Yellow semen: Causes of different semen colors

While semen is typically a whitish-gray color, there are some instances when semen may appear as a different color, which is commonly yellow.

Sometimes producing an unusual colored semen is a once-only occurrence. Other times, a man may notice a more consistent change in the color of his semen.

Although this occurrence is not always a cause for concern, there are some instances when semen color change can be an indicator of an underlying medical condition.

Fast facts on yellow semen:

  • Semen is a gel-like liquid that males emit during ejaculation or sexual release. Semen contains sperm, which can fertilize a female egg.
  • Several glands and male reproductive organs are responsible for producing semen and transporting it for ejaculation.
  • Dysfunction of one or more of these areas could lead to semen color changes.
  • Treatments for unusual colored semen will depend upon the underlying cause.

How are different semen colors caused?

Semen as a substance is a combination of secretions from the male reproductive glands as well as sperm. Changes and disruption to these areas are what cause color changes.

The following are responsible for semen production:

  • Epididymis and testicles: The testicles are the organs responsible for producing sperm. The epididymis is the tube that transports sperm from the testicles to the vas deferens.
  • Seminal vesicles: These produce a significant portion of the semen’s volume. These glands produce secretions that are high in a sugar called fructose, which provides nutrients to the sperm.
  • Prostate gland: This gland produces a chemical called prostate-specific antigen (PSA) that causes a reaction in the gel-like semen, allowing the sperm to swim away and reach an available egg more easily.
  • Bulbourethral and urethral glands: These glands are responsible for producing secretions that make it easier for semen to travel along the reproductive tract.

Each of these parts of the male reproductive organs and glands plays a role in ejaculation

Causes of yellow semen

 

The urethra is the tube that urine and semen pass through, so urine may mix with semen to change the colour.

Although semen is usually a whitish-gray color, some men may have sperm that is yellow.

However, if yellow semen represents a significant color change for a man, this could be cause for concern.

Some potential causes associated with yellow semen include:

  • Urine in the semen: Semen travels through the urethra, which is the same tube that urine travels through. It is possible that some yellow-tinted urine can mix with semen, which would give semen a yellow tint or cast.
  • Jaundice: This results when the liver has difficulty breaking down bilirubin, a by-product of red blood cell destruction. Jaundice most commonly causes yellowing of the eyes but can cause the skin and the semen to appear yellow too.
  • Abnormally high white blood cells: Inflammation can produce excess white blood cells. These can be released via the semen, a condition known as pyospermia or leukocytospermia. Additional white blood cells can cause semen to appear yellow. These can be the result of an infection.
  • STIs: A sexually transmitted infection, such as chlamydia, herpes, or gonorrhea may cause yellow semen. In this instance, a man’s semen may also have an unpleasant smell.
  • Dietary changes: Eating foods that contain dyes can cause yellow semen. The smell of ejaculate may also change if a man eats strong-smelling foods, such as garlic, onions, asparagus, or broccoli.
  • Infrequent ejaculation: If a man has not ejaculated in some time; the semen is more likely to have mixed with urine.

Should I see a doctor?

While semen that is light yellow is not usually a cause for concern, there are instances when a man should see a doctor for yellow semen, especially when the semen is a dark yellow.

If a man has other symptoms, such as yellowing skin, fever, the semen smells foul, or he experiences pain when ejaculating, he should see his doctor.

Treatments for yellow semen

Antibiotics may be prescribed by a doctor if yellow semen is caused by an infection.

Treatment depends on the underlying cause. If an infection has caused yellow semen, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics or anti-viral medications.

If a man does have yellow sperm that is consistent with a possible infection, he should refrain from sexual contact until a doctor can examine him for infections. Otherwise, he could potentially pass on an infection to his partner.

A man may also try to reduce the amount of artificial dyes in his diet. Drinking more water can also help.

