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Elevated liver enzymes – Mayo Clinic

Elevated liver enzymes often indicate inflammation or damage to cells in the liver. Inflamed or injured liver cells leak higher than normal amounts of certain chemicals, including liver enzymes, into the bloodstream, elevating liver enzymes on blood tests.

The elevated liver enzymes most commonly found are:

  • Alanine transaminase (ALT)
  • Aspartate transaminase (AST)
  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
  • Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT)

Elevated liver enzymes might be discovered during routine blood testing. In most cases, liver enzyme levels are only mildly and temporarily elevated. Most of the time, elevated liver enzymes don’t signal a chronic, serious liver problem.

 

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March 05, 2020

Show references

  1. Friedman LS. Approach to the patient with abnormal liver and biochemical function tests. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Jan. 17, 2020.
  2. Kwo PY, et al. ACG clinical guideline: Elevation of abnormal liver chemistries. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2017; doi:10.1038/ajg.2016.517.
  3. Lab Tests Online. Liver panel. https://labtestsonline.org/tests/liver-panel. Accessed Jan. 17, 2020.


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Risk Factors, Symptoms, Types & Prevention

Overview

What is the liver’s function?

Your liver is an essential organ with multiple life-supporting functions. The liver:

  • Produces bile, which helps with digestion.
  • Makes proteins for the body.
  • Stores iron.
  • Converts nutrients into energy.
  • Creates substances that help your blood clot (stick together to heal wounds).
  • Helps you resist infections by making immune factors and removing bacteria and toxins (substances that can harm your body) from your blood.

What is fatty liver disease?

Fatty liver disease (steatosis) is a common condition caused by having too much fat build up in your liver. A healthy liver contains a small amount of fat. It becomes a problem when fat reaches 5% to 10% of your liver’s weight.

Why is fatty liver disease bad?

In most cases, fatty liver disease doesn’t cause any serious problems or prevent your liver from functioning normally. But for 7% to 30% of people with the condition, fatty liver disease gets worse over time. It progresses through three stages:

  1. Your liver becomes inflamed (swollen), which damages its tissue. This stage is called steatohepatitis.

  2. Scar tissue forms where your liver is damaged. This process is called fibrosis.

  3. Extensive scar tissue replaces healthy tissue. At this point, you have cirrhosis of the liver.

Cirrhosis of the liver

Cirrhosis of the liver is a result of severe damage to the liver. The hard scar tissue that replaces healthy liver tissue slows down the liver’s functioning. Eventually, it can block liver function entirely. Cirrhosis can lead to liver failure and liver cancer.

What are the forms of fatty liver disease?

There are two main forms of fatty liver disease:

Alcoholic liver disease

Alcoholic fatty liver is the accumulation of fat in the liver as a result of heavy drinking. (Moderate drinking is defined as one drink a day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.) About 5% of people in the U.S. have this form of liver disease.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease occurs in people who aren’t heavy drinkers. The condition affects one in three adults and one in 10 children in the United States. Researchers haven’t found the exact cause of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Several factors, such as obesity and diabetes, can increase your risk.

Symptoms and Causes

Who gets fatty liver disease?

You have a greater chance of developing fatty liver disease if you:

  • Are Hispanic or Asian.
  • Are a postmenopausal woman (a woman whose periods have stopped).
  • Have obesity with a high level of belly fat.
  • Have high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol.
  • Have obstructive sleep apnea (a blocked airway that causes breathing to stop and start during sleep).

What causes fatty liver disease?

Some people get fatty liver disease without having any pre-existing conditions. But these risk factors make you more likely to develop it:

What are the symptoms of fatty liver disease?

People with fatty liver disease often have no symptoms until the disease progresses to cirrhosis of the liver. If you do have symptoms, they may include:

  • Abdominal pain or a feeling of fullness in the upper right side of the abdomen (belly).
  • Nausea, loss of appetite or weight loss.
  • Yellowish skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice).
  • Swollen abdomen and legs (edema).
  • Extreme tiredness or mental confusion.
  • Weakness.

Diagnosis and Tests

How is fatty liver disease diagnosed?

Because fatty liver disease often has no symptoms, your doctor may be the first one to spot it. Higher levels of liver enzymes (elevated liver enzymes) that turn up on a blood test for other conditions may raise a red flag. Elevated liver enzymes are a sign your liver is injured. To make a diagnosis, your doctor may order:

  • Ultrasound or computed tomography (CT scan) to get a picture of the liver.
  • Liver biopsy (tissue sample) to determine how far advanced liver disease has progressed.
  • FibroScan®, a specialized ultrasound sometimes used instead of a liver biopsy to find out the amount of fat and scar tissue in the liver.

Management and Treatment

How is fatty liver disease treated?

There’s no medication specifically for fatty liver disease. Instead, doctors focus on helping you control factors that contribute to the condition. They also recommend making lifestyle changes that can significantly improve your health. Treatment includes:

  • Avoiding alcohol.
  • Losing weight.
  • Taking medications to control diabetes, cholesterol and triglycerides (fat in the blood).
  • Taking vitamin E and thiazolidinediones (drugs used to treat diabetes such as Actos® and Avandia®) in specific instances .

Prevention

How can fatty liver disease be prevented?

The best way to avoid fatty liver disease is to do the things that maintain overall health:

  • Stay at a healthy weight. If you’re overweight or obese, lose weight gradually.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption.
  • Take medications as prescribed.

Outlook / Prognosis

Can fatty liver disease be reversed?

The liver has an amazing ability to repair itself. If you avoid alcohol or lose weight, it’s possible to reduce liver fat and inflammation and reverse early liver damage.

Will fatty liver disease kill you?

Fatty liver disease doesn’t cause major problems for most people. However, it can turn into a more serious problem if it progresses into cirrhosis of the liver. Untreated cirrhosis of the liver eventually leads to liver failure or liver cancer. Your liver is an organ you can’t live without.

Living With

What is a good fatty liver diet?

Follow a balanced diet to lose weight slowly but steadily. Rapid weight loss can actually make fatty liver disease worse. Doctors often recommend the Mediterranean diet, which is high in vegetables, fruits and good fats. Ask your doctor or nutritionist for advice on healthy weight loss techniques.

What questions should I ask my doctor?

  • Am I taking any medications that could contribute to fatty liver disease?
  • How much damage does my liver have?
  • How long will it take to reverse the liver damage?
  • What is a healthy weight for me?
  • Can I talk to a nutritionist or go to classes to learn about healthy eating?
  • How can I get treatment for alcohol use disorder?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Consider fatty liver disease an early warning sign to help you avoid a fatal liver condition, like cirrhosis or liver cancer. Even if you don’t have symptoms or any liver function problems at this point, it’s still important to take steps to stop or reverse fatty liver disease.

Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Diet & More

Overview

What is hemochromatosis?

Hemochromatosis, also called iron overload, is a condition in which your body stores too much iron.

What is iron, and why do I need it?

Iron is a mineral found in certain foods. Your body needs iron to:

  • Help hemoglobin in blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body.
  • Make red blood cells.
  • Produce certain hormones.

Normally, your intestines absorb just the right amount of iron from the food you eat. But with hemochromatosis, the body absorbs extra iron and stores it in your organs, especially your heart, liver and pancreas.

Why is too much iron dangerous?

Too much iron can be toxic.

In the heart, it can cause:

Too much iron in the liver can lead to:

In addition, iron overload can cause:

  • Arthritis (joint damage).
  • Diabetes.
  • Problems with the spleen, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, gallbladder or thyroid.
  • Problems with the reproductive system, such as erectile dysfunction in men and early menopause in women.
  • Skin that may look noticeably more gray or bronze than usual.

If the condition isn’t treated, it can lead to death.

How common is hemochromatosis?

The condition is fairly common, affecting more than a million Americans.

Symptoms and Causes

What causes hemochromatosis?

There are two types of hemochromatosis, each with different causes.

An inherited genetic change is the most common cause. It’s called primary hemochromatosis, hereditary hemochromatosis or classical hemochromatosis. With primary hemochromatosis, problems with the DNA come from both parents and cause the body to absorb too much iron.

In secondary hemochromatosis, medical treatments or other medical conditions cause the iron overload. Examples include:

Are certain people more likely to have primary hemochromatosis?

The inherited form of hemochromatosis is more common in white people with ancestors from Northern Europe. It’s less common in people with African-American, Hispanic, Asian or American Indian descent.

Men have hemochromatosis more than women. Women lose iron when they get their periods or have babies. Their bodies also store less iron. Hemochromatosis is also more common in older people because iron toxicity takes years to develop.

Other factors that increase the chances of developing hemochromatosis include alcohol abuse and a family history of:

  • Arthritis.
  • Diabetes.
  • Heart attack.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Liver disease.

What are the symptoms of hemochromatosis?

Not every person with hemochromatosis develops symptoms. Some people with high levels of iron don’t have any problems, while others experience very serious symptoms.

Symptoms usually don’t appear until middle age, and they often look like signs of other conditions. These signs may include:

Diagnosis and Tests

How is hemochromatosis diagnosed?

If you potentially have hemochromatosis, your healthcare provider will:

  • Ask if your parents ever had iron overload, liver disease or other related diseases.
  • Ask if you take iron supplements, by mouth or injection.
  • Ask if you take extra vitamin C, which can boost absorption of iron.
  • Check your joints for pain.
  • Listen to your heart for an irregular beat.
  • Look at your skin to see if the color is off.
  • Press near your liver to test for pain.

What tests might I need for hemochromatosis?

Your healthcare provider may order:

  • Blood tests to measure how much iron is in your blood and your organs.
  • Genetic testing to see if you have the inherited form of hemochromatosis.
  • Liver biopsy, when a small needle removes a tiny bit of liver tissue for study under a microscope.
  • MRI to take detailed pictures of your organs.

Management and Treatment

How is hemochromatosis treated?

Diet changes and other treatments can help ease the symptoms of hemochromatosis. They can also help prevent or delay further damage to your organs:

  • Changes to your diet: Your healthcare provider will probably ask you to avoid supplements with iron. You may also need to stay away from foods with too much iron and limit vitamin C. Limit your alcohol consumption, too, because it’s not good for your liver.
  • Iron chelation therapy: This medication removes extra iron from your body. It’s taken by mouth at home or injected into the blood by a healthcare provider.
  • Therapeutic phlebotomy: This procedure uses a needle and tube to remove blood, and the iron it contains, from your body. Treatment needs to be repeated frequently, so you’ll have regular blood tests to measure iron levels.

