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Breast cancer is the most common female cancer. 2.1 million women are impacted annually. Additionally, it is to blame for 15% of all cancer-related deaths in females. In 2018, alone, more than 620,000 women lost their lives to breast cancer. Despite the fact that breast cancer is more common in high- and upper-middle-income nations, the illness is becoming increasingly widespread worldwide. Breast cancer is the most prevalent malignancy in women in Nigeria, a lower-middle-income nation, accounting for 22.7% of all new cancer cases. It also has the highest breast cancer mortality rate of any country, with 12,000 fatalities in 2018.
When Pink October arrives, the majority of people have excellent intentions. They really want to contribute to the fight against breast cancer, which is predicted to result in an annual 685,000 deaths globally as recorded in 2020.
The fact is that most people over the age of 15 are probably already aware of breast cancer as a result of the efforts undertaken over the last 40 years. The pink ribbon was created, but sadly, early diagnosis and awareness are not the panaceas we originally believed.
Many women who are treated for early-stage breast cancer nonetheless have a recurrence with metastatic spread. Treatments are less likely to be effective at this point, and women are more likely to pass away from the illness. We should start concentrating our efforts on assisting those who have advanced breast cancer because of this. Beyond purchasing pink T-shirts, ribbons, or advising women to be examined, this goes farther.
Put support first, not awareness.
Make sure the charity you choose focuses on patient assistance rather than awareness when choosing it. There are several ways to help patients, including offering them wigs, cosmetics courses, gas cards, and even paying for their whole course of treatment. A person with breast cancer may benefit from all of these things to get through an emotionally and physically tough period.
Contact local charities in your region that specialise in patient assistance; if you’re interested in seeing our list of groups supporting this course, contact us at Isalu Hospitals.
Make a donation to research projects
Research is important. Even though metastatic breast cancer is the only kind of breast cancer that may cause death, it gets substantially less funding globally than early-stage breast cancer.
The majority of philanthropic donations are used for fundamental research with little practical impact. Finding organisations that are working to really heal people rather than merely raising awareness is thus vital when searching for charity to give to.
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and StandUp2Cancer are two fantastic organisations that are doing this.
You may look out breast cancer organisations on the Charity Navigator website and give there as well. On this website, charities are rated according to their effectiveness, efficiency, and impact.
Help a friend who is battling cancer.
Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. The majority of cancer patients often hear such remark before never running across that individual again. We require assistance more and more the longer we get therapy. Our bathrooms need to be cleaned, our dogs need to be walked, and our kids need to be taken someplace.
Therefore, avoid asking how you can assist if you know someone who has cancer. Inform them of your plans. Don’t make the cancer sufferer responsible for seeking assistance.
Many breast cancer patients utilise websites like Caring Bridge or Lotsahelpinghands to plan assistance for things like meals, transportation to chemotherapy appointments, laundry, pet sitting, and other services.
Provide clothing to a chemo facility
You may affect a cancer patient’s life without ever speaking to them, did you know that? Community oncologists are available in every municipality and will gladly receive blanket, hat, or scarf contributions.
Ask the front desk employees at your neighbourhood hospital’s breast cancer ward or chemotherapy centre whether they would take donations
A social worker might be contacted to see where the needs are highest.
Write letters and Send cards.
For someone going through the most terrifying moment of their life, sending cards to cancer sufferers and placing them in chemo facilities or hospital wards on vacations may mean a lot. Tell them you are thinking of them and that you care.
Advocate more government assistance
Regarding healthcare requirements, there has been egregious carelessness and inadequate government help. For the necessary cancer research and advancements to lessen the burden of this illness, there is little to no funding currently available. Cancer patients have historically had difficulty getting drugs, including chemo and supportive treatments.
Nowadays, physicians refuse to provide necessary painkillers to patients (including those who are near death) out of concern about “overprescribing.” Some insurance companies won’t cover some anti-nausea medications because they are too pricey. This may cause discomfort as many individuals approach the end of their life. We must alter it.
Spend Time with cancer sufferers
When you talk to a cancer patient, keep in mind that they may not always feel like heroes or survivors; they may not always want (or need) to be upbeat. And nothing they did, even eating processed foods and sweets, contributed to their cancer.
Never tell someone they’re a fighter or imply that they did anything wrong in response to their confiding in you that they have cancer. Simply express your regret that this occurred to them and let them know you are there to listen.
