• Defecation is a natural process of the body. When you eat your stomach full, and it is digested and absorbed by the body for producing energy, the leftovers that cannot be used by the body come out in the form of poop. Most of the people are uncomfortable talking about this natural process, but the fact is that there are a lot of factors that can govern the health of your gut and defecation formulates as one of the most critical factors that can help you determine if everything is right with the digestive system of your body. Hence, it is imperative to understand the stool color chart so that you can follow the digestive system better.

    What are the factors that determine the health of the gut?
    Various criteria can determine if you had a normal poop. Some of these factors are as follows:

    Color

    • The standard color of the poop is brown like the bark of the tree, and it is due to the pigment called bilirubin. The other colors of the poop can be because of the food that you take or other factors. It is best to determine the same with the help of a stool color chart.
    • As per the stool color chart, the green color of the poop could be because of the green vegetables and the presence of iron in the food. If you have had spinach or kale a night before, you might be able to witness a green stool.
    • If you have had a lot of fat in your last meal then you poop may smell bad and could be yellow. It might take more than one time to clear out the stomach properly.

    Appearance
    A straight log or snake-like poop is supposedly the standard way of pooping. If you feel a lot of pressure while defecating and do not feel comfortable even after you are done with the process, then you indeed are suffering from a digestive issue and must consult a doctor.

    Size
    The average size of the poop is about the size of your hand.

    Consistency
    If you are defecating in bits and pieces, you may be suffering from an infection in your gut, and it should be consulted with the doctor.

    Time
    How many times do you go to pass a stool will determine if you are in sync with the stool color chart.

    Therefore, it is needless to say that talking about poop is definitely a no-shame business and must be encouraged to discuss and thus avoid any kind of issues in the gut. It is advisable that you visit a doctor if you are suffering from gut issues and understand the tool chart to be on the safer side.

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  • Bone spurs, technically known as osteophytes are an extra outgrowth of bone mostly at the extreme ends of bones and joints. These hard bumps of bone are common in the neck (cervical spine), hands, shoulders, low back (lumbar spine), hips, knee, and heel. Bone spur by itself is not a cause of trouble unless it presses or rubs against another bone or nerves, which may cause pain and stiffness.

    In most of the cases, bone spur arises due to injury or damaged bones due to medical conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and lupus. Whenever the bone suffers an injury or becomes weak, the natural response of the body adds an outgrowth in an effort to fix the condition. Continue reading to know more about bone spur treatment and prevention of this condition.

    Treatment for bone spurs
    There are both non-surgical as well as surgical options for bone spur treatment. Here are a few of them.

    • Medications
      The anti-inflammatory medications like Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, and Naproxen sodium help to manage the pain and swelling in the bone spur. However, orthopedics do not recommend the use of this medication for more than 4-6 weeks at a stretch as they have side-effects. It is advisable to consult the doctor before taking any medications.
    • Adequate rest
      Getting ample rest helps to reduce the symptoms of a bone spur. It is a known fact that activity triggers the pain in bone and joint outgrowth, so short periods of rest may lessen the pain.
    • Steroid injections
      Administration of Cortisone epidural steroid injections has also proved to be beneficial in treating inflammation and radiating extremity pain syndromes, especially at the joints. However, the effect of this treatment is short-lived. In some cases, the doctor advises repeated dose to minimize the pain.
    • Surgery
      If the bone spur is acute, then surgery may be a better bone spur treatment option. The doctor surgically removes the bone spurs and thickened ligaments to reduce the pain.
    • Prevention of bone spur
      Usually, it is not possible to prevent the occurrence of bone spur due to osteoarthritis as it results from natural wear and tear of the bones and joints. However, to reduce the chances of developing this medical condition, make specific lifestyle changes like wearing shoes with good arch support and thick socks, maintaining a healthy weight, walking or undertaking stair-climbing exercises.

    So, this was all about the bone spur treatment and the prevention procedure. If you experience any of the symptoms of the bone spur, book an appointment with the doctor to manage the condition at mild and moderate stages.

