Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a neurological learning disability that causes difficulties processing language. it occurs in children and adults with normal vision and intelligence.  

Dyslexia is found in 1 in every 5 people. It’s a lifelong condition that has no cure. However, most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring and specialized education programs. Psychological support also plays an important role.

Children with dyslexia are often mislabeled as ‘lazy’ or ‘stupid’ because of their lack of performance in school and in life. This is a misconception, since many people with dyslexia have an above average IQ.

To put it simply, in the brain of a person with dyslexia, there is  glitch in the ‘word analyzer’ and its connection with other parts of the brain.  

Dyslexia is caused by a problem in the brain’s ability to translate images received from the eyes into an understandable thought. It takes a person with dyslexia more time to figure out word meanings.

So, let’s try to imagine the world from a dyslexic person’s point of view. A person with dyslexia has trouble interpretting letters or words in the correct order, shape, and direction.

Here what a dyslexic person may experience:

The letters and numbers may appear reversed, mirrored, upside down, or sideways. So, s/he might confuse the letters (q and p) & (d and b), or (n,m,v,w) and the numbers (10 & 01). The word “dill” could appear as “llib.” Also the numbers (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, & 9) could be confusing to read and write.

While distinctive numbers (0,8) are easy because they look the same on both sides, also lower case letters (i, o) and uppercase (H, I, O, X) are typical in shape and therefore not as likely to be confusing

People with dyslexia might also see the letters correctly, but would be unable to sound out words; that is, unable to connect the letters to the sounds they make and understand them

Other people with dyslexia might be able to connect the letters and sound out words, but are unable to recognize words they have seen before, so that they find themselves coming back to read the same passage over and over again, in attempt to understand what they are reading.

some might process the letters and words as if they are all crammed together

Some might be processing the words as if they appear completely backwards, such as the word “bird” looking like “brid”, or “God” looking to them like “dog”

Another group may be seeing the letters and words like normal, but getting a severe headache or feeling sick to their stomach every time they try to read for prolonged periods

There are different types of dyslexia: ‘dysphonetic’, ‘dyseidetic’ and ‘dysphoneidetic’.

In Dysphonetic dyslexia, also know as “auditory dyslexia”: the person has difficulty connecting sounds to symbols, and might have difficulties sounding out words; spelling mistakes would show a very poor grasp of phonics.

The ‘dyseidetic’ person on the other hand has great difficulty with whole word recognition and spelling. This type of dyslexia is also called “visual dyslexia.”

There is also the “mixed dyslexia” or “dysphoneidetic dyslexia”. This is the most severe form of dyslexia because it involves both types of coding functions: the child can’t read (decode) and spell (encode) words either eidetically or phonetically

Dyslexia can also make mathematics, especially the algebraic forms, an especially difficult challenge. This type of dyslexia is known as “dyscalculia”, which is defined as the inability to calculate equations due to poor mental math and memory skills. Signs of dyscalculia in adulthood would include: Poor mental math, difficulty handling money, making change

Failing to notice math signs and symbols (+ = – x )

Doesn’t remember the basic math operations like addition and multiplication tables

Poor sense of direction, trouble reading maps, telling time, understanding schedules

Mistakes in working with numbers – reversals, substituting other numbers and leaving numbers out

Trouble learning musical concepts or following directions in sports.

So how is dyslexia diagnosed?

The Dyslexia Determination Test (DDT)  

Avoid confusing dyslexia with intellectual disabilities, developmental disorders or autism.  It is common however that dyslexia would be assciated with other disorders like ADHD.

I wish you great health!

Alyaa Gad

Multiple Sclerosis

 

Multiple sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the nerve cells of the Central Nervous System (CNS). The exact antigen- or target that the immune cells are sensitized to attack- is unknown, which is why MS is considered to be “immune-mediated” rather than “autoimmune.”

Within the CNS, the immune system attacks myelin- the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers- as well as the nerve fibers themselves. The damaged myelin forms scar tissue (sclerosis), which gives the disease its name. When any part of the myelin sheath or nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed, nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord are distorted or interrupted, producing a wide variety of symptoms.

The disease is thought to be triggered in a genetically susceptible individual by a combination of one or more environmental factors.

People with MS experience different disease courses, which can be mild, moderate or severe.

The first symptoms happen between the ages of 20 and 40. Some symptoms may come and go, while others stay. The disease has a course described as “exacerbations and remissions”.

Keep a diary to record your symptoms to help your doctor recognise the disease.

MS doesn’t have to control your life. You can manage your symptoms so you can stay healthy.

Early Symptoms of MS

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Thinking problems
  • Clumsiness or a lack of coordination
  • Loss of balance
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness in an arm or leg

No two people have exactly the same symptoms of MS. You may have a single symptom, and then go months or years without any others.

