Monthly Archives: April 2009

Stay Calm to be Asthma Free

Are you vulnerable to anxiety? Well, if yes, then it’s time to chill out or else you could end up developing asthma, says a new study.
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Researchers at Heidelberg University have carried out the study and found that people, prone to neurotic conditions, could triple their chances of developing asthma unless they stay calm, the ‘New Scientist‘ reported.

They have based their findings on an analysis of a questionnaire given to over 4,000 volunteers to evaluate their tendencies to hysteria, anxiety and depression without asthma.

Nine years later, the researchers, led by Adrian Loerbroks, reassessed the volunteers and found that those who had high levels of neurosis were three times as likely to have developed asthma as those with low scores allergy.

Animal studies have shown that chronic stress alters hormone levels, which can inflame airways. Loerbroks believes neurotic character traits may exert similar effects, and so treating highly neurotic people could reduce their risk of developing asthma.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Swine Flu

Introduction:
Swine influenza (also swine flu) refers to influenza caused by any strain of the influenza virus endemic in pigs (swine). Strains endemic in swine are called swine influenza virus (SIV).

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Swine flu is common in swine and rare in humans. People who work with swine, especially people with intense exposures, are at risk of catching swine influenza if the swine carry a strain able to infect humans. However, these strains rarely are able to pass from human to human. Rarely, SIV mutates into a form able to pass easily from human to human. The strain responsible for the 2009 swine flu outbreak is believed to have undergone such a mutation. This virus is named swine flu because one of its surface proteins is similar to viruses that usually infects pigs, but this strain is spreading in people and it is unknown if it infects pigs.

In humans, the symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general, namely chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort. The strain responsible for the 2009 swine flu outbreak in most cases causes only mild symptoms and the infected person makes a full recovery without  requiring medical attention and without the use of antiviral medicines.

Of the three genera of human flu, two are endemic also in swine: Influenzavirus A (common) and Influenzavirus C (rare). Influenzavirus B has not been reported in swine. Within Influenzavirus A and Influenzavirus C, the strains endemic to swine and humans are largely distinct.

History:
The swine flu is likely a descendant of the infamous “Spanish flu” that caused a devastating pandemic in humans in 1918–1919. In less than a year, that pandemic killed more an estimated 50 million people worldwide. Descendants of this virus have persisted in pigs; they probably circulated in humans until the appearance of the Asian flu in 1957, and reemerged in 1977. Direct transmission from pigs to humans is rare, with 12 cases in the U.S. since 2005.

The flu virus is perhaps the trickiest known to medical science; it constantly changes form to elude the protective antibodies that the body has developed in response to previous exposures to influenza or to influenza vaccines. Every two or three years the virus undergoes minor changes. Then, at intervals of roughly a decade, after the bulk of the world’s population has developed some level of resistance to these minor changes, it undergoes a major shift that enables it to tear off on yet another pandemic sweep around the world, infecting hundreds of millions of people who suddenly find their antibody defenses outflanked. Even during the Spanish flu pandemic, the initial wave of the disease was relatively mild and the second wave was highly lethal.In 1957, an Asian flu pandemic infected some 45 million Americans and killed 70,000. Eleven years later, lasting from 1968 to

1969, the Hong Kong flu pandemic afflicted 50 million Americans and caused 33,000 deaths, costing approximately $3.9 billion.

In 1976, about 500 soldiers became infected with swine flu over a period of a few weeks. However, by the end of the month investigators found that the virus had “mysteriously disappeared” and there were no more signs of swine flu anywhere on the post.  There were isolated cases around the U.S. but those cases were supposedly to individuals who caught the virus from pigs.

Medical researchers worldwide, recognizing that the swine flu virus might again mutate into something as deadly as the Spanish flu, were carefully watching the latest 2009 outbreak of swine flu and making contingency plans for a possible global pandemic.

Signs and symptoms:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in humans the symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. The 2009 outbreak has shown an increased percentage of patients reporting diarrhea and vomiting.

Because these symptoms are not specific to swine flu, a differential diagnosis of probable swine flu requires not only symptoms but also a high likelihood of swine flu due to the person’s recent history. For example, during the 2009 swine flu outbreak in the United States, CDC advised physicians to “consider swine influenza infection in the differential diagnosis of patients with acute febrile respiratory illness who have either been in contact with persons with confirmed swine flu, or who were in one of the five U.S. states that have reported swine flu cases or in Mexico during the 7 days preceding their illness onset.” A diagnosis of confirmed swine flu requires laboratory testing of a respiratory sample (a simple nose and throat swab).

