Facilities for Public :
(1) Testing of fluoride in water (2) Diagnosis for Fluorosis
Any individual living in urban / rural areas and having health complaints of the following nature and if it is a persistent complaint, not getting relief from any treatment / medicine, should avail of the diagnostic Facility for Fluorosis to rule out the possibility of fluoride poisoning.
- Aches and pain in the joints
- Stiffness in the joints
- The pain in joints may be that of neck, back, hip, shoulders or knee joints without any obvious signs of fluid accumulation .
- Gastro-intestinal problems viz. nausea, loss of appetite, pain in the stomach, gas formation, constipation with occasional diarrohea.
- Tiredness / Fatigue
- Muscle weakness
- Anemia / low hemoglobin
- Excessive thirst
- Tendency to urinate more frequently (and not having Diabetes)
- Repeated abortion and still birth
- Infertility in male partner, with a healthy and normal wife.
Essential Tests that need to be conducted for Fluorosis Diagnosis in a hospital based environment :
- Patients or any individual with the above health complaints should get the drinking water, blood and urine tested for Fluoride.
- Fluoride level in drinking water need to be tested (water to be collected in plastic bottles without any preservative)
- Fluoride in serum need to be tested (blood is drawn without using any anticoagulant)
- Fluoride in urine need to be tested (24 hr. urine is ideal; but spot sample can also be used for testing)
- A fore-arm X-ray should be taken to assess calcification of ligaments.
Fluoride testing method:
- It is necessary that fluoride concentration in the water, blood and urine is tested using fluoride ion specific electrode technology to get accurate results.
- If other methods for fluoride estimation is used, the percentage error in the actual value of fluoride would be unreliable and the results may misguide the decision making process.
Field based diagnostic procedure is also available:
- It is based on descriptive analysis of the health complaints and certain physical tests besides drinking water fluoride levels rather than carrying out sophisticated laboratory tests which is not possible in rural areas.