Monday, July 2, 2012

Something You Should Know About Osteoporosis

Who Is At Risk For Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis, meaning "porous bones", is a condition that causes bones to slowly thin and weaken, leaving them susceptible to fractures. With an aging population, osteoporosis becomes increasingly common in America. After age 50, 50% of women and 25% of men are at significant risk for osteoporosis.
In the U.S., more than 10 million men and women have osteoporosis. A further 34 million people have low bone mass and are at high risk of developing osteoporosis. About 1.5 million fractures take place every year because of osteoporosis.
Inflammation Accelerates Bone Loss
Osteoporosis, similar to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, is not an ordinary consequence of aging. Instead, chronic degenerative diseases usually arise from long-term nutritional, lifestyle, and environmental imbalances that lead to accumulation of inflammatory toxins.
Although the precise cause of osteoporosis is unknown, the process by which bone becomes porous is well known. Bone remodeling is controlled by a variety of hormones and inflammatory cytokines. When the body is exposed to inflammatory toxins, bone breakdown is overtaking bone buildup or bone resorption takes place at a faster speed than bone making. Both processes could lead to bone loss and osteoporosis.
Clinical studies have revealed that increased inflammatory cytokines are primary mediators of the enhanced bone loss at menopause. Different studies also confirm increases in the risk of developing osteoporosis in various inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), periodontitis, and multiple myeloma.
In periodontal disorder, oral inflammation results in destruction of oral bone and periodontal ligament, ultimately leading to tooth loss. Further evidence indicates that a variety of inflammatory cytokines stimulate osteoclasts, bone cells that take away the bone tissue and cause bone resorption.
Diabetes Drugs May Thin The Bones
A popular class of drugs for type 2 diabetes, i.e., thiazolidinediones (marketed as Avandia and Actos), had already been linked to heart problems. Recent study revealed that taking these diabetes drugs for more than a year thins the bones and increases the risk of fractures in women with type 2 diabetes, who are already at higher risk before taking the drugs.
Control Inflammation May Prevent Bone Loss
Besides calcium, vitamin D, and physical therapy, estrogen-containing hormone replacement therapy is very efficient in reversing the impact of menopause on bone density. But it is currently out of favor due to unwanted side effects, including increased risk of stroke, venous thrombosis and, possibly, dementia. Other treatments include anti-resorptive or anabolic medications.
Based on the findings that chronic inflammation promotes bone breakdown and suppresses bone buildup, control of inflammation is viewed as a new approach to preventing bone loss and osteoporosis.
By keeping inflammation under control, the new approach may:
-- Restore balanced growth and function of bone cells;
-- Promote bone formation with normal structure and strength;
-- Support healthy hormone balance for bone metabolism;
-- Remove or deactivate bone-destroying cells.

Monday, June 25, 2012

What Are Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC)?

Peripheral blood mononuclear cells, which are also called PBMCs or PB-MNCs, are blood cells that have round nuclei. They are critical to immune system functioning; they fight infection and foreign intruders in the body. Lymphocytes, monocytes and phagocytes are three examples of peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Lymphocytes are white blood cells found in the immune system of vertebrates, animals with spinal columns and backbones. A scanning electron microscope (SEM) image can reveal a division between large and small lymphocytes.
Large lymphocytes are known as natural killer cells or NK cells. These PBMCs are the first line of defense against infection. Small lymphocytes include B cells and T cells, which play important roles in both antibody and non-antibody response.
Like lymphocytes, monocytes are white blood cells found in the vertebrate immune system. They are present in humans, mammals, birds, fish and reptiles. These peripheral blood mononuclear cells have multiple roles in immune system functioning. They produce and replenish various immune cells, and they respond to inflammation and infection signals.
Monocytes are produced in the bone marrow. Half of these monocytes are stored within the spleen. Those that migrate from the bloodstream to other tissues mature into different cell types, including macrophages.
Macrophages are essentially cells that monocytes produce in the tissues. Both macrophages and monocytes are phagocytes, another type of white blood cells. They offer immune protection through the ingestion of bacteria, dying cells and foreign particles.
Phagocytes are highly developed in vertebrates, especially humans. One liter of human blood contains nearly six billion of these phagocytes. Similarly to other white blood cells, they are highly critical for fighting infection, removing dead cells and maintaining healthy tissue.
Peripheral blood mononuclear cells have wide-ranging uses, from scientific research and clinical studies to cellular therapy. Healthy donors can give their blood cells for the testing of blood-borne pathogens. Donor cells are important to the study of HIV, Hepatitis B, syphilis and other infectious and auto-immune diseases. PBMCs are also used for vaccine development.
PBMCs are also vital to cellular therapy, a process that introduces new blood cells into damaged tissue to treat a particular disease. This type of therapy often focuses on hereditary diseases and may include gene therapy, stem cell treatments and cell replacement therapy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Path Towards Your Obstetrics Degree

