Make A Difference This Year On The World Prematurity Day

World Prematurity Day is observed every year on November 17. It is one of the most significant events in a year, aiming to raise awareness of all kinds of challenges and burdens faced by people globally. EFCNI initiated the day in partnership with the European Parent Organizations in 2008. The international partners and co-founders for the World Prematurity Day - March of Dimes (USA), LittleBigSouls (Africa), and National Premmie Foundation (Australia), come together every year and celebrate this intercontinental movement. Countless people and organizations from over 100 countries join in with these parent organizations, participating in all the activities, events, and all the fun-filled actions catered to addressing preterm birth and improving the daily lives of preterm babies and their families/caretakers. 

 

Approximately 15 million babies are born preterm every year, accounting for one in every 10 babies globally. Today, premature birth is a leading cause of death among children under the age of five. Urgent action must be taken to address preterm birth considering these first country-level statistics - 15 million babies are born too soon every year. This number is bound to increase in most countries today, considering the reliable time trend data. Preterm birth is posing greater risks and challenges even to the Millennium Development Goal for child survival since 2015. For all preterm babies who survive, there is an additional need to cater to the requirements of prematurity-related disability, which affects families and the healthcare system, globally. 

 

The theme for World Prematurity Day 

 

The global theme for World Prematurity Day 2021 is - Zero separation. Act Now! Keep parents and babies born too soon together. 

 

The theme is chosen carefully since babies stay warm and cry less when closer to their mothers. Breastfeeding also helps get the baby a better start, and both mother and the baby get the opportunity to spend more time together, which begins at birth. This way, mothers can learn to recognize their preterm babies’ needs better and respond to those needs tenderly and lovingly. This connection then goes ahead to last a lifetime for both. 

 

About Preterm Birth 

 

Preterm Birth, also called premature birth, is the birth of a baby at 37 weeks or fewer in terms of gestational age, instead of full-term delivery at approximately 40 weeks. Extremely early preterm birth is before 32 weeks, while early preterm birth occurs between 32-36 weeks and late preterm birth happens between 34-36 weeks. 

 

Preterm babies have greater risks of cerebral palsy, hearing problems, delays in development, and vision-related problems. The earlier the baby is born, the greater chance of developing such risks would be. 

 

Causes of spontaneous preterm birth are usually unknown. The risk factors can include diabetes, high blood pressure, multiple gestations, being either obese or underweight, air pollution exposure, tobacco smoking, vaginal infection, and psychological stress. 

 

Preterm birth is also one of the most common causes of death among infants globally. 

 

Almost a million babies die every year because of complications related to preterm birth. Most survivors face a lifetime of visual and/or hearing difficulties, learning disabilities, and other disabilities. World Prematurity Day helps raise awareness about cost-effective interventions that help address all the issues. This even includes necessary care and support during childbirth and in the postnatal stage for both, mother and the child. This also includes antenatal steroid injections administered to pregnant women at risk of preterm labor. These injections also help strengthen the immune system and the lungs of the baby. Other interventions like these include providing antibiotics to the newborn to treat infections, and kangaroo mother care, where the mother is carrying the baby, offering comfort and warmth through skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding

 

Understanding Global Burden On World Prematurity Day 

 

 

Since over 60% of preterm births occur in South Asia and Africa, preterm births are a global problem. There is, however, a significant difference in the survival of premature babies, depending on where they take birth. Over 90% of extremely premature babies, i.e., less than 28 weeks born in low-income countries, die in the first few days of being born. Less than 10% of extremely premature babies die in high-income settings. World Prematurity Day is an important moment to reflect and commit to action, address all the inequities, and prevent avoidable mortality and other health issues caused by preterm birth.

 

Preventing Premature Births 

There are plenty of measures to understand when it comes to preventing premature births. These measures are predominantly taken in areas of healthcare and lifestyle changes before planning pregnancy to decrease any risk of preterm birth. 

 

Preconception and maternal care 

Comprehensive advice for soon-to-be mothers and fathers is getting access to good quality preconception care. This is perhaps the most effective way to prevent pregnancy-related complications. It is essential to attend all health checkups and scheduled appointments to examine the mother and baby closely. During these visits, risk factors that can pose possible health threats for either the mother or the baby, or even both, can be identified, treated, and prevented. 

 

During these visits, risk factors can be identified and mitigated to save lives. In order to ensure better care and health for the mother and the child during pregnancy, mothers should regularly visit their healthcare providers during the pregnancy period, even when they are anticipating pregnancy. 

