Ricin Poison? Castor Bean Poisoning Symptoms and Antidote

Castor beans are used to make castor oil, as they are the basic component needed. However, the main question is, what is Ricin? Also known as castor bean poison, Ricin is the waste product made when castor oil is produced.

Ricin is a highly potent poison found naturally in castor beans. If the castor beans are eaten and digested, they can cause fatal injury to the human system. It works by getting inside the body’s cells and prevents them from making any protein. Without the presence of proteins, the cells eventually finish. This, in return, snatches life from the system, resulting in death. There are many forms of this poison. It is found in powder form, a mist, dissolved in water, and mixed with weak acid. The lethal poison was discovered in 1888 by a German scientist named Peter Hermann Stillmark. It is one of the toxic substances known and is feared due to having the potential of being a biological warfare or as a weapon of extreme destruction. People can be affected by sniffing it, injecting it, or coming into contact with contaminated liquids or food.

Though it is infectious and dangerous, it’s not contagious. Even the symptoms of ricin poisoning depend on how much of it was taken and how it was taken (method of exposure). We will discover more about its symptoms depending on the type of exposure.


So let’s get into it!

Signs and Symptoms of Ricin

Ricin poisoning directly depends on the route of exposure and the dose taken. There are three types of exposure, meaning that there are three ways in which Ricin can enter a human body. These types are injecting, inhaling and ingesting. Thus, there are different symptoms for each distinct type. Generally, it is said that inhalation is a more lethal exposure than any other.


1. Ricin Poisoning by Injection

It is hard for Ricin to absorb through the skin, yet it can through under the skin, through the muscles and even through veins. As a result, one may feel swelling and discomfort where the poison has been injected. This is a rare case, but it can happen.

Nonetheless, if you have been injected with Ricin, you may have flu-like symptoms such as prolonged body aches, nausea, and puking. As time passes, the person infected will develop severe symptoms that can potentially cause life-threatening complications. 

More signs include diarrhoea, fever, and inflammation of the liver, pancreas, and kidney.


2. Ricin Poisoning by Ingestion

The commonest of ricin poisoning is by ingesting it. If you are exposed to ricin poison through foods and beverages, the initial signs may seem like food poisoning within an estimate of 5 or 6 hours. People, who have ingested it, are most likely to experience unbearable abdominal pain.

The abdominal pain will be accompanied by vomiting and diarrhoea at times. Due to diarrhoea, the infected person will also become dehydrated; hence they must maintain their water levels. 

More symptoms include blood in urine, intestinal bleeding, and seizures. Although ingesting ricin poisoning is less toxic than inhaling it, a sufficient amount and dose can cause death.


3. Ricin Poisoning by Inhaling

Inhaling Ricin is by far the most dangerous type of its poisoning. When Ricin is exposed through inhaled aerosol, it can easily affect numerous people in the surroundings. In a case with many people, they will experience the symptoms in about 7 to 8 hours.

People, who have happened to inhale the deadly poison, will face or go through symptoms such as high fever, puking, and severe coughing and congestion in the areas such as the throat and nose. In addition, these people will have breathing issues and a tight feeling in the chest. When exposed to a significantly long period, breathing difficulty can arise in 12 to 24 hours. If the affected person has a chest x-ray done, it might show excess fluid in the lungs.


Diagnosis of Ricin Poisoning

Once Ricin enters your body, it wrecks chaos in your immune system. Bodies of people who have been exposed to ricin poisoning show evident traces of the antibodies formed within two weeks following the exposure. Diagnosis of the condition may be made after the medical analysis of the body fluid or through a nasal swab. Unfortunately, this method of diagnosis isn’t available due to diagnosing tools not being clinically cleared for testing.


Treatment of Ricin Poisoning

Unfortunately, there isn’t a proper treatment plan or an antidote to recover from the poison’s effects. This is why one must take all the preventive measures necessary. If the poison somehow attacks a person, they should immediately seek medical help so that the toxin can be taken out or removed from their body.


Conclusion

Even though there are no definite solutions for the poison’s spread, there are ways through which each route of exposure is handled. Once you are confirmed that Ricin has poisoned you, seek medical help immediately. If you have ingested Ricin, it can lead to dehydration. Thus, the doctor will put you on IV fluids and control your blood pressure as it tends to rise. Your doctor may recommend pumping of the stomach if the ingestion is recent.

Ricin poison injected into a body can potentially harm your heart, liver, pancreas, and other vital organs. Such affected patients are needed to be constantly monitored and go through numerous tests. The fluid balance will be targeted by your doctor and hinder the inflammation of the organs. When the Ricin is inhaled, it causes damage to a cluster of people, which causes the same symptoms in them. Treating inhaled Ricin can involve chest x-rays to determine excess fluid in the lungs. Patients whose case is critical may also require the assistance of a ventilator. Your doctor can also give IV fluids to rehydrate.

Lastly, it is essential to understand that ricin poisoning can kill a person. It causes cell destruction, which can halt the significant functions of the organs, eventually leading to one’s death. If you are infected, kindly call your nearest health care facility or 911.


