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ECG test for heart health

Quickly Understanding the ECG Procedure

ECG or the Electrocardiogram is a painless bedside test that looks at how the electricity is conducted throughout your heart. It records the electrical signals in your heart to monitor heart health.

An ECG test is conducted to investigate:

1. Palpitations
2. Arrhythmias
3. Chest pain
4. Shortness of breath
5. Hypertension

heart health test

ECG Procedure

An ECG is simple procedure which can be conducted quickly in a doctor’s clinic.

In an ECG test, Stickers like electrodes, also known as ECG Electrodes are stuck on to the chest wall, and sometimes the arms and legs of the patient. These electrodes are sensors which detect electrical activities in your heart and gives us information about it. These electrodes are connected by wires to a machine.

Electrocardiogram for heart health condition

This machine gives us a print out which a medical doctor can read. It is not painful, and you cannot get shocked because it is measuring the flow of electricity in your heart not putting any electricity into your heart!

Sometimes, a particularly hairy man might have to have some small patches of hair shaved from his chest first, so that the stickers can stick to his skin properly.

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copper coil and birth control for women

Difference Between Copper Coil IUD and Mirena Coil IUS

What is Copper IUD Insertion?

An example of a long acting, reversible Non-hormonal method is the Copper coil. (Also called the IUD) This is a small T shaped copper device that is inserted into a woman’s womb and can be left there for up to 5-10 years depending on the brand/device.

This is done in a normal Doctor’s office without anesthetic and is a bit like having a pap smear done as a speculum is used. This device works as the copper has a spermicidal effect (it kills sperm) and it also, prevents the implantation in the womb of a fertilized egg. If a woman wishes to become pregnant after having it fitted, copper coil IUD can be removed at any time and there will be no delay in return to fertility.

copper coil and birth control for women

It is good for women who prefer not to have hormones in their bodies. The downside is that it can sometimes make the periods heavier and a little more painful but not in everyone.

What is Mirena coil Insertion?

In contrast the Mirena coil (Also called the IUS) lasts up to five years and does contain one hormone, Progesterone which is released slowly very locally into the womb. It acts by thinning the lining of the womb to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting.

In some women, it also inhibits ovulation. (stops the ovaries from releasing an egg each month). The advantage is that Mirena coil significantly reduces blood flow and so the period becomes much lighter. In some women, the period may even temporarily stop altogether after many months of use. This is not harmful and many women prefer this.

many women prefer Mirena coil in case of heavy periods

For this reason, Doctors rarely have to remove the womb (hysterectomy) just for heavy bleeding anymore. It is therefore ideal for women who suffer with heavy periods. A disadvantage is that some women can get irregular bleeding especially during the first 3 months of use. This tends to settle doesn’t but doesn’t always. Again, it can be removed at any time if a woman wishes to become pregnant.

Any Risks Involved?

During insertion both types of coils carry a 1/1000 risk of perforation (the womb being punctured) and because the womb is a muscle in 1/20 cases the coil can be pushed out although generally if this is going to happen it will happen in the first 3 weeks. For this reason, all women should return for a coil check 3-6 weeks after insertion.

All women must return for a copper coil or Mirena coil check 3-6 weeks after insertion

Women who have pelvic infections or who have multiple partners and are therefore at higher risk of pelvic infections should consider another method.

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Sexual Health and Importance of STD and STI Testing

Sexual health is often neglected. Usually people are very shy to discuss their sexual health and talk about STDs and STIs. There is a social stigma toward the subject. But since there are 340 million cases around the world the awareness needs to increase.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are transmitted through sexual intercourse between two people and are also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or venereal diseases. More than 1 million infections are reported daily. There is a thin line between STDs and STIs. STI stands for sexually transmitted infection and may not develop into a disease. You can think of STI’s as the initial stage of an STD.

If left unchecked, STI and STD can have serious repercussions. For example, mother-to-child transmission of STIs can result in stillbirth, neonatal death, low-birth-weight and prematurity, sepsis, pneumonia, neonatal conjunctivitis, and congenital deformities.