 

Lifestyle changes 

Lifestyle modifications like changing one’s habits, daily behavior, hobbies, and even the environment they live in can influence their health to get better. During pregnancy, this becomes extremely important since everything has an impact on the survival of the unborn baby. Considering this, it is extremely important for soon-to-be parents to understand and think about their daily lives, how it can affect their unborn child and what can be done and changed to ensure the baby gets the best in terms of care and nutrition from the very beginning. Care should also include that in terms of education and counseling of parents for better pregnancy care and later child care, optimal nutrition, physical activity, tobacco and substance abuse, and other essential healthcare factors. 

 

Need For Treatment

Without any specialized treatment or plan of action, most at-risk newborns will not be able to survive their first few days of life. Since 2017, we have lost approximately 2.5 million preterm babies every year, mostly from causes that could have been prevented. At least two-thirds of such babies could be saved. 

 

A handful of the babies who end up surviving face chronic diseases and developmental delays later in life. In addition to this, a million preterm babies end up surviving with long-term disabilities. 

 

With the proper treatment, plan of action, and nurturing care, preterm babies can live their lives without any major complications. According to a report by WHO and UNICEF, by 2030, the lives of approximately 2.9 million women, newborns, and stillborns in over 80 countries can be saved if smarter strategies are implemented. For instance, if the same healthcare providers care for both the mother and the preterm baby through labor, birth, and after delivery, they can easily identify if any problems are setting in. 

 

In addition to this, almost 68% of preterm deaths can be averted by 2030 by simply following a few strategies like exclusive breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact between the mother and the baby, intaking the right antibiotics and other medication, using essential medical equipment, access to clean water, well-equipped health facilities, skilled healthcare professionals and more. Other measures include resuscitating babies who cannot breathe properly, giving injections to the mothers to prevent any form of bleeding, delaying the cutting of the umbilical cord, etc. can also help save over a million lives each year. 

 

As per reports, the world cannot reach global targets to achieve health for everyone unless they transform care for newborn babies and preterm babies. Without progressing in this field, we cannot meet the global targets. To save newborn babies and preterm babies, WHO and UNICEF, in their report, recommend:

 

- Offering round-the-clock inpatient care for preterm babies for a week or more, as needed

- Training healthcare professionals, especially nurses, to provide hands-on care working closely with families of preterm babies

- Harnessing the power of families, especially parents, by teaching them tips and tricks on becoming better caregivers for their preterm babies to reduce stress, help such babies gain weight, and allow the baby’s brain to develop properly 

- Offering good quality care should be a part of every nation’s policy and a lifelong investment, especially in South Asia and Africa.

- Counting and tracking every single moment of a preterm baby, allowing parents and caregivers to monitor their progress and improve results if required

- Allocating essential resources and funds that help save lives of multiple preterms, especially in low and middle-income countries.

 

Almost thirty years ago, the Convention on the Rights of the Child guaranteed all preterm babies and newborns the right to the highest health standards, healthcare, and specialized treatment. It is time for countries around the globe to ensure the legislative, medical, human, and financial resources are allocated well in place to turn this right into a reality for every single child. This World Prematurity Day, let’s pledge to support the care and protection of preterm babies everywhere. Support the light purple color this year; you could be making a difference in someone’s life! 

 

Add Your Comment Here

Recent Articles

Understanding the Link: Exploring MS and Diabetes Connections

Introduction:When it comes to understanding the complexities of the human body, the connections between different diseases and conditions can be truly mind-boggling. One such intriguing relationship that has caught the attention of medical researchers is the potential link between multiple sclerosis (MS) and diabetes. In this blog post, we will delve into the latest findings and explore the possible connections between these two conditions.Exploring the Basics of MS and Diabetes:Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects the central nervous system, leading to a variety of symptoms such as muscle weakness, fatigue, and impaired coordination. On the other hand, diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar levels due to the body's inability to produce or respond to insulin effectively. While these conditions may seem unrelated at first glance, recent studies have suggested that there may be underlying connections between MS and diabetes.Research Findings on MS and Diabetes:Several studies have indicated a potential correlation between MS and diabetes, with some researchers suggesting that individuals with one condition may have an increased risk of developing the other. One study published in the journal JAMA Neurology found that individuals with type 1 diabetes were more likely to develop MS compared to the general population. Another study in the journal Diabetes Care reported a higher prevalence of diabetes in patients with MS compared to those without the condition.Possible Mechanisms of the Link:While the exact mechanisms underlying the potential link between MS and diabetes remain unclear, several theories have been proposed by researchers. One possible explanation is that both conditions involve an abnormal immune response, leading to inflammation and damage in the body. Another theory suggests that genetic factors may play a role in predisposing individuals to both MS and diabetes. Additionally, some researchers believe that environmental factors such as diet, lifestyle, and exposure to certain pathogens may contribute to the development of both conditions.Implications for Treatment and Management:Understanding the potential connections between MS and diabetes could have significant implications for the treatment and management of both conditions. For example, individuals with MS who also have diabetes may require a more personalized approach to their healthcare, including tailored treatment plans and lifestyle modifications. Additionally, healthcare providers may need to monitor patients with MS for signs of diabetes and vice versa, in order to provide early intervention and prevent complications.Future Directions in Research:As the field of medical research continues to evolve, ongoing studies are exploring the potential link between MS and diabetes in more depth. By further investigating the underlying mechanisms and risk factors associated with both conditions, researchers hope to uncover new insights that could lead to better prevention, diagnosis, and treatment strategies in the future. Ultimately, understanding the connections between MS and diabetes may help improve outcomes for individuals living with these complex conditions.Conclusion:In conclusion, the potential link between multiple sclerosis (MS) and diabetes is a fascinating area of research that continues to intrigue scientists and healthcare providers alike. While more studies are needed to fully elucidate the mechanisms and implications of this connection, the current evidence suggests that there may be underlying relationships between these two conditions. By further exploring the links between MS and diabetes, we may be able to pave the way for improved understanding, diagnosis, and management of these complex diseases.