The most common Symptoms of MS are

Unusual sensations: “pins and needles” sensation. You may also have numbness, itching, burning, stabbing, or tearing pains.

Bladder and Bowel problems: You may need to pee often, need to go at night, or have trouble emptying your bladder fully. Bowel problems, especially constipation, are also common.

Trouble walking: MS can cause muscle weakness or spasms, which make it harder to walk. Balance problems, numb feet, and fatigue can also make walking hard.

Dizziness: It’s common to feel dizzy or lightheaded.

Fatigue:  Most MS pateints feel tired during the day, and It’s usually not related to the amount of work they do.

Sexual trouble: These include vaginal dryness in women and erection problems in men. Both men and women may be less responsive to touch, have a lower sex drive, or have trouble reaching orgasm.

Speech  and Swallowing problems: pausing a long time in between words and having slurred or nasal speech are common symptoms of MS. Swallowing may become difficult too.

Thinking problems: You might experience slowed thinking, poor attention, or fuzzy memory. But MS usually does not change your intellect and ability to read and understand conversation.

Tremors: You could experience minor shakes  that make it hard to do everyday activities.

Vision problems:   Your sight may be blurry, gray, or have a dark spot in the center. You may suddenly have eye pain and temporary vision loss.

Because MS varies so much, it’s best not to compare yourself with other people who have MS. Your experience is likely to be different.

Treatment

Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

Medications

Assistive DEvices: walkers,wheelchairs

Physical therapy

Speech  Therapy

Surgery

 

Alternative Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis:

Diet changes:

Although diet is not currently considered a causative factor in MS, there is anecdotal evidence from individuals with MS who have experienced health benefits by changing their diet.

Cutting down on red meat and dairy foods can be of positive effect on the MS patient’s health, but they would need to find alternative sources to provide them with protein, such as fish, beans, pulses, and nuts.

 

Supplements

Vitamin D

Recent research also suggests that vitamin D may have important effects on the immune system. A clinical trial is underway to determine what role vitamin D supplementation might play in reducing MS disease activity.

Because the myeline sheeth is made of a fat layer; omega-3 fatty acids have been the focus of MS studies with some evidence pointing to benefits for relapsing-remitting MS.

 

So I’d say give it a try, but ask your doctor for advice first!

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are found in certain fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines, and in fish oil products.
  • Also in canola oil, flaxseed, and walnuts.
  • Fish oil supplements, in pill or liquid form, are the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids. A daily intake of up to 3 grams is usually considered safe.

MS is neither contagious nor fatal. People with MS have a life expectancy that is not really any different from the general population.

 

I wish you the best of health!

Alyaa Gad

Depression – 10 Conditions

Suppose that you go to your doctor and complain of fatigue, guilt, worthlessness, irritability, insomnia, decreased appetite, loss of interest in regular life activities, persistent sadness, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide, you would probably leave your doctor’s office with the diagnosis of depression, and a prescription for Zoloft, Prozac, or another anti-dpressant drug.

But is this always the right diagnosis for such symptoms?

The answer is: NO!

Those same symptoms belong to a variety of other conditions that require treatments other than antidepressants and psychotherapy.

They may certainly look and feel like clinical depression to the outsider, but they require a different way of treatment.

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Here are 10 conditions that might show the same symptoms as clinical depression:

  1. Vitamin D deficiency

A good doctor will order a blood test to see if a patient is low on vitamin D before sending him off with a prescription for Prozac because so many of us are lacking adequate amounts of this critical vitamin.

Studies are increasingly showing that most people are Vitamin-D deficient, and that there’s a close association between vitamin D levels and depression symptoms.

The best source of vitamin D is early morning sun. If you have no high risk for developing skin cancer, do expose large areas of your skin without applying sunscreen for around 15 minutes.

And if you can’t be in the sun, supplements are available at the local drugstores.

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  1. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is also easily mistaken for clinical depression. You feel tired and exhausted, worthless, irritable, and incapable of making a decision. Getting through each day without naps is a major accomplishment.

Hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid, is one of the most undiagnosed and misdiagnosed health problems in the world.

A note to my medical colleagues, TSH testing is not enough to diagnose thyroid malfunction.

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  1. Low blood sugar

People who experience fluctuations in blood sugar  blood sugar levels on a daily basis are usually insulin-resistant, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes.

Insulin resistance has been recently linked with depression. But the good news is that simple diet modifications — like eating low-carb, high-protein foods every few hours — will help alleviate symptoms.

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  1. Dehydration.

Our thirst sensation doesn’t really appear until we are 1 or 2 percent dehydrated. By then dehydration is already setting in and starting to impact how our mind and body perform.

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  1. Food intolerance

Certain foods can trigger inflammation in our bodies, just like toxins from the environment would.

Our bodies react differently during those inflmmatory responses. So, while some people sneeze or break out in hives, others get sad and anxious.

