Arthritis

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Abuja, Kano, Gombe, Makurdi, Benin, Jos, Lagos — Medical experts have warned that Nigeria could experience dire consequences in the rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths if people continued to violate protective measures against the disease.

They said it was worrisome that many people violated wearing of face masks, physical and social distancing, and hygiene measures such as hand washing and use of hand sanitisers among others across the country.

Dr. Ejike Orji, Chairman, Medical Sub-Committee, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on COVID-19 said that there would be a spike in cases, and that the country would be in serious trouble if the violation continued.

He said, “It is already happening. Abuja has been recording an average of 42 cases per day in the last two weeks.

“The isolation centres at the National Hospital, Abuja, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada and Asokoro District Hospitals are filled up.

“If we continue this way, we are going to be in serious trouble.”

He said a lot of people in Nigeria were asymptomatic to the disease because its population was largely youthful.

“70 % of our population is under the age of 30, that is also what is helping us.

“The disease is serious in people who are older and have co-morbidities like diabetes and hypertension.

“So young people can have it and feel nothing is wrong with them but be endangering their parents and older people around them.”

Dr. Omo Izedomwen, a public health expert said the country was already experiencing community transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic and that the only way to break it currently was to adhere to safety measures and restrictions instituted by the government .

Izedomwen, who is also the Coordinator of the Abuja Centre of the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) warned that disregarding the public safety measures comes with a cost, which people could regret later, adding “We can make choices but unfortunately cannot decide the consequences of these choices. And the consequences are very dire.”

He said the United States of America for instance had recorded over 100, 000 deaths already, saying these were people who once laughed and spent time with their loved ones.

Dr. Audu Onyemocho, an epidemiologist and an associate Professor of Community Medicine said the poor level of compliance by the public does not augur well for curbing the spread of the disease.

“The public should note that everyone is susceptible to COVID-19.

“It doesn’t show on the face, so the only way is to protect yourself and people around you,” he said.

As of yesterday, Nigeria had recorded 15, 682 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Of the number, 5, 101 cases have been discharged and 407 deaths recorded.

Findings by Daily Trust revealed that doubts about the existence of COVID-19 was still widespread among Nigerians in spite of the increasing number of cases. This is happening three months after the country recorded its first case of the disease.

Our reporters gathered that some of those who initially believed in the outbreak of the disease have grown complacent and abandoned hygiene measures to protect themselves.

Compliance across the FCT, states

A resident of Abuja, Ene John, said she initially believed the existence of the virus in the wake of the pandemic in Nigeria but after observing social distancing, quarantining at home and regular washing of hand for two months, she was tired of living in fear.

My Sylvester Obasoto said the low level of compliance stems from people’s belief that the government was using the virus to embezzle money.

“I was in a cab yesterday and a lady confidently declared that coronavirus doesn’t affect blacks.

“I saw a video clip too that explained that coronavirus only affects rich people.

“I think people need to be better informed about the dangers of not complying with preventive measures.

“Government should make provisions for protective equipment.

“Households and individuals have an active role to play too,” he said.

Emmanuela Chidera, a student in Nsugbe, Anambra State, told Daily Trust it was impossible for COVID-19 to thrive in Nigeria because of the intense heat.

Chidera said the federal and state governments have commercialised the disease, announcing fake COVID-19 positive cases to attract international sympathy, donor funds and debt relief.

Mr. Adekunle Eniolorunda, decried the high level of violation among the public saying it puts even those who believe the virus exists in the country at risk.

He called for improved sensitisation of the populace especially on the use of face masks.

Another resident of Abuja, Eneojo Abraham said since the index case was recorded in Lagos in February, all Nigerians see were figures churned by the NCDC and not the people affected by the virus.

Plateau

Residents of the Plateau state capital, Jos, are yet to fully comply with preventive measures announced by the government.

There are still mixed feelings among the people towards the coronavirus.

While some believe it exists, some think it is the virus for rich people and could not affect the poor.

A resident of Unguwar Rogo in Jos, Ahmed Hussain, said he still lives his life normally and relates with the people/society as usual because he doesn’t believe COVID-19 exists.

Benue

In Benue State, some citizens adhere to safety measures stipulated by the NCDC for the prevention of COVID-19 but others have carried on as if the virus does not exist in the country.

Our correspondent reports that while most people in Makurdi, the state capital are seen obeying rules to protect themselves against the virus, most in Otukpo, Gboko, Kastina-Ala and rural areas do not comply with protective measures.

Ada Ekoja, an Otukpo resident told our correspondent that people behaved that way because there was no disease called COVID-19, alleging that the ‘noise’ about the virus was orchestrated by the federal government to draw international sympathies to make money.

Kano

Despite the fact that Kano is one of the top five states with the highest COVID-19 cases, the attitude of the people towards the prevention protocols is poor; majority of the people go about their businesses without recourse to preventive guidelines.

Comrade Nafiu Gurka, a resident said the disease was not different from ordinary catarrh and cough.

Edo

In Edo state, many people violate use of face masks, social distancing and other protective measures till date.

Daily Trust observed that even commercial vehicles are not adhering to the approved numbers of passengers as some of them still overload their vehicles.

A barber, who gave his name as Jude said he doesn’t observe safety measures because coronavirus does not exist.

A resident, Christian Osadolor, said he does not comply with COVID-19 measures because government is just using it to create fear in people’s minds

Lagos

Compliance with COVID-19 measures is still poor in Lagos despite the fact that it has the highest number of cases.

A resident, Mukaila Tajudeen of Kolket Venture said the government failed to create adequate and sustainable awareness among the masses, added with corruption among Nigerian public office holders.

“So a lot of Nigerians believe that governments at all levels are just using COVID-19 to embezzle public funds.

“Take for instance, how many Nigerians benefited from the government’s palliative packages? They just claimed they gave palliatives to thousands of households.”

Gombe

In Gombe, residents expressed mixed reactions about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some are of the view that it was being exaggerated thus affecting the compliance level.

A public servant, Abubakar Uba said it was not as deadly as leaders across the world were projecting it.

Malam Muhammad, said it seemed to be a man-made pandemic amplified for sinister motives and against, which Allah has protected the weaker nations. He added however that he has a habit of washing his hands regularly even before COVID-19 pandemic.

Experts’ views

Dr. Francis Ohanyido, a public health expert said there was need for improved sensitisation of the populace on COVID-19.

He said the government should also ensure community engagement so that more people would be enlightened about it.

He added that the government should also include civil society organisations in the enlightenment process so that more people could be reached.

The Chairman, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Plateau State Council, Briskila Dabit, said it was unfortunate that people still don’t believe the existence of COVID-19 in the state.

She said such mentality was the reason for the careless attitude of many persons towards the preventive measures.

She said anyone doubting the existence of the disease in the state should visit the isolation centers, particularly the one in Riyom in Plateau state to see the affected persons receiving treatment there.

Meanwhile, the Edo state epidemiologist, Dr. Uwa Okuarobo, said the state government has stepped up sensitisation campaign to keep the people abreast of government’s activities and the truth about COVID-19.

“There is lots of misinformation about COVID-19, and it is our duty to let them know that it is not a scam, nobody is falsifying figures or wants to use it to make money. It is affecting the whole world,” he said.

The Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Garba Abari said the NOA commenced community sensitisation of Nigerians on the reality, danger and preventive measures against the COVID-19 virus as set out by the NCDC.

He noted that the Agency produced video and audio awareness jingles on the disease in English, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba languages, and distributed them accordingly to all states of the Federation.

Researchers have found that living in polluted cities may cause the bones to be weaker and easier to break.

The researchers also found that city-dwellers exposed to toxic air have weaker hips and spines and are more prone to fractures

The Spanish researchers believe that bones are weakened because tiny pollutants seep into the blood when inhaled and speed up the ageing process.

A study carried out India of nearly 4,000 people found that those exposed to toxic particles had less bone density in their lower back and those who inhaled more toxic airborne particles had less bone mass in their spines and hips.

Meanwhile, previous studies have linked pollution to low levels of parathyroid hormone, which regulates calcium production, leading to more fragile bones.

Researchers found that smog-filled towns and cities have been linked to an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, acute respiratory diseases such as asthma and even dementia.

Although, there have only been a few studies into the effect of toxic airborne particles on bone health, the results have so far been inconclusive.

Researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health in their latest paper, looked at 3,700 people who were all residents from 28 villages outside the city of Hyderabad in southern India between 2009 and 2012.

The researchers took measurements of PM2.5 and black carbon in the atmosphere in each village.

PM2.5 is the finest type of particulate matter, while black carbon is a larger toxin. Both come mainly from petrol and diesel vehicle exhausts.

Their analysis revealed average PM2.5 exposure was 33 micrograms per metre cubed (ug/m3) – far above the maximum 10ug/m3 levels recommended by the World Health Organisation.

By comparison, the average level is 13ug/m3 in London, 12ug/m3 in New York and 10ug/m3 in Sydney.

The researchers also cross-referenced pollution levels with X-rays measuring bone mass in participants’ lower back, known as the lumbar spine, and hip.

The results showed that exposure to air pollution was associated with lower levels of bone mass.

For every 3ug/m3 increase in fine particulate matter, there was a decrease of -0.57g of bone mass in the spine and -0.13g in the hip, while an increase of 1ug/m3 of carbon saw bone density shrink by -1.13g in the spine and -0.35g in the hip.

The study lead author, Otavio Ranzani said: “This study contributes to the limited and inconclusive literature on air pollution and bone health.

“Inhalation of polluting particles could lead to bone mass loss through the oxidative stress and inflammation caused by air pollution.’ The findings were published in the journal Jama Network Open.

However, a 2017 study by Columbia University of more than nine million people was the first to find a link between traffic fumes and fractures caused by osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break.

The study linked pollution exposure to low levels of parathyroid hormone, which regulates calcium production, leading to weaker bones and more hospitalisations for fractures.

The study found hospital admissions for bone fractures were higher in communities with elevated levels of PM2.5, as more than 80 per cent of the world’s urban population is breathing unsafe levels of air pollution.

Described as an invisible killer, it causes an estimated seven million premature deaths yearly worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

However, health experts fear that pollution is also fuelling increases in degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Previous studies found that air pollution has a negative impact on students’ cognitive abilities.

Many pollutants are thought to directly affect brain chemistry in a variety of ways.

For instance, particulate matter from traffic and industry can carry toxins through small passageways and directly enter the brain.

Culled from www.dailymail.co.uk

Muscle cramps are painful, visible contractions of a muscle or part of a muscle. Many people experience muscle cramps in the calf.

In most cases, the cramp can last for a few seconds to a few minutesTrusted Source before spontaneously resolving.

Keep reading to learn about the causes, treatments, and prevention of leg muscle cramps.

Treatment

Leg muscle cramps can be very painful and uncomfortable.

To provide some relief, a person can:

  • stretch the muscle
  • get a deep tissue massage
  • apply a hot or cold compress to the affected area

A doctor will not usually recommend medication for the routine treatment of leg cramps due to there being very little evidence of the medicines working. However, in some cases, a doctor may consider medications such as:

  • carisoprodol
  • diltiazem
  • gabapentin
  • orphenadrine
  • verapamil
  • vitamin B-12 complex

In pregnant women, magnesium and multivitamins may help.

In the past, people have also used quinine to treat leg cramps. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have strongly advised against this due to safety concernsTrusted Source.

Prevention

If a person suspects that their cramps are due to serious medical concerns such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or the ingestion of toxins, they should seek emergency medical attention.

However, for benign cramps, staying hydrated and maintaining a healthful diet may help in preventing leg muscle cramps.

Before exercising, a person should be sure to stretch the muscles and drink plenty of water.

Helpful foods

Many people believe that taking magnesium supplements can help prevent muscle cramps. In fact, some vitamin and mineral supplement companies actually market magnesium supplements for muscle cramp prevention.

Some foods also provide magnesium. Foods that are high in magnesium include:

  • almonds
  • spinach
  • cashew nuts
  • peanuts
  • soymilk
  • black beans
  • edamame
  • baked potatoes with skin
  • cooked brown rice
  • plain, low fat yogurt

However, it is important to note that studies have not yet confirmed that magnesium is effective for the prevention of leg muscle cramps.

Causes

Muscle cramp occurs when the surrounding neurons repetitively stimulate it. Leg muscle cramps are a commonTrusted Source occurrence.

According to some researchersTrusted Source, the exact causes of leg muscle cramps are largely unknown, but some triggers can include:

  • exercise
  • pregnancy
  • the presence of nocturnal leg cramps
  • dehydration
  • certain medications, including intravenous iron sucrose, raloxifene, naproxen, and teriparatide

Sometimes, leg muscle cramps can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. These might include:

  • a neurological condition, such as motor neuron disease
  • an infection, such as tetanus
  • liver disease
  • DVT

Ingesting toxins such as lead or mercury can also cause muscle cramps.

If a person believes that they have ingested one or both of these toxins, they should call Poison Control on 1-800-222-1222 and seek emergency medical attention.

Who is at risk?

Leg muscle cramps can affect anyone, but those who are more at risk include:

  • people with overweight or obesity
  • athletes
  • people taking certain medications
  • older adults, particularly those aged 65 and over
  • pregnant women

Is it serious?

When leg muscle cramps occur as a result of exercise or standing for too long, the body needs rest. In these cases, the symptoms should resolve on their own.

When leg muscle cramps become persistent, however, a person may also notice that they are not sleeping well, or that they feel limited in their daily activities. Although not serious, these persistent symptoms can impact a person’s quality of life.

If a person experiences muscle cramps along with other symptoms, such as swelling or skin discoloration, they should seek emergency medical help, as it may be a symptom of DVT.

Cramps that occur in young, healthy people and resolve spontaneously do not usually require medical attention.

If leg muscle cramps become recurrent or start to affect a person’s quality of life and daily activities, they should make an appointment with their doctor.

