What is Sepsis?

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Sepsis: What You Should Know About This Unnoticed Illness

Sepsis is a quiet, but deadly condition that is a common complication of an infection.

Sepsis causes more deaths than cancer. Yet, many people have never even heard of it. Sepsis, previously known as blood poisoning, is a life-threatening response to a severe infection. Whenever you have a serious infection, your body sends chemicals to your bloodstream to fight the infection. This leads to significant inflammation that slows blood flow and ultimately damages your internal organs. Sepsis causes multiple organ failure and can quickly lead to death. In spite of significant advances in modern medicine, sepsis is the primary cause of death from infection. Therefore, it is extremely important to seek medical help immediately if you or someone you know might be suffering from sepsis. Here are some important facts about sepsis.

What Are the Symptoms of Sepsis?

Here are some of the common signs of sepsis:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Quick heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Hypothermia
  • Sore throat
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Flu-like symptoms

As the condition worsens, the following symptoms may be present:

  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurring of words
  • Hallucinations

In the elderly, the signs of an infection or sepsis are not always clear. Often, the first sign of an infection in an elderly person is a change in mental status, such as confusion or disorientation. Consequently, it is important to be aware of any changes in mental status and report them immediately to your or your loved one’s physician.

It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you have any symptoms of an infection. Sepsis is a medical emergency. Therefore, if you feel worse or are not getting better, talk to your doctor at once.

Who Is at Risk of Developing Sepsis?

  • The elderly and children under the age of 5.
  • Anyone recovering from an infection, surgery or wound.
  • Those that have a weakened immune system due to diabetes, HIV or cancer.
  • People with serious or extensive burns.
  • People with breathing tubes, IV catheters and other medical devices.

How is Sepsis Diagnosed?

Your physician or other health-care professional will have to diagnose sepsis. They might suspect sepsis if you have an infection plus some of the other symptoms noted above. For a more definitive diagnosis, they will likely perform a blood culture or other blood tests, conduct an MRI, chest-x rays, CT scan or an ultrasound.

What is the Treatment for Sepsis?

People with sepsis are typically treated in the hospital. Antibiotics are usually started as soon as possible. Doctors will treat any secondary symptoms, such as low blood pressure. Intravenous or IV fluids are often given to maintain normal blood oxygen levels. Doctors will try to keep vital organs working with supportive measures, such as providing dialysis for kidney failure or assisted breathing for breathing problems.

Can Sepsis be Prevented?

Although sepsis cannot be completely prevented, there are some things that can lower the risk.

  • Get vaccinated against pneumonia, the flu and other infections, such as meningitis.
  • Appropriately clean wounds scrapes.
  • Practice good hygiene. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or soap-less products.
  • If you have a severe infection, get medical attention immediately. Time is of the essence when it comes to sepsis. The longer that the condition is allowed to continue, the greater the risk of permanent disability or death.
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Products sold by EMS (Express Medical Supplies)

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Express Medical Supplies has everything you need, from dental dams to flu vaccines. Plus, they have the lowest prices on the web, so why would you shop anywhere else?

At Express Medical Supplies, you’ll find a large selection of medical supplies, medical equipment, and discount medical supplies. They offer one of the largest catalogs of medical, surgical, and diagnostic supplies online. If you’re shopping for your medical facility, EMS has all the necessary medical supplies, medical equipment, medical test kits you need to outfit your facility.

Express Medical Supplies carries flu test kits, strep test kits and Mono test kits, as well as all types of medical exam room furniture. This included items like diagnostic lights and exam tables, helping you maintain your medical office to the highest standards of health, comfort, and safety. EMS will help you put your patients at ease.

Sales and Specials

Every week, you can check out the overstock items EMS has on sale, as well as their regular medical specials. Grab the best deals on the items you need! Plus, Express Medical Supplies sells both brand names and generics, providing you with great quality at an affordable price.

Lab Supplies

Need to equip your medical lab? EMS can help you keep you get your lab up and running at its best! They sell all the tools, disposables, and testing kits you need. From beakers to measures to filters and test kits, they’ve got you covered.

Cleaning Supplies

Every medical facility needs to ensure their patients’ health. Keeping your patients healthy starts with keeping your facility clean and sanitary. Express Medical Supplies has a full line of housekeeping and janitorial supplies to help you keep your busy medical office, patient rooms, lab procedure rooms and emergency rooms clean and healthy.

