GERD / Heartburn /Regurgitation/Indigestion

What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux disorder is reflux or regurgitation of acid content or bitter fluid from the stomach to the esophagus. Most common words used for GERD are heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux and acid regurgitation. It can affect individual’s quality of life so do not ignore if you are having this problem.

Symptoms of GERD
GERD presents with acid content or bitter taste in mouth usually after meals, on lying down or with bending, straining or heavy lifting. GERD often accompanied with other symptoms such as;
• Heartburn or burning sensation or heaviness around middle of the chest or upper abdomen
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Halitosis or bad breath
• Difficulty in swallowing or pain during swallowing.
• Dry, long-lasting cough with sore throat.
• Wearing away of your teeth/erosion of enamel of your teeth.

Causes of GERD
GERD means acid content coming back up to the esophagus or food pipe. Actually when we swallow food it comes from esophagus to stomach. At the lower end of esophagus there is a band of muscles called as lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which plays an important role in preventing acid reflux from the stomach means it acts as a barrier between lower part of esophagus and stomach. When lower esophageal sphincter relaxes it allows food to enter in to the stomach and then it closes to prevent food particles and acidic content to flow back in to the esophagus, but if there is weakness in the muscles of lower esophageal sphincter it may relax at inappropriate time when actually it should not and causing stomach contents to rise up in to the esophagus. Factors like distention of the stomach, delayed emptying of the stomach, large sliding hiatal hernia, or too much acid in the stomach can also make it easier for acid reflux to occur.

Risk factors of GERD
1. Obesity – Increased weight may cause increase pressure on the abdomen and may causes relaxation of LES at inappropriate time.
2. Pregnancy – In pregnancy due to high progesterone level motility of entire gastrointestinal tract decreases and LES relaxation leads to acid regurgitation and heartburn.
3. Smoking – smoking and passive smoking also relaxes LES leads to acid regurgitation.
4. Certain medications- antihistamines, analgesics, antidepressants, Calcium channel blockers used to treat high BP, Asthma medications eg bronchodilators and theophylline, sedatives, antibiotics and estrogen replacements.
5. Sedentary lifestyle – People who work as sitting for long, do not do any physical activity and late night work or not sleeping in the night increases acid content of stomach.
6. Wrong dietary habits – Oily and spicy food, junk food, chocolates, peppermints and alcoholic beverages increases acid content of stomach and weakens LES.
7. Low gap between meal and sleep – Ideal time gap between meal and sleep (going to bed) should be at least 3 hours but reduced time gap or going to bed just after meal decreases digestion process and increases acid content of stomach.
8. Hiatus hernia – Hiatus hernia is a condition in which the opening in your diaphragm lets the upper part of the stomach move up into your chest, which lowers the pressure in the esophageal sphincter.

Even when the LES and the diaphragm are intact and functioning normally, reflux can still occur. The LES may relax after having large meals leading to distension of the upper part of the stomach. When that happens there is not enough pressure at the LES to prevent reflux. In some patients the LES is too weak or cannot mount enough pressure to prevent reflux during periods of increased pressure within the abdomen.

When you need to go to the doctor
If you are having acid reflux or heartburn twice in week for few weeks, accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, bad breath, chronic dry cough, sore throat then you should take an appointment with your doctor.

Diagnosis
1. Signs and symptoms, medical history, medication history, family history, lifestyle and dietary habits, and physical examination are important to diagnose GERD.

If patient has chronic heartburn, symptoms are not improving, trouble in swallowing then doctor can order few of these diagnostic tests and may refer the patient to gastroenterologist.

2. Ambulatory 24 hour acid pH probe test – It is a test to monitor the amount of acid in your esophagus. This is the most accurate procedure to detect acid reflux. A gastroenterologist performs this procedure at a hospital or in outpatient care as a part of an upper GI endoscopy. A thin tube with pH sensor passed through the patient’s nose or mouth in to the esophagus which measures how much and how many times stomach regurgitates acid, other part of tube is connected to the computer which records the pH readings. Monitoring is for 24 hours.

Bravo wireless esophageal pH monitoring – This is also for pH monitoring but in this the doctor temporarily attaches a small capsule to the wall of your esophagus during an upper endoscopy. The capsule measures pH levels in the esophagus and transmits information to a receiver. The receiver is about the size of a pager, which you wear on your belt or waistband. You can follow your usual daily routine during monitoring, which usually lasts 48 hours. The receiver has several buttons on it that you will press to record symptoms of GERD such as heartburn. The nurse will tell you what symptoms to record. You will be asked to maintain a diary to record certain events such as when you start and stop eating and drinking, when you lie down, and when you get back up. Before this procedure your doctor will ask to stop all GERD medications if you are taking any. After about 5 to 7 days capsule will fall off and pass through the stool.

3. Upper GI endoscopy and Biopsy –Procedure performed by surgeon or gastroenterologist in the hospital usually under sedation. Endoscope is a thin flexible tube fitted with camera to see inside the organs. Doctor carefully feeds the endoscope in to the upper gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach and duodenum) to examine and if need to take small sample of tissue (biopsy) for further examination.

4. X-ray images of Upper GI – Upper GI series usually performed by X -ray technician at hospital or outpatient center. Patient is asked to drink barium to coat the inner lining of your upper GI tract. With help of barium (contrast) X-ray doctor can detect hiatal hernia, esophageal stricture, ulcers or any other problem.

5. Esophageal manometry – Esophageal manometry measures muscle contractions in your esophagus. A gastroenterologist may order this procedure if you’re thinking about anti-reflux surgery.

Treatment
Depending upon signs and symptoms doctor may recommend naturotherapy, pharmacotherapy or surgery.

