Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Propecia is for treating hair loss but it's in a woman body everyting is more complicated

Hair loss is not only a big problem for men but also for women. Statistics show that there are now 20 million women in the United States alone who suffer from hair loss and since this number is staggering, a lot of women are now looking for a hair regrowth solution that they can use.

There are a number of things that can cause hair loss including hereditary traits, hormonal imbalance, strong allergic reactions, or stress. For millions of women suffering from hair loss however, the usual culprit is their genes and since they cannot do much about it, they just look for products in the market that they can use to get their mane back.

Some experts believe that women experiencing hair loss are more self-conscious than their male counterparts who also have the same condition. While this is an issue on society in general, this is an important thing to take into consideration. Men who are now going bald can choose to just go bald along the way but for many women, going bald is never a good choice. This is where Propecia comes in – the only problem is, this hair growth solution was not intended for the female of the species. Many doctors advise women not to take Propecia at all because of possible side effects since the active ingredient seeps into the bloodstream.

This claim however is not supported by a scholarly studies or research. The medication came out in the late 90s and has stayed as one of the most popular drugs for this particular condition. The only sad thing about this is that, women cannot find the right kind of product or medication for hair loss since the most popular brand is meant for men. Although there is a possibility that the claims are not real, it is still a good idea to take precaution.

One has to remember that even if studies regarding this medication are inconclusive, the absence of conclusive data does not warrant one to claim that the drug is safe for use among women. it’s important to note that Propecia treatment was made specifically for men.

Propecia is for treating hair loss but it's in a woman body everyting is more complicated

Monday, October 29, 2012

Prednisone uses include respiratory diseases, arthritis, cancer and Crohn's disease, etc.

Prednisone, a corticosteroid, is one of few medications that work to treat such a wide range of conditions and diseases. However, in many cases, it is not a medication recommended for long-term use. It is important to speak with your physician before taking prednisone to make sure you are a good candidate for the medication, and so you are aware of the potential side effects. If you are wondering if this medication might be right for you, here is some information on the various conditions is can be used to treat.

Treament of Respiratory Diseases and Asthma

The narrowing of the bronchial tubes is one of the main causes of many of the serious respiratory diseases. These tubes carry air to and from the lungs, and if they are obstructed, breathing can become problematic. In many cases, the narrowing of these tubes is due to inflammation. Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory, so it can be used to treat these conditions by widening the airways. It is often used in emergency situations, such as an asthma attack, but can also be used to help people who suffer from respiratory diseases control their symptoms.

Arthritis Treatment

This medication is prescribed more frequently than any other to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis symptoms can be very painful, and this drug can decrease the pain by reducing joint inflammation. It can be used as a long-term treatment to control the condition, or it can be used on occasion to treat a flare-up.

Cancer Management

Prednisone is sometimes included in cancer treatments. This is because of the way it affects white blood cells. For example, leukemia is a blood cancer caused by an abnormal increase in white blood cells. Because this medication destroys these blood cells, it can be an effective treatment for leukemia.

Crohn’s Disease Management

Crohn’s disease causes significant inflammation throughout the gastrointestinal system. By treating the inflammation with this corticosteroid, the painful symptoms associated with this disease are reduced. This is often used as part of a long-term treatment plan for Crohn’s disease.

Skin disorders reatment

Skin diseases that are caused by inflammation under the skin can be treated with this medication; psoriasis and dermatitis are two examples. However, when treating a skin condition, Prednisone is not recommended for long-term use. It is important to discuss a long-term treatment plan with a physician.

Prednisone uses include respiratory diseases, arthritis, cancer and Crohn's disease, etc.

Propecia vs. common hair loss myths

When you notice you’re starting to lose your hair, you’ll do just about anything to make it stop. For many, this means buying into some of the popular myths floating around. Some men are worried that losing their hair points to something more serious, and others start looking for ways to prevent it from happening.

By the time you start to consider taking Propecia to treat your hair loss, you’ve probably done a lot of research. You might even start to wonder if you really need the drug; you might think that trying some of the suggestions you found online could help instead. But the truth is, relying on the misinformation can be harmful, and keep you from addressing the problem in an effective way, such as with Propecia pills. Here are some of the common hair loss myths.

Myths around wearing tight hats.

Some people believe that tight hats can cause hair loss because they cut off blood circulation in the head. This is simply untrue; it would be nearly impossible to wear a hat tight enough to cut off your circulation. It would be extremely uncomfortable, and very difficult to actually get on your head in the first place. A baseball cap or winter toque is of no concern.

Myths exaggerating hygiene or hair care importance.

Hair loss is not caused by a lack of nutrients, nor is it caused by not washing your hair frequently enough. If anything, the opposite may be true; washing your hair too frequently can make hair loss worse by irritating the scalp.

Heredity myths.

There’s an old saying that hair loss in men passes through the mother’s side of the family. It’s not true; your adult hair pattern is determined by a group of androgens that can come from both of your parents.

Myths aggravating the problem by falsly linked conditions.

When they start to notice hair loss, some men fear it is a sign of a more serious disease. While it is true that some more serious health conditions can cause baldness or thinning, it usually isn’t one of the first symptoms you will notice. If you notice your hair starting to thin but nothing else seems unusual, you’re dealing with simple hair loss.

Don’t let these common myths fool you into not treating your hair loss. There are options out there to help you, such as Propecia prescription pills.

Propecia vs. common hair loss myths

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Accutane should taken with care, so not to do harm to your body

Accutane is a powerful drug used to treat the most severe types of acne. It is extremely effective at treating acne, but it comes with a list of side effects and risks – making it suitable for last resort cases. Accutane works by using a processed and concentrated form of Vitamin A to decrease oil production in your skin. Oftentimes, too much oil production will result in clogged pores, which results in acne. Accutane also works by killing the bacteria responsible for acne.

Accutane is the brand name for the drug isotretinoin. Isotretinoin is sold under many different brand names; however, Accutane is the most popular in the United States and has been around since 1982. If you want to save money, you can also purchase the generic form of isotretinoin, which goes under the name Claravis.

A treatment plan involving Accutane will typically last from two to six months. Dosage typically falls within .50 to 200 mg per day, and can be taken in either oral or topical form. Accutane isn’t cheap and can cost you between 150 to 200 dollars per month, with higher dosages costing more. Since many insurance companies consider acne to be a cosmetic issue, Accutane is not normally covered by insurance. However, if you need Accutane to combat cysts or nodules, your insurance might cover treatment.

Accutane is a powerful and sometimes dangerous drug. Therefore, in order to use Accutane, you will need to sign up with iPledge. iPledge is a program associated with the FDA that began as a way to help prevent pregnant ladies from having babies with birth defects due to Accutane. Similarly, if you are female, you will need to take two pregnancy tests, with negative results, in order to obtain Accutane. These tests will need to be repeated each month of treatment. Women who are sexually active while on Accutane must use two different forms of birth control, or abstain from sexual activity.

As you can see, Accutane isn’t a drug you mess around with. It is reserved for the most serious cases of acne, and shouldn’t be the first drug you try. If nothing else has worked, however, Accutane can be a good treatment option for you. Accutane has worked when other drugs have failed, and although there are side effects, is tolerated by thousands of people across America. While using Accutane, remain under the care of your physician, and always report any side effects.

Accutane should taken with care, so not to do harm to your body

How to Use Prednisone Safely For Skin Conditions

When it comes to our appearance, few things affect us the way skin conditions do. It begins when we’re teenagers; it varies depending on whether we had the occasional zit or suffered from severe acne, but we all know the embarrassment that accompanies pimples. Perhaps skin conditions can be so detrimental to our self-esteem because they often begin at such a transitional time, or perhaps it’s simply because our skin is one of the first things people notice about us. Most of us grow out of the pimple stage, but skin conditions don’t always end there. Various disorders can follow us into adulthood, and we’re stuck trying medication after medication to persuade our skin to return to its normal state. There are many creams and gels on the market to treat these various conditions. But what happens when none of them work? Well, the problem might present on the skin, but it could begin a little bit deeper.

Sometimes the condition is actually due to what is happening underneath the skin. Dermatitis and psoriasis, for example, are both caused from inflammation taking place beneath the skin’s surface. These skin conditions are caused by certain agents that are released into the bloodstream, causing inflammation, and can be treated with a corticosteroid, such as Prednisone. Prednisone works by preventing the release of these agents, and subsequently reducing or eliminating the inflammation.