If another condition caused hemochromatosis, you may need treatment for that, too. And healthcare providers may recommend treating any problems caused by hemochromatosis.

Prevention

Can I prevent hemochromatosis?

You can’t prevent hemochromatosis, but you can get help controlling your iron levels. By identifying and treating hemochromatosis early, healthcare providers can help you avoid complications.

Outlook / Prognosis

What is the outlook with hemochromatosis?

The outlook for hemochromatosis depends on the timing of diagnosis and treatment. If not caught and addressed early, severe hemochromatosis can cause serious problems. These complications can include organ damage and possible death.

But hemochromatosis is also a manageable disease. With early detection and treatment, you can survive and live a normal, healthy life. Sometimes organ damage can even be reversed.

How long will I need treatment?

Your healthcare provider will determine how long you need treatment.

If you are diagnosed with hemochromatosis, you’ll need to have some blood withdrawn once a week to start. You may then be able to switch to every few months, though you’ll still need ongoing treatment.

Living With

How much iron do I need in my diet?

Your healthcare provider can help you determine how much iron you need. It depends on several factors, including:

  • Age.
  • Pregnancy status.
  • Sex.

Should I change my diet?

Your healthcare provider will probably suggest that you:

  • Avoid iron pills, iron injections, multivitamins containing iron and iron-fortified, processed foods.
  • Avoid raw or undercooked fish and shellfish. They may contain bacteria that cause infections and complications in people with disease.
  • Limit alcohol to protect your liver.
  • Limit vitamin C.

Will my kids get hemochromatosis?

If you have hemochromatosis (or a family history of it) and are considering having children, consider genetic testing. You and your partner can get tested for the genetic change responsible, which is called the HFE gene. Your healthcare provider and genetic counselor can help you determine the likelihood of passing it on to your children.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Hemochromatosis is a common disease that makes the body store too much iron. Although it can cause serious problems, it’s very treatable, especially when identified early. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of hemochromatosis or a family history of it. Genetic testing can identify the disease early so you can live a long, healthy life.

Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Testing & Treatment

Overview

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid gland is a small organ that’s located in the front of the neck, wrapped around the windpipe (trachea). It’s shaped like a butterfly, smaller in the middle with two wide wings that extend around the side of your throat. The thyroid is a gland. You have glands throughout your body, where they create and release substances that help your body do a specific thing. Your thyroid makes hormones that help control many vital functions of your body.

When your thyroid doesn’t work properly, it can impact your entire body. If your body makes too much thyroid hormone, you can develop a condition called hyperthyroidism. If your body makes too little thyroid hormone, it’s called hypothyroidism. Both conditions are serious and need to be treated by your healthcare provider.

What does the thyroid do?

Your thyroid has an important job to do within your body — releasing and controlling thyroid hormones that control metabolism. Metabolism is a process where the food you take into your body is transformed into energy. This energy is used throughout your entire body to keep many of your body’s systems working correctly. Think of your metabolism as a generator. It takes in raw energy and uses it to power something bigger.

The thyroid controls your metabolism with a few specific hormones — T4 (thyroxine, contains four iodide atoms) and T3 (triiodothyronine, contains three iodide atoms). These two hormones are created by the thyroid and they tell the body’s cells how much energy to use. When your thyroid works properly, it will maintain the right amount of hormones to keep your metabolism working at the right rate. As the hormones are used, the thyroid creates replacements.

This is all supervised by something called the pituitary gland. Located in the center of the skull, below your brain, the pituitary gland monitors and controls the amount of thyroid hormones in your bloodstream. When the pituitary gland senses a lack of thyroid hormones or a high level of hormones in your body, it will adjust the amounts with its own hormone. This hormone is called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). The TSH will be sent to the thyroid and it will tell the thyroid what needs to be done to get the body back to normal.

What is thyroid disease?

Thyroid disease is a general term for a medical condition that keeps your thyroid from making the right amount of hormones. Your thyroid typically makes hormones that keep your body functioning normally. When the thyroid makes too much thyroid hormone, your body uses energy too quickly. This is called hyperthyroidism. Using energy too quickly will do more than make you tired — it can make your heart beat faster, cause you to lose weight without trying and even make you feel nervous. On the flip-side of this, your thyroid can make too little thyroid hormone. This is called hypothyroidism. When you have too little thyroid hormone in your body, it can make you feel tired, you might gain weight and you may even be unable to tolerate cold temperatures.

These two main disorders can be caused by a variety of conditions. They can also be passed down through families (inherited).

Who is affected by thyroid disease?

Thyroid disease can affect anyone — men, women, infants, teenagers and the elderly. It can be present at birth (typically hypothyroidism) and it can develop as you age (often after menopause in women).

Thyroid disease is very common, with an estimated 20 million people in the Unites States having some type of thyroid disorder. A woman is about five to eight times more likely to be diagnosed with a thyroid condition than a man.

You may be at a higher risk of developing a thyroid disease if you:

  • Have a family history of thyroid disease.
  • Have a medical condition (these can include pernicious anemia, type 1 diabetes, primary adrenal insufficiency, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome and Turner syndrome).
  • Take a medication that’s high in iodine (amiodarone).
  • Are older than 60, especially in women.
  • Have had treatment for a past thyroid condition or cancer (thyroidectomy or radiation).

Symptoms and Causes

What causes thyroid disease?

The two main types of thyroid disease are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Both conditions can be caused by other diseases that impact the way the thyroid gland works.

Conditions that can cause hypothyroidism include:

  • Thyroiditis: This condition is an inflammation (swelling) of the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis can lower the amount of hormones your thyroid produces.
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: A painless disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where the body’s cells attack and damage the thyroid. This is an inherited condition.
  • Postpartum thyroiditis: This condition occurs in 5% to 9% of women after childbirth. It’s usually a temporary condition.
  • Iodine deficiency: Iodine is used by the thyroid to produce hormones. An iodine deficiency is an issue that affects several million people around the world..
  • A non-functioning thyroid gland: Sometimes, the thyroid gland doesn’t work correctly from birth. This affects about 1 in 4,000 newborns. If left untreated, the child could have both physical and mental issues in the future. All newborns are given a screening blood test in the hospital to check their thyroid function.

Conditions that can cause hyperthyroidism include:

  • Graves’ disease: In this condition the entire thyroid gland might be overactive and produce too much hormone. This problem is also called diffuse toxic goiter (enlarged thyroid gland).
  • Nodules: Hyperthyroidism can be caused by nodules that are overactive within the thyroid. A single nodule is called toxic autonomously functioning thyroid nodule, while a gland with several nodules is called a toxic multi-nodular goiter.
  • Thyroiditis: This disorder can be either painful or not felt at all. In thyroiditis, the thyroid releases hormones that were stored there. This can last for a few weeks or months.
  • Excessive iodine: When you have too much iodine (the mineral that is used to make thyroid hormones) in your body, the thyroid makes more thyroid hormones than it needs. Excessive iodine can be found in some medications (amiodarone, a heart medication) and cough syrups.

Is there a higher risk of developing thyroid disease if I have diabetes?

If you have diabetes, you’re at a higher risk of developing a thyroid disease than people without diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. If you already have one autoimmune disorder, you are more likely to develop another one.

For people with type 2 diabetes, the risk is lower, but still there. If you have type 2 diabetes, you’re more likely to develop a thyroid disease later in life.

Regular testing is recommended to check for thyroid issues. Those with type 1 diabetes may be tested more often — immediately after diagnosis and then every year or so — than people with type 2 diabetes. There isn’t a regular schedule for testing if you have type 2 diabetes, however your healthcare provider may suggest a schedule for testing over time.

If you have diabetes and get a positive thyroid test, there are a few things to you can do to help feel the best possible. These tips include:

  • Getting enough sleep.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Watching your diet.
  • Taking all of your medications as directed.
  • Getting tested regularly as directed by your healthcare provider.

What common symptoms can happen with thyroid disease?

There are a variety of symptoms you could experience if you have a thyroid disease. Unfortunately, symptoms of a thyroid condition are often very similar to the signs of other medical conditions and stages of life. This can make it difficult to know if your symptoms are related to a thyroid issue or something else entirely.

For the most part, the symptoms of thyroid disease can be divided into two groups — those related to having too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) and those related to having too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism).

Symptoms of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can include:

  • Experiencing anxiety, irritability and nervousness.
  • Having trouble sleeping.
  • Losing weight.
  • Having an enlarged thyroid gland or a goiter.
  • Having muscle weakness and tremors.
  • Experiencing irregular menstrual periods or having your menstrual cycle stop.
  • Feeling sensitive to heat.
  • Having vision problems or eye irritation.

Symptoms of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can include:

  • Feeling tired (fatigue).
  • Gaining weight.
  • Experiencing forgetfulness.
  • Having frequent and heavy menstrual periods.
  • Having dry and coarse hair.
  • Having a hoarse voice.
  • Experiencing an intolerance to cold temperatures.

Can thyroid issues make me lose my hair?

Hair loss is a symptom of thyroid disease, particularly hypothyroidism. If you start to experience hair loss and are concerned about it, talk to your healthcare provider.

Can thyroid issues cause seizures?

In most cases, thyroid issues don’t cause seizures. However, if you have a very severe cases of hypothyroidism that hasn’t been diagnosed or treated, your risk of developing low serum sodium goes up. This could lead to seizures.

Diagnosis and Tests

How to do a self-exam of your thyroid.

How is thyroid disease diagnosed?

Sometimes, thyroid disease can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are easily confused with those of other conditions. You may experience similar symptoms when you are pregnant or aging and you would when developing a thyroid disease. Fortunately, there are tests that can help determine if your symptoms are being caused by a thyroid issue. These tests include:

  • Blood tests.
  • Imaging tests.
  • Physical exams.

Blood tests

One of the most definitive ways to diagnose a thyroid problem is through blood tests. Thyroid blood tests are used to tell if your thyroid gland is functioning properly by measuring the amount of thyroid hormones in your blood. These tests are done by taking blood from a vein in your arm. Thyroid blood tests are used to see if you have:

  • Hyperthyroidism.
  • Hypothyroidism.

Thyroid blood tests are used to diagnose thyroid disorders associated with hyper- or hypothyroidism. These include:

The specific blood tests that will be done to test your thyroid can include:

  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced in the pituitary gland and regulates the balance of thyroid hormones — including T4 and T3 — in the bloodstream. This is usually the first test your provider will do to check for thyroid hormone imbalance. Most of the time, thyroid hormone deficiency (hypothyroidism) is associated with an elevated TSH level, while thyroid hormone excess (hyperthyroidism) is associated with a low TSH level. If TSH is abnormal, measurement of thyroid hormones directly, including thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) may be done to further evaluate the problem. Normal TSH range for an adult: 0.40 – 4.50 mIU/mL (milli-international units per liter of blood).
  • T4: Thyroxine tests for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, and used to monitor treatment of thyroid disorders. Low T4 is seen with hypothyroidism, whereas high T4 levels may indicate hyperthyroidism. Normal T4 range for an adult: 5.0 – 11.0 ug/dL (micrograms per deciliter of blood).
  • FT4: Free T4 or free thyroxine is a method of measuring T4 that eliminates the effect of proteins that naturally bind T4 and may prevent accurate measurement. Normal FT4 range for an adult: 0.9 – 1.7 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter of blood)
  • T3: Triiodothyronine tests help diagnose hyperthyroidism or to show the severity of hyperthyroidism. Low T3 levels can be observed in hypothyroidism, but more often this test is useful in the diagnosis and management of hyperthyroidism, where T3 levels are elevated. Normal T3 range: 100 – 200 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter of blood).
  • FT3: Free T3 or free triiodothyronine is a method of measuring T3 that eliminates the effect of proteins that naturally bind T3 and may prevent accurate measurement. Normal FT3 range: 2.3 – 4.1 pg/mL (picograms per milliliter of blood)

These tests alone aren’t meant to diagnose any illness but may prompt your healthcare provider to do additional testing to evaluate for a possible thyroid disorder.

Additional blood tests might include:

  • Thyroid antibodies: These tests help identify different types of autoimmune thyroid conditions. Common thyroid antibody tests include microsomal antibodies (also known as thyroid peroxidase antibodies or TPO antibodies), thyroglobulin antibodies (also known as TG antibodies), and thyroid receptor antibodies (includes thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins [TSI] and thyroid blocking immunoglobulins [TBI]).
  • Calcitonin: This test is used to diagnose C-cell hyperplasia and medullary thyroid cancer, both of which are rare thyroid disorders.
  • Thyroglobulin: This test is used to diagnose thyroiditis (thyroid inflammation) and to monitor treatment of thyroid cancer.

Talk to your healthcare provider about the ranges for these thyroid blood tests. Your ranges might not be the same as someone else’s. That’s often alright. If you have any concerns or worries about your blood test results, talk to your provider.

Imaging tests

In many cases, taking a look at the thyroid itself can answer a lot of questions. Your healthcare provider might do an imaging test called a thyroid scan. This allows your provider to look at your thyroid to check for an increased size, shape or growths (nodules).

Your provider could also use an imaging test called an ultrasound. This is a diagnostic procedure that transmits high-frequency sound waves, inaudible to the human ear, through body tissues. The echoes are recorded and transformed into video or photographic images. You may think of ultrasounds related to pregnancy, but they are used to diagnose many different issues within your body. Unlike X-rays, ultrasounds do not use radiation.

There’s typically little or no preparation before your ultrasound. You don’t need to change your diet beforehand or fast. During the test, you’ll lie flat on a padded examining table with your head positioned on a pillow so that your head is tilted back. A warm, water-soluble gel is applied to the skin over the area that’s being examined. This gel won’t hurt your skin or stain your clothes. Your healthcare provider will then apply a probe to your neck and gently move it around to see all parts of the thyroid.

An ultrasound typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

Physical exam

Another way to quickly check the thyroid is with a physical exam in your healthcare provider’s office. This is a very simple and painless test where your provider feels your neck for any growths or enlargement of the thyroid.

Management and Treatment

How is thyroid disease treated?

Your healthcare provider’s goal is to return your thyroid hormone levels to normal. This can be done in a variety of ways and each specific treatment will depend on the cause of your thyroid condition.

If you have high levels of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism), treatment options can include:

  • Anti-thyroid drugs (methimazole and propylthioracil): These are medications that stop your thyroid from making hormones.
  • Radioactive iodine: This treatment damages the cells of your thyroid, preventing it from making high levels of thyroid hormones.
  • Beta blockers: These medications don’t change the amount of hormones in your body, but they help control your symptoms.
  • Surgery: A more permanent form of treatment, your healthcare provider may surgically remove your thyroid (thyroidectomy). This will stop it from creating hormones. However, you will need to take thyroid replacement hormones for the rest of your life.

If you have low levels of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism), the main treatment option is:

  • Thyroid replacement medication: This drug is a synthetic (man-made) way to add thyroid hormones back into your body. One drug that’s commonly used is called levothyroxine. By using a medication, you can control thyroid disease and live a normal life.

Are there different types of thyroid removal surgery?

If your healthcare provider determines that your thyroid needs to be removed, there are a couple of ways that can be done. Your thyroid may need to be completely removed or just partially. This will depend on the severity of your condition. Also, if your thyroid is very big (enlarged) or has a lot of growths on it, that could prevent you from being eligible for some types of surgery.

The surgery to remove your thyroid is called a thyroidectomy. There are two main ways this surgery can be done:

  • With an incision on the front of your neck.
  • With an incision in your armpit.

The incision on the front of your neck is more of the traditional version of a thyroidectomy. It allows your surgeon to go straight in and remove the thyroid. In many cases, this might be your best option. You may need this approach if your thyroid is particularly big or has a lot of larger nodules.

Alternatively, there is a version of the thyroid removal surgery where your surgeon makes an incision in your armpit and then creates a tunnel to your thyroid. This tunnel is made with a special tool called an elevated retractor. It creates an opening that connects the incision in your armpit with your neck. The surgeon will use a robotic arm that will move through the tunnel to get to the thyroid. Once there, it can remove the thyroid back through the tunnel and out of the incision in your armpit.

This procedure is often called scarless because the incision is under your armpit and out of sight. However, it’s more complicated for the surgeon and the tunnel is more invasive for you. You may not be a candidate for this type of thyroid removal if you:

  • Are not at a healthy body weight.
  • Have large thyroid nodules.
  • Have a condition like thyroiditis or Graves’s disease.

Talk to your about all of your treatment options and the best type of surgery for you.

How long does it take to recover from thyroid surgery (thyroidectomy)?

It will take your body a few weeks to recover after your thyroid is surgically removed (thyroidectomy). During this time you should avoid a few things, including:

  • Submerging your incision under water.
  • Lifting an object that’s heavier than 15 pounds.
  • Doing more than light exercise.

This generally lasts for about two weeks. After that, you can return to your normal activities.

Outlook / Prognosis

How long after my thyroid is removed will my tiredness go away?

Typically, you will be given medication to help with your symptoms right after surgery. Your body actually has thyroid hormone still circulating throughout it, even after the thyroid has been removed. The hormones can still be in your body for two to three weeks. Medication will reintroduce new hormones into your body after the thyroid has been removed. If you are still feeling tired after surgery, remember that this can be a normal part of recovering from any type of surgery. It takes time for your body to heal. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are still experiencing fatigue and other symptoms of thyroid disease after surgery.

If part of my thyroid is surgically removed, will the other part be able to make enough thyroid hormones to keep me off of medication?

Sometimes, your surgeon may be able to remove part of your thyroid and leave the other part so that it can continue to create and release thyroid hormones. This is most likely in situations where you have a nodule that’s causing your thyroid problem. About 75% of people who have only one side of the thyroid removed are able to make enough thyroid hormone after surgery without hormone replacement therapy.

Living With

Can I check my thyroid at home?

You can do a quick and easy self-exam of your thyroid at home. The only tools you need to do this self-exam are a mirror and a glass of water.

To do the thyroid self-exam, follow these steps:

  • Start by identifying where your thyroid is located. Generally, you’ll find the thyroid on the front of your neck, between your collar bone and Adam’s apple. In men, the Adam’s apple is much easier to see. For women, it’s usually easiest to look from the collar bone up.
  • Tip your head back while looking in a mirror. Look at your neck and try to hone in on the space you will be looking once you start the exam.
  • Once you’re ready, take a drink of water while your head is tilted back. Watch your thyroid as you swallow. During this test, you’re looking for lumps or bumps. You may be able to see them when you swallow the water.

Repeat this test a few times to get a good look at your thyroid. If you see any lumps or bumps, reach out to your healthcare provider.

Should I exercise if I have a thyroid disease?

Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. You do not need to change your exercise routine if you have a thyroid disease. Exercise does not drain your body’s thyroid hormones and it shouldn’t hurt you to exercise. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider before you start a new exercise routine to make sure that it’s a good fit for you.

Can I live a normal life with a thyroid disease?

A thyroid disease is often a life-long medical condition that you will need to manage constantly. This often involves a daily medication. Your healthcare provider will monitor your treatments and make adjustments over time. However, you can usually live a normal life with a thyroid disease. It may take some time to find the right treatment option for you and control your hormone levels, but then people with these types of conditions can usually live life without many restrictions.

Polymyositis: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Overview

What is polymyositis?

Polymyositis is an inflammatory muscle disease that causes muscle weakness. Myositis means inflammation of muscle. Usually, polymyositis affects the muscles that are closest to the trunk of the body. Eventually, people with polymyositis have trouble when rising from a sitting position, climbing stairs, lifting objects, or reaching overhead. In some cases, muscles that are not close to the trunk of the body become affected as the disease progresses.

Polymyositis develops gradually over time, and it rarely affects persons younger than age 18. It is more common in women (by about 2 to 1).

If the condition is accompanied by an inflammatory process that strikes the skin as well, it is called dermatomyositis.

Polymyositis can be present in combination with other illnesses. Both polymyositis and dermatomyositis can sometimes be associated with cancers, including lymphoma, breast, lung, ovarian, and colon cancer.

Symptoms and Causes

What causes polymyositis?

The cause of polymyositis is not known, but there are indications that heredity plays a role in the disease.

Current research suggests that the condition may occur when immune system cells infiltrate and attack muscle tissue (an autoimmune process).

Research into the workings of the immune system and what causes it to malfunction may result in more knowledge about the causes of polymyositis.

What are the symptoms of polymyositis?

The following are some symptoms of polymyositis. These symptoms may come and go:

  • Muscle weakness: This is the most common symptom. The muscles involved usually are those closest to the trunk of the body, and the onset of weakness is usually gradual, occurring over 3 to 6 months or rarely the symptoms come on rapidly.
  • Difficulty getting up from chairs, climbing stairs, or lifting objects: Some people also have trouble with getting up after lying down.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Muscle ache: In some cases, muscles ache and are tender to the touch.
  • Fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath due to heart and lung involvement.
  • Patchy red or violet rash around the eyes: Some people also get patchy, red skin over the knuckles, elbows and knees or a red rash on the neck and upper chest.
  • Fever.
  • Weight loss.

Diagnosis and Tests

How is polymyositis diagnosed?

The diagnosis of the disease usually begins with a physician’s exam and blood testing. People who have polymyositis often have unusually high levels of muscle enzymes. The enzymes are released into the blood by muscle that is being damaged by inflammation. Routine blood and urine tests can check for internal organ abnormalities. Chest X-rays, mammograms, PAP smears, and other screening tests might be considered to look for signs of cancers that may arise with polymyositis. Additional testing can rule out other conditions resembling polymyositis.

Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity studies are electrical tests of muscle and nerves that can show abnormal findings typical of polymyositis. These tests also can rule out other nerve-muscle diseases. Imaging of the muscles can show areas of muscle inflammation and can be used to find muscle biopsy sites.

Muscle biopsy is a surgical procedure in which muscle tissue is removed and examined. A muscle biopsy is used to confirm the presence of muscle inflammation typical only of polymyositis.

Management and Treatment

How is polymyositis treated?

Polymyositis is treated with high doses of corticosteroids as a first course of treatment. Corticosteroids are given because they can effectively decrease the inflammation in the muscles. Corticosteroids do not always adequately improve polymyositis. In these patients immunosuppressive medications are considered. These medicines include:

  • Methotrexate (brand names Rheumatrex® and Trexall®)
  • Azathioprine (brand name Imuran® and Azasan®)
  • Cyclophosphamide (brand name Cytoxan®)
  • Chlorambucil (brand name Leukeran®)
  • Cyclosporine (brand name Sandimmune®, Gengraf®, and Neoral®)
  • Tacrolimus (brand name Astagraf XL®, Hecoria®, Prograf®)
  • Mycophenolate (brand name CellCept®, Myfortic®)
  • Rituximab (brand name Rituxan®)

In severe cases of polymyositis, the intravenous infusion of immunoglobulins (IVIG) has been an effective treatment. Physical therapy also is important in the treatment of polymyositis.

With early medical treatment of the disease and disease flares, patients with polymyositis can do well. The disease frequently becomes inactive, enabling the patient to focus on muscle rehabilitation.

Resources

For more information, please see the following:

Muscular Dystrophy Association – USA
National Office
161 N. Clark, Suite 3550
Chicago, IL 60601
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.mda.org
Toll free: 800.572.1717

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) Information Clearinghouse
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Phone: 301.495.4484
Toll free: 877.226.4267 (877.22NIAMS)
TTY: 301.565.2966
Fax: 301.718.6366
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://www.niams.nih.gov

Myositis Association
1940 Duke St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Toll free: 800.821.7356
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.myositis.org

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
National Headquarters, CT Office
55 Kenosia Avenue
Danbury, CT 06810
www.rarediseases.org
Tel: 203.744.0100
Fax: 203.263.9938

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) blood test

Definition

The aspartate aminotransferase (AST) blood test measures the level of the enzyme AST in the blood.

Alternative Names

Aspartate aminotransferase; Serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase; SGOT

How the Test is Performed

A blood sample is needed.

How to Prepare for the Test

No special preparation is needed.

How the Test will Feel

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away.

Why the Test is Performed

AST is an enzyme found in high levels in the liver, heart, and muscles. It is also found in lesser amounts in other tissues. An enzyme is a protein that causes a specific chemical change in the body.

Injury to the liver results in release of AST into the blood.

This test is mainly done along with other tests (such as ALT, ALP, and bilirubin) to diagnose and monitor liver disease.

Normal Results

The normal range is 8 to 33 U/L.

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or may test different samples. Talk to your health care provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

An increased AST level may be due to any of the following:

  • Scarring of the liver (cirrhosis)
  • Death of liver tissue
  • Heart attack
  • Too much iron in the body (hemochromatosis)
  • Swollen and inflamed liver (hepatitis)
  • Lack of blood flow to the liver (liver ischemia)
  • Liver cancer or tumor
  • Use of drugs that are toxic to the liver, especially alcohol use
  • Mononucleosis (“mono”)
  • Muscle disease or trauma
  • Swollen and inflamed pancreas (pancreatitis)

AST level may also increase after:

  • Burns (deep)
  • Heart procedures
  • Seizure
  • Surgery

Risks

There is little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some people may be more difficult than from others.

Risks associated with having blood drawn are slight, but may include:

  • Fainting or feeling lightheaded
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Multiple punctures to locate veins
  • Hematoma (blood collecting under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

References

Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Aspartate aminotransferase (AST, aspartate transaminase, SGOT) – serum. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:172-173.

Pratt DS. Liver chemistry and function tests. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 73.

AST – eClinpath

Synonyms

Glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT)

Physiology

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) catalyzes the transfer of the alpha amino group of aspartic acid to alpha-ketoglutaric acid, resulting in the formation of oxaloacetic acid and glutamic acid. Both aminotransferases (ALT and AST) require pyridoxal 5′ phosphate (P5P) as an essential cofactor for maximum enzyme activity. P5P is the active metabolite of vitamin B6, therefore reduced vitamin B6 (which occurs rarely in animal patients with liver disease or on certain drugs) can result in decreased aminotransferase activity, unless P5P is included in the assay system for the aminotransferases (as done here at Cornell).

AST is useful as an indicator of liver and/or muscle injury in large and small animals.

The enzyme half life is about 22 hours in the dog, 77 minutes in the cat, 7-8 days in horses and around 1 day in cattle.

Organ specificity

AST is not organ specific. Skeletal muscle contains the highest concentration, followed by liver and cardiac muscle. Erythrocytes contain enough to raise activity in serum when intravascular or in vitro hemolysis occurs (or RBC membranes are unstable causing leakage without overt hemolysis as occurs in some aged or stored samples). AST is also found in renal epithelial cells and brain tissue. It is located in the cytoplasm and mitochondria as different isoenzymes. Increases in the cytoplasmic AST isoenzyme requires only mild injury (and compared to ALT, AST activity may increase less in relatively mild hepatocellular injury), whereas release of the mitochondrial isoenzyme requires (and indicates) more severe cellular injury. Isoenzyme differentiation is not performed in veterinary medicine.

Method

Reaction type

Kinetic photometric

Procedure

In the first reaction AST catalyzes the reaction of α-ketoglutarate and L-aspartate which results in the production of L-glutamate and oxaloacetate. This reaction is carried out to equilibrium. Oxaloacetate produced in the first reaction is then reduced by NADH to L-malate under the catalytic action of malate dehydrogenase (MDH). The declining rate of NADH is measured photometrically and is proportional to the rate of formation of oxaloacetate and thus AST activity. The reaction is shown below:

L-aspartate + α-ketoglutarate      AST     > oxaloacetate+ L-glutamate

Oxaloacetate + NADH + H+     MDH    > L-malate + NAD+

 

Units of measurement

Enzyme activity is measured in U/L (U = international unit) and µkat/L (SI units), which is defined as the amount of enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of 1 µmol of substrate per minute under specified conditions. Conversion formula is shown below:

U/L x 0.0167 = µkat/L

Sample considerations

Sample type

Serum and plasma

Anticoagulant

Li-heparin or K2-EDTA

Stability

The stability of AST in human serum and plasma samples is as follows (per product information sheet): 24 hours at 15 – 25 °C and 7 days at 15 – 25 °C (with P-5-P activation).

Interferences

  • Lipemia/Turbidity: A turbidity index > 150 units may affect results.
  • Hemolysis: Will increase AST activity with severe hemolysis (>200 hemolysis index), due to release of intra-erythrocyte AST. Studies in pigs show that values may increase with mild hemolysis (median, 10 U/L) (di Martino et al 2015).
  • Icterus: An icteric index > 60 units (about 60 mg/dL) may affect results.
  • Drugs: Anticonvulsants may cause an increase in AST activity, which is thought to be secondary to hepatocellular injury in dogs. Corticosteroids generally do not result in increased AST activity, unless they cause hepatocellular injury (in dogs).

Test interpretation

Increased AST activity

As a guideline to degree of increase, a 2-3 fold increase (compared to the upper reference limit) is mild, 4-5 fold increase is moderate, and >10 fold increase is marked. Degree of change is variable among clinicians and clinical pathologists.

  • Artifact: Intravascular or in vitro hemolysis or leakage from cells can cause erroneously high activity (the enzyme is present in RBC).
  • Physiologic: In horses, exercise can increase serum activity as much as 30%. In early training, resting levels are 50-100% greater than resting levels of horses not in training.
  • Pathophysiologic
    • Myopathies: Muscle trauma (including “down” animals), rhabdomyolysis, white muscle disease (vitamin E-selenium deficiency), and infectious myositis (black leg or Clostridial myositis), and muscular dystrophy may result in marked increases. Serum CK activity will also increased. Note that as AST has a longer half life than CK (particularly in horses), increases in AST persist for longer than increases in CK activity. Therefore, in chronic muscle disease, AST may be increased, whilst CK activity may be normal. When there is active muscle disease, both CK and AST activities are usually increased (and CK will decline more rapidly as the injury resolves due to the shorter half). In dogs, the degree of increase in AST is proportionally higher than that of ALT activity with muscle injury potentially helping to discriminate between hepatic and muscle sources of ALT activity increases in dogs with severe muscle injury (Valentine et al 1990).
    • Liver disease: AST activity will increase in liver disease that causes hepatic injury as for ALT. Increased activity seen with hepatocellular injury often are not as high as those seen with muscle damage. CK activity are normal unless there is concomitant muscle disease. Other liver specific enzymes (SDH or GLDH) would also be increased in activity. In cats, AST appears to be a more sensitive marker of liver injury (activity is often mildly increased with normal ALT activity in conditions such as pyogranulomatous hepatitis secondary to feline infectious peritonitis virus infection). In one study in 7 horses with carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatocellular injury, increases in AST activity lagged behind increases in SDH or LDH5, being above baseline at 24 hours versus 4 hours post treatment. The activity also remained increased for up to 6 days after administration, likely due to the long half-life in horses (Bernard and Divers 1989). In horses with experimental equine parvovirus infection, AST activity does increase just after peak viremia but increases are less consistent and are of lower magnitude than increases in SDH or GLDH activities (Tomlinson et al 2020)
    • Hyperthyroidism: Just like ALT, AST activity may be increased in cats with hyperthyroidism. Increases in both enzymes (and ALP) are generally mild.

90,000 treatment and diagnosis of asthma causes in Moscow

What is it

This is a chronic inflammatory disease of the bronchi, in which there are periodic episodes of difficulty breathing or coughing due to edema of the surface or spasms of the bronchi and, as a result, narrowing of their lumen: a person cannot breathe in or out freely.

According to the World Health Organization, 235 million people in the world have been diagnosed with bronchial asthma.Asthma is also the most common chronic illness in children, although it occurs in all age groups.

Causes of bronchial asthma and prevention

  • heredity,
  • allergy to various components of the external environment (dust, pollen, animals, etc.)
  • smoking,
  • smoking during pregnancy – risk of developing asthma in a child,
  • polluted air.

The impact of polluted air is confirmed by the fact that the number of asthma patients is steadily increasing, with the greatest increase observed in industrialized countries and certain regions.

Asthma attacks most often occur due to the ingress of irritating elements into the bronchi, the so-called triggers (viruses, particulate matter from the air, pollen). In addition, the frequency of attacks is influenced by the state of the air (excessive dryness or humidity), untreated respiratory tract infections, acute allergies, general condition of the body, physical activity, stress.

Prevention can be divided into two groups: in order to prevent the risk of the disease occurring, and in order to prevent the attack from recurring.

For the first group, general recommendations boil down to a responsible approach to pregnancy:

  • quitting bad habits, especially smoking,
  • relief of acute allergies,
  • proper nutrition,
  • healthy lifestyle,
  • Prevention of contact of a pregnant woman with harmful chemical reagents.

Prevention of the second group is called secondary, i.e.it is intended for people with a confirmed diagnosis of bronchial asthma:

  • following all doctor’s recommendations,
  • Dust Avoidance,
  • moderate physical activity, if necessary and desired – with a gradual increase in their intensity,
  • breathing exercises,
  • if allergic reactions are present – their prompt elimination and protection of the patient from possible allergens.

Symptoms of bronchial asthma

The main symptom is clearly seen in the definition of asthma – it is periodic breathing difficulties.They are joined by:

  • wheezing,
  • shortness of breath,
  • cough,
  • discomfort, tightness in the chest.

Often, the first symptoms appear in children under 10 years of age – at a time when immunity is not completely formed. We advise you to take a responsible approach to the choice of a medical center for subsequent diagnostics and treatment. Indeed, even if a complete cure is impossible, a good specialist will select an effective treatment for complete control over the course and manifestation of the disease in a child or adult.

Diagnostics

The specialist will first of all listen to the patient’s complaints, ask the necessary questions, and then send them for a clinical and functional examination to assess the reversibility of bronchial lesions, for an allergological examination (skin tests with allergens, blood serum analysis) and exclude the likelihood of other diseases. The most important point of diagnosis is a thorough collection of data on concomitant diseases, living conditions, heredity, which will indicate the causes of occurrence, the intensity of symptoms, the presence of allergic reactions.

In some cases, X-ray examination, bronchoscopy, additional studies of the functionality of the bronchi and lungs in general may be required. All these examinations are available in our center on modern equipment under the supervision of experienced specialists.

Treatment of bronchial asthma

Unfortunately, in our time, doctors cannot completely cure a patient with asthma, but a specialist can choose an effective treatment that will help to quickly stop the symptoms of asthma (various inhalation agents that relax the surface of the bronchi and relieve spasm), and over time, transfer the disease into stable remission ( period without symptoms) to avoid future seizures.Thus, the goal of our pulmonologists’ work is to bring the disease under control and bring the patient closer to the longest possible remission with an effectively selected treatment.

No medical center will provide a patient with a complete recovery, but an experienced doctor in a proven center will be able to choose a treatment tactic in which a person suffering from this disease can forget about asthma for decades.

To this end, a powerful medical and diagnostic base has been deployed in the pulmonary department of our center, experienced pulmonologists who regularly take advanced training courses, conduct research activities with the obligatory publication of the results in large Russian and international publications are involved in working with patients with asthma – our specialists bring their own contribution to the study of the disease and the search for a cure.

Currently, the international scientific community is actively developing a theory according to which asthma is considered as a consequence of a specific protective reaction of immunity to stimuli, therefore, it is considered promising to search for a therapy that brings immunity and its protective responses into balance, preventing the manifestation of asthma. The management of the pulmonary department of our center has made the study and treatment of asthma one of the key areas of activity. For patients, there are daily consultations with highly qualified pulmonologists, both in the morning and in the evening, including weekends.

You can make an appointment with a specialist through a special form on the website or by phone.

90,000 symptoms and treatment, signs in adults – health articles

Table of Contents

Bronchial asthma is a chronic bronchial disease. It is accompanied by swelling and spasms of the mucous membrane, provoking respiratory disorders and attacks of suffocation. The disease is recognized as a serious problem of our time. No wonder! At the moment, up to 8% of the world’s adult population suffers from it.About 250 thousand patients die from bronchial asthma a year.

What causes the disease? What signs does it have? How is the diagnosis and treatment carried out? Let’s figure out all the issues.

Causes of the disease

Allergens are often the main cause of bronchial asthma.

Common are:

  • Household dust (including book dust)
  • Medicines
  • Substances contained in detergents
  • Food for aquarium fish
  • Animal dandruff, etc.

Asthma can develop against the background of work in hazardous work.

Various microorganisms become an important link in the development of the disease. They also act as dangerous allergens. Threatening factors in the development of pathology include genetic predisposition, hypothermia and stress.

Classification of the disease

Depending on the reasons, there are several main forms of bronchial asthma:

  • Allergic.In accordance with the name, it develops against the background of exposure to one or several allergens at once
  • Non-allergic. This form of pathology can develop against the background of hormonal changes, infectious processes in the respiratory tract, while taking certain medications
  • Mixed. This form of the disease is characterized by the fact that it combines the features of the other two

Each form of bronchial asthma can have a severe, moderate and mild course, differ not only in such a feature as the frequency of attacks, but also in others.There is stepwise classification of pathology:

  • First stage. The patient usually develops seizures no more than 1 time per week in the daytime and no more than 2 times at night
  • Second stage. Symptoms of bronchial asthma appear in patients not every day, but every week. They usually develop at night, 4 or more times a month
  • Third. With this course of the disease, attacks accompany the patient daily.They occur both during the day and at night (usually more often than once a week)
  • Fourth. This stage of the pathology is characterized by constant day and night attacks

Symptoms of bronchial asthma

The main symptom of the disease is , an asthma attack . It usually takes place in 3 stages:

  • Harbingers. This period is usually the most striking in patients who have an infectious-allergic nature of the pathology. It manifests itself in incessant sneezing and profuse discharge of a watery character from the respiratory tract
  • High.At this stage in the development of an attack of bronchial asthma, the patient experiences a feeling of tightness in the chest and cannot breathe freely. Each act of breathing is accompanied by loud wheezing with a whistle. In this case, a cough appears additionally. It is characterized by the presence of difficult expectorant sputum. During an attack, a person usually tries to sit up and tilt the body forward, resting his hands on his legs
  • Reverse development. At this time, phlegm gradually leaves, the number of wheezing decreases. Gradually, an attack of bronchial asthma subsides, choking becomes less pronounced

The presence of the disease can be suspected not only when seizures occur.Also to the main symptoms include:

  • Whistling wheezing on exhalation (mainly in children)
  • Frequent colds affecting the lower respiratory system
  • Intermittent breathing difficulties
  • Cough that becomes more pronounced at night
  • Seasonal respiratory problems

In addition, bronchial asthma is acutely manifested when a patient comes into contact with smoke (including cigarette smoke) and other potential allergens, during physical exertion, a significant change in temperature indoors or outdoors, emotional stress.The condition of patients usually improves rapidly after the use of anti-asthma and antihistamines.

Bronchial asthma in children

This pathology occurs approximately in 5-10% of cases . It usually develops in preschool age. In some cases, babies already suffer from attacks of the first year of life.

Interestingly, bronchial asthma is closely related to puberty. During this period, it is possible both to reduce the manifestations of the disease, and to completely disappear or, on the contrary, increase.In about 70% of cases, pathology remains with a person for life. Moreover, in severe cases, it often becomes the cause of disability and serious hormonal dependence.

Important! It should be understood that bronchial asthma in children can be successfully eliminated (in terms of symptoms). At the same time, the prognosis is seriously influenced by the period of initiation of treatment and the correctness of its selection. That is why it is important to pay attention to the symptoms of pathology as early as possible and consult a doctor.

Bronchial asthma in adults

The disease is diagnosed in 4-10% of the world’s population . In adulthood, mainly women suffer from bronchial asthma. The disease can debut both before the age of 40 and after. Yes, at the moment, doctors do not have the capacity for a successful and complete cure, but the pathology can be controlled. With the correct selection of drugs and the patient observing all the recommendations of doctors, you can live for many years without exacerbations and constant attacks during the day and at night.

Diagnosis of the disease. Identification of symptoms and causes of bronchial asthma in adults and children

As a rule, pathology is diagnosed by a pulmonologist. It is enough for an experienced doctor to be familiar with the patient’s complaints. This is due to the fact that bronchial asthma has a rather pronounced symptomatology.

Further instrumental and laboratory diagnostics is aimed at determining the severity of the disease and its causes.

Laboratory examination

Such a diagnosis is relevant when confirming the allergic nature of the disease.It is also carried out as part of the monitoring of already prescribed therapy.

The main studies carried out include:

  • Blood test. During the period of exacerbations, changes in the general blood test can be detected (increased ESR and eosinophils). To assess the severity of respiratory failure, it is relevant to assess the blood gas composition
  • General sputum analysis. A large number of eosinophils, Kurshman’s spirals, Charcot-Leiden crystals can be detected in a biological substance.In patients with infectious-dependent pathology, neutral leukocytes are found. Their presence in large numbers is characteristic of the stage of active inflammation
  • Assessment of the immune status. With the disease, the amount of immunoglobulins increases and the activity of T-suppressors (the main regulators of the body’s immune response) decreases

Instrumental examination

The main diagnostic methods include:

  • Spirometry.This examination makes it possible to assess the degree of bronchial obstruction (one of the forms of respiratory failure), as well as to confirm the diagnosis
  • Peak flowmetry. The examination allows you to assess the patient’s condition in dynamics

Important! The diagnosis of bronchial asthma should be made exclusively by a physician. Any independent therapy without clarifying the pathology and its causes can be dangerous for the patient.

Methods for the treatment of bronchial asthma

It should be understood that the disease is chronic and it is impossible to completely get rid of it.But it is possible to achieve long-term remission in most cases if the patient is ready for therapy and following the recommendations of specialists. Of course, treatment requires self-discipline and takes a long time. It is very important to observe the development of pathology in dynamics. Therefore, the patient will have to visit the clinic often.

Drug treatment of bronchial asthma

It is carried out using two main groups of drugs:

  1. Basic.These funds can reduce inflammation in the bronchi. They are taken regularly and for a long time
  2. Symptomatic. These drugs help to restore the patency of the bronchi and relieve spasm. They are taken as needed, during attacks of bronchial asthma

Important! It is forbidden to be limited only to symptomatic treatment. This is because it only brings temporary relief. Only basic therapy affects the cause of the disease.

Additionally, patients are recommended:

  • Breathing training
  • Exercise
  • Reflexology and other treatment methods

It is also important to adhere to a special diet and master the technique of rational breathing. This will allow for long periods of remission and reduce the number of drugs taken.

Possible complications

If you do not carry out high-quality and timely treatment of bronchial asthma, it can be complicated not only by emphysema of the lungs , but also cardiopulmonary insufficiency .In some cases, status asthmaticus occurs, which is characterized by constant attacks of suffocation, practically uncontrollable. This condition is often the cause of death.

Prevention

In order to prevent the development of the disease and ensure long-term and stable remission, it is necessary to adhere to a number of recommendations. The main ones include:

  • Avoid contact with allergens
  • Quitting smoking
  • Regular and sufficiently long (up to 2-3 hours) walks in the fresh air
  • Physiotherapy exercises
  • Prevention of chronic respiratory tract infections
  • Adequate physical activity

Patients with bronchial asthma need to:

  • Carry out regular wet cleaning of the house
  • Use synthetic rather than natural bedding
  • Wash laundry at high temperature
  • Refuse domestic plants and animals, carpets and upholstered furniture

Also, in order to prevent recurrence of seizures, patients are recommended to take health courses in sanatoriums at least once a year.

Advantages of contacting MEDSI

  • State of the art expert class equipment. It is used for diagnostics and early detection of pathology, determination of its type and other important features
  • Experienced doctors. Our specialists have all the necessary skills and knowledge for a successful therapy
  • Multidisciplinary approach. Thanks to him, high-quality diagnostics and monitoring of patients are provided
  • Treatment according to the latest recommendations (incl.international). Therapy, due to this, is the most effective and safe. It allows you to achieve long-term remission

To clarify the conditions for the treatment of bronchial asthma or make an appointment with a doctor, just call +7 (495) 7-800-500. Our specialist will answer all your questions. Recording is also possible through the SmartMed application.

Bronchial asthma – causes, symptoms of the disease, diagnosis and treatment methods

IMPORTANT!

The information in this section cannot be used for self-diagnosis and self-medication.In case of pain or other exacerbation of the disease, only the attending physician should prescribe diagnostic tests. For a diagnosis and correct prescription of treatment, you should contact your doctor.

Bronchial asthma: causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

Definition

Bronchial asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory tract, which manifests itself in bouts of shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and in severe cases – severe and even life-threatening respiratory dysfunction.The tactics of managing patients and methods of treating bronchial asthma have been studied by doctors for a long time.

In recent years, the incidence of bronchial asthma has steadily increased, which has led to the successful development of new effective drugs that allow achieving control over the clinical manifestations of the disease.

At the moment, correctly selected therapy in the vast majority of cases allows you to maintain a good quality of life for the patient and minimize the symptoms of the disease.

Causes of bronchial asthma

Bronchial asthma, in a typical case, is a disease of an allergic nature and is associated with an increased susceptibility of the body of a particular person to any substance-allergen. That is why bronchial asthma is often combined with allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis and other allergic diseases. Contact with an allergen activates the cells of the immune system in a special way. This leads to the development of a series of changes in the bronchial walls characteristic of asthma: an accumulation of immune cells occurs, inflammatory edema develops, hyperreactivity of the smooth muscle components of the bronchial wall is observed, and the production of mucus (sputum) increases.

These four mechanisms lead to a narrowing of the lumen of the bronchi, which, in turn, makes it difficult for air to pass through the airways, causing characteristic attacks of shortness of breath.

Altered airways in asthma

An important role in pathological processes in bronchial asthma is played by the functional state of the autonomic nervous system, the presence of chronic diseases (especially the respiratory system) and bad habits. A direct relationship was established between smoking and the severity of the disease.

Inhalation of tobacco smoke by pregnant women and babies has been shown to increase the risk of developing asthma in a child.

Staying in an environment with increased air pollution (for example, at work) provokes a more severe course of bronchial asthma.

Classification of the disease

When diagnosing “bronchial asthma”, doctors try to clarify as much as possible the characteristics of the disease in a particular patient in accordance with the classification below.This allows you to determine the tactics of patient management, the expected response to therapy and prognosis.

Bronchial asthma is subdivided into allergic asthma, which is characterized by general mechanisms of development and signs of atopic (allergic) diseases, and non-allergic. Additionally, asthma is characterized by the nature of the allergen causing the attack.

Depending on the frequency of the development of attacks and the ability to control them with the help of the therapy, asthma is intermittent (transient) and persistent (constant).The latter, in turn, is subdivided by severity into mild, moderate and severe.

Symptoms of bronchial asthma

A typical manifestation of asthma is the syndrome of bronchial obstruction (narrowing of the lumen of the bronchi). Dyspnea attacks initially develop mainly upon contact with a causal allergen.

The patient has a dry cough, difficulty breathing (mainly on exhalation), breathing may be accompanied by wheezing.

During an attack, a person usually experiences a feeling of dread and shortness of breath. The condition is a little easier if you take a forced position – to sit down, slightly tilting the body forward, with an emphasis on the knees or the edge of the chair with outstretched arms. A barrel-shaped swelling of the chest is visually noted – it seems to freeze in the position of a deep breath.

In severe cases, due to insufficient blood oxygenation, the skin becomes bluish.

As the disease progresses and in the absence of appropriate drug control, asthma attacks begin to develop not only in response to a specific allergen, but also during emotional and physical stress, a sharp change in ambient temperature, in response to strong odors, etc.etc.

Diagnostics of bronchial asthma

Diagnosis of bronchial asthma is based primarily on the patient’s complaints, medical history and the results of an objective examination. It is extremely important for a doctor to find out in response to what the attack develops, how long it lasts, after how long it stops, how long ago the first symptoms of the disease appeared. To confirm the diagnosis of allergic bronchial asthma, it is important to identify the presence of symptoms of other allergic diseases in the patient and his relatives.

After a presumptive diagnosis has been made, special instrumental and laboratory studies are carried out.

Among instrumental methods, peak flow and spirometry play the leading role.

Patient performing spirometry

These methods make it possible to estimate the volume of inhaled and exhaled air, the expiratory velocity and calculate specific indices (for example, the Tiffeneau index), which characterize the degree of impairment of air passage through the respiratory tract.For this, the patient is asked to inhale and then exhale into a special device for measuring the above parameters. Because these studies require coordinated action between the doctor and the patient, they are rarely performed in children under 5 years of age.

To make a diagnosis, you need to make a test with a drug (bronchodilator), therefore, before spirometry, the patient is given drug inhalation. This test shows the response of the bronchi to drugs and allows you to differentiate bronchial asthma from other diseases with similar symptoms.

From laboratory tests, the most diagnostically significant is considered to be a serological study in order to detect specific antibodies (specific IgE) to possible causally significant allergens.

Bronchial asthma: treatment, symptoms, signs of an attack

Bronchial asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory tract, which is accompanied by a number of respiratory symptoms: wheezing, shortness of breath, chest congestion, cough.The disease cannot be completely cured, but a decent quality of life can be maintained through drug therapy and lifestyle changes, especially if detected early. For bronchial asthma, periods of remission and exacerbation of the disease are characteristic. Periods of exacerbation often occur in spring and autumn and can be caused by various factors. Exacerbation episodes require the mandatory supervision of a specialist.

Causes of exacerbation of bronchial asthma

Various factors (triggers) that provoke inflammation of the airways and further acute bronchospasm can lead to an exacerbation of the disease.The main causes of exacerbation include:

  • respiratory infections;

  • contact with allergens;

  • increased (atypical for a patient with BA) physical activity;

  • stress and increased psycho-emotional stress;

  • changes in weather conditions: a sharp drop in air temperature, high humidity, surges in atmospheric pressure;

  • emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere;

  • smoking;

  • the use of certain medications (not agreed with the doctor) or an independent increase in the dose of prescribed medications.

Symptoms of exacerbation of bronchial asthma

Periods of remission of asthma can last from several months to several years. However, periods of exacerbation still occur, and patients need to be careful about the first symptoms.

Exacerbations of bronchial asthma are manifested by episodes of increasing shortness of breath, cough, wheezing, feeling of congestion in the chest. An unstable psycho-emotional state, increased irritability, weakness, worsening sleep are the first external symptoms of an impending exacerbation of the condition.If the patient experiences nocturnal attacks of suffocation, this is the first sign of an exacerbation. If the need to increase the dose of the drug to stop an attack becomes regular, you should definitely consult your doctor, since a spontaneous change in the medication regimen can lead to the development of such a life-threatening condition as status asthmaticus.

When the first signs of an exacerbation appear, you should immediately consult a doctor to relieve the acute condition and “smooth” correction of preventive treatment.

Treatment of exacerbation of bronchial asthma

The goal of bronchial asthma treatment is to control the disease and reduce attacks of shortness of breath, primarily at night and after physical exertion. The main task of the doctor is to improve the patient’s quality of life in order to maintain habitual life activity during periods of remission. Depending on the individual, the periods of remission can range from several months to several years.

The choice of methods for treating bronchial asthma during an exacerbation is determined by the doctor in a specific case, since the clinical manifestations of each patient are always individual.

Treatment of an exacerbation condition always begins with drug therapy – in the overwhelming case, inhalation devices. The more severe and more frequent the attacks, the greater the amount of drugs that will be prescribed to the patient at the first stage to relieve the acute condition. In the event of a severe exacerbation, intravenous administration of drugs, oxygen therapy may be required.

Benefits of treating exacerbation of bronchial asthma in EMC

Bronchial asthma is a difficult diagnosis, after which a person’s life changes forever.The main advantage of modern bronchial asthma treatment at EMC is teaching the patient to live with such a diagnosis. Doctors prepare a person to change his lifestyle, provide the necessary support. The attending physician must regularly monitor the patient’s condition. For each EMC patient, individual support methods are provided, which allows a person to quickly cope with all difficulties in the early stages after diagnosis, when the patient needs to learn how to assess the severity of his condition during an exacerbation and correctly use prescribed medications.

Treatment of allergic bronchial asthma is never prescribed once and for all. Therapy is always adjusted based on the patient’s condition and seasonal exacerbations, so EMC doctors always stay in touch with the patient. Most often, the stages of treatment are divided into three-month courses, where, based on the results, the doctor evaluates the effectiveness, decides to continue or change the treatment. Each patient keeps a diary where he records the frequency and severity of attacks and his condition.In this case, even if the patient cannot come to the clinic in person, the doctor can assess the problem and remotely adjust the therapy.

If, for some reason, the patient did not cope with the attack at home, then around the clock in the emergency and emergency department of the EMC, he will carry out all the necessary studies (spirometry, pulse oximetry), perform the treatment of an acute condition in accordance with all international standards, and transfer all the necessary information to the attending physician.

EMC’s team of medical experts with many years of experience enables each patient to fight disease and maintain a decent quality of life.

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Effective treatment of bronchial asthma | Clinic of Chinese medicine TAO

Bronchial asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways, in which there is an increased activity of the bronchi and, at the same time, narrowing of their lumen.In fact, it is this combination of pathological changes in the respiratory system that determines the main clinical manifestations of the disease – respiratory failure, asthma attacks that occur at different times of the day and under different circumstances (at rest, during physical exertion, against the background of stress or concomitant disease).

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Bronchial asthma

Asthma.Reasons

From the point of view of traditional European medicine, the causes of bronchial asthma can be divided into internal and external. The main one in the group of internal factors is hereditary predisposition. Environmental factors that increase the risk of developing bronchial asthma include allergens (dust, plant pollen, medicines), infectious agents, substances that provide so-called occupational hazards (silicate dust, smoke, acid vapors), natural phenomena (temperature and humidity changes air, fluctuations in atmospheric pressure), neuropsychic factors.

Chinese medicine, as the main cause of the onset of the disease, assumes a violation of the energy balance in the body, caused by the influence of climatic factors (borderline states of heat and cold, dryness and moisture, fire and wind), emotional changes, overwork, a sedentary lifestyle (energy stagnation). The lung meridian controls the process of inhalation and the movement of the wings of the nose (expansion). And if in a healthy person, during active inhalation, the wings of the nose expand, thereby providing an even more powerful inhalation, then asthma is characterized by a weakening of the meridian and difficulty in breathing.

Bronchilic asthma. Diagnostics and treatment

In the clinic of Chinese medicine “TAO” as the main method for diagnosing bronchial asthma, doctors use the most ancient method – the study of the patient’s pulse. In addition, the doctor analyzes the patient’s complaints. The most common complaint is asthma attacks, wheezing in the chest that occurs at night or in the morning, after physical exertion, emotional overstrain.During an attack, a patient with asthma takes a specific forced position, tilting the torso forward and creating an emphasis on the arms, while fixing the shoulder girdle. To identify the severity of the disease, it is important to understand the number of attacks per day, their frequency and relationship with a specific factor.

In any clinic practicing the European medical school, the patient is primarily prescribed hormonal drugs with the main purpose of stopping an attack of suffocation, restoring breathing.However, this is a short-term measure, after a certain period the attacks recur. In addition, not all patients perceive the use of hormones well; in some cases, complications from such therapy may arise.

The age-old traditions of Chinese medicine have made it possible to accumulate a large positive experience in the treatment of bronchial asthma, aimed primarily at mobilizing the body’s own resources, restoring the energy balance, and normalizing the state of the endocrine and immune systems.At the TAO clinic, the patient will be given an individual treatment regimen, which will include a course of acupuncture, herbal medicine using traditional Chinese means, massage, and a specially compiled complex of respiratory gymnastics. Thus, after just a few sessions, the patient will feel significant relief, a decrease in the number and intensity of attacks of suffocation and restoration of general performance. It is also important that a well-chosen and conducted course of treatment using the methods of Chinese medicine allows not only solving the momentary problem of this very difficult disease, but also successfully exerts a preventive effect, allowing you to avoid seizures in the future.

treatment, symptoms, causes in adults and children

Bronchial asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. It is characterized by increased tissue sensitivity to various stimuli. In response to an irritant, muscle spasm occurs in the bronchi, their lumen narrows, and increased production of mucus begins. This makes breathing difficult, causes severe shortness of breath and coughing.

The disease occurs in 5% of the population – according to WHO, in 2017, 235 million people in the world suffered from bronchial asthma.The most dangerous thing is that the prevalence of pathology continues to grow.

Reasons for development

Bronchial asthma can appear due to external influences or internal processes in the body.

Hormonal disorders
  • Thyroid gland pathologies (hypothyroidism, thyrotoxicosis) can become an indirect factor in the development of AD. Due to a lack or excess of hormones, the mucous membrane of the bronchi swells, the trachea is compressed, bronchial obstruction increases (insufficient ventilation of the lungs).Also, disturbances in the functioning of the thyroid gland worsen the course of already existing asthma. It has been proved that asthma attacks are more common in BA patients with parallel goiter formation, and the periods of remission are much shorter.
  • Obesity is another factor influencing the development of the disease. The hormone leptin is synthesized in adipose tissue, which normally contributes to weight loss. But in overweight people, leptin is produced excessively and provokes an inflammatory process in the bronchi.The higher the level of the substance, the longer the inflammation lasts, the more difficult the treatment will be.
Respiratory system diseases, infections

The risk of developing asthma increases with chronic bronchitis, tonsillitis, pneumonia, and viral respiratory infections. An irritated, swollen mucous membrane with frequent relapses simply does not have time to recover.

Genetic predisposition

Researchers have identified so far a small number of genes responsible for the development of bronchial asthma.If one of their parents suffers from asthma, the probability of the child’s illness is 20–30%, and if both parents are sick, it is already 75%.

Adverse environmental factors

This implies the constant presence in the air of substances that can cause irritation of the respiratory tract: tobacco smoke, pollen of plants and molds, house dust, aggressive chemical compounds.

Main symptoms of the disease

Bronchial asthma does not start abruptly, all symptoms develop gradually and, if untreated, develop into a chronic form.Should alert:

  • lack of air, turning into shortness of breath,
  • asthma attacks,
  • wheezing when breathing,
  • dry cough with phlegm.

Types of bronchial asthma

  • Allergic (exogenous). Manifested by sensitivity to allergens of animal, vegetable origin, chemical vapors. At the same time, the body produces antibodies to allergens.
  • Non-allergic (endogenous). Symptoms develop without contact with allergens. Often, the disease occurs against a background of stress, disorders of the immune system, heavy physical exertion, and taking certain medications.
  • Mixed. There are signs of both types of bronchial asthma.

Severity

Experts note mild, moderate and severe asthma. Depending on the frequency of attacks, four stages are distinguished:

  • 1st stage.It is characterized by 1 daytime attack per week and 2 nighttime attacks per month;
  • 2nd stage. Daytime attacks occur several times a week, nighttime attacks more often 2 times a month;
  • 3rd stage. Attacks are almost daily, at night – more often than once a week;
  • 4th stage. Daytime attacks become permanent, possible several times during the day and night.

All these signs are present both at rest and during physical exertion.

In severe forms of the disease, complications may develop:

  • spontaneous pneumothorax – throwing air from the environment into the pleural cavity, since the integrity of the lung is impaired;
  • cor pulmonale – an increase in the size of the right ventricle of the heart. This provokes the appearance of edema, swelling of the neck veins;
  • atelectasis of the lungs – occurs when the bronchi are blocked. It is expressed in the “blowing” of all or part of the lung, which makes gas exchange impossible.

It is very important to consult a doctor in a timely manner, undergo a course of treatment and prevent complications.

What Can Cause an Attack

If asthma is allergic, the first symptoms appear in a matter of minutes with any contact with allergens. Allergens can be both food and household. Most often the reaction is caused by:

  • nuts,
  • milk,
  • eggs,
  • seafood,
  • honey.

Also, attacks of bronchial asthma occur due to inhalation of pollen, perfume fragrances, contact with animal hair, after physical exertion, from exposure to cold air.

If asthma is non-allergic, attacks can begin due to exacerbation of chronic ENT diseases.

Medicines are also often triggers. A striking example is aspirin asthma against the background of increased sensitivity to acetylsalicylic acid and NSAIDs in general. Adrenergic blockers, which are necessary for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, are also capable of provoking an attack.

What to do during an attack

To stop an attack of bronchial asthma before going to the doctor, do the following:

  • try to calm down – panic aggravates the symptoms;
  • take a sitting position – it will make breathing easier;
  • inhale the aerosol medicine in an increased dose – the bronchial spasm will interfere with the delivery of the entire dose in a standard volume;
  • after 15–20 minutes, another dose of medication is allowed to be inhaled.

If it doesn’t feel better, you need to call an ambulance. You cannot get to the clinic on your own so that the next asthma attack does not find you on the way.

Diagnostics

Tell your pulmonary doctor about all symptoms, seizure frequency, living and working conditions. The diagnosis of bronchial asthma will need to be confirmed by instrumental and laboratory tests.

Spirometry

The test determines how much air a person can exhale in general.The patient breathes in so that the lungs are filled to the maximum, and then exhales the entire possible volume into the tube of the device – the spirometer. The values ​​obtained for inhaled, retained and exhaled air are compared with normal values, and a conclusion is made about the vital volume of the lungs.

Peakfluometry

The measurement is similar to spirometry. The difference is that you need to make forced (intensified, fast) inhalation and exhalation. This method determines the peak expiratory flow (PSV), which decreases in bronchial asthma.Peak flowmetry allows you to find out how much the airways are narrowed, to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.

X-ray

It is required if there is a suspicion of tuberculosis, tumor formations, thickening of the walls of organs. Examine not only the organs of the chest, but also the sinuses in order to exclude alternative diagnoses.

Laboratory research

They help to assess the severity of the inflammatory process. This includes a general and biochemical blood test, urine analysis, determination of sugar levels, tests for hepatitis, HIV and syphilis.It is imperative for asthma to take samples of secretions from the respiratory tract for flora, sensitivity to antibiotics. Additionally, the doctor may prescribe tests with allergens, determining the amount of antibodies.

Treatment

Based on the type of bronchial asthma, its severity and duration, the doctor selects the optimal treatment.

Drug therapy

Medications for asthma therapy are divided into 2 groups. Some have a bronchodilator effect and stop an acute attack. Others are used in basic therapy, eliminate the very cause of the disease – chronic inflammation in the airways.Basic drugs are taken for a long time, since the effect develops after 2-4 weeks of use.

In both groups, drugs in inhalation form – aerosols are common. These are the most effective and safest remedies for bronchial asthma. The active substance in high concentrations is delivered in seconds exactly where it is needed – in the bronchi.

Aerosols

Beta-adrenomimetics (salbutamol and salmeterol) are the most common drugs for the rapid relief of symptoms during an attack.
Glucocorticoids (beclomethasone, budesonide, fluticasone) are not suitable for arresting an attack, since their effect is cumulative. They are used in the complex treatment of asthma.
M-anticholinergics (ipratropium bromide). The main action is to relieve bronchospasm, which are used both in complex treatment and in the prevention of attacks.

Non-inhalation drugs
  • Leukotriene receptor antagonists (montelukast, zileuton, zafirlukast) —pills for eliminating seizures arising from physical exertion.
  • Methylxanthines (aminophylline, theophylline) – emergency injections. They relax the smooth muscles of the internal organs and relieve bronchospasm.

Only a doctor can choose emergency and basic therapy, because all drugs have contraindications. So, many of them cannot be used for bronchial asthma in combination with epilepsy.

Allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT)

The identified allergen is injected into the patient’s body in microscopic doses.Each time the dose is increased slightly. As a result, tolerance to the stimulus is developed, the immune response becomes more adequate. The manifestations of bronchial asthma weaken, the risk of complications decreases.

The therapy lasts 3-5 years, so you need to tune in to long-term treatment and not wait for quick results.

Complementary therapy

The condition in bronchial asthma can be improved by the methods of alternative medicine.

Psychotherapy

Such treatment will help the patient to keep emotions under control during conflict situations so that excessive emotional reactivity does not provoke an attack.

Acupuncture

The needles mechanically irritate the active points on the body, in response, the body produces prostaglandins. These substances, in turn, increase the sensitivity of the bronchi to bronchodilators (i.e. drugs that relieve spasm).

Massage therapy

With frequent attacks, the respiratory muscles experience increased stress. The massage relieves muscle fatigue, facilitates sputum discharge, and evens breathing. The procedure is prescribed both in the period of exacerbation and in the stage of remission in order to consolidate the result of treatment.

Respiratory gymnastics

The purpose of the method is to teach a person to control the breathing apparatus, as well as to master the shallow type of breathing in order to stop an incipient attack. Simple exercises improve chest mobility, cleanse the airways, and help maintain normal bronchial muscle tone. The most popular gymnastics is Strelnikova and Buteyko. One of the examples of exercises according to the Buteyko method is in the picture.

Prevention of seizures

It is believed that there are no effective measures against exacerbation of bronchial asthma.But non-specific prophylaxis will make the attacks more rare and shorter. What you can do yourself:

  • remove carpets, soft toys, blackout curtains from the room – they accumulate dust;
  • do light wet cleaning 2-3 times a day;
  • do not have pets;
  • do not use perfumes, aerosol deodorants;
  • quit smoking;
  • make a detailed list of allergenic foods and do not consume them;
  • temper the body with low temperatures.

A gradual habituation to the cold is a good prevention of airway inflammation. However, hardening only prevents illness; during an exacerbation of bronchial asthma, it is impossible to overcool.

In order to achieve the best results, preventive measures must be carried out regularly, and not occasionally. And remember that they cannot replace the treatment regimen prescribed by the pulmonologist.

Living with bronchial asthma

The diagnosis of “bronchial asthma” is not a sentence, there are many ways to relieve symptoms and maintain the quality of life at a sufficient level.To keep the disease under control, it is recommended:

  • to visit a pulmonologist regularly – not only during exacerbations, but also for preventive examinations. After all, you can ignore any symptoms and start the disease;
  • get a peakfluometer in order to notice changes in respiratory function in time and consult a doctor;
  • study the disease on your own using reliable medical sources;
  • control your lifestyle, create a comfortable environment for yourself.

Medical Center “Academy VIP” will help you cope with bronchial asthma and make your life more comfortable. Turning to us, you get:

  • accurate diagnostics – all equipment is verified, the indicators correspond to real ones;
  • consultation of an experienced pulmonologist – we treat all types of bronchial asthma in patients of any age;
  • the optimal course of treatment – we take into account your anamnesis, concomitant diseases;
  • information on prevention – how to reduce the frequency of attacks.

To make an appointment for a consultation, call 8 (831) 262-63-15 or order a call back, and we will definitely contact you.

How to deal with asthma? – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Today every tenth child suffers from asthma.

But even such frightening statistics, according to experts, does not reflect the truth of the picture. After all, this disease is immediately correctly diagnosed only in one of 4-5 cases. Here are the doctors and propose to take the thesis as a basis: “A cough accompanied by wheezing should be considered asthma until proven otherwise.”And this is not a reassurance, given that in most patients, asthma is detected only in the late stages of the disease.

What is asthma?

The exact mechanism of this chronic disease is unknown. The disease manifests itself in attacks of suffocation. Reasons – the mucous membrane of the bronchi becomes inflamed, they become very sensitive and begin to react to various allergens and irritating substances: they swell, narrow. Difficulty getting air into the lungs.And then the cells in the airways begin to produce more mucus, which also narrows the airway lumen.

Symptoms

Choking, shortness of breath.

Cough. It usually appears or worsens at night or in the early morning and interferes with sleep.

Wheezing is a wheezing or squeaking sound in the chest when breathing.

“Congestion” of the chest. In this case, the patient has a sensation as if someone were squeezing his chest.

Rapid, labored or loud breathing, shortness of breath during exercise, or simply occurring for no reason.

And although doctors still cannot fully understand why asthma begins, many patterns are already known.

The most significant factor is considered to be a genetic predisposition combined with a tendency to allergic reactions. In this case, allergens and irritants can be very different. This is tobacco smoke, and mites that live in dusty carpets, and substances emitted by domestic cockroaches …

There are also scents of perfumes, sprays, paints on the extensive list; sulfites, a food preservative used in red wine, beer, soup concentrates and other foods; medicines such as aspirin and beta blockers (used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease, and migraines)…

And these are not all the “provocateurs” of the disease. Asthmatics may respond to only one factor or many. It is very important to understand what triggers the onset of symptoms in you. And this can only be done by a doctor with help. laboratory analyzes.

How to deal

with disease

Medication is not the only way to fight asthma. There is a set of principles and techniques to mitigate and avoid attacks of suffocation. Here they are.

1 Avoid contact with substances that cause irritation and inflammation of the respiratory tract. Remember that each patient has his own list of “provocateurs”. And sometimes it can change.

2 Regular breathing exercises, physiotherapy exercises (in the initial stage of the disease, you can go in for sports even at a professional level), and hardening help to alleviate the condition.

3 An important factor in prevention and treatment is proper nutrition.Whenever possible, you should use only natural products. It is advisable to do without smoked meats, sausages and canned food. Avoid foods with sulfites and nitrates, which are abundant in delicacies with preservatives. Carbonated drinks based on extracts and essences should be abandoned forever. The use of alcohol is completely excluded. Even cases of “restaurant asthma” have been described, when even after not very abundant libations, asthmatics ended up in intensive care.

4 Patients with aspirin intolerance should follow a particularly strict diet.Salicylates – analogs of aspirin – are found in many foods – especially berries, fruits and vegetables, from apples to potatoes. It is, of course, impossible to completely eliminate them, so at least observe the measure and do not use dangerous products during periods of deterioration.

5 Extra pounds are very harmful for asthmatics. An increase of 20-30 kg not only worsens the general condition, but also requires an increased dose of medication.

What you need to know

Asthma is the most common chronic illness among children.In babies under the age of 1 year, food and drug allergens are most often the culprits of bronchial asthma. The development of asthma in children aged 1 to 3 years is usually associated with household and fungal allergens, as well as with allergens of animals and birds. In children over 3-4 years of age, the most common cause of bronchial asthma is plant pollen allergy, but cross-reactions with food allergens are also possible.

If there is at least one asthmatic in the family, you need to carefully monitor the child and, at the first doubts, show him to a good specialist.And even if there are no asthmatics in the family, and the baby does not cough for three weeks after suffering an acute respiratory viral infection, especially at night, he constantly coughs for no apparent reason, and even more so when the child suffers from chronic bronchitis, you should definitely take him to the doctor and check whether asthma begins.

In asthma, periods of prolonged remission are more common in boys as well as in men later. Female sex hormones act worse on the course of this disease.

There is a simple device for self-monitoring of bronchial asthma at home called a peak flow meter.It measures the expiratory flow rate, which decreases as asthma worsens.

The diet of an asthma patient should include foods rich in magnesium: amaranth, beetroot (Swiss chard), spinach, wheat germ and beans.

Onion and garlic juice with honey will be useful. This mixture strengthens the immune system, and chili peppers thin the mucus in the airways.

Fatty fish (mackerel, salmon, herring, etc.) reduces asthmatic inflammation of the respiratory tract.

Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that protect tissues from aggressive oxidants – free radicals.

Valuable inorganic substances are contained in seaweed – kelp. It is necessary to use antioxidants (vitamins C, E, A), as well as fish oil, flaxseed oil, which contain fatty acids.

Very often the condition of those suffering from bronchial asthma worsens because the prescribed medications temporarily dull the symptoms of the disease.

Experts offer affordable and safe treatments that can be used concurrently with prescribed medications.For example, hard water, which is high in calcium and magnesium, is an excellent anti-asthma remedy.

Magnesium ions – bronchodilators. Under their action, the lower respiratory tract relaxes and expands, the sharp narrowing of which leads, in fact, to an asthmatic attack.

Folk recipes

It is possible to alleviate the course of the disease with special infusions. Here is a recipe for one of them:

take a tablespoon of dry or fresh leaves of large plantain and pour them with one glass of boiling water;

let it brew for fifteen minutes;

Strain

through cheesecloth and pour into a dark glass dish.

Take this infusion one tablespoon four times a day.

To stop an asthma attack that has begun, you can do the following exercise:

Sit with one hand on your stomach. Feel the pulse on your wrist with the fingers of your other hand.

Relax and synchronize your breathing with your heart rate. Inhale for five pulses. After the next seven, exhale, releasing air through pursed lips.

Continue to do the exercise for 7-10 minutes.

This simple method gives you the opportunity to calm down faster, relieves psychological and physical spasms and helps to restore breathing.

Good news

There is hope for healing in asthma patients. More recently, American doctors from the University of Massachusetts have discovered a link between the bacteria Chlamydia pneumoniae and the most severe cases of asthma. The researchers decided to test whether the presence of specific antibodies to these bacteria can predict the severity of the further development of the disease.As a result, they determined that the bacteria Chlamydia pneumoniae are present in the lungs of many severe asthmatics.