Ganglion Cysts – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Methods

A ganglion cyst is a tumor or swelling on top of a joint or the covering of a tendon. It is a fluid filled sac which can be felt below the skin. The cause of these cysts is unknown although they may form in the presence of joint or tendon irritation or mechanical changes. It is also known as a wrist cyst, Bible cyst, or dorsal tendon cyst. It is usually attached to a tendon sheath in the hand or wrist or connected with an underlying joint; however, some have no obvious connection to any structures. It may be soft or hard, may or may not be painful, and may get bigger or smaller on its own. It looks like a sac of liquid (cyst). Inside the cyst is a thick, sticky, clear, colorless, jellylike material. Most commonly, ganglions are seen on the wrist (usually the back side) and fingers, but they can also develop around joints on the shoulder, elbow, knee, hip, ankle and foot. The ganglion cyst often resembles a water balloon on a stalk (see Figure 2), and is filled with clear fluid or gel.

Ganglia can form around any joint but they are most frequently found in the wrist and ankles.Ganglion cysts may be single or multilobulated. They are smooth-walled, translucent, and white. They can increase in size when the tissue is irritated and often can “disappear” spontaneously. These masses or cysts appear to grow sometimes but they are not tumours or cancerous. Ganglion cysts, also known as Bible cysts, are more common in women, and 70% occur in people between the ages of 20-40. Ganglion cysts are generally asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic. Symptoms such as limitation of motion, pain, paresthesias, and weakness are possible. In most cases, ganglion cysts cause no pain and require no treatment. In many cases, ganglion cysts go away on their own. One common type of ganglion, called a mucous cyst, occurs with osteoarthritis of the hands. This type of ganglion is usually found at the joint nearest the fingernail.

Causes of Ganglion cysts

The common causes and risk factor’s of Ganglion cysts include the following:

The exact cause of the formation of ganglion cysts is still unknown.

A herniation of the synovial lining of joints and tendon sheaths.

A ganglion develops when a jelly-like substance accumulates in one of two places – a joint capsule or a tendon sheath – and causes it to balloon out.

Some type of injury.

A ganglion cyst might develop after something drops on the foot, if the foot was twisted while walking, or after too much stress was placed on a joint or tendon.

Regular, repetitive movement that stresses your wrist or hand.

Symptoms of Ganglion cysts

Some sign and symptoms related to Ganglion cysts are as follows:

The ganglion cyst usually appears as a bump (mass) that changes size.

The lump is usually soft and immobile.

In some cases, the lump is painful and aching, particularly those at the base of fingers.

Ganglion cysts on the finger may produce deformities of the fingernail.

Pain or tenderness at the site of the bump.

When the cyst is connected to a tendon, you may feel a sense of weakness in the affected finger.

The back of the hands and wrists are most commonly affected.

Treatment of Ganglion cysts

Here is list of the methods for treating Ganglion cysts:

Aspiration usually includes placing a needle into the cyst, drawing the liquid material out, injecting a steroid compound, and then splinting your wrist to keep it from moving.

A steroid solution is injected into the cyst. This is usually done just after aspiration.

If a ganglion cyst tends to reoccur, surgical removal may be recommended.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or other over-the-counter analgesics can be used to control mild pain.

Wearing shoes that do not rub the cyst or cause irritation may be advised. In addition, placing a pad inside the shoe may help reduce pressure against the cyst.

A brace or splint may be recommended to immobilize the wrist and reduce swelling.

Symptoms and treatment of hyperhidrosis

Sweating Also known as perspiration, sweating is the production of salty liquid (water and various dissolved solids) excreted by the sweat glands in the skin of mammals. It is an essential function, and one of the ways we regulate our body temperature as humans rely on the evaporation of sweat to protect the body against a hot environment. It also helps to keep the skin moist. Sweating is controlled by parts of the brain, which send signals along the nerves to the small sweat glands in the skin. Types of hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis can be broadly categorised into 2 types: primary and secondary hyperhidrosis.

Primary hyperhidrosis

Also known as focal hyperhidrosis, this type of excessive sweating has an unknown cause. It is localised to different areas of the body including but not limited to,

  • The underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis)
  • The hands (palmar hyperhidrosis)
  • The feet (plantar hyperhidrosis)
  • The face (facial hyperhidrosis)

This form of hyperhidrosis is thought to be related to over activity of the central nervous system leading to an overactive stimulation of local sweat glands. It typically starts during childhood, gradually worsening during puberty and persists for the rest of the life of the sufferer.