It is important to mention that taking Prednisone to treat any of these skin conditions is only a temporary fix; it is not recommended for long-term use. You should speak with your physician before taking the medication, and make sure you are informed of the various side effects. This medication also isn’t right for everyone. For example, it is not recommended for people with a liver condition or a fungal infection. Your physician can help you decide if you are a good candidate for the drug. By discussing it with your doctor, you will also be able to implement a long-term plan to treat your skin condition.

Dealing with skin conditions can be uncomfortable both socially and physically. It is comforting to know that there are options out there to treat and eliminate the problem.

How to Use Prednisone Safely For Skin Conditions

Monday, October 22, 2012

Looking at how Levitra works

So you’re suffering from erectile dysfunction, and you’ve decided it’s time to do something about it. You’re considering taking the drug Levitra, but the thought of taking another medication makes you wary. This is fine as the best way to stay safe is by being informed, and how this drug works is something we’re here to help you understand.

An erection occurs when a large amount of blood enters the penis. When a man is aroused the group of muscles in his penis relax, thereby allowing his blood to flow into his penis. However, there is a chemical called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) that when released, keeps the necessary penile muscles from relaxing. This causes the erection to reverse. Levitra works by blocking the release of PDE5. The blood can flow to and remain in the penis allowing an erection to be maintained if this chemical is not released.

This medication does not cause sexual arousal, and it is not an aphrodisiac. In order for it to work, you must be sexually stimulated. If you are not aroused your body will not release the chemicals that allow the muscles in your penis to relax, and blood flow will not increase to the area. Levitra works by enabling the penis to accept the blood by blocking the chemical working against it; it will not force the blood to the area if there is no sexual arousal.

Levitra is available in a variety of strengths, from 2.5 to 20 milligrams. To ensure the correct dosage, it is best to discuss your options with your physician. In most cases you will begin with a relatively low dose and adjust the strength based on your reaction. Some men find that this medication works more quickly than other drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction. It is usually recommended that it be taken an hour before engaging in sexual activity, but for some men it works within 15 to 20 minutes. It varies between individuals, and it can vary depending on whether or not you have had alcohol or fatty foods. Though Levitra is less sensitive to food and alcohol than the other erectile dysfunction medications, these factors do impact how quickly you will notice the effect.

Looking at how Levitra works

Considering Levitra and how it works

So you’re suffering from erectile dysfunction, and you’ve decided it’s time to do something about it. You’re considering taking the drug Levitra, but the thought of taking another medication makes you wary. That’s okay; being informed is the best way to stay safe, and we’re here to help you understand how this drug works.

An erection occurs when a large amount of blood enters the penis. When a man is aroused the group of muscles in his penis relax, thereby allowing his blood to flow into his penis. However, there is a chemical called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) that when released, keeps the necessary penile muscles from relaxing. This causes the erection to reverse. Levitra works by blocking the release of PDE5. If this chemical is not released the blood can flow to and remain in the penis, and an erection is maintained.

Those using this medication should understand that it is not an aphrodisiac and does not cause sexual arousal. In order for it to work, you must be sexually stimulated. If you are not aroused your body will not release the chemicals that allow the muscles in your penis to relax, and blood flow will not increase to the area. The drug works by enabling the penis to accept the blood by blocking the chemical working against it; it will not force the blood to the area if there is no sexual arousal.

With the drug being available from 2.5 to 20 milligrams, Levitra can be obtained in a variety of strengths. To ensure the correct dosage, it is best to discuss your options with your physician. In most cases you will begin with a relatively low dose and adjust the strength based on your reaction. Some men find that this medication works more quickly than other drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction. It is usually recommended that it be taken an hour before engaging in sexual activity, but for some men it works within 15 to 20 minutes. It varies between individuals, and it can vary depending on whether or not you have had alcohol or fatty foods. Though Levitra is less sensitive to food and alcohol than the other erectile dysfunction medications, these factors do impact how quickly you will notice the effect.

Considering Levitra and how it works

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Best Way to Lose Weight Quickly and Safely

For all those people who have "weighty" issues, I have only one suggestion to make, do not EVER follow any fad diet for achieving your weight loss goals. Firstly, you will most probably gain back whatever weight you have lost with these quick-fix solutions and secondly, in the long run, these fad diets can actually ruin your health! So if you want to go by what most health experts have to say about the best way to lose weight quickly, start taking a healthy, balanced diet, along with it, make a regular exercise routine!

Easy Tips to Lose Weight Quickly

A Balanced Diet
A balanced, healthy diet is that which supplies the body with all the required essential nutrients, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fibers, calcium, vitamins and minerals! Check the Internet for the foods that are rich in all these nutrients and make a weekly diet menu including all these. Preferably cook at home with very less oil, sugar and other fatty substances to ward off the excess calories.

Fruits and Vegetables
To lose weight, the healthiest and the most effective thing that you can do is to ensure that majority of your diet is made of fruits and vegetables. Compared to most meats, these are less in fats and richer in vitamins and minerals. Take vegetables and fruits which are rich in fiber as these help in keeping you full for a very long time and thus, you will end up eating much lesser in your next meal. Also, there are certain negative calorie fruits and veggies such as cucumbers and tomatoes, which have lesser calories in them than those required by the body to burn them! So, eat such foods every day for losing weight fast.

Small, Regular Meals
Most of us have this habit of eating two or three big meals in a day. Most of us also have this habit of skipping breakfast and eating a heavy dinner. Well, let me tell you, these are unhealthy eating habits which need a change immediately if you are serious about your weight loss goals. Firstly, you need to start taking breakfast everyday, without a fail. Researches show that people who take a nutritious, healthy breakfast of cereals, low-fat milk and fruits, tend to eat less throughout the day. Secondly, take five small meals in a day. This way, there won't be much gap in between meals and thus, you won't feel the need to snack on chips or biscuits which can be quite fattening. Taking small meals spread evenly throughout the day and an early dinner, two hours before sleeping, aids in digestion too.

Drink two to three liters of water everyday. An age-old remedy which aids in digestion is to drink a glass of warm water in which half a teaspoon of honey and juice of half a lemon has been added, first thing in the morning. Sipping on water throughout the day will keep the body hydrated. Drinking a glass of water before every meal will reduce your appetite. With so many benefits, make it a point to drink lots of it everyday!

Lean Meats and Eggs
Researches have shown that eggs contain vitamin B12 which aids in fat loss from the body. So, eat a boiled or scrambled egg every day. Lean meats and fish, which are not fried, but roasted, boiled or grilled are a healthy option to meet the body's protein requirements. These protein rich, healthy foods, similar to the fiber foods, reduce the overall calorie consumption of a person as they keep the body full for a long time.

Make a routine to perform any of the cardiovascular exercises everyday for at least forty minutes. Swimming, cycling, running, aerobics, dancing, choose any of these exercises to lose weight quickly. These should be combined with weight training, resistance training and flexibility exercises for best results. Ideally, join a gym and have a professional chart out an exercise routine for you, keeping your body and weight loss goals in mind. If you have never exercised before, slowly build up the stamina and pace to avoid injuries.

Some Dos and Don'ts
Researches have shown that people who are under some sort of stress, tend to overeat in order to avoid feelings of loneliness or to feel better. So, if you too sometimes indulge in "emotional eating", start taking measures to keep stress at bay. Meditation, yoga and breathing exercises can be performed daily to get rid of stress and anxiety. Another thing that you can do is to increase your physical activities. Do not sit for more than an hour in front of the TV. Walk more. Take stairs instead of the elevator. Do household chores yourself. This way, you will automatically burn more calories.

Give up on fast food, high sugar food, fatty food, fried food, packaged food, carbonated drinks, caffeine drinks, alcohol, and foods with processed carbohydrates, as they will do nothing but pile on more calories in your body. Instead, make healthy food choices such as a fresh fruit instead of a pizza, low-fat milk instead of soft drink, home cooked food instead of packaged foods, whole wheat bread instead of white bread, etc.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Fastest and Simplest Way to Oriental-Charged Healthy Living Is Traditional Chinese Medicine

Long before the introduction of the western medical system most people that lived in the ancient days survived and even lived a healthier lifestyle than people in this present generation. The Chinese people are renowned for this attribute; their traditional way of healing and preserving health has in fact been studied at increasing pace in the western world.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is an ancient medical system that was used by the ancient people of China; this system involves a profound understanding of natural laws and their inter-relation with human bodies. It adopts a holistic approach that combines the personality, mind, spirit, soul, and emotions of humans in order to prescribe a totally effective solution that aims to heal the root causes of illnesses and not just the symptoms.

