Thursday, 28 July 2016

Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain is not synonymous to a particular gender; both men and women can suffer from pelvic pain. Pain is a very helpful thing. It is often an indication of something wrong; something that requires attention and fixing. 

In this case, pelvic pain in both men and women could be an indication of underlying issues that include but are not limited to sexually transmitted diseases, appendicitis, kidney infections, pelvis disorders, bladder infections, ectopic pregnancy, ovulation, fibroid, endometriosis and miscarriage among others.  There are other symptoms that could be an indication of acceleration of a problem and they include fever, painful or difficult urination, blood in stool, pain during sexual intercourse, abnormal vaginal bleeding. 
It is important to visit your doctor once you experience the above mentioned symptoms in order for the cause of the pelvic pain to be established. This will be done through taking a medical history, blood tests, Pelvic X-ray, ultrasound or a CT scan, a stool test among others depending on the symptoms you present and what your doctor thinks is suitable.
The prognosis or treatment modalities will depend on the results of the tests carried out.

Early treatment is key as it makes treatment easier and cheaper.

Monday, 25 July 2016

This is a group of symptoms that affect women and is brought about by increased levels of male hormones in the body.

Different women experience different symptoms but the most common symptom is irregular or no menstrual period. One may experience changes as a result of the hormonal imbalance that include infertility, pelvic pain, acne, loss of hair, reduction of breast size ( in extreme cases), deepening of the voice and abnormal growth of hair in areas such as face, chest, stomach among others. 

There are other conditions that associated with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and they include type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea and cardiac conditions among others.

This medical condition is caused by factors that include genetic and environmental factors.  The risk factors associated with it include lack of adequate physical exercise, obesity and a family history.
A gynecologist will make a diagnosis through taking a physical history for example no ovulation, levels of androgen hormone in the body and presence of ovarian cysts detected through an ultrasound.
Poly cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) has no cure; however its symptoms can be managed for example through physical exercises and weight management, use of birth control pills to manage irregular menstrual period and acne.

PCOS is very common among women of ages 18-44. It is important to note that due to the fact that different women may present totally different symptoms then treatment plans may not be the same.
For more information kindly visit The Karen Hospital or contact us on Facebook (The Karen Hospital) and Twitter (@_Karen Hospital)

Monday, 11 July 2016

The Karen Hospital has branches in the following;
Nairobi CBD

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Pregnancy releases hormones that act to soften ligaments in preparation for labour. Sometimes this can lead to discomfort and pain. For some women this may mean that they can’t continue with their normal exercise routine and for a few women it may mean a limitation in function (eg. walking, steps and lifting).

Hydrotherapy and water exercise assist pregnant women by:
• providing a safe, weight reduced environment to safely maintain or improve strength, stability, flexibility and fitness
• assist in the management and prevention of many ante-natal problems.
Specifically, hydrotherapy can help to:
• improve stability and flexibility
• decrease and manage back pain
• improve posture
• enhance circulation
• help control fluid retention, swelling & oedema
• help control blood pressure
• manage back and pelvic pain
• cope with fatigue
• prepare your body for labor
• assist weight management
• improve relaxation, mood and sleep.

Visit our main branch located along Lang'ata Road for more information.

Friday, 17 June 2016


1. Sleep on your back. Sleeping on your back helps maintain a neutral spine position, thus easing any pressure on your lower back and neck. By keeping a straight spine, you are not forcing any extra curves in your body. When sleeping on your back, you should choose a puffy pillow, one that supports your head and neck without propping you up too much.
2. Become a side-sleeper. Sleeping on your side is the next best position, if you simply can’t sleep on your back. Side-sleeping also keeps your spine elongated and free from curves. In addition to relieving lower back and neck pain, it also is great for reducing acid reflux and decreasing snoring. If you choose to sleep on your side, it is best to choose a pillow that will fill the space above your shoulder, so your head and neck are supported in a neutral position
3. Sleeping in a fetal position is not ideal. If you are prone to sleeping in the fetal position with your knees pulled up tight and your chin tucked, you may be setting yourself up for chronic back and neck pain. An easy alteration to this sleep position is to simply straighten yourself out and sleep more in the side position. Again, choose the same pillow as you would for side-sleeping.
4. Do NOT sleep on your stomach. Sleeping on your stomach is the absolute worst sleep position. Maintaining a neutral spine is near impossible when on your stomach, and even worse is the pressure it imposes on your nerves and joints. Irritated nerves can lead to pain, numbness and tingling. Think if you kept your neck turned to one side for even 30 minutes during the day; it would cause extreme discomfort and pain. Now think what sleeping on your stomach with your neck turned to one side for seven to eight hours would do, not to mention the discomfort to the lower back and hips.
As you can see, the way you sleep has a lot to do with how you feel. Although training yourself to sleep in a proper position may take some time, it will be well worth it. If a simple alteration can help relieve lower back pain and neck pain, it is definitely worth your time and effort.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout our lives. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect our mental health, physical health, quality of life and safety.
The way we feel while we’re awake depends in part on what happens while we’re sleeping. During sleep, our bodies are working to support healthy brain function and maintain our physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development.

What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. The word “apnea” literally means “without breath”. An apnea is defined as a complete cessation of breathing that lasts 10 seconds or greater. There are two principal types of sleep apnea, “Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA),” and “Central Sleep Apnea” (CSA). By far the most common is obstructive sleep apnea, diagnosed on overnight sleep study .Obstructive Sleep Apnea results from repetitive collapse of the upper airway. Central sleep apnea is due to decreased output from ventilatory control centres in the brain.

