Dirtiest Spots in your Home that you Never Notice

Usually we consider our home as a clean place free from any diet, bacteria and virus. But here we are going to tell you about dirtiest spots in your home that you never notice. Most of us consider kitchen to be cleaner place compared to bathroom, but this assumption will be no more after reading this article. The dirtiest spots are not the actual health hazard but your unknowingly treating them as a clean spot. Let us enlighten you about your own home !

What creates the dirt spots in your home ?


  • Lifestyle
  • Living habits
  • Cleaning procedures

Your lifestyle and living habits are directly connected to hygiene. A hygienic place is made my good lifestyle, living habits and cleaning procedures. Most of lack some of these habits and thus make themselves prone to bacteria and virus. Very less people know the fact that some bacteria can double their count within 20 minutes if they the get proper environment. Good lifestyle, living habits and cleaning procedures can eliminate any such environment from your home. Some of the common germs that can make your home their habitat are Staphylococcus aureus or staph, yeast and mold, Salmonella, Escherichia coli or E. coli and fecal matter.

Dirtiest Spots in your Home that you Never Notice

We will start from the most important part of the home which is expected to be number one in cleanliness but usually its not. That part is your kitchen. Here are few items which can easily be a playground for germs in your kitchen.

  • Dish Sponges and Rags: The always available moisture in them makes it good for germs to reproduce. When you use them to clean dishes and kitchen shelf, the germs are evenly spread across your kitchen. In a research done by NSF it was found that more than 75 percent of dish sponges and rags were infected with Salmonella, E. coli, and fecal matter. Dish sponges can be made germ free but putting damp sponge in microwave for a minute.
  • Cutting Boards: Cutting boards directly come in contact with raw vegetables and any germ of these raw vegetables can stay on it if it is not cleaned with a disinfectant.
  • Refrigerators: If you store unwashed raw vegetables in your fridge then you are making all food items stored in it accessible to germs. Best way to save yourself from these bacteria is to clean the vegetable chamber of your refrigerator with a disinfectant on regular basis.
  • Kitchen Sink and Countertops: If you don't clean these surfaces regularly with some disinfectant then you are at risk. Regular cleaning of these surfaces is very necessary. 
  • Refrigerator handles, Stove knobs and Microwave handles: These surfaces are often touched after touching raw food products and thus they are prone to germs.

Using disinfectant wipes, changing your dish towels regularly and washing your hands before and after handling food can make your kitchen germ free.
Now lets come to bathroom.

  • Bath tub: If you take hot showers then it creates a perfect breeding place for germs with moisture and temperature. Not just bath tub, but all surfaces in bathroom that come is direct touch with skin should be cleaned regularly.
  • Floor Area and drains: Floor area should be wiped daily just after taking bath and a proper cleaning with some disinfectant should be done weekly.
  • Faucets: They can easily act as a germ carrier if not cleaned properly. Faucets should also be included in weekly cleaning.
  • Toothbrush: Unclean toothbrush is very harmful for your dental health. You should change it every month. Usually moisture retains in bristles for a long time and make them a good habitat for germs. You should rinse them properly before using them on daily basis.
  • Bath towels: These are one more moisture prone item used in the bathroom. These should be sent to laundry at least once a week.
  • Washing Machine: Washing machine surface should be properly cleaned especially if you are using a shared one. You can use some disinfectant to clean a shared washing machine. If you let the wet laundry lie idle in the washing compartment for more than 30 minutes then germs can easily grow in them. In such case just let them enjoy one more round of washing and then dry them.

Let us now move to some other parts of your house.
Light Switches and Doorknobs: Light switches and Doorknobs are often touched just after coming from outside. Bathroom and kitchen switches/doorknobs are more prone to germs. These surfaces come in contact with different family members and can easily act as a carrier of germs.
Some other items that need regular cleaning (at least once a week) are:

  • Remote Control (AC/ TV)
  • Joy Sticks
  • Cell Phones / Tablets
  • Computer Keyboards
  • Keys
  • Wallets
  • Bottom of purses
  • Shoes


Very soon we will come back with an article on some daily habits to keep your home clean. In the mean time just clean the above mentioned item and keep visiting betterhealthfacts.com .