Pathophysiology
Influenza viruses bind through hemagglutinin onto sialic acid sugars on the surfaces of epithelial cells; typically in the nose, throat and lungs of mammals and intestines of birds (Stage 1 in infection figure).

Swine flu in humans:
People who work with poultry and swine, especially people with intense exposures, are at increased risk of zoonotic infection with influenza virus endemic in these animals, and constitute a population of human hosts in which zoonosis and reassortment can co-occur. Transmission of influenza from swine to humans who work with swine was documented in a small surveillance study performed in 2004 at the University of Iowa. This study among others forms the basis of a recommendation that people whose jobs involve handling poultry and swine be the focus of increased public health surveillance. The 2009 swine flu outbreak is an apparent reassortment of several strains of influenza A virus subtype H1N1, including a strain endemic in humans and two strains endemic in pigs, as well as an avian influenza.

The CDC reports that the symptoms and transmission of the swine flu from human to human is much like that of seasonal flu. Common symptoms include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing, while runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported. It is believed to be spread between humans through coughing or sneezing of infected people and touching something with the virus on it and then touching their own nose or mouth. Swine flu cannot be spread by pork products, since the virus is not transmitted through food. The swine flu in humans is most contagious during the first five days of the illness although some people, most commonly children, can remain contagious for up to ten days. Diagnosis can be made by sending a specimen, collected during the first five days, to the CDC for analysis.

The swine flu is susceptible to four drugs licensed in the United States, amantadine, rimantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir; however, for the 2009 outbreak it is recommended it be treated under medical advice only with oseltamivir and zanamivir to avoid drug resistance. The vaccine for the human seasonal H1N1 flu does not protect against the swine H1N1 flu, as they are antigenically very different.

Complications Of Swine Flu And Higher Risk Individuals:-

Those at higher risk include those with the following:
*Age of 65 years or older
*Chronic health problems (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease)
*Pregnant women
*Young children

Complications (for all patients but especially for those at higher risk) can include:
*Pneumonia
*Bronchitis
*Sinus infections
*Ear infections
*Death

Diagnosis :-
1. A respiratory sample collected within the first five days of illness will be collected.

2. The sample is sent to the CDC for laboratory analysis and confirmation.

At this time the CDC is recommending the use of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) for treatment and/or prevention of Swine flu.

Prevention
Prevention of swine influenza has three components:-(1) prevention in swine, (2) prevention of transmission to humans, and (3)  prevention of its spread among humans.

(1)Prevention in swine
Swine influenza has become a greater problem in recent decades as the evolution of the virus has resulted in inconsistent responses to traditional vaccines. Standard commercial swine flu vaccines are effective in controlling the infection when the virus strains match enough to have significant cross-protection, and custom (autogenous) vaccines made from the specific viruses isolated are created and used in the more difficult cases.

Present vaccination strategies for SIV control and prevention in swine farms, typically include the use of one of several bivalent SIV vaccines commercially available in the United States. Of the 97 recent H3N2 isolates examined, only 41 isolates had strong serologic cross-reactions with antiserum to three commercial SIV vaccines. Since the protective ability of influenza vaccines depends primarily on the closeness of the match between the vaccine virus and the epidemic virus, the presence of nonreactive H3N2 SIV variants suggests that current commercial vaccines might not effectively protect pigs from infection with a majority of H3N2 viruses

(2) Prevention of transmission to humans
There are antiviral medicines you can take to prevent or treat swine flu. There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. You can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza by

*Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
*Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. You can also use alcohol-based hand cleaners.
*Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
*Trying to avoid close contact with sick people.
*Staying home from work or school if you are sick.

(3) Prevention of spread in humans
Recommendations to prevent spread of the virus among humans include using standard infection control against influenza. This includes frequent washing of hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizers, especially after being out in public. Vaccines against the H1N1 strain in the 2009 human outbreak are being developed and could be ready as early as June 2009.

Experts agree that hand-washing can help prevent viral infections, a surprisingly effective way to prevent all sorts of diseases, including ordinary influenza and the new swine flu virus. Influenza can spread in coughs or sneezes, but an increasing body of evidence shows little particles of virus can linger on tabletops, telephones and other surfaces and be transferred via the fingers to the mouth, nose or eyes. Alcohol-based gel or foam hand sanitizers work well to destroy viruses and bacteria. Anyone with flu-like symptoms such as a sudden fever, cough or muscle aches should stay away from work or public transportation and should see a doctor to be tested.

Social distancing is another tactic. It means staying away from other people who might be infected and can include avoiding large gatherings, spreading out a little at work, or perhaps staying home and lying low if an infection is spreading in a community.

You may click to see the latest information & instruction from WHO about the spread of swine flu

Click to see:-:>Critical Alert: The Swine Flu Pandemic – Fact or Fiction?

Treatment
In response to requests from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on April 27, 2009 the FDA issued Emergency Use Authorizations to make available diagnostic and therapeutic tools to identify and respond to the swine influenza virus under certain circumstances. The agency issued these EUAs for the use of certain Relenza and Tamiflu antiviral drugs, and for the rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel diagnostic test.

The CDC recommends the use of Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or Relenza (zanamivir) for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with swine influenza viruses, however, the majority of people infected with the virus make a full recovery without requiring medical attention or antiviral drugs The virus isolates that have been tested from the US and Mexico are however resistant to amantadine and rimantadine. If a person gets sick, antiviral drugs can make the illness milder and make the patient feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).

Antiviral Stockpiles:
Some countries have issued orders to stockpile antivirals . These typically have an expiry date of five years after manufacturing.

Preparedness
To maintain a secure household during a pandemic flu, the Water Quality & Health Council recommends keeping as supplies food and bottled water, portable power sources and chlorine bleach as an emergency water purifier and surface sanitizer.

Click to see :->

Homeopathy Remedies for Swine Flu

Fight against swine flu by Chinese medicine

Herbal soup  to fight against swine flu

Stay safe from H1N1 Maxican Swine Flu through herbal medication

Fight Swine Flu With Alternative Remedies

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swine_influenza

http://diseases-viruses.suite101.com/article.cfm/swine_flu_symptoms_treatment_and_prevention

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/swineflu.html

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Walnuts in Diet May Help Elderly Improve Memory

Adding some WALNUTS to an otherwise healthy diet may help older people improve memory and behavioural skills, according to an animal  model study.

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Walnuts contain polyphenols and other anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids. Polyphenols are the most abundant group of plant phenolic compounds, known to provide much of the flavour, colour and taste to fruits, vegetables and seeds.

The study was conducted by researchers with the Human Nutrition Research Centre on Ageing (HNRCA) at Tufts University in Boston.

The ageing brain undergoes many changes resulting in altered or impaired neuronal functioning. In aged rodents, these impairments are seen as poor performance on age-sensitive tests of balance, coordination, and “spatial” working memory.

For the study, weight-matched, aged rats were randomly assigned to one of four diet groups. For eight weeks, the rats were fed special chow mixes that contained either two, six or nine percent walnuts – or no walnuts – before undergoing motor and memory tests.

For comparison, the six percent walnut study diet is equivalent to a human eating about seven to to nine walnuts daily. That counts as both a two-ounce equivalent from the “meat and beans group” and two teaspoons toward a daily allowance of dietary oil, said a HNRCA release.

The study found that in aged rats, the diets containing two or six percent walnuts were able to improve age-related motor and cognitive shortfalls, while the nine percent walnut diet also improved memory.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Some Health Quaries & Answers

Ouch, my back hurts! …..

Q: I am a 45-year-old woman, plump, though not fat, and I have a severe backache. The pain is quite bad at times. I find it difficult to stand and walk, and have developed a waddling gait. The orthopaedic surgeon says I have “spondylolisthesis”. What can I do?

A: Spondylolisthesis is a condition where one of the vertebrae (bones of the backbone) slips in relation to the one below. This causes it to press on the nerves. There is pain and weakness of the muscles, causing the symptoms you have mentioned. It occurs, to some degree, in 30-40 per cent of women by the time they are 65 years old. Many have no symptoms at all, whereas others have the problems you have mentioned.

Initially, you can try to bring down your weight so that your BMI (weight in kilograms divided by height in metre squared) is 23. You can also go for physiotherapy, and wear a lumbar support belt when the pain is severe. If these simple solutions do not work in 6-8 months, and the pain is still severe, you may need corrective surgery.

Slow mother

Q: My mother is affected by “hypothyroid” and has become clumsy and slow. She also has swollen legs. The doctor has not given any tonics and, I feel, is not treating her properly.

A: The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone and this is essential for the cells in the body to function properly. Iodine is essential for the formation of this hormone. Many places in India are deficient in iodine. Because of this, the government began marketing iodised salt for cooking.