One of the most popular methods of these ancient traditional medicines is acupuncture. Acupuncture are the points at which human body picks its responses and senses. They are the body locations from which energies are transmitted between the body and the internal organs. These points are referred to as Shuxue in the Mandarin, or Chinese language.

Acupuncture is just one of the diverse plethora of effective Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques and remedies. There are several other methods of applying the ancient Chinese healing methods; some of these include - Qigang, herbal therapy, Acupressure, food for healing and Chinese psychology.

Purists of ancient Chinese medicines contest that they bring more benefits to the body than the more used western medicines. Apart from the fact that this type of medicine has a rich history of proven success, both amongst the ancient people, and also the surviving generations, it is also proven to have healed both the body and the mind of the sick.

Apart from this, there are wide arrays of diseases that can be treated by a combination of Chinese medicines. This form of medicine has been hailed to have treated more protracted sicknesses or diseases like cancer, fibroid and sexual dysfunctional diseases.

One distinctive benefit of this alternative medicine is that it attempts to address the specific illness or disease instead of a general approach. Illnesses like cold have several categories and types in the ancient Chinese therapy, meanwhile modern therapy tends to think of any cold as the same, which is why often colds are not cured by drugs and it is only the symptom of colds that these modern drugs take care of.

Chinese medicines are also known to offer more additional advantage because of its raw, chemically unprocessed form of treatment. Most experts have argued that human bodies are normally trained to develop resistances to chemicals and drugs, which means that western drugs tend to have a declining effect on the human body as time goes on. The Traditional Chinese Medicine, on the other hand, uses a natural method that slowly heals the root of a disease before eradicating the symptoms.

Finally, Chinese treatment can treat the rarest forms of diseases, which may not have had a ready-made treatment in the western medical world. Since this form of alternative medicine has survived more than 2000 years, it has a catalogue of numerous specific diseases with specifically aligned traditional treatments and techniques that cater for them.

Holistic Medicine - The Greatest Alternative Medicine

The utilization of homeopathy originated in Germany. This is formed on the deduction that our body uses autonomous mending capacities, and this normally aims at preventing diseases plus promoting well being. These naturopathic medical treatments are rightly called homeopathic treatments rather than drugs since they include numerous natural components derived from minerals as well as plants.

These homeopathic remedies are famous for protecting against diseases by enhancing the defense system. Though naturopathic therapies are not used for treating unexpected emergency circumstances such as most cancers, or even heart attack, they can be put to use for treating minor injuries and even persistent ailments.

What are Natural Treatments?

Well, naturopathic treatments are weakened preparations which are made making use of things obtained from minerals, herbs, animals, and countless other sources. Those materials are diluted (using pure water or alcohol) using a process termed distilization. An additional procedure, known as succussion is applied where distilled materials are repetitively hit across highly flexible surface areas. The complete procedure of creating these cures makes them really effective in treating various illnesses and ailments.

Unprocessed Elements - Completely Reliable with regard to Humans

As homeopathic solutions are prepared making use of materials gotten from natural resources, they are actually absolutely nontoxic even when consumed after a very long time. There is little chance of negative reaction, and consequently numerous household remedies are indeed recommended for pregnant females. In addition to that, these treatments can easily also be consumed with conventional treatments without the worry of any negative reaction.

Treatments for People of all Ages

Individuals of all age sets can use naturopathic remedies. From kids to teens, adults and aging, anybody can easily achieve benefits from homeopathic treatments. Unlike allopathic pharmaceuticals, generally there are really no rules in terms of sex or age.

Various naturopathic solutions are very successful. Proper medical diagnosis of the illness may accelerate the recovery process. Apart from very acute conditions, even persistent ailments can be handled with the help of naturopathic home remedies.

Permanent Cure

Many of the additional health-related systems have short-term focused approach, but homeopath provides a lot more long-lasting treatment. It is primarily due to this validated reality that naturopathic solutions have become widely popular amongst millions of people.

Another benefit of these remedies is that they follow the principle of exact remedy for exact issue, and deal with different overall health issues not just on the presupposition of signs, but their current causes. Most of all, homeopathy at home cures are not habit forming in nature.

Works in Proportion and Very Easy to Carry Out

Naturopathic natural treatments are widely known for enhancing the immune system compared to various other medicines that restrain symptoms. Holistic remedies work directly on different health problems and enhance the health and well-being of the system to allow it to fight several health issues. Really this method is formed on the fact that our system has a capability to replenish itself.

Homeopathic cures are carried out with ease as it can be found in the form of drops or pleasant pills that consist of healing properties. Also little ones love them as they are sweet!

Quite Affordable

Homeopathic at home remedies are quite low-cost compared to some medicines. They can be used with a variety of health issues including arthritis, cholesterol levels, acne breakouts, skin inflammation, breakouts, common colds and flu, migraine headache, ocular ailments, lung infections, and so forth.

There are a variety of naturopathic home remedies that have been found as being quite efficient, just like Allium cepa, a blood-red onion extract, as well as Chamomilla, which is an extraction from chamomile, among many others is used for handling skin conditions and breakouts. An additional useful homeopathy solution called Apis is formed from bees, and is made use of for treating migraine headaches.

The Importance of Calcium for the Human Body

The mineral calcium is the most abundantly found mineral in the human body. And we all know that along with phosphorous and Vitamin D, it is essential for strong teeth and bones. The average adult human body will contain as much as one kilogram of this mineral. Almost all of it is in the bones and teeth. Some amount of it is used by the body to ensure proper muscle contraction, blood clotting, and maintaining neurotransmission.

There exist many sources of dietary calcium and supplements can be easily purchased as over the counter medication; however, these should be taken under medical guidance. Milk and milk products are amongst the best known natural sources of calcium. However, there are many people who are lactose intolerant. Fortunately, for such people there is choice from leafy greens; nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, etc; seaweed; blackstrap molasses; and fish whose bones can be consumed easily. It is also possible to obtain it from fortified products such as juices and breads.

The most commonly used calcium supplement is calcium carbonate. This supplement should ideally be taken with food. It is cheap and contains a good amount of elemental calcium. It may be a good idea to take vitamin D supplements to improve calcium absorption by the body. Calcium supplements can also contain calcium citrate, calcium lactate, and calcium phosphate. Calcium citrate is expensive and does not contain as much elemental calcium as calcium carbonate.

An excess of calcium levels in the blood signifies a condition known as hypercalcemia. The condition can be caused by an increase in the amount of calcium intake and insufficient calcium excretion by the kidneys. Another reason is when the bones start leeching calcium into the blood. High calcium blood values should be brought under control as early as possible in order to avoid complications such as kidney stones, abdominal pain, polyuria, and even psychiatric disorders.

Hypocalcemia, on the other hand, indicates low levels of calcium in the blood. This condition is a symptom of parathyroid hormone deficiency.

As mentioned earlier, calcium intake is essential for bone health and maintaining bone density. Low levels of calcium in the body can lead to osteoporosis. Bone loss is a serious issue that senior citizens and post-menopausal women face. A regimen of proper diet and exercise is essential to keep bones strong. People with osteoporosis are at greater risk of bone fractures, particularly of the wrist and hip.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The lowest-mortality BMI: What is the role of nutrient intake from food?

In a previous post (), I discussed the frequently reported lowest-mortality body mass index (BMI), which is about 26. The empirical results reviewed in that post suggest that fat-free mass plays an important role in that context. Keep in mind that this "BMI=26 phenomenon" is often reported in studies of populations from developed countries, which are likely to be relatively sedentary. This is important for the point made in this post.

A lowest-mortality BMI of 26 is somehow at odds with the fact that many healthy and/or long-living populations have much lower BMIs. You can clearly see this in the distribution of BMIs among males in Kitava and Sweden shown in the graph below, from a study by Lindeberg and colleagues (). This distribution is shifted in such a way that would suggest a much lower BMI of lowest-mortality among the Kitavans, assuming a U-curve shape similar to that observed in studies of populations from developed countries ().