Other semen color changes

Semen can be other colors too. Some other potential color changes a man may notice include:

  • Brown or red: Sometimes a man can experience a leak, or a blood vessel may burst around the seminal vesicles. The release of blood can cause semen to take on a brown or red appearance. If the semen continues to be red after 1 to 2 days, a man should seek medical treatment.
  • Green-tinted: Green-tinted semen can indicate a potential infection of the prostate or surrounding tissues. A man who has green semen may need to see his doctor.

If a man notices something out of the ordinary, or his semen remains discolored for an extended period, he should contact his doctor who can diagnose the potential cause and provide peace of mind.

Outlook

It is not completely abnormal for a man to produce semen that varies in color, texture, and even smell. The presentation can vary based on a man’s diet, activities, and the amount of time since he last ejaculated.

Yellow-tinted semen does not necessarily mean there is cause for concern. However, dark yellow semen that smells foul or is accompanied by other symptoms of infection or medical problems should not be ignored.

Cholesterol Levels can be Reduced Without Medications

Cholesterol, when excess in the body can lead to a myriad of health
ailments. It may cause plaque build-up and clog your arteries and
ultimately lead to cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, strokes and
more. Crazy, right? If you want to know how to best protect yourself
from plaque build-up, then make sure to check the tips below for ways to
lessen your body’s cholesterol deposits.

DefiningCholesterols

Usually a doctor will order a cholesterol test, and when the results are
out, the doctor will take a look at a few numbers.

LDL (low density lipoproteins). This is what is referred to as the
“bad” cholesterol and is well-linked to the development of heart
diseases also if left UN-treated for long periods of time. So, if you
happen to have high LDL levels, relax, you still have time to reverse
this process and lower your results. For healthy people, usually the
goal is to have LDL levels of less than 130.

HDL (high density lipoprotein). In contrast, this is the ‘good”
cholesterol. Exercising regularly and proper weight maintenance helps
increase this number. The goal here is to get an HDL level of more than 40.

Triglycerides. Another type of “bad” cholesterol and is typically seen
as elevated with people who consume a high carbs or high fat diet. The
therapeutic goal for healthy adults is less than 150.

Total cholesterol is the combination of both your good and bad
cholesterol levels.

Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol Levels Minus the Medications

Now that you’re familiar to the fact that high cholesterol levels need
your attention, then you might as well employ some strategies to lower
those numbers. There are of course medications that can help you achieve
your goal, but if you want to do it the natural way and without the use
of any maintenance pills, then please feel free to discuss the following
tips with your doctor before proceeding with your plan.

1. Limiting your total cholesterol.

Your daily cholesterol threshold should be no more than 100 mg. Make sure to keep count of your intake by reading the labels of the food you eat. If reading labels is not your forte, ask a dietician’s help for some explanation and basic know how.

2. Steer clear of trans fat. This kind of fat is mostly included in
processed and fried foods, and sweets. Your daily diet should
contain as little amount of trans fats as possible to get your
cholesterol levels lowered.

3. Limit your saturated fat intake. Your saturated fat intake should be
no more than 5% of your total caloric intake for the day. That’s
roughly 10 grams a day for most people.

4. Limit carbohydrates. Make sure to eat a complete and balanced diet.
Eat complex carbohydrates that are easier to metabolize by the body
like brown rice and whole wheat breads instead of white ones. Lesser
carbohydrate intake will help lower your cholesterol levels and can
aid in achieving your weight loss goals too.

5. Increase fiber intake. For adults, the daily recommended fiber
consumption is a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables
(around 25 grams fiber). Fiber can also be found in oats, barley,
fortified cereals and whole wheats.

6. Limit alcohol consumption. This is a big source of fats and
triglycerides, not to mention calories which can make you gain
weight. So make sure that you limit your drinking, and if you must
drink, op for red wine which is a much healthier alternative to beer.

7. Consume Non-fat dairy.

8. Eat plant-based proteins such as tofu, soy beans and more.

9. Shed excess weight.

10. Exercise and strive to lead an active and healthier lifestyle.

8 Signs You May Have a Thyroid Problem

The thyroid, is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, which produces
hormones that are important for metabolism and brain activity. Signs and
symptoms of a thyroid problem are often vague, but if you notice any of
the following signs persisting, or have more than one of the symptoms,
endocrinologists recommend consulting a doctor. This is to request a
simple blood test to determine your hormone levels.

