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Sperma Tidak Normal


oleh Suzan Ahmad

Kebanyakan lelaki yang sihat secara automatik akan menganggap sistem reproduktif mereka tidak bermasalah. Soalnya, sejauh mana kesedaran mengenai kesuburan itu khususnya berkaitan kesihatan benih atau sperma kerana gejala kemandulan lelaki sukar dikesan.


Di Malaysia, kes kemandulan lelaki atau sperma tidak normal, amat jarang dilaporkan kerana tidak banyak data atau kajian mengenai ketidaksuburan lelaki direkodkan. Namun apa yang memeranjatkan, kebanyakan kes atau kebanyakan kes yang dirujuk di pusat perubatan kesuburan membabitkan ketidaksuburan lelaki.



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Wanita Dipersalahkan

Malah dalam kebanyakan kes, setiap kali keguguran berlaku wanita biasa dipersalahkan. Jika telur normal tetapi sperma pula tidak, 'kecacatan' sperma inilah yang boleh mengakibatkan keguguran. Kebanyakan lelaki di Malaysia sedar mengenai masalah ketidaksuburan, tetapi tidak mahu memandang serius mengenainya.

Akibatnya, si isteri yang datang bertemu doktor terlebih dulu untuk membuat pemeriksaan sebelum menerima berita yang lebih mengejutkan yang kadangkala tidak dapat diterima suami.


Ujian Sperma

Sperma yang normal bukan saja tinggi dari segi bilangan tetapi juga memiliki bentuk yang sempurna dan pergerakan yang aktif. Pakar akan mencari sperma yang mempunyai kepala bujur dan ekor yang panjang. Ini adalah bentuk sperma yang boleh dianggap normal.

Antara persoalan yang diambil kira ujian sperma adalah seperti selepas satu jam, berapa peratusan sperma yang bergerak? Selepas 3 jam apa berlaku dan adakah sampel itu dijangkiti virus?

Bilangan Sperma

Bilangan sperma yang normal biasanya mencecah sehingga 40 juta dan ada juga 20 juta bergantung kepada pusat perubatan kesuburan.

Apapun, bagi membolehkan wanita hamil, kita hanya perlukan satu sperma yang sihat saja. Kita perlu lihat pada peratusan sperma yang normal, jika seorang itu mempunyai bilangan sperma rendah tetapi 80 hingga 90% adalah aktif, itu lebih baik daripada seseorang yang punyai bilangan sperma yang tinggi tetapi lebih 50% daripadanya tidak normal.


Pergerakan Sperma

Langkah seterusnya ialah melihat pergerakan sperma. Ada sperma yang mempunyai pergerakan normal iaitu lebih 60% yang bergerak dan ada juga yang tidak bergerak langsung dipanggil sperma mati.

Bentuk Sperma

Sperma yang normal bentuknya perlu ada kepala, badan tengah dan ekor. Tetapi jika tidak normal, sperma ini akan datang dalam pelbagai bentuk seperti kepala besar, kepala kecil, ekor bercabang dua, ekor pendek, ekor terbelit, ekor bergulung dan pelbagai bentuk lagi. Sperma begini akan sukar untuk sampai kepada telur bagi proses persenyawaan.


Faktor Tidak Normal

Penyebab utama dan paling biasa menyumbang kepada sperma yang tidak normal adalah tekanan. Ia agak subjektif untuk dibincangkan namun ada yang mengatakan bila kita dilanda tekanan bilangan sperma akan berkurangan.

Seseorang itu dikatakan mempunyai bilangan sperma yang rendah apabila setiap 1 mililiter pancutan sperma hanya menghasilkan kurang daripada 20 juta spermatozoa. Kajian mendapati lelaki yang dilahirkan sekitar 1960-an mempunyai jumlah sperma yang lebih tinggi berbanding lelaki yang dilahirkan pada 1970-an.

Banyak faktor penyebab morfologi sperma tidak normal seperti jangkitan, terdedah kepada toksin, radiasi, merokok, urat darah varicocele dalam skrotum, demam dan panas melampau, gaya hidup, dadah dan alkohol, obesiti dan testis yang tidak normal.


Rawatan

Langkah pertama untuk mengetahui sekiranya anda mempunyai isu berkaitan morfologi sperma ialah lakukan analisis sperma. Sekiranya anda ada masalah morfologi sperma tidak normal, pakar akan menyarankan supaya anda melakukan analisis itu pada bulan berikutnya bagi memastikan sebarang perubahan dan menentukan sama ada sperma tidak normal itu bersifat sementara atau kekal.

Beliau bagaimanapun mengingatkan, seseorang itu tidak perlu bimbang jika analisis menunjukkan kewujudan morfologi sperma yang tidak normal, sebaliknya membiarkan pakar melakukan ujian sepenuhnya.

Antara rawatan bagi masalah ini termasuk intra uterine insemination (IUI) atau in-vitro insemination (IVF) atau permanian beradas atau Suntikan Sperma Intra Cytoplasmic (ICSI).

Cara Meningkatkan Sperma

* Amalkan gaya hidup dan diet seimbang (sayur-sayuran dan gandum).
* Bersenam.
* Kurangkan tekanan.
* Jaga berat badan.
* Berhenti merokok.
* Kurangkan atau menghentikan pengambilan alkohol.
* Jauhi najis dadah.
* Jarakkan kekerapan ejakulasi (selang tiga hari).
* Elak memakai seluar dalam yang ketat, sauna, mandi tab panas dan apa saja yang boleh meningkatkan suhu buah zakar.