Another relevant example comes from the China Study II (see, e.g., ), which is based on data from 8000 adults. The `verage BMI in the China Study II dataset, with data from the 1980s, is approximately 21; for an average weight that is about 116 lbs. That BMI is relatively uniform across Chinese counties, including those with the lowest mortality rates. No county has an average BMI that is 26; not even close. This also supports the idea that Chinese people were, at least during that period, relatively thin.

Now take a look at the graph below, also based on the China Study II dataset, from a previous post (), relating total daily calorie intake with longevity. I should note that the relationship between total daily calorie intake and longevity depicted in this graph is not really statistically significant. Still, the highest longevity seems to be in the second tercile of total daily calorie intake.

Again, the average weight in the dataset is about 116 lbs. A conservative estimate of the number of calories needed to maintain this weight without any physical activity would be about 1740. Add about 700 calories to that, for a reasonable and healthy level of physical activity, and you get 2440 calories needed daily for weight maintenance. That is right in the middle of the second tercile, the one with the highest longevity.

What does this have to do with the lowest-mortality BMI of 26 from studies of samples from developed countries? Populations in these countries are likely to be relatively sedentary, at least on average, in which case a low BMI will be associated with a low total calorie intake. And a low total calorie intake will lead to a low intake of nutrients needed by the body to fight disease.

And don’t think you can fix this problem by consuming lots of vitamin and mineral pills. When I refer here to a higher or lower nutrient intake, I am not talking only about micronutrients, but also about macronutrients (fatty and amino acids) in amounts that are needed by your body. Moreover, important micronutrients, such as fat-soluble vitamins, cannot be properly absorbed without certain macronutrients, such as fat.

Industrial nutrient isolation for supplementation use has not been a very successful long-term strategy for health optimization (). On the other hand, this type of supplementation has indeed been found to have had modest-to-significant success in short-term interventions aimed at correcting acute health problems caused by severe nutritional deficiencies ().

So the "BMI=26 phenomenon" may be a reflection not of a direct effect of high muscularity on health, but of an indirect effect mediated by a high intake of needed nutrients among sedentary folks. This may be so even though the lowest mortality is for the combination of that BMI with a relatively small waist (), which suggests some level of muscularity, but not necessarily serious bodybuilder-level muscularity. High muscularity, of the serious bodybuilder type, is not very common; at least not enough to significantly sway results based on the analysis of large samples.

The combination of a BMI=26 with a relatively small waist is indicative of more muscle and less body fat. Having more muscle and less body fat has an advantage that is rarely discussed. It allows for a higher total calorie intake, and thus a higher nutrient intake, without an unhealthy increase in body fat. Muscle mass increases one's caloric requirement for weight maintenance, more so than body fat. Body fat also increases that caloric requirement, but it also acts like an organ, secreting a number of hormones into the bloodstream, and becoming pro-inflammatory in an unhealthy way above a certain level.

Clearly having a low body fat percentage is associated with lower incidence of degenerative diseases, but it will likely lead to a lower intake of nutrients relative to one’s needs unless other factors are present, e.g., being fairly muscular or physically active. Chronic low nutrient intake tends to get people closer to the afterlife like nothing else ().

In this sense, having a BMI=26 and being relatively sedentary (without being skinny-fat) has an effect that is similar to that of having a BMI=21 and being fairly physically active. Both would lead to consumption of more calories for weight maintenance, and thus more nutrients, as long as nutritious foods are eaten.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The lowest-mortality BMI: What is its relationship with fat-free mass?

Do overweight folks live longer? It is not uncommon to see graphs like the one below, from the Med Journal Watch blog (), suggesting that, at least as far as body mass index (BMI) is concerned (), overweight folks (25 < BMI < 30) seem to live longer. The graph shows BMI measured at a certain age, and risk of death within a certain time period (e.g., 20 years) following the measurement. The lowest-mortality BMI is about 26, which is in the overweight area of the BMI chart.

Note that mortality risk, relative to the mortality risk of people in the same age group, increases less steeply in response to weight variations as one becomes older. An older person increases the risk of dying to a lesser extent by weighing more or less than does a younger person. This seems to be particularly true for gains in weight.

The table below is from a widely cited 2002 article by Allison and colleagues (), where they describe a study of 10,169 males aged 25-75. Almost all of the participants, ninety-eight percent, were followed up for many years after measurement; a total of 3,722 deaths were recorded.

Take a look at the two numbers circled in red. The one on the left is the lowest-mortality BMI not adjusting for fat mass or fat-free mass: a reasonably high 27.4. The one on the right is the lowest-mortality BMI adjusting for fat mass and fat-free mass: a much lower 21.6.

I know this may sound confusing, but due to possible statistical distortions this does not mean that you should try to bring your BMI to 21.6 if you want to reduce your risk of dying. What this means is that fat mass and fat-free mass matter. Moreover, all of the participants in this study were men. The authors concluded that: “…marked leanness (as opposed to thinness) has beneficial effects.”

Then we have an interesting 2003 article by Bigaard and colleagues () reporting on a study of 27,178 men and 29,875 women born in Denmark, 50 to 64 years of age. The table below summarizes deaths in this study, grouping them by BMI and waist circumference.

These are raw numbers; no complex statistics here. Circled in green is the area with samples that appear to be large enough to avoid “funny” results. Circled in red are the lowest-mortality percentages; I left out the 0.8 percentage because it is based on a very small sample.

As you can see, they refer to men and women with BMIs in the 25-29.9 range (overweight), but with waist circumferences in the lower-middle range: 90-96 cm for men and 74-82 cm for women; or approximately 35-38 inches for men and 29-32 inches for women.

Women with BMIs in the 18.5-24.9 range (normal) and the same or lower waists also died in small numbers. Underweight men and women had the highest mortality percdntages.

A relatively small waist (not a wasp waist), together with a normal or high BMI, is an indication of more fat-free mass, which is retained together with some body fat. It is also an indication of less visceral body fat accumulation.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Traumatic Brain Injury Overview

A traumatic brain injury is something we hope will never happen to us or our loved ones. Once injured, your life can be changed forever. Some forms of head injuries are treatable where others will leave you permanently disabled for the rest of your life. This could mean that you or your family member will require around the clock treatment for the rest of their life.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can happen a number of different ways. Car crashes, pedestrian accidents, on the job injuries, and sports accidents among others can all cause TBI. No matter how the injury happened these types of catastrophic injury accidents usually involve one of two circumstances. Either the head experiences a high impact collision with another object (or vice versa) or an object passes through the skull and enters the brain tissue. Both of these traumatic injuries can cause serious damage to the brain.

Symptoms of Brain Injuries

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, some of the symptoms of traumatic brain injury include the following:

Loss of consciousness for seconds or minutes
Lightheadedness or dizziness
Blurred vision
Ears ringing
Bad taste in mouth
Change in sleep patterns
Change in mood
Difficultly remembering or concentrating

What to Do If You Are Experiencing the Above Symptoms

If you are experiencing any of the previously mentioned symptoms you may need medical attention. It would be a good idea to contact your doctor as soon as possible. After an accident, there is not much that can be done to reverse the initial damage caused to the brain. A medical professional can work with you to help prevent further damage. It may also be necessary for patients to receive physical therapy as well as speech therapy.

Brain Injury Help after an Accident

Dealing with a brain injury can be difficult but you do not have to take that route alone. There are a number of support groups online who may be able to offer help. If the injury was caused by a negligent party you may also want to contact an experienced brain injury lawyer. An attorney can help you determine if you have a claim for compensation. If it is found that you have a right to compensation your lawyer can help you receive what is owed to you for lost wages, lost future wages, pain and suffering and other damages.

Monday, June 4, 2012

How to make white rice nutritious

One of the problems often pointed out about rice, and particularly about white rice, is that its nutrition content is fairly low. It is basically carbohydrates with some trace amounts of protein. A 100-g portion of cooked white rice will typically deliver 28 g of carbohydrates, with zero fiber, and 3 g of protein. The micronutrient content of such a portion leaves a lot to be desired when compared with fruits and vegetables, as you can see below (from Nutritiondata.com). Keep in mind that this is for 100 g of “enriched” white rice; the nutrients you see there, such as manganese, are added.

White rice is rice that has had its husk, bran, and germ removed. This prevents spoilage and thus significantly increases its shelf life. As it happens, it also significantly reduces both its nutrition and toxin content. White rice is one of the refined foods with the lowest toxin content.

