Aesthetic medicine: An optimal treatment for you to be liked by others and more importantly, by yourself

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Pediatrics | Posted on06-03-2020

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Mens sana in corpore sano.The phrase comes from Satire X of the Roman poet Juvenal (usually translated as “a healthy mind in a healthy body”). The message is still powerful and can be applied nowadays, in a society where the good physical condition for a longer and better quality of life is increasingly more valued. Today, feeling good with oneself implies feeling good physically and mentally, and such an achievement may have positive effects on our self-esteem, regardless of age or gender. At Vithas Xanit International we are aware of the importance of looking ad feeling well, and for that reason, we offer our patients an aesthetic medicine of the highest quality, highlighting the doctor-patient closeness, personalised attention and the cutting-edge technology used in all individual cases.

All cutting-edge techniques and methods we offer for improving patients’ physical appearance inevitably will have a positive effect on their self-esteem, subsequently improving their inter-personal relationships. It is only natural to like to look good. However, in cases when certain aspects of our physical appearance, either congenital anomalies or those acquired over the years, are making us unhappy and with low self-esteem, aesthetic treatment is, in many cases, a way to find the desired solution.

Such operations and treatments must always be carried out by trained and board-certified specialists who meet all medical requirements. Dr Pilar Gómez Jorquera, a specialist in the area of aesthetic medicine, explains that “what sets us apart at Vithas Xanit International is that we have in a place a complete team composed of aesthetic doctors and dermatologists”. The specialist also adds that “we have a multidisciplinary team to achieve better diagnoses, together with high-quality products and appliances we use”.

Gómez Jorquera explains that Aesthetic Medicine Department at Vithas Xanit International carries out a wide range of treatments, highlighting “hyaluronic acid fillers” offering faster results, “since the volume obtained is immediate, although for the definitive result takes about two weeks, once possible inflammation and subsequent water retention are reduced.” Among the most demanded interventions aesthetic expert highlights that “there are several”, and one of them is “the use of botulinum toxin to relax the musculature of the upper third face and reduce expression wrinkles, further to preventing them”. More generally, the specialist says that “aesthetic medicine today seeks the best way to achieve maximum naturalness by improving the physical aspect”.

And who would be the person to advise us, from the aesthetic point of view, on the right type of treatment for us?  The specialist is clear: The doctor “who is going to treat you is best suited to advise on the most suitable type of treatment, depending on the patient’s needs or aspirations”, stressing that sometimes the support of a psychologist or psychologist may also be helpful.

As in any type of treatment, once it is performed, it is recommended for the person to maintain a good diet and follow healthy lifestyle habits. Also, it is essential to have “a good medical history to assess possible contraindications”, says Dr Gómez Jorquera.

Safety and optimal results are key at Vithas Xanit International.

Health check-ups: Which one is best suited for me?

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Pediatrics | Posted on21-02-2020

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Any time is good to review our health and start taking charge of it accordingly. A health check-up is the best way to do it, but do you know how many types of check-ups are out there or which would be the right one for you? Today, Dr Raquel Martín, from the Health Check-ups Unit, explains some of the fundamental aspects of the selected exams and screenings.

The importance of health check-ups

The importance of undergoing a health check-up is in detecting, in asymptomatic people, risk factors that allow us to prevent and diagnose health problems early.

Here at Xanit Hospital, we have at patients’ disposition several types of health check-up that differ mainly in how extensive they are and which medical specialties they cover.

For example, a basic check-up at Vithas Xanit consists of a detailed medical history as well as a thorough physical examination, accompanied by basic laboratory analysis and simple radiological tests such as chest radiography and abdominal ultrasound.

Types of health check-ups available at Vithas Xanit International

In our hospital we have three basic types of health check-ups. All of them consist of taking a patient’s medical history, reflecting patient’s risk factors, family history, as well as a thorough physical examination (including measuring blood pressure, weight, height, body mass index, basal oxygen saturation). Besides, each of them consists of different investigations and assessments by different medical specialties:

  1. A) Basic Health Check-up:

– Laboratory analysis: Blood count, biochemical coagulation with renal function, liver function, glucose, lipid profile, ionogram, ferric profile, uric acid, thyroid hormones, urine analysis. Faecal occult blood.

– Radiology: Abdominal and pelvic ultrasound. For women, it also includes mammography or breast echography.

– Cardiology: Electrocardiogram, echocardiogram and ergometry.

– Ophthalmology.

– Gynaecology (women): Includes ultrasound and cytology.

