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Kashmir move “controversial”, serious health & security concerns: Lancet

Training and Health Medibulletin

In an editorial, The Lancet has described India’s move on Kashmir as controversial; raises concerns about health, security and freedoms of Kashmiris   The current political situation in Kashmir puts in jeopardy the “health, safety and freedoms” of
'In an editorial, The Lancet has described India’s move on Kashmir as controversial; raises concerns about health, security and freedoms of Kashmiris   The current political situation in Kashmir puts in jeopardy the “health, safety and freedoms” of Kashmiri people, The Lancet has written in an editorial.The editorial has brought criticism for the medical journal especially in India where readers are smarting at the references to Kashmir as “autonomous”. “Last week in a controversial move, India revoked the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir, allowing India greater authority over the state’s affairs.The announcement fanned tension with Pakistan, which also claims the region and has fought India over it for more than seven decades.At least 28 000 Indian security forces have been deployed; in the capital city Srinagar, a lockdown has been implemented that suspended communication and internet links, and a strict curfew has been imposed.The militant presence raises serious concerns for the health, safety, and freedoms of the Kashmiri people,” reads the editorial.Earlier this month, India had revoked the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir, splitting it into two Union territories after Ladakh was made a separate entity.This effectively revokes the special status of the state and the restrictions on people from outside the state to own properties and businesses there. “The report emphasises continued use of excessive force against civilians—for example, the use of pellet-firing shotguns has led to 1253 people being blinded between 2016 and 2018.Both India and Pakistan have largely dismissed the report’s recommendations to end the abuse.” The Lancet editorial goes on to add: “According to a report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, published last month, gross human rights violations by state security forces and armed groups have occurred, including cross-border firings, sexual violence, enforced disappearances, and acts of terrorism.The report emphasises continued use of excessive force against civilians—for example, the use of pellet-firing shotguns has led to 1253 people being blinded between 2016 and 2018.Both India and Pakistan have largely dismissed the report’s recommendations to end the abuse.” As was pointed out during the debate on the matter in the Indian Parliament, the editorial too mentions the fact that despite decades of instability, developmental indicators in Kashmir are better than the rest of India.In 2016, life expectancy was 68·3 years for men and 71·8 years for women, which are greater than the respective national averages. . The post Kashmir move “controversial”, serious health & security concerns: Lancet appeared first on Health news, Medibulletin .'