Chronic Conundrum: Fibromyalgia vs. Multiple Sclerosis - Key Differences Explained

Introduction:Navigating the world of chronic illnesses can sometimes feel like solving a complicated puzzle. When it comes to conditions like fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis (MS), the lines can often blur, leading to confusion and misdiagnosis. In this blog post, we will unravel the chronic conundrum of fibromyalgia vs. multiple sclerosis, exploring their key differences and helping you better understand these complex disorders.What is Fibromyalgia?Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and heightened sensitivity to touch. It is often accompanied by other symptoms such as sleep disturbances, cognitive difficulties, and mood disorders. While the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, researchers believe it may be related to abnormal pain processing in the brain and spinal cord.Individuals with fibromyalgia may experience a range of symptoms that can vary in intensity and duration. Common complaints include muscle stiffness, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, and numbness or tingling in the extremities. In addition to physical symptoms, fibromyalgia can also have a significant impact on mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?Multiple sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. MS is characterized by the immune system mistakenly attacking the protective myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibers, leading to inflammation, scarring, and disruptions in nerve signaling. This can result in a wide range of symptoms, including muscle weakness, coordination problems, vision loss, fatigue, and cognitive impairment.MS is a progressive condition that can cause varying degrees of disability over time. There are different types of MS, including relapsing-remitting MS, secondary progressive MS, primary progressive MS, and progressive-relapsing MS. Each type has its own unique characteristics and patterns of progression.Key Differences Between Fibromyalgia and Multiple Sclerosis:1. Cause:Fibromyalgia is believed to be linked to abnormal pain processing in the brain and spinal cord, while multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the myelin sheath of nerve fibers.2. Symptoms:Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and sensitivity to touch, while multiple sclerosis presents with symptoms such as muscle weakness, coordination problems, and vision loss.3. Progression:Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition with fluctuating symptoms that can vary in intensity, while multiple sclerosis is a progressive disease that can cause increasing disability over time.4. Diagnosis:Fibromyalgia is typically diagnosed based on a thorough physical exam, medical history, and exclusion of other conditions, while multiple sclerosis is diagnosed through a combination of clinical symptoms, MRI scans, and other tests.Treatment Options for Fibromyalgia:Managing fibromyalgia can be challenging, as there is no cure for the condition. However, there are various treatment options available to help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. These may include:1. Medications: Pain relievers, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs may be prescribed to address pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances.2. Therapy: Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy can help improve strength, mobility, and coping skills.3. Lifestyle changes: Regular exercise, stress management techniques, and healthy eating habits can play a crucial role in managing fibromyalgia symptoms.4. Alternative therapies: Acupuncture, massage therapy, and mindfulness meditation may offer relief for some individuals with fibromyalgia.Treatment Options for Multiple Sclerosis:Treating multiple sclerosis often involves a multidisciplinary approach to address the various symptoms and complications associated with the condition. Some common treatment options for MS include:1. Disease-modifying therapies: These medications can help reduce the frequency and severity of relapses, slow down the progression of the disease, and manage symptoms.2. Symptom management: Medications, physical therapy, and assistive devices may be used to address specific symptoms such as muscle weakness, spasticity, and bladder dysfunction.3. Rehabilitation: Occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other rehabilitation services can help individuals with MS maintain function, independence, and quality of life.4. Lifestyle modifications: A healthy diet, regular exercise, stress management techniques, and adequate rest can all contribute to overall well-being and symptom management in MS.Conclusion:In conclusion, understanding the key differences between fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis is essential for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. While both conditions can present with overlapping symptoms and challenges, they are distinct disorders with unique characteristics and underlying mechanisms. By working closely with healthcare providers and specialists, individuals with fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis can receive the support and care they need to manage their condition effectively and improve their quality of life. Stay informed, stay empowered, and remember that you are not alone in your chronic health journey.Remember, the chronic conundrum of fibromyalgia vs. multiple sclerosis may be complex, but with knowledge and proactive management, you can navigate these conditions with confidence and resilience. Whether you are dealing with fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, or another chronic illness, know that there is hope, help, and healing available to support you on your path to wellness.

