Ailments & Remedies

Ailments List

Parasites

Parasites are microscopic plants or animals that thrive on the nutrition derived from another animal or plant. Worms, bacteria’s and numerous fungi which present on the skin and inside the body are categorised as parasites. They may or may not be harmful.

 

Intestinal parasites

Intestinal parasites live in the gastro-intestinal tract. They can survive throughout the body, but most prefer the intestinal wall. Means of exposure to these parasites and contamination include: ingestion of undercooked meat, drinking infected water, and skin absorption.

 

The majority of parasites that can infect the digestive tract are protozoans, organisms having only one cell, and parasitic worms, helminths. Protozoans, including cryptosporidium, microsporidia, and isospora, are common in HIV sufferers. Parasites can reach the intestine by entering the mouth from uncooked or unwashed food, contaminated water or hands, or by skin contact with soil infected by their larva. When these organisms are swallowed, they move into the intestine, where they reproduce and cause symptoms. Children are particularly susceptible if they are not thoroughly cleaned after coming into contact with infected soil which may be found in  sandboxes and playgrounds.

 

Higher risk is also present in developing countries where people drink water from contaminated sources.

For some people, intestinal worms do not cause any symptoms, or the symptoms may frequently come and go. Common signs and complaints include coughing, cramping abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence and diarrhoea. More serious infections may bring diminished sex drive, skin-itching, fever, nausea, vomiting, or bloody stools.

 

Fungus Infections

Fungus infections affecting the skin are not easy to recognise and identify. Common symptoms are itching, flaking, redness, and thickened skin; these same symptoms can be mistaken by other types of dermatitis or skin allergies as they are very similar. In fact, skin affected by eczema often becomes infected with fungi as well, so both conditions are present simultaneously.

 

The conditions described in the following paragraphs are the most common.

Athlete’s Foot (tinea pedis)

This is a very common condition. The most frequent form occurs between the third, fourth, and fifth toes, sometimes spreading to the sole. In between the toes the skin becomes white, moist and it is rubbed off easily. The tops of the toes may become red, dry and the skin is flaky. As a rule intense itching and burning are also present.

Hot and moist conditions and, or constant use of shoes do facilitate this condition.

 

Jock Itch (tinea cruris)

The same conditions of heat, moisture (caused by sweat) and poor air circulation leading to athlete’s foot also cause fungus infections of the groin, or jock itch. As the name implies, intense itching and burning are the usual symptoms. Other symptoms may include redness, flaking and peeling on the inner thighs, pubic area, and scrotum.

 

Ringworm (tinea corpora)

This is actually caused by a microscopic fungus, not a worm as the name may suggest.

The area affected by the infection spreads out slowly from thecentral starting point and creates a slightly raised, intensely red ring surrounding a less red, flaky, itchy area. Over weeks, the ring slowly enlarges. It can occur anywhere on the body and in several parts of the body at the same time therefore it is often confused with other types of dermatitis.

 

Candidiasis

This presents itself as a brownish-red, itchy discolouration and affects the underarms, mouth corners, rectal area, and beneath the breasts. It is the same type of fungus that causes vaginal yeast infections (candida albicans).

 

Tinea Versicolor

This fungus changes the colour of the skin it infects; the patches may be lighter or darker than the normal surrounding skin. Its spotted pattern and the fine scaly flakes at the margins of the infected area, make this fungal infection one of the easiest to identify. Itching and irritation are usually mild with this type of fungus.

 

Warmth and heath, humidity, sweating, poor air circulation all facilitate the inset and growth of fungal infections. They also are all contagious conditions. Prevention is therefore a matter of good personal hygiene and minimizing contact with potential carriers or contaminated objects. Here below are some suggestions and tips.

 

Personal Hygiene

  • Use antiperspirants and talcum powders to maintain high-risk areas as dry as possible.
  • In high humidity environments, keep clothing loose and light, avoid knits and less breathable synthetic materials.
  • Pay extra care in your hygiene routines of areas that are more at risk. Always dry carefully after washing.

 

Avoidance

  • Don’t share towels, sponges, other wash implements or clothes.
  • Wear flip-flops or other appropriate footwear in public locker rooms, pools, and showers.
  • Always wear a thick enough t-shirt or sweatshirt and long shorts or sweat pants when using exercise equipment that is shared by many users.
  • Wipe off vinyl surfaces with a dry towel before using exercise equipment in public gyms.

 



Common Remedies

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