Note: Never forget to clean the floor and mats of your house which is most important if you have got kids.

HIV vs AIDS - They are different !

Most of the people often consider both HIV and AIDS as same thing while there is a basic difference among them. HIV is a virus, Human Immunodeficiency Virus. AIDS is the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, which is a disease caused by HIV. It is possible to get infected with HIV and yet live a complete life without AIDS. Before we proceed further with the difference between HIV and AIDS, it is important to know both of them.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)

HIV is a virus which is known to affect only humans. That is why it is named so. It can affect the immune system of a human being and destroys it to the level where human body can't resist from normal diseases and looses its capability to fight with normal bacteria. Being HIV positive does not mean that mean that you will definitely face such situation.

AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)

When the HIV virus starts affecting and destroying the immune system of a human being then its is called AIDS. Our immune system protects us from different bacteria/ viruses by generating antibodies and thus saves us from different diseases. AIDS don't have its own symptoms as it depends on the other diseases that affect a person and last longer due to inability of the immune system.

After reading the above definitions you must have understood the fact that HIV and AIDS are different. HIV is a virus and AIDS is the disease/condition caused by that virus. It is not always necessary for a HIV positive person to suffer from AIDS.

HIV infection without AIDS

A a person is infected with HIV then this virus can't be removed from our body. Neither our immune system can flush it out nor any any medicine can kill it. But still one can live for years without getting AIDS. Today the medical science has developed so much that AIDS can be prevented for years if it is known on time that a person is HIV positive. Even some HIV positive people have lived their complete life without AIDS.

One of the important part of our Immune system are CD4 Cells, also known as T Cells, which are a type of white blood cells. These CD4 cells are able to detect any foreign bacteria or virus in our blood stream and send signals to activate the immune system. In a normal person the count of these CD4 cells range from 500 cells/mm3 to 1,600 cells/mm3. When a person is found HIV positive, then doctors usually prescribe him some health supplements to empower his/her immune system. If the CD4 cell count does not go below this range of 500 to 1600 cells/mm3 then it means that person is not suffering from AIDS. But if the CD4 cell count goes below 200 cells/mm3 the it is called AIDS.

If you have ever had unprotected sex then it is better get tested for HIV. Knowing that you are HIV positive, not only saves you from getting AIDS but can also protect others from HIV infection.

The Man who beat HIV AIDS : Andrew Stimpson

Andrew Stimpson is the only reported case where a person succeeded in getting rid of HIV AIDS. However more than one such cases were reported in Africa but with no proper medical reports to claim it. But the case of Andrew Stimpson is perfectly diagnosed. He was found HIV positive in year 2002, but after fourteen months he was found negative. At first he suspected the negative result and sued the hospital for the false results and giving false hopes as it is something impossible to happen. But in some more tests negative results were confirmed and he became the first ever person on planet to successfully getting rid of this deadly virus. We have collected some information about Andrew Stimpson.

Andrew Stimpson was born in 1980 at Largs, Scotland. He got infected from his boyfriend Juan Gomez in April 2002. At that time Andrew was just 22 while his HIV positive boyfriend was 44. It happened due to a condom split. However in such cases it takes at least 3 months to get the HIV positive result as the virus takes that much time to appear in tests results, but Andrew was having a gut feeling that he is infected. Later the results confirmed his belief. According to Andrew prior to getting infected with HIV he never get sick, not even cold or flu, but HIV totally changed his life and belief. Only his boyfriend Juan and sister Louise were aware of the fact. Andrew even started to plan his end as he never wanted to die on a hospital bed after going through painful illness. He continued to enjoy his life with his boyfriend with no protection as both of them were HIV positive. He was also having some health supplements to stay healthy but not taking any medicines to fight AIDS. Every 2 months he need to go through some routine checks of blood, liver, heart and immune system. In October 2003 the miracle happened and his test results came negative. At that time Andrew was in so much state of disbelief that he sued the hospital for false results, but some more results confirmed that he is really cured. What surprised him more was the fact that he was in constant touch of HIV through his boyfriend during that period.