And let them know that you are accessible right now or at any point in the future if they want to chat or be distracted from anything.
It’s crucial that you treat them like the friends, coworkers, or family members they have always been. You may be the comforting presence that reassures them that they don’t always have to be strong since cancer can be lonely.
Let people know that mammograms are free in certain places
An X-ray procedure called a mammography may be used to detect breast cancer. The significance of obtaining routine mammograms is highlighted by the possibility that these pictures may detect breast cancer up to three years before you feel it in your breast tissue.
There are probably free or low-cost mammography programmes in your region throughout the month of October if you or a loved one requires one but lacks insurance. These could be provided by clinics or private doctors. Once these initiatives are introduced, it’s imperative that you let other people know about them.
Encourage cancer centres to provide free or inexpensive screenings for women who may not have insurance or have poor incomes. These include tests for females between the ages of 40 and 64 for breast cancer.
Begin your own fundraising campaign
Pink With pink advertising all around, October has practically become a national holiday. However, the money given by businesses often does not benefit individuals with metastatic disease, who most need it. Your mom, sisters, and grandparents are afflicted with incurable cancer, and they need your assistance.
You can think about organising your own contribution campaign in light of this need. You may generate money by using conventional methods like bake sales or car washes, or you can think about continuing with the well-known pink motif and holding a pink pumpkin competition at your place of employment.
Whatever you decide, the advantage of organising your own fundraising drive is that you can make sure that all funds benefit your community or a recognised charity that aids people with metastatic cancer.
Keep learning so that you and others can.
After every October, it could seem as if less effort is being put into breast cancer research and awareness campaigns. In actuality, enrolment in clinical trials, fresh research results, and potential therapies all take place continuously.
Set a reminder for yourself to check in with your preferred charity or organisation for the most recent information on breast cancer on a weekly, monthly, or whenever you’d like basis.
For the most recent news and information, bookmark websites like BreastCancer.org and the National Cancer Institute. Following that, you may distribute articles by email or your preferred social media.
What transpires during a seizure in your child’s brain? Here is a brief description: Neurons, the billions of nerve cells that make up your brain, exchange small electrical impulses with one another. When several cells discharge an electrical charge simultaneously, a seizure occurs.
A seizure is caused by an abnormally large and powerful electrical surge that overwhelms the brain and may result in muscular spasms, loss of consciousness, odd behaviour, or other symptoms.
Anyone may have a seizure in certain situations. A seizure could be caused by anything like a fever, a lack of oxygen, a brain injury, or an infection. When seizures happen more than once without a clear reason, a person is diagnosed with epilepsy. About seven out of ten times, the cause of the seizures cannot be determined. The term “idiopathic” or “cryptogenic” refers to a seizure type in which the aetiology is unknown. The issue may be with the brain’s neurons firing out of control, which causes seizures.
Doctors are learning more and more about the many kinds of seizures’ origins thanks to genetic studies. Seizures have historically been classified based on their outward appearance and the EEG (electroencephalogram) pattern. Experts are learning more about the unique ways that various kinds of seizures arise because to study into the genetics of seizures. This may eventually result in specific therapy for every seizure type that causes epilepsy.
Diagnosing Seizure in Children
A seizure might be difficult to identify. Since seizures end so rapidly, your doctor is unlikely to ever see your kid experiencing one. A doctor must first rule out other illnesses, such as nonepileptic seizures, before making a diagnosis. These may mimic seizures, although their causes are often unrelated, such as changes in heart rhythm, reductions in blood sugar or blood pressure, or mental stress.
Your doctor will need to know how you described the seizure in order to make a diagnosis. Additionally, think about bringing the whole family to the doctor’s office. Even very young children who have an epileptic sibling may pick up on details about the seizures that the parents may not. You may also want to have a video camera close by so you can record your kid having a seizure. Although it may come out as an unkind suggestion, a video may be a huge asset in helping the doctor make a precise diagnosis.
Absence seizures, for example, might be misdiagnosed as daydreaming, making them particularly challenging to detect.
According to William R. Turk, MD, head of the neurology department of the Nemours Children’s Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, “Nobody misses a grand mal (generalized tonic-clonic) seizure.” “When a person falls on the ground, tremors, and sleeps for three hours, you can’t help but notice.” However, absence or staring seizures may last years without being recognised.