Keep a food journal and try to figure out whether you feel bad after eating certain foods, especially red meat and dairy, and eliminate them from your diet to rgain your healthy mood.

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  1. Caffeine withdrawal.

That anxiety and depression you feel hours  after having coffee is probably because your body is going through withdrawal, and for those who are chemically sensitive to all amphetamine-like substances that raise dopamine levels, that withdrawal translates to tears, shaking, and panic attacks.

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  1. Some medications.

If you think a drug you’re taking might be causing your depression, you may be right. Certain medications prescribed for various medical conditions do cause such feelings as sadness, despair, and discouragement. And those are feelings that are often associated with depression.

Medications that cause depression appear to alter brain chemicals in some way. And even though the drugs may be necessary to treat the condition, the side effect is hardly acceptable. As an example, Accutane, which is prescribed for the treatment of acne, has been found to also sometimes cause depression. So have oral contraceptives, high blood pressure drugs, and even statins that treat high cholesterol.

If you think that your medication is causing your to get depressed, talk to your doctor about changing it.

  • Accutane
  • Alcohol
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Beta-adrenergic blockers
  • Calcium-channel blockers
  • Interferon alfa
  • Norplan
  • Opioids
  • Statins
  • Varenicline
  • Zovirax

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  1. Iron deficiency.

If you have any type of iron deficiency, one psychological symptom could be signs of depression. While an iron deficiency may not be the sole cause of depression, it can cause symptoms similar to depression such as a lack of appetite, irritability, extreme fatigue, headaches and mood swings.

Also, anxiety is a psychological issue that can stem from having low iron levels. If you have low iron levels, it could trigger panic symptoms, leading to a panic attack. Panic attack symptoms include feelings of dread, fear of dying, chest tightness, headache, fear of fainting, choking symptoms, muscle weakness, insomnia and visual disturbances.

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  1. Lack of sleep.

Normal sleep is a restorative state. When sleep is disrupted or inadequate, it can lead to increased tension, vigilance, and irritability.

Physical or emotional trauma and metabolic or other medical problems can trigger sleep disturbances. Poor sleep can lead to fatigue. With fatigue, you exercise less and that leads to a decline in your fitness level. Eventually, you find yourself in a vicious cycle of inactivity and disturbed sleep, which causes both physical and mood-related symptoms.

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  1. Heavy Metal Poisoning

Heavy metal toxicity can disturb your brain chemistry causing depression and anxiety.

Heavy metal toxicity can have a wide range of negative effects. Mercury, can cause depression and add to anxiety; mercury and cadmium (main source: smoking) can significantly compromise your immune system. Amalgam fillings still present a significant risk of mercury poisoning, mercury toxicity can also cause allergies

Lead poisoning particularly contributes to anxiety, lead also dulls your intelligence.

Lead, cadmium (from smoking) and arsenic disturb dopamine. This neurotransmitter gives the brain energy, motivation and the capacity for pleasure, when it becomes deficient you can get a low energy demotivated depression.

Aluminium

Aluminium pots and pans slowly dissolve metal into the food. Use either high quality stainless steel or glass and earthenware.

To reverse this build-up and actively eliminate this type of toxin requires taking supplements over several weeks.

I wish you the best of health!

Alyaa Gad

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is an uncommon type of cancer that develops in a woman’s cervix. The cervix is the entrance to the womb from the vagina.

Cervical cancer often has no symptoms in its early stages. If you have symptoms, they would probably be unusual vaginal bleeding, which can occur after sex, in-between periods or after the menopause.

Abnormal bleeding doesn’t mean that you definitely have cervical cancer, but it should be investigated by your GP as soon as possible. If your GP suspects you might have cervical cancer, you should be referred to see a specialist.

Over the course of many years, the cells lining the surface of the cervix undergo a series of changes. In rare cases, these precancerous cells can become cancerous. However, cell changes in the cervix can be detected at a very early stage and treatment can reduce the risk of cervical cancer developing.

During screening, a small sample of cells is taken from the cervix and checked under a microscope for abnormalities.  This test is called a cervical smear or Pap-smear.

An abnormal smear test does not mean you definitely have cancer.  Most abnormal results are caused by an infection or the presence of treatable precancerous cells rather than cancer itself.

It is recommended that women who are between the ages of 25 and 49 are screened every three years, and women between the ages of 50 and 64 are screened every five years.

Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a very common virus that’s often spread during sex.

There are more than 100 different types of HPV, many of which are harmless. However, some types of HPV can disrupt the normal functioning of the cells of the cervix and can eventually trigger the onset of cancer.

Two strains of the HPV virus called HPV 16 and HPV 18 are known to be responsible for 70% of all cases of cervical cancer. These types of HPV infection have no symptoms, so many women will not realise they have the infection.

However, it is important to be aware that these infections are relatively common and most women who have them don’t develop cervical cancer

Using condoms during sex offers some protection against HPV, but it cannot always prevent infection.