Flu Kits and Vaccines

During flu season, it’s important to keep the flu vaccine stocked in order to keep your office staff healthy. EMS has both influenza kits and vaccines, so you can keep your patients and your staff healthy.

EMS has the flu vaccine in two forms, the traditional flu vaccine which is given in flu shots and the nasal spray flu vaccine that is administered via the patient’s nose. You can purchase the BinaxNow Influenza A & B test today, and find out if you, your patients or your employees have the flu with one simple test!

Patient Care

And for patient care, head to EMS to purchase everything from needles to feminine care products, towels, pillows, baby items and more. They have everything you need to take wonderful care of your patients!

Shop Express Medical Supplies today!

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How Are Flu Vaccines and Diabetes Connected

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When considering the possibility that flu vaccines and diabetes are connected, some people instantly deny it or even laugh. However, according to recent studies there has actually been a tremendous amount of evidence to support this very fact and idea. When you think about some of the underlying items it can become quite clear. If you are looking for something to help out those with diabetes, then encouraging them to go for their annual flu vaccine could do more help than you ever would have imagined.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

A study was performed by Dr. Eszter Vamos, a public health researcher from the Imperial College in London England, which set out to determine the specifics of a flu vaccine. Each and every year there are countless people who get the vaccine and therefor it only makes sense to take a deeper look and find out exactly what sorts of benefits are going on. The study by Dr. Vamos went back over seven years and was able to see data from almost 125,000 people who had type 2 diabetes. While their studies are far from complete and they will still want to investigate further, it is also very encouraging to see how powerful and encouraging the results already are.

For some of the specific findings right off of the bat, the numbers are completely encouraging. Obtaining the flu vaccination means people with diabetes means those who have had a stroke are 30 percent less likely to be admitted into the hospital. It also means the general rates for heart failure can drop by as much as 22 percent. Furthermore, the rates for pneumonia or even influenza you are 15 percent less than average as well. Clearly the studies are still ongoing, but at this point everything seems completely promising. On top of it all, the overall numbers associated with death from all causes are 24 percent less.

General Aid

When you think about the normal reasons that people are going to take the flu vaccine, whether or not they actually have diabetes, you need to think about the main cause of preventing against the flu. When people can’t eat, feel sick, and just don’t have a ton of control over their body, then you can already imagine how this can impact someone with diabetes. The second that someone is no longer able to keep foods down or won’t eat at all because of their sickness, then they are going to have some problems if they are actually diabetic. The point of having a flu shot may just be about having general health taken care of. However, when you think about the long term consequences and the serious nature of being diabetic and having the flu disrupt your entire system, then you can see why it can quickly go from bad to worse.

Moving Forward

Dr. Vamos hopes that while there are more than enough patients involved in the current study, additional studies should be done. However, as the doctors continue to take a look at the promising ability of the flu vaccine and how it is already able to help diabetics, there is more than enough ability to continue these studies and find out what else can be done. The studies are going to increase, so hopefully there will continue to be progress for all diabetics.

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Symptoms of Hepatitis & Its’ Effects

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A good share of the American population may have Hepatitis and never even know they have it. In the simplest of terms, hepatitis is a virus. This virus attacks the liver. To say you have hepatitis is not enough, you must know which type you have. There are three kinds of hepatitis,

  • A
  • B
  • C

Those who frequent needle injections such as doctors, medical technicians, nurses, and drug users are at higher risk for hepatitis.

  • Hepatitis A

This hepatitis passed from one person to another through infected feces. For example, if you are infected and prepare food for others and you do not wash your hands thoroughly after using the restroom you can pass on the virus.

If you are changing the diaper of an infected infant, you can pass on this virus if you do not wash your hands well after the diaper change.

Blood in blood banks is tested for hepatitis before being administered to a patient. However, it is rare you can become infected through blood containing this virus.

  • Hepatitis B

This kind of hepatitis is passed through sexual partners when one partner is infected.

Drug users who share needles become infected with hepatitis B if the person who shared the needle has the virus.

If a pregnant woman has hepatitis B, she can transmit this virus to her fetus.

If a patient requires a blood transfusion, they can contract this virus through the blood.

If you have hepatitis B and you share simple items like a toothbrush, piercing jewelry, razors, and clippers you can infect other people.

You can contact the Hepatitis B virus when you touch any infected body fluids.

If you are at risk for getting hepatitis B you need to get the vaccine that protects you from this virus.

  • Hepatitis C

You get this virus through the sharing of syringes.

You become infected with hepatitis C through blood products.

New mothers who are infected with hepatitis C pass this virus on to the newborn infant.

