Archive for December 2010

WHAT TO DO WHEN THE KIDS GET SICK: WHEN THE CHILD HAS A FEVER

Warning: Do not give aspirin to children with viral infections. Parents still commonly administer aspirin to their feverish youngsters despite widespread publicity about the risk of developing a rare but often fatal disorder called Reye’s syndrome when children with viral infections take aspirin. If an analgesic (painkiller) or antipyretic (fever reducer) is needed for a child under the age of twenty-one, acetaminophen (Tylenol being the best known brand) should be used, not aspirin.
Keep in mind that fever is a mechanism the body uses to heal itself. Pediatricians say that unless a child’s fever exceeds 102 °F (which rarely happens with a simple cold) or the child is very uncomfortable, there is little to be gained and possibly something to lose from giving medication to reduce it. Reducing the child’s fever does not produce the improvements in comfort, appetite, or fluid intake that parents might expect. However, children with a history of fever-induced seizures should be given an antipyretic. Give only acetaminophen at the correct dosage for the child’s weight once every four to six hours.
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COMPLICATIONS OF RHINITIS: TYPES OF SINUSITIS

There are two types of sinusitis: acute and chronic. Whether you have one or the other depends upon how long your symptoms have been present.

Acute Sinusitis
If your sinusitis has been present for less than three weeks, it is called acute, meaning that it is of short duration. In older children and adults, there are three typical symptoms of acute sinusitis:
1. Pain or a sensation of pressure in the face over the area of the infected sinus is common. This is made worse by bending over, straining, jogging, or going down stairs.
2. A cloudy nasal discharge, from one or both sides, or a cloudy postnasal drip.
3. Fever, which is not a part of chronic sinusitis.
In younger children symptoms are not specific. A nighttime cough that doesn’t respond well to cough medications may be the only symptom.

Chronic Sinusitis
This is the term used to describe sinusitis present for longer than three weeks. It is not unusual for this condition to continue for months. In older children and adults there are three typical symptoms:
1. Chronic nasal congestion or stuffiness
2. Frequent, or almost constant colds
3. A persistent cough

In younger children, typical symptoms include the following:
1. The child seems to always “keep a cold”
2. Cough, particularly a nighttime cough, is a nuisance
3. Recurring ear infections
In all age groups, a cloudy postnasal drip, otherwise unexplained bad breath and recurring ear infections are common associations. Facial pain and fever are not frequent in chronic sinusitis.
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THE PANCREAS – DIABETES

The pancreas is a gland which lies near the liver, stomach, and duodenum. It has a number of secretions, some of which go directly into the intestine and are concerned with digestion. One secretion goes instead into the blood and is intimately concerned with the way in which the body uses sugars. This substance is called insulin. A deficiency of insulin in the body results in a chronic disease called diabetes mellitus. Diabetes has been known for thousands of years and was described by ancient Greek and Chinese writers, who were principally concerned with the large amounts of fluids excreted by the body in this condition. The fact that the urine contained sugar was first noted in the seventeenth century. Not until 1889 was it proved that diabetes results from failure of the pancreas. In 1921 Banting prepared an extract of the pancreas which is now called insulin. At least a million people now in the United States have diabetes, and the number increases, because the condition tends to come on with advanced years. More than half the people with diabetes develop the condition before they are fifty years old. Women are affected more frequently than men, particularly in diabetes in advanced years.
Studies of diabetes show that heredity plays an important part. This relationship is becoming more and more clear as people with diabetes tend to live longer and have more children. Once diabetes in childhood was considered invariably fatal. Now these children grow up, marry, and have families. We now know that if both parents are diabetic, the children will most certainly inherit the disease. Overweight is also important in relationship to diabetes. Not everyone who is overweight develops the disease. In fact, diabetes is seen in only a small proportion of the people who are overweight. However, nine out of ten people who develop diabetes are overweight. Among those who are overweight and who develop diabetes, dieting and restoration to normal weight lessens the severity of the symptoms and sometimes controls the condition. The person who is overweight, however, can produce more and more insulin and this may be a factor in exhausting the function of the pancreas. Both the pituitary gland and the adrenal glands are also related in their functions to the use of sugar by the body. Excessive action of the pituitary gland may result in the appearance of sugar in the urine. Excessive action of the thyroid gland may make diabetes worse by increasing the work of the gland, through the fact that the person is taking in large amounts of food.
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