If cervical cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, it’s usually possible to treat it using surgery. In some cases it’s possible to leave the womb in place, but it may need to be removed. The surgical procedure used to remove the womb is called a hysterectomy.

Radiotherapy is an alternative to surgery for some women with early stage cervical cancer. In some cases it is used alongside surgery

More advanced cases of cervical cancer are usually treated using a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Some of the treatments used can have significant and long-lasting side effects, including early menopause and infertility.

Many women with cervical cancer will have complications. Complications can arise as a direct result of the cancer or as a side effect of treatments such as radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy.

Complications associated with cervical cancer can range from the relatively minor, such as minor bleeding from the vagina or having to urinate frequently, to life-threatening, such as severe bleeding or kidney failure.

Remember that early detection and treatment of an HPV-infection can save your life. So, if you’re sexually active with multiple partners or your partner has/had multiple partners, it is wise to have regular checkups at your gynecologist.

I wish you the best of health!

Alyaa Gad

Varicocele

Varicoceles are varicose veins of the testes, one or two testes. So, What are varicose veins, what does that mean?

In order to understand what varicose veins means, we have to understand first what arteries and veins are like and what the difference between them is.

Let’s have a look at this sheet. You’ll see here: the heart would be pumping blood into the arteries. And the arteries would be ending in capillaries, and the capillaries end up forming the veins. And the veins take the blood back to the heart. The effect of the heart pump affects only the arteries. So, the strength of the pumping, you can feel it in the arteries. So, the arteries have always the blood gushing through them easily, if they are in good condition

But then the heart pump effect stops exactly at the capillaries, and then there’s no power sending back the blood to the heart through the veins, other than the movement of the muscles and the effect of the valves present in the wall of those veins. Those valves work like gates. Those gates open for the blood to go up, then close again.

So, let’s suppose that these valves have something wrong with them, so these doors are kind of broken or have bad hinges, so the valves are not working properly. This means that the blood will droop back or seed back through them and then this causes the veins to elongate and become tortuous and visible, and also less functional. And here we call this varicose veins.

Varicose veins can happen in the legs for example, or elsewhere, like, around the testes. So actually the varicose veins of the testes, varicocele, means that the veins around the testes, the valves thereof, are affected in a way that the blood is stagnating there and the blood vessels are tortuous and elongated and looking different from the normal healthy ones. So, the problem is that the blood is stagnating there.

15% of men might have varicocele. It might cause no problem at all, but it also might cause complaints like feeling of pain or heaviness by the end of the day, but the major problems that we are concerned about related to varicocele are two thing.

One is the lack of development of the testes, so, the testes will remain too small and the function thereof will also be stagnating. What makes your male hormones, it will be delayed and this will affect the whole development as a man. And in this case we will have to seek medical help.

The other aspect is that it might be affecting your fertility. So, couples who are complaining of delayed pregnancy, we have to check the husband for varicocele problems. One of the symptoms that you could be seeing on the appearance of the testes is the bag of worms image.

Now, are there any risk factors for having varicocele? Yes. Some people believe that wearing very tight clothes, lack of exercise and chronic constipation might be affecting your circulation around that area. So, a healthy lifestyle, avoiding tight clothes and heaving healthy bowel movement is very important. Also: sporting. Don’t forget to sport. Drinking enough fluids will help you also avoid developing varicocele.

One more thing is that people suspect that the high temperatures resulting from varicocele but also resulting from using for example the laptop on your legs for a long time might be contributing to the problem and contributing to the problem of infertility. So, if you want to avoid that please keep the computer away from your legs and also try to take colder showers. That will help also avoid the complications.

So, the complications are actually infertility and small testes, and dysfunctional therefore. This will affect their functions in the future and your manly appearance in the end. We want to avoid that.

The treatment depends on your age and the problem you’re having with it. So, if you’re a teenager we would like to monitor how good the testes are growing and this will mean that you’ll have to have follow-up on regular basis with your doctor.

Sometimes we will have to do surgery to do something with the veins. We actually either embolize the veins or ligate them. In the end we will have to get rid of the veins that have the problem. This also might be of negative effect on your fertility and as testes function. So, in the end the surgical treatment also has it’s side effects, but sometimes we will have to do it in order to avoid other problems. Also, the surgical treatment does not guarantee, that it will not recur. It might recur and we will have to see another solution for it

So for prevention of varicocele my advice to you is to avoid constipation, avoid putting the laptop computers on your lap, put it on the table always, also drink a lot of fluids, do sports, avoid hot showers, saunas, tight clothes and have enough sleep, that’s also very important.

I wish you all the best!

Alyaa Gad

Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle Cell Anemia is a disease that affects the red blood cells. Anemia means: a problem with the blood cells. And sickle cell is one disease that makes the blood cells look like sickles or crescent.