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FAQ on Flu Vaccine


by Dr. Y.L.M

I’m thinking of getting myself vaccinated against the flu. But my mother told me I might get sick from the vaccine itself. I'm a little hesitant. What is a flu vaccine?


A vaccine is generally a biological preparation that confers immunity to a particular disease. In this case, we are talking about the flu vaccine, so this vaccine will confer immunity against the flu ... for a period of time.

A vaccine does this by stimulating the body's immune response to the micro-organism we want to be immune to. Once certain cells (called lymphocytes) are stimulated to produce antibodies, some of these will carry a memory of the micro-organism's structure. The next time the same micro-organism attempts to invade the body, the body mounts a swift response before the 'invasion' occurs.



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There are 2 types of flu vaccines – an injection form (with killed viruses) and a nasal spray vaccine (with live but weakened viruses).

The flu vaccine is around 70 to 90% effective, which means it won't totally prevent you from getting the flu.

I’ve heard most vaccines confer immunity to the disease for life, but not the flu vaccine. Why is this so?

This is because of the nature of the flu virus. Each year, it mutates slightly, thus rendering the vaccine used in the previous year inactive.


The flu virus is one of the most versatile and durable of viruses because of its penchant to forever change its structure. That is also why the flu virus is so effective in causing widespread disease.

Therefore, you need a new flu vaccine every year and you need to go for your jab annually.

Does this mean that in order to produce a new flu vaccine every year, the scientists will have to wait for the virus to mutate? Then what will happen to us in the months between the virus mutating and the production of the new flu vaccine?

Scientists do not actually wait for the virus to mutate, but they predict instead which types of flu viruses will cause the disease for the following year, and prepare the concoction to combat those. They are usually quite accurate in their predictions.

Within 2 weeks of your injection, the flu vaccine will be effective.


But influenza is not a very dangerous disease, right? I shouldn't need to vaccinate against it.

Don't forget that influenza once killed over 20 million people in the outbreak of the early 20th century. It is best to vaccinate against it as the flu virus is highly infectious. And influenza as a disease in itself is not a common cold – you are quite ill with a fever, body aches, and fatigue. You will miss work or school.

But the worst thing is the possible secondary infection on top of your flu. If you get bacterial pneumonia as a complication, this may lead to death in old people and very young babies.

Which one is better – the injected flu vaccine or the nasal spray?

They are different. One is better for certain groups of people. The injected flu vaccine is an inactivated vaccine, which means it contains killed flu viruses. This is injected into the muscle, usually that of the upper arm. Your immune response is stimulated to produce antibodies to the flu viruses that are injected inside you. The next time those same viruses enter you, these antibodies will attack and kill the viruses before you get ill.

There are some side effects, but they are not common. These include soreness at the injection site, muscle aches, fever, a general feeling of being ill. Very rarely do allergic reactions occur.

Around one in a million people who get the flu vaccine might acquire Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

The nasal spray flu vaccine contains weakened live influenza viruses instead of killed viruses. This is called a live attenuated virus. It targets the same viruses as the injected vaccine.


But it is considered not as strong as the injected vaccine in one recent study. People at risk for flu complications like children less than five years of age who have recurrent wheezing, people with chronic heart and lung disease, pregnant women, toddlers, the elderly (over age 50), and people who have a suppressed immune system are generally not advised to take the nasal spray vaccine.

If I currently have the flu, can I take the flu vaccine?

If you have been ill recently with a fever, you should not be taking the flu vaccine just yet, though if you have a cold or mild disease without a fever, you can take it.

It must be noted that people with allergy to chicken eggs should not take the flu vaccine.

Will this flu vaccine cover me against influenza A(H1N1)?

No. There are a couple of new vaccines for that and they are now available in hospitals and clinics throughout Malaysia.


More info on FLU VACCINE here.






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The Birth of Birth Control Pill


by Dr. S. Y. Chong

The earliest evidence of contraceptives is said to be noted in the 4000-year old Kahun Papyrus from Northern Egypt. As incredible as it sounds today, it recommends a mixture of rubber, honey, soda, and rock salt, with a paste of crocodile dung and sour milk to be inserted into the vagina prior to sexual intercourse. Then there were the those in the Middle Ages who used 'condoms' made from animal gut or fish skin, though these were considerably less effective than the latex condoms we have today.




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Did you know that 'The Pill' was invented by a woman? And this year marks the 50th anniversary of the birth of the birth control pill. The development of the birth control pill, which we now also refer to as 'The Pill' or 'oral contraceptive' (OC) would not have been possible without two women : Margaret Sanger and Katherine McCormick.


The Inventor

Margaret Sanger, a nurse and a strong advocate of women's rights, was convinced that a contraceptive controlled by the woman herself was the viable solution to free women from too many unplanned pregnancies. She convinced Katherine McCormick, a millionairess and philanthropist, who was also the first female science graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to support her cause of developing the pill.

In this era of blogs and public confessions, it is hard to believe that the dissemination of contraceptives or information about them was illegal in the United States in the first half of the 20th century. This meant that advocates of the birth control pill had to overcome not only important scientific hurdles, but also widely held cultural and religious objections.


Both Sanger and McCormick, together with Dr Gregory Pincus, worked to develop the pill and introduced it to the American public in 1960. A year later, a similar pill for painful periods, which also had contraceptive properties, became available in Europe. These two amazing medical discoveries marked the start of the sexual revolution and women's liberation in the Western world.

Benefit

But from the viewpoint of economists and scientists, the pill was also an important way to defuse the population explosion and eliminate hunger, want, and ignorance in a world of shrinking natural resources.