When your thyroid is dysfunctional, it can cause vast array of health
issues. That is why it is important to determine if you have any of the
following common symptoms that might indicate a thyroid issue.

signs of thyroid problem

1. Changes in Bowel Movement

Frequent constipation could be a sign of an underactive thyroid. Thyroid
hormones participate in keeping your digestive track running. If you
produce too little, things get backed up.

While an overactive thyroid can create the opposite effect. You will
experience a regular bowel movement, this is not diarrhea, but the need
to go more frequently, because everything is sped up.

 

2. Changes in Menstrual Cycle

Both overactive and underactive thyroids can disrupt a women’s menstrual
cycles. The nature of the changes depend on whether an individual is
suffering from hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

Women with underactive thyroids may experience a lighter than normal
periods, and they may also miss periods altogether. While an overactive
thyroid can cause heavier than normal periods, or periods which usually
last several days longer than normal. The menstrual cycle itself may be
short, and spotting can occur.

3. Changes in Weight

If you have tried every low-carb, low-fat and low-calorie diet with
little weight loss success, then you might have hypothyroidism. An
underactive thyroid gland slows down your metabolism to the point of
ineffectiveness.

With an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism on the other hand,
patients usually cannot gain weight no matter how much they eat. An
overly active thyroids push your metabolism to warp speed, which causes
your body to burn calories like rocket fuel. Many patients also
experience unexplained weight loss.

4. Dry Skin

If your skin is dry and itchy, it can be symptoms of hypothyroidism. The
change in the skin texture and appearance is probably due to slowed
metabolism, which is caused by too little thyroid hormone production.
This can also reduce sweating.

Skin without enough moisture can become flaky and dry. Likewise, your
nails can become brittle and may develop ridges.

5. Fatigue

Feeling tired and having no energy are problems linked with lots of
conditions, but they are strongly associated with hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a disorder that is the result of too little thyroid
hormone.

If you are still tired in the morning or all day even after a full
night’s sleep, that is a sign that your thyroid may be underactive. Too
little thyroid hormone that is coursing through your cells and
bloodstream means your muscles are not getting that get-going signal.

6. High Cholesterol

High levels of low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol that have not
responded to exercise, diet or medication have been associated with
hypothyroidism. Elevated levels of the bad cholesterol can due to an
underactive thyroid.

Left untreated hypothyroidism can lead to heart problems, including
heart failure or an enlarged heart.

7. Joint and Muscle Pain

Unexplained pains and aches in your muscles and joints, following no
period of physical exertion, can be symptomatic of a thyroid condition.
These pains can be intense, which might interfere with normal activities
and inhibit the patient’s ability to perform movements within their
normal ranges of motion.

These symptoms can also manifest as muscle weaknesses, which leads the
specific muscle groups unable to carry normal workloads. Some
individuals experience tremors in their hands, which can become severe.
Swelling, pain and stiffness can also occur in your muscles and joints.

8. Swollen Neck

A visibly enlarged thyroid or swelling in your neck that leads to neck
pain and a gravelly voice can indicate thyroid disease. This condition
is called “/neck goiter/,” and it presents as a localized enlargement at
the base of your neck, which affects the skin and surrounding tissues,
protecting the actual thyroid gland.

But, the presence of a neck goiter does not necessarily mean that there
is a problem with the thyroid itself. This type of swelling simply means
that there is some underlying condition which is affecting the size of
your thyroid and causing it to grow. If it occurs in isolation without
the presence of other symptoms, it may not require treatment.

 

 

Medical and Natural Treatments for Diabetic Neuropathy

Mindfulness May Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Being overweight is stressful on the body, and stress can worsen obesity-related health issues and make it harder to shed pounds—throwing people into a vicious cycle that seems impossible to escape. Now, a new study published in the journal Obesity offers a strategy that may help. In a group of overweight women, mindfulness training reduced stress and fasting blood sugar levels better than traditional health-education classes.