People have their own theories about how Andrew was cured. Some say that its a mutated gene, while some say that the key lies in the supplements he was having. Some believe that his immune system was better that a normal human being and it found the way to kill HIV virus. Whatever the real reason was, but still we have not found the treatment to this disease even after 14 years of this incident. Lets hope that year 2017 can provide a breakthrough and hope for 40 million AIDS patients around the world.

Those Para Athletes who inspire us to Be Healthy

Health is not just the body, it is the way you believe it is. It is not just being free from diseases, but believing that your body is capable of doing anything you can imagine. Health is in your mind, not just body. Even a little disability in your body can't make you underestimate its whole potential. There are a number of Para-athletes who inspire us to rethink about the capability of our body and inspire us to be healthy and don't waste the gift that the nature has given us. Here we will tell you about a few Para-athletes who can make you rethink about your body and make you not judging a person by his/her physical disability. Even the word "disability" takes "ability" to make it complete.

Kelly Cartwright: She is an Australian para-athlete, a mom and a motivational speaker. Her leg was amputated due to cancer in her right knee when she was just 15. But she not only came over that tragic moment but also made her prosthetic leg an instrument to success. Today she is a Gold and Silver medalist in Para-Olympic games.

 Kurt Fearnley: He is a three time Para-Olympic gold medalist. He was born with no lower spinal cord and started racing at the age of 14. He is also a motivational speaker who also motivates his fellow competitors. He is constantly active in advocacy work and member of various campaigns related to disabled people. He once said, "One of my biggest strengths is that I deal with discomfort better than most.".

Lex Gillette: He is an athlete, singer-songwriter, and motivational speaker. He is blind since childhood but still world champion and world record holder in the long jump. “No need for sight when you have a vision” is his motto which is sufficient to tell what he believes. 

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Causes Symptoms and Treatment

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is commonly found in women. Men are less prone to this disease. UTI is an infection in the urinary track usually caused due to bacteria called E-Coli. Almost 90% of UTI cases are attributed to E.Coli (Escherichia coli). But from where do we get this bacteria might surprise you.

  • Around 40% of women and 12% of men are affected by UTI at some point in their life.
  • Only 1 -2% children face UTI and it is more serious condition in them.
  • UTI is more common in women compared to men. Experts say that its due to shorter urethra in women and bacteria has to travel a shorter distance to infect a women.
  • More than 7 million cases of UTI are reported in US every year.

Organs that can be affected by Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)


  • Kidneys: Two small organs at waist level on both sides of spine. They extract the impurities/toxins from blood and make it clean. Thus it makes urine.
  • Ureters: Two tube like structures around 10 inches long. They take urine from kidneys and fill it into bladder.
  • Bladder: Its is a sac like structure. When urine get filled in it up to a certain level, then we feel an urge to pee.
  • Urethra: It is the duct that leads urine from bladder to outside the body. Its shorter in women compared to men.

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Symptoms of UTI depends on which part of urinary track is infected.
If the infection is in the upper organs i.e. kidneys and ureters then symptoms are:
  • fever
  • chills
  • nausea
  • vomiting
If infection is in lower organs i.e. bladder and urethra then symptoms are:
  • Pain while urinating
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Frequent urination with less amount of urine
  • feeling to urinate urgently
  • blood in urine
  • mild fever

What causes Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) ?

As we told in the beginning that E.Coli (Escherichia coli) bacteria is responsible for almost 90% cases of UTI. This bacteria normally resides in our digestive system around colon (large intestine) and anus. In some cases it can easily travel from these locations into urethra. Shorter urethra of women makes then more prone to UTI infection. At the beginning of infection you may try to flush out the bacteria by frequent urination by drinking more water, but if the bacteria are more in count then they can still travel to bladder. Further the infection can spread over ureters and kidney which can become a serious problem if not treated properly.

