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Psoriasis, what it is and how to deal with it

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in dermatology | Posted on 30-11-2016

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Today we are going to concentrate on a condition which affects 2% of the Spanish population: psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease, meaning it results from a malfunction of the body’s immune system. It is not contagious and can appear on the skin throughout the body. It appears in the form of raised red plaques, with a covering of dead, white skin cells, which are often painful and can cause itching.

Not only does this condition affect the skin, it can also affect the joints and is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. Psoriasis Psoriasis2

Although the cause is unknown, a significant hereditary component has been demonstrated. 40% of patients suffering from psoriasis have a first degree family member with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, this rises to 90% in the case of second degree family members. Other factors have also been identified, such as stress, trauma, infection and some medications. 

Psoriasis can worsen at certain times of the year, especially if exposed to atmospheres which dry the skin. The use of heaters when the cold weather arrives, or, spending time in places where winter is very dry can complicate the condition. During the summer time it can be beneficial to expose the skin to the sun, but not in the middle of the day and not for more than a quarter of an hour. As always, sunscreen is completely necessary at all times, sunburn is even more serious for skin affected by psoriasis. 

The results of psoriasis are not only physical. The psychological effects of this condition have been described in many studies, showing that 75% of patients seen with psoriasis suffer from insecurity, stress and anxiety as a result of their disease. 

However, every case is different therefore all patients with psoriasis should undergo a specific, individual assessment by a Dermatology Specialist.

In the Dermatology Unit at Vithas Xanit International Hospital, our specialists led by Dr. Enrique Herrera Acosta, tackle treatment of this condition using the most advanced technology available. Vithas Xanit Limonar have introduced the latest system, offering photochemotherapy with Psoralen-UVA and phototherapy with Narrowband UVB. Although currently psoriasis cannot be cured there are several treatments to control the condition with very satisfactory success rates depending on the type of patient. 

Dermatologists from Vithas Xanit International Hospital’s Dermatology Department, can help and advise you on how to deal with this condition to obtain optimal results.

Source of news: Clínica Dr. Herrera

The importance of taking care of your digestive system

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Various | Posted on 23-11-2016

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Our stomach, intestine, liver, pancreas… and entire digestive system, can be affected by our busy daily lives, anxiety and stress as well as poor dietary habits. Throughout our life we should be observant for any symptoms which might appear. Today Dr. Cueto and Dr. Jiménez, Specialists in Gastroenterology at Vithas Xanit International Hospital, answer some of our queries on this subject.

Why is it so important to monitor all the organs which form part of our digestive system?

The gastrointestinal tract is composed of several distinct organs, all of which are involved in nutrition. From the mouth to the rectum, including the glands (organs which secrete digestive juices capable of converting food substances to more simple substances to facilitate their digestion), our digestive system is designed to take nutrients from food and eliminate the waste. Alteration in this function, or the symptoms related to it, can be the first indication of an abnormality of the digestive system.

In the last few years we have seen a continuing increase in diseases involving the digestive system, why is this?

Consultations for problems and abnormalities of the digestive system are very common, especially as it is heavily affected by our environment and lifestyle, and can be altered when these change. We are also increasingly conscious of our health and visit the doctor sooner after the onset of symptoms.

What are the main diseases of the gastrointestinal tract?

Digestive conditions can be divided into 2 large groups, those which have an underlying organic abnormality and those that don’t. In this second group we include diseases or symptoms with an origin in abnormal digestive function, such as irritable bowel syndrome or functional dyspepsia.

If we separate the digestive system by area: in the upper digestive tract, the symptoms are most often of dyspepsia (gastrointestinal pain or discomfort located in the central part of the upper abdomen) or abdominal pain related to eating; whilst in the lower digestive tract, the most common symptoms are related to altered bowel habit.

Which are the most serious?

Functional disorders do not often progress to anything more serious. These disorders accompany us throughout life, at times they are almost indiscernible, whilst at other times, when our lifestyle requires our digestive tract to work harder, they become more constant and have a greater effect. Organic disorders can be more serious.

From what age is it more common to suffer from a disease related to the digestive system?

Anybody can suffer from digestive discomfort or problems with the gastrointestinal tract. However to qualify this, young people often describe milder symptoms, suggestive of functional disorders. From a certain age, around the age of 50, symptoms can be more significant and require more active investigation on the part of medical staff.

Do these conditions more commonly affect men, women or both?

If we speak generically, digestive pathology affects both sexes to the same extent. If we discuss any particular condition, some conditions of the digestive system are seen more commonly in one gender or the other.

Are many conditions related to diet? What should a healthy lifestyle include?

Appropriate diet, quality as well as quantity, is fundamental in any illness, including digestive conditions. Depending on the illness which we are treating, we may need abstain from certain foods. However under normal circumstances, to prevent future problems, a varied, balanced diet, such as the Mediterranean Diet, has demonstrated great health benefits. This should be accompanied by an active lifestyle including individually appropriate physical exercise, several times a week, with avoidance of a sedentary lifestyle.

What advice would you give to take care of our digestive system?

  • Maintain good nutrition containing all the food groups (carbohydrates, fats, proteins) in the correct proportions.
  • Avoid long periods without eating.
  • Eat 5 times a day to avoid eating large quantities.
  • Avoid tobacco and do not abuse alcohol.

Are there symptoms which are common to diseases of the digestive system?

Yes, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation are some examples of symptoms which can be as a result of very diverse conditions, the majority of them not serious.

When should we go to the doctor?

In general, when we start with a symptom that due to its intensity or persistence is not easy to explain, we should consult a doctor, we should also do so if there is blood in the vomit or faeces or inexplicable weight loss.

What effect does diet and lifestyle have during childhood which can result in digestive conditions as an adult?

Recent studies have demonstrated that childhood obesity predisposes to obesity as an adult, as well as increased frequency of other very diverse conditions. Correct nutrition and regular physical exercise in childhood is even more important than during adult life.

What lifestyle should be followed in childhood to minimise the risks?

It is essential to follow a varied diet, rich in fruit and vegetables, without excluding any food group (meat, fish, vegetables, cereals) with reduced intake of high sugar products such as fizzy drinks, manufactured baked goods etc. Children should perform regular physical exercise several times a week.

It is important to consult your doctor if you start to have problems with your weight.