Naturotherapy
1. Lifestyle change – If you have sedentary life style, change it and try to walk every day for 30 min and in the sitting job try to walk after each meal and after every 2 hours for 5-10 min.
2. Dietary habits – Avoid caffeine, avoid spicy, fatty and junk food and alcoholic beverages. Increase intake of fibers, fruits and fresh vegetables. Do not overeat. Healthy breakfast is must to prevent acid reflux.
3. Meal time – You should follow a strict pattern of meal time. Last meal of the day should be at or around 7 pm, so that you can have time gap between meal and sleep at least 3 hours. Do not go on the bed just after a meal.
4. Sleeping habits – Always try to go to bed around 9 pm- 10 pm and minimum 6 hours sleep is very important for healthy life. Sleep on a slight angle. Elevate the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches by safely putting blocks under the bedposts.
5. Quit smoking – smoking increases acid production and quitting smoking will prevent from cancer and many diseases.
6. Stop taking over the counter available analgesics and medicines which can increase acid production.
7. Weight loss- if you are overweight or obese try to loose your weight to prevent obesity related disorders.
8. Aloevera – Aloevera soothes the burn or inflammation, so drinking aloevera juice is beneficial in GERD.
9. Banana and apple are natural antacids.
10. Avoid tight-fitting clothes.
Follow healthy lifestyle and Health tips.

Pharmacotherapy
1. Antacids to relieve heartburn and other mild symptoms. Antacids are available over the counter are Maalox, Mylanta, Gelusil, Gaviscon, Rolaids and Tums, may provide quick relief. But antacids alone will not heal an inflamed esophagus damaged by stomach acid. Overuse of some antacids can cause side effects, such as diarrhea or constipation.
2. H2 blockers decrease acid production. H2 blockers are Ranitidine (Zantac 75), Cimetidine (Tagamat HB), Famotidine (Pepcid AC), Nizatidine (Axid AR).
3. PPIs(Proton pump Inhibitors) limit acid secretion in the stomach and resolution of the symptoms with healing of the esophagus. Over the counter available PPIs are Omeprazole (Prilosec),lansoprazole, pantoprazole(protonix), rabeprazole(Acip Hex), esomeprazole (Nexium)
4. Prokinetics help the emptying of stomach faster. On prescription metoclopramide(reglan), Bethanechol (Urecholine)

Surgery
Though most of the time GERD improved and relieved by medications but if symptoms are not improving with medications and lifestyle change, doctor may advice for surgery.

Fundoplication – For long-term reflux prevention Nissen fundoplication is the most common surgery. Surgeon perform this at the hospital under anesthesia by using laparoscope, which is a thin tube fitted with video camera. Fundoplication is a procedure to tightening the lower esophageal sphincter by wrapping the top of the stomach. Hospital stay usually 2-3 days. Return to normal daily activities in 2 weeks.

Using LINX – Linx is a ring-shaped magnetic titanium based device which is used to wrap around lower esophagus and top of stomach to tighten the lower esophageal sphincter. Because of the strong magnetic attraction between titanium beads in the ring it prevents opening during acid reflux.

Complications Of untreated GERD
Respiratory problems – Because of acid reflux in GERD sometimes during sleep acid can go in to the lungs which cause respiratory problems.
Dry and long-lasting cough or sore throat
Chest congestion or fluid in the lungs (Aspiration Pneumonia)
Hoarseness of voice
Wheezing
Laryngitis
Esophagitis – It is inflammation of esophagus because of destruction of normal esophageal lining by acid. If left untreated chronic esophagitis may be cancerous.
Esophageal stricture- In this esophagus becomes narrow.
Barrett’s esophagus – Untreated GERD may sometimes give rise to a serious condition like barrett’s esophagus which is cancerous.

Key point to remember
Heartburn due to GERD and chest pain due to angina (reduced blood supply to the heart) or heart attacks are similar. GERD related heartburn usually after heavy meal or spicy food and gets worse by bending or lying down. Chest pain or discomfort due to angina usually after exertion or emotional stress and not affected by changing in the positions and gets worse after physical activity and does not go away with rest.If you are not sure visit to the doctor without delay.

Please note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional.

Source content – The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders aboutgerd.org

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Acne or Pimples

Acne or commonly known as pimples are very common skin problem in teenage and late teenage groups, though any age group from newborn to adults or sometimes older people can also have acne, usually women complains about acne but common in men too. Acne has negative effects on selfesteem due to cosmetic reason and it gives scars when goes off.
Acne is a chronic inflammation of pilosebaceous units (hair follicles and accompanying sebsceous glands) due to increased sebum production. Acne may present as various forms include seborrhea, comedones, papules, pustules, nodules, pseudocyst and after that scars when acne goes off.

Pathogenesis
There are four major pathogenic factors in the development of acne
1. Increased sebum production
2. Follicular hyperkeratinization (follicular plugging with sebum and keratinocytes)
3. Propionibacterium acne (P. acne) colonization
4. Release of multiple inflammatory mediators

Factors that may cause acne
Severity of acne depends upon sebum excretion rate which increases in puberty. There are multiple factors which can cause acne.
1. Hormonal factors – Sex hormones androgens, progesterone and testosterone increases sebum production rate. At puberty, level of these hormones increases thus cause acne formation. Estrogen reduces sebum production. But most patients have normal hormone profiles.
2. Genetic factors – sometimes if anyone in family had bad acne that may run in to family.
3. Environmental factors – high humidity, heat and sweating may also cause acne.
4. Stress and depression – Psychological stress and depression may disturb the hormonal level and may cause acne.
5. Lack of sleep – Insufficient sleep also stimulates sebum production and acne formation.
6. Certain cosmetics which contain lanolin, vegetable oils, butyl sterate or lauryl alcohol and oleic acid are another cause of acne.
7. Some products which are irritants on skin or allergic to skin also cause acne.
8. Dietary habits – High intake of dairy products, meat, sugars, junk food also cause acne.
9. Hair dandruffs also cause acne so hair washing frequently advised to prevent acne.
10.Certain medications also provoke acne.