Axillary hyperhidrosis involves extreme, dripping sweat in the underarms, accompanied by a constant odour resistant to all deodorants. Sufferers of this type of hyperhidrosis avoid wearing certain fabrics and colours as the sweat causes staining and rotting of clothes.It can occur alone, or in conjunction with any or all other types of hyperhidrosis, and is typically resistant to all the types of deodorants and other odor controlling medication.

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Palmar hyperhidrosis , also known as excessive sweating on the palms is usually profound and dramatic, affecting all aspects of the sufferer’s life, including work, daily living and interpersonal social interactions. It can be triggered by nervousness, emotional distress and stressful conditions, as well the application of even the smallest amount of lotion to the hands. In some cases, the condition is so severe that sweat can be seen literally dripping down from the individual’s hands. Most individuals suffering from palmar hyperhidrosis will also have plantar hyperhidrosis.

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Plantar hyperhidrosis is severe or excessive sweating of the feet and it typically occurs with palmar hyperhidrosis. It is usually presented with bad foot odour, blisters, infection and athlete’s foot.Individuals suffering from this form of hyperhidrosis find that they have to purchase new regular shoes frequently as moisture tends to ruin shoes.Driving also becomes uncomfortable and dangerous when there is profuse sweating of the feet.

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Facial hyperhidrosis can occur on the scalp as well as the face, causing sufferers to sweat profusely to a point where sweat is dripping off the face. It affects both men and women and is thought to be a genetic condition.When the scalp is affected by excessive sweating, the hair may look oily and dirty, amd can cause bad hair odour.

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Secondary hyperhidrosis

Also known as generalised hyperhidrosis, this form of hyperhidrosis is thought to be caused by a number of other underlying conditions, or a side effect of a medication. This form of sweating is characterised by sweating, which occurs all over the body, during the day and at night.

Certain medical conditions are thought to cause secondary hyperhidrosis, including but not limited to diabetes, menopause, angina or other cardiovascular problems, hypoglycaemia, diabetes, neurological diseases, and most chronic infections.

Treatment of hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis, particularly primary hyperhidrosis, can be treated using aluminium chloride solution or antiperspirant in situations where normal antiperspirants have ceased to combat it. These can be applied on the armpits, palms and soles, and the face (whilst avoiding the area around the eyes). However, some individuals cannot tolerate the irritation caused by aluminium solution.

Other treatment methods include,

Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections administered under the skin around the affected area helping to stop the nerves controlling the sweat glands from working. This form of treatment is required every few months so as to stop the condition from returning.

Surgery (sweat gland suction) , which is a technique adapted from liposuction. The sweat glands are permanently removed in a gentle, non-aggressive way with local anaesthetic applied to the affected area. This is done by softening the sweat glands after which they are removed in a method similar to liposuction. The operation takes between 60 to 90 minutes and is on an out-patient basis. The success of sweat gland suction depends greatly on the type of surgery and the location of sweating. It is thought to be 75 to 80% effective for axillary hyperhidrosis, and about 95 to 98% effective palmar hyperhidrosis.

However, side effects and complications are known to plague the treatment of hyperhidrosis with surgery as they are almost constant and unavoidable. These side effects are often the price patients pay for treating hyperhidrosis with surgery.

One common side effect of hyperhidrosis is what is known as compensatory sweating , that is, excessive sweating shifts from the area where surgery has been performed to another part of the body such as the abdomen and groin area. This side effect occurs in almost every patient who undergoes surgery.

Other side effects include,

•  Gustatory sweating which is facial sweating occurring after eating or smelling food.

•  Horner’s Syndrome , which is a condition that occurs on one side of the face. This could include droopy eyelids and constricted pupils. This side effect occurs in about 1% of patients and it is known to sometimes correct on its own.

•  Intercostal neuralgia , which is nerve pain that can result from mild nerve damage during the surgery. This is however thought to subside in 3 to 6 weeks after surgery.

Patients with other underlying conditions may find that they have side effects relating to the condition they already have.

Oral medication , mainly anticholinergics drugs are also available to help reduce excessive sweating. However, most of these drugs are not effective enough to reduce excessive sweating whilst some have uncomfortable side effects associated with them.

Iontophoresis , which involves the application of low intensity electrical current to the affected areas, particularly the hands, feet, and armpit. It uses water to conduct this electrical current through the skin’s surface and although it is not entirely understood how it works, it is thought that the electric current and mineral particles in the water work collectively to thicken the outer layer of the skin microscopically. The treatment is said to be effective in about 85% of individuals; hence, it is a safe treatment option.