Turk advises parents not to be alarmed if their kids look out the window in the vehicle or at cartoons on TV with their mouths open. The majority of children who seem to be daydreaming are really simply daydreaming. Instead, keep an eye out for spells that occur at odd times, including when your kid is speaking or acting and then abruptly stops.
Simple or complicated partial seizures, for example, might be mistaken for other medical illnesses including migraines, psychiatric disorders, or even drug or alcohol intoxication. The diagnosis of seizures often involves doing medical testing. A physical examination and blood tests will undoubtedly be performed by your child’s doctor. A brain scan, such as an MRI with a specialised epilepsy protocol, or an EEG to evaluate the electrical activity in the brain may also be ordered by the doctor.
The Children’s Seizure Risks
Even though they may seem unpleasant, seizures don’t really hurt. However, they could terrify nearby youngsters and adults. Simple partial seizures are particularly scary for kids because they may cause an abrupt, overpowering sensation of panic. For instance, the inability to regulate one’s activities is an issue with complicated partial seizures. They can end up acting strangely or inappropriately, upsetting others around them. Children may hurt themselves while having a seizure if they fall to the ground or bump against nearby objects. However, seizures themselves are often not dangerous.
The long-term repercussions of seizures on the brain are a mystery to experts. In the past, the majority of experts believed that seizures did not harm the brain in any way, attributing any damage to a person’s brain to an underlying disease. But now, some scepticism is starting to surface.
Clinical Neurophysiology and Child Neurology director Solomon L. Moshe, MD, is cautiously exploring the issue at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He argues, “I don’t believe it’s fair to say whether seizures inflict long-term harm or not.” “I believe that each situation is unique.”
Moshe observes that young children’s minds are incredibly malleable. They may have the lowest risk of epilepsy of experiencing any brain damage after a seizure.
Dangerous Seizures in Children
The majority of seizures are not harmful and don’t need to be treated right away, but one form does. Status epilepticus is a potentially fatal condition in which a person has extended seizures or many seizures back to back without recovering consciousness.
Although those who have epilepsy are more likely to have status epilepticus, roughly one-third of those who do not have prior experience of a seizure. You should immediately seek emergency medical assistance if a seizure lasts more than five minutes, since the dangers of status epilepticus rise as the episode continues.
A condition known as Sudden Unexplained Death, in which a person passes away for no apparent cause, may also be mentioned to you. Anyone may experience it, but someone with epilepsy is more likely to do so. Parents of children with epilepsy should be aware that it’s a very unusual occurrence even if the reasons are unknown. The best strategy for averting this disaster is to control seizures, particularly those that happen while you’re sleeping.
Convulsions seldom pose a risk to life. Many can barely endure a short time before stopping on their own. Even so, seeing a child suffering from a convulsion may be scary, so knowing what to do is helpful.
Symptoms and Signs
There are different types of convulsion, including uncontrollable arm and leg movements and bouts of staring. Some indications that a child may be suffering a seizure include:
Before the seizure, there may be strange feelings or twitching.
Gazing and failing to answer to anybody
Uncontrolled spasms of muscles
Awareness is lost (passes out)
Uncontrollable urination or faeces
How to Respond if Your Child Is Having a Convulsion
Ask anybody around to contact your child’s doctor if they are close. If no one is with you, do as follows before calling the doctor:
Get rid of any adjacent things before placing your infant gently on the ground or floor.
To avoid choking on saliva, turn your infant onto his or her side (spit).
Clear the mouth gently with your finger if your child vomits.
Dislodge any clothing that is about the neck or head.
Verify if your child is breathing normally.
Try not to stop your child from shaking; doing so may worsen their discomfort and have no effect on the convulsion
Don’t let your child put anything in their mouth, and never put anything into your child’s mouth either. Your infant won’t be able to swallow their tongue, and yanking their teeth apart might harm them or obstruct their airways.
Give your child nothing to eat or drink, and wait until they are fully awake and attentive before giving them any tablets or fluids by mouth.
Try to record the length of the convulsion.
After the convulsion, your kid could feel tired or need some time to come back to normal. After the seizure, let your kid rest while you stay with him or her until he or she is awake and conscious.
Seek immediate medical attention if your child:
Experiences a convulsion that lasts more than five minutes or has many seizures
having difficulty breathing
has blue-tinged lips, tongue, or face.
stays unconscious for a prolonged period of time after a seizure
Before or during a seizure, a person stumbles or bumps their head.
seems to be ill
a seizure while swimming
exhibits any signs that worry you
Ensure You Prevent Further Seizures !