No matter what type of hepatitis the doctor diagnoses you with there is a list of signs and symptoms that point to all three kinds.

Fatigue is such a common complaint of many people. But, if you have fatigue and feel tired a good share of the time and you have other issues such as a yellow tinge to your skin or you notice that the whites of your eyes have a yellow tint you may have hepatitis and need to see your doctor.

You may lose your appetite, see weight loss, and complain of stomach pain and nausea. You may also notice that your joints hurt. If you see that your urine is dark in color or your bowel movements are gray, you should seek medical advice.

In Conclusion

Currently, there is no cure for hepatitis once you have the virus. Without treatment, you run a high risk for cirrhosis of the liver, liver failure, or liver cancer. All of these diagnoses are terminal or life threatening.

The Good News

You can prevent contracting hepatitis by getting the available vaccine. If you are at high risk, it is vital you get this vaccine. If you have hepatitis, medication can help.

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What Are the Alternative Treatments to Diabetes?

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What Are the Alternative Treatments to Diabetes?

For diabetes patients, maintaining and controlling blood sugar is one aspect of the managing the disease. Along with using medication such as insulin injections, many patients decide to use different alternative therapies in order to better control their diabetes. These therapies are targeted to treat both body and mind of the patient.

There are many alternative treatments that are used by patients for treating diabetes worldwide. These complementary and alternative treatments referred to a wide range of therapies that cannot be categorized as conventional medicine.

Before adopting any of these alternative treatments, it is important to know that there is very limited evidence on how well these treatments actually work. Even the all-natural supplements can be harmful if they interfere with other diabetes medicines you are using. It is important that you make an informed decision about alternative treatments.

Following are some of the most popular supplements and herbs that are used as alternative treatments of diabetes.

  • Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a popular alternative supplement for diabetes and has been used for centuries. Although the evidence of the results from this herb are quite inconsistent, it’s still used worldwide by diabetes patients. Some studies suggest that cinnamon can enhance the insulin sensitivity in the human body, whereas other studies that were carried out found no plausible effects.

  • Garlic

Garlic has been known to help lower blood-glucose levels in people, and it also has been proven to control cholesterol levels in people who use it on a daily basis.

  • Aloe Vera:

Many patients take Aloe Vera orally, and they believe it has significant benefits for controlling blood sugar levels. Two independent clinical studies have found that Aloe Vera when taken orally, helps lower the fasted blood sugar.

  • Ginger

Ginger has been used in teas and different recipes and has been identified as a good alternative treatment for diabetes as it helps lower blood pressure. Ginger should be taken cautiously with medication though because it can tend to increase the effects of blood thinners.

  • Chromium

Chromium is a micronutrient. Diabetes patient have been shown to lose a greater amount of chromium in their urine. Scientists think that this affects the insulin resistance. A few studies support that the use of chromium as a supplement helps in managing blood sugar levels.

  • Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Alpha-lipoic acid is a type of antioxidant that is naturally occurring in many fruits and vegetables such as potatoes, spinach and broccoli. Alpha-lipoic acid is a popular supplement which is used by diabetes patients. It’s known to reduce the nerve damage that is related to the disease, and ultimately increases the body’s ability to use insulin. There are various studies that provide evidence of the benefits of this supplement for diabetic patients.

  • Vanadium

Many studies show that if used in high doses, vanadium supplements have the ability to increase a patient’s sensitivity to insulin. Although there is not much evidence about the effectiveness of vanadium and high doses of the supplement can be toxic.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid

Omega-3 fatty acid is a naturally-occurring nutrient that is found in various types of foods such as walnuts, soybeans and salmon. Omega-3 fatty acid is considered good fat and significantly helps in reducing heart-disease. Many patients use these supplements for diabetes management as well.

  • Polyphenols

Polyphenols are the antioxidants that are found in various kinds of food. There is some evidence that high polyphenol diet is effective in increasing the insulin sensitivity.

  • Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that is present in many whole grains, nuts and leafy vegetables. Research suggests that people with low magnesium levels have the higher risk of developing diabetes. However, supplementation in high doses is not recommended as there is not enough evidence of the effectiveness of the mineral for treating diabetes.

Conclusion

Diabetes can have negative effects on one’s everyday life. People with diabetes and other chronic diseases have a higher risk of depression and anxiety. The stress and anxiety also affects the ability of patients to properly manage their diabetes medication. Alternative treatments for diabetes use a mind and body approach for patients to effectively deal with these concerns.