What makes you prone to Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) ?

  • Being a women
  • Kidney stones
  • Being sexually active
  • Using a diaphragm for birth control
  • Using  immunosuppressant medications
  • HIV
  • Diabetes
  • Postmenopausal women
  • Enlarged prostate in men
  • Patients using catheters

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Treatment

Usually medical practitioners prescribe antibiotics to treat UTI as most of the infection are caused due to E.coli . They can also get your urine and blood examined to figure out the exact reason and place of infection in urinary tract. Depending on the symptoms pelvic examination may also be done to figure out any other reason reason of infection such as kidney stones. Urine culture may be suggested by some doctors to figure out exact bacteria and know if it is resistant to some antibiotics. A timely treatment can save you from a severe infection in upper urinary tract. So whenever you feel the symptoms of UTI, you must visit an expert within 24 hours.

Does FDA approval makes a food item really "SAFE" !

FDA has approved a number of food items as "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS in short). Recognizing something as safe does not mean that it really is. When a food certification agency recognizes something as safe then there are a number of clauses attached to it, such as how much you should eat in proportion to per pound of your body weight. But reality is that nobody cares for that. We just eat what we find tasty and eat it till we feel full.
We the people just do blind faith without trying to know the reality. FDA is no god, who can inspect every aspect of a food item on all categories of people ranging from kids to senior citizens or a pregnant women.

FDA approval means that the FDA has decided the benefits of the approved item outweigh the potential risks for the item's planned use.

If we look at the above statement then it clearly means that a FDA approved food item might have some potential risks. One more thing is the planned use. What is that planned use ? Planned use is how much you should eat per pound of your body weight, or up to what temperature it can be cooked, or in how much time it should be consumed after cooking. There are so many conditions connected to a FDA approved food item that you can easily be a victim of its potential risks.

Most of the fast foods items contain ingredients which you don't know and don't care about their potential risks. Some of such ingredients include trans fat, artificial sweeteners and Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).

When you cook a food, you know the ingredients you used and you also know that none of them would harm you. Did you ever think that shelf life of a home cooked food is never more than a few days even if you put it in a fridge. But shelf life of packed food ranges from weeks to months. There must be something in it to not let it be inedible after so much time. There are preservatives and artificial ingredients to do so. You don't hesitate in consuming those ingredients thinking that its approved by FDA and don't think even once about the potential risks. Even if the potential risks are less, you are still prone to them by consuming those packed food items everyday.

How to save yourself from potential risks of FDA approved food items ?
Most of us blindly believe that FDA approval is guarantee of a food product being safe for use before the expiry date mentioned on the package. Instead of getting fresh fruits and vegetables directly from some garden, we prefer the packed food. Different companies involved in marketing of packaged food use preservatives and artificial ingredients to increase the shelf life of these products. FDA try to do its best, but every aspect of a food item can't be checked. When it comes to rules, even the consumers don't follow them completely. Sometimes we eat more then the recommended serving and sometime we use the packet for days after opening and don't care till how much time it should be consumed after opening. If we follow the rules then we can save ourselves from potential risks. Another way to completely save yourself is by being natural. Try to eat fresh fruit and vegetables. Instead of eating the packed fast food, try to cook something at home and try to have your own kitchen garden.

We humans first made artificial ingredients and then made agencies to find if these products harm us or not. After researching a lot and spending millions of dollars, these agencies come to conclusion that benefits of the item outweigh the potential risks, so it should be approved. All such things seems to help only in marketing of these products.