Gynecologist holding an IUD birth control device

Disadvantages Of IUDs And How The Removal Process Works

In today's realm of contraception, intrauterine devices (IUDs) are proven to be highly effective and convenient. These tiny, T-shaped marvels have revolutionized family planning, offering a long-lasting solution with minimal intervention. However, as with any medical intervention, understanding both the advantages and disadvantages of IUDs is extremely important. Lets see how IUDs are removed and what the risks are associated with IUDs.Exploring Negative Side EffectsCramping and DiscomfortThe insertion of an IUD often accompanies discomfort and cramping akin to menstrual pains. This temporary sensation arises as the device traverses the cervix into its designated position within the uterus. While discomfort varies among individuals, it's typically manageable and subsides shortly after insertion.Learn More: Discover the Top 10 Benefits of IUDs for Better HealthIrregular BleedingFollowing IUD insertion, some individuals may experience irregular bleeding or spotting, especially during the initial adjustment period. This phenomenon, while common, can be unsettling for those accustomed to predictable menstrual cycles. However, it's essential to recognize that irregular bleeding often stabilizes over time, offering reassurance to users.Infection RiskWhile rare, there exists a small risk of infection post-IUD insertion, particularly within the initial weeks. Vigilance is crucial to detect and promptly address any signs of illness during this period. Untreated infections can escalate into pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), emphasizing the importance of proactive monitoring and medical intervention.Expulsion ConcernsDespite their efficacy, IUDs pose a slight risk of expulsion, wherein the body inadvertently expels the device, potentially leading to unintended pregnancies. Vigilance for signs of expulsion, such as changes in string length or unexplained discomfort, is imperative to mitigate this risk effectively.Perforation PossibilitiesAlthough rare, the possibility of the IUD perforating the uterine wall during insertion exists. This rare occurrence necessitates surgical intervention for removal and underscores the importance of skilled healthcare practitioners in the insertion process.Must Read: Everything You Need to Know About the Side Effects and Safety of IUDsRisks Associated with IUDsEctopic Pregnancy ConcernsDespite their high efficacy in preventing pregnancies, IUDs carry a slight risk of ectopic pregnancy in the event of conception. This rare occurrence, characterized by the implantation of a fertilized egg outside the uterus, necessitates immediate medical attention to mitigate potential complications.Embedment ChallengesIn rare instances, the IUD may become embedded within the uterine wall, posing challenges during removal. This scenario underscores the significance of regular check-ups and prompt medical intervention to address any emerging complications.Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)While uncommon, IUD usage can elevate the risk of PID, particularly in the initial post-insertion phase. Timely detection and treatment of PID are paramount, as untreated cases can lead to severe reproductive health implications.Allergic ReactionsAlthough infrequent, allergic reactions to the materials utilized in certain IUDs may manifest as discomfort or inflammation. Individuals should remain vigilant for any adverse reactions and promptly consult healthcare professionals if concerns arise.Expulsion and Displacement RisksThe potential for partial or complete IUD expulsion and displacement underscores the importance of regular follow-ups and vigilant monitoring. It would be a matter of addressing these issues quickly, ensuring the sustained efficacy of the contraceptive method.Discomfort and Pain During IUD InsertionPreparation Phase: Before insertion, doctors conduct pelvic exams and screen for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to ensure optimal conditions for the procedure.Placement Process: Dilating the cervix facilitates IUD insertion into the uterus, a step that may induce temporary cramping and discomfort akin to menstrual pains.Confirmation Check: Post-insertion, healthcare providers verify the device's proper positioning via ultrasound or physical examination to ensure efficacy and safety.Follow-Up Protocols: Post-insertion, symptoms such as cramping and spotting necessitate adherence to follow-up protocols outlined by healthcare providers.Check This Out: Learn How To Get An IUD: Insertion And Removal ProcessLack of STD Protection with IUDsUnlike barrier methods such as condoms, which create a physical barrier to prevent the transmission of STIs, IUDs primarily function by altering the uterine environment to deter sperm from fertilizing eggs. Consequently, individuals relying solely on IUDs for contraception remain vulnerable to STIs and should adopt additional preventive measures during sexual encounters. Understanding this crucial distinction is pivotal for individuals with their contraceptive choices. While IUDs offer unparalleled convenience and efficacy in preventing pregnancies, they do not protect against STIs that barrier methods provide. The Process of IUD RemovalPreparation Stage: Initial discussions between individuals and healthcare providers clarify reasons for IUD removal and address any concerns or questions.Examination Phase: Pelvic examinations may precede removal to assess the IUD's position and rule out complications such as infections.Removal Procedure: Utilizing specialized instruments, grasp the IUD strings and extract the device from the uterus. This process may cause mild discomfort or cramping.Follow-Up Guidance: Post-removal, final checks to ensure uterine emptiness, and guide alternative contraceptive options if desired.How It Feels On IUD RemovalFor many individuals, the sensation of IUD removal is comparable to that of menstrual cramps or discomfort experienced during a Pap smear. This discomfort typically stems from the manipulation of the cervix and uterus during the extraction process.  Various techniques to minimize discomfort during IUD removal are administering local anesthesia or recommending over-the-counter pain relievers beforehand. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or visualization, can help individuals manage any discomfort they may experience during the procedure.Costs of IUD RemovalThe entire procedure usually costs around USD 250 to USD 300. For those without insurance coverage or facing high out-of-pocket costs, exploring alternative options such as sliding scale fees at community health clinics or public health programs can provide affordable access to IUD removal services.Also Read: Unveiling the Magic of IUDs: Everything You Need to KnowConclusionWhile IUDs offer unparalleled efficacy and convenience in contraception, acknowledging their potential drawbacks and removal procedures is paramount. With insights into the intricacies of IUDs, individuals can make informed decisions regarding their reproductive health journey.FAQsWhere Can I Get My IUD Removed?IUD removal services are typically available at healthcare facilities, including gynecological clinics, family planning centers, and primary care settings.Can I Remove My IUD at Home?While tempting, DIY IUD removal is strongly discouraged due to the associated risks of complications. Trained healthcare providers possess the requisite expertise to execute safe and effective removal procedures.When Should I Get My IUD Removed?The timing of IUD removal hinges on individual circumstances and contraceptive preferences. Whether prompted by a desire for conception or concerns regarding side effects, discussions with healthcare providers elucidate optimal timing for removal.What Should I Expect After I Get My IUD Removed?Individuals may experience mild cramping or spotting post-removal, typically resolving within days. Adhering to post-removal instructions and follow-up appointments ensures optimal recovery and ongoing contraceptive management.How Soon Can I Get Pregnant After IUD Removal?Fertility resumes immediately post-IUD removal, allowing individuals to conceive as ovulation recommences, often within weeks. Healthcare provider consultations offer invaluable insights into fertility considerations and conception timelines.