To study the effects of mindfulness, researchers from Penn State University randomly assigned 86 overweight or obese women to receive eight weekly sessions of either mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), taught by a professional instructor, or general health education, taught by a registered dietitian.

The MBSR group learned how to use mindfulness techniques—like meditation and breath awareness—to respond to stress. The health education group learned about diet, exercise, obesity-related health issues and general stress management.

The goal of these sessions was not to help people lose weight, but to reduce stress and stress-related health problems. In that sense, mindfulness worked better: After eight weeks of training and eight more weeks of home practice, perceived stress scores for women in the MBSR group had decreased 3.6 points from the start of the study on a 10-point scale, compared to only 1.3 points for women in the health education group.

Both groups experienced improvements in mood, psychological distress and sleep-related problems. But only the MBSR group saw a decrease in fasting blood sugar levels—both right after training was completed and when the women were retested eight weeks later.

The researchers also tested the women for other health outcomes—including weight, body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting insulin, cholesterol, inflammatory markers and levels of stress hormones—but they saw no significant changes for these measurements, in either group.

Still, the decrease in blood sugar levels could be enough to have real health implications, say the study authors. While they did not ask the women to report what or how much they ate, they hypothesize that “increased mindfulness could have made it easier for the MBSR group to adhere to the diet and exercise guidelines we gave them,” they wrote in the paper.

Only 71% of the study participants completed the eight-week training sessions, and only 62% stuck with the research for all 16 weeks, which reduces the strength of the findings. But the authors wrote that most dropouts were in the health education group, which “is evidence that the current standard of care is ineffective and unappealing to patients.” The fact that more women completed the mindfulness training than the health education (83% versus 59%) “lends support to the feasibility and acceptability of MBSR in women with overweight or obesity,” they added.

More research—in larger and more varied groups of people—is needed to determine the mechanisms through which mindfulness-based stress reduction may lower blood sugar, and to see whether sustained increases in mindfulness over longer periods of time would result in even greater and lasting benefits, the authors wrote. “If, as our study suggests, MBSR lowers glucose in people with overweight or obesity, then it could be an effective tool for preventing or treating type 2 diabetes,” they wrote.

Here’s How to Get Over a Breakup-science proven.

This article originally appeared on Time.com.

Moving on from an ex can be tough, especially if you were the one let go. But according to a new study in the Journal of Neuroscience, the secret to feeling better is simple: Just do something, anything, that you think will help—because it probably will.

Psychologists from the University of Colorado Boulder recruited 40 volunteers who had been broken up with in the past six months and asked them each to bring two photos to a brain-imaging lab: one of their ex, and one of a platonic friend. Everyone was given a functional MRI while being shown one photo after the other.

Young man covering face with hand

Between photos, researchers applied heat  to everyone’s arm with a temperature-controlled device to stimulate mild-to-moderate pain. Throughout the scan, they were asked to rate how they felt on a scale of 1 to 5.

Similar brain regions were activated when people felt the painful heat and saw photos of their exes—validating the idea of emotional pain. It’s real, the study authors say, and has a measurable effect on chemicals in the brain.

Then, the people in the study were given a nasal spray. Half were told it was a “powerful analgesic effective in reducing emotional pain,” while the other half were told the truth—that it was a simple saline spray

In subsequent MRI scans, those who thought they’d inhaled a pain-relief spray reported less physical and emotional pain during the experiments. Their brains also responded differently when shown photos of their exes: Activity increased sharply in brain regions involved in controlling emotion, and decreased in areas associated with rejection.

Brain activity also increased in a region called the periaqueductal gray, or PAG, which helps control painkilling and mood-boosting neurochemicals like opioids and dopamine.

The authors say this is the first study to measure a placebo drug’s impact on emotional pain from romantic rejection, and it suggests that positive expectations may be enough to influence areas of the brain normally triggered by feel-good chemicals.

