Archive | March 2016

To Heal and to Be Healed

download (39)As a junior year medical student, I have realized that it’s not enough to learn everything by simply reading gigantic books or attending long lectures, rather, it is important to enhance yourself with the necessary skills by attending trainings and applying your knowledge into practice. A few months ago, I participated in a first aid training organized by my university, and just last month before my 6th semester, I was trained and certified in the first aid level 1 (including AED) course.

The break before the next semester at medical school is generally regarded as the last time of true freedom for med students. We are supposed to live it up and enjoy every second of this liberated time before we become sleep-deprived and buried in books. Although this break brings relaxation, excitement and enjoyment, a number of anxieties also accompany this transition time.

I am the typical paranoid student in med school, always worried about grades and studying. It’s like you’re in the middle of the fire and it’s hard to step out of it.

Considering how easy it is to get certified in first aid, there’s really no reason not to do this. First aid training comes in handy for a variety of different situations in life. When you know what to do in emergency situations, you can become a valuable asset wherever you go. Becoming a doctor is harder than you could possibly imagine. You will struggle, sacrifice and cry; and sometimes you will be faced with worse of human condition.

Occasionally, med school has shown me dramatic, blood pumping and cinema-worthy moments. When you think you can’t handle one second more, you will see something that will perfectly restore your faith in humanity and the belief that people really are innately good. I can’t wait to start my clinical rotations and get that beautiful feeling of helping someone, knowing that you are the only thing between the patient’s health and his grave.

Apart from medical students or physicians, I feel real life needs first aiders! The next time you’re at a restaurant and a fellow begins choking, or you’re walking on the streets and see someone collapse in front of you, for instance, you’ll just know what to do.

Most importantly, I want to be a resource for my community. I want to be somebody’s hero someday, and learn how to be cool, calm, collected and a lifesaver in an emergency. The ‘Good Samaritan’ in us prompts us to receive first aid training so that we can be of assistance to others in need!

Although there’s a lot of burn out, a lot of stress and a lot of wondering, “where did my life go?” Despite all that, the feeling of being in med school and getting into the field of medicine is truly a blessing.

I want to be an effective person, who can engage with patients. Considering the fact that my area of interest is Emergency Medicine, there’s always this fear, “what if I work this hard and I don’t get to be who I want to be?”

It’s amazing that you learn new stuff about the body everyday and you’re like “wow, that’s awesome, the way that works” and sometimes you’re like, “I can’t even believe I’m alive right now.”

“You consider yourself a small body, yet encapsulated within you is an entire universe.” – Ali Ibn Abi Talib

I used to be very innocent last year. I used to look at the third year students studying so hard, day in and day out and be like, “hey, I don’t have to do that” and boom, I’m already in third year!

 

Acute Back Pain Management Using Acetaminophen

download (38)We’ve covered chronic pain in depth here, so today we’re going to discuss acute back pain. While not as severe of an issue as chronic pain, it is still an uncomfortableness that nobody wants but we’re all likely to have at some point. In fact, it is the biggest complaint of people in regards to their lower back.

Often, any treatment will initially address the local pain and the inflammation that usually accompanies it. If needed, further intervention is taken and therapeutic exercise is recommended.

However, any type of pain could be an indication of a more complex situation. That is why it is important that the pain management clinician or doctor establish a clear diagnosis and identify the cause before proceeding with any treatment.

The doctor that is handling the pain management should have an understanding of anatomy, the biomechanics and the kinesiology. This enables them to localize the patient’s pain originators such as the bone, disc, ligament, muscle, nerve, and tendons. The principal process can be biomechanical, inflammation, infection, neoplastic or psychological.

There are many different drugs that are commonly prescribed to provide pain management for acute low back pain. Here we are going to look specifically at acetaminophen, or better known as Tylenol.

Acetaminophen aka Tylenol As Pain Management Drug

This is one of the main members of drugs that are classified as para-aminophenol derivatives. Acetaminophen offers analgesic and antipyretic effects which are similar to everyday aspirin. However, the effects of its anti-inflammatory are weak.

Acetaminophen is frequently recommended by pain management doctors for patients with acute lower back pain as an analgesic, which is an effective medication. There have been many studies that found acetaminophen is a superior drug in the management of osteoarthritis pain.

As any medication, OTC or prescription, there are recommended dosages and there are always possible side effects. For acetaminophen, the normal accepted oral dosage is 325 mg to 1000 mg every 4 to 6 hours, not to exceed more than 4000 mg in a 24-hour period.