Another interesting property of white rice is that it absorbs moisture to the tune of about 2.5 times its weight. That is, a 100-g portion of dry white rice will lead to a 250-g portion of edible white rice after cooking. This does not only dramatically decrease white rice’s glycemic load () compared with wheat-based products in general (with some exceptions, such as pasta), but also allows for white rice to be made into a highly nutritious dish.

If you slow cook almost anything in water, many of its nutrients will seep into the water. All you have to do is to then use that water (often called broth) to cook white rice in it, and you will end up with highly nutritious rice. Typically you will need twice as much broth as rice, cooked for about 15 minutes – e.g., 2 cups of broth for 1 cup of rice.

You can add meats to the white rice, such as pulled chicken or shrimp; add some tomato sauce to that and you’ll make it a chicken or shrimp risotto. You can also add vegetables to the rice. If you want your rice to have something like an al dente consistency, I recommend doing these after the rice is ready; i.e., after you cooked it in the broth.

For the white rice-based dish below I used a broth from about two hours of slow cooking of diced vegetables; namely red bell peppers, carrots, celery, onions, and cabbage. After cooking the rice for 15 minutes, and letting it "sit" for a while (another 15 minutes with the pan covered), I also added the vegetables to it.

As a side note, the cabbage and onion tend to completely dissolve after 1 h or so of slow cooking. The added vegetables give the dish quite a nutritional punch. For example, the cabbage alone seems to be a great source of vitamin C (which is not completely destroyed by the slow cooking), the anti-inflammatory amino acid glutamine, and the DNA repair-promoting substance known as indole-3-carbinol ().

The good folks over at the Highbrow Paleo group on Facebook () had a few other great ideas posted in response to my previous post on the low glycemic load of white rice (), such as cooking white rice in bone broth (thanks Derrick!).

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Beginnings of Emergency Medicine in the United Kingdom

The specialty of Emergency Medicine developed in the United Kingdom out of a recognition of the need for injured people to receive better care. Over the years its scope has broadened to include serious illnesses, disease, infections and other more medically related problems.

The First World War provided the catalyst needed to kick-start the process of specialism within overstretched hospitals. A pioneering surgeon named Robert Jones was appalled by the lack of provision for those suffering gunshot wounds in the First World War. This led him to establish the British Orthopedic Association in 1918 with Robert Osgood, which became one of the most important developments in the care of the injured, and led to increased cooperation among orthopedic surgeons.

An early example of specialism for fracture patients was the establishment of separate fracture clinics in Manchester by Harry Platt in 1913-14. It was he who, many years later, as the chairman of the Accident and Emergency Services Sub-Committee of the Standing Medical Advisory Committee, produced the famous Platt report in 1962. This report highlighted major concerns over the level of care provided for the seriously ill and injured patients.

Though many of the report's recommendations were taken on board, there was no provision for the creation of senior career posts for the newly named accident and emergency departments. An exception was Maurice Ellis, who had been appointed 10 years before the report in 1952, as the first consultant in Emergency Medicine in the United Kingdom at Leeds General Infirmary. He, among others, noted that a different skill set was required of doctors running accident and emergency departments to those responsible for orthopedic surgery. This was one of the main driving forces behind the formation of the Casualty Surgeons Association in 1967, of which Maurice Ellis was its first president. The main aim of the association was to form a professional body to further the standard of accident and emergency care in the United Kingdom, but accident and emergency departments remained understaffed and poorly led.

In 1971, therefore, the Joint Consultants Committee investigated the problem. The main recommendation of this report was the appointment of 32 consultants in "Accident and Emergency" to work full-time in major departments. This led to immediate improvements in the quality of critical care, and by 1976 there were 105 consultants in post. By the middle of the 1970s it was evident that there was a need to formalise training of consultants, and the Specialist Advisory Committee in accident and emergency medicine was established and a training programme designed. The first senior registrar appointment was in 1977. The number of consultants continued to increase until, by 1997, there were almost 400 consultants in post.

The Casualty Surgeons Association was changed in 2004, to the British Association for Emergency Medicine, reflecting a more holistic approach to the specialism. Then in 2005, this was merged with the Faculty of Accident and Emergency Medicine (formed in 1993) to form the College of Emergency Medicine, which today stands as the authoritative body for emergency medicine in the UK. The College publishes guidelines and standards for the practise of emergency medicine, and its fellowship and membership exams, are the standard by which emergency medicine doctors are measured.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Learning About Acupuncture

For those people who are not aware, acupuncture is a technique that makes use of disposable needles to be able to cure different types of pains in a person's body. The needles are expertly inserted in different locations in a person's skin known as meridians; pricking these meridians will cause the pain from the body to be eliminated immediately, allowing the person to feel more relieved.

A lot of people who are interested in the techniques used in acupuncture are probably wondering about the overall cost that they would have to endure just to be able to get the amazing benefits from it. For starters, people should not think about the acupuncture cost as only the exact amount that they would have to spend for it. Rather, people should take into consideration both the amount and the benefits that acupuncture will be able to give them in the long run.

However, to give people a better idea about the specific amounts that they need to spend, they should know that for the first visit, they will be billed with an amount that is quite expensive. The good news is that the acupuncture cost for the first session will not be as expensive as the succeeding sessions that people would have to attend to; first-timers should be ready to shell out 75 up to 100 dollars for the first session. The reason why the first session costs more than all the other succeeding ones is because this usually lasts the longest; having said this, people should expect their first session to last for at least an hour.

In addition to this, the succeeding sessions would cost people from 50 up to 70 dollars; because following sessions are cheaper, people should also expect that these will last for around thirty up to forty minutes. Even though these costs have been specified in this article, it does not mean that they will not change; as a matter of fact, the costs would definitely depend on the clinic that one would go to. Aside from this, people will also be able to encounter various clinics that are offering different types of discounts that would really be an advantage for their budget. The only thing that a person needs to do to be able to locate these discounts on acupuncture is to do a little research from different websites online. Truly, the time spent on finding these discounts will be worth it once a person realizes how much money he/she was able to save in the process.

What people should know is that many are actually attracted with the mentioned acupuncture cost because compared to the other treatments that are available in the market this is considered to be a lot cheaper. More importantly, acupuncture is not only more affordable for a lot of people, but it is also more reliable when it comes to treating the different ailments of people who are suffering from different things. This type of treatment can really be tried by anyone who is interested and curious at the same time about its overall and long-term effects on a person's body.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Acupuncture Healing Success

The first known and recorded therapeutic success of traditional Chinese medicine that soon became one of China's achievements was during the extremely effective interval of war from different states and countries. According to the history of China's, a physician named Pien Cheuh used acupuncture to treat a Governor of the State of Kuo. The acupuncture treatment with the use of natural herbs has revived the governor from a severe coma. Soon, the physician was then awarded with prestige. In ancient China and up to these days, this celebration is considered in favor of the support, acceptance and popularity of any form of treatment.

How Does Acupuncture Work According to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Modern Science?

Through scientific experiences and natural encounters, the use of such particular factors like pressure points on the epidermis of our skin were proven to be of great help and value in treating particular illnesses.

Interruption of the circulation can lead to psychological problems, emotional illnesses, and physical diseases, such as inability to conceive, allergies, heart diseases and many more. We have channels or programs called meridians that run through our bodies. They are usually in comparison to estuaries operating through the entire body system in order for the cells to be taken care and for the tissues to be nourished. The circulation of energy will then be supported and be flowing back.

These meridians can be affected by needling specific factors or points around areas of our bodies, also known as traditional Chinese remedies. Traditional Chinese treatments have a natural way of treating patients. By needling the acupuncture points, the circulation of the energy gets "unstuck" and is permitted to circulate in a free, effective and more balanced way.

The acupuncture points are certainly a great product of an incredible number of specific findings. Because of this, the different varieties of acupuncture were then developed and each of them were designed a name based on their type of procedures and treatment qualities.

Do The Needles Used In Acupuncture Hurt?

The concept of having needles trapped into the pores of our bodies' epidermis brings about heavy thoughts and ideas of discomfort for most people. We should know that these acupuncture needles used for treatment are extremely fine. Mostly everyone encounters the acupuncture needles diversely. Usually, people explain feeling a very minor discomfort sensation from almost nothing at all, to feeling of a single hair brought out from the scalp.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Alternative Healing Therapies

The human body is a miraculous thing. It can survive serious injuries and recover from great illnesses. In the "old" days, people relied on "Alternative Healing Therapies", known to them as home remedies to heal illnesses. Today, as a culture, we have come to rely so heavily on modern medicine that we often forget how capable are our bodies are of healing all on their own with, a little help from nature.