Along with the use of alternative treatments and therapies, people with diabetes are advised to engage in at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. Lifestyle changes and a healthy diet is a great way to manage and control diabetes. To lead a better and healthier life, diabetes patients should consider taking additional measures along with the use of conventional medicine.

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Products You Should Purchase for Your Lab

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Products you should purchase for your lab

A medical laboratory is one of the most critical areas in a healthcare setup. This is where you carry out complex research and analyses concerning the health and conditions of humans. Considering what the activities in the laboratory demand, there is a need for top quality laboratory equipment. Below are a few things you can learn about some of the instruments required in a laboratory.

Common medical labware

There are various processes including analyses, critical measurements, testing various parameters that are involved in the various human biological conditions as well as health factors. Each of these processes is carried out using specific tools and equipment which are manufactured under strict scientific supervision which makes them able to maintain the highest safety standards. Many laboratory procedures depend on a wide variety of glassware for checking important fluid parameters. Here are some of the lab wares you should buy.

  • Beaker

Beakers have a wide variety of uses in the laboratory. Physically, they have a broad mouth and have the sides parallel to each other with an extended pouring spout at the end of its ream. Since they are used for the determination of volume, they have calibrations on the side to aid with the purpose of measuring the volume of fluids and liquids.

  • Erlenmeyer flask

These kinds of flasks have a flat bottom and sloping sides giving it a conical shape. The top of the flask terminates into an opening with the shape of a bottle-neck. Erlenmeyer flasks are available in various capacities ranging from 10ml to 4000ml. It is used for mixing and sometimes holding liquids and solutions as well as measuring volumes that are less critical. The reading of the measurements is aided by the calibrations on the sides of the flask.

  • Graduated cylinders

Graduated cylinders are long, parallel and have straight sides as well as calibrated graduations. The base is chamfered thus giving it the ability to stand stable excellently. The measurements that are carried out using this apparatus is often non-critical.

Besides the apparatus above, there are also devices that are critical to the daily operations of the lab, and you should thus have them on your shopping list.

Often, the tools and apparatus you use during various procedures in the lab may get infected and thus the need to sterilize and disinfect them. Having all the instruments sterilized and disinfected is probable the most critical bit of lab practices you need to follow to the letter. For this purpose, chemicals are usually used thus making them an ingredient in the lab you do not want to ignore. So here are some of the equipment you should consider.

  • Hot Air Oven

Hot air ovens are controlled thermostatically but operated electrically. The device is two walled with sturdy doors. The instruments and appliances that you want to sterilize are placed inside the instrument and sterilized through a process of convection by hot air.

  • Autoclave

This instrument is made of heavy metal and is designed to operate under intense pressure. Lab wares to be sterilized are put inside and disinfected appropriately by hot air.

  • Weighing scale and balances

The weighing scale is a simple yet critical component of a lab. It is also easy to overlook as you shop for lab equipment. It is used to measure the weight of various quantities in the lab. When there is need for more accurate weighing, an analytical balance is used.

Although a laboratory requires innumerable products to run smoothly, the above named may be critical in most cases.

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What is the A1C Test and its Benefits

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Anyone in need of blood sugar testing knows about the significance of the hemoglobin A1C testing that test blood sugar levels. The test also allows doctors to come up with a diabetes management plan, which helps prevent, complications in the future by correcting current issues that are occurring by simply changing medication and the treatment action plan your on.

How does A1C testing benefit diabetics?

The A1C testing is beneficial to diabetics because it is capable of providing 3 months worth of a person’s typical blood sugar levels. If the A1C levels come back, too high or too low it means blood sugar levels are not normal and the risk of diabetic complications goes up. Thankfully, with the data collected from this testing diabetics can stay with a treatment plan that is active and preventative for managing and keeping the condition under control. Other benefits of the testing are:

  • Helps you assess the positive lifestyle changes you have adopted due to the changes of your status of your diabetes.
  • Helps you achieve accurate home blood sugar testing to help better manage your diabetes.
  • Helps fine-tune your current diabetes treatment so you can receive the right medication and dosage at the right time so you can feel your best.
  • Helps prevent other health conditions from occurring from severe cases of diabetes such as cardiovascular disease and loss of limbs due to serious infections and poor circulation.
  • Helps prevent complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

What factors can cause irregular A1C testing?