– Urology (male).

  1. B) Premium Check-up

– Laboratory analysis: Blood count, biochemical coagulation with renal function, liver function, glucose, lipid profile, ionogram, ferric profile, uric acid, thyroid hormones, urine analysis. Faecal occult blood.

  • Total and free PSA (male).

– Radiology: Chest CT, abdominal and pelvic ultrasound. For female patients it also includes mammography or breast ultrasound, as well as bone densitometry.

  • Cardiology: Electrocardiogram, echocardiogram and ergometry.
  • Pneumology: Spirometry.
  • Otorhinolaryngology: Revision and audiometry.

– Gynaecology (women): Includes ultrasound and cytology.

– Urology (male).

  1. C) Magnum Check-up

– Laboratory analysis: Blood count, biochemical coagulation with renal function, liver function, glucose, lipid profile, ionogram, ferric profile, uric acid, thyroid hormones, urine analysis. Faecal occult blood.

  • Total and free PSA (male).
  • Tumour markers.
  • Serology hepatitis B and C.

– Radiology: Calcium Score CT, chest CT, abdomen CT, brain MRI, thyroid ultrasound, echo-doppler of supra-aortic trunk For female patients, it also includes mammography or breast echography, as well as densitometry.

  • Cardiology: Electrocardiogram, echocardiogram and ergometry.
  • Pneumology: Spirometry.
  • Otorhinolaryngology: Revision and audiometry.

– Gynaecology (women): Includes ultrasound and cytology.

  • Urology (male).
  • Dermatology: Skin cancer screening, digital dermatoscopic study of moles.

But which one is best suited for me?

In general, our patients can choose from any of the different check-ups according to their wishes and needs, although there are some general recommendations when deciding on the type of check-up:

  • Basic check-up: It is aimed at young patients, asymptomatic, with no family history of particular relevance or cardiovascular risk factors.
  • Premium check-up: Further to those examinations carried out in Basic check-up, Premium also includes chest CT and spirometry, therefore, is of particular interest in smoking patients.
  • Magnum check-up: This type of check-up is particularly useful in patients with a family history of neoplastic disease, or those with cardiovascular risk factors for the diagnosis of silent arteriosclerotic disease.

The time needed to conduct each of the check-ups varies on the type selected, ranging from 2-3 hours (the simplest check-up) or having to stay in the hospital throughout the morning, if you are to be assessed by various specialists or for more complex imagining tests.

The whole process will take place here at Xanit, you will visit different areas within the hospital, mainly outpatient’s clinics and radiology department.

Depending on the type of check-up to be performed, the time may vary until the final results are obtained. Basic check-up results can be available in 48-72 hours, while getting all the results of a Magnum checkup can take up to 7 days.

Once all the results of the various investigation tests are available, a written summary will be given to the patient with further explanation in details by an Internal Medicine Physician who coordinated and oversaw the entire check-up.

In the event that the patient is unable to present to collect the written summary, it can be managed to send the information safely and clearly.

General considerations

Regardless of the type of a health check-up you decide to go for it is essential that you present fasting for the laboratory analysis, further to allowing those radiological tests that require contrast, such as abdominal CT or coronary CT.

Also, it is recommended to wear comfortable clothes and shoes, to facilitate physical examination and to be performed some investigations such as ergometry (stress test).

Ask for more information about which health check suits your needs.

Because prevention is always better than cure.

 

All you need to know about the flu

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Pediatrics | Posted on15-02-2020

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Family ill with flu at home

The flu season is already upon us like any other year during the winter months. As soon as the cold weather sets in, the circulation of respiratory viruses increases, especially among children. Of all viruses, influenza is particularly relevant because of its high-frequency occurrence, elevated impact on the health of those affected and their families, and the possible complications that it might entail. Today we spoke with Dr Conejo, Head of the Paediatrics Department at Vithas Xanit International Hospital, and we clarified some of the most frequent doubts and uncertainties regarding the flu so common during winter months.

What is the flu?

It is an infection caused by the influenza virus that periodically affects everyone, every year during the cold months, which alternate between the two hemispheres.

What is the flu virus?

It is a virus with great ability to mutate, fundamentally infecting the respiratory system and is transmitted from person to person through the air (coughing, sneezing…), hands or other objects that have become contaminated with the virus with the respiratory secretions or the hands of the infected (doorknobs, railings, toys, etc.).

How many types of viruses are there?