Signs and symptoms
Local symptoms are pain tender and erythema. Acne vulgaris typically affects the areas of skin with the densest population of sebaceous follicles (eg, face, upper chest, back). Acne vulgaris may have a psychological impact on any patient, regardless of the severity or the grade of the disease.
Acne or pimples may be in different forms
Comedones are sebaceous plugs impacted within follicles. Depending on wheather follicle is closed or dilated(open) at skin suface comedones are of two types closed comedone or whiteheads and open comedones also called blackheads.
Plugs are easily extruded from open comedones but are more difficult to remove from closed comedones. Closed comedones are the precursor lesions to inflammatory acne. Whiteheads (closed comedones) are flesh-colored or whitish palpable lesions 1 to 3 mm in diameter; blackheads (open comedones) are similar in appearance but with a dark center.
Papules and pustules are inflammatory acne, usually occurs after propionibacterum acne colonization in closed comedones, these are red lesions around 2-5 mm in diameter, papules are relatively deeper and pustules are superficial.
Nodules or small eruptions which are solid and painful. Cysts are suppurative nodules.
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Acne fulminans – It is rare but severe presentation usually associated with fever, joint pain and swelling. It is usually found on the trunk.
Acne Conglobate – Severe acne, characterized by multiple comedones, nodules, abscess, sinuses, cysts and marked scarring without the presence of systemic symptoms. More commonly present in adult males on the trunk and upper limb.
Acne Excorii- Self inflicted excoriation of skin due to repetitive touching , picking and pricking of preexisting acne lesions. Most commonly presents in teenage girls and people suffering with psychological stress or depression.
Pyoderma faciale (also called rosacea fulminans) – occurs suddenly on the midface of young women. The eruption consists of erythematous plaques and pustules, involving the chin, cheeks, and forehead.
Secondary acne– acne caused by either greasy or irritant cosmetics, exposure to oil and dust or some medications like corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, lithium. Polycystic ovary syndrome, menstrual irregularities and premenstrual period are usually associated with acne.

Diagnosis
Signs and symptoms along with medical history, menstrual history, any medications, psychological stress or depression and environmental history.
Local examinations of acne and scars
Laboratory tests for female menstruating patients to check hormone levels of total and/or free testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).

Treatment
It is important to treat acne to reduce the extent of disease, scarring, and psychological distress.

A. Naturotherapy (Natural way of treatment for simple acne and prevention of severe acne).
1. Affected areas should be cleansed daily.
2. Change dietary habits avoid oily food, reduce intake of dairy products and sugar. Food should be rich in fibers and fruits.
3. Drink plenty of water.
4. Full sleep for 6-8 hours.
5. Pranayama (deep breathing exercises) helps to reduce stress and thus acne.
6. Avoid irritant cosmetic products.
Follow healthy lifestyle and health tips.

B. Pharmacotherapy
Consultation with a specialist may be necessary. Treatment should involve educating the patient and tailoring the plan to one that is realistic for the patient. Treatment failure can frequently be attributed to lack of adherence to the plan and also to lack of follow-up.

Topical therapy is useful in mild and moderate acne, as monotherapy, in combination and also as maintenance therapy. Systemic and physical therapy depends upon severity of acne.
1. Benzoyl peroxide – Mild acne usually managed with topical therapy. Initially started with low concentration topical benzoyl peroxide for short duration then gradually increased if tolerated.
2. Topical retinoids – Topical retinoids target the microcomedo–precursor lesion of acne. Tretinoin and isotretinoin are commonly used topical retinoids.
3. Topical antibiotics – Many topical antibiotics formulations are available, either alone or in combination. They inhibit the growth of P. acne and reduce inflammation. Topical antibiotics such as erythromycin and clindamycin are the most popular in the management of acne.
4. Other topical agents – Azelaic acid, Salicylic acid, Lactic acid/Lactate lotion, Tea tree oil 5%, Picolinic acid gel 10%, Dapsone gel 5% can also be used either single agent or in combination therapy.
5. Systemic antibiotics – Oral antibiotics are indicated in mainly moderate-to-severe inflammatory acne. Tetracyclines and derivatives still remain the first choice. Macrolides, co-trimoxazole, and trimethoprim are other alternatives for acne. Gastrointestinal upset and vaginal candidiasis are most common side effects. Doxycycline can be associated with photosensitivity. Minocycline may produce pigment deposition in the skin, mucous membrane, and teeth. Autoimmune hepatitis, systemic lupus erythematosus-like syndrome, and serum sickness-like reactions occur rarely with minocycline.
6. Hormonal therapy – Used in female patients suffering with androgenic alopecia, hirsuitism, seborrhea, and proven ovarian or adrenal hyperandrogenism.
Oral contraceptives – Anti-acne effect of oral contraceptive governed by decreasing level of circulatory androgens through inhibition of luteinizing hormones (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
Spironolactone – functions primarily as a steroidal androgen receptor blocker.
Cyproterone acetate– it is first androgen receptor blocking agent used in combination with ethinyl estradiol to treat acne in females.
Flutamide – used to treat acne in females with hirsuitism.

7. Oral isotretinoin – used to treat modereate to severe acne which in not responsive to conventional therapy.

C. Physical treatment-
Intralesional injections of triamcinolone acetonide may be required for inflamed acne nodules or cysts, which can also be incised and drained, or excised under local anaesthetic.
UVB phototherapy or PDT can occasionally be used in patients with inflammatory acne who are unable to use conventional therapy.

Summary of treatment

• Comedones: Topical tretinoin
• Mild inflammatory acne: Topical antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, or both
• Moderate acne: Oral antibiotics
• Severe acne: Oral isotretinoin
• Cystic acne: Intralesional triamcinolone
• Oral contraceptives are effective in treating inflammatory and noninflammatory acne in females.

Effective treatments aim to improve the condition and prevent worsening (including later scarring), and to restore emotional well-being and self-esteem. The psychological impact of acne must not be underestimated and should be considered in management decisions.

Please note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional.

Content source –  Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine(22ndedition), Indian Journal of Dermatology, http://www.merckmanuals.com, http://www.dermnetnz.org

Appendicitis

Appendicitis is acute inflammation of vermiform appendix. So first you should know about Appendix.
Appendix is actually a vestigial part of intestinal tract, it looks like a worm therefore named as vermiform appendix. It is a hollow tube like structure which is closed at one end and connected to cecum at another end. Cecum is a pouch like beginning of large intestine.
Appendix is located at the right lower side of the abdomen, it is around 3-4 inches long and roughly a quarter of an inch in diameter. Though it is a vestigial remnant of large cecum but still its functions are not clear. Presence of lymphoid tissue supports the role in immune system whereas another function is the collection of beneficial bacteria which is helpful in illness. The inner lining of the appendix produces a small amount of mucus that flows through the open central core of the appendix and into the cecum.

