Kikuchi Disease or the Medically-generated Anxiety Syndrome
I saw this young lady of 20 all worked up and shaking with fear; the family members in trail were equally anxious. The story goes that she went for some vague joint pains to a specialist. She had normal joints, though. All the tests that he ordered -- a long battery of them -- were all absolutely normal. Though the ESR was 3mm, when the normal for women under 50 is 20mm!
 
She went around shopping, thanks to her anxiety. The next doctor found some small but insignificant glands in her neck region. He got one of them biopsied and the report said Kikuchi disease which was immediately conveyed to the patient. The poor lady was happy that she got a diagnosis but was mortally afraid of the strange disease. Now, with malignant anxiety state, she started further medical shopping. She was further confused, until she came to me. In between, some doctor had doubted the biopsy report and put in a rider that it could be a mistaken diagnosis further compounding the issue, remotely suggesting that it could even be malignant!
 
What Is this Funny Disease?
Kikuchi disease, also called histolytic necrotising lymphadenitis or Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease, is an uncommon, idiopathic, generally self-limited cause of lymphadenitis. Kikuchi first described the disease in 1972 in Japan. Fujimoto and colleagues independently described Kikuchi disease in the same year.
 
Please mark the two vital features: 1) it is benign. 2) It is self-limiting and so does not require any treatment.
 
In that case, what was the need to generate such morbid anxiety in the innocent patient? That is why I say that we, medical professionals, generate anxiety many a time. I wonder if I have been able to douse that flame of anxiety in that girl or not but I can well imagine the gravity of her anxiety state! Poor thing. Many of our hapless patients take our word as gospel truth and then suffer the consequences. So, we must be very, very careful when we pronounce our judgement. May this article be a reminder to our careless colleagues. The moral of the story is that this girl would have been much happier without medical intervention. Life would have been easier and a lot of money saved. Let us put ourselves in her shoes and think -- empathy is the urgent need of the hour.
 
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    COMMENTS

    Dilip J raichura Dr

    1 year ago

    loss of human touch / poor doctor patient relationship / death of institution of family doctor all has contributed to patients losing faith in medical fraternity and increase in anxiety of every patient.

    saravanan ramamoorthy

    1 year ago

    Every time the West is misleading the research results, spawns the product sale, then realize the folly and corrects itself and still pump the same products to the under-developed countries.

    Ramesh Poapt

    2 years ago

    very well said Sir. The same applies to many many different ailments
    where specialist doctors have confused the patients, who are already
    stressed, which adds fuel to the fire.

    N R KANNAN

    2 years ago

    Dr.Hegde has himself been a cure to his readers by bringing in awareness of mind-body connection through his writings and lectures. A much needed expose of cartesian principles of allopathy leading to trust in indigenous holistic systems and also homeopathy.

    Magical Properties of Everyday Foods –1
    We have been witnessing an alarming rise of obesity all over the world. Is it due to the rising consumption of processed grains, added sweeteners and edible oils? Is a diet rich in meat and dairy responsible? But a more important question is: Is it inevitable? Can it be halted or reversed?
     
    What is, undoubtedly, compounding these extremely unhealthy trends is the shift towards...
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  • Drinking Baking Soda Could Help Combat Inflammatory Diseases
    A daily dose of baking soda (half teaspoon) may help reduce the destructive inflammation of auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Baking soda is a cheap, over-the-counter antacid which can encourage our spleen to promote an anti-inflammatory environment that could be therapeutic for inflammatory disease. Scientists from the Medical College of Georgia have reported this in the Journal of Immunology.
     
    Dr Paul O'Connor, renal physiologist in the MCG department of physiology at Augusta University, and the study's corresponding author, said that scientists have shown that when rats or healthy people drink a solution of baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, it becomes a trigger for the stomach to make more acid to digest the next meal and for little-studied mesothelial cells sitting on the spleen to tell the fist-sized organ that there's no need to mount a protective immune response. 
     
    Mesothelial cells line body cavities, like the ones that populate our digestive tract; they also cover the exterior of our organs to, quite literally, keep them from rubbing together. It was found that these cells also provide another level of protection. They have little fingers, called microvilli, that sense the environment and warn the organs they cover that there is an invader and an immune response is needed.
     
    Drinking baking soda tells the spleen to go easy on the immune response. Spleen, which is part of the immune system, acts like a big blood filter. After subjects drank water with baking soda for two weeks, the scientists found that the population of immune cells, called macrophages, in the spleen as well as the blood and kidneys shifted from primarily those that promote inflammation, called M1, to those that reduce it, called M2. Macrophages, perhaps best known for their ability to consume garbage in the body like debris from injured or dead cells, are early arrivers to a call for an immune response.
     
    With any kidney disease, kidney function is impaired leading to blood becoming too acidic, Dr O'Connor says. Significant consequences can include increased risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. It sets the whole system up to fail. Clinical trials have shown that a daily dose of baking soda can not only reduce acidity but actually slow progression of the kidney disease and it's now a therapy offered to patients.
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    COMMENTS

    Prakash Hannurkar

    2 years ago

    If anti inflammatory response by macrophages is reduced then it might promote spread of cancer

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