People may be able to use the power of expectation to their advantage, they add. “Beliefs and expectations matter, in the sense that they influence our brain function and physiology as well as our feelings and decisions,” says co-author Tor Wager, professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC Boulder.

In other words, if people believe that a certain remedy will help mend their broken heart, there’s a good chance it will. “It might open your mind to noticing more positive aspects of your experience and give you a more optimistic outlook,” he says.

That’s important, because breakups can be some of the most emotionally negative experiences a person endures. This type of social pain has even been associated with a 20-fold higher risk of developing depression in the coming year, the study notes.

Steven Meyers, professor and associate chair at Roosevelt University, says one important feature of the study was that the participants had all been dumped—meaning they weren’t just grieving the loss of their partner, but also a loss of control over their relationship.

“Helplessness is one of the main feelings that worsen anxiety and depression,” says Meyers, who was not involved in the research. The placebo nasal-spray treatments likely helped the participants feel they were taking steps to feel better, he adds. “A powerful antidote to worry or sadness is to take charge in your life in some way.”

Meyers suggests a few ways to take charge of your emotions after heartbreak. Friends and family can be a source of support and distraction, he says, and seeking out connections can help you avoid isolation. He also recommends keeping a journal for several days. “Writing out feelings and thoughts allows people to purge distress from their system, and has been shown to be a powerful intervention,” he says.

Finally, challenge negative thoughts with reason and evidence, Meyers says. “People can become more upset when they magnify their situation by thinking something like, ‘I’m going to be alone forever,’” he says. “Although it can be hard to do, writing out reasons why these thoughts may or may not be true can put things in perspective.”

Being intentional about these actions makes them even more effective, says Meyers. And if this new research holds true, simply trusting that they’ll work will make them more powerful, too.

 

What Type of Exercise Is Best for the Brain?

This article originally appeared on Time.com. 

Exercise is just as good for the brain as it is for the body, a growing body of research is showing. And one kind in particular—aerobic exercise—appears to be king.

“Back in the day, the majority of exercise studies focused on the parts of the body from the neck down, like the heart and lungs,” says Ozioma Okonkwo, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “But now we are finding that we need to go north, to the brain, to show the true benefits of a physically active lifestyle on an individual.”

Exercise might be a simple way for people to cut down their risk for memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, even for those who are genetically at risk for the disease. In a June study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Okonkwo followed 93 adults who had at least one parent with Alzheimer’s disease, at least one gene linked to Alzheimer’s, or both. People in the study who spent at least 68 minutes a day doing moderate physical activity had better glucose metabolism—which signals a healthy brain—compared to people who did less.

The brain benefits of exercise go beyond disease prevention. Okonkwo has also shown that people who exercise have greater brain volume in areas of the brain associated with reasoning and executive function. “We’ve done a series of studies showing that increased aerobic capacity boosts brain structure, function and cognition,” he says, “Other people have found exercise can improve mood.” Okonkwo’s research has also shown that exercise can diminish the impact of brain changes on cognition, not just prevent it. “Exercise is the full package,” he says.

Exercise likely improves brain health through a variety of ways. It makes the heart beat faster, which increases blood flow to the brain. This blood delivers oxygen—a good thing, since the brain is the biggest consumer of oxygen in the body. Physical activity also increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is known to help repair and protect brain cells from degeneration as well as help grow new brain cells and neurons, says Okonkwo.

In one study. Joe Northey, a PhD candidate at the University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise in Australia, showed that when people ride a stationary bike, they experience increased blood flow to the brain, and within that blood are a range of growth factors that are responsible for cell growth and associated with improved brain function. “Considering exercise can also reduce the risks associated with common lifestyle diseases that impact the brain, such as high blood sugar and hypertension, it is further motivation to try to incorporate exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle,” says Northey.

