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Benign Endocervical Polyps: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Cervical polyps are growths on the cervical canal, the passage that connects the uterus to the vagina.

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Symptoms:

About two out of three women who have cervical polyps don’t have symptoms. Doctors normally find these growths during a Pap test or other procedure. If you do have symptoms, they may include:

  • Periods that are heavier than usual
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Vaginal discharge, which may stink due to infection

Causes:

  • Cervical infections
  • Chronic inflammation
  • An abnormal response to the hormone estrogen
  • Clogged blood vessels near the cervix

Treatment:

If your doctor finds cervical polyps during a routine pelvic exam and Pap smear, she’ll probably take a sample of the tissue (biopsy) and send it to the lab to make sure it’s not cancer..She’ll probably remove them at that time. She’ll use a tool called a polyp forceps to gently twist the growth off your cervix.You might bleed and cramp just a little during or after the procedure. Most cervical polyps are benign, cause no problems, and don’t come back once they’re removed.

Medication:

An over-the-counter pain medication like Ovral- L or acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) can relieve the pain. These are stops the bleeding also.

 

Pituitary Adenoma: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

The pituitary gland is in the skull, below the brain and above the nasal passages. A large tumour can press upon and damage the brain and nerves. Vision changes or headaches are symptoms. In some cases, hormones can also be affected, interfering with menstrual cycles and causing sexual dysfunction. Treatments include surgery and medication to block excess hormone production or shrink the tumour. In some cases, radiation may also be used.
Depending on which hormones are affected, symptoms might include:
  • Nausea.
  • Weakness.
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain.
  • Loss of body hair.
  • Feeling cold.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Menstrual changes or loss of menstrual periods in women.
  • Erectile dysfunction (trouble with erections) in me
Common symptoms: headache, inappropriate breast milk production, irregular menstruation, or vision disorder.
Requires a medical diagnosis:Vision changes or headaches are symptoms. In some cases, hormones can also be affected, interfering with menstrual cycles and causing sexual dysfunction.
Treatment depends on severity:
Treatments include surgery and medication to block excess hormone production or shrink the tumour. In some cases, radiation may also be used.
Surgery: Transsphenoidal surgery
Surgery performed through the nose and sinus cavity to remove brain tumours.
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Cochlear Implant : Activation & rehabilitation

A cochlear implant is an electronic device that partially restores hearing. It can be an option for people who have severe hearing loss from inner-ear damage and who receive limited benefit from hearing aids. Unlike hearing aids — which amplify sound — a cochlear implant bypasses damaged portions of the ear to deliver sound signals to the auditory (hearing) nerve. Cochlear implants use a sound processor that fits behind the ear. The processor captures sound signals and transmits them to a receiver implanted under the skin behind the ear. The receiver sends the signals to electrodes implanted in the snail-shaped inner ear (cochlea). The signals stimulate the auditory nerve, which then directs them to the brain. The brain interprets those signals as sounds, though these sounds won’t be just like normal hearing.

It takes time and training to learn to interpret the signals received from a cochlear implant. Within a year of use, most people with cochlear implants make considerable gains in understanding speech.

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During the procedure

The surgeon will make an incision behind the ear, and form a slight depression in the portion of skull bone (mastoid) where the internal device rests.

The surgeon will then create a small hole in the cochlea and thread the electrode array of the internal device through this hole. The incision is stitched closed so that the internal device is under the skin.

After the procedure

You or your child might experience:

  • Pressure or discomfort over the implanted ear or ears
  • Dizziness or nausea

Most people feel well enough to return home the day of surgery or the day afterward. You will need to return to the doctor in about a week to have stitches removed. The cochlear implants won’t be turned on (activated) until two to six weeks after surgery — to give the surgery site time to heal.

Activation

To activate the cochlear implant, an audiologist will:

  • Adjust the sound processor to fit you or your child
  • Check the components of the cochlear implant to make sure they work
  • Determine what sounds you or your child hears
  • Give you information on the proper care and use of the device

Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation involves training the brain to understand sounds heard through the cochlear implant. Speech and everyday environmental noises will sound different from what you remember. The brain needs time to recognize what these sounds mean. This process is ongoing and is best achieved by wearing the speech processor continuously during waking hours

Inflammatory Bowel Disease(IBD): Types & Symptoms, Treatments

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term used to describe disorders that involve chronic inflammation of your digestive tract. Types of IBD include:

  • Ulcerative colitis. This condition causes long-lasting inflammation and sores (ulcers) in the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum.
  • Crohn’s disease. This type of IBD is characterized by inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract, which often spreads deep into affected tissues.

Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease usually involve severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss.

IBD can be debilitating and sometimes leads to life-threatening complications.

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Causes

The exact cause of inflammatory bowel disease remains unknown. Previously, diet and stress were suspected, but now doctors know that these factors may aggravate but don’t cause IBD.

One possible cause is an immune system malfunction. When your immune system tries to fight off an invading virus or bacterium, an abnormal immune response causes the immune system to attack the cells in the digestive tract, too. Heredity also seems to play a role in that IBD is more common in people who have family members with the disease. However, most people with IBD don’t have this family history.

Symptoms

Inflammatory bowel disease symptoms vary, depending on the severity of inflammation and where it occurs. Symptoms may range from mild to severe. You are likely to have periods of active illness followed by periods of remission.

Signs and symptoms that are common to both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever and fatigue
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Blood in your stool
  • Reduced appetite
  • Unintended weight loss

Treatment

The goal of inflammatory bowel disease treatment is to reduce the inflammation that triggers your signs and symptoms. In the best cases, this may lead not only to symptom relief but also to long-term remission and reduced risks of complications. IBD treatment usually involves either drug therapy or surgery.

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Immune system suppressors
  • Antibiotics
  • Other medications and supplements

Surgery:

Surgery for ulcerative colitis. Surgery can often eliminate ulcerative colitis. But that usually means removing your entire colon and rectum (proctocolectomy).

Surgery for Crohn’s disease. Up to one-half of people with Crohn’s disease will require at least one surgery. However, surgery does not cure Crohn’s disease.

 

Optic Neuritis : Causes & Symptoms

Optic neuritis is an inflammation that damages the optic nerve, a bundle of nerve fibers that transmits visual information from your eye to your brain. Pain and temporary vision loss in one eye are common symptoms of optic neuritis.Optic neuritis usually affects one eye. Optic neuritis is linked to multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that causes inflammation and damage to nerves in your brain and spinal cord. Signs and symptoms of optic neuritis can be the first indication of multiple sclerosis, or they can occur later in the course of MS. Besides MS, optic neuritis can occur with other infections or immune diseases, such as lupus.

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Symptoms

  • Pain.
  • Vision loss in one eye.
  • Visual field loss.
  • Loss of color vision.
  • Flashing lights.

Causes:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuromyelitis optica
  • Infections. 
  • Other diseases. 
  • Drugs. 

 

 

Thyroid Nodules: Causes & Symptoms

Thyroid nodules are solid or fluid-filled lumps that form within your thyroid, a small gland located at the base of your neck, just above your breastbone. The great majority of thyroid nodules aren’t serious and don’t cause symptoms. Thyroid cancer accounts for only a small percentage of thyroid nodules.

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Symptoms

Most thyroid nodules don’t cause signs or symptoms. Occasionally, however, some nodules become so large that they can:

  • Be felt
  • Be seen, often as a swelling at the base of your neck
  • Press on your windpipe or esophagus, causing shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing

In some cases, thyroid nodules produce additional thyroxine, a hormone secreted by your thyroid gland. The extra thyroxine can cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism such as:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Increased perspiration
  • Tremor
  • Nervousness
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat

A few thyroid nodules are cancerous (malignant), but determining which nodules are malignant can’t be done by symptoms alone. Most cancerous thyroid nodules are slow growing and may be small when they’re discovered. Aggressive thyroid cancers are rare, but these nodules may be large, firm, fixed and rapid growing.

When to see a doctor

Although most thyroid nodules are noncancerous (benign) and don’t cause problems, ask your doctor to evaluate any unusual swelling in your neck, especially if you have trouble breathing or swallowing. It’s important to evaluate the possibility of cancer.

Also seek medical care if you develop signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as:

  • Sudden weight loss even though your appetite is normal or has increased
  • A pounding heart
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nervousness or irritability

Causes

  • Iodine deficiency.