From the day you figure out that you are pregnant until several weeks after the baby is born, you will need someone who is educated in obstetrics to monitor both the health of you and your baby. Most of them are also trained in gynecology as well and are usually referred to as OB/GYNs, and are trained to understand all other areas of a woman's reproductive health. The term "obstetrics" is anything that is related to the study and care of the reproductive system of a woman and the unborn baby during pregnancy, birth of the baby, and a few weeks after the baby is born.
The path to becoming an OB/GYN is a long road and is composed of several steps:
- The first step is getting your Bachelor's Degree and a 4 year premed degree unless you choose a school where the two are combined into one 6-7 year course instead of the usual 8 years.
- Next you need to attend medical school. Most medical school programs last 4 years. To get accepted into a reputable medical school you need to take the medical college admission test, submit your premed transcripts, write letters of intent to the school administration, and be interviewed by admissions.
- Then you will need to get your medical license by taking the United States Medical Licensing Examination. This test is required to enter residency.
- After you pass the examination, you will need to start a 4 year residency under other licensed obstetricians where you will get to learn many obstetric procedures through hands-on experience.
- Finally, you will need to become board certified. This is done with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and will need to be renewed from time to time.
As you are studying and performing obstetrics during your residency, you should expect to learn how to perform an induction, where labor is chemically brought on early and is usually performed when the mother is experiencing health problems such as pre-eclampsia, placenta previa, or other problems. You will also learn the steps and process of labor. Whether it happens naturally or after being induced, you will monitor how labor progresses, sometimes help it along chemically, help provide relief for pain if requested, assist labor with forceps or suction if necessary, or performing a caesarean section if needed.
Finally you will help the mother heal after giving birth. This includes check ups for both mother and baby while still in the hospital as well as check ups at 1 week, 2 weeks, and 6 weeks after delivery to check patient's condition, bloodflow, and healing progress of any sutures that may have been necessary during birth.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Cure To Illness Is You