Artificial Sweeteners degrading your health


If you are diabetic or trying to lose your weight or both then you must have heard about Artificial Sweeteners. Artificial Sweeteners are a substitute of sugar but with no calories. Therefore millions of people purchase these artificial sweeteners to fool their bodies. These sweeteners satisfy their urge to eat something sweet but with no calories. Most of us don't know that these artificial sweeteners are actually degrading your health. But how ? The answer might surprise you. Betterhealthfacts.com has collected some facts about the disadvantages of artificial sweeteners. After reading these facts a health conscious person will never use them.

What are Artificial Sweeteners ?
Artificial Sweeteners are chemical compounds than are edible and give a false feeling of sweetness on your tastebuds. They have no nutritional value, thus no calories. Diabetic people use them to keep having the taste of sugar. Even some health conscious people, who count every calorie they eat, use them to stay away from calories. Some artificial sweeteners are 20000 times sweeter than sugar, i.e. one table spoon of such artificial sweetener can sweeten 20000 cups of tea / coffee.

Where are these Artificial Sweeteners used?
Artificial sweeteners are used in food industry where large scale production is done. Several bakery chains use them. Using these artificial sweeteners not only reduces the cost of production, but people using them also feel that they are eating something healthy (while they are not). Non nutritive artificial sweeteners approved by FDA are
  • Saccharin: 700 times sweeter than sugar.
  • Acesulfame potassium (Ace-K): 200 times sweeter than sugar
  • Sucralose: 600 times sweeter than sugar
  • Neotame: 13000 times sweeter than sugar
  • Advantame: 20000 times sweeter than sugar
  • Steviol glycosides: 400 times sweeter than sugar. It is a low calorie sugar.

How does Artificial Sweeteners harm diabetic people ?
While eating Artificial Sweeteners we think that we have fooled our body as it is sweet but with no calories. In reality we fool ourselves. We will tell you how ! There are two ways in which they cn harm you.

  1. After regularly having artificial sweeteners, diabetic people often find an excuse to eat unhealthy food sometimes thinking that they have already saved many calories and eating a pizza won't harm them. Such psychology is found in most people and in long run it leads to more weight gain compared to those who don't have artificial sweeteners.
  2. When we eat anything with artificial sweeteners, our body think that it is sugar and releases insulin in high amount to utilize the calories. Over amount of insulin turns on the fat storage mode of our body and as we consume any diet most of the calories are turned into fat, making us more obese.

Health Hazards due to Artificial Sweeteners

  • Harms taste buds: Artificial Sweeteners are much more sweeter than normal sugar and it harms our taste buds. It leads to a situation where we can't find any taste in fruits and vegetables.
  • Lack of nutrition: As we find find nutritious items less tasty, we avoid eating them automatically and it leads to lack of nutrition. Apart from it, artificial sweeteners are themselves non-nutritive.
  • Addictive: Researches have proved that Artificial Sweeteners are addictive and those who eat them crave for more.
  • Over usage: FDA and different health agencies have set some standard usage quantity for these artificial sweeteners, which is usually not followed by consumers as they treat them totally unharmful due to their zero calories.
  • Headaches: Some studies have found that some people reported headaches like migraine after consuming drinks with artificial sweeteners.
  • Increases Obesity: Artificial Sweeteners make our body release more insulin than a normal person and it turns our body into a fat storage machine.
  • May cause Diabetes: Obesity is a leading factor for Diabetes Type 2. Apart from that, a research done in Israel found that artificial sweeteners can cause Glucose Intolerance which is connected to Insulin Resistance, a leading cause of Diabetes.

Transfat: The artificial fat is another gift of chemistry to our kitchen to degrade our health.
Instead of eating artificial foods items prepared in a laboratory, its better to stay natural. Its better to restrict yourself from unhealthy lifestyle / food and motivate yourself for healthy lifestyle and food. Its better to enjoy the sweetness of fruits rather than destroying your taste buds with artificial sweeteners.

How Low Calorie drinks are making you Sick !