 

  • Overgrowth of normal thyroid tissue.
  • Thyroid cyst.
  • Chronic inflammation of the thyroid (thyroiditis).
  • Multinodular goiter.
  • Thyroid cancer.

Sickle Cell Anemia: Symptoms & Treatments

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited form of anemia — a condition in which there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout your body. Normally, your red blood cells are flexible and round, moving easily through your blood vessels. In sickle cell anemia, the red blood cells become rigid and sticky and are shaped like sickles or crescent moons. These irregularly shaped cells can get stuck in small blood vessels, which can slow or block blood flow and oxygen to parts of the body.

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Symptoms:

  1. Anemia
  2. Episodes of pain
  3. Painful swelling of hands and feet
  4. Frequent infections
  5. Delayed growth
  6. Vision problems

Treatment:

Surgery: Bone marrow transplant, also known as stem cell transplant, offers the only potential cure for sickle cell anemia. It’s usually reserved for people younger than age 16 because the risks increase for people older than 16. Finding a donor is difficult, and the procedure has serious risks associated with it, including death.

Medications:

  1. Antibiotics
  2. Pain-relieving medications
  3. Hydroxyurea (Droxia, Hydrea)

Cerebal Palsy

Overview

Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture that is caused by damage that occurs to the immature, developing brain, most often before birth.

Signs and symptoms appear during infancy or preschool years. In general, cerebral palsy causes impaired movement associated with abnormal reflexes, floppiness or rigidity of the limbs and trunk, abnormal posture, involuntary movements, unsteady walking, or some combination of these.

People with cerebral palsy may have problems swallowing and commonly have eye muscle imbalance, in which the eyes don’t focus on the same object. People with cerebral palsy also may suffer reduced range of motion at various joints of their bodies due to muscle stiffness.

Cerebral palsy’s effect on functional abilities varies greatly. Some affected people can walk while others can’t. Some people show normal or near-normal intellectual capacity, but others may have intellectual disabilities. Epilepsy, blindness or deafness also may be present.

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Symptoms

Signs and symptoms can vary greatly. Movement and coordination problems associated with cerebral palsy may include:

  • Variations in muscle tone, such as being either too stiff or too floppy
  • Stiff muscles and exaggerated reflexes (spasticity)
  • Stiff muscles with normal reflexes (rigidity)
  • Lack of muscle coordination (ataxia)
  • Tremors or involuntary movements
  • Slow, writhing movements (athetosis)
  • Delays in reaching motor skills milestones, such as pushing up on arms, sitting up alone or crawling
  • Favoring one side of the body, such as reaching with only one hand or dragging a leg while crawling
  • Difficulty walking, such as walking on toes, a crouched gait, a scissors-like gait with knees crossing, a wide gait or an asymmetrical gait
  • Excessive drooling or problems with swallowing
  • Difficulty with sucking or eating
  • Delays in speech development or difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty with precise motions, such as picking up a crayon or spoon
  • Seizures

The disability associated with cerebral palsy may be limited primarily to one limb or one side of the body, or it may affect the whole body. The brain disorder causing cerebral palsy doesn’t change with time, so the symptoms usually don’t worsen with age. However, muscle shortening and muscle rigidity may worsen if not treated aggressively.

Brain abnormalities associated with cerebral palsy also may contribute to other neurological problems. People with cerebral palsy may also have:

  • Difficulty with vision and hearing
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Seizures
  • Abnormal touch or pain perceptions
  • Oral diseases
  • Mental health (psychiatric) conditions
  • Urinary incontinence

Causes

Cerebral palsy is caused by an abnormality or disruption in brain development, usually before a child is born. In many cases, the exact trigger isn’t known. Factors that may lead to problems with brain development include:

  • Mutations in genes that lead to abnormal brain development
  • Maternal infections that affect the developing fetus
  • Fetal stroke, a disruption of blood supply to the developing brain
  • Infant infections that cause inflammation in or around the brain
  • Traumatic head injury to an infant from a motor vehicle accident or fall
  • Lack of oxygen to the brain (asphyxia) related to difficult labor or delivery, although birth-related asphyxia is much less commonly a cause than historically thought

Risk factors

A number of factors are associated with an increased risk of cerebral palsy.

