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Excessive Thirst — Polydipsia

Oct 30, 2013 - 0 comments









Kidney disease

Common causes of excessive thirst:

- Dry mouth (false thirst)
- Dehydration
- Untreated diabetes mellitus type 1
- Congestive heart failure
- Liver cirrhosis
- Chronic kidney failure
- Diabetes insipidus due to a brain disorder (pituitary tumor) or kidney disorder (polycystic kidney disease)
- Hormonal disorders: hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, Cushing's syndrome, hyperaldosteronism (in adrenal tumor)
- Caffeine intoxication
- Medications: steroids, certain antibiotics, antidepressants, lithium
- Ecstasy (MDMA)

Rare causes of polydipsia:
- Severe bleeding (external or internal)
- Shock (severe dehydration, severe allergic reaction, sepsis)
- Dry mouth in Sjögren's syndrome
- Compulsive water drinking in schizophrenia and other mental disorders

More causes of polydipsia:

TESTS may include:
- Blood and urine electrolytes
- Investigations to find the underlying disease

How to recognize dehydration?

Oct 21, 2013 - 0 comments






These are the most RELIABLE symptoms and signs of dehydration:

1. Sudden loss of weight (hours/few days). Even if you exercise regularly, it is not likely you will lose several pounds of weight in a day or two.
2. Decreased amount of urine. Less than 200 mL of urine in the morning after >6 hours sleep can speak for dehydration, even if your urine is completely clear ("white," translucent).
3. Dark urine. A small amount of dark yellow or brown urine speaks for dehydration. Other causes of dark urine:
- vitamin supplements (vitamin B complex) - bright yellow urine
- iron supplements: greenish urine
- certain antibiotics, for example rifampin (for tuberculosis)
- certain artificial food dyes
- beet root, blackberries, rhubarb: reddish urine (in some people)
- blood: red urine
- kidney disease
4. Decreased skin elasticity. When you pinch and release the skin on the back of your hand, it should flatten immediately; any delay in skin flattening speaks for dehydration. This test obviously doesn't work in people who have wrinkled skin even when well hydrated; it may also not work in obese individuals in whom the skin can flatten quickly even when dehydrated. Decreased skin elasticity probably appears only when you miss more than one liter of water in your body.
5. Dry mouth (and later, lips). Also not an early, but when you miss more than 1-2 liters of water, you wil very likely experience dry mouth.

When dehydrated, you may or may not experience some other known symptoms, but they are NOT RELIABLE (can be absent or caused by many other conditions):
- Tiredness
- Headache
- Nausea
- Loss of appetite
- Dizziness
- Absent sweating. This is a tricky one. You walk in a hot, dry, windy way without a drop of a sweat, because the wind blows it away before you notice it. On the other hand, when you are severely dehydrated, you are so water deficient that you cannot sweat any more. This may result in quick rise of your body temperature (heat stroke), which is a medical urgency.
- In severe dehydration, you may experience seizures or fall into coma.
- I almost forgot thirst. Thirst is very unreliable symptom of dehydration. You can feel thirsty and are not dehydrated at all or be severely dehydrated and not feel thirst at all.

Numbness and Tingling in Fingertips

Jun 22, 2013 - 0 comments



Numbness and tingling











A list of common causes of tingling  and numbness in the fingertips:

1. Carpal tunnel syndrome
2. Raynaud's phenomenon
3. Peripheral neuropathy (diabetes, alcoholism, medications, chemotherapy)
4. Burns and Frostbite
5. Peripheral artery disease (atherosclerosis, vasculitis, Buerger's disease (young smokers))
6. Thoracic outlet syndrome (baseball players)
7. Lack of oxygen in the blood (anemia, heart disease, lung diseases)
8. Hyperventilation (anxiety, kidney disease)
9. Spray painting (constant pressure upon the index finger)
10. Hypokalemia, hypocalcemia
11. Pinched nerve in the neck (cervical radiculopathy)
12. Fingertip eczema, frictional dermatitis

Anti-Itch Creams in Pregnancy

Nov 22, 2011 - 0 comments

Not all anti-itch creams are safe or effective in reliving itch during pregnancy caused by prurigo of pregnancy, PUPPP, eczema, intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, hemorrhoids, yeast infections or other causes.
More details on:


- Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) paste or bath
- Oatmeal or cornstarch bath
- Calamine lotion
- Camphor ointment
- Colloidal oatmeal bath
- Diphenhydramine or loratadine cream or pills (antihistamines)
- Epsom salt bath
- Lactic Acid/Salicylic acid/Urea cream
- Lidocaine cream (local anesthetic)
- Menthol cream
- Mupirocin cream (for staphylococcal skin infections)
- Witch hazel lotion (for hemorrhoids)


- Emollients (to soften the skin), which contain stearic, linoleic, linolenic, oleic and lauric acid, isopropyl myristate, palmitate or stearate, ceramides, almond oil, castor oil, cholesterol, pine tar, beeswax.
- Humectants (attract water in the skin), which contain glycerin (glycerine, glycerol), glycolic acid, honey, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, sorbitol.

SIDE EFFECTS of certain skin products:

- Dimethicone cream (skin softener) may cause itch or burn.
- Lanolin (skin barrier) may cause eczema.
- Mineral oils (skin barrier, aqueous cream, petroleum jelly or petrolatum) may cause itch, folliculitis.
- Practically any skin product may trigger an allergic reaction.

PROBABLY INEFFECTIVE in relieving itch

Aaloe vera, calendula (marigold) lotion, primrose oil, tea tree oil, oral or topical vitamin C, D, E, K are probably ineffective.

Pregnancy Category C Anti-Itch Medications:
The following drugs caused harm in studies on animal fetuses. No harm to human fetuses has been proven, but cannot be excluded:

- Amonium lactate
- Benzocaine cream
- Butoconazole vaginal
- Calcipotriene cream
- Coal tar
- Gabapentin
- Pimecrolimus cream
- Pramoxine cream
- Steroid creams or pills, such as: hydrocortisone cream, hydrortisone rectal, triamcinolone topical, betamethasone topical, prednisone pills
- Tacrolimus cream
- Tretinoine cream
- Urea cream
- Zinc oxide

Speak with your doctor before using any remedy or medication listed in this article.