Tag Archives: Tomography

How Are Kidney Stones Diagnosed

Do you have kidney stones? You will never know until you are examined by a doctor because the symptoms associated with this problem are very similar to UTI or urinary tract infection.

So, you have to set an appointment with the doctor. While there, he or she will review your medical history and conduct a physical examination before running some tests.

If you are a regular patient of the doctor, it will be easy to pull your file out. However, if this is your first time, you will have to fill up the form and get your medical files.

Your medical history does not say much about kidney stones especially if you have never had this before which is why the next step is to conduct a physical examination. Here, the doctor will look at you physically and touch certain areas. This is hard for the doctor to do if the patient is in extreme pain.

So the best way to confirm initial findings is through laboratory tests. The doctor will either extract blood or ask a urine sample from you.

You may also have to be scanned and there are a variety of machines for that. These include a computed tomography (CT) scan, intravenous pyelogram (IVP), retrograde pyelogram, and the regular X-ray.

The CT scan is used for various examinations. A scanner and a computer are used to create images of the urinary system. The only problem is that it has difficulty detecting small stones if they are located near the bladder. If a stone is found, an x-ray follows to determine the orientation, shape and size of the kidney stone.

Intravenous Pyelogram or IVP is done after a contrasting agent is injected into the vein. Within minutes, the test will show if there is a kidney stone blocking the ureter. This is perhaps the best method to check if you have kidney stones even if there is a slight risk for an allergic reaction to the fluid that was injected into the vein.

If you think that the ultrasound is only used to see the baby growing inside the womb, think again because it can also be used to detect a dilated upper urinary tract and kidney if the stone is lodged in the ureter. Its limitation is that it cannot detect kidney stones that are no longer in the kidney area.

Another term for retrograde pyelogram is a cytoscopy. The test begins by inserting a telescopic instrument into the bladder. Then, similar to the IVP, a contrast agent is injected into this opening and an x-ray is done to find the kidney stone.

Some doctors say this is better than IVP because there is no way to get an allergic reaction from the contrasting agent. This is because you will first be injected with anesthesia so in essence, you dont feel anything.

Among the different tests done to detect kidney stones, this is only used when other tests have proven to be inadequate or unsuccessful.

It is only after careful diagnosis that doctors will be able to tell if you have kidney stones or not. From there, they can treat you by giving some medication or advising you to drink lots of water because you may be able to expel the stones on your own. But if this does not work, then surgery is the next option.

Do You have Kidney Stones

Is there blood when you urinate or do you feel pain coming from your back or pelvis? If your answer to these two questions is yes, then you may have kidney stones in your body and the only way to be sure is to have yourself examined by a doctor.

The two symptoms mentioned are just some of the symptoms that tell you if you have kidney stones. Other symptoms include fevers or chills, feeling or being sick, frequency urinating and feeling a burning sensation when you urinate.

It is hard to tell just by how you feel if you do have kidney stones because these symptoms are also felt by those who have UTI or urinary tract infection.

When you go to your doctor, he or she will have to do a system of checks. This will include reviewing your medical history, conducting a physical examination and doing some tests.

The best way to rule out UTI is to extract a sample of urine or blood and scanned using one or two machines that may be a computed tomography (CT) scan, intravenous pyelogram (IVP), retrograde pyelogram or X-ray.

To give you a better understanding of what these machines are;

The CT scan is used not only to tell if you have a kidney stone because it can be used for other purposes. In the case of kidney stones, the doctor will tell the technician to focus on your urinary system.

The only problem with the CT scan is that it cannot detect small stones when these are located near the bladder. TO be sure, an x-ray will be done to tell the doctor its orientation, shape and size.

The Intravenous Pyelogram or IVP is another option and this can only work after you have been injected with a contrasting agent. Once this is flowing through your kidney, it will be easy for the machine to see if you have a kidney stone blocking the ureter.

There are risks for conducting this test especially if you have a slight allergic reaction to the fluid that was used.

The ultrasound has other uses and letting you know the size of your baby is just one of them. The doctor may also use this device to check if you have kidney stones located in your upper urinary tract or in your ureter. Unfortunately, it cannot be used to check for kidney stones in other parts of the body.

Another test is called the retrograde pyelogram is a cytoscopy. This test is similar to the IVP because it also uses a contrasting agent. The only difference is that once you are injected, a slam telescopic instrument is sent it to check the bladder.

In most cases, patients who may have kidney stones do not need to undergo these tests because the others mentioned have already confirmed that.

When doctors are sure that you have kidney stones and determined the type this is in your body, only then will they be able to treat it. The doctor may or may not have to give you medication. In extreme cases, surgery may be the only option.

Kidney stones happen more often to men than women. If you feel something wrong down there, dont wait until things get worse to see your doctor.

Appendicitis in Kids

Many children have their appendix removed even before turning the age of fourteen. And the risk starts to peak as they age. Majority of children who get an abdominal surgery is because of appendicitis. Appendicitis is actually appendix inflammation and as a result, a fingerlike tube grows on the lower right part of large intestine. Appendix is located at the closed end of the larger intestine, known as the cecum, and measures up to many inches. Although, doctors say that the appendix isnt of much help to the body, but appendixs inner wall releases antibodies, which are produced by the lymphatic tissues.