Summary

Leg muscle cramps are common complaints that can occur in anyone. People who are more at risk of experiencing leg muscle cramps include young people who exercise, pregnant women, and older adults.

If leg muscle cramps do not resolve or become persistent, a person should visit their doctor.

Severe leg muscle cramps may be a symptom of a serious underlying condition that requires immediate medical attention.

However, in most situations, leg muscle cramps are not serious and will go away on their own.

What is psoriasis?

PSORIASIS is a chronic autoimmune skin disease that speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells.

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?
Psoriasis causes patches of thick red skin and silvery scales. Patches are typically found on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of feet, but can affect other places (fingernails, toenails, and mouth). The most common type of psoriasis is called plaque psoriasis.

Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis that eventually occurs in 10 percent to 20 percent of people with psoriasis. It is different from more common types of arthritis (such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis) and is thought to be related to the underlying problem of psoriasis. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are sometimes considered together as psoriatic disease.

Who is at risk for psoriasis?
Anyone can get psoriasis. It occurs mostly in adults, but children can also get it. Men and women seem to have equal risk.

Can I get psoriasis from someone who has it?
Psoriasis is not contagious. This means you cannot get psoriasis from contact (example, touching skin patches) with someone who has it.

What causes psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, meaning that part of the body’s own immune system becomes overactive and attacks normal tissues in the body.

How is psoriasis diagnosed and treated?
Psoriasis often has a typical appearance that a primary care doctor can recognize, but it can be confused with other skin diseases (like eczema), so a dermatologist (skin doctor) is often the best doctor to diagnose it. The treatment of psoriasis usually depends on how much skin is affected, how bad the disease is (example, having many or painful skin patches), or the location (especially the face). Treatments range from creams and ointments applied to the affected areas to ultraviolet light therapy to drugs (such as methotrexate). Many people who have psoriasis also have serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and depression.

Psoriatic arthritis has many of the same symptoms as other types of arthritis, so a rheumatologist (arthritis doctor) is often the best doctor to diagnose it. The treatment of psoriatic arthritis usually involves the use of drugs (such as methotrexate). Psoriatic disease (when a person has psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis) may be treated with drugs (such as methotrexate) or a combination of drugs and creams or ointments.

Pineapple, a delicious tropical fruit, has been celebrated for centuries not only for its unique taste but also for its miraculous health benefits. The health and medicinal benefits of pineapple include improving the immune system, respiratory health and digestion, strengthening bones, reducing inflammation, curing coughs and colds, and weight loss.

Aside from the interesting story and appearance of this fruit, it is also a storehouse of huge health benefits due to its wealth of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, including potassium, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, beta carotene,  thiamin, B6, and folate, as well as soluble and insoluble fiber, and bromelain.

A pineapple fruit is known to offer a lot of benefits, which include a stronger immune system, weight loss, improved respiratory health and strengthened bones, among others. Let us discuss each benefit in detail;

Treats arthritis

Boosts immunity

A single serving of pineapple has more than 130 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin C for human beings, making it one of the richest and most delicious sources of ascorbic acid. Vitamin C helps in reducing illnesses and boosting the immune system by stimulating the activity of white blood cells and acting as an antioxidant to defend against the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals are dangerous by products of cellular metabolism that can damage various organ systems and disrupt function, as well as cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous ones. The vitamin C content of pineapples defends against this.

Improves cellular health

One of the commonly overlooked benefits of vitamin C is its essential role in creating collagen. This is partly the reason why it is seen as a healing vitamin because collagen is the essential protein base of blood vessel walls, skin, organs, and bones. High vitamin C content in pineapple helps you heal wounds and injuries quickly, along with defending your body against infections and illnesses.

Prevents cancer

Pineapple has been directly related to preventing cancers of the mouth, throat, and breast, as it is rich in various other antioxidants, including vitamin A, beta carotene, bromelain, various flavonoid compounds, and high levels of manganese. Manganese is an important cofactor of superoxide dismutase, an extremely potent free radical scavenger that has been associated with a number of different cancers.

Treats cough and cold

The normal immune system boosting power of vitamin C is well known, but that special enzyme, bromelain, is also connected with the reduction of phlegm and mucus build up in the respiratory tracts and sinus cavities. Pineapples, rich in bromelain and vitamin C, therefore prevent and treat respiratory illnesses, and eliminate phlegm and mucus from your body if you’ve already contracted an illness or infection.

Improves vision

Vision is one of the most important senses for human beings and pineapples have been directly connected to improving eye health and preventing the age-related eye deficiencies that often occur. Macular degeneration affects many elderly people, and beta carotene can help delay this vision problem. Keeping proper amounts of beta-carotene in your diet from fruits and vegetables is essential in maintaining good eyesight as you age.