The peak plasma levels and effect of the analgesic are usually noticed thirty minutes to one hour afterward. Acetaminophen is an inexpensive pain management drug that is available without a prescription.

In regards to possible side effects of acetaminophen, there are possible skin inflammation and redness, urticarial skin rashes such as multiple raised and swollen areas that are itchy. These are mild and usually pass within the first twenty-four hours.

An overdose of acetaminophen can be serious and cause liver damage. For adults, ten to fifteen grams in a single dose can lead to hepatotoxicity. Extend, prolong abuse of this drug has been connected with kidney damage as well.

When using this medication for self-treat pain management does not help after seven to ten days, it is recommended that an appointment with a pain management doctor be made to avoid the risk of damaging the kidneys and liver.

 

This entry was posted on March 19, 2016, in Health and tagged .

Allopathy, Homeopathy and Ayurveda: A Comparison

images (97)Though Ayurveda is the oldest system of medicine, originated and used in India since ages and homeopathy slowly making a mark amongst the different medicine systems available, but when it comes to the choice of medication preferred, allopathy still has taken the lion’s share of the market.

With the rising confusion and myths associated with these medications, it becomes important to compare all these medicine systems (allopathy, homeopathy, and Ayurveda) to find out the major differences between them and to get an idea which one is ideal or best suited for different diseases at different times.

Allopathy

Allopathy is derived from the Greek word állos (other or different) + pathos (disease or suffering), which means “other than the disease.” Allopathy is essentially a piece of the western therapeutic framework and is spread everywhere throughout the world. It is received by the majority of the nations around the globe and commonly called as drug therapy. Allopathy is basically a drug oriented methodology and relies upon three things, hypothesis, experimentation, and the result of the experiment.

In this methodology, allopathic doctors are restricted by what they can do on the grounds that they just have to concentrate on the symptoms of a disease and not on the causes of those symptoms. It appears that there is a pill for each evil and then, a pill for all their side effects. It is known that allopathy offers only partial cure, as the drugs are made to only cure the reaction and not the root cause. The effectiveness of allopathic medicines during an emergency is the fundamental reason why it is adopted by most of the people all around the world.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy, the name is derived from two Greek words (hómoios + pathos) meaning “like disease.” It means that a substance which causes the symptoms of a disease in a healthy person will cure the same disease in a sick person. (We bet you will read that again). According to this methodology, substances that produce symptoms of a disease will have a curative effect on a sick person exhibiting the same symptoms, when given in very dilute quantities.

Homeopathy is a holistic system of treatment that originated in the 18th century and has been proven to be safe, effective and curative. It has been in use since last 200 years, by hundreds of millions of people. It embraces the body’s natural response system by attacking the root cause of illness or by encouraging the symptoms of healing. This is why it is meant to completely cure a disease. The homeopathic medicines are non-toxic and do not have any side effects. It works by using very small doses of potential substances to stimulate the immune system which helps in healing the patient naturally.

Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word which is formed from two words, “Ayus” meaning life and “Veda” meaning knowledge or science. So the term Ayurveda resembles, “The Knowledge of Life.”

Ayurveda is also known as the science of natural healing because it derives its medicines purely from nature. Ayurveda is originated in India and is 5000 years old medical knowledge system. According to Ayurveda, body, mind and spirit are connected with each other.

Which treatment should you follow?

All the medicine systems, allopathy, homeopathy, and Ayurveda have their own merits and demerits and your choice should depend on the disease, cause of illness, possible ways of treatment etc. Homeopathy is really effective in treating both acute and chronic illness as it treats the root cause of the illness which is not in the case of allopathy. Allopathy has a good investigation, testing, and practicing system. It relies on many tests, techniques, scans, surgery etc. and has been widely used all over the world, but it alleviates the symptoms of the disease rather than going deeper into the cause. Apart from this, allopathy is also associated with side effects and allergies.

Ayurveda and homeopathy believe in individualistic approach and treat patients accordingly. Apart from the medicine, these types of treatments focus on the whole lifestyle such as diet, attitude, exercise etc. But these methodologies also have some loopholes. There is a shortage of practitioners, lack of proper scientific research & investigations and proper boards to manage practitioners or standardize the medications.

It is important to know that one form of medication system may be effective for a particular person or a particular disease at a particular time, but may not at another point.

Choosing the best treatment option for a particular disease has always remained a confusion for you, considering the merits and demerits of the available treatment methodologies, i.e. allopathy, homeopathy, and Ayurveda.

To help you, we have compiled a detailed comparison between all the three medications which will let you now know the merits and demerits of all and choose accordingly.