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  • Genital herpes is a highly contagious, sexually transmitted infection, caused by the HSV, i.e. Herpes Simplex Virus. Spread through sexual contact, the virus gets dormant after the initial infection, but it may reactivate several times in a year.

    The condition results in pain, blisters, and intense itching in the genital area. There is no cure for genital herpes but taking certain medications can ease the symptoms. You can consult your doctor along with your genital herpes photos to help him understand the stage of the problem.

    The following are two types of herpes simplex virus infections that cause genital herpes.

    • HSV-1: This type of virus is most commonly associated with ulcers and blisters around the mouth. These blisters are known as cold sores.
    • HSV-2: This type of virus causes painful blisters in the genital areas which are exposed during a sexual contact.

    Common symptoms of genital herpes
    A lot of times people do not realize they are suffering from genital herpes because the symptoms do not show or they are not severe.

    When present, the most common symptoms of genital herpes include the following.

    • Pain and itching: Till the time the infection persists, you may experience tenderness or intense itching in the genital area.
    • Small white blisters or red bumps: Such blisters may appear 2 to 12 days after the infection.
    • Ulcers: Ulcers usually form after the blisters rupture and weep out blood. These ulcers cause intense pain and even difficulty in urination.
    • Scabs: The skin becomes crusty and scabs are formed as the ulcers begin to heal.

    Apart from this, some people also experience a headache, fever, and muscle aches. You can check out genital herpes photos online to understand what the infection looks like.

    Treatment for genital herpes
    There is no way to eliminate the herpes virus from the body; however, taking antiviral medications can help to decrease the duration, frequency, and severity of the symptoms. Also, you must click some genital herpes photos of yourself as it will help your doctor significantly in deciding the treatment.

    When to see a doctor?
    Immediate doctor consultation is strongly advised in such cases. Certain prescribed medications by your doctor can be a head start toward providing you an immediate relief from the pain. An open and free talk with your doctor will help him to decide the proper line of treatment for you. Carrying the genital herpes photos will help your doctor in understanding your symptoms better.

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  • High cholesterol levels are often linked with heart disease. Lowering of bad cholesterol (LDL) and raising good cholesterol (HDL) is a preventive measure for heart disease. However, the risk of heart disease due to high bad cholesterol levels is something that one can control.

    Statins are prescriptive medications that doctors recommend for lowering cholesterol levels. Like any other medication, statins are associated with side effects and risk factors. Those who suffer side effects of statin can go for cholesterol absorption inhibitors as an alternative. Can we lower cholesterol without statins? Well, yes as there are a number of natural methods that help in lowering cholesterol without statins.

    Risks and side effects of statin
    Although many benefits from using statins to lower cholesterol, these medicines have side effects. The side effects of this medication are more pronounced in people taking medications for treating other medical conditions. Common side effects of consuming statins are:

    • Muscle and joint aches
    • Vomiting and nausea
    • Increase in blood sugar levels
    • Permanent muscle damage
    • Neurological damage

    Natural methods to lower cholesterol
    A healthy diet, regular physical workout, and weight management help lower cholesterol without statins. Here are a few tips to lower cholesterol naturally:

    • Cut out saturated fats from your diet. Foods such as butter, red meat, hydrogenated fats, baked goods, and fried foods are high in trans fat or saturated fats. These foods tend to increase LDL and lower HDL. Stay away from these foods and include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, trout, dry fruits, etc.
    • Include fiber-rich food in your diet. Foods like oats, barley, fruits and vegetables, and beans are rich in soluble fiber. Such natural foods rich in soluble fiber help lower cholesterol without statins. Also, protein-rich plant food is nutritious, healthy alternative to red meat.
    • Weight management helps lower cholesterol levels. Losing excess body weight is a natural way to lower cholesterol and also prevent other illnesses.
    • Regular physical workout not only lowers LDL, but raises HDL levels as well. Exercising at the gym, aerobic exercises, walking, jogging, and yoga are ways to get a good physical workout.
    • Plant sterol supplements are known to lower LDL levels.

    Go natural! Lower cholesterol without statins by following natural methods discussed in this article. Apart from lowering cholesterol these dietary and lifestyle changes help lead an active and disease free life.

