On the occasion of the Rare Disease Day, hold next February 29th, we want to remember them today in E&S Doctors. To begin with, we have to mention that rare disease affects a small number of people and that’s why they’re called like that. In Europe, a disease is considered to be rare when it affects one person per 2,000. Nowadays, there are six or seven thousand rare diseases. Some of these are Huntington disease, Crohn disease, Kaposi’s sarcoma, etc.
The problem with these rare diseases is that most of them have no cure. However, treatments improve the quality of life and extend the life expectancy of those affected. Still they’re extremely unknown and it’s very difficult to identify and treat them. Despite that, science has provided many answers to these rare diseases and it’s expected to be the case thanks to the progress of the future.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause from a common cold to a severe acute respiratory syndrome. One of these viruses is the new one that appeared in 2019 and that has been identified as the cause of an outbreak that began in China. It has been called COVID-19. Although there isn’t much known about this virus yet, public health groups as WHO are monitoring it closely and have issued recommendations for preventing it, such as washing your hands often, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, avoiding contact with anyone who is sick or sharing things if you’re sick, and also staying at home if you’re sick.
Symptom may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to this coronavirus and include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Most people with severe illness have been adults or had other existing medical conditions. However, it’s unclear how it spreads, but it may be by air when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes. Furthermore, risk factors include recent travel from or residence in China and close contact with someone that has this coronavirus, but there is still much unknown about the virus and it is been still investigated.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are normally contracted by sexual contact, but they can also be transmitted from mother to infant during pregnancy or even through blood transfusions or shared needles. The most common thing is that the organisms that cause them pass from person to person in blood, semen or bodily fluids.
STDs don’t always cause symptoms and it’s usual to contract them from people who seem perfectly healthy. These sexually transmitted diseases may go unnoticed until complications. However, some symptoms can be noticed that indicate that we have caught a STDs, like: sores or bumps on the genitals or rectal area, painful urination, discharge from the penis, odd-smelling vaginal discharge or even unusual vaginal bleeding, pain during sex, fever or rash in hands or feet.
Cancer is a disease characterized by the development of abnormal cells, which destroy normal body tissue. Frequently, it spreads throughout the body and it is the second-leading cause of death in the world. Recently, this has improved thanks to cancer screening and a proper cancer treatment. Even if there is a slight idea about what are some risk factors, the majority of cancers occur in people who do not have any known risk factors. These are: age, habits like smoking or drinking, and family history.
Symptoms vary depending on what part of the body is affected. The most common signs are fatigue, lumps under skin, weight or skin changes, persistent cough, difficulty breathing or swallowing, hoarseness, indigestion, unexplained muscle pain, fevers or night sweats and unexplained bleeding. To prevent cancer, it is advisable stop smoking, avoid excessive sun exposure, exercising, drinking alcohol in moderation and schedule cancer screening exams.
Marfan syndrome is an inherited disorder that affects the fibres that support your organs and other parts of your body. Usually, it commonly affects the heart, eyes, blood vessels and skeleton. The damage caused can be mild or severe. If it affects your aorta, the condition can become life-threatening. People with this syndrome are, typically, very tall and thin with very long arms, legs, fingers and toes. Treatment includes, for example, medications to keep your blood pressure low. Regular monitoring to check the progression of the condition is vital because some people may require surgery to repair the aorta if necessary.
The symptoms of Marfan syndrome vary a lot, even among members of the same family. Some are mild, while others can be a threat to the life of the person suffering from it. Among them, we can find: tall and slender build, disproportionately long arms, legs and fingers, a breast bone that protrudes outward or dips inward, crowded teeth, heart murmurs, extreme near-sightedness, a very curved spine and flat feet. Some symptoms can cause cardiovascular, eye or skeletal complications.
World Antibiotic Awareness Week, hold on November’s third week every year, aims to increase awareness of antibiotic resistance and to encourage better practices for this to stop happening because it is a problem that affects us all. The process to solve this is long, but not impossible. We all know that thanks to antibiotics we can cure diseases that we could not cure in the past, but misusing them, the things achieved do not work anymore because we are acquiring an immunity. If bacteria are resistant to them, the treatment is not going to work.
Because of this, in E&S Doctors, we recommend to make a good use of antibiotics. This is really easy, following doctors and experts pharmacists’ advices. The best thing is to take antibiotics only when they are prescribed by a doctor, always following their indications and in case we have any leftover antibiotics when the treatment ends, we need to take them to a Drug Take Back site. With these easy steps, we help antibiotics to have their full effect and to keep fighting diseases that were fatal in the past.
An European project, coordinated by investigators from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC in Spanish), has demonstrated that a healthy microbiota contributes to regulate appetite, body weight and swelling associated to obesity, besides affecting the risk of developing chronic metabolic and mental diseases. The microorganisms that live in the digestive system affect the functioning of the immunological, endocrine and nervous systems. Specifically, in one of the studies it was observed that, in 4 years of study, children with a normal weight developed obesity because an unhealthy diet decreased the diversity of this microbiota and this increased the amount of inflammatory proteobacteria. Furthermore, it was observed that this microbiota can decrease the risk of suffering diseases associated to stress.
The research also proves that not only the quantity of protein in a diet is important, but quality also is because this gives room to the production of more or less toxic metabolites in the kidney. Finally, it has been also investigated how the microbiota is affected by other things like the type of labour, proving that people born by C-section have a more exaggerated response to stress and this causes a greater risk of suffering mental and metabolic diseases
Eating lots of baked goods and other pre-cooked foods has significant consequences, besides from the increase in size. In addition to risk the heart’s health, trigger high blood pressure and being defenceless against type 2 diabetes, if you do not stop obesity, your brain can change in form and structure. To be precise, the excess of body fat makes the central areas of your brain shrink, according to a Dutch research published by Radiology magazine. The more fat, the less braincells.
A person with obesity is more prone to suffer dementia, according to a recent study by the British University of Loughborough. Furthermore, another consequence of having rolls of fat is the decreasing of a brain protein that helps fighting Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s. The only way to end this is exercise, like fitness. Another option is to avoid eating watching television or looking at your phone since when you focus on your food, you eat less. If you have lunch far away from screens, you will eat a third less during dinner because we have the memory of eating lunch, which activates a satiety feeling.
The thyroid is a gland which makes hormones and can be the cause of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. This can accelerate your body’s metabolism, which causes unintentional weight loss, sweating, tremor, fatigue and irregular heartbeat among other symptoms.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland do not produce enough of certain hormones. This can cause health problems, such as obesity, infertility or heart disease if it is not treated. Some symptoms may include fatigue, hoarseness, weight gain, elevated blood cholesterol level or pain in your joints.
High blood pressure is a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls may cause health problems. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure is. You can have this disease for years without any symptoms. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attacks and strokes. That’s why it is recommended to check evenly your blood pressure.
Most people with hypertension have no symptoms, but a few people may have headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds.