Tag Archives: signs and symptoms

Know The Signs of Encephalitis

Encephalitis is a medical term meaning inflammation of the brain. While some cases are mild and quickly resolved, it can be a very serious condition, especially in children. There are many causes of encephalitis, but the most common causes are viral infections. Let’s take a look at some of the other causes, symptoms to look out for, complications and treatment:

Symptoms of Encephalitis

Some cases of encephalitis are asymptomatic, but others may exhibit a variety of symptoms such as cold-like ones. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Severe headache
  • Confusion or mental fogginess
  • Seizures
  • Weakness
  • Aches and pains
  • Hallucinations
  • Vision, speech or auditory interruptions
  • Fainting
  • False smells (smelling foul or rotten scents that aren’t really there)

Small children or babies may exhibit these symptoms:

  • Bulging of the soft part of the skull in infants
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Inconsolable fussiness
  • Stiffness
  • Irritability
  • Problems feeding

Babies or children exhibiting any of these symptoms should receive urgent medical attention.

Causes of Encephalitis

  1. Childhood infections such as rubella or the mumps.
  2. Herpes simplex virus (genital herpes is actually the most common cause of encephalitis).
  3. Animal-spread viruses such as rabies.
  4. Arboviruses – these are viruses that are carried and spread by insects, most commonly, mosquitos or ticks.
  5. Having a growth – a cancerous or noncancerous tumor.
  6. Being immunocomprimosed – If you have a weakened immune system due to disease or medications you are at greater risk of picking up an infection.

Complications of Encephalitis

There may be temporary or long-term complications such as fatigue, memory, auditory, speech or thought problems or paralysis. It may also cause brain damage, a coma or even death in instances of severe brain inflammation. Untreated or severe encephalitis has even surprisingly been linked to dementia in children.

Encephalitis Prevention and Treatment

Treatment for encephalitis varies and depends on the severity and root cause. It often includes a combination of anti-inflammatories, antiviral and antibiotic medications. There is no way to prevent encephalitis completely, but the best precautionary measure you can take is to be safe about mosquitoes and bugs, and practice good hygiene and try to avoid sick people or contaminated areas.

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7 Signs Your Child May be a Type 1 Diabetic

Approximately 8.1 million Americans have undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes, many of whom are children or adolescents. Spotting a child who is diabetic isn’t always as straightforward as one may think. Type 1 diabetes usually has a quick onset, with the initial symptoms appearing in a matter of weeks. Know the signs so you can get your child (or a child you know) help right away if he or she has developed type 1 Diabetes. Major indicators include:

  1. Excessive thirst
  2. Increased urination
  3. Mood or behavioural changes such as irritability or lethargy
  4. Extreme hunger
  5. Sudden or significant weight loss
  6. Sudden vision problems
  7. Yeast infections

Other signs may include rapid breathing or a flushed face. In extreme cases of undiagnosed diabetes, the child may develop an acute, life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis.

Why Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes is Commonly Missed

It is important to know the signs of type 1 juvenile diabetes, as they can be few and subtle. Many parents see their child running to the fridge for more snacks between meals and think they must just be going through a growth spurt. A toddler may be throwing up fruity milk, but perhaps it’s a strange, lingering stomach bug. A teacher may notice a particular student asking to use the washroom or go to the fountain more and just assume the student is simply restless in class. It is so easy to overlook these signs, but failing to recognizing them could be deadly. If you notice your child, a member of a team you coach, a child you babysit or teach is drinking more than the usual amount of fluids, excessively using the washroom or eating more but still losing weight, act fast.

When to Seek Help

If you believe your child is exhibiting the symptoms listed above, it is best to check it out right away. Don’t wait until more serious symptoms start to develop. Most children are diagnosed between the ages of 10 and 13, but type 1 diabetes can develop suddenly at any age. Some parents don’t think there is a need to rush to the doctor when they observe some of the above-mentioned symptoms. They may think to just wait and tell the doctor at the child’s next scheduled check-up, but this can be a grave mistake. Just as the disease often develops quickly, it can also progress just as rapidly. If left unchecked, the child’s blood sugar may elevate to dangerous levels, which can result in serious complications such as diabetic coma, or in extreme cases even death.

What Will the Doctor Do?

Once you express your concerns about diabetes, your child’s doctor will likely perform some tests such as checking the child’s blood sugar level in the office. If she is concerned about the results, your doctor may send your child directly to the hospital where he will be further evaluated and stabilized before being released. The hospital diabetes specialist or pediatrician will likely then explain all about diabetes to your child and show him how to take his medication, blood sugar level, as well as what foods not to eat too much of.

We hope you’ll have your eyes peeled for these signs of juvenile diabetes. Who knows – you may save a young life! Thanks for visiting DocChat!


12 Surprising Ways Anxiety Manifests Itself Physically (Part 1)

Anxiety can be tricky, perhaps even the chameleon of mental health issues. It can manifest itself mentally, emotionally and physically, often mimicking symptoms of physical health conditions and confusing everyone in its wake. Most everyone will have little surges of anxiety from time to time, but some people battle excess anxiety daily, which can be tiring and perplexing. Anxiety disorders affect over 40 million American adults, and this is a modest estimate. Even those who don’t have underlying anxiety disorders may still have a little too much anxiety or have the occasional panic attack. Let’s take a look at the first 6 of our 12 physical signs that you could be dealing with too much anxiety:

  1. Heart palpitations – Many people don’t realize that anxiety can actually affect how the heart beats. If you feel flutters, the sensation of ‘skipped beats’ or a sensation of thumping, anxiety could be the culprit. More often than not, palpitations are nothing to worry about. However, in some cases, these feelings can be symptoms of arrhythmias (disorders that cause potentially dangerous irregular heartbeats), so it is important to talk to a doctor if you are getting palpitations.
  2. Chest painUp to 40% of those suffering a panic attack will experience some kind of chest pain. It can take the form of quick shooting or darting pains, slow burning aches or a crushing feeling. It is important that anyone experiencing chest pain is medically evaluated to rule out any underlying or emergency heart problems. More often than not, people who wind up in the ER for chest pains are not having a heart attack. There are many non-cardiac conditions can cause chest pain, but it is important to check it out nonetheless.
  3. Raised heart rate (tachycardia) – When you are afraid, anxious, or stressed out, the brain sends out the ‘fight or flight’ signal to the heart to speed up in anticipation of potential danger. If you notice your heart racing routinely, you should check in with the doc to make sure you don’t have any other health issues, or to discuss potential treatments for anxiety.
  4. Dry mouth – Anxiety can reduce the amount of saliva produced by your salivary glands, which leads to the feeling of a dry or parched mouth. Dry mouth can also be caused by antidepressants or other medications, as well as certain conditions (such as Sjogren’s syndrome).
  5. Polyuria (frequent urination) – If you are chronically or overly stressed, you may find an increased urge to urinate. Like many of the symptoms on this list, polyuria can also be a sign of more serious health conditions such as diabetes, but a surplus of anxiety can certainly cause you to keep running to the washroom.
  6. Gastrointestinal problems – sometimes people who have extra anxiety struggle with diarrhea, constipation, or a touchy stomach. Their symptoms can be similar to those of irritable bowel syndrome, or a person may have both anxiety and IBS, as the stomach and brain are closely linked.

That concludes Part 1 of our look at how anxiety can cause physical symptoms, but stay tuned next for a look at the next few! Thanks for visiting DocChat, remember, our excellent board-certified doctors are standing by 24/7/365 for any health-related questions you may have.