One of the benefits of modern contraception is that it has promoted the concept of birth control as a fundamental right of women with regard to equality between men and women. This mindset led to further rights for women, in particular, their approach to procreation and, in more general terms, their way of life and their legitimate place in society.


Family Planning

In modern times, it is surprising that up to 50% of pregnancies worldwide are unplanned. Thus the importance of family planning cannot be overstated. Contraception allows women to plan their families. Family planning allows women to shape their lives according to their hopes and dreams, to have the options of education and a career first and having a family later.

Motherhood is an enriching experience. But it is also a life experience that can have far reaching negative consequences if it is entered into when a woman and her partner are ill prepared. Ideally, a woman and her partner should be emotionally, physically, and financially prepared for this important phase in their lives. The goal of family planning is to ensure that babies are conceived by choice, and not by chance.

The Ingredients

Every combined contraceptive pill contains 2 hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. The early scientific challenges in developing the pill involved identifying the chemical composition of these hormones and producing them artificially. The oestrogen component inhibits ovulation (release of ovum [egg] into the fallopian tubes and uterus) whilst the progesterone component causes the cervical mucous to become very thick and act as a barrier to sperm.

Currently, the synthetic oestrogen component in all pills is ethinyl estradiol whilst several types of progestogens (artificial progesterone) have been developed and improved upon over the years. Initially, the doses of ethinyl oestrogen were quite high, leading to side effects such as water retention and breast tenderness. It was the early pill that perpetrated the belief that combined contraceptives led to weight gain.

With scientific advances, pills with lower doses of ethinyl oestradiol that still offer effective contraception have emerged. From an initial dose of almost 50 mcg when first introduced in 1960, most modern pills today contain between 20 and 35 mcg of ethinyl estradiol. It is the progestogen component of the pill that differentiates one pill from another, and it is this progestogen component that has now evolved to offer benefits beyond contraception.

Cancer

It is well established that oral contraceptive pills offer protection from ovarian and uterine cancer. The newer generation of progestogens have even more benefits, one of which is to counteract the water retention caused by ethinyl estradiol to reduce weight gain and breast tenderness. Another is that these newer progestogens have also been clinically proven to improve mild to moderate acne and treat emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) such as mood swings and anxiety.

Alternative dosing regimens for the combined oral contraceptive pills have also been studied. The most common dosing regimen is the 21/7 regimen, where pills are taken for 21 days with seven-day pill free period during which bleeding occurs. This mimics the natural 28-day menstrual cycle. There is now a new pill that has introduced a 24/4 regimen with 24 active pills followed by a 4-day hormone free interval, which prolongs the contraceptive effect as well as offers added benefits such as improvement in moderate acne and emotional symptoms of PMS.


Reversible

The oral contraceptive is a reversible method of contraception that can be stopped at any time the woman is ready to conceive. Most women who stop taking the pill generally revert to their normal menstrual cycle within 3 months. There is no evidence that short to mid-term use of today's pills adversely affects fertility. However, factors such as increasing age and the state of a woman's physical and mental health does affect fertility.

See Doctor First

Women who intend to start taking the oral contraceptive pill should see their doctor for a full medical examination so that an appropriate pill is prescribed to them. Whilst the pill has a well-established safety record, certain women with risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure or family history of stroke may require pills with the lowest dose of ethinyl estradiol and need to be monitored closely, particularly for the first 6 months of use.


The pill's effect has been so profound that young women around the world today grow up knowing they are not limited by their biology. They see a broad landscape of opportunity that did not exist 2 generations earlier. The changing role and empowerment of women has had an impact throughout the whole societal infrastructure – not only as active contributors to innovation and the workforce, but also on the home front. The birth of the pill coupled with women's liberation movement on all fronts has made this possible.


More info on BIRTH CONTROL PILL here.






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Masalah Badan Berbau


Masalah badan berbau sememangnya memalukan. Kerap kali, peluh dikaitkan sebagai punca utamanya. Namun apakah ini benar?

Hakikatnya tidak, kerana pada asasnya, peluh tidak berbau tetapi bakteria yang menyebabkan badan berbau. Ia berlaku terjadi apabila bakteria di bawah kulit memecahkan peluh kepada asid.

Punca

Bau badan juga dipengaruhi oleh diet, mood, tahap hormon, jantina, tahap kesihatan, ubat-ubatan yang anda ambil dan bagi sesetengah orang, genetik juga memainkan peranan.

Di kalangan kanak-kanak, bau badan kerap kalinya dikaitkan sebagai penanda tahap kematangannya. Misalnya, remaja perempuan mula mengalami masalah badan berbau pada usia 14 ke 16 tahun manakala 15 ke 17 bagi remaja lelaki.


Bagi yang obes atau terlalu gemuk pula, kerap mengambil makanan yang pedas dan memakan ubat-ubatan khusus (seperti pesakit diabetes), mereka lebih berisiko berhadapan dengan masalah bau badan.

Petunjuk

Ada juga kemungkinan dalam kes-kes yang lebih serius perubahan bau badan menjadi petunjuk kepada masalah kesihatan lebih serius dan memerlukan rawatan lanjut.

Dari sudut perubatan, kelenjar peluh (apocrine glands) di bawah lengan dan di paha merembeskan bahan yang menjadi punca bau badan. Bahan ini mengandungi protein, karbohidrat dan lemak selalu dirembeskan dengan banyak melalui hormon seksual apabila seseorang itu mengalami tekanan emosi. Ia menyebabkan bakteria menyerang sekali gus menghasilkan bau.