Appendicitis
If anything blocks the opening of appendix or prevents it from expelling its contents into the cecum may result in appendicitis means inflammation of appendix, which is very painful and if spreads it may be dangerous. Appendicitis may be Acute or chronic and one of the most common cause of abdominal pain .It is a clinical emergency. Most common cause of obstruction is fecolith (hardened pieces of fecal material), obstruction leads to multiplication of bacteria and worsening inflammation. Because of blockage of appendix fluid and mucus collection occurs inside appendix leads to edema, swelling and distention of the organ, and when it bursts spilling of all its content in the abdominal cavity and the surrounding organs will lead peritonitis. Therefore appendicitis is an emergency and surgical removal of the appendix is the definitive treatment.

Causes of appendicitis
An obstruction, or blockage, of the appendiceal lumen causes appendicitis. Mucus backs up in the appendiceal lumen, causing bacteria that normally live inside the appendix to multiply. As a result, the appendix swells and becomes infected. Sources of blockage include
 Stool, parasites, or growths that clog the appendiceal lumen
 Enlarged lymph tissue in the wall of the appendix, caused by infection in the GI tract or elsewhere in the body
 Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, long-lasting disorders that cause irritation and ulcers in the GI tract
 Trauma to the abdomen
An inflamed appendix will likely burst if not removed.

Symptoms
1. Pain- Initially pain starts around the navel or all over the abdomen and after few hours it is localized to right lower side of the abdomen. The pain may be very severe that discomforts patient to move in any position or at rest. Patients usually lie down, flex their hips, and draw their knees up to reduce movements and to avoid worsening their pain
2. Fever usually low grade
3. Nausea and vomiting
4. Constipation or diarrhea
5. Anorexia/loss of appetite
6. Inability to pass gas
7. The feeling that having a bowel movement will relieve discomfort

How to Diagnose?
1. Clinical symptoms with medical and surgical history.
2. Physical examination with detailed abdominal exam- Health care provider will examine abdomen for specific signs of appendicitis ( Rovsing’s sign, Psoas sign, Obturator sign, Guarding and Rebound tenderness)
Women of childbearing age may be asked to undergo a pelvic exam to rule out gynecological conditions, which sometimes cause abdominal pain similar to appendicitis.
3. Laboratory test -Some tests which are used to confirm appendicitis
Blood test will show high WBCs (white blood cell count) usually more than 10,500 cells/        µL,   which is a sign of infection.
Check the level of Serum electrolytes- sodium(Na), potassium(K), Magnesium(Mg),              Chloride and Calcium(Ca).
Urine analysis to rule out pregnancy , UTI and kidney stones.
4. Imaging test-
Abdominal X- ray to detect obstruction.
Abdominal ultrasound to identify enlarged or inflamed appendix, abscess and in females to rule out ovarian torsion or other related disorder.
CT scan – Imaging test to identify inflamed or enlarged appendix, abscess, and other abdominal disorders. Women of childbearing age should have a pregnancy test before undergoing a CT scan. The radiation used in CT scans can be harmful to a developing fetus.
MRI- MRI used to diagnose appendicitis and other sources of abdominal pain is a safe, reliable alternative to a computerized tomography (CT) scan.

Treatment
Surgical removal of appendix is the definitive treatment of appendicitis. Therefore if health care provider finds classic symptoms and signs of appendicitis so without performing imaging test surgeon can perform laparotomy for removal of appendix and complications can be greatly reduced. Appendectomy is preceded by IV antibiotics and iv fluids.
Surgical removal of appendix is called appendectomy which can be either through laparotomy or laparoscopy.
Laparotomy– Laparotomy removes the appendix through a single incision in the lower right area of the abdomen.
Laparoscopy– Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure in which a small fiberoptic tube with a camera is inserted into the abdomen through a small puncture made on the abdominal wall. Laparoscopy allows a direct view of the appendix as well as other abdominal and pelvic organs. If appendicitis is found, the inflamed appendix can be removed with the laparoscope. But intraabdominal adhesions are contraindication of laparoscopic surgery. Advantage of this is fast recovery and very low chances of post operative infection. Surgeons recommend limiting physical activity for the first 10 to 14 days after a laparotomy and for the first 3 to 5 days after laparoscopic surgery.

Abscess– Sometimes an abscess forms around a burst appendix called an appendiceal abscess. A surgeon may drain the pus from the abscess during surgery or, more commonly, before surgery. To drain an abscess, a tube is placed in the abscess through the abdominal wall. The drainage tube is left in place for about 2 weeks while antibiotics are given to treat infection. Six to 8 weeks later, when infection and inflammation are under control, surgeons operate to remove what remains of the burst appendix.

Fact about appendicitis
Appendicitis is a medical emergency that requires immediate care. People who think they have appendicitis should see a health care provider or go to the emergency room right away. Swift diagnosis and treatment can reduce the chances the appendix will burst and improve recovery time.

Please note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional.

Content source – http://www.niddk.nih.gov The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Encyclopedia Britannica, Merckmanuals.com

UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)

What is UTI?
Urinary tract infection is UTI, so first you should know about urinary tract. Urinary tract consist of two kidneys, two ureters, one bladder and one urethra. Kidney plays a very important role in excretion of metabolic waste products and formation of urine. The ureters drain urine from kidney and deliver it to the bladder. Function of bladder is to store urine and then release during micturition. The urethra is the tube through which urine passes from the bladder to the exterior of the body. The female urethra is around 2 inches long and ends inferior to the clitoris and superior to the vaginal opening. In males, the urethra is around 8 to 10 inches long and ends at the tip of the penis.
Infection in the urinary tract caused by microorganisms and most common bacteria is E.coli derived from gastrointestinal tract. UTI is the term commonly used to describe urethritis and cystitis, infection in the urethra called as urethritis and infection in the bladder is called as cystitis. But infection can be in any part of the urinary tract from the kidney to urethra. Microorganisms or bacteria can travel from urethra to bladder, bladder to ureter, and ureter to the kidney which may result in pyelonephritis (infection in the kidney).
Urinary tract is divided in to
Upper urinary tract consist of kidney and ureter and
Lower urinary tract consist of bladder and urethra.

