Healthcare Treatment Guidelines

Symptoms are the things which the patient notices and which prompt him to visit the doctor. Signs are the things which the doctor notices or detects on examining the patient.

It is important to realize that the mild to moderate hypertension usually produces no symptoms in the early stages there are usually no abnormal physical findings other than the hypertension. That is why many hypertensives are detected during routine examination for employment or life-insurance.

In the early stages, symptoms which are frequently attributed to the high blood pressure are difficult to differentiate from those associated with general temperament and constitution of the individual especially liable to high blood pressure, i. e. nervousness, irritability, loss of energy, easy fatigue and insomnia. Headache, dizziness and impairment of memory and concentration are later features.

Headache is troublesome and sometimes intractable. It is usually throbbing in nature and felt at the back of head and neck and worse on waking.

Giddiness or dizziness is occasionally felt by the patient and usually he is afraid to walk alone. But fortunately this giddiness is intermittent in nature. In elderly patients giddiness may be due to arteriosclerosis of blood vessels with loss of elasticity of arterioles due to ageing process and also may be due to degenerating vision and arthritic changes in the limbs. It is also important to remember that in individuals who are already taking drugs for their high blood pressure, the drugs themselves can produce giddiness especially on changing their posture suddenly.

Unexplained tiredness is felt by many. This may be due to high blood pressure or may be due to temperament and attitude of the individual towards life.

Changes in the eye sight may necessitate changes in glasses. The one place in the body which serves as a window through which one can see the arteriolar disease is the eye-in the retina the arterioles are directly visible. This is easily seen by the doctor with the help of an instrument called “ophthalmoscope”. The changes in the arterioles with hemorrhages and swelling can be easily seen and these findings are graded into four stages. Stage IV indicates very severe damages and stage I indicates early hypertensive changes. Blindness is rare.

Shortness of breath is due to heart failure. First noticed with exertion such as running or strenuous work and if left untreated will progress to breathlessness at rest. Sometimes acute attacks of breathlessness occur at night.

‘Angina Pectoris’ is a distressing discomfort or pain usually felt over the front of chest. Reduced blood supply to heart muscle due to atherosclerosis with added extra work load on the heart due to hypertension may cause Angina. Like breathlessness, it occurs first with severe exertion and later even with slight exertion like walking, causing the patient to stop until the pain disappears. If coronary artery is completely blocked, the condition is called Coronary Thrombosis, commonly known as a “Heart Attack”.

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  • Filed under: High Blood Pressure
    • Every three minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer.
    • Every thirteen minute a woman dies from breast cancer
    • It accounts for 20% of the total cancer-related diseases in India and is largely prevalent among urban women.  In India, younger urban women in the 30 to 55 age group are more vulnerable to breast cancer. Most cases are diagnosed late.
    • Presently, 75,000 new cases occur in Indian women every year.
    • Over the course of a lifetime, one in twenty two women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
    • The Breast is an important psychological, physiological & aesthetic part of the female form. Therefore any disease state affects social, moral & physical balances in the woman’s life.
    • The incidence of the disease was deemed to be high in the western hemisphere but of late there is an alarming increase in the number as well as the type of breast cancer cases being detected in India.
    • Self-breast examination is the cheapest and best way of detecting such symptoms. Women must examine their breasts seven days after the periods,’’
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  • Filed under: Breast Cancer
  • Training teachers and other workers to conduct home iodine checks is a part of UNICEF’s strategy focusing on grassroots awareness building to increase the consumption of adequately iodized salt. UNICEF also assists the Government of India and the state governments with the production and distribution of information materials.

    For example, to mark Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Day on October 21, 2001, India issued a commemorative stamp on iodized salt.

    A salt-testing kit costs are very cheap and can easily be used by local communities to verify whether the salt they buy is adequately iodized. With UNICEF support, thousands of these kits are being distributed in India through the public network of anganwadi, or community health centers, and schools. UNICEF also provides support for the production and distribution of millions of leaflets and other materials promoting consumption of iodized salt.

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  • Filed under: iodine deficiency
  • Iodine is a micronutrient, a trace element that occurs naturally in the soil. Although replenished somewhat by the cycle of evaporation and rain, the earth’s soil is gradually being stripped of iodine. Because the human body cannot retain iodine (unlike most other micronutrients), the vegetables and pulses that are iodine-rich must be consumed daily. Hence the worst cases of iodine deficiency are found in the highland regions of the world, areas of greatest soil degradation, where vegetables and pulses have the lowest content of iodine (seaweed, which was used in ancient times as a cure for goiter, has the highest iodine content). However, there is no region in India free of IDD. It is found in the major cities as well as in distant villages.

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  • Filed under: iodine deficiency
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