Kaki

Bau tidak menyenangkan bukan berlaku pada setiap bahagian tubuh tetapi lebih kerap di kaki, paha, ketiak, bahagian sulit dan belakang telinga. Jika bau busuk itu berlaku di kaki, umumnya ini kerana pemakaian kasut dan stokin yang menyebabkan peluh tersekat. Ini juga memudahkan bakteria memecahkannya kepada bahan-bahan yang menyebabkan bau.

Kaki yang lembap juga berisiko untuk jangkitan fungus yang turut mencetuskan bau kurang selesa. Kerap kali juga bau badan dikaitkan dengan rejim kebersihan individu. Kurang mandi atau pemilihan fabrik pakaian yang salah memerangkap peluh.

Mudah Ditangani

Apapun, bau badan umumnya mudah ditangani. Menggunakan sabun antibakteria atau pewangi badan, menggunakan baju daripada kain kapas misalnya, memudahkan penyerapan peluh.

Secara tradisionalnya, ada beberapa sumber alam yang boleh membantu mengatasi masalah ini :


* Daun sirih - Diketahui mampu bertindak sebagai antiseptik. Daun sirih dicampur kapur, dilumatkan dan disapu pada ketiak. Ada juga kepercayaan ia boleh direbus dan diminum selain dibuat sebagai air basuhan.

* Daun beluntas (Pluchea Indica) - Dibuat ulam atau air rebusannya boleh diminum.

* Daun selasih (Ocimun Balisicum) - Daun selasih atau kemangi boleh dibuat ulam. Selain bau badan ia juga boleh membantu menghilangkan bau tidak menyenangkan ketika datang haid.

* Temu lawak (Curcuma xanthorrhiza) - Dibuat ulam atau minum air rebusannya.

* Limau purut - Dibuat ulam atau dilumur pada badan.


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Demam Denggi Berdarah Membawa Maut


oleh Rabiatul Adawiyah Koh Abdullah

Penyakit denggi merupakan penyakit berjangkit yang berbahaya dan boleh membawa maut kerana sehingga hari ini belum ada ubat atau penawar untuk mengubati penyakit ini. Denggi boleh terjadi di kalangan orang dewasa dan kanak-kanak akibat daripada gigitan nyamuk aedes.

Penyakit ini biasanya berlangsung selama 10 hari dan kadangkala mengambil masa lama untuk pulih sepenuhnya. Penyakit ini kerap berlaku di kawasan bandar berbanding dengan luar bandar.

Virus Denggi

Penyakit denggi disebabkan oleh sejenis virus yang dipanggil virus denggi. Virus ini tergolong di dalam keluarga togaviridae. Ia merupakan virus yang berkembang biak dalam serangga. Terdapat 4 jenis serotype virus yang telah dikenalpasti iaitu den 1, den 2, den 3 dan den 4. Semua jenis serotype ini boleh merangsang pembentukan antibodi yang berbeza.


Namun begitu, kekebalan yang dihasilkan oleh pertahanan badan tidak menyeluruh terhadap semua jenis virus denggi. Ia akan hanya melindungi individu untuk jenis virus tersebut sahaja. Virus ini masuk ke dalam peredaran darah manusia melalui gigitan nyamuk aedes dan boleh didapati dalam tempoh yang singkat sahaja iaitu 4 hingga 5 hari pada tahap awal penyakit.

Cara Penyebaran

Nyamuk aedes merupakan pembawa bagi kuman virus denggi. Gigitan nyamuk merupakan satu cara penyebaran virus denggi dari seorang ke seorang yang lain. Daripada satu gigitan ia boleh menghisap darah sebanyak 2 hingga 4 miligram darah iaitu 1.5 kali berat badannya.

Cara penyebarannya ialah melalui gigitan nyamuk aedes orang yang berpenyakit virus denggi kepada orang yang sihat. Terdapat 2 jenis denggi yang paling berat iaitu Demam Hemoragik Denggi (DHF) dan Sindrom Kejutan Denggi (DSS).


Jenis Denggi

Terdapat 2 jenis penyakit denggi iaitu :

1. Demam denggi klasikal

Pesakit menunjukkan gejala demam, ruam, sakit badan, sakit sendi dan sakit otot. Gejala penyakit ini biasanya tidak teruk dan jarang menyebabkan kematian. Demam jenis ini juga pernah dinamakan 'demam patah tulang' atau breakbone fever.


2. Demam denggi berdarah

Biasanya terjadi di kalangan kanak-kanak terutama dalam lingkungan umur 2-13 tahun. Pada tahap awal (selama 2-4 hari) gejala yang dihidapi adalah sama seperti demam denggi klasikal dan diikuti oleh tahap yang lebih teruk dengan gejala seperti tekanan darah rendah, ruam dan bintik-bintik merah di badan, perdarahan gusi, berak berdarah (najis berwarna hitam) disertai dengan sawan dan tidak sedar diri. Ia sering menyebabkan kematian jika rawatan tidak diberikan dengan segera. Ia juga dipanggil sebagai 'demam berdarah Filipina'.


Tanda/Gejala

Tanda-tanda atau gejala :

Demam denggi klasikal

Tanda-tanda demam denggi ini bergantung kepada usia pesakit tersebut. Bagi bayi atau kanak-kanak ciri utama ialah ruam yang disertai oleh demam panas. Manakala orang dewasa dan remaja pula demam kuat yang muncul dengan tiba-tiba yang berlangsung selama 2-7 hari, sakit kepala, sakit di belakang mata, sakit otot dan sendi yang diikuti oleh ruam yang timbul pada hari ketiga hingga keempat. Bintik-bintik merah di bawah kulit juga boleh didapati. Dan hasil daripada ujian makmal menunjukkan jumlah leukosit dan platlet dalam darah menurun.