				
					
Phantom Pain: What Phantom Limb Syndrome Is and How to Deal With It

Phantom Pain: What Phantom Limb Syndrome Is and How to Deal With It

Phantom pain is described as the feeling of pain after a certain body part (specifically an arm or leg) has been cut off from the body. The degree of pain tends to vary from person to person. Though it is practically not possible and has been regarded more as a psychological problem, doctors have discovered that it might have something to do with the vital functions of the brain and spinal cord.

However, this article will focus on phantom limb syndrome, how to deal with it, and how to understand the important details that contribute to it as a condition. If you happen to have an amputated limb and still feel pain, you must discuss it with your doctor. Pinpointing the exact problem to a doctor or a health care professional will help diagnose the issue. In addition, since one can go through the same symptoms as phantom pain and phantom limb syndrome, giving the correct history will help your doctor develop an equally proper plan.


Therefore, let’s learn more about phantom pain and phantom limb syndrome.

Phantom Pain Syndrome and Pain

Phantom Pain Syndrome refers to the sensations that a person; who has had their limb amputated feels. The limb is missing, yet the pain is real and affects people accordingly. Most people who have their limbs removed claim that they sometimes feel as if the removed limb exists. They feel this way because the brain gets messages from the nerves located at the missing limb. Phantom Pain Syndrome or phantom limb pain is characterized as a medical condition. Patients suffering describe their pain as lasting for a prolonged time and that the prescribed medicine or treatment option has little to no effect on it.

Yet, the bright side for people suffering from Phantom Pain Syndrome or phantom limb pain is that it is manageable. Around 8 out of 10 people who experience this condition go through phantom pain.

Apart from phantom pain, there is another type known as Residual limb pain. If the patient is experiencing residual limb pain, that means the degree of pain afflicts the remaining area of the limb where it was amputated. Affecting around 7 to 10 people who go through limb loss, residual limb pain has a medical reason such as pressure on the nerves of that area and fatal nerve damage.


Symptoms of Phantom Pain

Being aware of the symptoms of phantom pain is just as important as getting to know about the causes. Most people have shared what phantom pain feels like. Phantom pain often feels like burning or aching, throbbing, stabbing or tingling. These symptoms could either be fleeting or continuous.

The pain is said to commence a week after the amputation. However, at times patients believe that the limb exists or is still attached and functions just fine. These are some of the main characteristics of phantom pain that portray themselves accordingly.


Causes of Phantom Pain

Now that we have an overview of the symptoms, Phantom Pain Syndrome and Pain, let’s discuss its causes and know why it occurs.

Phantom pain typically happens after a limb loss. Though the exact causes are unclear and not defined properly, it is said to result from some mix-up or emerge from the brain and spinal cord during imaging procedures – such as MRI and PET of the areas of the pain that are connected to the amputated arm or leg, display neurological activity when a person is suffering from a phantom pain episode.

Once the limb has been cut off from the body, ranges of the spinal cord and brain no longer receive any messages and thus adjust to it in its bizarre ways. Due to these attempts, pain is triggered as it is the body’s way of indicating something is wrong. Therefore, the brain tries to rewire itself and adapt to the new changes.

Several other risk factors are known to trigger the existence of phantom limb pain. People who haven’t had a limb removed can also develop phantom pain. Experts have claimed that people, who have had pain in the limb that has to be amputated, are most likely to feel it after the procedure. This is because their brain clings to the memory and keeps sending the pain signals, even after the limb has been removed. Residual pain limb, as discussed before, has phantom pain too. It has also come to notice that residual limb pain is caused due to an abnormal growth on the bruised nerve endings (neuroma) that tends to result in agonizing nerve activity.

More causes could be traumatic amputation, such as an accident, or the type of anesthesia used during the process. Nonetheless, some emotional factors come into play, for example, stress, depression, anxiety. Such factors can keep phantom pain alive.


Treatment of Phantom Pain

The treatment plan for phantom pain begins with over-the-counter medicines such as Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and others. Your doctor can even recommend antidepressants; however, it is important to discuss the dose and consumption of your medicines.

Another widely adopted option for phantom pain is non-drug remedies. Some of the options are Mirror Box-in this technique, mirrors are used to show that the limb still exists. This helps in relieving phantom limb pain. In addition, doctors use spinal cord stimulation to stimulate the spinal cord by inserting small electrodes (that pass a small current) to ease the pain.


Conclusion

Lastly, the risk of developing phantom pain is high if you’ve had your limb amputated; doctors recommend regional anesthesia days before the actual process. This reduces pain significantly and diminishes phantom limb pain.

Apart from the treatment plans mentioned, acupuncture, brain stimulation, and nerve surgery are available options that your doctor or a healthcare professional might recommend. It’s essential you know what you’re getting yourself in. Hence, it would help to talk to your doctor about all the variations you have been going through. Making the correct diagnosis will help you recover from your problem soon. It’s not a sign of worry if you suffer from Phantom Pain Syndrome. Since 8 out of 10 people have had their limb amputated, there will be an option that will fit your case. Hence, you must not panic and see your doctor immediately if you are going through any of the symptoms stated in this article.