Urinary-System
Causes of UTI
E.coli is the most common microorganism to infect urethra but other microbes proteus, pseudomonas, streptococci, staphylococci and klebsiella are also common. Chlamydia and Mycoplasma can infect the urethra and reproductive system but not the bladder. Chlamydia and Mycoplasma infections may be sexually transmitted and require treatment of sexual partners.
UTI is more common in women because in women, the ascent of organisms into the bladder is easier than in men; the urethra is shorter and the absence of bactericidal prostatic secretions may be relevant.
Sexual intercourse may cause minor urethral trauma and transfer bacteria from the perineum into the bladder.
Risk Factors of UTI
1. Poor Hygiene
2. Using dirty toilets
3. Multiple sexual partner or new sexual partner
4. Using a diaphragm for birth control, because it may slow urinary flow and allow bacteria to multiply.
5. Condom use may also cause UTI because of minor vaginal trauma during intercourse.
6. Tampons and spermicidal jelly may cause irritation of vaginal and surrounding skin which can result in UTI.
7. Pregnancy
8. Menopause (atrophic urethritis and atrophic vaginitis)
9. Nerve damage around bladder or in spinal cord injury patient can not completely empty bladder which can allow bacteria to grow.
10. Using catheters in bedridden patients.
11. Diabetes
12. Bowel incontinence
13. Any instrumentation in the bladder or urethra during surgery.
14. Kidney stones
15. Enlarged prostate
16. Inappropriate use of antibiotics (interrupt natural flora of gastrointestinal tract and urinary tract).

Symptoms of UTI
Symptoms of UTI depends upon age, gender, other associated disorders, presence of catheter and the site of infection.
1. Abrupt onset of frequency of micturition and urgency.
2. Dysuria (pain in the urethra or burning sensation during micturition).
3. Pain in lower abdomen during and after urination.
4. Cloudy urine with an unpleasant odor.
5. Sometimes blood in urine (hematuria which may be microscopic or visible).
6. Fever (when infection reached to kidney, usually in catheterized patients but it can be the first symptom in men).
7. Nausea and vomiting if infection is severe.
Acute Pyelonephritis is a condition when infection spreads to the kidney, recognized by fever with chills, rigors, nausea, vomiting, loin or back pain, hypotension, guarding or rigidity may be an indication of hospitalization.
Diagnosis-
1. Clinical symptoms with medical and surgical history.
2. Investigations/lab tests-

      Urine Dipsticks
Urine microscopy and cytometry
Urine Culture to know microorganism

For these tests patient is asked to collect clean catch urine by washing and wiping genital area and midstream urine sample in a sterile container, so that bacteria around the genital area cannot come in to the urine sample and will prevent the confusion of test results.
       Blood test for complete blood count, urea and electrolytes in infants, children and patients with fever or any complicated infection.
       Blood culture
Imaging tests-
USG (ultrasonography)– Ultrasound uses a device, called a transducer, that bounces safe, painless sound waves off organs to create an image of their structure.
CT scan – CT scans use a combination of x rays and computer technology to create three-dimensional (3-D) images.
MRI – MRI machines use radio waves and magnets to produce detailed pictures of the body’s internal organs and soft tissues without using x rays.
Radionuclide scan– A radionuclide scan is an imaging technique that relies on the detection of small amounts of radiation after injection of radioactive chemicals. Special cameras and computers are used to create images of the radioactive chemicals as they pass through the kidneys.
Urodynamics – Urodynamic testing is any procedure that looks at how well the bladder, sphincters, and urethra are storing and releasing urine. Most of these tests are performed in the office of an urologist—a doctor who specializes in urinary problems—by a urologist, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner. Some procedures may require light sedation to keep a person calm.
Cystoscopy – looking inside the bladder and urethra with a camera lens inserted via the urethra through a long thin tube.
Pelvic examination in women and rectal examination in men.
Investigations to diagnose UTI depends upon age, gender clinical symptoms and severity of infection thus use selectively.
Treatment of UTI
Because UTI caused by microorganisms mostly bacteria so antibiotics are recommended to treat the UTI, after getting the results of urine culture which usually takes 48-72 hours. For lower UTI usually 3 days course of antibiotics are recommended. Trimethoprim is the first choice of treatment if bacteria is trimethoprim sensitive, but for trimethoprim resistant bacteria nitrofurantoin or quinolones are effective.
In severe infections treatment may continue for 7-14 days, depending upon patient’s condition doctor decides for intravenous or oral treatment.
Penicillins and cephalosporins are safe to use in pregnancy but trimethoprim, sulphonamides, quinolones and tetracyclines should be avoided.
Fluid intake of 2-3 liters and urinating frequently is usually recommended to flush out the toxins of kidney.
Prevention of UTI
1. Good personal hygiene
2. Drink plenty of fluids around 3 liters per day
3. Urinate frequently if you feel to empty the bladder, do not hold for long time
4. Cranberry juice helps to prevent infection.
5. Urinate before and after sexual intercourse.
6. Wipe from front to back after toilet, in that way bacteria will not come from anal region to urethral region.
7. During menstruation change pads frequently and tampons use should be avoided.
8. Use non-spermicidal lubricated condoms, because spermicidal jelly is skin irritant which cause bacteria to grow and results in UTI.
9. Use cotton and loose fitting underwear and clothes to keep area around urethra dry.
10. Avoid irritant feminine products like deodorant sprays, powders or douches which irritate urethra.
11. Quit smoking
12. Choose healthy diet rich in fibers, protein.
13. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, carbonated soft drinks, spicy food and alcohol.

Please note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional.

Image curtsey –shutterstock.com
Content sourceDavidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine (22nd edition), The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases niddk.nih.gov

Kidney Stones

Kidney plays an important role in excretion of many metabolic breakdown products, including ammonia, urea and creatinine from protein and uric acid from nucleic acids, drugs and toxins. Kidney also plays an important role in regulation of fluid and electrolyte balance. Kidney regulates acid base homeostasis, calcium and phosphate homeostasis, Vitamin D metabolism and production of red blood cells. It has very important role in regulation of blood pressure also.

Renal stone or kidney stone disease is common which can affect all age group and in individuals living anywhere in the world.
Kidney stone consists of aggregates of crystals, which may be either calcium or phosphate or proteins. Kidney stones form in urine and can travel from kidney to bladder through the urinary tract, so It may be anywhere from the kidney to the ureter. Size of calculi or stone may vary greatly from a minute sand particle to large round stone usually in the bladder. Usually crystal deposition occurs in concentrated urine therefore dehydration is a major risk factor for stone formation. Very small stones usually pass through urine without any problem but larger stone causes obstruction and causes pain, infection and bleeding.