Diabetes can affect a woman’s sexual health: Know how to deal with it

Training and Health The Health Site

Diabetic women may have a few sexual issues.But with proper treatment, you can easily overcome it.Read on to know more about these problems and how to deal with them.
'Sexual dysfunction in diabetic women is not as common as it is in men. But it does affect around 35 per cent of women with diabetes. It may manifest as painful sex and you may experience a low libido . But sexual problems related to diabetes can be easily treated. According to a study in University of Chicago Medical Center, many middle-aged and older adults with diabetes are sexually active. Almost 70 per cent of partnered men with diabetes and 62 per cent of partnered women with diabetes engaged in sexual activity two or three times a month, say researchers. But the disease took a toll on both the desire and the rewards of sexual activity. Men diagnosed with diabetes were more likely to express a lack of interest in sex and to experience erectile dysfunction. Both men and women reported a higher rate of orgasm difficulties, such as climaxing too quickly (men) or not at all (men and women). Only 19 per cent of women with diagnosed diabetes discussed their sexual problems with a physician. The journal Diabetes Care published this study. SEXUAL PROBLEMS IN WOMEN WITH DIABETES The causes of sexual issues for women with diabetes are not very clear. Experts say that the problems are more complex to treat than in men. But they say that nerve damage and slow blood flow to vaginal and genital tissues may be the reasons. According to them, mood and hormone may also play a major part. Other reasons could be side-effects of medications, alcohol abuse, smoking and psychological issues like anxiety, depression and stress. You may be unable to achieve orgasm and suffer from inadequate vaginal lubrication before and during intercourse. You may also experience an inability to relax the vaginal muscles for intercourse. Low desire for sex and pain during intercourse are the other problems that you may face. Let us look at some of the sexual problems that a diabetic woman may face. Vaginal dryness Vaginal dryness is common in diabetic women. This is because, diabetes cause nerve damage. The nerves that lubricate your vagina may be damaged. This is a painful condition, especially during sexual activities. But it could also be due to decrease in oestrogen levels if you have reached the age for menopause. Vaginal infections Infections are common if you have diabetes. Urinary tract infections (UTIs), and yeast infections can lead to painful sex and vaginal dryness. The only solution here is  to seek prompt treatment for any infections. Also, it is important to keep your sugar levels under control to avoid such complications. Low libido Painful sex may put you off sex and you may avoid it altogether. This may manifest as low libido. But experts are not yet clear about what causes this condition yet. Difficulty orgasming This is very common in diabetic women. It could be due to a low libido or maybe nerve damage. There is not enough stimulation and pleasure to lead to an orgasm. In fact, women who take insulin for diabetes may be almost 80 per cent more likely to have trouble reaching an orgasm than women who don’t have diabetes. TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR SEX LIFE So, you are diabetic, and you have sexual issues. Don’t despair. With the right strategy, you will be able to get your life back on track. Seek medical help Women find it difficult to talk to their doctors about sexual issues. But this is not right. Speak to your doctor and be frank about your issues. He can then figure out the causes. Sometimes, medications may also cause sexual problems as can unhealthy lifestyle and habits . Talk to your doctor openly so that he can start the right treatment. Use lubrication Today there are numerous lubricants easily available at the chemists. You can also  ask your doctor to prescribe one. If you have reached menopause, your doctor may recommend a low-dose oestrogen ring or cream that you can apply in your vagina. Experiment Talk to your partner and try out new techniques. Explore other areas of your body and spend time on foreplay. All this will help you get in the mood. Exercise Regular exercise will dramatically improve your sex life. It reduces stress and improves flexibility. Physical activities also release feel-good hormones in the brain and keeps you looking and feeling good. Eat healthy A diet that includes a lot of fruits, vegetables, potatoes, beans and whole grains are great for sexual health. Switch to a Mediterranean diet. It will improve blood sugar levels and also protect you from diabetes related disorders. Be healthy Take care of yourself. Control your blood sugar levels and keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check. This will improve immunity and your  body will be better able to fight against infections. DIABETES AND FERTILITY Diabetes as such does not affect the fertility of a woman. But poor blood sugar control can cause miscarriages during the first trimester of pregnancy. If you are also overweight or have polycystic ovary syndrome, it may be difficult to get pregnant. Consult your doctor because these issues need medical attention.'

New treatment strategy brings hope of genital herpes cure: Know all about this condition