Low calorie drinks are the latest addiction that is making our young generation sick. People go towards these drinks thinking that they are beneficial for them, but the results are totally opposite. The truth we found is that these low calorie drinks are just chemical cocktails that provide a taste of sugar and make you addict. Betterhealthfacts.com found some interesting facts about these low calorie drinks and some of them will make any health conscious person to totally stop drinking them.

Are zero Calories really useful ?
Zero Calorie is just a myth. Even the water in your house is a zero calorie drink with lots of nutritional minerals in it. But soft drink companies advertise their low calorie drinks as a new health discovery and you get fooled by these chemical drinks and later get addicted to them.

How low calorie drinks degrade our health ?

  • Artificial Sweeteners: However Artificial Sweeteners are low in calorie but they are extremely sugary in taste. Their over usage damage or affect your taste buds in such a way that you can't find taste in fruits and vegetables any more. It affect you complete diet and it does not remain balanced, which affects you health to a great extent.
  • Over Insulin and Obesity: Artificial Sweeteners can also make body to release insulin, which can easily turn the calories in blood into fat leading to obesity. According to a research in University of Texas those who drink diet coke, a zero calorie drink, reported 70% more increase in waist compared to non drinkers.
  • No Nutrition: Water is a no calorie drink but contains important minerals, but these low calorie drinks don't even have these minerals as they use purified water to increase their shelf life.
  • Reduces Immunity: Most of the zero calorie drinks contain purified water with no minerals in it. It makes of body deficient of important minerals which are essential for all metabolic activities. In absence of these minerals our body can't absorb vitamins from our diet making our immune system more weak.
  • Addiction: Just like addiction of smoking and other drugs, you can easily fall pry to addiction of low calorie drinks thinking they are making you healthy while the reverse is happening to you.
  • Headaches: Some studies have found that some people reported headaches like migraine after consuming drinks with artificial sweeteners.
  • Tooth Erosion: Tooth erosion is a habitual diet soda drinker is of same level as a  cocaine-user or a methamphetamine-user. It is sufficient to tell you how your smile will look like if you are a regularly drinking low calorie drinks.
  • You try to fool your body but get fooled yourself. You consume zero-calorie drinks thinking that won't harm you and your body will treat it as sugar, but the insulin released in your body turn you into a fat storage machine. Another psychological factor plays more important role in fooling yourselves. After drinking low calorie drinks on regular basis, you think that is OK to have a pizza or cake sometimes as you have already reduced enough calorie intake, but it leads the surplus calories.

 Why should i stop drinking low calorie drinks ?
If you want to save yourself all of the above health hazards then you should stop drinking low calorie drinks. Instead you should drink more water, which is a no calorie drink and it also provides minerals which are necessary for your body.

Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD): The Fatal Hole in Heart

Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) is a congenital heart defect, usually present from birth. In VSD there is a hole in septum (the wall between right and left side of heart) between the right and left ventricle. Ventricles are lower part of heart which pumps the blood out of it. Right ventricle pumps the blood to lungs while left ventricle pumps the blood to remaining body. The hole between these ventricles mixes the oxygen-rich blood with oxygen-less blood and exerts extra workload on lungs, heart and pulmonary artery.

What causes Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) ?
VSD is usually detected in infants soon after birth. In most of the cases it fills on its own within a few weeks, but if it doesn't then it is considered as a health risk. The cause of VSD still not known. It is a rare disease and some experts believe that genetic factors might have some role in it. Similar to VSD there is another medical condition called Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO), also known as Atrial septal defect (ASD). PFO is also a hole in heart which is present in almost 20% population but it causes no visible symptoms and often remains untreated. However the reason behind PFO is known which is described in our last article.