Lately, people are becoming aware of the damage pharmaceutical overuse can have. Because of this, more people are turning to alternative healing therapies. In nearly every home there seems to be a small pharmacy worth of alternative remedies.

What Are Alternative Healing Therapies?

Alternative Healing Therapies, also called complementary healing therapies, are types of health treatment outside the realm of modern medicine. These range from basic massage to acupuncture and aromatherapy. While the methods used in alternative healing vary greatly, they all follow one basic principle. All types of alternative healing therapies seek to assist the body in healing itself in the least invasive and damaging ways possible.

There are many types of Alternative Therapies. You can easily become certified in some of them such as; massage, aromatherapy, meditation, and acupressure. Others, like acupuncture and holistic dentistry require professional training for which you earn a degree. Most types of alternative healing therapies are improved by use of one or more of the others. This is why you often see massage therapists who also practice acupressure and aromatherapy.

Alternative Healing Therapies are Safe and Natural

Since Alternative Therapies rely mostly on natural methods and ingredients, there is very little risk of side effects or damage to the body. However, as with any outside influences on the body, users of alternative healing therapies should proceed with caution when introducing any new elements into their body.

This means being aware of any potential risks or side effects associated with the herb or product they are using as well as any allergies or sensitivities that they may have. Use herbs, oils, supplements, and other outside influences sparingly. Even the best things can be harmful when used in excess.

Meditation, Massage, and Guided Imagery

It may seem odd to think of something like meditation or massage as a type of therapy. To a culture so dependent on modern medicine the idea of meditation as a form of therapy may seem odd. However, both meditation and guided imagery have been proven time and again to assist the body in healing itself. This is due to the fact that the body is more capable of healing when it is relaxed. The same is true of a positive mindset. Whether it is a broken bone or a serious illness, the human body will always heal faster and more completely if it is happy, well rested, and relaxed.

Herbalism and Natural Therapy

Throughout history, we have used plants to help our bodies heal. This is called herbalism and it is one of the most widely used. Modern medicine was born out of herbalism and many medicines are still created using the properties of plants. Because of this, herbalism is one of the forms of alternative healing therapy that requires the most research and caution. It should be used sparingly and alongside other less invasive forms.

A Better Way To Heal

In the end, most types of Alternative therapies are still safer and less invasive than modern medicine. The human body is an amazing thing, capable of great healing. Sometimes, all it needs is a little help. Often times, alternative therapies can provide just the right amount of help without the dangerous risks and side effects so often found in modern medicine.

Rice consumption and health

Carbohydrate-rich foods lead to the formation of blood sugars after digestion (e.g., glucose, fructose), which are then used by the liver to synthesize liver glycogen. Liver glycogen is essentially liver-stored sugar, which is in turn used to meet the glucose needs of the human brain – about 5 g/h for the average person.

(Source: Wikipedia)

When one thinks of the carbohydrate content of foods, there are two measures that often come to mind: the glycemic index and the glycemic load. Of these two, the first, the glycemic index, tends to get a lot more attention. Some would argue that the glycemic load is a lot more important, and that rice, as consumed in Asia, may provide a good illustration of that importance.

A 100-g portion of cooked rice will typically deliver 28 g of carbohydrates, with zero fiber, and 3 g of protein. By comparison, a 100-g portion of white Italian bread will contain 54 g of carbohydrates, with 4 g of fiber, and 10 g of protein – the latter in the form of gluten. A 100-g portion of baked white potato will have 21 g of carbohydrates, with 2 g of fiber, and 2 g of protein.

As you can see above, the amount of carbohydrate per gram in white rice is about half that of white bread. One of the reasons is that the water content in rice, as usually consumed, is comparable to that in fruits. Not surprisingly, rice’s glycemic load is 15 (medium), which is half the glycemic load of 30 (high) of white Italian bread. These refer to 100-g portions. The glycemic load of 100 g of baked white potato is 10 (low).

The glycemic load of a portion of food allows for the estimation of how much that portion of food raises a person's blood glucose level; with one unit of glycemic load being equivalent to the blood glucose effect of consumption of one gram of glucose.

Two common denominators between hunter-gatherer groups that consume a lot of carbohydrates and Asian populations that also consume a lot of carbohydrates are that: (a) their carbohydrate consumption apparently has no negative health effects; and (b) they consume carbohydrates from relatively low glycemic load sources.

The carbohydrate-rich foods consumed by hunter-gatherers are predominantly fruits and starchy tubers. For various Asian populations, it is predominantly white rice. As noted above, the water content of white rice, as usually consumed by Asian populations, is comparable to that of fruits. It also happens to be similar to that of cooked starchy tubers.

An analysis of the China Study II dataset, previously discussed here, suggests that widespread replacement of rice with wheat flour may have been a major source of problems in China during the 1980s and beyond ().

Even though rice is an industrialized seed-based food, the difference between its glycemic load and those of most industrialized carbohydrate-rich foods is large (). This applies to rice as usually consumed – as a vehicle for moisture or sauces that would otherwise remain on the plate. White rice combines this utilitarian purpose with a very low anti-nutrient content.

It is often said that white rice’s nutrient content is very low, but this problem can be easily overcome – a topic for the next post.

Friday, May 18, 2012

4 Departments in Your Health Care Organization That Must Adhere To Universal Precautions

Infectious pathogens in the blood can be transferred from one person to another causing bloodborne diseases. Other body fluids like semen, vaginal discharges, amniotic fluid, saliva, etc. can also cause such infectious diseases. And prior to proper testing, it is impossible to know which blood samples are infected. Therefore, it is best to assume all samples as potentially infected and handle them with the utmost care. And as such, basic precautionary measures that should be taken by your health care employees while handling potentially blood and body fluids are known as universal precautions.

There are four main departments in the hospital that must strictly adhere to the universal precautions, as discussed below.

· Laboratory: It is mainly the hospital laboratory that deals with blood samples on a daily basis. This place is filled with chemicals, sharp instruments and equipment, and uncountable blood samples that are likely to be infected. There is maximum risk of employees contracting bloodborne diseases here. It is mandatory for your health workers to wear protective clothing like gloves, gowns and eye gear at all times. Other personal protective equipment like foot covers and face shields must also be worn depending on the work being done. All these equipments are important as they keep your skin protected from pathogens and also from dangerous chemical splashes.

· Housekeeping: The housekeeping department in your health care organization will not just be responsible for sweeping and swabbing but also for the decontamination of work areas and for proper disposal of fluids and sharp instruments. All housekeeping workers must be given gloves, aprons and gowns to wear while cleaning work stations, floors, walls and furniture. All necessary precautions must be properly followed to prevent spread of infection.

· Laundry and Linen: Special care must be taken by your employees working in the laundry and linen department. They must wear gloves and protective gowns at all times. Dirty linen must be segregated into separate bags with stained clothes folded in such a way that the dirty part in inside. Transfer of dirty linen from wards and operation theatre to laundry must be done through a separate route where patients and others are not present. It is recommended that the worker changes his gloves while dealing with used linen.

· Nursing Department: It is the nurses who majorly deal with the patients. They are involved in drawing blood, giving injections, changing beds and patient gowns, etc. All these activities involve a small chance of infection spread. While using needles and sharp equipments they must be careful to avoid getting pricked accidentally. All needles and sharp instrument must be disposed off in special sharp containers. They must always wear gloves that are in good condition and follow correct practice of hand washing while dealing with patients. Nurses must be alert in cases of fluid spills which are very dangerous.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Understanding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

When it comes to hospital medical transcription, transcribers do not just translate audio to text; there are also some legal matters that have to be put into consideration when working. As a transcriber, weather you are working at home or at a transcription company, it is important to take note of the HIPAA. The HIPAA act or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a law that protects all individuals when it comes to the privacy of their medical records. Information that is exchanged during the entire transcribing process is considered private and should be disclosed to anyone else. Sometimes, some information is disclosed by accident without the knowledge of the transcriber.

There are some ways and tips in order that this information is kept private and away from the public eye during a hospital medical translation process.