The common sites of obstruction from a stone in the upper urinary tract are located at the:
• Junction where the kidney meets the upper ureter,
• Mid portion of the ureter, or
• Lower ureter at its entry into the bladder

Based on the location of stone term used, for example; stone in the kidney called as nephrolithiasis, stone in the urinary tract termed as urolithiasis, stone in the ureter termed as ureterolithiasis.

Types of stones

Most common type of kidney stone is calcium oxalate around 60% and least common type of kidney stone is cysteine which is around 1%.

Calcium oxalate 60%
Calcium phosphate 15%
Magnesium ammonium phosphate (struvite) 15%
Uric acid 10%
Cysteine and others 1%

Calcium stones- when calcium combines with another mineral like oxalate or phosphate then Ca-oxalate, or Ca-phosphate insoluble crystals form. These can be easily seen on plain X –ray. Usually, no specific cause is found on why these stones develop, however they can occur in certain medical conditions such as hyperparathyroidism, certain types of weight reduction surgery, and in several types of kidney disorders.
Magnesium ammonium phosphate (struvite) – Most important cause is infection of urinary tract (by urease producing organisms), which causes rapid stone growth.
Uric acid stones– Uric acid is a product of purine metabolism. Uric acid is 100 times more soluble at a pH > 6 compared to a pH <5.5. Other than dehydration, the most common risk factor for uric acid stone is persistently acidic urine, more commonly due to excessive high protein diet, obesity or gout. These stones cannot be seen on plain X- ray.
Cysteine stones– these are rare and due to an inherited defect in amino acid transport within the kidney. An excess of cysteine crystals are found in the urine of affected patients which clump together to form stones. Patients who are affected tend to be young and develop recurrent kidney stones throughout life. Long term treatment involves close surveillance, education, dietary changes, fluids, and sometimes medications to prevent the stones from recurring.

Predisposing Factors for the Kidney Stones
1. Environmental causes– high ambient temperature and decrease fluid intake leads to dehydration which is a very important risk factor for the kidney stones.
2. Dietary causes – Diet high in protein, high in sodium and low calcium promotes the renal stone.
3. Medical causes – Hypercalcemia due to any cause, hyperparathyroidism, gout, renal tubular acidosis and urinary tract infection are major risk factors for the kidney stones.
4. Surgical causes– surgeries like ileal resection or gastrointestinal tract surgery, weight loss surgery can also promote the kidney stones.
5. Hereditary cause– If someone in the family has history of renal stone then there are more chances to develop renal stone in the individual. Some diseases like familial hypercalciuria, cysteinuria, medullary sponge kidney, primary hyperoxaluria are other conditions which can cause the kidney stones.
6. Medicines- People taking certain medications like diuretics, calcium based antacids, Indinavir (protease inhibitor used for treatment of HIV), topiramate (antiseizure) are also at increased risk of developing the kidney stones.

Symptoms
Symptoms are greatly vary. Sometimes patient is asymptomatic but most commonly it presents with acute severe pain at the flank (loin) which radiates to anterior abdominal wall or to the groin, it may radiate to testes or labium and anterior/lateral region of thigh. Pain intensity increases in few minutes, patient becomes restless and tries to change position, pain may be associated with vomiting, pallor and sweating. Sometimes hematuria (blood in urine), dysuria (difficulty in passing the urine), or fever with chills (if there is infection in urinary tract or in kidney) may occur due to the kidney stones. The intense pain usually subsides within 2-3 hours but constant or intermittent dull pain in the loin or back may persist for hours to days.

How to Diagnose?
1. Symptoms- Typical excruciating pain on the site of stone or loin and radiates to anterior abdominal wall or groin region, and other symptoms described above.
2. Physical exam, medical history, surgical history, family history and diet.
3. Urine analysis to know any infection, blood in urine, protein, glucose, amino acids, urea, creatinine, sodium, calcium, oxalate and uric acid.
4. Blood test will show any biochemical problem which can cause the kidney stone.
5. Imaging technique –about 90% stones contain calcium can be seen on abdominal X ray but CT scan of Abdomen(KUB-kidney ureter bladder) is the best way to diagnose the kidney stone.
6. Sometimes your doctor can ask for IVP to know the proper flow and excretion from the kidney or USG to know the stones within the kidney and if there is any obstruction in urine flow.

What is the treatment?
Treatment of the kidney stones depends on the size and location of stone, But immediate treatment is analgesic with antiemetic because renal colic is unbearably painful and demands strong analgesic.
If stone is less than 4mm diameter it may pass spontaneously through the urinary tract with increase intake of fluids. In certain situations, a tablet called tamsulosin may be beneficial in helping pass a kidney stone which is obstructing the ureter.
If an underlying infection is suspected (fever or chills), urgent medical treatment should be sought immediately with antibiotic coverage. Patients with kidney stones are at high risk for developing infection so antibiotic coverage is also important.
Stones bigger than 6 mm in diameter require endoscopic surgical intervention. Depending upon clinical presentation and site of obstruction your doctor may choose any of the following surgical procedure.
ESWL(Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy)– This procedure is performed by the urologist, in which shock waves generated outside the body are focused on the stone, breaking it into small pieces that can pass easily down the ureter.
PCNL (percutaneous nephrolithotomy) – This procedure is performed by urologist, by using nephroscope through small incision in the patient’s back to locate and remove the stone.
Occasionally, a temporary hollow tube called a stent will be required to assist in keeping the urinary tract unobstructed either before or after definitive stone surgery has been carried out.