A normal blood cell would look a bit like a donut. It’s circular in shape and has three very important features. It has iron on it that binds temporarily to oxygen, until it reaches the tissues of the body and then releases the oxygen. Number 2 is that it lives up to ninety days, three months, and then it brakes down and the body remakes new cells. And then also it’s very flexible. So, if it goes into the small capillaries, the small blood vessels, it can bend itself to fit into the very tiny blood vessels.

On the other hand, a patient with sickle cell anemia, his cells look like this, like crescents. They have three main defects. The iron on it cannot bind so well to oxygen, so the oxygen will remain in the blood without being able to get into the tissues. That’s one thing that causes the tissues of the body to lack oxygen in the patient. Number 2 is that it only lives ten to twenty days. So, a long period of time when the patient’s body is missing red blood cells. Number 3, the third and very important problem, is that the red blood cells that are normal can go into the big blood vessels easily, and then bend themselves to go through the tiny blood vessels. They’re very flexible. No let’s see what happens with the sickle cells. The sickle cells go easily through the big ones, big blood vessels, and then get stuck at the edge of the small blood vessels. They cannot get inside. They’re not flexible enough. And then they cause clumping here, and then in the end this organ will lack the blood supply, whatever it is. It can be the brain or hand or the penis or any tissue that is unlucky to have this attack of shortage of blood supply.

And as a result you’ll have attacks of hypoxia, which means lack of oxygen arriving to the tissues, and this can cause severe pain, sometimes death of the tissue or at least an infection occurring there.

So, the sickle cell patient mainly has anemia problems, because he’s lacking always red blood cell functions, so he’s always tired, having short breath, headaches, is always pale, sometimes he’s yellow skinned, because the sickle cells, when they die, the breakdown material is yellow in color. And then another thing is that he’s suffering from pain all the time, because these attacks are happening, so the cells are getting stuck at the edge of the tiny blood vessels. So you’re always expecting the patient to end up having either an attack of pain or an attack of being very tired and not able to function normally. Let alone other diseases that can occur, several infections in the lung can occur. So, the patient is continuously in need of medical care and checkup and prevention of certain diseases.

Another problem is the delayed growth of young people, because of the lack of blood supply to their organs. So, a sickle cell patient unfortunately is in need of continuous medical care to help the growth and prevent complications.

Currently there’s no permanent treatment of sickle cell anemia, but we try to give medications to prevent medication and also vaccinations to help the patient overcome, or not catch, infections all the time. There’s new lines of gene therapy and bone marrow transplantations, but it’s very important to also screen before marriage, do premarital screening to expect the outcome of the marriage and explain that to the parents. So, health education is very important. We also need to diagnose early if the child will be having the disease, so we can take a sample from the amniotic fluid to find out whether the mother is carrying a child with the disease.

In the treatment of sickle cell anemia we are highly depending on the health education of the parents and the caregivers of the child, so that we would prevent complications. So, early diagnosis, proper treatment and prevention will help the child grow up in a healthy way and we will help them have as much normal life as possible. So, don’t forget health education is the most important thing you should have if you find out that your child is carrying the disease.

I wish you the best of health!

Alyaa Gad

Uterine Fibroids (Myomas)

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors of the uterus. “Benign” means that they are not cancer. They are swellings that happen in the muscle area of the uterus. And these swellings can be anywhere in that muscle. And the size can vary also. And that will decide the symptoms and the complaints you might have.

So “myo” is “muscle”, “oma” is “swelling”, that’s why a myoma is a muscle swelling and fibroid is; the fibres of the muscle will have some swelling in them.

Who gets them? About 80-90% of the women by the age of 50 will have had myomas. Some women will never notice them and other might have life-threatening situations because of them.

The causes are not known of why we have or develop these myomas, but we are assuming that oestrogen has a major role in affecting them, so their growth. So the more oestrogen you have (the female hormone), the more chances of growing a bigger size of those myomas.

Genetics play an important role. Number 1 role is that you might inherit it from your mother or a related woman in the family on your mother’s side. So if your mother, your aunt or your sister have had it, you probably will develop it. Another reason is weight gain. If you are overweight you might develop it, because this will increase the oestrogen in the blood.

Women who have had their menarche very early (started menstruating very early in their lives), we expect that they might be having a higher chance of developing myomas.

The symptoms and the complaints due to myomas will depend on the size and the location of the tumors. So let’s see, on this painting of Dr. Netter, how this will happen. So you might have a tumor or a myoma in the middle of the uterus, in the middle layer and you might not notice much.

Another one might block the fallopian tube and then will affect the fertility.

Another one might fill in the area of the uterus and then affect also the growth of your baby if you are pregnant – or the position of the baby. It might even block the exit of the baby and then we’ll have to do a caesarean section to get the baby out.

One might also even stick out of the vagina and we can see it outside the uterus.

Here’s another one that is actually coming outside of the uterus and then twisting around itself and might be life-threatening to the patient.