Foods included in the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce, toast

Understanding the BRAT Diet: Everything You Need to Know

The BRAT diet is a well-recognized approach to soothing digestive distress. It's often recommended for individuals grappling with gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. But what exactly is the BRAT diet, and how does it work? Lets get into the details about this diet and learn how it can benefit us.What is the BRAT diet?The BRAT diet is an acronym for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. It's a bland diet composed of easily digestible foods low in fiber, fat, and protein. This simplicity is believed to help ease gastrointestinal discomfort by giving the digestive system a break.Benefits of the BRAT dietGentle on the StomachBRAT foods are bland and low in fiber, making them easy to digest and less likely to irritate the stomach. The absence of spicy or acidic foods can be particularly soothing for individuals experiencing nausea or stomach upset.RehydrationBRAT foods like bananas and applesauce are gentle on the stomach and high in potassium, aiding in rehydration and electrolyte balance and crucial during bouts of diarrhea or vomiting.Stabilizing Bowel MovementsRice and bananas' binding effect can help firm up stools and reduce frequency, relieving diarrhea. This can be especially beneficial in cases of acute diarrhea or during recovery from gastrointestinal illnesses.Nutrient ProvisionThough low in some nutrients, BRAT foods still offer essential vitamins and minerals, ensuring some nutritional intake during periods of digestive upset. For example, bananas are rich in vitamin C, potassium, and B6, while applesauce provides vitamin C and dietary fiber.Soothing EffectThe bland nature of BRAT foods may help calm an upset stomach and reduce nausea. Toast, in particular, can provide a comforting feeling of fullness without aggravating digestive symptoms.How Does the BRAT Diet Work?The BRAT diet primarily works by providing easily digestible foods that are gentle on the stomach and intestines. By avoiding complex and irritating foods, it aims to minimize further distress to the digestive system, allowing it to recover. Additionally, binding foods like rice and bananas can help bulk up stools and reduce diarrhea, while the high potassium content in bananas and applesauce aids in rehydration.Learn More: Mastering Weight Management with the Volumetrics DietEffectiveness of the BRAT DietWhile the BRAT diet has been a go-to recommendation for decades, its effectiveness is somewhat debated. While it can help alleviate symptoms in the short term, it may lack sufficient nutrients for long-term use. Therefore, it's typically advised as a short-term solution during acute episodes of gastrointestinal upset. Some healthcare professionals may recommend gradually reintroducing a more balanced diet once symptoms improve to ensure adequate nutrition.When is the BRAT diet recommended?DiarrheaDiarrhea can be disruptive and uncomfortable, whether caused by viral infections, food poisoning, or digestive disorders. The BRAT diet's simplicity and low-fiber content can help ease symptoms and promote recovery.Nausea and VomitingDuring episodes of nausea and vomiting, consuming bland, easily digestible foods can help settle the stomach and prevent further irritation. The BRAT diet's gentle nature suits individuals struggling to keep food down.Stomach FluThe BRAT diet is a standard recommendation for individuals suffering from stomach flu or gastroenteritis. It provides nourishment without exacerbating symptoms, allowing the body to recuperate.Postoperative RecoveryAfter specific surgical procedures, particularly those involving the gastrointestinal tract, the BRAT diet may be recommended during the initial stages of recovery. It helps minimize stress on the digestive system and reduces the risk of complications.Probiotics and Probiotic-Rich FoodsWhile the BRAT diet focuses on simplicity, incorporating probiotics can aid in restoring gut health. Yogurt with live active cultures and fermented foods like kefir and sauerkraut can introduce beneficial bacteria to the gut, supporting digestion and immune function. Probiotic supplements may also be helpful, especially for individuals with persistent gastrointestinal issues.Must Read: Flexitarian Diet: The Path to Health and SustainabilityFoods to AvoidDairy ProductsSome individuals find dairy difficult to digest, especially during episodes of gastrointestinal distress. If dairy exacerbates symptoms, opt for lactose-free alternatives.Fried or Fatty FoodsGreasy or fried foods can be heavy on