If left unchecked, STI and STD can have serious repercussions. For example, mother-to-child transmission of STIs can result in stillbirth, neonatal death, low-birth-weight and premature birth, sepsis, pneumonia, neonatal conjunctivitis, and congenital deformities.

The various symptoms of STIs and STDs:

  • Rashes near the genital area
  • Warts and sores near anus, mouth and genitals
  • Swelling and redness, bleeding and painful urination.
  • Fever, sweating, chills and itchiness
  • Painful sex and discharge of fluids from the genitals

If any of the following symptoms are found in a person, then the said person needs to immediately contact a medical doctor. The doctor may suggest various tests and treatments. It is extremely necessary to cure STDs and STIs as they have a risk of transmission and dissemination to another person in case of any sexual activity.

Ways to control STDs are:

  • Providing necessary sexual health education and awareness
  • Using Condoms
  • Practice monogamy and restricting the number of sexual partners
  • Regular STD and STI checkups.

The major types of STDs and STD tests:

Chlamydia: Chlamydia is caused by Chlamydia Trachomatis. It only affects humans and is an extremely common cause of genital and eye diseases. But women often don’t show symptoms of these diseases. Painful intercourse, bleeding between periods, rectal infections and discharge of fluids are the most common symptoms of Chlamydia. A urine test or a swab of discharge from the cervix for culture or antigen testing which is called a Pap test is used to determine chlamydia.

Chancroid: Also, known as soft chancre and ulcus molle, is caused by bacteria called streptobacillushaemophilusducreyi. This causes sores in genitals and is very common among sex workers. As soon as a person is infected, they start developing bumps which turn into ulcers. It may bleed as well.  Diagnosis is usually done by identifying bacteria Hemophilus ducreyi in a culture from a genital ulcer. A Gram stain test might be misleading.

Genital herpes: Herpes is a recurring condition in human beings. They are of two types which are Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is acquired through straws, utensils and surfaces. The most common symptoms may include: 

  • Blisters or ulcers
  • Pain while urination
  • Fever, cold sores

PCR test and cell culture can be used to identify herpes. The PCR test identifies the existence of the virus’s DNA by examining fluids from the genitals.

Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B can be caused by unsafe sex, unsterilized syringes, drinking infected breast milk, getting pricked by sharp objects etc. It results in liver failure which can eventually lead to cancer. Though it can be prevented using vaccinations. A simple blood test, liver ultrasound or liver biopsy can identify Hepatitis B.

HIV/ AIDS: Human immuno deficiency syndrome intervenes with the immune system leaving the host to fall prey to infections and diseases. HIV is transmitted through:

  • Sexual intercourse
  • Blood to blood contact
  • Breast feeding
  • Needles and syringes

If you are looking for STD STI Testing center in Trinidad, the book an appointment with the medical professionals at Ames Medical Service.

      

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Learn about Diabetes Test Treatment and Symptoms

Diabetes Test Treatment and Symptoms

What causes diabetes?

There are two types of Diabetes; Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system starts to destroy beta cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Insulin plays a major role in controlling the body’s blood sugar levels. This renders the body incapable of producing insulin which causes diabetes; also known as autoimmune reaction.

Early diagnosis and prevention can help slow down the damage and retain normal insulin production. It is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the glucose levels in your body spike, also known as Hyperglycemia. The body needs glucose for energy and the pancreas help convert this glucose into energy by producing insulin, which is a hormone. The causes of diabetes can be any of the following;

  • Hereditary
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Environmental factors
  • Unhealthy Diet
  • Lifestyle
  • Genetics

What causes Type 2 Diabetes?

Learn about Diabetes Test Treatment and Symptoms

Type 2 Diabetes is usually seen in adults as opposed to children, but reports show that more and more children are being affected by this disease. Type 2 diabetes is said to occur when to body becomes resistant to insulin. This means that the body becomes incapable of using insulin as it should. To elaborate, it means that your body may be able to produce insulin, but is unable to break the glucose down, resulting in a glucose build up in the body. Genetics and lifestyle are some of the most common causes of type 2 diabetes.