Make sure your child gets enough sleep and takes any prescription seizure medication on time if they have a known seizure disorder.
Fits known as febrile convulsion (also known as febrile seizure) may occur when a fever has a fever. Between the ages of 6 months and 3 years, they occur most often.
Seeing your child have a seizure may be terrifying and upsetting, especially if it’s their first seizure.
However, these seizures are often not harmful, and virtually all children recover fully after them.
You may still need to request an ambulance or transport your child to the closest hospital as a precaution.
A febrile convulsion early symptoms
Typically, a febrile seizure lasts fewer than five minutes. Your kid’s going to
lose consciousness, stiffen, and start to jerk their limbs and legs. They may also wet or dirty themselves. Additionally, they could feel queasy, froth at the lips, and have rolling eyes.
Your child could feel tired for up to an hour after the seizure. This kind of simple febrile seizure will only occur once while your kid is unwell.
Frequent febrile seizures might last longer than 15 minutes, and your child’s symptoms can just affect a single body part.
Complex febrile seizures are the name given to this. There are situations when these seizures recur within a day or when your kid is unwell.
How to respond to a febrile seizure
Put your child in the recovery posture if they are experiencing a febrile seizure.
Try to record how long the seizure lasts while remaining beside your child
During a seizure, avoid giving your kid anything to swallow, even medication, since there’s a danger they might bite their tongue.
Take your Child to a Closest hospital if:
Your child is experiencing a seizure for the first time; the seizure lasts more than five minutes and shows no signs of ending; and you fear another catastrophic condition, such as meningitis, is to blame.
Your toddler is having trouble breathing. Although a significant issue is unlikely to exist, it is crucial to get your child examined.
Call your hospital or any emergency response facility if the seizure lasts more than five minutes and your child has previously had febrile seizures.
If your child seems to be experiencing dehydration (a lack of fluid in the body), you should also call a doctor
Seeing a Doctor
From a description of what transpired, febrile seizures are often identified. Since it’s rare that a doctor would see the seizure, it’s important to note:
What occurred during the seizure, such as the body stiffening, twitching of the face, arms, and legs, gazing, and loss of consciousness, and how long it lasted
If your child was able to recover within an hour or whether they had ever experienced a seizure
If the reason of your child’s sickness is unclear, more testing, such a blood or urine test, may be required.
It may be necessary to collect a urine sample from young children in a hospital since it may sometimes be challenging to do so.
If your kid exhibits uncommon symptoms or is experiencing complicated febrile seizures, more tests and hospital monitoring are often advised, especially if they are less than 12 months old.
The tests that might be suggested consist of:
A brain electrode study known as an electroencephalogram (EEG), which records the electrical activity of your child’s brain. Brain activity patterns that are unusual might sometimes be a sign of epilepsy. A lumbar puncture, which involves taking a little sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the spine for analysis. The CSF, a transparent liquid that surrounds and shields the brain and spinal cord, is clear. It is possible to tell whether your kid has a brain or nervous system infection via a lumbar puncture.
Febrile seizures’ causes
Even though they are associated with the onset of a high temperature, the aetiology of febrile seizures remains uncertain (fever).
Given that experiencing a seizure is more likely if a near relative has a history of them, febrile seizures may possibly have a hereditary component.
The child’s fever is often brought on by an infection. The flu, tonsillitis, chickenpox, and the flu are typical instances.
After a child receives a vaccine, febrile seizures are more likely to occur.
Recurrent Febrile Convulsion
One in three children who have had a febrile seizure may have another one during a later illness. Within a year following the first one, this often occurs.
Recurrence is more probable if:
Your child’s first febrile seizure occurred before they became 18 months old.
Before having their first seizure, your child had a fever that lasted less than an hour or had a temperature under 40 degrees Celsius, there is a history of seizures or epilepsy in your family.
Earlier, your youngster had a complicated febrile seizure (more than one seizure during their illness)
Your child goes to a daycare centre, which raises their risk of contracting common childhood illnesses like the flu or chickenpox.
It is not advised to offer your kid a prescription for typical medications to stop subsequent febrile seizures. This is due to the fact that the dangers of having seizures itself are outweighed by the negative side effects of many medications.
According to studies, using medications to lower temperatures is not likely to stop additional febrile seizures.