Training and Health The Health Site

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease with no cure.But now a new study brings hope of an effective therapy that may be able to treat this condition.Read on to know more about this disease.
'Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease. It infects both men and women. It can spread either by having vaginal, anal or oral sex with a person affected by the same. This disease though not life threatening like other forms of STDs, has no cure and one has to live with its consequences for life. Like most other STDs, genital herpes spreads silently without showing any obvious symptoms of the same. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 2, which causes genital herpes, is very common and it affects more than 400 million people globally. Till date there is no cure for this condition and efforts to develop a vaccine have had limited success. Active herpes infection causes painful lesions that are physically and emotionally harmful to affected people. But now researchers from Yale University say that the combination of a vaccine and a medicated cream may help to dramatically reduce the recurrence of genital herpes. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center also participated in this study. The journal npj Vaccines published this study. Novel strategy for genital herpes treatment shows promise: Experts During the course of the study, researchers tested a novel vaccine strategy, known as prime and pull, in guinea pigs infected with genital herpes. The ‘prime’ involves a vaccine that generates a response to the virus from T cells. These are highly specialised immune cells . The ‘pull’ was a cream that contained imiquimod. This is a medication commonly used to treat genital warts. They noticed that when this was applied to the affected area, the cream attracted key immune cells to the site of infection. There they blocked the virus from spreading and causing herpes lesions. The study demonstrated that the effect of the combination therapy was greater than either the vaccine or cream alone. The research team gave three rounds of treatment to the animals. The strategy worked rapidly right from the first round itself. Researchers say that if this strategy is developed into a therapy for humans, it could be a game changer for individuals with recurrent infections or resistance to standard antiviral treatment. What causes genital herpes? Genital herpes is caused by two types of viruses called herpes simplex type 1 and herpes simplex type 2. It is most common in people in the age group of 14 to 49 but is also seen in older adults. With herpes infection, sores or blisters are usually seen on the genitals of the infected person. These sores are filled with fluids that carry the virus. If a healthy person comes in contact with these fluids, the disease can be transmitted. Remember even if the symptoms of the disease are not prominent i.e., the sores aren’t present yet in the infected person, it can still be transmitted to the other partner during a sexual intercourse. What are the symptoms of genital herpes? One might not see any visible symptoms soon after being infected with the herpes virus. But as the infection grows and spreads it starts to show some mild symptoms. The initial symptoms could be ‘pimples’ or ‘zits’ appearing on the genital areas of the one infected with herpes. Sometimes such signs are even seen around the mouth area too. Many times, people with herpes mistake these initial symptoms for a skin condition or an allergy . As the infection spreads the sores grow and start to appear more like blisters around the genitals, rectum and the mouth area. There can be one or more blisters at one spot at a time. If neglected and left untreated, the sores can break open and can cause pain. This outbreak is usually followed by flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches and swelling in the lymphatic glands. Usually the first attack of herpes is the worst and can take a toll on the person infected with it. These outbreaks can take upto several weeks to heal even with treatment. Once infected the virus stays in the body for the rest of their life despite treatment and care. In such a scenario one can face episodes of repeated outbreaks. However, the outbreaks after the first one are usually shorter in duration and less painful. Also the number of outbreaks tend to decrease over a period of years. Symptoms that can indicate a herpes infection other than sores or the outbreaks are smelly discharge, a burning sensation during urination and painful intercourse. Apart from this unusual vaginal bleeding between periods among women is also noticed. How is genital herpes diagnosed and treated? The diagnosis of genital herpes can be done symptomatically. Sometimes the doctor might even take swabs from the open sores to check for the presence of the virus. Unfortunately, genital herpes has no cure. However, it can be managed efficiently with treatment. Regular medications can keep the symptoms in check and make it less likely to transmit the same to the partner during an intercourse. In case of women who are pregnant and infected with herpes, special pre-natal care is necessary. Sometimes the infection can also lead to a miscarriage or premature delivery . A herpes infection can spread from a mother to the child. Medications are given to a pregnant woman during the last trimester to prevent transmitting the disease to the baby. Usually a C-section is performed on a mother who is suffering from herpes to save the baby from getting infected while birthing. How can you prevent genital herpes? To save yourself from genital herpes, always practise safe sex. Use latex condoms during sexual intercourse and dental dams during oral sex. Avoid having sex with multiple partners and practise monogamy. This can save you from getting infected with any type of STD. If the infection is already present talk to your partner about your health and the potential risks involved. Remember even if the signs of the disease are suppressed you can still pass the infection to your partner. Condoms and dams can only cover the sores that are present in the genital areas and the mouth. But the blisters can also appear elsewhere in the body. Coming in contact with the fluids of the sores in case of an outbreak can also contribute in transmitting the disease. Hence, using condoms alone isn’t protection enough to limit the transmission of the disease. Maintain proper hygiene and always wash hands thoroughly to prevent herpes from spreading to other parts of the body in case there are open sores. Herpes is not curable. So, always talk to your partner and keep your doctor in the loop to know how you can prevent the disease from coming in the way of good health and a happy sex life. Living with genital herpes The condition has no cure but can still be managed, though it can erode the quality of life and sexual health badly. Ignoring treatment can make it worse for those who have a suppressed immune system. Prolonged infection without proper care and treatment can also make one vulnerable to other potent forms of STD like AIDS. It is wise to follow proper treatment and guidance given by a sex therapist.'