Maternal health

Certain infections or health problems during pregnancy can significantly increase cerebral palsy risk to the baby. Infections of particular concern include:

  • German measles (rubella). Rubella is a viral infection that can cause serious birth defects. It can be prevented with a vaccine.
  • Chickenpox (varicella). Chickenpox is a contagious viral infection that causes itching and rashes, and it can cause pregnancy complications. It too can be prevented with a vaccine.
  • Cytomegalovirus. Cytomegalovirus is a common virus that causes flu-like symptoms and may lead to birth defects if a mother experiences her first active infection during pregnancy.
  • Herpes. Herpes infection can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy, affecting the womb and placenta. Inflammation triggered by infection may then damage the unborn baby’s developing nervous system.
  • Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite found in contaminated food, soil and the feces of infected cats.
  • Syphilis. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection.
  • Exposure to toxins. Exposure to toxins, such as methyl mercury, can increase the risk of birth defects.
  • Zika virus infection. Infants for whom maternal Zika infection causes microcephaly can develop cerebral palsy.
  • Other conditions. Other conditions may increase the risk of cerebral palsy, such as thyroid problems, intellectual disabilities or seizures.

Infant illness

Illnesses in a newborn baby that can greatly increase the risk of cerebral palsy include:

  • Bacterial meningitis. This bacterial infection causes inflammation in the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
  • Viral encephalitis. This viral infection similarly causes inflammation in the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
  • Severe or untreated jaundice. Jaundice appears as a yellowing of the skin. The condition occurs when certain byproducts of “used” blood cells aren’t filtered from the bloodstream.

Other factors of pregnancy and birth

While the potential contribution from each is limited, additional pregnancy or birth factors associated with increased cerebral palsy risk include:

  • Breech births. Babies with cerebral palsy are more likely to be in a feet-first position (breech presentation) at the beginning of labor rather than headfirst.
  • Complicated labor and delivery. Babies who exhibit vascular or respiratory problems during labor and delivery may have existing brain damage or abnormalities.
  • Low birth weight. Babies who weigh less than 5.5 pounds (2.5 kilograms) are at higher risk of developing cerebral palsy. This risk increases as birth weight drops.
  • Multiple babies. Cerebral palsy risk increases with the number of babies sharing the uterus. If one or more of the babies die, the chance that the survivors may have cerebral palsy increases.
  • Premature birth. A normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. Babies born fewer than 37 weeks into the pregnancy are at higher risk of cerebral palsy. The earlier a baby is born, the greater the cerebral palsy risk.
  • Rh blood type incompatibility between mother and child. If a mother’s Rh blood type doesn’t match her baby’s, her immune system may not tolerate the developing baby’s blood type and her body may begin to produce antibodies to attack and kill her baby’s blood cells, which can cause brain damage.

Complications

Muscle weakness, muscle spasticity and coordination problems can contribute to a number of complications either during childhood or later during adulthood, including:

  • Contracture. Contracture is muscle tissue shortening due to severe muscle tightening (spasticity). Contracture can inhibit bone growth, cause bones to bend, and result in joint deformities, dislocation or partial dislocation.
  • Malnutrition. Swallowing or feeding problems can make it difficult for someone who has cerebral palsy, particularly an infant, to get enough nutrition. This may cause impaired growth and weaker bones. Some children may need a feeding tube for adequate nutrition.
  • Mental health conditions. People with cerebral palsy may have mental health (psychiatric) conditions, such as depression. Social isolation and the challenges of coping with disabilities can contribute to depression.
  • Lung disease. People with cerebral palsy may develop lung disease and breathing disorders.
  • Neurological conditions. People with cerebral palsy may be more likely to develop movement disorders or worsened neurological symptoms over time.
  • Osteoarthritis. Pressure on joints or abnormal alignment of joints from muscle spasticity may lead to the early onset of painful degenerative bone disease (osteoarthritis).
  • Osteopenia. Fractures due to low bone density (osteopenia) can stem from several common factors such as lack of mobility, nutritional shortcomings and antiepileptic drug use.
  • Eye muscle imbalance. This can affect visual fixation and tracking; an eye specialist should evaluate suspected imbalances.