There are basically 2 types of viruses that infect humans: type A and type B. Although the ratio of one to the other changes in each season, in general the most common virus is the influenza A virus.

Within each type, in turn, there are many different subtypes, as it is a virus with great ability to mutate and evolve into new different viruses. Since it is a virus that varies so much annually, it is necessary that get vaccinated each year at the beginning of the flu season.

Thus, the famous influenza A (H1N1) virus that caused the 2009 pandemic was a new variety of A viruses that emerged that year and has since remained as part of the usual viruses that we are exposed to each year.

This is why we should not be alarmed when we talk about “influenza A”, as it is the most common virus, although we all can remember the 2009 pandemic.

Who does the disease affect?

Influenza is a universal infection, capable of affecting everyone, although it mostly infects children under 14 years of age. It makes the paediatric patients the most vulnerable from the flu epidemic and, also, the main transmitters of the disease to other age groups. Besides, up to 20% of hospitalised patients for severe influenza are also children under 14 years of age, the vast majority of times in previously healthy children.

However, most severe cases occur in people over 65 years of age or those with some risk factors (lung disease, heart disease, etc.).

What are the symptoms of the flu? How is it different from a normal cold?

In many cases, the symptoms of influenza and the common cold are indistinguishable, as most influenza syndromes are mild in children.

In general, the main symptom of influenza is elevated fever over 39º C), which is usually accompanied by muscle aches and headaches. These symptoms generate great general malaise and a major feeling of weakness, which is often a source of concern on behalf of child’s parents (the child is usually very down, with a loss of appetite or desire to play, etc.). It is usually accompanied by cough, phlegm, sore throat, nasal congestion and sneezing, although in general, the symptoms are less intense than in common cold. Most often, symptoms resolve themselves within 5-8 days, although coughing and tiredness can last for several weeks.

On the other side, the symptoms of common cold and other viral infections usually start progressively over several days (first cough and phlegm and then fever or the rest of the symptoms may appear), the fever is usually less intense, although it can also be high, and is usually accompanied by less affectation of the general condition and less headache. In the case of common cold, the predominant symptoms are the affectation of the upper respiratory tract, with more phlegm, nasal congestion and more intense cough. Finally, the duration of the fever is usually shorter in these cases, between 3 and 5 days most of the time, although the rest of the symptoms (cough, phlegm…) can take up to 2-3 weeks to completely disappear and some infections usually overlap with others.

How is the flu treated?

As it is a viral infection, and although some antivirals are available that could be used in very specific cases, there is no curative treatment capable of shortening the duration of symptoms that can be applied to the general population. As the popular saying goes, the flu “lasts 7 days without treatment and a week with treatment.”

The only thing we can do is control the symptoms so that the patient is as comfortable as possible for the duration of the infection. If there is fever or discomfort, the usual painkillers (paracetamol, ibuprofen) can be used, avoiding the use of aspirin or influenza compounds containing it. It is also important to maintain good hydration and avoid other toxic irritating agents, such as tobacco smoke. It is not recommended to force food intake. It is recommended to rest at home, at least up to 24 hours after fever stops.

For paediatric patients, it is not recommended to use anti-catarrhal drugs, anti-cough medication, mucolytics, influenza compounds, anti congestive drugs, antihistamines, vitamins, etc., since their effectiveness is not proven and can be associated with adverse effects. Antibiotics have no beneficial effect and should be avoided in the absence of complications.

When is a consultation with the paediatrician recommended?

In the vast majority of cases, the flu behaves like a mild illness, from which the child will eventually recover smoothly. However, you should consult your paediatrician if:

  • The fever is very high and persistent.
  • The child is very irritable or sleepy.
  • The child looks bad or has shortness of breath.
  • If the child has a rash on the skin.

How can it be prevented?

The flu is very contagious and it is impossible to completely avoid infection in epidemic times. However, some means may minimise the risk of infection. General hygiene measures focusing on proper hand hygiene, have been shown to reduce transmission of the virus partially and are universally recommended, as are other measures such as the use of disposable handkerchiefs, covering the mouth with the inside of the elbow rather than by hand when coughing or sneezing or using masks in certain environments.

The most effective measure we have today to prevent serious cases is the influenza vaccine. Although it does not have a 100% efficacy (no vaccine has it), it has been useful to avoid up to 60% of severe cases, depending on the degree of concordance between the viruses included in the vaccine each year and the viruses that eventually circulate in each season.

The Vaccine Advisory Committee of the Spanish Association of Paediatrics recommends influenza vaccination in the following cases:

  • Risk groups: children from 6 months of age and adolescents in certain situations or those with basic diseases (diabetes, asthma, etc.).
  • Healthy children from 6 months of age, adolescents and healthy adults living together with patients at risk.
  • Members of the family with infants younger than 6 months of age and with risk factors, since the infants cannot receive the flu vaccine.
  • Pregnant women, regardless of the weeks of gestation.
  • All healthcare professionals.

Vaccination of children without risk factors (universal vaccination) can also be assessed, as it is common in many developed countries (United Kingdom, USA). USA, Australia, etc.).

But also to be vaccinated are:

  • People over 65 years of age or those of any age who have long-term health problems.

Who should not be vaccinated?

  • People who have had a severe allergic reaction to previous vaccination with a flu vaccine.
  • Children under 6 months.
  • If a person has an acute illness with a high fever, we should wait until the underlying condition is resolved first.

 

Love yourself! A healthy diet that takes care of your heart

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in cardiology with heart | Posted on03-02-2020

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healthy-diet

The National Institute of Statistics indicates that the most frequent causes of death in Spain are ischemic heart disease or heart failure. Good prevention is key to avoiding such casualties. Prevention starts with the food we eat daily. Taking care of what we eat, combined with series of good habits such as walking 20 minutes a day, sleeping for 8 hours and avoiding toxic substances such as alcohol or smoking are the key to taking care of our heart.

So, ready to start your heart-healthy diet?

Dr Gómez Doblas, Head of the Cardiology Department at Vithas Xanit International Hospital, offers us today a series of advice to get started.

First, we should know who are the groups with the high risk of cardiovascular diseases: we are talking about people with a family history of premature cardiovascular disease or family dyslipidaemia, or patients with a significant risk factor — smokers, people with diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol. In patients with cardiovascular risk factors mentioned above, a health check is recommended every 5 years, and in general men from the age of 40 and women from the age of 50.

Back to the pieces of advice related to diet, we should mention that it is remarkable that consuming raw foods always generates a more beneficial effect on health than when cooking them. Mainly due to eliminating or lowering vitamins in contact with heat. Examples? Cooking tomatoes for just two minutes decreases their vitamin C content by 10%. On the contrary, some vegetables offer greater health benefits when cooked. In this group are carrots, asparagus and even tomatoes. Its cooking makes our bodies benefit more easily from some of their protective antioxidants, although in some case we lose some of their vitamins.

 

Mediterranean diet: now and always

Now we are talking about the worldwide known fact, although it is not always put into practice. Who has not heard of the Mediterranean diet? An adequate proportion of olive oil, legumes, unsalted nuts, fruit and bluefish is synonymous with good cardiovascular health.

In contrast, the abuse of animal fats, especially trans fats, and quick-release sugars, increases the incidence of coronary heart disease by up to 23%.

 

The list of the non-purchase

If we choose a practical approach, it is not difficult to list those foods that harm your cardiovascular health. The best known is salt, although more important are those that contain trans fatty acids, which we can define as fats with a special conformation derived from the realization of some processes, such as the refining of vegetable or fish oils or the heating of oils at high temperatures, as occurs during frying.

The natural source of trans fats comes from ruminant animals, such as cow, sheep or goat, as the rumen bacteria of these animals perform partial hydrogenation of part of the fatty acids, which are found in the leaves, stems and roots they eat, as well as feed content.

These trans fatty acids are absorbed and incorporated into the muscles and milk of animals and, for this reason, are found in beef, lamb and kid meat, as well as whole milk. In any case, the foods that contain trans fats in greater quantity are those baked such as biscuits, industrial pastries, precooked foods, snacks and fried foods such as chips, corn, and other snacks, along with ice cream, creams and smoothies.

The first effect of trans fatty acids is to increase total cholesterol levels, especially LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), while lowering HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and increasing triglycerides. Besides, its consumption generates inflammation at the level of the cells of the endothelium, which is the innermost layer of the arteries and which is in close contact with the circulating blood. Inflammatory factors play an important role in the development of diabetes, atherosclerosis, plaque rupture and sudden cardiac death.

And the chocolate?

As a curious fact, it is noteworthy that theine or caffeine are not harmful at low doses and that certain studies have shown that dark chocolate is beneficial at cardiovascular level. Spices can also be consumed without problem, as long as they do not incorporate salt.

This year is the year! Advice on healthy 2020

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on03-02-2020

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New Year, same old resolutions. If you are one of those who want to start the new year by taking care of yourself, we would like you to take note of some pieces of advice so that, this year, you can make it happen.

 

A real motivation

The fact that we are starting a new year should not be a reason for us to eat more or less healthily, just like we should not start our diet only on Mondays. If you were already warned by a doctor of your mild hypertension, overweight, or any other indication whereby prevention is the key rather than cure, you should be even more aware of the health benefits of watching your diet. Health is not sold in the pharmacy and your body is the only one you will have in this lifetime, so taking care of yourself has to be your number 1 priority.

 

Plan and conquer

A good plan is crucial. Every good project starts with planning, and your health deserves a few minutes spent writing down your aims and plan of action. A list of goals and benefits will help you on your way to a healthier lifestyle. And do it before January the 1st, with particular dates on the mind and write it down in a document that is easy to consult later, whether you diary which you always have on you, in your mobile phone or stick it on your fridge door.

 

Marking a realistic goal

Take advantage of the SMART method, to set real and consistent goals. ‘S’ is for simple, ‘M’ for measurable, ‘A’ of achievable, ‘R’ of realistic and ‘T’ of time. For example, stop eating fried foods, sweets and pastries, walk 20 minutes a day and weigh yourself every 15 days, taking note of your progress.

 

Healthy diet

Food is key to our healthy lifestyle. Start the day with regular healthy breakfast, eat more vegetables, fruits and legumes, and try to drink alcohol as little as possible. Better to drink water than soft drinks and use sweeteners instead of sugar. And should you require, Vithas Xanit’s Endocrinology and Nutrition Department will help you plan this goal better.

 

A health check-up to rule out ailments

It sounds serious, although, at a certain age, it is always better to prevent it rather than having to cure it. We are talking about specific cases such as in women aged 45 and over (breast cancer incidences) or in men aged 50 and over (prostate problems), which by all means are not trivial. A health check-up will help you to concentrate, professionally and expertly, on those goals fundamental to achieving your healthy lifestyle for this prosperous 2020. As always, at Vithas Xanit we are here for you, whatever needs you might have.

Ophthalmology Department at Vithas Xanit, one of the most advanced laser platforms in the province of Malaga

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Ophthalmology | Posted on24-01-2020

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We live in a world where technology progresses before our eyes, bringing us each time more advanced and effective solutions to our health problems. At Vithas Xanit, we are aware of the importance of offering the best solutions to our patients, hence the latest cutting-edge technology available in all our departments. When it comes to our Ophthalmology Department, almost all diagnostic and therapeutic procedures available today are included, from clinical consultations to treatments of any eyesight related problem. Besides, this Department has the most advanced types of lasers currently available, such as Femtosecond laser, Teneo laser or the newly incorporated laser for the treatment of glaucoma.

“At Vithas Xanit International Hospital, our Ophthalmology Department counts upon an extensive medical team of great experience, made up of 10 ophthalmologists, three optometrists and two auxiliary nurses, as well operating room instrumentalists specialised in ophthalmology, anesthesiologists, etc.,” explains Dr Cilveti, Head of this team.

“In specialties such as ophthalmology, despite having a seemingly small target organ such as the eye, the sub-specialization is very high. At Vithas Xanit we have specialists in ophthalmology dedicated to specific branches of ophthalmology, having defined units such as the Medical and Surgical Retinal Unit, the Refractive Surgery Unit, Oculoplasty Unit, Glaucoma Unit, Cataract Unit, etc.”, adds the specialist.

The department is led by Dr Ángel Cilveti, who has extensive professional experience of more than thirty years. Throughout his career, Dr Cilveti has worked in the Andalusian Healthcare Service and, in the last 15 years, also in different private centres. He specialises in different branches of ophthalmology such as diabetic retinopathy, corneal transplantation and, for almost two decades, also in vitreoretinal surgery. Dr Cilveti has a long teaching and research career at the University of Malaga as a professor of Human Anatomy and, since 1988, of Ophthalmology. He is a member of various medical societies and holds several specialist certificates.

 

Vithas Xanit International Laser Portfolio

 

Femtosecond Laser

It is a sophisticated instrument that allows different incisions to be performed in eye tissues without physical cuts, only volatilising molecules of the tissue in order to separate them. This is achieved with levels of accuracy unthinkable with other methods and, thanks to this type of laser, we can treat cases of myopia, presbyopia, astigmatism and hyperopia, as well as cataracts.

In cataract surgery, the use of this laser which avoids employing cutting instruments like in other laser systems, improves performance and accuracy, further reducing, to a minimum, the use of ultrasound during the surgery. Computer-assisted surgery also improves the accuracy of the intervention. This greater precision in the incisions allows faster recovery, a higher visual quality, with fewer corneal aberrations and less induced astigmatism in both refractive surgery, presbyopia and cataract surgery.

 

Teneo laser

The Teneo laser allows us to treat myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia and, together with femtosecond, is the most advanced refractive platform existing today. It is the most advanced version of the excimer laser and, among other qualities, highlights the speed of surgeries, which are now performed in a few seconds. The Teneo laser incorporates the possibility of extraordinarily improving the PRK by performing epithelial ablation (first step of PRK surgery).

Recently, Vithas Xanit International Hospital has incorporated a new module of Teneo laser that allows performing the PRK technique but this time without even touching the patient’s eye, i.e. it is performed exclusively with the laser. The advantages of this laser over other techniques are accuracy and safety above all since the alternative to laser de-epithelization is doing it manually, using diluted alcohol to remove the corneal epithelium, as performed until now.

 

 Laser for the treatment of glaucoma

Recently the Xanit hospital has also employed a novel laser for the treatment of glaucoma. It is a pathology that affects about 60 million people worldwide and it is considered as the second cause of blindness because if not treated, the diagnosis is the loss of vision. Cyclo G6 laser is a modification of the previous laser system used in the treatment of glaucoma using the destruction of the ciliary body. This laser system allows, with a few seconds effect on the surface of the eyeball, to significantly reduce intraocular pressure. Its ideal indications are open-angle glaucomas, not very advanced, with painless applications that do not require the opening of the eyeball.

Although glaucoma is a pathology that can not be cured completely, by employing this laser it is possible to reduce the values of elevated intraocular pressure. By doing so, we avoid using eye drops (which, over time, lose effectiveness to lower eye pressure). We also avoid having to add other medication to achieve the necessary reduction of intraocular pressure, especially in those patients who tolerate eye drops badly due to redness and discomfort that those cause in general.

Also, this laser system helps us avoid surgical treatments for glaucoma, which are usually aggressive and sometimes lead to other eye problems, such as cataract formation or eye discomfort.

Although there are other laser procedures aimed at lowering the pressure that can be used alone or in combination with eye drops, the cyclo G6 laser is the newest of these procedures, which, by modifying the original procedure, manages to reduce the amount of aqueous humour produced during the surgery, satisfactorily reducing eye pressure associated with glaucoma.

Childhood obesity: how to help children have a healthy weight

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Various, Xanit salud | Posted on13-01-2020

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In recent years the percentage of obese children has been much higher than 20 years ago, when there was no talk of improving healthy lifestyle habits among children, according to the Paediatrics Department at Vithas Xanit International Hospital

Obviously, over the course of years, we have changed our way of living and that has harmed our health. As a society in general, we are increasingly leading a sedentary lifestyle, we are subjected to stress and the level of pollution increases day by day. The Mediterranean diet that we are so proud of is being swapped for processed meals, we do not sit down to eat with the family and do not exercise enough.

To try to understand the danger of childhood obesity and how to overcome it, we spoke with a specialist in this topic: Dr Pablo Ercoli, a paediatrician at Vithas Xanit International Hospital. The first question that we would like to ask the specialist is obvious:

 

From what parameters can you say that a child is obese?

By linking the weight and height of the child, we can get a parameter called Body Mass Index (BMI). If we compare it with a population of the same age and sex, we will be able to know if, within these parameters, the index is high or low, which is quantified by the so-called percentiles. In this case, percentiles express the percentage of the population with a lower BMI than the studied individual. Children between the 90th and 97th percentile would be defined as overweight patients. Those above the 97th percentile would fall within the definition of obesity.

 

Consequences of obesity on children’s health

Today we know that obesity is a proinflammatory state, which worsens the current and also future health of the child (diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, etc.). Specifically, it generates various problems, from joint pain, back pain or trouble breathing well, especially when sleeping. There are also other triggers for childhood obesity, such as increasingly evident problems arising at school in the form of bullying, which is usually what makes the child and the family consult a specialist.

As previously said, as likely health consequences, in adulthood obese children will suffer from hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, heart problems to name a few. It goes without saying that it is always better to prevent these pathologies rather than having to fight them later on in life!

Are there differences between the feeding of a boy and a girl?

Healthy and varied eating should be the same for everyone, although it is true, for example, that in adolescence more iron intake is recommended for girls and more calories in boys.

As for the recommended daily calories, they depend closely on the age and specific needs of each child. Although paediatricians usually calculate individual caloric needs, it is generally better to focus on healthy eating, without calorie numbers as we adults do.

 

Healthy foods for proper feeding of children

In general, children should eat everything, as long as it is healthy.

Fruits and vegetables can never be missed. It is advisable to eat three pieces of fruit and 2 servings of vegetables a day, 5 in total, like the fingers of one hand! And if both are seasonal, it’s better.

Fish and legumes are also very important. Another food that can never be missing to accompany our meals is olive oil, however, in the amounts recommended for its high caloric load.

Also, there is increasing emphasis on the importance of the consumption of natural nuts, and processed nuts (fried, salted, ticked, etc.) should be avoided.

Finally, we will have to avoid processed and ultra-processed foods, excess salt, sugars, fats and proteins. Avoid specially packaged juices, pastries and sugary drinks.

 

Fewer fresh juices and more fruit pieces for children

Let’s take orange juice as an example. To fill a glass, squeezing without pulp, we will need about six oranges. That brings us too many sugars.

Besides, its absorption rate, which is called the “glycemic index”, is also essential. By extracting the juice from any fruit we make this glycemic index much higher, almost similar to that of refined sugars (sweets, pastries, etc.), which has known negative effects on health. Taking the whole fruit, in addition to reducing the net amount of sugar that is ingested, causes that, thanks to the pulp and the rest of its components, the glycemic index is considerably reduced, which results in a very positive way in health.

Therefore, it is certainly preferable to eat one or two whole oranges than a glass of natural juice made from several squeezed oranges.

 

How parents should act with an overweight child

The first thing is to assume that there is a problem and that it also has a solution.

A correct diet and proper exercise will make your child enjoy a full, healthy life now and when they grow up.

Overweight, obesity and undernourishment can be included in the concept of malnutrition. It is likely that even if a single family member has the diagnosis, everyone in the house has dietary habits that can be improved. It makes us think that malnutrition is a family and social problem rather than that of a single person, and that changing habits will improve the quality of life of everyone in the house.

We have to eat again as a family, taking our time, without watching television while we are eating. Going back to the “spoon” meal, grandmother’s recipes and the Mediterranean diet of local products. Besides, if we combine it with exercise, we will have healthy habits for life!

Antibiotics: how to take them responsibly

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on13-01-2020

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Today we mark the European Antibiotics Awareness Day, promoted by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and here at Vithas Xanit International, we wanted to join this celebration by highlighting the importance of making a prudent use of antibiotics, since an abusive use of these can cause bacteria to be become resistant to them, which poses a danger to the entire population, as they can lead to infections that are difficult to treat.

For that reason, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has launched a campaign focused on preventing self-medication with antibiotics by the general population so we wanted to share with you their messages of recommendation:

 

What is self-medication

Self-medication consists in taking antibiotics without first consulting a doctor, either by:

  • Using antibiotics left over from previous treatments.
  • Acquiring antibiotics in the pharmacy without a prescription.

 

How we can act

We must consider the following recommendations:

A doctor can only prescribe antibiotics.

If you have been prescribed an antibiotic for a previous illness and have recovered well, it may be tempting to use the same antibiotic when similar symptoms occur. However, we must keep in mind that many pathologies, especially those in winter, may have the same symptoms, but that does not mean that they require the same treatment. Only a doctor can determine whether or not a winter disease requires antibiotic treatment. Therefore, it is recommended that the patient: Do not try to buy antibiotics without a prescription.

  • Do not store antibiotics for later use.
  • Do not take antibiotics left over from previous treatments.
  • Do not share excess antibiotics with others.
  • Do not store excess antibiotic treatments. If you receive more doses ( e. g. tablets or capsules) of antibiotics you have been prescribed, ask your pharmacist how to get rid of excess doses.

Antibiotics can not cure all diseases.

Up to 80% of winter infections affecting the nose, ears, throat and lungs are of viral origin, therefore, taking antibiotics will not help us get rid of them.

Is it the flu or cold what I have? Differences, similarities and how to treat both

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on07-01-2020

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Breathing problems, phlegm, poor overall health… Flu and cold are very similar to the point that, on certain occasions, it is difficult to distinguish between the two pathologies.

Here at Vithas Xanit International Hospital,  we have prepared an article with some clues when in doubt if you are suffering from a common cold or flu and curiosities related to both, as well as general advice on treating them.

 

Differences: Yes, there are some…

It all starts with poor general health and a feeling of cold. Those first symptoms and the degree of virulence and intensity are already giving us a clue which out of two pathologies we are dealing with. The flu tends to be much worse than a cold and usually is followed by a fever that lasts for several days. Also, especially in children and the elderly, there is a greater risk of generating other health problems such as pneumonia.

The time of the year when the flu appears is also another clue. We can suffer from common cold almost at any time of the year. In contrast, the flu has limited its presence between the months of November and March.

 

Once identified, how can we treat it?

Treatment of influenza is fundamentally symptomatic, so it is recommended to drink a lot of liquids, take analgesics and antipyretics (ibuprofen or paracetamol). Acetylsalicylic acid is also a common resource, however, we try no to give it to children under 18 years of age to avoid Reye syndrome.

In both cases and in the light of the symptoms, you may use other drugs such as antihistamines, cough medicine, or nasal vasoconstrictors. On the contrary, we try not to prescribe antibiotics, since both flu and cold are produced by viral, non-bacterial infection.

 

Better to prevent…

We can pretty certainly say, that both influenza and the common cold are two of the most frequent diseases around. That is why a vaccination campaign to prevent influenza has been standardised, usually starting in October. There is no campaign to prevent the cold, as this is a more common ailment.

In the case of influenza, it is essential to call for vaccination within the main risk groups: people 65 years old or older, or people with diabetes mellitus, morbid obesity, kidney failure or liver disease, as well as healthcare or teaching personnel.

 

And how do the flu and cold spread?

The transmission is carried out through saliva, which we expel when sneezing, coughing or talking. In this regard, a greater degree of hands hygiene becomes important and, as far as possible, avoid contact with sick people.

As a fact to keep in mind in older people, influenza does not directly cause death, although it can lead to complications such as an aggravation of chronic respiratory diseases, pneumonia or specific diseases of the patient.

The first mammogram, what should we know?

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in ALL ABOUT CANCER, women's health | Posted on07-01-2020

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According to the Spanish Association Against Cancer, “around 32,825 new breast cancer cases are diagnosed annually in Spain”. With such figures, we believe it is of utmost importance to raise awareness among the society of the importance of research and early diagnosis of breast cancer since it is the most frequent tumour in western women.

For that purpose Dr Fran Fernández, responsible for the Breast Unit at Vithas Xanit International Hospital, explains today what mammography consists of and everything you need to know before making your first mammogram.

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that allows detecting breast lesions before they even give symptoms (palpable lump, retraction of the skin or the areola-nipple complex, bloody discharge from the nipple, lumps in the armpits, etc.).

When should we undergo the first mammogram?

For risk-free patients, it is advisable to start with mammograms at the age of 40, however, the family history should also be taken into account. If there is a history of breast, ovarian, and/or prostate cancer, this test is usually started at the age of 35.

Mammography should be repeated every year or every other year if the results of the previous test came back normal. If you are a patient at risk, the doctor may indicate whether it is necessary to perform this test every six months or combine it with other imaging tests, such as ultrasound or MRI.

 

Some recommendations to keep in mind before performing a mammogram

  • If you have a very sensitive breast, to avoid pain from the breast compression, it is recommended to perform mammography after the end of menstruation, since the breast is less sensitive because it has less hormonal influence.
  • It’s important not to be afraid. Mammography lasts between 15 and 30 minutes, it is a fast process and carries no risk. Therefore, it is important to be relaxed, since it is a routine test and it does not involve any complications.
  • Try not to wear any metal objects on the day of the screening such as earrings, bracelets, etc., because you will have to remove them for testing.
  • It is also advisable to wear comfortable clothes that are easily taken off, as the chest must be bare for the test.
  • Only in the case of being pregnant could there be a contraindication to take the test because it can pose a risk to the baby, although your doctor will always advise you whether to do it or not.
  • If the patient is in the process of breastfeeding, it is advisable not to perform the mammogram because the breast is anatomically very transformed due to changes that occur during lactation; only in cases of high suspicion of breast cancer the mammogram is indicated.
  • In the case of patients with breast implants, you should be aware that the implants may decrease the sensitivity of the test. In these situations mammography can also be supplemented with ultrasound and resonance imaging.

According to AECC, the most important means for early diagnosis of breast cancer is mammography, and the chances of cure of cancers detected at the initial stage are almost 100%.

That is why it is essential to perform mammography, complemented by self-examination at home.