Health advices from our professionals


´╗┐Umbilical hernia is a very common abnormality of the belly button that occurs in most babies' first years of life. Although parents become very concerned when they find out that their child has been diagnosed with umbilical hernia, there is virtually no reason to be worried about. Apart from being 'in-esthetic', umbilical hernia raises no major physiological issues. This type of hernia is a mild disorder that doesn't interfere with the normal development of the child. Umbilical hernia is a post-natal abnormality of the belly button that occurs in more than 10 percent of all babies. This umbilical abnormality is commonly developed by girls and prematurely born infants and it is usually revealed in babies older than 6 months, rarely occurring prior to this age.

Umbilical hernia occurs when the umbilical ring fails to close properly, causing the belly button to swell. The swelling of the belly button induces babies a state of local discomfort and sometimes a small degree of soreness. In some cases, umbilical hernia can be accentuated by the babies' movement and straining. The disorder doesn't generate any other symptoms and it involves no risk of complication. Although umbilical hernia may sound and look serious, the disorder is in fact a very mild physiological affection.

Umbilical hernia can be easily revealed by a physical examination and the process of diagnosing the disorder doesn't involve performing additional tests. Unlike other forms of hernia, which commonly require surgical intervention, umbilical hernia generally disappears on itself within the babies' first years of life. Statistics indicate that more than 90 percent of umbilical hernias disappear by the age of 12 months without medical intervention. However, in some cases this type of hernia can persist for a few years, causing children further distress and discomfort. Rarely, umbilical hernia can even persist until kindergarten or primary school.

The treatment for umbilical hernia rarely involves surgery. Due to the mild character of the disorder, doctors prefer to correct umbilical hernia through other means rather than surgical intervention. In order to correct this type of hernia, doctors usually choose to strap up the umbilical region with sterile bandages after carefully pushing the prominent extremities of the belly button back into place. After the belly button has been correctly positioned, the straps will prevent it from sticking out, allowing the belly ring to heal properly. By using this technique, umbilical hernia heals very fast, leaving babies with no visible scars.

In rare cases, if umbilical hernia is very large or persistent, doctors may suggest correcting it through surgical intervention. The surgical intervention for umbilical hernia is very simple and doesn't involve any risks. The incisions performed during the surgical intervention are small and they heal without leaving any permanent marks.


´╗┐Strep throat is inflammation and swelling of the throat, tonsils and lymph nodes due to infection with group A streptococcus bacteria. Strep throat is very contagious and the bacteria responsible for causing the illness can be easily acquired by entering in contact with contaminated people. Streptococcus bacteria are airborne and they can be transmitted through droplets of mucus produced by cough or sneezing. The incubation period of strep throat is around three days and most symptoms of the illness emerge after this period of time. Strep throat usually generates symptoms such as cough, throat inflammation and pain, nausea, fatigue, weakness, headache and moderate to high fever. In order to prevent the occurrence of complications, doctors recommend treating the illness with antibiotics.

Although they have been used in strep throat treatments for decades, some old-fashioned antibiotics such as penicillin and amoxicillin seem to be less effective in overcoming the illness these days. Doctors claim that bacterial strains have mutated and evolved considerably lately, rendering some forms of treatment ineffective in fighting infections. The primary cause for the increased resistance of bacteria to penicillin and amoxicillin is inappropriate treatment. Physicians explain that the misuse of antibiotics allows bacteria to adapt and even become immune to various types of medications.

While in the past penicillin and amoxicillin could successfully cure strep throat, nowadays more and more patients experience a recurrence of the illness soon after the treatment is completed. Recently conducted research results estimate that around 30 percent of patients who are prescribed penicillin or amoxicillin experience a relapse of the illness. Due to their decreased potency in fighting bacteria, physicians strongly recommend not to use penicillin and amoxicillin-based antibiotics any more.

Modern medicine has quickly come up with more reliable replacements for penicillin and amoxicillin. The age of antibiotics has provided us with a wide range of new, more effective drugs such as cephalosporins. Doctors claim that cephalosporins are nowadays the best alternative to old-fashioned antibiotics. Cephalosporins are stronger, more reliable and safer than penicillin and amoxicillin and they can completely overcome strep throat in a shorter amount of time. Physicians state that cephalosporins can cure bacterial infections in 4 to 5 days of treatment, instead of 10, as in the case of other antibiotics. Also, patients who are prescribed cephalosporins in the treatment for strep throat are less likely to experience a relapse of the infection.

Cephalosporins are available under the form of tablets or capsules and they can be purchased from any drugstore. However, just like other antibiotics, cephalosporins are only released with medical prescription and they shouldn't be used without the doctor's recommendation.