Complete cessation of sweating occurs after the initial phase of treatment with Iontophoresis and can last from a few days to one month depending on the individual. After initial treatment, hyperhidrosis can then be controlled by regular maintenance treatment. These maintenance treatments can be done in the comfort of the home as Iontophoresis machines are now available for home use.

The use of iontophoresis in the treatment of hyperhidrosis holds many advantages, the most important being that the risk of infection is greatly reduced as it is a non-invasive mode of treatment. For individuals who are unwilling or unable to receive injections, iontophoresis is a relatively pain free option to consider. Treatment is also administered directly to the areas affected without any disadvantages of injections or oral medication.

Parkinson’s Disease – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Methods

Parkinson’s Disease is a disease mostly affecting middle-aged and elderly people characterized by tremors and rigid, slow movement. It is also known as PD or Parkinson disease. Early symptoms of PD are subtle and occur gradually. Parkinson’s disease belongs to a group of conditions called movement disorders. The disease is both chronic, meaning it persists over a long period of time, and progressive, meaning its symptoms grow worse over time. Parkinson’s disease was named after Scottish physician James Parkinson, who published a description of the condition. Cardinal features include resting tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, and postural instability. In some people the disease progresses more quickly than in others. It is characterized by muscle rigidity, tremor, a slowing of physical movement ( bradykinesia ), and in extreme cases, a loss of physical movement ( akinesia ). PD usually affects people over the age of 50. The risk of PD increases with age, so analysts expect the financial and public health impact of this disease to increase as the population gets older. In Parkinson’s, cells are destroyed in part of the brain stem – the substantia nigra, which sends out fibers to the corpus stratia, gray and white bands of tissue in both sides of the brain. Parkinson’s disease is called idiopathic Parkinson’s because the cause is unknown. In the other forms of parkinsonism, a cause is known or suspected.

Causes of Parkinson’s disease

The common causes and risk factor’s of Parkinson’s disease include the following:

The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is not known.

Pesticides or other chemicals.

A combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Environmental toxins.

Proximity to industrial plants or quarries.

Exposure to an environmental toxin. .

Having one or more close relatives with Parkinson’s.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

Some sign and symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease are as follows:

Loss of automatic movements.

Fatigue.

Difficulty swallowing.

Nightmares.

Depression.

Micrographia (small, cramped handwriting).

Difficulty walking or buttoning clothes.

Tremor.

Slowed motion (bradykinesia).

Treatment of Parkinson’s disease

Here is list of the methods for treating Parkinson’s disease:

Parlodel is a useful drug for Parkinson’s disease.

Tolcapone

Pramipexole.

Trihexyphenidyl.

Selegiline (Eldepryl): This drug, used with or without carbidopa-levodopa therapy, helps prevent the breakdown of both naturally occurring dopamine and dopamine formed from levodopa.

Other treatment approaches, including general lifestyle modifications (rest and exercise), physical therapy, speech therapy, will be covered in Maintaining Optimal Wellness.

Various forms of surgical treatment are available to control movement disorders when medications are ineffective.

Pancreatic Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

Pancreatic cancer: Malignancy of the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer has been called a “silent” disease because early pancreatic cancer usually does not cause symptoms. If the tumor blocks the common bile duct and bile cannot pass into the digestive system, the skin and whites of the eyes may become yellow (jaundiced), and the urine darker as a result of accumulated bile pigment called bilirubin.

Pancreatic Cancer Causes

The exact as to what damages DNA in the vast majority of cases of pancreatic cancer is not clear. In other words the exact pancreatic cancer causes are not clear. But it is known that a small percentage of people develop the disease as a result of a genetic predisposition. These people who have a close relative, such as a parent or sibling, with pancreatic cancer have a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer themselves.

Age: is also a factor to be considered which increases the incidence of the disease. As age increases the probability of pancreatic cancer also increases. The incidence of Pancreatic Cancer is relatively low in individuals up to age 50, after which it increases significantly. The age group 65 – 79 has the highest incidence of Pancreatic Cancer.

Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

In many cases, pancreatic cancer symptoms do not occur until the advanced stages. When pancreatic cancer symptoms do occur, they are often ignored because they are so vague and nonspecific. The first pancreatic cancer symptoms are usually pain in the abdomen and weight loss. Additional pancreatic cancer symptoms to look for include jaundice, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, diarrhea, chills, and muscle spasms.