Demam denggi berdarah

Demam denggi berdarah mempunyai 4 ciri klinikal utama seperti demam yang sangat panas, perdarahan, pembesaran hati dan kegagalan sistem peredaran darah. Perdarahan yang berlaku adalah seperti bintik-bintik merah di bawah kulit, perdarahan hidung, gusi, darah dalam najis (najis berwarna hitam), kencing berdarah dan kadang kala mendapat haid yang berlebihan.


Pembesaran hati terjadi pada peringkat awal penyakit. Pembesaran hati ini boleh mencapai 2 hingga 4 sentimeter di bawah tulang rusuk kanan. Kegagalan atau gangguan peredaran ditunjukkan melalui tanda-tanda seperti kesejukan dan kongesti kulit, kebiruan dan peningkatan kadar nadi. Mereka juga kelihatan resah dan lemah dan kemudian dengan cepat mengalami renjatan atau sawan. Keadaan ini juga dipanggil sebagai Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS).

Rawatan

Setakat ini tiada rawatan yang spesifik bagi membunuh virus denggi. Namun begitu antara rawatan yang biasa dilakukan untuk membantu pesakit deman denggi ialah:

Demam denggi klasikal

Rawatan yang diberi adalah untuk menstabilkan pesakit bergantung kepada keadaan pesakit iaitu mengurangkan demam (suhu badan) dan mengelakkan dari perdarahan berlaku.

Demam denggi berdarah

Demam yang sangat panas, kehilangan selera makan dan muntah menyebabkan dehidrasi. Pesakit digalakkan supaya minum air lebih banyak. Demam yang sangat panas juga meningkatkan risiko terjadinya sawan, oleh itu demam patut dikawal dengan antipiretik.


Selain itu, pesakit akan diawasi supaya gejala perdarahan dan sawan dapat dikesan awal. Dan masa yang paling genting ialah pada hari ketiga hingga hari ketujuh. Maka pemberian aliran intravena perlu jika sekiranya kiraan hematokrit meningkat kerana ini menggambarkan darjah kehilangan plasma.

Membawa Maut

Demam denggi berdarah mempunyai tanda-tanda di atas dan juga pendarahan seperti :

* Mudah lebam

* Pendarahan di bawah kulit, pada hidung atau gusi

* Ia boleh diikuti dengan pendarahan seluruh badan yang juga membawa maut

Sifat Nyamuk Aedes

* Gigitan pada waktu pagi dan senja (5 pagi - 8 pagi dan 5 petang - 8 malam)

* Bertelur dalam air mati yang jernih.


Lagi info tentang DEMAM DENGGI di sini.






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Poor Blood Circulation


by Lim Sin Hoe

The blood circulatory system is a vital transport network in the human body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to trillions of cells while at the same time removing metabolic waste and toxins from them. An uninterrupted movement of blood is therefore crucial to maintaining the supply of oxygen, nutrients, hormones, chemicals, water, and heat throughout the body.




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Symptoms

You may very well have poor blood circulation if you have the following :

* pale complexion
* constantly feel cold
* numbness in the hands and feet
* cold hands and feet
* breathlessness
* chronic fatigue
* insomnia
* dizziness
* stiffness in the neck and waist
* haemorrhoids
* varicose veins
* muscles spasms while awake and sleeping
* swollen, achy and tired feet
* skin that easily becomes blue, red, or dry
* poor immunity
* lack of stamina
* sluggish memory
* disorder such as hypertension
* diabetes
* arteriosclerosis


Ignoring these signs and symptoms can lead to serious health conditions including the loss of limbs, heart attack, and stroke.

Although poor blood circulation can be due to genetic disorders, and even pregnancy, its early onset in urbanites have been found to be due to such factors as :

# long hours in poor postures
# unhealthy diets
# obesity
# high blood pressure
# high cholesterol levels
# smoking
# sitting immobile for an extended period of time
# lack of exercise.


Reduce Risk

You can help reduce your risk of poor blood circulation by :

1. Some simple lifestyle changes

Do not sit for long hours without moving. Sitting for long hours decreases blood circulation, causing muscles to stiffen and degenerate. If you are desk-bound, be sure to get up and flex your limbs by walking to the pantry or the toilet every few hours. Doing some simple stretches and exercises while seated also helps improve the qi and blood flow in your body.

Sitting posture

Poor posture while sitting puts direct pressure on the spine, which in the long run can cause back pain, rounded shoulders, a potbelly, and more serious problems once the altered shape of the spine becomes permanent.


Sit with both feet flat on the floor. Align your back with the back of your chair, and make sure your neck, back, and heels are all aligned. If you work on a computer, make sure your arms are at rest on the table without straining your wrist as you work.

Regular exercise

Although an hour of exercise at least 3 times a week is recommended, you should also find ways to stay active every day – jog/walk around your neighborhood every morning or evening; take the stairs instead of the lift; walk a short distance to lunch; walk to your colleague's desk instead of calling. These are all great ways to break the sedentary cycle we are so accustomed to.


Stop smoking (secondhand included)

Smoking damages the body's blood flow system and smoking-related circulatory disease kills far more people than lung cancer. Carbon monoxide from smoking or second-hand smoke damages an important layer of cells in blood vessels, allowing fat and plaque to stick to vessel walls. Nicotine makes the body release substantial amounts of stored fats and these fats stick to vessel walls, hardening and narrowing them.

2. Consume foods that improve blood circulation

There are many herbal remedies that can be used to improve blood circulation. However, the regular food that we eat can also do the same thing. Below are a few examples :


Pumpkin seeds, avocados, nuts

These are good sources of vitamin E, which research has shown can help reduce the stickiness of blood and prevent damage to the lining of blood vessels, lowering the likelihood of blood clots forming. Nuts also contain niacin, or vitamin B3 as it is sometimes referred to, which essentially gives your blood a boost and therefore can improve circulatory problems.