When seizures do occur, a physician may sometimes advise medication like midazolam or diazepam.
Children who have a febrile seizure after a regular vaccination—which is very rare—are no more likely to experience another seizure than kids who experience a seizure as a result of an illness.
Problems associated with febrile convulsion
An increased risk of epilepsy has been associated with febrile seizures.
Many parents are concerned that if their kid has one or more febrile seizures, they may eventually develop epilepsy. A person with epilepsy has frequent convulsions without a temperature.
There is little doubt that children who have had febrile convulsion are at a higher risk of having epilepsy, although this risk is still very low.
According to estimates, children who have had uncomplicated febrile convulsions have a one in fifty probability of having epilepsy in the future.
A 1 in 20 probability that a child with a history of complicated febrile episodes may grow up with epilepsy.
A 1 to 2 in 100 risk exists that someone who has never had febrile seizures would develop epilepsy.
Unlike the typical “blues” and daily emotions that children experience as they grow, childhood depression is distinct from these feelings. A young person may not always suffer from severe depression just because they look down. But if the melancholy persists or affects daily responsibilities like work, family, or friends, it may be a sign of a depressive disorder. Remember that although depression is a severe condition, it can be treated.
What Symptoms of Depression Can My Child Have?
There are several signs of childhood depression. Due to symptoms being misdiagnosed as typical emotional and psychological changes, the illness often goes unreported and untreated. Early medical research concentrated on “masked” depression, in which a child’s gloomy mood was shown by acting out or irrational conduct. While this may sometimes occur, especially in younger children, many kids also show signs of melancholy or depression, just like depressive adults. Sadness, a sense of helplessness, and mood swings are the main signs of depression.
Children that are depressed often exhibit the following symptoms:
Irritability or rage
Feelings of melancholy and hopelessness that never go away
being more susceptible to being rejected
Alterations in appetite, whether they be positive or negative
Variations in sleep (sleeplessness or excessive sleep)
Vocal screams or sobs
Low energy and weary
physical issues that don’t improve with therapy (such headaches and stomachaches)
Having issues with activities and events at home, with friends, at school, at extracurriculars, or with other interests or hobbies
Feelings of shame or worthlessness
Impaired focus or thinking
Suicidal or death-related ideas
Not all kids exhibit all of these symptoms. In actuality, most people exhibit various symptoms at various times and in various environments. While some youngsters with severe depression can still function quite well in organized surroundings, the majority of them will show a notable shift in their social lives, lose interest in school, do poorly academically, or change in appearance. A child may start taking drugs or alcohol as well, particularly if they are older than 12 years old.
Young children sometimes make suicide attempts, albeit they are very uncommon in those under the age of 12, and they can act impulsively when sad or angry. Although guys are more likely to actually commit suicide when they try it, girls are more likely to do so. Children who have depressive symptoms as well as those with a family history of violence, alcoholism, or physical or sexual abuse are more likely to commit suicide.
Which Children Experience Depression?
Up to 3% of children and 8% of teenagers suffer from depression. Boys under the age of 10 are substantially more likely to have the disorder. But at the age of 16, females are more likely to experience despair.
Adolescents are more likely than younger children to suffer from bipolar disorder. However, compared to adolescence, bipolar illness in children might be more severe. Additionally, it might coexist with or be concealed by conduct disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (CD).
What Leads to Childhood Depression?
Like in adults, any number of factors related to physical health, life events, family history, environment, genetic susceptibility, and biochemical disturbances may contribute to depression in children. Depression is a medical disorder that requires treatment and does not just go away on its own.
Childhood Depression May Be Preventable
Children who have a history of depression in the family are also more likely to develop the disorder. Children with depressive parents often experience their first depressive episode sooner than children with healthy parents. Children from chaotic or contentious homes as well as kids and teenagers who misuse drugs and alcohol are more likely to experience depression.
How Depression Diagnosed in Young People
Make an appointment with your kid’s doctor if their depressive symptoms have persisted for more than two weeks to rule out any medical causes and to ensure that your child is receiving the right care. It is also advised that you speak with a child-focused mental health specialist. Remember that the doctor can want a private conversation with your kid.
Interviews with you (the parent or main caregiver) and your kid should be a part of a mental health examination, along with any other necessary psychological testing. When demonstrating that these symptoms occur consistently throughout your child’s activities and represent a significant departure from prior conduct, information from instructors, friends, and classmates might be helpful.