the stomach and may worsen symptoms like nausea and indigestion. Stick to lighter options until symptoms improve.Spicy FoodsSpicy foods can irritate the digestive tract and exacerbate symptoms like heartburn or acid reflux. Avoid spicy sauces, seasonings, and condiments while following the BRAT diet.High-Fiber FoodsFoods high in fiber, such as whole grains, beans, and raw vegetables, can be difficult to digest during episodes of gastrointestinal distress. These foods may worsen symptoms like diarrhea and bloating and should be avoided until digestive health improves.Check This Out: Revolutionize Your Wellness Journey with Noom Diet ProgramBRAT Diet Food ListBananasEnjoy them as a standalone snack, or blend them into smoothies. Bananas can also be mashed and mixed with applesauce for flavor and nutrition.RiceOpt for plain, white rice cooked in water. Pair it with boiled or steamed vegetables for added nutrition and variety. Brown rice and other whole grains are higher in fiber and may be too rough on the digestive system during acute episodes of gastrointestinal distress.ApplesauceChoose unsweetened varieties of applesauce to avoid added sugars. Have it as a snack, or mix it into oatmeal or yogurt for extra flavor and nutrients.ToastStick to plain, white toast made from refined flour. Avoid adding butter or other spreads if they exacerbate symptoms. Some individuals may tolerate a thin layer of peanut butter or honey, providing additional calories and nutrients.What You Can Eat on the BRAT DietPlain Crackers: Saltine or soda crackers can provide a light snack or accompaniment to meals. Look for low-sodium varieties to minimize salt intake.Boiled Potatoes: When boiled or mashed, potatoes are low fiber and easy to digest. Avoid adding high-fat toppings like butter or cheese.Boiled or Steamed Vegetables: Carrots, zucchini, and other mild vegetables can be boiled or steamed until soft. Avoid seasonings or sauces that irritate the stomachClear Broth or Soup: Clear chicken or vegetable broth can provide hydration and some essential nutrients affecting the digestive system. Avoid creamy or high-fat soups.Plain Pasta: Plain pasta, such as noodles or macaroni, can be easily digested when cooked until soft. Avoid adding sauces or seasonings that may be too spicy or acidic.Oatmeal: Plain oatmeal made with water is a gentle source of carbohydrates and fiber. Avoid adding sugar, honey, or other sweeteners.Gelatin: Plain gelatin or gelatin-based desserts can provide hydration and a source of easily digestible carbohydrates. Avoid varieties with added fruits or toppings.Pudding: Plain pudding made with milk or a milk alternative can provide calories and nutrients. Look for varieties without added sugars or artificial ingredients.Boiled Eggs: Plain-boiled eggs can provide protein and essential nutrients. Avoid adding salt or other seasonings that may be too stimulating for the digestive system.Lean Protein: Plain, cooked chicken or turkey breast can provide protein without added fats or spices. Avoid fried or heavily seasoned meats.Also Read: Mediterranean Diet: A Delicious Journey to WellnessConclusionWhile the BRAT diet offers benefits in managing gastrointestinal distress, it's essential to use it as a short-term solution and maintain adequate nutrition. If symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical advice for proper evaluation and treatment. Remember, dietary adjustments should always be as per your preferences. By following the principles of the BRAT diet and making appropriate modifications, individuals can effectively manage digestive issues and promote recovery.FAQsIs the BRAT diet suitable for children?Yes, the BRAT diet can be appropriate for children experiencing gastrointestinal upset. However, it's essential to ensure they still receive adequate nutrition and hydration. Parents should consult a pediatrician if symptoms persist or worsen.How long should I follow the BRAT diet?The duration of the BRAT diet varies depending on the severity of symptoms and individual tolerance. Generally, it's recommended to follow the BRAT diet for 24 to 48 hours or until symptoms improve. Gradually reintroduce other foods as tolerated, starting with bland, low-fiber options.Can I drink beverages other than water on the BRAT diet?Clear fluids like water, herbal tea, and electrolyte-containing beverages (e.g., sports drinks and oral rehydration solutions) are encouraged to prevent dehydration. Avoid caffeine and carbonated drinks, as they may irritate the stomach further. Warm beverages like herbal tea or broth can be particularly soothing for individuals with nausea or sore throats.