Soybeans, whole grains, linseed, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, red clover

The phytoestrogens (act like oestrogen) in these foods reduce bad cholesterol in the human body.

Sweet red and green peppers, broccoli, strawberries, oranges, berries

The high levels of vitamin C and bio-flavonoids in these foods help the flow of blood in the body by strengthening blood vessel walls.


Tomatoes, carrots, watermelons, papayas

Rich in lycopene, these foods help reduce arterial hardening and prevent the build-up of plaque in the arteries, ensuring healthy blood circulation.

Garlic, ginger, cayenne, fennel, beetroot, watercress

Reduce cholesterol levels by preventing the accumulation of plaque, helping improve blood flow.

Ginseng, cinnamon, turmeric

Treating poor blood circulation usually includes enriching the blood and promoting blood circulation. For thousands of years, Chinese herbal remedies have been used to effectively improve blood circulation.


3. Traditional Chinese Medicinal (TCM) treatment

Traditional Chinese medicinal methods of tui na, acupuncture and TCM chiropractic care have long been used to help improve blood circulation. Tui na helps to manually stimulate circulation, while acupuncture and TCM chiropractic care deal more indirectly with flow and alignment in the body.

These alternative techniques can help ensure that you can continue to improve your health naturally without the use of drugs.


More info on BLOOD CIRCULATION here.






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Kanser Kolon Perlu Dikesan Awal


oleh Dr. Tan Huck Joo

Kanser kolon atau kanser rektum yang juga dikenali sebagai kanser kolorektal menyebabkan 655,000 kematian di seluruh dunia setiap tahun. Ia merupakan antara penyebab utama kematian di kalangan lelaki Malaysia dan pembunuh ketiga di kalangan wanita negara ini.

Kanser kolon bermula dengan polip. Peringkaan permulaan polip akan tumbuh berbentuk benjolan kecil seperti cendawan di permukaan kolon. Polip adalah petanda awal kanser kolon. Kebanyakan polip tidak berbahaya tetapi ada sesetengahnya boleh bertukar menjadi kanser.

Kanser kolon boleh dicegah dan dirawat sekiranya dikesan awal. Oleh itu cara untuk mengelak daripada mendapat kanser kolon adalah dengan menjalani pemeriksaan doktor.

Pemeriksaan Awal

Pemeriksaan awal bertujuan mengenalpasti atau mengesan kanser kepada pesakit yang tidak menunjukkan tanda gejala dan tidak mempunyai sejarah penyakit kanser kolon. Kanser kolon boleh menyerang tanpa sebarang tanda. Adalah penting untuk menjalani pemeriksaan, atau ujian, oleh doktor walaupun anda tidak mengalami sebarang tanda dan gejala.


Berdasarkan data yang diperolehi dari negara Barat, individu yang berisiko tinggi dan mencapai usia 50 tahun digalakkan menjalani pemeriksaan awal pada usus iaitu kolonoskopi. Individu yang berisiko tinggi yang dimaksudkan adalah mereka yang mempunyai ahli keluarga yang pernah menghidap penyakit kanser kolon.

Mengikut panduan American College of Gastroenterology, jika anda mempunyai saudara terdekat (ibu bapa atau adik-beradik) menghidapi kanser kolon pada usia 60 tahun ke atas atau sebelum umur 60 tahun, anda perlu mula menjalani pemeriksaan usus atau kolonoskopi pada umur 40 tahun. Atau anda perlu melakukan pemeriksaan 10 tahun lebih awal daripada pesakit yang paling muda. Sebagai contoh, jika adik beradik anda menghidapi kanser kolon pada umur 38 tahun, anda perlu menjalani pemeriksaan pada umur 28 tahun.


Pemeriksaan awal oleh doktor untuk kanser kolon adalah penting untuk mengelakkan kanser kolon. Tetapi, ia memerlukan banyak sumber dan tenaga manusia untuk melakukannya. Selain daripada kolonoskopi yang merupakan cara terbaik untuk mengesan kanser kolon, terdapat kaedah lain untuk mengesan kanser kolon seperti pemeriksaan darah dari najis, barium enema, sigmoidoskopi dan imbasan kolonografi CT.

Mengesan Kanser Kolon

Jika dikesan awal, peluang untuk sembuh adalah lebih tinggi bagi penghidap penyakit kanser kolon. Malangnya, kebanyakan pesakit berjumpa doktor apabila kanser pada tahap sudah teruk. Mereka enggan berjumpa doktor hingga tanda gejala berlarutan beberapa bulan.

Dan apabila mereka berjumpa dengan doktor, kanser tersebut mencapai tahap 3 (tahap yang agak teruk) atau 4 (kanser yang telah merebak ke organ lain, seperti hati atau peparu). Tahap 4 merupakan kanser terminal dan kemungkinan peluang untuk hidup adalah tipis. Diagnosis awal adalah penting dan seharusnya pesakit mendapatkan rawatan segera sejurus mempunyai tanda gejala kanser kolon.


Sekiranya anda mempunyai tanda gejala kanser kolon dan mendapatkan pengesanan awal doktor, doktor anda mungkin akan melakukan pemeriksaan usus atau kolonoskopi di bawah pembiusan ringan.

