Monday, May 19, 2008

Why Some People Commit Suicide

All over the world, as many as a thousand people try to commit suicide every day.
  • From the survey made in the U.K. it was estimated that a very large number of people make suicide attempts every year. Numerically the largest number of suicides and attempts of suicide occurred in cases of people over 55.
  • Many cases of suicide attempts are those of impressionable young girls who take an overdose of sleeping pills or tranquillizers; but much less than half the cases of people who attempt suicide really want to die. What is important to know is that many suicide attempts are a means of communication: virtually a cry for help and sympathy.
  • The motives for suicides include bad health, troubled relationships with other people, material problems such as shortage of money, bad housing, a disorganised life, failure in marriage and living in a depressing area. People from broken homes often attempt suicide; chronic alcoholism can also be a cause.
  • Suicide is the ultimate act in succumbing to stress.
  • Compared with the so-called working classes in the developed countries the upper social classes are more prone to kill themselves. Doctors, in particular, are two-and-a-half times more likely to commit suicide as other men and one-and-a-half times as likely as their social equals.
  • Two countries whose suicide rates appear to be going down are Japan and Britain. In Japan the reason is because ideas of dishonor and disgrace are changing and in Britain because of an organization called the Samaritans.
  • To prevent suicide is the reason behind the existence of a world- wide organisation called the Samaritans. Anyone who is considering committing suicide can contact a member of the Samaritans who are specially trained to deal with such cases. Usually, all that is required is a sympathetic ear — somebody who will listen. If persons desperate enough to commit suicide can get someone sympathetic to listen patiently to their problems, the urge to commit suicide frequently subsides and then vanishes altogether. And that is where the Samaritans play such an important part.
  • Ten times more men in the age group 65 to 69 kill themselves eachyear in the U.K. than do young men aged 20 to 25. They kill themselves by hanging, drowning, by inhaling gas, or taking an overdose of sleeping tablets and other such drugs.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Pre-eclampsia - A Risk Factor During Pregnancy

Pre-eclampsia is a common medical condition which most women suffer during pregnancy. The mother-to-be may also have certain other complications such as disturbances in her vision, headaches and pain in the upper abdomen.

Being a multi-organ disorder, pre-eclampsia affects the brain, kidneys, lungs, liver as well as the uterus of the mother, thereby putting the baby also at risk.

In its severe form seizures may also manifest and that's when the disorder goes from pre-eclampsia to eclampsia.

  • A woman who is in her fifth month of pregnancy is at risk as research shows that most women are diagnosed between the 20-24th week of gestation.
  • A woman who is pregnant for the first time is 15 times more likely to develop pre-eclampsia than a woman who has had a normal pregnancy in the past.
  • A woman who has had a normal pregnancy in the past but is now expecting her first child from a new partner is at a greater risk. This is because pre-eclampsia can be partner specific.
  • A woman who is pregnant post 35 years of age.
  • A woman suffering from other medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, chronic hypertension, chronic renal failure, migraines and asthma.
  • A woman with a stressful lifestyle.
  • A woman who suffered from pre-eclampsia in her previous pregnancies.
  • A woman with a family history of the condition.
  • The risk factor increases with certain conditions such as multiple pregnancy, a post term pregnancy etc.
The symptoms will vary depending on the degree of severity of the condition. In mild preeclampsia, symptoms include:
  • Elevated blood pressure.
  • Small amounts of protein in the urine.
  • Swelling of the hands, feet or face.

  • Very high blood pressure.
  • Large amounts of protein in the urine.
  • Decreased urine output.
  • Severe headaches.
  • Disturbances in vision.
  • Pain in the upper abdomen.
  • Decreased liver function.
  • Decrease in the blood clotting ability of the body.

A confirmed medical diagnosis is made by means of laboratory evidence. Some of them are:
  • Increased liver enzymes.
  • Low platelet count.
  • Increase in plasma creatinine, uric add.
  • Increased circulating flbrinongen.

For those who fall in the high risk group, certain preventatrve measures are suggested, such as:
  • Weight control
  • Restriction of salt in the diet
  • Regular intake of calcum supplements
  • Regular intake of anti-oxidants such as vitamin C and B.

For those who have already been diagnosed with the condition, the treatment will vary with the severity of the condition. In mild forms, treatment includes:
  • Bed rest
  • Anti-hypertensive medications.
In severe forms, treatment includes:
  • Hospitalization while blood pressure is brought under control
  • In cases where the condition becomes life-threatening the baby may have to be delivered before time.

Since pre-eclampsia is a condition peculiar to pregnancy it disappears within 12 weeks post delivery.