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  • Stool color indicates the human intestinal condition. It is influenced by the food we eat and the amount of bile produced. When the food and bile pigments travel through the gastrointestinal tract, through the mouth to rectum, react chemically with enzymes, thus causing stool to have a color. While brown or green color is considered normal, black stool indicates bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract, which consists of esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. There are various black stool symptoms, but first, let us have a look at the causes of black stool.

    Causes of black stool
    The basic cause of black stools is bleeding. The bleeding may happen due to various reasons which include,

    • Peptic ulcer
      This condition has a cut in the inner lining of the stomach, a part of the small intestine or lower esophagus. These ulcers, leading to bleeding, is mainly caused by stomach infection by the Helicobacter Pylori bacteria.
    • Malignant tumors
      Cancer affecting the esophagus, small intestine or stomach may also result in bleeding of gastro intestine.
    • Gastritis
      It is the inflammation of stomach lining causing abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting. Severe condition leads to bleeding in stomach causing black stools.
    • Colorectal cancer
      This tumor starts developing in the colon or rectum. The bleeding in rectum will cause a change in the color of the stool.
    • Dietary Causes
      The food consumed can also cause stool to appear black or tarry. Eating red or black food, like beetroot, blueberries, and black licorice, causes stool to appear black.
    • Other causes
      Few other causes of intestinal bleeding include stomach cancer, colitis, hemorrhoids, and other inflammatory bowel diseases.

    Black stool symptoms
    The symptoms of the black stool are associated with the primary causes itself.

    • Peptic ulcers show symptoms like changes in appetite, nausea, unexplained weight loss, and vomiting.
    • Burning sensation and pain in the abdomen are also black stool symptoms.
    • Gastrointestinal bleeding leads to bloating or swelling of the abdomen.
    • Indigestion causes chest pain, tiredness, and nausea are also considered as symptoms of black stool.
    • Damage to the lining of the stomach or intestine can also develop fever, disrupted breathing, feeling of lethargy, and diarrhea.
    • Benign tumors also show symptoms like unexplained weight loss, abdominal cramps, constant bloating, and loss of appetite.

    Treatment and prevention
    Black stool is considered a medical condition caused by bleeding in gastro intestine and hence requires medical attention to prevent any potential emergencies. Treatment for black stool varies according to the cause of the problem. This condition can be prevented by including fiber-rich food in diet and drinking plenty of water.

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  • Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a medical condition characterized by rapid, irregular heartbeat. Those who suffer from atrial fibrillation are at a higher risk of heart failure, stroke, and other heart-related conditions. The upper chambers of the heartbeat in an asynchronous manner with respect to the lower chambers.

    The movement of blood is affected by atrial fibrillation. Uneven movement of blood causes it to pool up inside the heart, which leads to the formation of blood clots. Over 2 million citizens are affected by AFib. It is more common in older adults after the age of 60 years.

    Symptoms of atrial fibrillation
    The symptoms of atrial fibrillation may not be very pronounced in some individuals who may be unaware that they are affected by this condition. This condition may be occasional or persistent or permanent or long-standing, persistent.

    Typical symptoms of this condition include:

    • Palpitations or a racing heartbeat
    • Weakness and fatigue
    • Dizziness or light headedness
    • Tiredness while exercising
    • Short breath
    • Chest pain

    Treatment of atrial fibrillation
    Your physician may treat you for atrial fibrillation if the symptoms are severe. Commonly followed treatment for this condition involves medication, non-surgical procedures, and surgical methods.

    • Medication
      Medicines help prevent formation of blood clots, regulate your heart rate and control the heart rhythm. Blood thinners, beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers are commonly suggested medications. However, each of these medicines come with side-effects, which the patient should be aware of.
    • Non-surgical procedures
      Catheter ablation, a non-surgical method, is used to treat atrial fibrillation. In this procedure a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel that guides into the heart. A particular part of the heart is energized through the catheter to restore rhythm.
    • Surgical procedures
      A surgical procedure, surgical ablation is a method where the chest is cut open and small cuts are made on the heart tissue. The scars thus formed, help regulate the heart rhythm. A few months after this procedure, the heart will return to its normal rhythm.
    • Treating causes of AFib
      In cases where other health conditions cause AFib, treatment of those conditions helps restore rhythm of your heartbeat.
    • Lifestyle changes
      Consumption of a healthy diet and regular physical exercise can help treat AFib.