Kolonoskopi adalah prosedur yang boleh dilakukan di bilik rawatan harian. Dalam prosedur kolonoskopi doktor akan menggunakan skop iaitu satu tiub panjang dan boleh melentur (fleksibel) dengan garis pusat ½ inci. Tiub ini disambungkan ke alat perakam kamera video untuk doktor memeriksa seluruh kolon dan dubur (rektum). Prosedur ini boleh dilihat oleh doktor dengan jelas pada skrin televisyen.

Semasa prosedur, doktor boleh membuang polip atau mengambil sampel tisu yang tidak normal di dalam usus untuk dianalisis. Pembuangan polip bertujuan mengurangkan risiko pesakit mendapat kanser. Prosedur kolonoskopi berguna untuk mendiagnos penyakit dan ia juga berguna merawat pendarahan usus, membuang polip dan merawat usus yang tersumbat disebabkan kanser kolon.

Barium enema dan imbasan kolonografi adalah satu lagi cara yang sesuai untuk mendiagnos kanser kolon yang telah menyumbat lubang usus. Tetapi dengan cara ini doktor tidak dapat mengambil sampel tisu kolon untuk dianalisa.


Ujian darah CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen) pula tidak tepat untuk mengesan kanser kolon. Bagaimanapun, bacaan CEA yang tinggi tidak semestinya menunjukkan pesakit menghidap kanser kolon, tetapi kemungkinan pesakit menghidap kanser paru-paru atau kanser perut. Bacaan CEA yang tinggi boleh juga dikesan di kalangan perokok. Untuk peringatan, bacaan CEA pada paras normal tidak semestinya bermaksud seseorang itu bebas dari kanser kolon.

Rawatan

* Pembedahan - Harapan pesakit kanser kolon untuk sembuh adalah dengan menjalani pembedahan. Sekiranya ketumbuhan yang dialami oleh pesakit belum merebak, pembuangan sebahagian usus melalui pembedahan akan dilakukan. Cara pembedahan yang dilakukan bergantung pada lokasi ketumbuhan. Jika kanser tersebut adalah terlalu dekat dengan dubur, pesakit mungkin memerlukan beg kolostomi sementara dan kolon disambung semula selepas beberapa bulan. Lebih awal kanser dapat dikesan, lebih besar peluang pesakit dapat hidup dengan jangka masa yang lebih panjang.

Pembedahan kadang-kala juga akan dijalankan ke atas pesakit yang mengalami kanser terminal di mana penyumbatan keadaan usus tersekat disebabkan kanser yang terlalu besar dan menutup lubang usus, yang juga boleh menyebabkan kebocoran usus. Colonic stenting atau proses penggunaan pendawaian tiub adalah alternatif lain untuk mengurangkan sumbatan kolon daripada kanser kolon.


* Kemoterapi - doktor menggunakan ubat anti-kanser untuk menghalang pertumbuhan atau membunuh sel kanser. Kebanyakan ubat anti-kanser diberi melalui suntikan. Rawatan kemoterapi adalah lebih berkesan untuk membunuh sel kanser dan menghalang perulangan. Secara umumnya, cara ini mempunyai kesan sampingan tetapi boleh dikawal secara keseluruhan.

* Terapi radiasi - menggunakan sinar-X berkuasa tinggi digunakan untuk membunuh sel kanser dan menghalangnya daripada merebak. Rawatan ini juga digunakan bersama kemoterapi untuk mengecutkan ketumbuhan sebelum pembedahan.

* Imunoterapi atau terapi biologi - terapi ini meningkatkan fungsi anti-kanser pesakit dengan menggunakan sistem imun tubuh badan untuk melawan kanser.


Bolehkah Kanser Kolon Dicegah?

Walaupun faktor risiko utama kanser kolon adalah gen anda, terdapat beberapa bukti yang menunjukkan anda boleh mencegah kanser ini. Anda boleh melakukannya dengan menambah pengambilan makanan berserat seperti buah-buahan dan sayur-sayuran, mengamalkan diet rendah kalori, berhenti merokok, mengurangkan atau berhenti mengambil alkohol dan banyakkan bersenam adalah terbukti dapat mencegah daripada mendapat kanser.

Sekiranya anda mempunyai sejarah kanser kolon dalam keluarga, risiko anda mendapat kanser kolon adalah tinggi dan ujian pemeriksaan awal oleh doktor adalah sangat penting. Ingat, kanser kolon boleh dielakkan. Oleh itu, jika anda berada dalam kumpulan yang berisiko tinggi, jalani ujian pemeriksaan awal. Jangan tunggu sehingga anda melihat tanda dan gejalanya untuk berjumpa doktor.


Lagi info tentang KANSER KOLON di sini.






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Contact Lens Discomfort


by Dr. John Rumpakis

Today, almost every person you meet on the street wears glasses or contact lens for corrective vision. And often, they will have a story to tell you about their journey to find that comfortable solution to clear vision.

For contact lens users, probably the equation is a wee bit more complicated, because you need to get the right type of lens and the right disinfecting lens solutions as trusty companions for that comfortable journey to uncompromised vision.




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Discomfort

Sounds easy? On the contrary, a global survey conducted to determine why people stop wearing contact lenses revealed that the leading cause for discontinuation across all regions of the world was discomfort. Nearly 50% of all individuals stopped wearing their contact lenses due to discomfort.

Among the top factors cited by the respondents in the Asia Pacific region were comfort/fit (41.9%) and fear of eye infections (17.5%). Other contact lens dropouts cite lens cleaning regimens as a factor that contributes to discontinuation. In fact, the Asia/Pacific rim ranked highest with a 31% dropout rate for individuals who stopped wearing their lenses within the first year of getting them.