Aerobic exercise, like running and swimming, appears to be best for brain health. That’s because it increases a person’s heart rate, “which means the body pumps more blood to the brain,” says Okonkwo. But strength training, like weight-lifting, may also bring benefits to the brain by increasing heart rate. The link between resistance training and better brain health is not as established, but research in the area is growing.

For now, Northey recommends a combination of the two. “Combining both is ideal,” he says, for all of the other benefits exercise bestows on the body. “In addition to improving your brain function, you should expect to see improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength, as well as reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes and hypertension amongst other diseases.”

 

 

your building could be the cause of your illness-SBS

Pat B., a web designer in upstate New York, didn’t think much of it when she got a sinus infection the first week at her new job. Two months later, she got another one. Then the muscle cramping began. “I would try to walk at lunch time and my hips would cramp so bad I had to go back,” she recalls. “As soon as I entered the building, it felt like the breath was sucked out of me.”

After batteries of tests, she went on a leave of absence and the symptoms leveled off. When she returned, her throat started burning the minute she stepped into the building.

“The ceiling tiles were moldy, everything was wet,” she says. “I could smell formaldehyde and so could one other person.” Eventually, Pat was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease, an ailment that had already killed a young, athletic male co-worker. She is convinced the building she worked in caused her illnesses. culled from WebMD

INTRODUCTION

The sick building syndrome (SBS) is used to describe a situation in which the occupants of a building experience acute health- or comfort-related effects that seem to be linked directly to the time spent in the building. No specific illness or cause can be identified. The complainants may be localized in a particular room or zone or may be widespread throughout the building

Signs and Symptoms include:

Dizziness, nausea, headache, eye, nose or throat irritation, dry cough, dry or itching skin, difficulty in concentration, fatigue, sensitivity to odors, hoarseness of voice, allergies, cold, flu-like symptoms, increased incidence of asthma attacks and personality changes.

The cause of the symptoms is not known, Most of the complainants report relief soon after leaving the building.

what are the causes of sick building syndrome

  • Synthetic insulation
  • Poor circulation and lack of fresh air
  • Smoke
  • Paint fumes
  • Dust mites
  • Synthetic carpet outgassing
  • Pet dander
  • Toxic household cleaners
  • Fabric outgassing
  • Natural gas and carbon dioxide
  • Construction materials
  • Bacteria from toilet bowl
  • Mold and mildew
  • Lead or toxic paint
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Oil and gas fumes

What Can I Do About Sick Building Syndrome?

Scattering houseplants like this one throughout a building can help improve air quality and other environmental factors.

If you think your home or office may be causing sick building syndrome, you need to improve the quality within. Once the building stops giving off toxins, your symptoms should go away. Sometimes this is easier said than done, and, depending on the scale of the problem, might require a massive renovation and replacement of toxic building materials with non-toxic replacements.

In some situations, an air purification system or even quick and simple methods may work. Nature has very powerful tools to clean the air. The natural negative ionization and UV waves from sunlight work wonders and opening the blinds to let in some rays is an easy way to reap those benefits. Additionally, open the windows and doors and let the ozone and negative ions help remove toxins from the air.

Avoid toxic room sprays and deodorizers. There are natural alternatives for air fresheners, cleansers and other chemical toxins used to cleanse the home. Live plants can absorb toxins right from the air! Good choices of plants are peace lilies, golden pothos, and dracaenas.

Have you dealt with sick building syndrome? How did you solve the problem? Leave a comment below and share your experience with us.

 

Pneumothorax: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Pneumothorax, commonly called a collapsed lung, can be a painful and worrying experience.

In a healthy body, the lungs are touching the walls of the chest. A pneumothorax occurs when air gets into the space between the chest wall and the lung, called the pleural space.

The pressure of this air causes the lung to collapse on itself. The lung may fully collapse, but most often only a part of it collapses. This collapse can also put pressure on the heart, causing further symptoms.

A few different things can cause pneumothorax, and symptoms can vary widely. Doctors can help to diagnose and treat pneumothorax.

Causes

The causes of pneumothorax are categorized as either primary spontaneous, secondary spontaneous, or traumatic.