Treatment for hypothyroidism consists of tablets that replace the hormone. They are to be taken once a day on an empty stomach. The dose is gradually increased at fortnightly or monthly intervals till the patient becomes normal. Your doctor is on the right track. Your mother is being given specific medication and not a lot of unnecessary tonics.

Allergic sinuses

Q: I have been advised surgery for allergic sinusitis but want to try medication first. Please help.

A: If you are sure the diagnosis is “allergic sinusitis”, you could

• use a steroid nasal spray twice a day;

• take a non-sedating antihistamine at night;

• take steam inhalations twice a day;

• avoid cigarette smoke;

• stop using room freshen-ers and vaporising mosquito repellents;

• walk or jog 40 minutes a day.

Give this a three-month trial. If this does not work, opt for the surgery suggested.

Are we infertile?

Q: We have a 5-year-old daughter. We have stopped used condoms for the last four months. But my wife has not become pregnant. Can we take ayurvedic medication for vigour, health and fertility advised in the media?

A: It is advisable to try frequent unprotected intercourse for at least a year before you opt for medical opinion, medication and intervention. After all, you had no problem in conceiving the first child!

If your wife still does not conceive, it is better for both of you to go for medical evaluation. This way, you will know if, over the years, either of you has developed a health problem that’s interfering with fertility.

Hip replacement

Q: My mother is 70 years old. She finds walking painful as she has osteoarthritis of her right hip. The doctor here has advised replacement surgery. Will she be able to tolerate it at this age? She also has diabetes and high blood pressure.

A: Life expectancies are increasing and your mother can easily expect to live for another 14-15 years. Doing so with continuous pain may be difficult. The diabetes and hypertension can and should be controlled with medication. Today anaesthesia is very specialised and the old, young, ill and infirm are all able to safely undergo surgery. The benefits of being able to walk without pain are immeasurable. Remember, the queen mother in England had successful hip replacement surgery at the age of 95. She finally died of other causes at 101.

Young and high on BP

Q: My brother is 21 years old and his blood pressure is 180/100. It is not coming down with medicine. Can we try naturopathy?

A: High blood pressure occurs without any identifiable cause in 95 per cent of the cases. In the remaining five per cent a correctable disease process, like disease or abnormalities of the kidney, tumours of the kidney or adrenals, heart disease or abnormalities of the blood vessels can be found. Since your brother is very young, he must be investigated for a correctable cause of hypertension. If nothing is found, you can consider other treatment options.

Fruit diet

Q: I am a diabetic on medication. Can I eat only fruits twice a week?

A: Your medication must have been adjusted as per your diet, activity and consequent blood sugar levels. A sudden alteration in any of these would cause the sugars to spiral out of control unless the medication is also adjusted on that day.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Barium Enema

Alternative Names : Lower gastrointestinal series
Definition:

Barium enema is a special x-ray of the large intestine, which includes the colon and rectum. Before x-rays are taken, a liquid called barium sulfate is placed in the rectum. The liquid is a type of contrast. Contrast highlights specific areas in the body, creating a clearer image. The barium eventually passes out of the body with the stools.

Because the colon and rectum are normally not visible on x-rays, you need to temporarily coat their inner surfaces with barium, a liquid that does show up on x-rays. This makes the outline of these organs visible on the x-ray pictures. This test is useful for diagnosing cancers and diverticuli (small pouches that may form in the intestinal wall).

How do you prepare for the test?
Tell your doctor if there is any chance you might be pregnant. If you have diabetes and take insulin, discuss this with your doctor before the test.

You will be given very specific instructions to ensure that your colon is completely empty before the test. You may be told to eat only a light breakfast and a liquid lunch and dinner (such as broth, fruit juice, or plain gelatin) on the day before the test. You may also be instructed to drink a large amount of clear liquid between meals and to avoid dairy products. You will need to take a laxative, a medicine that stimulates your intestine to move things through more quickly, so that you have a bowel movement to empty the colon. It is a good idea to stay at home or at least near a bathroom for a few hours after taking the laxative. On the day of the test, do not eat any breakfast.

How the Test is Performed
This test may be done in an office or a hospital radiology department. You lie on the x-ray table and a preliminary x-ray is taken. You will then be told to lie on your side. The health care provider will gently insert a well-lubricated tube (enema) into your rectum. The tube is connected to a bag that contains the barium. The barium flows into your colon.

A small balloon at the tip of the enema tube may be inflated to help keep the barium inside your colon. The health care provider monitors the flow of the barium on an x-ray fluoroscope screen, which is like a TV monitor.