Although there are no particular medical or psychological tests that may detect depression in children, tools like questionnaires (for the kid and parents) together with individualized data can be extremely helpful in making the diagnosis. Aside from depression, issues including ADHD, conduct disorder, and OCD may sometimes be found during treatment sessions and questionnaires.
Some physicians begin administering mental health tests to children during their annual well-child visits beginning in the 11th year.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force advises screening for major depressive disorder (MDD) in adolescents ages 12 to 18 and for anxiety in children and adolescents aged 8 to 18.
Similar to adult patients, children with depression may get medication and psychotherapy (counselling) as treatments. In the event that psychotherapy does not provide substantial results, your child’s doctor may next offer antidepressant medication. The most successful method for treating depression, according to the best research to date, is a combination of psychotherapy and medication.
The antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac), however, has been shown in tests to be beneficial in treating depression in children and adolescents. The FDA has formally approved the medication for the treatment of depressed youngsters between the ages of 8 and 18.
The majority of drugs used to treat paediatric depression come with a black box warning regarding the potential for escalating suicide ideation. It’s crucial to start and maintain these drugs under the guidance of a qualified physician, with whom you can also discuss your child’s particular risks and advantages.
Childhood Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Treatment for bipolar illness in children often includes psychotherapy as well as a cocktail of medications, typically an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer.
Antidepressants should be used with care since they may make bipolar youngsters appear maniacal or hyperactive for brief periods of time. A comprehensive care plan for a kid must include counselling and regular visits to the primary care provider, as well as medication management.
In children and adolescents with depression and other mental illnesses, the FDA issues a warning that antidepressant drugs may raise the risk of suicide thoughts and actions. Discuss any queries or concerns you may have with your physician. It’s also crucial to keep in constant contact with the doctor and therapist even if your kid is prescribed these meds.
According to studies, youngsters are developing their first cases of depression at earlier ages than in the past. Depression may recur later in life, just as it does in adults. The onset of various medical ailments and depression are often concurrent. Furthermore, early diagnosis, effective treatment, and constant supervision are essential since studies have shown that depression may be a precursor to more severe mental illnesses later in life.
It might be simpler for parents to downplay their child’s sadness than to acknowledge it. The societal stigmas attached to mental illness may drive you to put off getting assistance. In order for your kid to continue to develop physically and emotionally in a healthy manner, it is crucial for you as the parent to understand depression and appreciate the value of therapy. Additionally, it’s critical to educate yourself on the potential consequences depression may have on your kid as they approach puberty and adulthood.
Warning Signs of Childhood Depression
Parents need to be very watchful for any symptoms that might point to a suicide risk in their children.
Children who exhibit suicidal tendencies should be on the lookout for:
Several signs of depression (changes in eating, sleeping, activities)
Social exclusion, which also includes exclusion from the family
Mention suicide, apathy, or helplessness
Carrying out of unpleasant habits more often (sexual or behavioral)
Increased propensity towards taking risks
Giving away belongings
Accentuate gloomy and negative themes
Discuss death and dying
Decreased emotional expressiveness or increased sobbing
Take the time to hear your child’s worries if you think they may be sad. Even if you don’t consider the issue to be very pressing, keep in mind that it may be. Even though your child seems to want to distance themselves from you, it’s crucial to maintain contact. Avoid giving him or her instructions. Instead, pay careful attention and you could learn more about the problems’ root causes.
Consult a professional if you feel overburdened, unable to communicate with your child, or if your concerns persist.
What is Food Poisoning? Eating infected, rotten, or poisoned food may result in foodborne disease, often known as food poisoning. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea are among the signs of food poisoning that people often experience.
Food poisoning is very uncommon, despite the fact that it is quite unpleasant. According to research institutes, around 1 in 7 gets food poisoning every year. 128,000 of the 48 million individuals are in hospitals.
Symptoms of Food Poisoning
There’s a good probability that food poisoning won’t go unnoticed. Depending on the infection’s source, symptoms might change.
Several of the following symptoms are often present in food poisoning cases:
Food poisoning symptoms that might be fatal include:
More than three days of persistent diarrhoea
A temperature of 102°F (38.9°C) or greater
Having trouble speaking or seeing
Dry mouth, little to no urination, and trouble consuming drinks are all signs of severe dehydration.