Primary spontaneous

If air gets in between the lung and the chest wall, it can cause the lung to collapse in on itself.

A primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) occurs when the person has no known history of lung disease. The direct cause of PSP is unknown.

At-risk groups for primary spontaneous pneumothorax include:

  • tobacco or cannabis smokers
  • tall men
  • people ages 15-34
  • people with a family history of pneumothoraces

The most important risk factor associated with PSP is smoking tobacco. A review in the medical journal BMJ noted that men who smoke tobacco are 22 times more likely to develop PSP than nonsmokers. Women who smoke tobacco are nine times more likely than nonsmokers to develop PSP.

If treated promptly, PSP is usually not fatal.

Secondary spontaneous

Secondary spontaneous pneumothorax (SSP) can be caused by a variety of lung diseases and disorders.

SSP carries more serious symptoms than PSP, and it is more likely to cause death.

Lung diseases that may increase the risk of developing pneumothorax include:

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • cystic fibrosis
  • severe asthma
  • lung infections, such as tuberculosis and certain forms of pneumonia
  • sarcoidosis
  • thoracic endometriosis
  • pulmonary fibrosis
  • lung cancer and sarcomas involving the lungs

Certain connective tissue disorders may also cause SSP. These disorders include:

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • polymyositis and dermatomyositis
  • systemic sclerosis
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Marfans syndrome

Under certain conditions, children are also at risk for SSP. Causes of SSP in children include:

  • congenital malformations
  • inhaling a foreign object
  • measles
  • echinococcosis

The risk may also be higher if a family member has previously experienced SSP.

Traumatic pneumothorax

A traumatic pneumothorax can occur without a noticeable wound, such as while scuba diving or after an explosion.

A traumatic pneumothorax is the result of an impact or injury. Potential causes include blunt trauma or an injury that damages the chest wall and pleural space.

One of the most common ways this occurs is when someone fractures a rib. The sharp points of the broken bone can puncture the chest wall and damage lung tissue. Other causes include sports injuries, car accidents, and puncture or stab wounds.

A traumatic pneumothorax can occur even if there is no noticeable wound on the chest. This is common in people who have experienced a blast trauma from an explosion.

Scuba divers have to take precautions when underwater to prevent pneumothorax. When divers breathe from a compressed air tank, they experience different levels of pressure from the water and the air itself. The force of these different pressures can cause damage to the lungs, which may take the form of a pneumothorax.

Certain medical procedures may also lead to traumatic pneumothorax. Inserting a catheter into a vein in the chest or taking a sample of lung tissue may lead to a pneumothorax. Doctors will often monitor people after these procedures to catch any early signs that may need treatment.

Tension pneumothorax

Any of these types of pneumothorax can turn into a tension pneumothorax. This is caused by a leak in the pleural space that resembles a one-way valve.

As a person inhales, the air leaks into the pleural space and becomes trapped. It cannot be released during an exhale. This process leads to increased air pressure in the pleural space that is life-threatening and needs immediate treatment.

Symptoms

Symptoms of pneumothorax may hardly be noticeable at first and can be confused with other disorders.

The symptoms of pneumothorax can vary from mild to life-threatening and may include:

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain, which may be more severe on one side of the chest
  • sharp pain when inhaling
  • pressure in the chest that gets worse over time
  • blue discoloration of the skin or lips
  • increased heart rate
  • rapid breathing
  • confusion or dizziness
  • loss of consciousness or coma

Some cases of pneumothoraces have almost no symptoms. These can only be diagnosed with an X-ray or another type of scan. Others require emergency medical attention. Anyone experiencing the symptoms above should contact their doctor or seek immediate medical help.

Diagnosis

Diagnosing pneumothorax can be complicated due to the variety of symptoms and causes.

In non-emergency situations, doctors will first physically examine a person to look for signs of the disorder. They may tap on their chest to check for abnormal sounds or listen to their breathing through a stethoscope.

