What are the symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis?
—Shreya Raj, a resident of Anna Nagar
While Ankylosing Spondylitis is characterised by pain and stiffness in the lower back or buttocks late in the night or early in the morning, it is found to be predominant among the male population. While the pain can be reduced through pain killers and exercises, these do not guarantee long term pain relief and prevention of structural damage. When left untreated, it leads to back stiffness resulting in significant physical disability. Unfortunately, due to lack of public awareness of this disease, patients often seek consultation from rheumatologists only 6-7 year after the onset of the disease. Early treatment will prevent disease progression and patients will experience a good quality of life.
—Dr S Ramakrishnan, Senior Consultant Rheumatologist, Apollo Hospitals
What happens when the heart does not function optimally?
—Pratibha R, a resident of Aminjikarai
Being diagnosed with heart failure means that your heart is unable to pump enough blood to effectively cater to your body’s need. However, this doesn’t mean that your heart is about to stop – it simply means that the main pumping chambers in your heart have become too stiff and it can no longer pump with adequate force or that your heart is no longer able to fill itself up with enough blood between beats. In addition, a heart failure can affect either side of the heart or even both sides as evident in many cases.
—Dr Suresh Rao KG, HoD, Critical Care and Cardiac Anaesthesia, Fortis Malar Hospital