Appendicitis can be detected by the onset of pain in the middle portion of the abdomen, the portion above the belly button. After a few hours the area will swell and there will be intense pain when touching the abdomens right side. The patient will begin to vomit and will have nausea. There will low fever and there will be problems will gas and stool passage. Some people, after the onset of these symptoms, will take laxatives or enemas mistaking appendicitis for constipation. But this is extremely dangerous, as these medicines will in turn increase the risk of the appendix bursting. So it is recommended to consult the doctor before going for any kind of medication, even any pain relievers. Besides increasing the risk, they even mask the symptoms and makes diagnosis even more hard. If the childs symptoms are very much similar to that of the appendicitis symptoms, he should be immediately taken to the doctor for further diagnosis. The doctor will first study the childs digestive illnesses history. He should also be divulged information about the symptoms, timing, bowel movements and its frequency. The stool should also be checked for mucus or blood. Children, who can communicate, can be asked to point out the location of pain in the abdomen. Toddlers who havent started talking or who hesitate to do talk will raise their knees close to the chest, hips will be flexed and the abdomen becomes tender.

Although, the actual cause of this abnormal growth of the appendix is not known, but it can result because of some kind of obstruction or infection in the intestines. The obstruction can be created due to thick mucus build-up inside the appendix. Some part of the stool can also enter inside. There will be mucus formation and the stool will harden within resulting in the swelling up of the appendix. If it is an infection, it should be treated immediately, as it can burst and there is a danger of the infection spreading to other parts of the body via bloodstream. That is the reason why even blood test is done, so as to determine whether the infection has spread or not. The urine test is done to check for problems in the urinary tract. The problem is then confirmed with the help of computed tomography or an ultrasound. Sometimes children with pneumonia have the similar symptoms, so to make matters clear even X-ray of the chest is done. Medical attention must be sought within forty eight hours of the start of the abdominal pain. Sometimes, abdomen develops mild inflammation, many weeks before the diagnosis is done.

After the diagnosis is done and appendicitis is determined, appendectomy is performed on the patient. The doctor will immediately order the intake of antibiotics before the surgery is performed. In case of confined appendicitis, it can be treated solely by antibiotics and no surgery is required. This is because the inflammation is very mild and the body itself fights with the infection. But, still as a precautionary measure, such kinds of patients must be kept in observation until their condition becomes stabilized. If the appendix ruptured then appendicle perforation is done. In this procedure, a drain is inserted inside the skin, through the abscess with the help of CT scan or ultrasound which gives the exact location. Some people develop complications later such as wound infection and accumulation of puss inside the appendix.

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Sprains and Strains in Adolescents

Sprains and strains are among the majority of the injuries caused while playing sports. Sports injuries can be caused by small trauma which involves ligaments, muscles and tendons including bruises, sprains and strains. The body part which is most commonly involved in spraining or straining is the ankle. The 3 ligaments that are involved during ankle sprain or strain include anterior talofubular ligament, posterior talofibular ligament and calcaneofibular ligament.

An injury caused to the soft tissue as a result of a direct force like fall, kick and blow is called a contusion or a bruise. A sprain is nothing but a ligament injury which is wrenched or twisted. Sprains usually affect knees, wrists and ankles. On the other hand a strain is an injury caused to a tendon or muscle which usually results from force, stretching and overuse.

Sprains/Strains are usually diagnosed by a physician after a physical examination. The physician asks for thorough medical history of the adolescent and asks various questions that lead to the cause of the injury. Various diagnostic procedures are also available which also helps in evaluating the problem. X-ray is one of the oldest and common diagnostic tests done to know the extent and exact location of the injury. An x-ray uses electromagnetic waves to get photos of internal tissues, organs and bones onto a film. MRI scan is one of the recently evolved diagnostic procedures which also help in evaluating a physical injury. This procedure actually called Magnetic Resonance Imaging makes use of bug magnets, computer and radio frequencies to get detailed pictures of structures and organs inside the body. Another diagnostic procedure called Computed Tomography Scan or CT scan is also used to evaluate the extent and location of injury. This procedure uses a blend of computers and x-rays to get cross sectional pictures in horizontal and vertical alignment. It shows thorough pictures of any part of the body like muscles, bones, fat and organs. They provide more information than conventional x-rays.

There are various symptoms of strain and sprain depending on each teens physical condition and they may vary accordingly. One of the symptoms includes pain in and around the area injury. There could also be a swelling around the injured area. Some teens also experience difficulty when they use or move the area of the body that is injured. Some teenagers also undergo bruises or redness in the area that is injured. Many times the symptoms of sprains and strains may look similar to other medical conditions and a doctors advice is the best option in this scenario.

Depending on various factors the treatment of sprains and strains will be prescribed by the teenagers physician that include teenagers age, overall health of the teenager, and medical history of the adolescent. To what extent the teen is injured is also a factor in determining the nature of treatment. A teenagers level of tolerance to certain medications, therapies and procedures is also taken into consideration before opting for a particular method of treatment. The treatment also depends of what expectations one has and also preference and opinion.

Various options available for treatment include things like restriction of the activity after the injury, application of cast/splint on the injured spot, crutches or wheelchair, physical therapy which involves stretching exercises to give strength to the muscles, tendons and ligaments that are injured and last but not the least is the surgery which is opted for in worst case scenario.

In the long-term scenario bruises, sprains and strains heal pretty quickly in kids and teenagers but it is important that the adolescent sticks to the restrictions imposed during the treatment and healing process like restriction of activity and regularly attending physical therapy sessions if any. It is noted that majority of the sports related injuries results either due to traumatic injury or excessive use of muscles and joints. But, they can be avoided and prevented with right training, by wearing right protective gears and by using right equipment for training.

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