Blood in urine
If you see any of these signs, get in touch with a doctor or get help right away.
What is the duration of food poisoning?
Depending on the source of the infection, the time it takes for symptoms to manifest might be as little as 30 minutes to as long as eight weeks. The majority of instances will be resolved in a week, treatment or no treatment.
Food poisoning causes
Bacteria, parasites, or viruses are the three main causes of the majority of food poisoning cases.
The majority of the food that people consume contains these viruses. However, viruses on food are often killed by heat during cooking before it reaches our plate. Due to their lack of preparation, raw foods are often the cause of food illness.
Occasionally, faecal debris or vomit-borne pathogens may touch food. This is most likely to happen if a sick person prepares food without washing their hands beforehand.
Products including meat, eggs, and dairy are regularly contaminated. Additionally, disease-causing microorganisms may be present in water.
Food poisoning is almost always caused by bacteria. Among the bacterial causes of food poisoning are :
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in specific (STEC)
Salmonella and E. coli are immediately thought of when considering harmful bacteria, and for good cause.
The most common bacterial cause of food poisoning incidents in the United States is salmonella. A salmonella infection is thought to be the cause of 1,350,000 instances of food poisoning annually, including 26,500 hospitalizations.
Two lesser-known but potentially fatal bacteria that may be found in our food are campylobacter and C. botulinum.
Although parasites that spread via food are exceedingly harmful, food poisoning caused by parasites is less frequent than food poisoning caused by bacteria. They consist of:
A number of tapeworms, including:
Saginata Taenia (beef tapeworm)
Solium Taenia (pork tapeworm)
Latum Diphyllobothrium (fish tapeworm)
Roundworm of the species Ascaris lumbricoides
Flukes (flatworms), such as the liver fluke family Opisthorchiidae and the Paragonimus (lung fluke)
either enterobiasis or pinworms
Toxoplasmosis is a prominent cause of food poisoning-related deaths in the US. Cat litter boxes may potentially contain Toxoplasma gondii.
Your digestive system may harbour parasites that can go unnoticed for years. If some parasites establish a home in a person’s intestines, they may cause more severe adverse effects, especially in immune-compromised individuals and women who are pregnant.
A virus, such as the following, may also result in food poisoning:
Norovirus, sometimes referred to as the Norwalk virus
Viral hepatitis A
19 to 21 million cases of the norovirus occur each year. Similar symptoms are caused by other viruses, although they are less prevalent. It is also possible for food to spread the hepatitis A virus, which damages the liver.
Most food poisoning cases may be handled at home. The following are some methods for treating food poisoning:
Keep hydrated. It’s essential to drink enough water if you have food illness. Electrolyte-rich sports beverages may be beneficial. Fruit juice and coconut water may aid with tiredness and carbohydrate restoration.
Steer clear of coffee, which may aggravate the digestive system. An upset stomach may be soothed by decaffeinated teas infused with calming herbs including chamomile, peppermint, and dandelion.
Use over-the-counter (OTC) drugs following proper prescription: OTC medicines like Pepto-Bismol and loperamide (Imodium), which is used to treat diarrhoea, may help you control nausea.
The body utilises vomiting and diarrhoea to get the poison out of the system, therefore you should see a doctor before taking these drugs. Additionally, using these drugs may make your condition seem worse than it is and make you put off getting professional help.
A typical treatment for pinworms is pyrantel pamoate (Reese’s Pinworm Medicine).
Utilize prescription drugs
Depending on the organism that caused their sickness, some patients may benefit from prescription drugs even though many instances of food poisoning resolve on their own.
People who are pregnant, immunocompromised, or elderly may benefit from prescription drugs. Treatment with antibiotics during pregnancy aids in preventing the spread of illness to the developing child.
For the following illnesses, your doctor may advise one of these regimens if you need to take prescription medications:
A. lumbricoides: albendazole (Albenza) or mebendazole, two antiparasitic drugs (Enverm)
Campylobacter: azithromycin as a treatment (Zithromax)
Cryptosporidium: Diarrhea is treated with the antiparasitic drug nitazoxanide (Alinia).
D. latum (fish tapeworm): praziquantel, an antiparasitic (Biltricide)
Mebendazole (Albenza) or albendazole for enterobiasis (pinworms) (Enverm)
Lamblia, G: Itazoxanide (Alinia) (Alinia)
The antibiotics quinacrine, paromomycin, metronidazole (Flagyl), or furazolidone
Tinidazole, an antibiotic and antiparasitic drug, is also known as Tindamax.