Why Sleep Apnea is Harmful – The Cumulative Effect of Sleep Apnea
The longer Obstructive Sleep Apnea goes untreated, the greater the negative effects and associated health risks. If sleep apnea remains untreated, other health conditions may emerge including: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, reflux disease (GERD), atherosclerosis and gestational diabetes.

Why Sleep Apnea is Harmful- The Consequences of Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea causes: excessive daytime sleepiness, morning and daytime headaches, generalized irritability and impaired emotional functioning.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea in Children
You often don’t think of children of snoring or suffering from sleep apnea but a number of them do. Children with sleep apnea repeatedly stop breathing during sleep and the episodes last from 10 seconds to a minute or so. Usually, they occur because of an obstruction in the airways, commonly due to big tonsils and adenoids, obesity, family history of OSA, Down’s syndrome and sickle cell disease.  Sleep disordered breathing in childhood may be instrumental in delaying or damaging cognitive development. 

Diagnosis and treatment of Sleep Apnea
A sleep study test is usually done to diagnose sleep apnea and it is the most accurate test. The test measures how well you sleep and how your body responds to sleep problems. These tests can help your doctor find out whether you have a sleep disorder and how severe it is. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the most common treatment option for the management of sleep apnea. The CPAP machine is small and pulls in room air, compresses it and blows it into a tube which is attached to a mask worn by the patient. The pressurized air from the CPAP keeps the airway open, allowing the patient to breathe. While CPAP is the common treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, other modalities of treatment do exist. They include: lifestyle changes, positional therapy, weight loss, oral appliances and surgical procedures. Patients who get Obstructive Sleep Apnea treated will return to a more normal sleep pattern allowing the body its much needed rest. Patients will also feel more awake and energetic allowing increased focus and activity throughout the day.

If you, your spouse and or family member snores at night and you suspect that you may have sleep apnea, please visit The Karen Hospital and we will schedule an appointment for you to evaluate your sleep health today!


Monday, 23 May 2016

The World Health Organization states that tobacco-related diseases are the single most important cause of preventable deaths in the world. What people don’t know or may be choose to ignore is that smoking and passive smoking leads to more than 20 major categories of fatal and disabling diseases, including cancer of the lungs, throat, stomach, oesophagus among other cancers. It is rather sad that what may have started as a little fun or a result of negative peer pressure influence develops into an addictive demon ravaging our insides leaving fatal diseases in its wake.
Smoking and cardiovascular disease
Betty Weru, a Respiratory specialist at The Karen Hospital fully understands the adverse health effects brought about by smoking. “Smoking causes a number of health conditions,” she says. Having worked both in the United States and at The Karen Hospital she has had a firsthand exposure to the detrimental state that comes with smoking. She says that smokers are at a greater risk for heart and cardiovascular diseases. These are diseases that not only affect the heart but blood vessels as well. They include conditions such as stroke and coronary heart disease. Stroke is brought about when a clot blocks the blood flow to part of your brain or when a blood vessel in or around your brain bursts. There is also the risk of developing peripheral artery disease which can lead to amputation of legs. This is because blockages caused by smoking can also reduce blood flow to your legs and skin. It also increases the risk of developing high blood pressure because damages to blood vessels include thickening and narrowing of blood vessels causing an increase in the heart beat. The risks are very high irrespective of how many cigarettes one smokes in a day.
Smoking and respiratory disease
She also says that smoking can lead to lung disease by damaging airways and the small air sacs (alveoli) found in the lungs. An example of lung diseases caused by smoking includes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Cigarette smoking is attributed to most cases of lung cancer. Tobacco smoke can also trigger an asthma attack or make it worse. Smokers are 12 to 13 times more likely to die from COPD than nonsmokers.
Smoking and cancer
Smoking can lead to the development of cancer anywhere in the body. It also heightens the risk of succumbing to cancer and other diseases in cancer patients and survivors.
Smoking and other health risks
Every organ of the body is affected by smoking. Additionally, it makes it harder for a woman to conceive and also affect her baby’s health before and after birth. Smoking in pregnant women comes with a myriad of health effects to the baby such preterm (early) delivery, stillbirth (death of the baby before birth), low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome (known as SIDS or crib death), ectopic pregnancy and orofacial clefts in infants.
Men's sperms are also affected by smoking; this can reduce fertility and raise risks for birth defects and miscarriages.
Women smokers past childbearing age tend to have weaker bones and are at an elevated risk for broken bones than women who have never smoked.
There is more; smoking not only affects your gums but teeth too and can lead to tooth loss. It also increases your risk for development of cataracts. This is the clouding of the lens of the eye making it hard for one to see.
Smoking is also a known cause of type 2 diabetes mellitus and can also make it extremely difficult to manage. For smokers the risk of developing diabetes is 30 to 40 per cent higher than for nonsmokers.
Other adverse effects brought about by smoking include inflammation and decreased immune function. It can also cause rheumatoid arthritis.

Quitting and reduced risks
For those courageous enough to stop smoking, their risk of developing cardiovascular disorders is greatly reduced. One year after quitting, your risk of getting a heart attack drops sharply. Two to five years after quitting, your risk for developing stroke could drastically reduce to about the same as a nonsmoker’s. After five years your risk of developing cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder drops by half and that of developing lung cancer drops by half after ten years.

Should one decide to quit smoking help is available at The Karen Hospital. Betty Weru runs the smoking cessation programme. This entails conducting educational sessions whose main objective is to enlighten the client on the disease process; how their body is being affected by smoking. One is advised on what lifestyle changes to embrace in a bid to avoid triggers that would lead one to smoking again. There is also medication to help quit smoking and includes use of the smoking patch. She says that one of the biggest hurdles is consistency among those who want to quit. It is not usually an easy journey irrespective of how long you have been smoking but we promise to be there every step of the way.