Keep your work station private

When you are working at home for a surgery medical transcription company or a hospital medical transcription company, a lot of information be shared between you are and your client. Make sure that your computer or workstation is locked away from the prying eyes of your house-mates. It is important that they have no access to your computer or any file or folder that contains all this information. Most home based transcriptions working on a hospital medical transcription would have a separate computer for transcribing purposes alone; if the latter is possible it is probably the best option when it comes to protecting all private date.

Avoid discussing work details with others

It is also important that you avoid talking about patient transactions with others. It is human nature to share thoughts, especially experiences regarding work to others; but as much as possible avoid doing so. Information shared to other people has a high chance to be shared again to others. Never disclose specifics such as names of patients, what they are going through, which hospital they are in, and other specific details concerning a single person or to a specific institution. Aside from verbal communication, avoid posting such details on on-line social medium websites such as twitter and face book as well as forums and public message boards.

Make sure that a HIPAA contract exists between your employer and you

Last but not the least; make sure that there is a contract between you and your employer. A contract will make you understand more the scope and detail of a HIPAA medical transaction and what actions should be avoided so as not to break the law. If there is no such contact between two parties suggest that a contract be made by the employer so that both parties will understand the importance and privacy of all information exchanged during the entire process.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Evasive Action to Overbearing Healthcare Reform

With the June 28, 2012 ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States in declaring the Affordable Care Act constitutional, very important personal decisions need to be made by Joe and Jill Citizen as to how they will deal with the changes as it relates to their conscious health decisions. For instance, in order to keep the plan as cost effective as possible steps may be implemented to limit doctors in the types of treatments they can provide their patients. Is this something Joe and Jill Citizen is ready to contend with?

In the likelihood of that type of scenario affecting millions of people, there lies enormous potential for aware and free-thinking individuals to take more responsibility for their own health and well being. Preparing for the worst is, if not should be, a natural-born instinct for every human being. We prepare for bad weather by having candles or flashlights on hand should there be a power outage, going to a cellar in case of a tornado, having road salt and snow shovels on hand before the blizzard of the decade hits. Wouldn't it make sense, in the case of our health, to make preparations as well? In fact, one would say that it makes much more sense to take em>preventative measures to ensure our good health endures for as long as humanly possible.

The looming threat of being denied a critical medication or procedure to provide a work-around for a current ailment is a frightening prospect, even more so if your life depends on it. Scientific study has shown that many of today's sicknesses and diseases could easily be prevented with proper nutrition. Much of these findings were derived from the field of animal husbandry which, these days, is very big business. And as in any business if you have damaged product (diseased animals) your customers will not buy and you go out of business. One can quickly understand why reversing the sickness and disease in livestock would be very important to that particular business. The same applies to human health only with greater consequences if you, the product, is damaged due to nutritional deficiency.

Take, for example, the debilitating disease arthritis. For over 50 years those in the business of animal husbandry have been curing arthritis in their livestock with natural trace minerals found in the mineral blocks scattered in fields all over the world. Does it not make sense that the same concept of supplementing the diet with essential trace minerals would apply to the arthritic joints of human beings? We can readily see, in this example, the great benefits of taking preventative steps to curtailing the painful prospect of degenerative arthritis. It would be hard to believe that a free-thinking individual would prefer to wait and see if the care they may require would be granted or denied based on the cost effectiveness to a health care program. What factors would determine if treatment should be granted or denied? Age? Weight? Tax revenue generation of the patient?

Answering the call to take control of our personal health situations can be an intimidating concept to many people but it could not be more critical than it is at this moment. With certain aspects of the health care changes being put into place, the old proverb "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," couldn't be more true.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The 2012 Arch Intern Med red meat-mortality study: The “protective” effect of smoking

In a previous post () I used WarpPLS () to analyze the model below, using data reported in a recent study looking at the relationship between red meat consumption and mortality. The model below shows the different paths through which smoking influences mortality, highlighted in red. The study was not about smoking, but data was collected on that variable; hence this post.

When one builds a model like the one above, and tests it with empirical data, the person does something similar to what a physicist would do. The model is a graphical representation of a complex equation, which embodies the beliefs of the modeler. WarpPLS builds the complex equation automatically for the user, who would otherwise have to write it down using mathematical symbols.

The results yielded by the complex equation, partly in the form of coefficients of association for direct relationships (the betas next to the arrows), have a meaning. Some may look odd, and require novel interpretations, much in the same way that odd results from an equation describing planetary motions may have led to the development of the theory of black holes.

Nothing is actually "proven" by the results. They are part of the long and painstaking process we call "research". To advance new knowledge, one needs a lot more than a single study. Darwin's theory of evolution is still being tested. Based on various tests and partial refutations, it has itself evolved a great deal since its original formulation.

One set of results that are generated based on the model above by WarpPLS, in addition to coefficients for direct relationships, are coefficients of association called "total effects". They aggregate all of the effects, via multiple paths, between each pair of variables. Below is a table of total effects, with the total effects of smoking on diabetes incidence and overall mortality highlighted in red.

As you can see, the total effects of smoking on diabetes incidence and overall mortality are negative, but small enough to be considered insignificant. This is interesting, because smoking is definitely not health-promoting. Among hunter-gatherers, who often smoke tobacco, it increases the incidence of various types of cancer (). And it may be at the source of many of the health problems suggested by analyses on the China Study II data ().

So what are these results telling us? They tell us that smoking has an intermediate protective effect, very likely associated with its anorexic effect. Smoking is an appetite suppressor. Its total effect on food intake is negative, and strong. As we can see from the table of total effects, just below the two numbers highlighted in red, the total effect of smoking on food intake is -0.356.

Still, it looks like smoking is nearly as bad as overeating to the point of becoming obese (), in terms of its overall effect on health. Otherwise we would see a positive total effect on overall mortality of comparable strength to the negative total effect on food intake.

Smoking may make one eat less, but it ends up hastening one’s demise through different paths.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hunger is your best friend: It makes natural foods taste delicious and promotes optimal nutrient partitioning

One of the biggest problems with modern diets rich in industrial foods is that they promote unnatural hunger patterns. For example, hunger can be caused by hypoglycemic dips, coupled with force-storage of fat in adipocytes, after meals rich in refined carbohydrates. This is a double-edged post-meal pattern that is induced by, among other things, abnormally elevated insulin levels. The resulting hunger is a rather unnatural type of hunger.

By the way, I often read here and there, mostly in blogs, that “insulin suppresses hunger”. I frankly don’t know where this idea comes from. What actually happens is that insulin is co-secreted with a number of other hormones. One of those, like insulin also secreted by the beta-cells in the pancreas, is amylin – a powerful appetite suppressor. Amylin deficiency leads to hunger even after a large carbohydrate-rich meal, when insulin levels are elevated.

Abnormally high insulin levels – like those after a “healthy” breakfast of carbohydrate-rich cereals, pancakes etc. – lead to abnormal blood glucose dips soon after the meal. What I am talking about here is a fall in glucose levels that is considerable, and that also happens very fast – illustrated by the ratio between the lengths of the vertical and horizontal black lines on the figure below, from a previous post ().

Those hypoglycemic dips induce hunger, because the hormonal changes necessary to apply a break to the fall in glucose levels (which left unchecked would lead to death) leave us with a hormonal mix that ends up stimulating hunger, in an unnatural way. At the bottom of those dips, insulin levels are much lower than before. I am not talking about diabetics here. I am talking about normoglycemic folks, like the ones whose glucose levels are show on the figure above.

On a diet primarily of natural foods, or foods that are not heavily modified from their natural state, hunger patterns tend to be better synchronized with nutrient deficiencies. This is one of the main advantages of a natural foods diet. By nutrients, I do not mean only micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, but also macronutrients such as amino and fatty acids.

On a natural diet, nutrient deficiencies should happen regularly. Our bodies are designed for sporadic nutrient intake, remaining most of the time in the fasted state. Human beings are unique in that they have very large brains in proportion to their overall body size, brains that run primarily on glucose – the average person’s brain consumes about 5 g/h of glucose. This latter characteristic makes it very difficult to extrapolate diet-based results based on other species to humans.

As hunger becomes better synchronized with nutrient deficiencies, it should promote optimal nutrient partitioning. This means that, among other things: (a) you should periodically feel hungry for different types of food, depending on your nutrient needs at that point in time; (b) if you do weight training, and fell hungry, some muscle gain should follow; and (c) if you let hunger drive food consumption, on a diet of predominantly natural foods, body fat levels should remain relatively low.