The size, as you can see, varies from some millimetres and some can grow to as big as a watermelon or football.

As you can see here, also the baby’s growth is affected by this tumor, also the position.

This tumor has been developing gangrene, and then we have a major life-threatening situation for the lady.

This lady’s tumor is totally blocking her uterus and then she might be not able to get pregnant.

And this lady’s myoma is sticking out of her abdominal wall, and then it looks very disturbing of course, and also could threaten her life.

Here we can see that the myomas can also grow to affect the colon, if they press on the colon, and the rectum might even block it and in the end you will develop constipation and severe pain, abdominal pain.

You can also have back pain due to the weight of the uterus pulling on the ligaments hanging on the backbones, and then you’ll have a lot of pain.

Another problem that, if it’s very heavy, it might press on the urinary bladder and then you will be having the urge to urinate more often.

Yet another problem is that if they’re very big and filling this area sexual intercourse will be very painful.

And another problem they cause is that they’re cosmetically not pretty if they grow very big. You will develop a big belly any people might think you’re pregnant, but you’re not. It’s that myoma.

They also suck a lot of blood out of your system. So when you are having your menstruation you’ll be bleeding a lot. That’s another problem. And the result of this: you will have prolonged menstruation periods and heavy ones. And that will make you loose a lot of iron from your body, and you will have, in the end, iron deficiency anaemia. So most women who have big myomas also suffer at the end from iron-deficiency anaemia.

So, how can we help? How can we solve the problem? We need to first diagnose it. So I would suggest that all women who have had family history of myomas to seek medical help to diagnose it using ultra-sound. So, pelvic ultra-sound is #1 way to diagnose it. You will go to the gynaecologist and he will or she will have a probe either into the vagina or trans-abdominal and will look at your abdomen from inside and diagnose it.

How do we treat the myomas? Many doctors will just observe you and watch and wait. So they will ask you to come back every six months to check if the myoma has grown and then decide on what to do with it.

And if you have problems the doctor will prescribe medications. The medications are usually hormones, so birth control pills or other hormones. You might also have an (Intrauterine device) IUD inserted into the uterus. They will also try to correct your iron. You might take iron tablets or injections, and that will help a lot in feeling better and correcting your shortness of breath, being tired and so on.

The alternative to medication or medical treatment is surgical treatment. We have two options. Either to remove the uterus as a whole – they will not remove the ovaries, only the uterus. And this is the perfect solution if you want to permanently get rid of the myomas.  They will never grow back. But of course that’s when you are maybe older and have decided not to have children anymore. Because you will not be able to have children after hysterectomy. The other option is to have myomectomy. “Myomectomy” means: cutting only the myomas. So they will remove only the myomas. Either through open abdominal surgery or endoscopy or through the vagina. This will be decided between you and your doctor.

The latest development in the field of surgery or minor procedures or treating the myomas is UAE. Uterine Artery Embolization. It’s a procedure that cuts off the flow to a uterine fibroid causing it to shrink. It’s not a surgical procedure, it’s a minimally invasive procedure during which a thin tube that’s called a “catheter” is inserted into an artery in the growing and is guided using x-ray cameras. Once it’s there the doctor injects very small particles through the tube. The particles will clog the blood vessels that feed the fibroids. That causes them to shrink over time and die out in the end.

Not all women are candidates for every procedure. Some women are not allowed to undergo certain surgeries, and that’s why you’ll have to decide with your doctor.

If you have problems with your myomas please seek medical help because it affects your life-style and life quality a lot. So don’t hesitate to seek medical help.

I wish you the best of health. Thank you.

Alyaa Gad

Alcoholism

Alcohol has been used for thousands of years as a social drink. But the excessive use of alcohol can lead to health, social and legal problems. We receive conflicting messages about alcohol. Is it cool to drink alcohol? Is it healthy? Or is it bad for us? We need to make an educated decision on whether we should drink alcohol, and how much, and how often, before we use it.

There’s a mistake some people have in their minds that they think they are invincible with alcohol. They think they can drink whatever they want without having any problems. Anybody can have problems with alcohol and anybody can become addicted to alcohol. But there are people who have more chance of getting addicted, because of their background or their genetics, and there’s also prove that alcohol causes brain damage.

This is an image of a person who does not drink alcohol and this is an image of someone who’s been drinking alcohol for a long time. They’re both the same age.

There are three forms of using alcohol. There’s normal use, there is abuse, and there’s alcoholism. I would be hoping that everybody would be using alcohol normally or not drinking alcohol at all. That’s two types of being normal and healthy. Another type of people would be abusing alcohol, what does that mean? Alcohol abuse means that you use it when you’re not supposed to, like when you are younger than 18 years of age, or when you are pregnant, or when you are not supposed to be drinking while for example driving or working. So, alcohol abuse is using alcohol in the wrong situations.