You must completely empty your bowels before the exam. This may be done using an enema or laxatives combined with a clear liquid diet. Your health care provider will give you specific instructions. Thorough cleaning of the large intestine is necessary for accurate pictures.

There are two types of barium enemas:
1.Single contrast barium enema uses barium to highlight your large intestine.
2.Double contrast barium enema uses barium, but also delivers air into the colon to expand it. This allows for even better images.

You are asked to move into different positions and the table is slightly tipped to get different views. At certain times when the x-ray pictures are taken, you hold your breath and are still for a few seconds so the images won’t be blurry.

The enema tube is removed after the pictures are taken. You will be given a bedpan or helped to the toilet, so you can empty your bowels and remove as much of the barium as possible. One or two x-rays may be taken after you use the bathroom.

What happens when the test is performed?

You wear a hospital gown and lie on a table in the radiology department. To administer the enema, a nurse pushes a small tube an inch or two into your rectum, and then uses this tube to fill your colon and rectum with barium liquid. You may find the sensation of the filling of your colon somewhat strange (you might feel like you need to have a bowel movement), but it is not painful.

The x-ray for this test is taken as a video that begins immediately after your enema is started. The x-ray video is taken by a large camera positioned over your abdomen. Usually the room is darkened while the video is taken so that the doctor can watch the pictures on a TV screen. If the doctor wants to save a view in “freeze frame” (developed later for a closer look), you may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds so that your breathing movement does not blur the image. A few more pictures may be taken after the lights are turned back on. After this, you are asked to empty your bowel in a nearby bathroom.

Usually one picture is taken of your abdomen after you have had your bowel movement, to make sure that the bowel has emptied well.

How the Test Will Feel
When barium enters your colon, you may feel like you need to have a bowel movement. You may also have a feeling of fullness, moderate to severe cramping, and general discomfort. Try to take long, deep breaths during the procedure. This may help you relax.

Risks Factors:
There are no significant risks. You will be exposed to a small amount of radiation during the test. The amount of radiation from a barium enema is larger than from a simple chest x-ray, but still very small — too small to be likely to cause any harm.

Most experts feel that the risk is low compared with the benefits. Pregnant women and children are more sensitive to the risks of the x-ray.

A more serious risk is a perforated colon, which is very rare.

Must you do anything special after the test is over?
In some cases, if some stool was still present in your colon despite your preparation the day before, the test must be repeated.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
It takes the x-ray department 30 minutes to an hour to develop the pictures from your barium enema, and it will take additional time for a doctor to examine the x-rays and to decide how they look. Typically you can get the results within a day or two.

RESULTS:-

Normal Results: Barium should fill the colon evenly, showing normal bowel shape and position and no blockages.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Abnormal test results may be a sign of:
*Acute appendicitis
*Cancer
*Colorectal polyps
*Diverticulitis
*Irritable colon
*Twisted loop of the bowel
*Ulcerative colitis

Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:
*Crohn’s disease
*Hirschsprung’s disease
*Intestinal obstruction
*Intussusception
*Ulcerative colitis

Resources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/barium-enema.shtml

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003817.htm

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Yoga and Strength Training in One Move

Here’s a move that combines yoga with strength training for double the payoff. You’ll strengthen your arms and back while targeting your abs, buttocks and legs.

Step-1. 1. Standing with your feet together, hold a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand, arms dropped straight in front of you. Inhale and shift your body weight over your right leg. On an exhale, lean forward and raise your left leg behind you. Keep your abdominals pulled in to support your spine.

Step-2. Once you feel stable balancing on your right leg, contract your back muscles and bend your elbows, pointing them backward until your dumbbells are close to your hips. Pause for 2 seconds, then lower your arms. Continue the arm movement 8 to 12 times while you maintain your balance. Bring your legs together and stand up, then repeat on the other leg.

Sources: Los Angeles Times

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Dengue Virus Growth Protein Identified

A TEM micrograph showing Dengue virus virions ...
Image via Wikipedia

By silencing genes one by one, scientists have identified dozens of proteins that help the dengue fever virus to grow and spread among  mosquitoes and humans. The research paves the way to potentially prevent or treat the disease, which infects millions worldwide every year.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne illness that can cause debilitating sickness and death. “Dengue is a nasty disease, and right now, there is no treatment for it and no way to prevent it,” said Mariano Garcia-Blanco, professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at Duke University Medical Centre (DUMC) and study co-author.

“But if we can find a weakness in the virus, we can design a strategy to fight it. This study has helped us identify some gaps in dengue’s armour,” he said.