    The risk of atrial fibrillation increases with other heart-related ailments like heart valve disease, heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and heart surgery in the past. Maintaining a well-balanced lifestyle helps prevent the occurrence of AFib.

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  • Diarrhea is a common disease and affects children and adults alike. It is characterized by the passage of soft, loose, and watery stools on a frequent basis with or without cramps, pressure, and bloating. There are several underlying causes for the condition which include the likes of viral and bacterial infections, food intolerance, reactions to medications, parasitic infections, and intestinal orders and diseases. While the main symptom of the disease is a watery stool, other symptoms of the disease include the onset of fever, stomach cramps, dehydration, bowel movement urgency, and bloating. While medications do help, most cases can be treated with home remedies. Here are a few of the best diarrhea remedies for babies and adults.

    Diarrhea remedies for babies and adults

    • Healthy diet 
      A change in your diet could go a long way in helping to cure the disease and rid yourself of its symptoms. You can follow the ‘BRAT’ diet to help ease symptoms. This includes incorporating bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast to your diet.
    • Stay hydrated
      To compensate for the loss of water through watery stools, you should drink lots of water to stay hydrated. If your baby is suffering from diarrhea, it is absolutely essential that he/she stays hydrated. Electrolyte solutions are known to work wonders.
    • Avoid intense workout
      While you can continue to go to work, ensure that you do not undergo strenuous physical exercise. If you are a regular at the gym, avoid going there until you feel well.
    • Avoid certain food items
      Avoid alcoholic beverages and spicy food when you are suffering from this condition. Once you are cured, do not consume these food items for 2-3 days to stay on the safe side. Avoid drinking milk as it can further aggravate the condition.

    These best diarrhea remedies and can be used for both babies and adults. More often than not, the appearance of the symptoms of the disease is enough for a doctor to diagnose the disease. In some cases though, your doctor may ask for some tests like a stool culture, a colonoscopy, blood tests, and imaging tests to determine what exactly has caused the onset of the disease. While you can take medications, homemade remedies for diarrhea can go a long way in alleviating you of your symptoms and helping you get cured of the condition.

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  • Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that particularly does not have a permanent cure. However, proper medications under the guidance of a medical expert may improve the Parkinson’s symptoms a bit. Here is a list of 5 early signs of this condition:

    • Shaking and Tremors
      Are you experiencing tremors or slight shaking in the hand, thumb, finger or chin even while you are at rest? This is one of the most common Parkinson’s symptoms. After exercising, getting injured or when you are a bit stressed, such shaking is normal. If that is not the case, seeking medical attention is important.
    • Loss of smell
      Are you losing your smelling sense for certain foods like licorice or dill pickles, bananas? Well, if you are suffering from a stuffy nose due to cold or down with flu, the sense of smell can be changed. However, if the smelling sense is not getting back ever after recovering from it, then it can be one of the early signs of Parkinson’s disease.
    • Small handwriting
      Have you noticed any changes in the handwriting style? Are you writing the words without space or the letter sizes have become smaller than the way you used to write before? This is known as micrographia, a sudden change in the handwriting style which is one of the Parkinson’s symptoms at the earlier stage.
    • Constipation
      If you are under any medication, or not having enough fiber or water in the diet, then suffering from constipation is quite normal. However, if you think there is nothing wrong in the aforementioned cases, you should talk to a healthcare professional as you might have the early signs of the progressive nervous disorder.
    • Stiffness in moving and walking
      Do you feel your feet being stuck to the floor? Are your arms not swinging while walking? Any kind of stiffness in the legs, arms or body that is not the result of any injury or any illness like arthritis, it is advisable to seek medical guidance as you might be suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

    Other than all the aforementioned Parkinson’s symptoms, the following are a few more early signs of having this nervous disorder:

    • Trouble sleeping
    • Fainting or dizziness
    • Masked face
    • A low or soft voice
    • Hunching over or stooping

    If you or someone you know starts having more than one of these symptoms, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

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  • Are you aware of the fact that every time you take an antibiotic or a painkiller, it adversely affects the liver? In most cases, problems in the liver occur due to erratic lifestyle, wrong food habits, and uninhibited use of medicines.