These individuals could have been successful contact lens wearers if they or their eye care professionals had taken some very simple steps to help prevent discomfort or alleviate their fear of infections. Many of these factors can easily be resolved with the right understanding and knowledge of the science of comfort in the solution which contributes towards comfortable eyes.

Science of Comfort?

These 2 questions will lead you to a conclusion as to why there is discomfort.

1. Are you using the right type of lenses that's suitable for your eyes and your daily needs?

2. Are you using your lens for extended periods of time, beyond the hours your disinfecting solutions can continue to provide comfort?

3. Most importantly, are you using the right disinfecting solution?


These days, with easy accessibility to opticians and optometrists, finding the right contact lens is not much of a challenge. But, what often remain outside the radar of consultation by eye care professionals is the disinfecting solution that should go hand in glove with the right contact lens.

Because contact lens solutions do not come with a prescription, you may not have enough knowledge to select an appropriate solution. You may not fully understand the science in the solution for optimal eye comfort. Some of you walk into a retail outlet and pick up a product without much consideration for compatibility to your lens. This is why getting the needed knowledge on proper disinfecting solutions for contact lens is critical.


Causes of Discomfort

The 3 most common causes of discomfort experienced by contact lens users are :

1. Not matching the solution with a specific brand and type of lenses.

Certain solutions are best used when paired with certain types of lenses to avoid 'staining' of the eye. Therefore, when your eye care professional recommends you the best type of lenses to suit your needs, it is important to also discuss with him the appropriate solution, rather than going for the best promotion.

You should discuss with your optician and optometrist on a solution with good disinfecting capability (antibacterial and antifungal) and less staining that matches your contact lens type, especially silicone hydrogel contact lenses. More often than not, the best price may not always be the best deal for your eyes!

2. Not using the appropriate solution for the specific characteristics of your eyes.

It is important to note that just as we are made differently, so are our eyes. Some of you may feel your eyes stinging or drying after a few hours of using your contact lens, and that is perhaps because you naturally have dry eyes. So, when choosing your solution, it is important to understand the composition of the solution.

Seek out one that best suits your eyes and provides day-long moisturising and effective lens cleaning characteristics. Discuss with your optician and optometrist what their recommendation is for the appropriate type of contact lens solution is before committing to a brand.


3. Not considering your needs/daily usage of lenses.

Once upon a time, your optician and optometrist would advise you not to use your contact lens for more than 8 hours. However, let's face it. These days, our schedules can no longer accommodate this because on the average, people wear contact lens for up to 13 hours a day. You can't really remove your contact lens in the midst of an important meeting and switch to your spectacles.

Most solutions provide moisturising effects up to eight hours, but thanks to science and technology, certain contact lens solutions have since been specifically developed to provide comfort to those who wear their lenses for long hours (up to 14 hours), leaving your eyes comfortable even at the end of the day.

Moisture For Maximum Comfort

Generally, the best contact lens solutions should fulfill all of the following purposes. Such solutions are usually backed by research and development.

* Maintains moisture and wettability for comfort

* Removes protein and lipid deposits

* Disinfection (antibacterial and antifungal respectively) and compatibility, with minimal staining

For the best comfort, solutions should provide moisturising effects up to 14 hours. This is a feature that is highly necessary, seeing that we observe such long hours at work.


An optimal contact lens solution should contain a reconditioning agent which allows a dual action of reconditioning and retaining the moisture on the lens surface on a daily basis. Such a long lasting 'wetting system' allows a thin layer of moisture by working with your natural tears to be maintained on the lens surface throughout the lens wearing day.

Good disinfection capabilities must also address antibacterial and antifungal build-ups. There must also be good biocompatibility with soft contact lenses and newer contact lens materials like silicone hydrogel.

These combined features in disinfecting solutions can greatly reduce dropout rates due to discomfort and address the fear factor of infection. Inevitably, a good disinfecting solution (combined with right consumer behaviour) does keep eye infections at bay!

The final important point to note is the cleaning effect of the disinfecting solution. The solution should be able to reduce protein and lipid build-up when the lenses are soaked in the lens case.

Thus, a good multi-purpose disinfecting solution (MPDS) should have good moisturising effect for greater comfort, effective disinfecting and bio-compatibility with most soft contact lens and silicone hydrogel lenses, and effective cleaning for a cleaner and comfortable wear.


The Right Steps

Here are 10 tips to help you observe good usage and hygiene habits for optimal eye care.

1. Visit your eye care provider for regular eye exams.

2. Wear and replace contact lenses according to the schedule prescribed by your eye care provider.

3. Remove contact lenses before any activity involving contact with water, including showering, using a hot tub, or swimming.

4. Wash hands with soap and water. Dry your hands before handling contact lenses.

5. Clean contact lenses according to the manufacturer's guidelines and instructions from your eye care provider.

6. Use the right disinfecting solutions for your lens. Use fresh cleaning or disinfecting solution each time lenses are cleaned and stored. Never reuse or top-up old solution.

7. Never use saline solution and re-wetting drops to disinfect lenses. Neither product is an effective or approved disinfectant.

8. Store reusable lenses in the proper storage case and replace storage cases each time a new bottle of solution is used or at least once every three months.

9. Rinse storage cases with sterile contact lens solution (never use tap water) and leave open to dry after each use.

10. Last by not least, follow your eye care professional's recommendation on the appropriate contact lens solution to match the specific type of contact lenses that you are wearing.

Do not shop for solutions based on price as not all contact solutions are able to provide the cleaning, disinfection, and comfort required for the best contact lens wearing experience.

Contact lenses can help you see more clearly and make you feel better about yourself. So now that you have the necessary knowledge, enjoy many years as a contact lens users... comfortably!


More info on CONTACT LENS here.






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