L. monocytogenes: ampicillin as a medication, Praziquantel (Biltricide) or albendazole for opisthorchiidae (liver fluke) (Albenza)
Praziquantel (Biltricide) or the antiparasitic drug triclabendazole are alternatives to paragonimus (lung fluke) (Egaten)
Shigella: ciprofloxacin or azithromycin (Zithromax) as an antibiotic (Cipro)
Albendazole (Albenza) or mebendazole for Trichinella (Enverm)
DRUG USE OFF-LABEL
Off-label drug usage refers to the use of a medication for a use other than that for which it has been authorised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The medicine may still be used for that purpose by a physician, nevertheless. This is so that the FDA does not oversee how physicians utilise pharmaceuticals to treat their patients, just the testing and approval of drugs. As a result, your doctor is free to prescribe a medicine if they believe it would benefit your treatment.
Get an anti-toxin
A Clostridium botulinum infection is regarded as a medical emergency. Consult a doctor as soon as you can.
An antitoxin will be given to you by a doctor if you have C. botulinum. B
abyBIG, an unique antitoxin, will be administered to infants (botulism immune globulin).
Getting plenty of rest is essential for folks who have food illness.
If your situation is dire, you may need intravenous (IV) fluid hydration in a hospital if your food poisoning is severe.
In the severe instances of food poisoning, you may need to remain in the hospital for a longer period of time while you recuperate. Rarely, individuals with severe cases of C. botulinum may even need mechanical breathing.
When you get food poisoning, what should you eat and drink?
It’s preferable to progressively delay eating solid meals until after vomiting and diarrhoea have stopped. Instead, gradually return to your usual diet by consuming bland, easy-to-digest foods and low-fat beverages like:
Sea salt crackers
sodas without caffeine, like root beer or ginger ale
fruit juices diluted
What not to do
Even if you feel better, try to avoid eating the following difficult-to-digest items to keep your stomach from becoming worse:
Dairy items, particularly milk and cheese
A fatty diet
Foods that have a lot of sugar
Spices in food
Avoid as well:
How Food Poisoning is Diagnosed
Based on your symptoms, a doctor may be able to determine what kind of food poisoning you have.
In extreme situations, tests on your blood, faeces, and consumed food may be performed to identify the cause of the food poisoning. If you have food poisoning, your doctor may order a urine test to determine if you are dehydrated.
The Risk Factors
Food poisoning may affect anybody. According to statistics, almost everyone will have food poisoning at some point in their life.
Some populations are more vulnerable than others. These consist of:
Immune weakened individuals. Anyone who has an autoimmune disorder or a reduced immune system may be more susceptible to infections and other side effects from food poisoning.
Pregnant women. Because their bodies are adjusting to changes in their metabolism and circulatory system throughout pregnancy, pregnant persons are more at risk.
Older people. Additionally, those 65 and older are more likely to get food poisoning. This is due to the possibility that their immune systems do not react promptly to infectious agents.
Younger children. Because their immune systems are still developing compared to those of adults, children under the age of five are likewise seen as a group at risk. Vomiting and diarrhoea may cause dehydration more readily in young children.
How to Prevent Food Poisoning
The easiest approach to avoid getting food poisoning is to handle your food carefully and steer clear of any potentially dangerous foods.
Due to the methods used in their production and preparation, certain foods are more prone to result in food illness.
Certain foods may contain infectious organisms that are destroyed after cooking, such as:
If these items are consumed uncooked, improperly prepared, or if hands and surfaces aren’t washed after contact, food poisoning may result.
Additional foods that might result in food poisoning include:
Sushi and other fish dishes that are served cold or uncooked
Hot dogs and deli meats that haven’t been heated or cooked
Possibly containing flesh from many animals is ground beef.
Raw milk, raw cheese, and juice
Produce that is raw and unwashed
Attempt to prevent food poisoning by following these steps:
Be sure to wash your hands before handling food or cooking.
Make sure your food is wrapped and kept appropriately.
Cook eggs and meat to perfection.
Before using it to make other dishes, sanitise everything that has touch with raw foods.
Always wash produce before serving it, especially fruits.
Food poisoning seldom poses a serious danger to life. Despite how terrible food poisoning may be, most sufferers fully recover within a few days, even without medical intervention.