Some of the factors that can cause irregular AIC testing are people suffering from conditions such as anemia, pregnancy, sickle cell disorder, spherocytosis, hypersplenism, HIV, and liver disease. Taking supplements such as vitamin E and C or pain relievers such as aspirin can also interfere with proper A1C testing. People that receive a blood transfusion will not receive accurate results from A1C testing either until after 3 months. If your doctor suspects that the A1C testing results will come back irregular, he or she will make you wait to take it or schedule for different kinds of blood sugar testing.

Who should use A1C testing?

Those who should use A1C testing are anyone suffering for a blood sugar disorder. After all, early detection of blood sugar complications can help catch diabetic warning signs early, which allows for immediate treatment so the condition does not worsen causing other complications such as retinopathy and neuropathy.

Pregnant women are also recommended by midwives, obstetrics and gynecology to monitor blood sugar levels throughout pregnancy. Dangerously low or high blood sugar levels can cause complications during pregnancy. This is especially true for females with diabetes. A1C testing during pregnancy occurs every three months until the baby is born. Sometimes the testing is required more often depending on the results that come back from the lab. Depending on the ab results you get back your medical care provider will come up with the proper treatment plan to handle the condition properly so it doesn’t worsen.

Wrapping Up with A1C Blood Testing

If you or a love one needs A1C testing, visit your doctors office or a laboratory inside a hospital your doctor recommends. If your a hospital, clinic or doctors office in need of A1C testing kits, Express Medical Supplies offers the hemoglobin A1C testing kits at affordable rates. Most importantly, the company is able to send the test out quickly so you can receive the kits in your medical facility in a timely manner. After all, it is always wise to keep a fully stocked supply of these test on hand since blood sugar testing is a common one in most medical facilities.

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Which Flu Kit is best for your lab?

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Your lab needs a quality, reliable rapid influenza diagnostic test. RIDTs will identify the presence of influenza A and B antigens in respiratory specimens quickly, displaying the results simply.

Benefits of Flu Kits

Influenza tests can help diagnose the flu to help make treatment decisions. This kind of test can also be used to help document the presence of influenza in the community and determine whether an outbreak is occurring. These tests can also help identify the type or strain of influenza that is occurring.

Testing helps healthcare practitioners minimize the spread of the flu and quickly prescribe antiviral drugs to treat influenza and stop its spread.

The CDC recommends testing for patients who are already in the hospital with flu-like symptoms and for those with high-risk conditions, who are suspected of having the flu. Testing can help look for new strains of viruses and prepare vaccinations.

There are a number of RIDTs commercially available to you, but which one is best for your lab?

Quidel Flu Kits

Quidel makes one of the top-selling flu kits. They provide your labs with results you can trust, a platform built for your lab. Quidel’s Solana Influenza A+B Assay offers you a scalable and flexible solution for influenza testing. It delivers accurate results quickly. In fact, you’ll see results in 45 minutes.

The benchtop instrument is just 9.4″ x 9.4″ x 5.9″, so it won’t take up much space in your lab.

With Quidel, you can batch up to 12 tests per run, which means less testing time for your staff. The tests are easy to use and affordable.

Plus, the performance of their tests is unmatched; they provide results you can trust.

BinaxNOW Flu Kits

BinaxNOW Influenza tests are another top seller. With BinaxNOW, the results are clear and easy to read. The main difference between BinaxNOW and Quidel is testing time. With BinaxNOW, you’ll see results in just 15 minutes.

Plus, there’s just one step with BinaxNOW, rather than three with the Quidel tests, meaning less time in the lab.

No matter which kit you choose, your lab will see results quickly and easily. The Quidel and the BinaxNOW kits are top of the line, offering your lab quality and results you can depend on.

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Effects of Hepatitis on the Body

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Effects of Hepatitis on the Body

Even though there are different types of Hepatitis, it’s effects to the body are almost the same. All forms of hepatitis lead to liver inflammation. This means that all the symptoms and effects on the body will arise from liver related complications. The intensity of the effect will vary depending on how hard the virus has affected your liver.

What Happens When the Liver is Inflamed?

The liver’s main responsibility is filtering and processing blood from the digestive system before passing it to the rest of the body. It will take care of all toxins, chemicals and drugs hence reducing their impact on the body. The liver also works on blood sugar, fat metabolism and is also responsible for breaking down old or damaged blood cells. In addition to this, it produces bile that is necessary for digestion and creates other crucial proteins.

Any infection that attacks the liver reduces its ability to address the above responsibilities efficiently. Since hepatitis can result into liver cirrhosis (permanent damage or scarring of the liver,) each of the above tasks will fail hence leading to a domino-like effect on the body.