The causes of type 2 diabetes include various factors such as:

  • Pregnancy
  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor food habits
  • Age
  • Family History

The causes of gestational diabetes remains unknown, but is said to occur if the mother or fetus is overweight, or if the mother is diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome. Another cause of gestational diabetes is the placental hormones that help a baby develop. These hormones cause insulin resistance in the mother’s body, causing diabetes.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Find out Symptoms of Diabetes

In many cases Diabetes can go undiagnosed for several days due to lack of symptoms. There are many symptoms to look out for. The symptoms may differ for men and woman, however, some of the symptoms are common for both. Common symptoms include:

  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent Urination
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
  • Constant thirst and hunger
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches

Rise in Diabetes in Trinidad

Statistics show that there are more than 200,000 people living with diabetes in Trinidad and Tobago. According to the Diabetes association of T&T, this figure is seeing a rapid increase. The disease is on the rise and there are many measures put in place by the Government to curb the rapid spread of it. The authorities are trying to bring about a change in the outlook of the people by creating awareness and educating them about the effects of diabetes.

Schools have stopped the sale of sugary drinks to help prevent juvenile diabetes. The powers that be are assessing the situation and are doing everything they can to negate the rapid spread of diabetes before it spirals out of control. They are encouraging healthy eating habits and regular exercise to maintain good health and prevent diabetes. People with diabetes and prediabetes should take cognizance of the issue and proactively run regular health checks and live healthy in order to prevent the disease. Education is the only way to prevent this chronic disease.

Rise in Diabetes in Trinidad and Tobago

Diabetes Test

HB A1C or Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test:

This test measures the percentage of your hemoglobin that is covered with sugar. Hemoglobin is a protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen. This test indicates the average blood sugar levels for the past three months. A1c below 5.7 is considered normal. Anything >5.7and <6.4 indicates prediabetes. A diabetic patient will have A1C levels exceeding 6.5

Random plasma glucose (RPG) test:

An RPG can be done at any given time and does not need for the patient to have fasted. A person with a random blood sugar level of 200 milligrams per or higher is considered diabetic.

Fasting blood sugar test

A blood sample is drawn after 12 hours of fasting. If the blood sugar level is > 126 mg/dL you have diabetes.

Oral glucose tolerance test:

This test is commonly used during pregnancy for diagnosing gestational diabetes. It includes 2 separate tests. The first sample is drawn post a 12 hour fast and the second after consuming food. A blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL is normal. A reading of more than 200 mg/dL after two hours indicates diabetes.

Get an appointment for Diabetes test in Trinidad

Treatment and Care for Diabetes

Your treatment will start after diagnosing your condition. Treatments differ for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Usually insulin and oral medications are used for the treatment of diabetes. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and regulating your diet will also play an important role in the treatment of diabetes. Depending on the type of diabetes you have been diagnosed with, your Caregiver will prescribe certain medications and will ask you to refrain from certain food groups.

It is important to check your sugar levels frequently and visit you doctor at regular intervals. Screening and prevention of diabetes is the only way to curb the deadly disease, and there is no one better than you to take ownership of your own health and well-being.

If you need to get yourself tested for Diabetes then book an appointment with medical professionals at Ames Medical Services.

Diabetes Test Appointment

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Radio Program: Quack Medicine 13.7.16

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Radio Program: Type 2 Diabetes

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The Flu Shot

The Flu Shot

The Flu Jab (Influenza Vaccine)

Many of you may remember that it’s that time of year when we will start pestering some of you to come in for your ‘Flu jabs! The Human Flu virus is different to common colds in that it can cause vulnerable people to become much more unwell with high fevers and muscle aches.

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Tests All Women Should Have

The Tests All Women Should Have

Everyone asks me “So what tests should I be having” There is no one answer. It depends on your age and personal circumstances.

Safe Sex:

Certainly as soon as a woman is contemplating becoming sexually active she needs to thinks about “Safe Sex” – both to prevent Sexually transmitted infections and to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.

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Busting 5 Common Cancer Myths

Busting 5 Common Cancer Myths

So what really causes Cancer? Is Breast Cancer really the result of Aluminum in antiperspirant? Do mobile phones really cause brain cancer? And what about plastic bottles of water left in the sun in the car to heat up. Is it MSG? What’s the truth? Let’s dissect each of these in turn with the available evidence rather than relying on urban myth.

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