Alcoholism, on the other hand, means that you are drinking alcohol all the time and not able to stop drinking alcohol, and you have problems when you are not drinking. Health problems and behavioral problems. Alcoholism is a disease. It does not mean that the person is weak or a bad person. It’s a disease and we consider an alcoholic as a patient. So, people under the influence of alcohol are considered criminal if they do a crime, but alcoholics are considered also as patients and need treatment.

People have different concentrations in their blood when they drink alcohol, and the blood alcohol concentration is a value that we can measure. We can measure it in the breath of the people – that’s when you get tested for example in the street by the traffic police sometimes. But there are differences between people in their ability to have the alcohol concentration in their blood, even if they’ve had the same amount of alcohol. The food that you’ve had affects your blood alcohol concentration, so if you’ve been drinking after having eaten something, especially fatty foods, you will slow down the absorption of alcohol into your blood. So, eating before drinking might help you a bit lower the effect of alcohol on your body. But this does not mean that it will diminish that, make it less. No, it will just slow it down. But all of a sudden it might come back and give you a lot of effect from a big amount of alcohol you’ve been drinking. So be careful with that. Also your weight makes a difference. So, a bigger person would have less trouble with more amounts of alcohol than as smaller person. Also women get drunk faster – with the same amount of alcohol – than men, so, the gender makes a difference.

You also need to know that “a drink” does not mean a certain amount of the drink, but it’s the percentage of alcohol that we need to address. So, you could be drinking for example this drink, and it says here that it’s 4% vol. So, we’re talking about 4cc of alcohol every 100cc of the drink. While here, this drink, is 40% vol., so almost half of the 100cc, so you’re drinking almost 40cc of alcohol from each 100cc of this drink. This means that you are not supposed to consider this amount always as this amount, because this amount here from a highly concentrated drink of alcohol might be more harmful to you than this one. So be very careful with the percentage of alcohol in drinks.

Also in some drinks they add nice taste or fruit juices to the drinks, so the young people are fooled by the delicious taste and they keep drinking and drinking and not noticing how much they’ve had. So be very careful with slowing down the process of the effect of alcohol on your body by eating while drinking but also drinking very slowly.

The biological process of taking into your body and making use of it and then getting rid of it goes into three steps. There is absorption of alcohol, which happens in the stomach, partly, and in the small intestines, and then the alcohol goes to the liver. And the liver is responsible for changing it into other forms. So, it goes into the liver and the ethanol changes into CO2 and water, so we breathe it out and a small part of it stays in our body to affect our organs especially our brain. And then the elimination: then it goes out via our lungs, we breathe it out, and the rest of it we urinate it, because it’s water soluble.

The problem happens when you are drinking too much, much faster than your liver’s ability to break down the alcohol. And in this case you get intoxicated and drunk and you have behavioral effects. The behavioral effects from alcohol we will discuss in the next video.

I wish you the best of health!

Alyaa Gad

Kegel exercise

Kegel Exercise is away to train and improve the muscle tone of your pelvic floor. It was named after Dr. Arnold Kegel, an American gynaecologist, and it’s meant to improve your sexual function as well as the control over your urine and faeces. This applies to men and women.

So, the benefit of Kegel Exercise is mainly to treat some cases of urinary incontinence in women, and also fecal incontinence (very mild cases), and also to treat pelvic prolapse, especially in women who have suffered severe prolapse with the pregnancy. You can train the pelvic muscles to improve the muscle tone. Also to improve your sexual function as a woman who has difficulties reaching orgasm, or after giving birth and you’re noticing that your vagina has become a bit wider than normally. In men we can treat fecal and urinary incontinence (minor cases of it), and also we can help men, by doing it, to improve or laten their ejaculation, so for premature ejaculation; it’s a way to delay the ejaculation.

So this exercise strengthens the pubococcygeus muscle and also the levator ani muscle. Mainly these two muscles are affected by this exercise you’re making.

You can do it without any tools, but women can use balls, like this one for example, and they can introduce it into the vagina and do the exercise.

What we need to know now is how to do it. First you need to find the pelvic floor muscles. Let’s see here. They’re supposedly here in women, in this area, in the lower part of the pelvis, and by men you can see it with the arrow.

What you need to do is learn how to find the muscle, and the first time you find it; it would be easy to do it while you’re urinating. Try mid-stream to stop the urine from flowing. So, stop it mid-stream. So what happens is that when you stop it you’ve actually made the muscle contract. This muscle is what we’re looking for. So what you need to do is contract it as strong and often as possible but not during urination or defecation. Only the first time, when you try to locate it. Don’t make a habit of it cause this might cause problems.

Second thing is to perfect your exercise. So you do it as often as possible, and concentrate that you’re only working on that muscle and not working with other muscles, like abdominal wall or leg muscles or anything. Just that muscle. So try to count and find the muscle and keep contracting it.