As of the year 2012 we are considered to be at the most advanced point in human history. At no time in our existence are we said to have had the technology that we possess today. The sciences are developing new theories daily as new entities are discovered in the universe. Progress in technology amazes us daily as we are introduced to new gadgets, with each subsequent version being smaller and more powerful than the last. Yet, in spite of these amazing advances, one thing seems not to be advancing, our health. Have you ever wondered why? If we are making all these advances in other fields, would you not expect advances to be made in the health industry?
As of this very moment, cancer has never been so prevalent amongst humanity. More and more people are dying of it every year, and that is not just because the population is increasing. More people are dying of the flu, but we are meant to have the best and most advanced vaccinations ever created. We seem to be advancing in other areas but are going backwards in health and medicine, why is that? "The cure is out there" the experts tell us, "we just haven't found it yet". The truth is, they will never find it, because the cure to illness is not outside of us, it is within us.
This is the missing link and is the reason why current medicine is making no real progress. Most people are taught from a very young age that colds are caught from others, that viruses are transferred from one person to the next and that certain illnesses are genetic. It is commonly thought that cancer and other life threatening illnesses are just random and there is currently no explanation as to why some people live through it and why some don't. In the eyes of most, illness is just random, and when one is afflicted with it they ask, "why me?" What a different world it would be if we all understood that we are not only the cause of our illnesses, but we are also the cure.
Admittedly, this can be a bit hard to swallow for most of us. The first impulse is to either reject it, or to jump on your own back and ask in despair, "So you mean it's my fault?" Firstly, it is not about fault. We live in a universe of perfect order where nothing is random. Every effect has a cause, and there is not an effect without a cause. Illness is always an effect, it is never the cause. There is always an underlying cause to any illness, which is what is currently missing from current medicine. Illness is only a symptom; it is not the cause itself. Illness is like the oil light on your car dashboard, it lights up to let you know that something is wrong in the engine; it is not the cause itself.
Current medical treatment can be compared to pulling out the fuse on the oil light, so that it can't be seen anymore. It does not deal with the real cause, which exists somewhere else. Current medicine alleviates the symptoms for a while, but it does not cure the cause. For some it may seem as healing has taken place, but it will always come back as the same thing or something else. We cannot cure something physical with something physical, as that is trying to cure effect with effect. We can only cure effect by being at cause.
You see, the mental and emotional levels are the level of CAUSE, whereas the physical level is only the level of EFFECT. Nothing physical is the cause of a physical effect. In other words, contrary to popular belief, nothing outside us (physical) can make us sick. Most people catch colds because of their belief in catching a cold. Do away with the belief (mental) and you do away with the illness (physical). This is how it works, always and in all ways.
The body acts as medium for the mental and emotional levels to express themselves. The physical level does not create anything; it merely reflects that which is created on the deeper levels. The problem is most of us are not aware of our thoughts and emotions. This is where illness comes in, as illness is our (physical) bodies attempt at helping us become aware of these underlying thoughts and emotions. Illness is a tap on the shoulder from the body, letting us know something is unbalanced within us.
When we are balanced and whole within, we are balanced and healthy without. In other words, when we perceive the world with a balanced perspective, we receive no feedback in our bodies. Conversely, when we have an unbalanced perspective, we receive feedback to let us know that we are no longer balanced and acting out of love. Again, this is because most of us are unconscious of what is going on within. In one way, illness is a tool to wake us up, to help us become conscious of our unconscious thoughts and emotions.
This is why being at the effect level does not get us anywhere. Until we realise and accept that we are both the cause and the cure, we will not make any real progress in medicine. All illness is actually a blessing, it is there to serve us and move us forward in life. In reality, illness is 100% positive in its intent and purpose. We can only see it as this once we move from the EFFECT level to the CAUSE level.
There is no cure outside us that we need; every cure to every illness exists within us already. The question is, are YOU ready to accept this? Is it time for you to move from effect to cause in your life? Living at effect gets us nowhere, being at cause gets us everywhere. Everything in life is either an expression of love, or a call to love. All illness is a call to love, are you ready to heed that call?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Making the Right Choice - Urgent Care or Emergency Room?

Unfortunately accidents happen to everyone at some point in their lives and having an emergency room or urgent care clinic close by is a good thing when the pain is intense or there is bleeding involved.
Most of us think of both as being the same thing and can be used interchangeably. Both are necessary when the medical attention is needed immediately, such as if your child gets hurt at school, you cut yourself at home, or a co-worker collapses while on the job. In these situations the first thing we think of is the emergency room, however, recently you can have some of the same services that you could have done at the hospital performed in an urgent care clinic. There are some major differences between the two types of emergency care.
When you are comparing the situations in the previous paragraph, the person who collapsed at work would probably be served best by the care in the emergency room over urgent care as it could be a heart condition that led to his collapse and these should get immediate treatment by a cardiologist which would be available in most hospitals that are attached to the emergency room. However, if the emergency is a broken bone or cut that may need a few stitches, an urgent care facility may be the best in those situations.
One of the main differences between an emergency room and a private clinic is that the clinic is able to create its own hours because it is privately owned, unlike a hospital that is funded by the government. This way it is able to help a patient in an emergency situation when their regular doctor office is closed.
Another major difference between the urgent care clinic and the emergency room is the cost. Most hospitals are required to provide emergency attention to someone whether they can pay for it or not; therefore, the hospital often charges insured patients more so that they can recover some of their losses, which is why you may see a 200 dollar bandage, which may normally cost around 5.00 at the drug store.
Because the private clinic can refuse service to patients who do not have insurance, they are able to keep costs down. Often the physicians who choose to practice at these clinics will also charge less so that the bills won't be too shocking later. They will also only be handling one trauma situation at a time so your wait time will be less.
Depending on your emergency and your need, you can get the care you need right when you need it at your urgent care clinic.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Vein Removal for Venous Reflux Disease