Many of these pancreatic cancer symptoms are the result of a less serious ailment. However, only a doctor can accurately diagnosis whether or not your pancreatic cancer symptoms are the result of cancer.

Pain

Pancreatic cancer can cause pain and discomfort in your upper abdomen, which sometimes spreads to your back. At first, the pain may come and go, but as the cancer becomes larger, and more advanced, you may find that the pain is more constant, and lasts for longer.

The pain pancreatic cancer causes is often worse when you are lying down or eating. This type of pain tends to affect people whose tumour has formed in either the body or tail of the pancreas.

Pancreatic Cancer Treatment:

This cancer is difficult to diagnose because there are no symptoms in the early stages and because , when symptoms appear, they match other diseases. Depending on the stage and location of the cancer, surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy may be used. If the cancer has not spread beyond the pancreas, therapy can be successful, but, as stated earlier, it’s very unlikely to find pancreatic cancer in the early stages. In later stages, often the therapy concentrates on the comfort of the patient.

Obstruction of bile flow may be temporarily relieved by placement of a tube (stent) in the lower portion of the duct that drains bile from the liver and gallbladder. In most cases, however, the tumor eventually obstructs the duct above and below the stent. An alternative treatment method is the surgical creation of a channel that bypasses the obstruction. For example, an obstruction of the small intestine can be bypassed by a channel that connects the stomach with a portion of the small intestine that is beyond the obstruction.

Vasovagal Syncope – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Methods

“Vasovagal syncope” is the term given to describe sudden unexplained fainting attacks. There are a number of different syncope syndromes which all fall under the umbrella of vasovagal syncope. In patients with vasovagal syncope (also called Fainting), the initial cardiovascular response to an upright posture appears to be relatively normal. Vasovagal Syncope affects patients of all ages, both with and without other medical conditions, and has a broad number of causes. It is valuable to assess the relative contribution of cardioinhibition and vasodepression before embarking on treatment as there are different therapeutic strategies for the two aspects. Vasovagal syncope is triggered by a stimulus that results in an exaggerated and inappropriate response in the part of your nervous system that regulates involuntary body functions, including heart rate and blood flow. Vasovagal syncope is often preceded by a rise in blood pressure and heart rate, followed by widening of the vessels and a drop in blood pressure.

People with vasovagal syncope typically have recurrent episodes, usually when exposed to a specific trigger. The initial episode often occurs when the person is a teenager, then recurs in clusters throughout his or her life. The most common cause of fainting is due to vasovagal syncope. Common triggers of vasovagal syncope include standing for long periods, dehydration, the sight of blood, coughing, urination, having a bowel movement and emotional distress. With accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, Vasovagal syncope can be resolved in most patients. Moreover, in patients with heart problems, Vasovagal syncope may be a warning sign for a impending sudden death. Vasovagal syncope is not a serious or life threatening condition, but in effect an abnormal reflex. In many patients the condition is linked with physical or emotional trauma. Fainting is common, and treatment is unnecessary in most cases.

Causes of Vasovagal syncope

The common causes and risk factor’s of Vasovagal syncope include the following:

Vasovagal syncope most often happens to people in stressful or painful situations that causes them Anxiety, for example, when having blood drawn or receiving an injection.

Certain prescription medications, such as some high blood pressure medicines that cause your blood pressure to drop.

Alcohol use or drug use, or both.

Having a bowel movement (especially if straining).

Organic heart disease.

Patients who suddenly and unexpectedly lose consciousness can be injured.

Symptoms of Vasovagal syncope

Some symptoms related to Vasovagal syncope are as follows:

Nausea and rarely vomiting can precede episodes.

Pale appearance to your skin.

Feeling of warmth.

Dizziness.

Sweating or blurring of vision before the fainting attack.

Lightheadedness.

Yawning.

Difficulty hearing or ringing in your ears.

Treatment of Vasovagal syncope

Here is list of the methods for treating Vasovagal syncope:

Occasionally, a doctor may prescribe medications called beta blockers, which may diminish the chance that triggers will cause vasovagal syncope.

In some patients with more frequent symptoms, nonpharmacologic measures may be adequate.

If fainting is involved, then lying down with elevation of the legs and removal of the offending stimulus will rapidly restore consciousness. If there are no contraindications, a diet with more salt may be beneficial.

There are certain orthostatic training exercises which have been proven to improve symptoms in people with recurrent vasovagal syncope.

Occasionally, a pacemaker, radiofrequency ablation, or orthostatic training may be required.