Symptoms of Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
As we told that VCD is usually detected in newly born kids, so the symptoms need to be checked either by parents or doctor as the the kid can't tell these things on its own. Some common symptoms are

  • Poor feeding
  • Fast breathing
  • Getting tired more often
  • Poor Weight Gain
  • Bluish tint to the skin, lips and fingernails

Health Complications caused due to VSD
If the hole due to VSD is small then it does not cause any health complications and doctors suggest to wait for sometime to let it close itself, but they recommend regular checkup of kid to monitor the VSD hole if it is shrinking or not.
Health complications arise if the VSD is large or if there are multiple small VSD. VSD increases the pressure of blood in Right Auricle which supplies blood to lungs through Pulmonary Artery. Usually oxygen less blood travels to lungs, but the VSD hole mixes some oxygen-rich blood into it as well. All factors not only make our lungs and heart work more intensely to provide proper blood supply to body but also increases blood pressure in pulmonary artery which is known as Pulmonary Hypertension. Usually Pulmonary Hypertension us not considered as curable disease but if it is due to VSD then treatment of VSD can treat it as well.
If VSD remains untreated that it can be fatal.

Treatment of Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
Previously Open Heart Surgery was the only option to treat VSD. But a newly born kid with a major VSD can't go for that, so surgeons go for a small surgery procedure known as pulmonary artery banding, which narrows the pulmonary artery and reduces the blood flow to lungs. As the child gets older an open-heart-surgery is performed to remove the band and fix the VSD.
If the VSD is small the it can be sewed, but if it is large then a patch of fabric or lining around the heart is used and sewed on the hole. Later hearts's own tissues grow on that part and make it permanent.
Now a days a modern technology called catheterization laboratory is performed to stay away from open heart surgery. In this technique a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in thigh that leads to heart with the help of an x-ray machine. Then the VSD is detected and a mesh device is sent to the site through catheter which closes the hole from both sides. This complete procedure just needs a maximum one night stay for the patient.

Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) : The hole in your Heart

Foramen Ovale is a medical condition found in most of the newly born babies. In this medical condition there is a hole between the upper chamber of heart (i.e. right and left auricle). It is a common phenomena in babies. But this hole is closed automatically within a few weeks after birth. But one in every five person is not so lucky and his/her Foramen Ovale remain open. This medical condition is called Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO), also known as Atrial septal defect.

What happens to our body due to Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) ?
Our right auricle contains the deoxygenated blood while left auricle contains the oxygenated blood. The hole between these two chambers of heart mixes the pure blood with impure blood. The same blood is then sent to different body parts and the same mixed blood is sent to lungs to get oxygenated. No major symptoms can be noticed of this medical condition in childhood. But as the person reaches 30's some symptoms become visible. These symptoms are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Getting tired soon
  • Swelling in legs anf feet
  • heart palpitations
  • heart murmurs

These symptoms vary from person to person. Symptoms are more clear in people with large PFO hole, while people with small hole might never feel any symptom.
 Note: In very rare cases if a baby have both PFO and some other heart condition then blue tint may appear on skin while crying or passing stool.

Health Risks related to Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)

  • A person suffering from PFO may live a healthy life, but chances of getting a stroke attack is more compared to a person with no PFO. 
  • In our last article betterhealthfacts.com discussed the effect of Air bubble getting injected into veins, which can cause problem is a person suffering from PFO. 
  • In some researches migraine is found connected to PFO. Those who have got their PFO corrected through surgery reported reduction in migraine.

Why do newly born babies have Foramen Ovale ?
When the arteries and veins develop in a baby inside the womb of her mother it needs blood supply. The hole (Foramen Ovale) provides more blood instantly to the heart to pump into these newly developed arteries. This Foramen Ovale does not cause any harm to baby as at that time lungs of mother are oxygenating the blood for baby. Baby's own lungs don't oxygenate the blood as baby can't breathe in the womb. As the baby is born the Foramen Ovale closes itself within a few weeks.

Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Diagnosis
It can be done using ECG (echocardiogram) through a bubble test performed with saline water. The doctor checks it through ECG machine if the bubble passes between two upper chambers of heart.

Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Treatment
PFO can be closed through surgery. There are more than 20% chances that you have got a PFO in your heart. But you don't need to go for surgery unless your doctor tell you that your PFO is causing some trouble in your body. What happens in the surgery is visible in the gif image provided here.