Almost half the people in the world are vulnerable to the dengue virus, says the World Health Organisation. Public health officials are worried because dengue appears to be popping up in places where it has rarely appeared before. It may be fuelled by global warming.

Garcia-Blanco, used RNA interference (RNAi) to unlock dengue’s secrets. RNA interference is a normal biological process cells use to turn gene expression on or off depending upon which gene products, or proteins, are needed at any given moment.

“That very same system proved to be the perfect investigative tool for our study,” said Garcia-Blanco.

Garcia-Blanco and colleagues in Duke’s RNAi facility were able to knock down gene function in fruit fly cells infected with a strain of the dengue virus known as DENV-2.

Silencing one gene at a time allowed researchers to pinpoint which genes, or host factors, were essential to viral growth and which ones were not.

They used fruit flies as a model because the genetic tools needed for the same work in mosquitoes have not been developed as yet. The process yielded 116 host factors that appeared to be important for successful dengue infection in fruit flies.

In testing several of these host factors in mosquitoes at Johns Hopkins University, researchers subsequently discovered that at least one – and possibly a second – was necessary for dengue infection to occur in the insects, said a DUMC release.

Sources: The Times Of India

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The Poop!

Stool – Healthy and Unhealthy Stool:-

Click to see the  pictures of ->
Bristol  Stool  Chart

This writing might “stink” a little, but this information might serve as an important revelation to many particularly for elderly and persons with contineus stomac problem!

Human poops or  stools, is the waste product of the human digestive system and varies significantly in appearance, depending on the state of the whole digestive system, influenced and found by diet and health.

Normally stools are semisolid, with a mucus coating. Small pieces of harder, less moist feces can sometimes be seen impacted on the distal (leading) end. This is a normal occurrence when a prior bowel movement is incomplete; and feces are returned from the rectum to the intestine, where water is absorbed.

Meconium (sometimes erroneously spelled merconium) is a newborn baby’s first feces. Human feces are a defining subject of humor.

Some persons have bloody stools on and off, usually accompanied by a sight tinch of discomfort. Many times, this doesn’t appear as a threat or danger to them as they often regard it as constipation though they may be passionate lover of fruits and vegetables. This might go  on for some time until one day, bloody stools became really “bloody” and the pain became increasingly painful. Alarmed and paranoid, they call their dear ones who will  recommend  to see the doctor over at his or her clinic.

Now let us see What Does an Ideal Bowel Movement Look Like?

Click to see the pictures

Click for different pictures

Alternative practitioners often ask clients about their stool as part of their assessment. Find out what normal stool should look like, and learn about the causes of green stool, pale stool, yellow stool, blood in stool, mucus in stool, pencil thin stool, infrequent stool, and more.

What Does an Ideal Bowel Movement Look Like?
An ideal bowel movement is medium brown, the color of plain cardboard. It leaves the body easily with no straining or discomfort. It should have the consistency of toothpaste, and be approximately 4 to 8 inches long. Stool should enter the water smoothly and slowly fall once it reaches the water. There should be little gas or odor.

Stool That Sinks Quickly
Rapidly sinking stool can indicate that a person isn’t eating enough fiber-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, or drinking enough water. This stool is often dark because they have been sitting in the intestines for a prolonged time. Click to learn 5 tips to boost your water intake.

Pale Stool
Stool that is pale or grey may be caused by insufficient bile output due to conditions such as cholecystitis, gallstones, giardia parasitic infection, hepatitis, chronic pancreatitis, or cirrhosis. Bile salts from the liver give stool its brownish color. If there is decreased bile output, stool is much lighter in color.

Other causes of pale stool is the use of antacids that contain aluminum hydroxide. Stool may also temporarily become pale after a barium enema test.

Pale stool may also be shiny or greasy, float, and be foul smelling, due to undigested fat in the stool (see soft and smelly stool).

Soft, Smelly Stool
Soft, foul-smelling stool that floats, sticks to the side of the bowl, or is difficult to flush away may mean there is increased fat in the stools, called steatorrhea. Stool is sometimes also pale. Click to Learn more about the causes of soft, foul-smelling stool.

Mucus in Stool
Whitish mucus in stool may indicate there is inflammation in the intestines. Mucus in stool can occur with either constipation or diarrhea. Click to Read more about the causes of mucus in stool.

Green Stool
The liver constantly makes bile, a bright green fluid, that is secreted directly into the small intestine or stored in the gallbladder. Continue reading about the causes of green stool.