Kids can manage asthma incidents with only inhalers

Training and Health The Health Site

Children are often prescribed steroids for asthma.Now a new study says that inhalers can manage the condition effectively and this will reduce the need for strong medication.
'Researchers have found that children with mild asthma can effectively manage the condition by using their two inhalers — one a steroid and the other a bronchodilator — when symptoms occur. The steroid inhaler lowers inflammation and the bronchodilator, also known as a rescue inhaler, relaxes the airway during an asthma attack to quickly make breathing easier, according to the study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice . “Patients in the group that used both inhalers as needed used about one-fourth the steroid dose of the group that inhaled a prescribed daily amount. We also were pleased to see that the patients and families felt that they had more ownership over their asthma management when practicing as-needed treatment,” said study first author Kaharu Sumino, Associate Professor at the Washington University. The researchers found that this approach reduced the amount of steroid medication the children took monthly by almost 75 per cent. The study included 206 African American children six to 17 years of age with mild asthma that was adequately controlled with asthma controller steroid medication . The patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Each participant in one group was advised to take a dose from an inhaler containing the steroid beclomethasone as needed when symptoms arose, along with the rescue bronchodilator albuterol. Each participant in the second group was advised to take a specific inhaled dose of the steroid beclomethasone daily, regardless of symptoms, plus the rescue bronchodilator as needed in response to symptoms.oo At the end of the one-year study, the researchers found no differences between groups in surveys of how well the patients’ asthma was controlled, as well as no differences in breathing tests that measure lung function. However, the group taking daily beclomethasone, an inhaled corticosteroid, used more of the medication per month than those in the symptom-based group. On average, children in the daily-use group used 1,961 micrograms per month, while the symptom-based group used 526 micrograms per month, cutting the amount of this medication by almost three-fourths. The reduced amount is desirable, according to the investigators, because steroids have side effects that include stunted growth.'

HIV increases risk of COPD significantly: Study

Training and Health The Health Site

According to a new study, HIV can increase risk of many serious health disorders like COPD, sepsis and cardiovascular disorders.
'People living with HIV have a significantly elevated risk of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and coughs, heart disease, pregnancy mortality and sepsis, anaemia and bone fractures, according to a study. For the study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases , researchers combined data from 20 separate observational studies and examined 55 different illnesses. They found that people living with this condition are at an increased risk of contracting specific diseases and illnesses, some of which are more commonly associated with ageing. “By pooling data from different studies, we have been able to show for the first time that even with the rise in life expectancy amongst people living with HIV, this population now seems to be disproportionately affected by chronic illnesses often attributable to lifestyle issues such as smoking, drug and alcohol use or more commonly associated with an older population,” said study researcher Lee Smith from Anglia Ruskin University in the UK. Although the number of people contracting HIV is declining, approximately 1.8 million people are infected every year and HIV remains one of the world’s major health issues. In recent years, people with HIV have benefited from improved access to antiretroviral treatment. However, increased life expectancy and a lower immunity has meant higher levels of comorbidity, with people living with HIV also more likely to suffer from other illnesses. The greater prevalence of age-associated diseases may be explained by the persistent immunodeficiency and inflammation connected with HIV. There are also adverse effects associated with antiretroviral treatment. Previous studies have also suggested that people with HIV in developed countries, as a population, often exhibit greater risk factors associated with non-AIDS related illnesses, such as smoking, drug use and alcohol use.'

New pain-sensing organ discovered in skin

Training and Health The Health Site

Researchers have discovered a new sensory organ that is able to detect painful mechanical damage such as pricks and impacts.
'Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have discovered this new sensory organ in the skin that is sensitive to hazardous environmental irritation. It is comprised of glia cells with multiple long protrusions and which collectively go to make up a mesh-like organ within the skin. According to the study published in the journal   Science this organ is sensitive to painful mechanical damage such as pricks and pressure. The study described what the new pain-sensitive organ looks like, how it is organised together with pain-sensitive nerves in the skin and how activation of the organ results in electrical impulses in the nervous system that result in reflex reactions and experience of pain. Pain causes suffering and results in substantial costs for society. Almost one person in every five experiences constant pain and there is a considerable need to find new painkilling drugs . However, sensitivity to pain is also required for survival and it has a protective function. It prompts reflex reactions that prevent damage to tissue, such as pulling your hand away when you feel a jab from a sharp object or when you burn yourself. The cells that make up the organ are highly sensitive to mechanical stimuli, which explain how they can participate in the detection of painful pinpricks and pressure. In experiments, the researchers also blocked the organ and saw a resultant decreased ability to feel mechanical pain. “Our study shows that sensitivity to pain does not occur only in the skin’s nerve fibers, but also in this recently-discovered pain-sensitive organ,” said Patrik Ernfors, professor at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics and chief investigator for the study. “The discovery changes our understanding of the cellular mechanisms of physical sensation and it may be of significance in the understanding of chronic pain,” added Prof Ernfors.'