In this sense, hunger becomes your friend – and the best spice!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hormonal reductionism is as myopic as biochemical reductionism

Biochemistry-based arguments can be very misleading. Yet, biochemistry can be extremely useful in the elucidation of diet and lifestyle effects that are suggested by well-designed studies of humans. If you start with a biochemistry-based argument though, and ignore actual studies of humans, you can easily convince someone that glycogen-depleting exercise (e.g., weight training) is unhealthy, because many health markers change for the worse after that type of exercise. But it is the damage caused by glycogen-depleting exercise that leads to health improvements, via short- and long-term compensatory adaptations ().

Biochemistry is very helpful in terms of providing “pieces for the puzzle”, but biochemical reductionism is a problem. Analogous to biochemical reductionism, and perhaps one example of it, is hormonal reductionism – trying to argue that all diet and lifestyle effects are mediated by a single hormone. A less extreme position, but still myopic, is to argue that all diet and lifestyle effects are mostly mediated by a single hormone.

One of my own “favorite” hormones is adiponectin, which I have been discussing for years in this blog (). Increased serum adiponectin has been found to be significantly associated with: decreased body fat (particularly decreased visceral fat), decreased risk of developing diabetes type 2, and decreased blood pressure. Adiponectin appears to also have anti-inflammatory and athero-protective properties.

As a side note, typically women have higher levels of serum adiponectin than men, particularly young women. Culturally we have a tendency to see young women as “delicate” and “vulnerable”. Guess what? Young women are the closest we get to “indestructible” in the human species. And there is an evolutionary reason for that, which is that fertile women have been in our evolutionary past, and still are, the bottleneck of any population. A population of 100 individuals, where 99 are men and 1 is a woman, will quickly disappear. If it is 99 women and 1 fertile man, the population will grow; but there will also be some problems due to inbreeding. Even if the guy is ugly the population will grow; without competition, he will look very cute.

Jung and colleagues measured various hormone levels in 78 obese people who had visited obesity clinics at five university hospitals (Ajou, Ulsan, Catholic, Hanyang and Yonsei) in Korea (). Those folks restricted their caloric intake to 500 calories less than their usual intake, and exercised, for 12 weeks. Below are the measured changes in tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α, now called only TNF), interleukin-6 (IL-6), resistin, leptin, adiponectin, and interleukin-10 (IL-10).

We see from the table above that the hormonal changes were all significant (all at the P equal to or lower than 0.001 level except one, at the P lower than 0.05 level), and all indicative of health improvements. The serum concentrations of all hormones decreased, with two exceptions – adiponectin and interleukin-10, which increased. Interleukin-10 is an anti-inflammatory hormone produced by white blood cells. The most significant increase of the two was by far in adiponectin (P = .001, versus P = .041 for interleukin-10).

Now, should we try to find a way of producing synthetic adiponectin then? My guess is that doing that will not lead to very positive results in human trials; because, as you can see from the table, hormones vary in concert. At the moment, the only way to “supplement” adiponectin is to lose body fat, and that leads to concurrent changes in many other hormones (e.g., TNF decreases).

Trying to manipulate one single hormone, or build an entire health-improvement approach based on its effects, is myopic. But that is what often happens. Leptin is a relatively recent example.

One reason why biochemistry is so complex, with so many convoluted processes, is that evolution is a tinkerer that is “blind” to complexity. Traits appear at random in populations and spread if they increase reproductive success; even if they decrease survival success, by the way ().

Evolution is not an engineer, and is not even our “friend” (). To optimize our health, we need to “hack” evolution.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

If your NEAT is low, maybe you should chill

I wrote most of this post a while ago, and then forgot about it. The recent blogosphere storm of comments regarding cold-induced thermogenesis caught me by surprise (), and provided a motivation to get this post out. Contrary to popular perception, I guess, cold-induced thermogenesis is an extensively researched topic. Some reasonably well cited references are linked here.

Let us backtrack a bit. When people say that they want to lose weight, usually what they really want is to lose is body fat. However, they frequently do things that make them lose what they do not want – muscle glycogen, water, and even some muscle protein. Physical activity in general depletes muscle glycogen; even aerobic physical activity.

Walking, for example, depletes muscle glycogen; but slowly, and proportionally to how fast one walks. Weight training and sprints deplete muscle glycogen much faster. Whatever depletes muscle glycogen also lowers the amount of water stored in myocytes (muscle cells), effectively reducing muscle mass. Depleted muscle glycogen needs to be replenished; protein and carbohydrates are the sources. If you deplete muscle glycogen through strength training, this will provide a strong stimulus for glycogen replenishment and thus muscle growth, even beyond the original level – a phenomenon called supercompensation ().

In conjunction with strength training, situations in which one burns mostly fat, and very little glycogen, should be at the top of the list for those wishing to lose weight by losing body fat and nothing else. These are not very common though. One example is nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), or heat generation from nonexercise activities such as fidgeting (). There is a great deal of variation in NEAT across individuals; for some it is high, for others it is annoyingly low.

Walking slowly is almost as good as NEAT for body fat burning, when done in conjunction with strength training. Up the pace a bit though, and you’ll be burning more muscle glycogen. But if you walk slowly you don’t burn that much body fat per unit of time. If you walk a bit faster you’ll burn more fat, but also more glycogen. C’mon, there is no way to win in this game!

This is why being physically active, in a “non-exercise way”, seems to be so important for health; together with strength training, limiting calorie intake, and all the while having a nutritious diet. These are not very common things in modern urban environments. Long term, there isn’t a lot of margin for error. It is ultimately a game of small numbers in the short term, played over long periods of time.

But there is an alternative if your NEAT is low – just chill. That is, another situation in which one can burn mostly fat, and very little glycogen, is exposure to mildly cold temperatures, but above the level that induces shivering (mild cold: 16 degrees Celsius or so; about 60 degrees Fahrenheit). Shivering in general, and particularly intense shivering, is associated with levels of muscle activity that would induce glycogen depletion () (). If muscle glycogen depletion happens while one is fasting, liver glycogen will be used to replenish muscle glycogen, and also to supply the needs of the brain – which is always hungry for glucose.

As the liver glycogen tank goes down beyond a certain point, and no protein or carbohydrates are eaten, the body will use amino acids from muscle to produce glucose. Muscle glycogen will be locked until it is needed. Interesting eh!? The body sacrifices muscle protein but doesn’t tap into muscle glycogen, which is only used to fuel violent muscle contractions. We are talking about fight-or-flight responses here. From an evolutionary perspective, sacrificing some muscle beats losing a lot of it to a predator any day.

Cold-induced thermogenesis is a very interesting phenomenon. The figure below, where open circles represent lean and closed circles obese folks, shows that it leads to different responses in lean and obese folks, and also that it presents a lot of variation across different individuals (like NEAT). This type of thermogenesis actually seems to be strongly associated with an increase in NEAT (); although it seems to also be associated with futile cycles used by the body to generate heat without any movement, as in thermogenesis during hibernation in certain animals () (). Having more brown fat as an adult, or being able to make brown fat more easily, is associated with more cold-induced thermogenesis; and also with a lower obesity risk.

In fact, cold-induced thermogenesis leads to an increase in energy expenditure that is comparable with that of another major energy sinkhole – overfeeding () (). Unlike overfeeding though, cold-induced thermogenesis does not require calories to go in. And, no, you don’t burn more than you take in with overfeeding.

How can one burn fat via cold-induced thermogenesis? Here are some ideas. Set the home thermostat to a mildly cold temperature in the winter (this will also save you some money). When it is a little cooler than normal, don’t wear heavy clothes. Take mildly cold showers, or end a warm shower with some mildly cold water.

What about more extreme cold exposure? It should be no surprise that one would feel pretty good after a dip in ice-cold water; that is, if the person does not suffer from a glycogen storage disease (e.g., McArdle's disease). At least in theory, that type of cold exposure should induce whole-body muscle glycogen depletion, just like an intense whole-body exercise session, with the resulting hormonal changes ().

Growth hormone should be up after that, perhaps for hours. Done right after weight training, or intense exercise, it may have a boosting effect on the hormonal response. But if you do that in the recovery phase (e.g., several hours after the weight training session), it should impair muscle recovery. It would be a bit like doing another strength training session, when the body is trying to recover from the previous one.