Loose Stool
In traditional Chinese medicine, loose stools, abdominal bloating, lack of energy, and poor appetite can be signs of a condition known as spleen qi deficiency. It doesn’t necessarily involve your actual spleen, but it is linked to tiredness and weak digestion brought on by stress and poor diet. Learn more about the causes of loose stool.

Pencil Thin Stool
Like loose stools, stool that is pencil thin can be caused by a condition known in traditional Chinese medicine as spleen qi deficiency.

Other symptoms of spleen qi deficiency are: easy bruising, mental fogginess, bloating, gas, loose stools, fatigue, poor appetite, loose stools with little odor, symptoms that worsen with stress, undigested food in the stools, and difficulty ending the bowel movement. Spleen qi deficiency can be brought on by stress and overwork.

Eating certain foods in excess is thought to worsen spleen qi deficiency. Offending foods include fried or greasy foods, dairy, raw fruits and vegetables, and cold drinks, all believed to cause “cold” and “dampness” in the body. Dietary treatment of spleen qi deficiency involves eating warm, cooked foods. Ginger tea and cinnamon tea are also warming.

Pencil thin stool can also be caused by a bowel obstruction. Benign rectal polyps, prostate enlargement, colon or prostate cancer are some of the conditions that can cause obstruction.

Infrequent Stool
With constipation, infrequent or hard stool is passed with straining. Learn about the causes of infrequent stool.

Pellet Stool

Pellet stool is stool that comes out in small, round balls. In traditional Chinese medicine, pellet stool is caused by a condition known as liver qi stagnation. Liver qi stagnation can be brought on by stress. Lack of exercise can worsen the problem. Find out more about the causes of pellet stool.

Yellow Stool
Yellow stool can indicate that food is passing through the digestive tract relatively quickly. Yellow stool can be found in people with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Symptoms of GERD include heartburn, chest pain, sore throat, chronic cough, and wheezing. Symptoms are usually worse when lying down or bending. Foods that can worsen GERD symptoms include peppermint, fatty foods, alcohol, coffee, and chocolate.

Yellow stool can also result from insuffient bile output. Bile salts from the liver gives stool its brownish color. When bile output is diminished, it often first appears as yellow stool. If there is a greater reduction in bile output, stool lose almost all of its color, becoming pale or grey.

If the onset is sudden, yellow stool can also be a sign of a bacterial infection in the intestines.

Yellowing of stool can be caused by an infection known as Giardiasis, which derives its name from Giardia, an anaerobic flagellated protozoan parasite that can cause severe and communicable yellow diarrhea. Another cause of yellowing is a condition known as Gilbert’s Syndrome. This condition is characterized by jaundice and hyperbilirubinemia when too much bilirubin is present in the circulating blood.

Dark Stool
Stool that is almost black with a thick consistency may be caused by bleeding in the upper digestive tract. The most common medical conditions that cause dark, tar-like stool includes duodenal or gastric ulcer, esophageal varices, Mallory Weiss tear (which can be linked with alcoholism), and gastritis.

Certain foods, supplements, and medications can temporarily turn stool black. These include:

*Bismuth (e.g. Pepto bismol)

*Iron

*Activated charcoal

*Aspirin and NSAIDS (which can cause bleeding in the stomach)

*Dark foods such as black licorice and blueberries

Stool can be black due to the presence of red blood cells that have been in the intestines long enough to be broken down by digestive enzymes. This is known as melena (or melaena), and is typically due to bleeding in the upper digestive tract, such as from a bleeding peptic ulcer. The same color change (albeit harmless) can be observed after consuming foods that contain substantial proportion of animal bloods, such as Black pudding or Ti?t canh. The black color is caused by oxidation of the iron in the blood’s hemoglobin (haemoglobin). Black feces can also be caused by a number of medications, such as bismuth subsalicylate, and dietary iron supplements, or foods such as black liquorice, or blueberries. Hematochezia (also haemochezia or haematochezia) is similarly the passage of feces that are bright red due to the presence of undigested blood, either from lower in the digestive tract, or from a more active source in the upper digestive tract. Alcoholism can also provoke abnormalities in the path of blood throughout the body, including the passing of red-black stool.

Dark stool can also occur with constipation.

If you experience this type of stool, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

Blue Stool
Prussian blue, used in the treatment of radiation cesium and thallium poisoning, can turn the feces blue. Also, substantial consumption of products containing blue food dye (things such as blue koolaid or grape soda)

Bright Red Stool
When there is blood in stool, the color depends on where it is in the digestive tract. Blood from the upper part of the digestive tract, such as the stomach, will look dark by the time it reaches exits the body as a bowel movement. Blood that is bright or dark red, on the other hand, is more likely to come from the large intestine or rectum.