The third step is to maintain your focus, so, only that muscle, and to keep repeating. So repeat: Ten seconds the contraction, and then ten seconds relaxed, and then ten seconds contraction… Try to make it as many times as possible, at least three time a day.

When to do this and where? When you’re sitting at your desk or when you’re reading emails, or in the car or when you’re waiting for the bus. You can just do the exercise about anywhere you want.

This method is not recommended for people with urinary tract infections, chronic constipation or prostate problems.

Try to repeat Kegel Exercise as often as possible and you’ll find results within 4-5 months.

Best of luck!

Alyaa Gad

Pinworm

Pinworm, seat worm, threadworm, itchy butt worm, enterobius vermicularis or oxiuris are all names of one intestinal worm that infects school children at a certain age (between 5 and 15) and it can cause a lot of trouble for them.

The children who go to school get infected and then go back home and infect the other family members and then go back to school again and infect other children. So there’s the vicious circle of infection happening around the house and the school. Maybe even the parent would infect their colleagues at work or friends, and so on. So, dealing with that worm will have to involve mass treatment of the house and the school at the same time.

That worm lives in the intestines of the infected person and actually we get infected with the egg of the worm by eating contaminated food or touching contaminated surfaces and then putting our hands in our mouth. Now, what happens next is that the worm comes out of the egg inside the intestines, in the form of larva. Larvae are very small worms. And then, they hang on the inside wall of the intestines and then grow up to be fully grown worms. In this case they can immigrate to the outside of the anus, around the anal area. So, from the rectum and the anus area you will find the adult worms laying eggs at night. And that causes the symptoms. The child will probably have nightmares about snakes crawling on them. That’s a sign that this could be an infection with a pinworm. So the problem’s that the child will wake up at night crying and itching around the anal area. And what you will see, maybe, if you check the anus at night, you might find these little worms around the anus. Sometimes you won’t see them. Some parents would take a torch and check around the anal area like this. Some other parents would take a tape and go around the anal area and stick it around the anal area like this and will see the little worms on the tape. So in fact these worms come out and have eggs laid around the anus and also might have an effect on the vaginal area of girls, so sometimes you’ll have vaginal discharge or inflammation around the vagina of the girl and then you are worried that there might have been any form of sexual assault on her. Please make sure that it’s not this pinworm.

On the underwear of the children, on the towels, on the bed sheets and especially on the toilet seats and on everything they touch with their little hands, especially their toys, all these toys can be affected with the eggs of the worm. The biggest cause of the spread of the infection is actually having long nails. So, the child has to have always very short nails and also other members of the family, the mother especially. So, you have to be careful that this should be a ritual, that you’re always clipping your child’s nails. Now we have the problem of itching at night, that might cause nightmares, and it might cause insomnia, and then the child would go to school not having had enough sleep, and this could affect their educational process. So, you will have to make sure that your child is having a good night’s sleep. How can you do that? As soon as your child cries and complains of the itching there’s an idea to use zinc oxide cream or Nivea cream, any thick cream. Take a little bit of it and put it around the anal area and a little bit inside the anus or around the infected area or inflamed area. Just put the cream around this area, like this. In this case, the worm will get kind of trapped into the cream and will not cause this irritation of the skin anymore. So, that’s a good way to make your child sleep peacefully.

Sometimes children will suffer from bed wetting because of that, so don’t get angry at them, make sure that they don’t have that infection.

And now, let’s see what we should do around the house to prevent the infection from happening and re-happening. First of all, prevent autoinfection. Autoinfection means to infect yourself. So, the child would scratch around the anus and then go eat something, the eggs are inside the nails, and then the eggs come inside again and have new worms. So, what you need is to cut the circle. So,  you will have to cut the nails always, you’ll have to spray the toilet seat everyday with disinfectant spray, there’s special spray to spray the toys of the child. Change there underwear everyday and wash them on very high temperature. Also towels and bed sheets, be very careful that they are clean and washed regularly. Don’t forget that one of the most important measures to prevent getting infected with this worm is washing hands before eating and after using the toilet. Teach your child to always do this. “Never forget to wash your hands after the toilet and before eating.” It’s very important also to inform the school and ask them to contribute to a sanitation program also around the school. So, maybe send out messages to other parents to do the same program at home. Also the toilet seats and the toys at school should be sprayed with disinfectant spray regularly.

At a doctors office you will take medication that can treat the worms from inside the intestines. But also you need to repeat it two weeks later. But remember that the worms outside are not affected by the medication, so washing everyday very well the anal area is very important.

Remember that this is not such a harmful worm, in the sense of doesn’t affect your child’s health and doesn’t cause any disease from inside, but it disturbs their sleeping pattern, and that’s the main problem. So, you need the child to get enough sleep to make sure that the educational process and his development would not be affected.

I wish you the best of health!

Alyaa Gad