If you are struggling with venous reflux disease, vein removal treatments may hold the solution to your issue. Normal veins work hard to make sure that the blood travels through the body to reach each and every organ and tissue. When they do not work properly or the valves are blocked, a person begins to experience a noticeable problem with the way they feel. Instead of leaving the situation untreated, there are laser options available.
What It Is
Varicose veins can sometimes be nothing more than an unsightly blemish on the legs. They don't look great but they don't cause any problems. Sometimes, they turn into venous reflux disease, also known as venous insufficiency. It is also possible for a patient to develop the disease without the presence of varicose veins. In either case, vein removal is an option.
The disease develops when the valves of the veins fail to function as a one-way form of travel for the blood. Instead of the blood moving forward, it travels backwards and goes back into the legs. As it is pushed into the legs, it lacks the necessary oxygenation. This causes the pain and discomfort for the patient.
As the blood flows backwards into the legs, all sorts of problems are created. The diseased valves often cause a patient to feel pain, throbbing, aches and in some cases, swelling and fatigue. This can easily limit a person's mobility and his or her ability to participate in everyday activities. Because of this, treatment should be sought out as soon as possible.
In the past, patient did not have the benefit of laser vein removal. Instead, they would go through a surgery that would attempt to reroute the blood flow to other veins. The surgery takes place on the veins near the groin area and they would be stripped. This was a major undertaking and patients would be out of commission for at least six to eight weeks. They would be wrapped up from the groin all the way to the ankles and mobility was severely limited.
Now, with the help of lasers, vein removal can be done in office without an extended recovery time. The laser obliteration of the veins works well for most patients. It is important to talk to a physician for an accurate diagnosis and to find out whether or no vein removal can help.
Whether you can already see the varicose veins developing or you are experiencing pain in your legs, make an appointment with your doctor. When left untreated, venous reflux disease can continue to cause complications and become more difficult to deal with

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Three Questions to Ask When Choosing a Medical Clinic

Healthcare is an important aspect to everyone's life. There is nothing that means more to the individual than his or her health. This being the case, it is of vital importance that you have all of the information you need when deciding which medical clinic to go to. The best way to accomplish this is to ask plenty of questions. This will allow you to make the best decision for your health and the health of your family. Be sure to find out whether or not the office you are considering accepts insurance, how long it takes to schedule an appointment, and what types of services they provide.
What Insurance Do You Accept?
Before making an appointment at a medical clinic, it is important to find out what type of insurance they accept. Health care can be extremely expensive, and if you don't have insurance the bills can pile up fast. Thus, it is important to make sure that the office you go to accepts your insurance. If you don't have health insurance, be sure to find out whether or not the office accepts Medicare, Medicaid, or if they offer any discounts for low income individuals.
How Long Before I Can Get an Appointment?
A medical clinic can, in many cases, have a very large patient pool. When this happens it can be difficult for you to schedule an appointment, and it is not uncommon for some clinics to have very long waiting lists. You should always find out if this is the case before choosing an office to go to. You do not want to find yourself in a situation in which you are waiting several weeks to receive care or medication that you need right away. Try your best to find out how many patients the prospective office services and how long you can expect to wait for an appointment.
What Services Do You Provide?
Finally, you will want to find out what sorts of services the medical clinic provides. If you have a family, make sure that they have a pediatric doctor that can treat and diagnose your children. You should also be careful to select an office that is equipped to handle any particular condition for which you might require treatment. You don't want to find yourself seeing a doctor that is unable to meet your needs.