Conditions that can cause blood in the stool include hemorrhoids, anal fissures, diverticulitis, colon cancer, and ulcerative colitis, among others.

Eating beets can also temporarily turn stools and urine red.

Blood in stool doesn’t always appear bright red. Blood may be also present in stool but not visible, called “occult” blood. A test called the Fecal Occult Blood Test is used to detect hidden blood in stool.

Silver Stool
A tarnished-silver or aluminum paint-like stool color characteristically results when biliary obstruction of any type (white stool) combines with gastrointestinal bleeding from any source (black stool). It can also suggest a carcinoma of the ampulla of Vater, which will result in gastrointestinal bleeding and biliary obstruction, resulting in silver stool.


You may click to see: White stool: Should I be concerned

Note: Speak with your doctor about any change or abnormality concerning bowel movements.

Resources:

http://gracemagg.blogspot.com/2008/07/poop.html

http://altmedicine.about.com/od/gettingdiagnosed/a/stools.htm

http://www.healingwatersaz.com/colon.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_feces

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Anoscopy

Definition:
An anoscopy is an examination of the rectum in which a small tube is inserted into the anus to screen, diagnose, and evaluate problems of the anus and anal canal.

Anoscopy views the anus and anal canal by using an anoscope. An anoscope is a plastic, tube-shaped speculum that is a smaller version of a sigmoidscope. Before the anoscope is used, the doctor completes a digital rectal examination with a lubricated, gloved index finger. The anoscope is then lubricated and gently inserted a few inches into the rectum. This procedure enlarges the rectum to allow the doctor to view the entire anal canal with a light. If any suspicious areas are noticed, a piece of tissue can be biopsied.
What is the Purpose of the test?
Doctors use anoscopy to diagnose rectal cancer and cancer of the anus. This procedure can also help the doctor:

*:detect any lesions that could not be felt during a digital examination

*determine whether squamous cell carcinomas involving lymph nodes in or near the groin (inguinal lymph nodes) originated in the genital area or in or near the anus or rectum

*confirm the source of malignancies that have spread to the anorectal area from other parts of the body
Doctors also perform anoscopy to determine whether a patient has hemorrhoids or anal:

*growths or nodules (polyps)
*ulcer-like grooves (fissures)
*inflammation
*infection

.

How do you prepare for the test?
Before the test, you might want to empty your bladder or have a bowel movement to make yourself more comfortable. The doctor may suggest using:

*a laxative,
*an enema,
*or some other preparationto clear the rectum.

What happens when the test is performed?
This test is usually done in a doctor’s office. You need to remove your underwear.After removing underwear, the patient bends forward over the examining table or lies on one side with knees drawn up to the chest. The doctor performs a digital examination to make sure no tumor or other abnormality will obstruct the passage of a slender lubricated tube (anoscope). As the doctor gently guides the anoscope a few inches into the rectum, the patient is told to bear down as though having a bowel movement, thenrelax.

...

By tensing and relaxing, the patient makes it easier for the doctor to insert the anoscope, and discover growths in the lining of the rectum that could not be detected during the digital examination.

Directing a light into the anoscope gives the doctor a clear view of any tears or other irregularities in the lower anus or rectum. A doctor who suspects that a patient may have cancer will remove tissue for biopsy in the course of this procedure.

Slowly withdrawing the anoscope allows the doctor to thoroughly inspect the entire anal canal. As the procedure is being performed, the doctor explains what is happening, and why the patient feels pressure.

Removing tissue samples for biopsy can pinch, but anoscopy does not usually cause pain. Patients do experience the sensation of needing to have a bowel movement.

Risk Factors:
There are no significant risks from anoscopy. Sometimes, especially if you have hemorrhoids, you may have a small amount of bleeding after the anoscope is pulled out.

Must you do anything special after the test is over?
You can return to your normal activities immediately.
How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Your doctor can tell you about your anoscopy exam right away.

RESULTS:

Normal Results

A normal anoscopy reveals NO evidence of:

*tumor
*tissue irregularities
*polyps
*fissures
*hemorrhoids
*inflammation
*infectionor other abnormalities. The size, color, and shape of the anal canal look like they should.

Abnormal Results

Abnormal results of anoscopy can indicate the PRESENCE of:

*cancer
*abscesses
*polyps
*inflammation
*infection
*fissures
*hemorrhoids

Resources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/anoscopy.shtml

http://www.answers.com/topic/anoscopy-1

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