Effect of Hepatitis on the Digestive Tract

When your liver can’t produce enough bile, you will have a problem digesting fatty foods. The inflammation of the liver and the gallbladder will make the secretion of bile painful. Patients will feel some pain in the upper right part of the abdomen.

This pain can also be due to the liver’s inability to produce sufficient albumin. Albumin controls the amount of fluids in cells and it’s absence might lead to fluid build up in the stomach, a condition known as ascites that leads to the pain.

The incomplete digestion will also lead to:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low appetite
  • Pale or clay colored stool
  • Darker urine

Hepatitis and the Circulatory System

The liver produces blood clotting proteins and cleanses toxins from the blood. Hepatitis damages the liver hence leading to blood circulatory related problems like portal hypertension that could sometimes result into internal (variceal) bleeding.

Your liver will not extract excess iron from the blood and store it for later use. This will force the kidneys to excrete it and will lead to anemia when the body needs the iron but can’t find it stocked in the liver. Finally, a failing liver will not regulate blood sugar properly hence could easily lead to type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance.

The Central Nervous System

Toxins in the blood will trickle down into your central nervous system resulting into hepatic encephalopathy. This condition will lead to symptoms like sleep problems, dry eyes and mouth and a sweet or musty breath. If the toxin build up gets to the brain, you could experience poor concentration, confusion, amnesia and sometimes personality changes. Other advanced effects of Hepatitis on the liver and hence the brain include

  • Slurred speaking
  • Disorientation or agitation
  • Abnormal shaking
  • Sometimes a coma

Other serious problems linked to Hepatitis include:

  • Bilirubin build up in the skin and white of the eye when the liver can’t get rid of it fast enough hence leading to yellow eyes and jaundice
  • Low iron levels in the body affect healthy skin, nails and hair
  • An adverse effect in the endocrine system and the production of related hormones

All the effects of Hepatitis, apart from the immediate symptoms, are due to the virus’ impact on the liver. That is why most of the management and treatment therapies all focus on reducing it’s effect on the liver before working on eradicating the virus whenever possible.

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Difference between Cold and Flu

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When you wake up feeling terrible, you may not know whether it is a cold or the flu. It is a good idea to know which one you have so that you know how to properly treat it. If you have a common cold you would just need to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take a cough and cold medicine. If you have the flu, you may need to see a doctor and take a medication for the flu. If you are sick, and you are not sure whether you have a cold or the flu, ask yourself the following questions.

Take Your Temperature

Because cold and flu symptoms can sometimes mimic each other, you should take your temperature to figure out which ailment you are suffering from. If you have a cold, it is very unlikely that your temperature will go higher than 101 degrees. Oftentimes, a person who has a cold won’t have a fever at all. If you have a fever that is over 101, chances are you have the flu.

Are You Exhausted?

If you are unsure whether you have a cold or the flu, you should consider how tired you are. A cold will make you feel tired and sluggish until you are feeling better. The tired feeling that you have when you have a cold differs from the flu. When most people have the flu, they will feel exhausted. Also, their body will feel weak and tired. This doesn’t usually happen with a common cold.

Is Your Nose Stuffy?

In most cases, a stuffy nose goes along with a cold and not the flu. If you are having trouble breathing through your nose, chances are a cold pill will help you breathe better. There are some cases that a stuffy nose will go along with the flu, but not too often.

Do You Have Body Aches?

When you have a cold, it is not uncommon to feel a bit achy. If you have the flu, the pain will be much more severe. The aches and pains associated with the flu can be so severe that your skin can actually feel like it is hurting. This type of pain does not go along with the common cold.

What Month is It?

The typical flu season runs from the fall through the winter. While it is possible to get the flu during the summer, it is not very common. If you are sick during the summer, chances are you have a cold.

Who Have You Been Around?

One sure fire way to determine whether you have a cold or the flu is to think about who you have been around. If you have been spending time with a friend, family member, or a co-worker who has the flu, chances are you have it also. The flu is very contagious, and if you spent time with someone who has the flu, chances are you do as well.

Have You Had a Flu Shot?

If you had a flu shot, the chances of your illness being the flu are very slim.

Visit the Doctor

If you are not sure if you have a cold or the flu, you can visit the doctor. A simple blood test will determine if you test positive for Influenza. If you find out early enough, the doctor can prescribe a medication to shorten the duration of the illness.

It is not as difficult as you may think to determine whether you have a cold or the flu. If you ask yourself the above questions, you should be able to make a self-diagnosis.

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