    The liver is the largest organ in the body and it helps in digesting food and removing toxins. It sends certain warning signals, in case its function is impaired. These signals should never be ignored.

    Oversensitive skin, general feeling of being unwell and frequent headaches are some common signs of liver damage experienced by those affected. Read on to know the five warning signs of liver damage that should never be ignored.

    Dark-colored urine
    Change in the color of the urine is an important sign which should never be ignored. This is due to the presence of bile pigments which are not excreted. Instead, they build up in the blood and are released through urine.

    Loss of appetite
    Loss of appetite is one of the typical signs of liver damage. The urge to eat is significantly reduced and digestion becomes poor.

    Vomiting
    Vomiting and a frequently upset stomach are the initial signs of liver damage. Nausea, repeated incidents of acid reflux and vomiting are the warning signs and should never be overlooked. Many people experience acute indigestion and frequent diarrhea since the function of the liver is impaired.

    Abdominal pain and swelling
    The affected person experiences specific pain in the right upper part of the abdomen, right under the ribs. The pain is severe and intense. It may even radiate to the right upper shoulder or back. Many times, pain is experienced in the upper middle part of the abdomen and cramping can be felt in the lower abdomen. Swelling in the abdomen is also amongst the important warning signs of liver damage.

    Fatigue
    Always feeling tired and experiencing excessive fatigue is an indication of an impaired liver. Because the liver is not functioning properly, it impacts the breakdown of food and consequent release of energy. This results in toxins getting accumulated, which in turn, is why people feel tired. There is weight loss too, thus adding to the feeling of extreme fatigue.

    It is very important to consult a medical expert and get proper investigation such as liver function tests and scan done for an appropriate diagnosis.

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  • Swelling in the legs is often an indication of an underlying health condition. It can occur in any part of the leg, from toes to thighs. Fluid retention or build up is the main reason for swollen legs. The actual cause of leg swelling varies widely from injury to heart disease to kidney disease to prolonged sitting or standing.

    Swelling in feet is medically referred to as peripheral edema. Unless caused by an injury, swollen feet are not painful. Fluid accumulation usually occurs in the lower parts of the body due to gravitational force. Frequent or continuous swelling of feet should be reported to a medical practitioner and the cause of leg swelling must be identified immediately.

    Causes of swollen legs
    Swelling to the foot, leg or ankle is a common occurrence in older adults. The swelling may occur in both legs or in one leg, and it may be accompanied by pain or be painless. Sometimes there are instances of only left leg swelling.

    Here are some of the common causes of swelling in legs.

    Swelling related to fluid buildup

    • Acute kidney failure or chronic kidney disease
    • Cardiomyopathy
    • Lymphedema
    • Deep vein thrombosis
    • Cirrhosis
    • Pregnancy
    • Standing or sitting for prolonged durations
    • Prescription medication

    Swelling due to inflammation

    • Achilles tendon rupture
    • Broken ankle or foot
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Gout
    • Infection or injury in feet

    Remedies for swollen legs
    Remedies for swollen feet/legs depend on the underlying cause of the swelling. If the underlying cause is kidney failure or cardiomyopathy or liver failure or deep vein thrombosis, then the cause needs to be treated in order to reduce swelling. Leg and ankle swelling remedies during pregnancy are determined by the cause of the swelling.

    Some leg and ankle swelling remedies when the swelling is not caused by other health conditions are as follows:

    • Keeping legs in an elevated raised position for a short duration.
    • Following a low-salt diet till swelling subsides.
    • Taking breaks to exercise your feet while traveling
    • Avoiding tight fitting footwear or clothing.
    • Weight loss, if required.

    Swelling of legs accompanied by other symptoms like breathlessness indicates an emergency situation that requires immediate medical help. The cause of leg swelling needs to be identified immediately in case of swelling occurs frequently or remains for a long period.

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