Friday, March 30, 2012


Jaundice comes from the French word jaune, which means yellow is a yellowing of the skin, sclera and mucous membranes caused by increased levels of bilirubin in the human body.

Causes of Jaundice
When red blood die, the heme in their hemoglobin is converted to bilirubin in the spleen and in the kupffer cells in the liver. The bilirubin is processed by the liver, enters bile and is eventually excreted through feces.

Consequently, there are three different classes of causes for jaundice. Pre-hepatic or hemolytic causes, where too many red blood cell are broken down, hepatic causes where the processing of bilirubin in the liver does not function correctly, and post-hepatic or extra hepatic causes, where the removal of bile is disturbed.

Pre-hepatic (or hemolytic) jaundice is caused by anything that causes an increased rate of hemolysis (breakdown of red blood cells). In tropical countries, malaria can cause jaundice in this manner. Certain genetic diseases, such as sickle cell anemia and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency can lead to increase red cell lysis and therefore hemolytic jaundice. Defects in bilirubin metabolism also present as jaundice. Jaundice usually comes with high fevers.

Hepatic Jaundice
Hepatic causes include acute hepatitis, hepatotoxicity and alcoholic liver disease whereby cell necrosis reduces the liver's ability to metabolize and excrete bilirubin leading to a build up in the blood. Less common causes include primary biliary cirrhosis, Gilbert's syndrome and metastatic carcinoma. Jaundice commonly seen in the newborn baby is another example of hepatic jaundice.


All human beings have a thyroid gland in their neck. The swelling of this thyroid gland is called goitre. This disease is caused when there is lack of iodine. The thyroid gland produces thyroxin hormone which helps the growth and development of the person to perform various functions of the body. This gland deposits the iodine received from the food and on the need of the body, it changes into the thyroxin. Thus, it supplies the iodine.

But when the food taken the iodine, the thyroid gland cannot produce thyroxin. In order to produce thyroxin, the thyroid gland itself enlarges and appears swelling in front of the neck. This condition of the thyroid gland at the neck is known as goitre. The occurrence of goitre is a preliminary symptom of the deficiency of iodine. It can be treated at the primary stage. As it becomes too large, it is difficult to treat and reduce it.

Symptoms of Goitre
  • The thyroid gland enlarges in the throat. As a result, a swelling is visible in front of the neck.
  • The weight of the thyroid gland increases from its usual weight (25 grams to 200 grams even up to 500 grams.)
  • It disturbs the physical and mental development.
  • Dwarfness if not treated timely.
Preventive measures of Goitre
The food in our daily meal should contain iodine. Among the sources of iodine, the fished of the sea and the vegetables grown near sea sides are found highly rich in iodine compound. If these items of food are not available, we can use the salt mixed with iodine. In case, iodine is not available, we can use iodine tablets or even iodine injection too. If the goitre has already appeared, according to the advice of the physician it is better to take an injection of iodine or potassium iodine and thyroxin. This type of treatment reduces the goitre. But if goitre has already grown too large, it cannot be treated at all. So, adopting preventive measure in time is the best solution.

Night Blindness

Night blindness is a disease of a person who cannot see well at early dawn and in the evening time. But during the day, the person suffering from this disease can see like other healthy people. This disease is caused by the deficiency of vitamin A in their daily diet. If a pregnant mother can not get food that contains vitamin A, her baby may suffer from night blindness. Mainly, children and pregnant women are suffered from this disease. Apart from it, if babies are not treated in time, they may become completely blind in their future.

Causes of Night Blindness
Vitamin A keeps retina healthy. There are two types of cells in retina, which are called rods and cons. Rods help to see at dim light and cons help to see at bright light. The capacity of vision depends upon the substances called Rhodopsin which is found in retina. Rhodopsin is obtained from vitamin D. The deficiency of vitamin A minimizes the vision power. Deficiency of vitamin A causes dryness in cornea and conjunctivitis of eyes.

Symptoms of Night Blindness
  • In dim light and in the evening, they can not see the objects well.
  • If the children have this disease, they cannot move here and there in the evening. They are found to be sitting inn one place.
  • They cannot see very well in the bright light.
  • Their eyes seem bright, rough and dried.
  • There appear small spots called Bitot's spot in the white part of the eyes.
Preventive measures of night Blindness
In order to prevent this disease, the babies should be saved from diseases like diarrhea, hookworms and measles. Children should be immunized. Proper hygiene should be maintained to prevent these diseases. Foods containing vitamin A like green vegetables, carrot, pumpkins, papaya, eggs, fish, meat, milk, ghee, mango, orange etc. should be taken which keep our eyes healthy. If there is a slight doubt about this disease we must consult physician.