Preventive measures-
Prevention is always better than cure.
1. Fluid intake- At least 3 liters of fluid intake is very important to prevent kidney stones formation. Even more oral fluids need to be consumed on hotter days due to insensible losses from perspiration (sweating). A good measure of success is the color of the urine should be clear or a very pale yellow.
2. Low salt intake- decrease sodium intake in the diet or salt restriction. The more sodium you take in and excrete, the more calcium you waste in the urine. Excess calcium in the urine can lead to new stone formation. Try to reduce dietary sources of sodium, including fast foods, packaged or canned foods, and salty snacks. Daily sodium intake should be less than 2000mg per day (around one tea-spoon of salt per day).
3. Low animal protein intake- Protein intake should be in moderate amount not very high.
4. Calcium intake- Maintain good calcium intake (calcium forms an insoluble salt with dietary oxalate, lowering oxalate absorption and excretion). The recommended daily requirement of calcium is 1000 mg, and two-thirds is consumed in dairy containing products. You are encouraged to consume two servings of dairy (but no more than two) or other calcium-rich food per day to maintain normal bone stores of calcium.
5. Oxalate- Avoid foods that are rich in oxalate (spinach, rhubarb)
6. Medicines to prevent stone formation- Diuretics, Allopurinol, Potassium citrate, Penicillamine. Avoid Vitamin D and Vitamin C supplementation.
7. Weight loss- Obesity is a risk factor for kidney stone, so maintain healthy lifestyle and weight loss can prevent kidney stone formation.

Few natural Tips to prevent kidney stones-
 Drink plenty of fluids.
Apple- an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apple has a diuretic property, which helps to prevent kidney stone.
Pomegranate –Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice helps to prevent stone formation, it has astringent property too.
Celery- celery has high fiber content and natural diuretic so it prevents kidney stone formation.
Basil- Basil is a natural kidney toner, drinking basil tea every day or basil juice with honey is very good remedy for kidney stones.
Kidney beans- Kidney beans are not only very high in fiber, they’re also a great source of non-animal protein, B vitamins, and minerals that improve urinary tracts and kidney health.

 

Please note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional.

 

Content Source- Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine (22ndedition) , stoneclinic.com.au

Depression

What is depression?
Depression is a simple word but it has deep and vast meaning, In my words Depression is a feeling generated by your state of mind, it is a sad feeling, or feeling low, not feeling good, not feeling energetic are usually used to express depression and person say I am depressed. Depression is very common problem nowadays. It is a real medical illness which comes in many forms and really needs attention.
Though it is a feeling in your mind state but it may be a real illness or disease. So you have to know what depression is. Life is full of ups and down and sometimes person may not accept all aspects of life and can feels sad or goes in to depression, which not only affect the person who is depressed but also his surroundings or family members who are very close to the person.
Usually people think, feeling sad or feeling dull is depression, but it is more than that, there are few signs and symptoms which can help you to diagnose depression.
1. Persistent sad feeling or anxious, loneliness, emptiness.
2. Loss of interest in daily activity and hobbies. Person may lose the interest in daily activities and he or she may lose the interest in his or her favorite activity or hobby also. He may lose interest in sex too.
3. Sleep disturbance – problem in falling asleep or problem in waking up or disturbed sleep.(Either sleeping too much or less)
4. Fatigue, low energy – person will always feel tired (fatigue), or dull. No motivation to work. Ability to think and speak are slowed down which may affect body movements too.
5. Guilt or feeling of hopelessness or worthlessness.
6. Poor concentration – person cannot concentrate on work, affects ability to take decisions, impacts memory, person finds hard to remember or recall things.
7. Suicidal thought or harming himself by any mean
8. Change in appetite- Though decrease in appetite is common but in some people there may be increase in appetite. So weight loss and weight gain both can be seen.
9. Other psychological disturbances like irritation, agitation, mood changes may be seen.
10. Unexplained body aches may also be seen like headache, pain in abdomen or in any body part.
For diagnosis at least five of these symptoms should be present during most of days, almost every day for at least two weeks and severely interrupting daily activities. If you have these symptoms then make a doctor appointment and talk to doctor in detail.

It is not necessary that all these signs will be present in a depressed person but only few of them may also present so counselling and asking questions related to all these symptoms are very important for diagnosing the problem. And if you are asking questions you have to take the patient under your confidence and make sure that information provided by the patient will not go outside. The most important question asking about suicidal thoughts or any thought to harm him-self or her-self.

Causes-
There may be different causes of depression from genetic, biochemical, environmental to any life event. Depression can occur in any age but more often starts by the age 16. In teenagers stress may be related to school life, studies or friends, any trauma, love relations, loss of loved one or any other. In adults causes may be related to family life, stressful situation between partners, work load in the office, competition everywhere, infidelity, not getting success at work, unsatisfactory jobs, any trauma or loss of loved one and much more. Sometimes depression is medication induced, related to medical problems and long term illness. In women depression may be due to hormonal changes during menstrual cycle, before menstruation known as pre menstruation syndrome (PMS). After delivery of baby depression is called as postpartum blues which is more common in women due to hormonal and physiological changes in body and adding another responsibility in her life of taking care of baby.

Depending on symptoms, duration and cause depression may be of different varieties-
Major Depression- Symptoms are severe enough to interrupt daily activities, and presents at least two weeks with noticeable change in previous level of functioning.
Bipolar I Disorder-Mood disorder in which patient experiences manic symptoms (elated mood) for at least one week that cause significant distress or impairment in his/her level of functioning.
Dysthymic Disorder-It is a chronic disorder characterized by depressed mood that presents most of the time during the day and present on most days for at least two years.
Cyclothymic Disorder- A chronic disorder characterized by many episodes of depressed mood and in between many episodes of hypomanic mood (Mild elated mood) for at least two years.
Seasonal Affective Disorder-It is characterized by depressive symptoms usually in winter months and in snowy places,when there is absence of sunlight, people can not go outside, all the activities are limited inside the closed home.
Post traumatic depression- After any trauma or because of loss of loved one .It is different from Grief in which usually return of normal baseline functioning within two months but in depression patient do not returns to his baseline level functioning.
Postpartum Depression- Symptoms starts within one month after giving birth to baby and may continue for long time.

Diagnosis-
Usually symptoms and physical exam can diagnose the Depression ,no lab tests are necessary but sometimes to rule out medical causes doctor may order for lab tests.

Hyperthyroidism

The term hyperthyroidism refers to any condition in which there is increased thyroid hormone produced in the body means the thyroid gland is overactive. Another term for this problem is thyrotoxicosis, which refers to high thyroid hormone levels in the blood stream, irrespective of their source.
Symptoms

  • Poor concentration
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Frequent bowel movements/Diarrhea
  • Goiter (enlarged thyroid gland) or thyroid nodules
  • Hair loss
  • Hand tremor
  • Heat intolerance
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased sweating
  • Irregular menstrual periods in women
  • Nervousness
  • Pounding or racing heart beat (palpitations)
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight loss despite a good appetite

Hyperthyroidism usually begins slowly but in some young patients these changes can be very abrupt. At first, the symptoms may be mistaken for simple nervousness due to stress.