A doctor will usually use an X-ray to look for signs of a collapsed lung.

Doctors will also ask someone about their medical history and habits, such as smoking. They may also ask about any family history of lung disorders.

Imaging is an important part of most diagnoses. Doctors use X-rays to take images of the chest and look for signs of a collapsed lung. A technician takes the X-ray while the person inhales fully and holds their breath.

The size of the pneumothorax is usually measured as the space between the lung and chest wall. The size of the pneumothorax often determines how it is treated.

CT scans are used to get a better picture of the lung than an X-ray provides. Doctors often use CT scans in trauma situations when they need an accurate image of a puncture wound or other damage for treatment.

Ultrasound is used in some situations and can provide a quick way to view the size and severity of a pneumothorax. It may be more sensitive than X-rays for examining blunt trauma.

In cases of a severe tension pneumothorax, the evidence of the collapsed lung is often very obvious and requires immediate attention to prevent permanent damage or death.

Treatment

Most forms of pneumothorax require medical attention. The extent of this medical attention can vary as much as the disorder itself.

The standard medical treatment usually involves inserting a small tube between the ribs or under the collarbone to release the gas that has built up. This will slowly decompress the lung.

Doctors may prescribe various drugs to numb pain, help remove toxins, or prevent infection in the body. Some people may need oxygen if their lung capacity is deficient.

Surgical treatment may be necessary in some cases, especially in individuals who have had repeated pneumothoraces.

People with SSP are more likely to need medical attention due to the serious nature of the lung diseases associated with the condition. Those with SSP may experience more severe symptoms and face a greater risk of serious complications and death.

Some very small pneumothoraces may heal without any treatment. Doctors may give their patients the option to allow the pneumothorax to heal under supervision without taking any medical or surgical action.

A person who experiences any signs or symptoms should report them to a doctor. They can decide whether medical intervention is necessary to reduce the risk of serious events.

source: medical news online.

Marriage, fatherhood may cause men to gain weight

There is a common belief that once people get married, they begin to pile on the pounds. A new study suggests that this notion may hold some truth, after finding that married men have a higher body mass index than unmarried men.

Additionally, the research reveals that men – but not women – gain weight in the first few years after becoming a parent.

Study co-author Dr. Joanna Syrda, of the School of Management at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, and colleagues say that their findings help to shed light on the social factors that could lead to weight gain, which may help individuals to avoid becoming overweight or obese.

The study was recently published in the journal Social Science & Medicine.

The researchers came to their findings by analyzing the data of 8,729 heterosexual couples who were part of the 1999-2013 Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which was originally launched to study family income.

As part of the study, couples were required to provide information on their marital status, body mass index (BMI), and offspring. Data were collected every 2 years.

Married men 3 pounds heavier

The researchers found that, compared with unmarried men, men who were married had a higher BMI, weighing around 1.4 kilograms (3 pounds) more.

Parenthood also appears to affect BMI; the weight of married men increased in the first few years after becoming a father.

However, just prior to and after getting divorced, the researchers identified a reduction in men’s BMI.

The BMI of married women was not influenced by marriage or parenthood, the researchers report.

The team notes that previous studies have suggested that individuals who are single but who are looking for a partner tend to focus more on their fitness than people who are married. They believe that their results support such findings.

Furthermore, the researchers believe that their study strengthens the hypothesis that married people eat richer, more unhealthful foods as a result of greater social engagement.

However, the results oppose studies suggesting that married people are in better health as a result of greater social support from their spouses.

Being mindful after marriage

While further studies are needed to gain a better understanding of how marriage affects weight, the team believes that the current study offers some insight.

“It’s useful for individuals to understand which social factors may influence weight gain, especially common ones such as marriage and parenthood, so that they can make informed decisions about their health and well-being,” says Dr. Syrda.

“For married men who want to avoid BMI increases that will mean being mindful of their own changing motivation, behavior, and eating habits,” she adds.

“Given major public health concerns about obesity, understanding more about the social science factors that can cause weight fluctuation is important.”