Prevention

Most cases of cerebral palsy can’t be prevented, but you can lessen risks. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you can take these steps to keep healthy and minimize pregnancy complications:

  • Make sure you’re vaccinated. Vaccination against diseases such as rubella may prevent an infection that could cause fetal brain damage.
  • Take care of yourself. The healthier you are heading into a pregnancy, the less likely you’ll be to develop an infection that may result in cerebral palsy.
  • Seek early and continuous prenatal care. Regular visits to your doctor during your pregnancy are a good way to reduce health risks to you and your unborn baby. Seeing your doctor regularly can help prevent premature birth, low birth weight and infections.
  • Practice good child safety. Prevent head injuries by providing your child with a car seat, bicycle helmet, safety rails on beds and appropriate supervision.

Adrenalectomy

Overview

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Adrenal glands

One adrenal gland sits above each of your kidneys. Your two adrenal glands produce various hormones that help regulate your metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, blood sugar and other essential functions.

Most adrenal tumors are noncancerous (benign). You may require surgery to remove an adrenal gland if the tumor is producing excess hormones or is large in size (more than 2 inches or 4 to 5 centimeters). You may also require surgery if the tumor is cancerous (malignant) or suspected to be cancerous. This surgery is called adrenalectomy (uh-dree-nul-EK-tuh-me).You may also need an adrenalectomy to remove cancer that has spread (metastasized) from another location, such as the kidney or lung.

If both adrenal glands are removed, you will need to take supplemental hormone medications. If only one gland is removed, the other will take over full function without the need for ongoing medications.

Types of adrenalectomy

Surgeons may perform an adrenalectomy through minimally invasive (laparoscopic) or traditional open surgery, or use cryoablation. The procedure they recommend depends on the size and type of tumor or the condition affecting your adrenal gland.

  • Minimally invasive surgery. Endocrine surgeons at Mayo Clinic are often able to use minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgery for tumors of the adrenal gland because the gland is relatively small. Laparoscopic surgery has many benefits, including smaller scars, less pain and a shorter recovery period than traditional open surgery.

    An alternative approach to laparoscopic surgery is a posterior retroperitoneoscopic adrenalectomy (PRA), in which surgeons make small incisions in your back. Sometimes surgeons use the robotic da Vinci Surgical System to perform laparoscopic adrenalectomies.

  • Open surgery. Doctors usually reserve open surgery for large or cancerous (malignant) tumors. They perform open surgery using traditional instruments and incisions.
  • Cryoablation. In addition, Mayo Clinic doctors may use cryoablation to treat adrenal tumors. This procedure uses CT imaging to guide the insertion of a probe that freezes and destroys adrenal tumors. Interventional radiologists may use cryoablation as a treatment option for small tumors that have spread to the adrenal gland (metastasis), particularly when surgery carries a high risk.

Your doctor can explain your treatment options and discuss whether an adrenalectomy is the most appropriate treatment for you.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Overview

Autism spectrum disorder is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication. The disorder also includes limited and repetitive patterns of behaviour. The term “spectrum” in autism spectrum disorder refers to the wide range of symptoms and severity.

Autism spectrum disorder includes conditions that were previously considered separate — autism, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder and an unspecified form of pervasive developmental disorder. Some people still use the term “Asperger’s syndrome,” which is generally thought to be at the mild end of autism spectrum disorder.

Autism spectrum disorder begins in early childhood and eventually causes problems functioning in society — socially, in school and at work, for example. Often children show symptoms of autism within the first year. A small number of children appear to develop normally in the first year, and then go through a period of regression between 18 and 24 months of age when they develop autism symptoms.

While there is no cure for autism spectrum disorder, intensive, early treatment can make a big difference in the lives of many children.

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Symptoms

Some children show signs of autism spectrum disorder in early infancy, such as reduced eye contact, lack of response to their name or indifference to caregivers. Other children may develop normally for the first few months or years of life, but then suddenly become withdrawn or aggressive or lose language skills they’ve already acquired. Signs usually are seen by age 2 years.

Each child with autism spectrum disorder is likely to have a unique pattern of behaviour and level of severity — from low functioning to high functioning.

Some children with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty learning, and some have signs of lower than normal intelligence. Other children with the disorder have normal to high intelligence — they learn quickly, yet have trouble communicating and applying what they know in everyday life and adjusting to social situations.

Because of the unique mixture of symptoms in each child, severity can sometimes be difficult to determine. It’s generally based on the level of impairments and how they impact the ability to function.