Papulosquamous plaque and yellow-crusted nodules of secondary yaws on the leg

Understanding Yaws Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Image: wikipediaYaws disease, a bacterial infection caused by Treponema pallidum subspecies pertenue, is an overlooked disease primarily affecting tropical and subtropical regions. Although eradicated mainly in many parts of the world, yaws persist in impoverished communities, particularly in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands.What is Yaws Disease?Yaws disease, often termed "Frambesia tropica," primarily affects children in rural, tropical areas with limited access to medicines. It spreads through direct skin-to-skin contact, typically manifesting as painless skin, bones, and cartilage ulcers. Without proper treatment, yaws can progress to severe deformities and disabilities.What Are The Stages Of Yaws Disease?Primary StageThe journey of Yaws begins innocuously with the appearance of a single, painless sore known as a "mother yaw" at the site of infection. Resembling a raspberry, this lesion marks the onset of the disease.Secondary StageAs the infection progresses, multiple similar lesions erupt across the body, accompanied by skin rashes that often spread to the palms and soles. Swollen lymph nodes, joint pain, and nasal discharge are common symptoms during this stage.Latent StageDespite the apparent subsidence of symptoms, Yaws remains latent within the body, silently progressing and potentially reactivating without treatment.Late StageWithout intervention, Yaws can wreak havoc on the body, causing severe deformities in bones and cartilage, gummatous lesions, and debilitating disabilities.Symptoms Of Yaws DiseaseImage: WHOPainless, Raspberry-like Sores (Primary Lesions)These lesions typically appear at the site of infection and are characterized by their resemblance to raspberries. They are usually small, raised, and may be slightly moist.Skin RashesBeyond the primary lesions, secondary yaws present widespread skin rashes, particularly on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. These rashes, ranging from flat, reddish spots to raised, scaly patches, may appear.Swollen Lymph NodesAs the body's immune system responds to bacterial infection, lymph nodes near the affected areas may become swollen and tender to the touch.Joint Pain and SwellingYaws can cause inflammation in the joints, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility, especially in the later stages of the disease.Nasal Discharge and CrustingSometimes, yaws can affect the nasal passages, resulting in discharge, crusting, and irritation within the nostrils.Bone and Cartilage DeformitiesWithout timely treatment, yaws can progress to affect the bones and cartilage, leading to deformities such as saber-shaped tibias, saddle noses, and gummatous lesions.Gummatous LesionsThese soft, tumor-like growths can develop on the skin, mucous membranes, and bones, causing further disfigurement and tissue damage.Thickening and Darkening of the SkinChronic yaw infections may cause hyperpigmentation and thickening of the skin, particularly in areas prone to friction or pressure.Fever and MalaiseIn the acute stages of yaws, individuals may experience flu-like symptoms, including fever, fatigue, and general malaise.Secondary Bacterial InfectionsOpen sores and lesions associated with yaws increase the risk of secondary bacterial infections, further complicating the disease and delaying healing.Must Read: Heart Disease In The US: Facts, Causes, and TreatmentCauses Of Yaws DiseaseBacterial Infection (Treponema pallidum subspecies pertenue)Yaws is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pertenue, which belongs to the same family as the bacteria responsible for syphilis. However, while syphilis is primarily sexually transmitted, yaws spread through non-sexual skin-to-skin contact, particularly in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions.Poor Hygiene and SanitationYaws transmission thrives in environments with inadequate access to clean water, sanitation facilities, and services. Overcrowded living conditions, lack of personal hygiene practices, and limited medical attention contribute to the persistence of yaws in endemic regions.Tropical ClimateYaws are more prevalent in warm, humid climates, where environmental conditions favor the survival and transmission of the causative bacteria. Tropical regions with high levels of rainfall and vegetation provide ideal breeding grounds for disease vectors and facilitate the spread of yaws within communities.Limited Medical AccessIn regions where yaws are endemic, barriers to healthcare access, including geographical remoteness, financial constraints, and cultural beliefs, may prevent individuals from seeking timely diagnosis and treatment. Without access to services, yaws infections can go untreated, leading to further transmission and disease progression.Social Determinants of HealthSocioeconomic factors such as poverty, food insecurity, and lack of education exacerbate the burden of yaws in affected