Causes
The most common cause is overproduction of thyroid hormone by the entire thyroid gland. This condition is also known as Graves’ disease(autoimmune disorder). Graves’ disease is caused by antibodies in the blood that turn on the thyroid and cause it to grow and secrete too much thyroid hormone. This type of hyperthyroidism tends to run in families and it occurs more often in young women.
Other common causes include:

  • Thyroiditis-Inflammation of the thyroid due to viral infections, some medicines, or after pregnancy .
  • Taking too much thyroid hormone can cause thyrotoxicosis.
  • Nodules or lumps in the thyroid that may gradually grow and increase their activity so that the total output of thyroid hormone into the blood is greater than normal. This condition is known as toxic nodular or multinodular goiter.
  • Some tumors of the testes or ovaries (rare)
  • Getting medical imaging tests with contrast dye that has iodine (rare, and only if there is a problem with the thyroid).

Thyroid hormone regulation
The thyroid itself is regulated by another gland located in the brain, called the pituitary. In turn, the pituitary is regulated in part by thyroid hormone that is circulating in the blood (a “feedback” effect of thyroid hormone on the pituitary gland) and in part by another gland called the hypothalamus, also a part of the brain.The hypothalamus releases a hormone called thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH), which sends a signal to the pituitary to release thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). In turn, TSH sends a signal to the thyroid to release thyroid hormones. The rate of thyroid hormone production is controlled by the pituitary gland. If there is an insufficient amount of thyroid hormone circulating in the body to allow for normal functioning, the release of TSH is increased by the pituitary and TSH stimulates the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone. In contrast, when there is an excessive amount of circulating thyroid hormone, the release of TSH is reduced as the pituitary attempts to decrease the production of thyroid hormone.

Diagnosis
Physician will ask questions about your symptoms, do a physical exam with reflexes, medical history, family history and order medical tests to diagnose hyperthyroidism.
Blood tests – to measure your thyroid hormones TSH, T3, and T4. A high level of thyroid hormone in the blood plus a low-level of TSH is common with an overactive thyroid gland.
Imaging tests of the thyroid-If blood tests show that your thyroid is overactive, your doctor may ask for
•   Radioactive iodine uptake and scan
•   Thyroid ultrasound

Treatment
No single treatment is best for all patients with hyperthyroidism. The appropriate choice of treatment will be influenced by your age, the type of hyperthyroidism that you have, the severity of your hyperthyroidism, other medical conditions that may be affecting your health and your own preference.

Antithyroid drugs
Methimazole , Propylthiouracil (PTU)
Methimazole is usually preferred one due to less severe side-effects. These drugs work well to control the overactive thyroid, bring quick control of hyperthyroidism and do not cause permanent damage to the thyroid gland.
Side effects – allergic reactions, red skin rashes, hives, fever and joint pain. Rare but serious condition called Agranulocytosis (decrease number of WBCs). If you are taking one of these drugs and get an infection such as a fever or sore throat, you should stop the drug immediately and check for a white blood cell count that day. Even if the drug has lowered your white blood cell count, the count will return to normal if the drug is stopped immediately. Liver damage is another very rare side effect. You should stop either methimazole or PTU and call your doctor if you develop yellow eyes, dark urine, severe fatigue, or abdominal pain.

Radioactive iodine
Another way to treat hyperthyroidism is to damage or destroy the thyroid cells that make thyroid hormone .The radioactive iodine taken just once by mouth in liquid or capsule form. Once swallowed, the radioactive iodine gets into your blood stream and quickly is taken up by the overactive thyroid cells. The response to treatment can take from 6 to 18 weeks, during which time drug treatment may be used to control hyperthyroid symptoms, radioactive iodine destroys the cells that have taken it up. The result is that the thyroid or thyroid nodules shrink in size, and the level of thyroid hormone in the blood returns to normal. Radioactive iodine is often recommended if you have Graves’ disease and are older than 50, or if you have thyroid nodules (toxic multinodular goiter) that are releasing too much thyroid hormone. Radioactive iodine is contraindicated if:
a. You are pregnant or you want to become pregnant within 6 months of treatment.
b. You are breast-feeding.
c. You have thyroiditis or another kind of hyperthyroidism that is often temporary.
Side effects – side effects of radioactive iodine treatment is for short-term, neck tenderness, swelling, nausea , vomiting, swelling and tenderness of the salivary glands, dry mouth, taste changes.

Beta-blockers
Beta-blocker drugs, such as atenolol or propranolol, do not block the production of thyroid hormone. Instead, they use for symptomatic control of hyperthyroidism, especially rapid heart rate, trembling, anxiety, and the high amount of heat the body produces.

Surgery
Removal of the thyroid gland is another permanent solution, but is often the last option. This procedure must be performed by a highly skilled and experienced thyroid surgeon because of complications include the risk of damage to nerves around the larynx (voice box) and to the nearby parathyroid glands, which control calcium metabolism in the body. Surgery is recommended when there is an enlarged thyroid gland that makes breathing difficult or when antithyroid drugs are not working, or when there are reasons not to take radioactive iodine. It may also be used in people who also have thyroid nodules, especially when the nodules may be cancerous.
Another important thing that after surgical removal of thyroid the source of your hyperthyroidism is gone and you will likely become hypothyroid. As with hypothyroidism that develops after radioiodine treatment, your thyroid hormone levels can be restored to normal by treatment once a day with a thyroid hormone supplement. So the patient will need to be monitored regularly for adequate thyroid hormone levels in the blood.

If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to other health problems including congestive heart failure, abnormal heartbeat, and loss of bone mineral (osteoporosis).

Food to avoid
To increase the effectiveness of your radioactive iodine therapy, you may be prescribed a low iodine diet. The highest sources (and those to be avoided) are iodized salt, grains and cereals, some breads, fish from the sea, shellfish, beef, poultry, pudding mixes, milk and milk products.
Avoid restaurant foods
Consult your doctor before discontinuing or taking any medication.