communities. Addressing these social determinants of health is essential for implementing effective prevention and control measures and ensuring equitable access to resources for vulnerable populations.Diagnosis of Yaws DiseaseClinical Examination: Doctors carefully inspect skin lesions, noting their appearance, distribution, and any associated symptoms. Yaws lesions typically present as painless, raspberry-like sores (primary lesions) but can progress to more severe manifestations in later stages.Sample CollectionTo confirm the diagnosis, doctors collect samples from skin lesions, such as scrapings or swabs, for laboratory analysis. These samples are then examined under a microscope using techniques like dark-field microscopy, which allows for the visualization of Treponema pallidum bacteria.Serological TestsBlood tests are often performed to detect antibodies against Treponema pallidum. Serological tests, including rapid plasma reagin (RPR) and Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) tests, can help confirm the presence of infection and assess disease progression.Differential DiagnosisYaws disease may resemble other conditions, such as syphilis, cutaneous leishmaniasis, or fungal infections.Check This Out: Plaque Psoriasis: Key Details To Manage This Skin DiseaseTreatment of Yaws DiseaseAntibiotic TherapyPenicillin, particularly benzathine penicillin G, administered as a single intramuscular injection, remains the treatment for Yaws disease. Alternative antibiotics, such as azithromycin, may be used for patients allergic to penicillin or in areas where penicillin is unavailable.Treatment RegimensA single dose of benzathine penicillin G is needed for primary and secondary yaws. Three doses of benzathine penicillin G are administered weekly for Latent and late-stage yaws.Surgical InterventionIn severe cases of late-stage yaws with extensive bone and soft tissue damage, surgical intervention may be required to correct deformities and improve functionality. Surgical procedures may include debridement, bone grafting, and corrective osteotomies.Community-Based Treatment ProgramsGiven the communal nature of yaws transmission, mass treatment campaigns targeting entire communities are often implemented to ensure widespread antibiotic coverage and effectively interrupt disease transmission.Health Education and CounselingAlongside antibiotic treatment, health education is crucial in preventing yaws recurrence and promoting community awareness of the disease, its transmission routes, and early treatment-seeking behavior.Yaws Treatment /Management PlanCommunity Engagement: Educating communities about Yaws transmission, symptoms, and treatment helps early detection and empowers them to seek timely care.Medicinal betterment: Strengthening medicine systems in endemic regions enhances diagnostic capabilities, facilitates treatment, and promotes disease surveillance.Collaborative Efforts: Governmental organizations, non-governmental agencies, and local communities are instrumental in implementing Yaws control programs.Research and Innovation: Investing in research for novel diagnostic tools, treatment modalities, and vaccines is crucial for advancing Yaws eradication efforts globally.Proactive Prevention MeasuresMass Treatment Campaigns: Administering antibiotics to entire communities interrupts disease transmission and reduces the reservoir of infection.Health Education Initiatives: Hygiene practices, handwashing, and wound care empower people to protect themselves against Yaws and other infectious diseases.Improved Sanitation: Access to clean water and sanitation facilities is essential for mitigating the risk of Yaws transmission and improving public health.Vector Control: Implementing measures to reduce exposure to disease vectors, such as flies, complements treatment efforts and minimizes the likelihood of reinfection.Sustainable Development Goals: Aligning Yaws efforts with broader sustainable development objectives ensures long-term progress toward health outcomes.Distinguishing Syphilis from YawsWhile Yaws and syphilis share a joint etiological agent, they differ significantly in their clinical presentation, transmission dynamics, and geographic distribution. Syphilis primarily spreads through sexual contact, affecting individuals of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. In contrast, Yaws predominantly afflicts children in tropical regions with limited medical care, spreading through non-sexual skin-to-skin contact. Furthermore, while both diseases can cause severe complications if left untreated, syphilis often targets the cardiovascular and nervous systems, whereas Yaws primarily affects the skin, bones, and soft tissues.Also Read: Warning Signs of Parkinson's Disease You Shouldn't IgnoreConclusionYaws disease is a public health challenge, particularly in resource-constrained settings where poverty and neglect fuel its persistence. Through concerted efforts and unwavering commitment, we can consign Yaws to the annals of history, ensuring a healthier, more equitable future for future generations.