Glasses that Change With Eye Power

A British scientist has designed a unique pair of glasses that can be adjusted by a wearer without any optician’s help, and one million pairs of which will soon be distributed in India.

Professor Joshua Silver is hopeful that his self-adjusting glasses could enable a billion people in the developing world to receive spectacles for the first time within just over a decade.

Silver, a retired Oxford University physics professor, is even preparing to launch an ambitious scheme in India to distribute one million pairs in a year. He revealed that he came up with the idea in what he describes as a “glimpse of the obvious”, reports the Telegraph.

The adaptive glasses are designed in such a way that they can be “tuned” by the wearer to suit their eyes, and that too without the need for a prescription. In fact, the spectacles can help both short-sighted and long-sighted people.

After 20 years’ of research he has finally come up with a design which can be made cheaply on a large scale. He focussed on the principle that thicker lenses are more powerful than thin ones. Using this principle he designed spectacles that can be adjusted by injecting tiny quantities of fluid.

The tough plastic glasses have thin sacs of liquid in the centre of each lens. They come with small syringes attached to each arm with a dial for the wearer to add or remove fluid from the lens. After adjusting the lenses, the syringes are removed and the spectacles can be worn just like a prescription pair. The invention would provide spectacles for the first time to millions of people in poorer parts of the world, where opticians are in short supply


Sources
: The Times Of India

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Sleep Less, Put Your Heart at Risk

Key to good heart?
Study shows – even an extra hour of sleep can be beneficial for coronary arteries.

………………………………………..
Skipping sleep may promote the thickening of coronary arteries and increase the risk of heart disease, a new study suggests. Researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Centre in the US have found that people who, on an average, sleep less have a greater chance of developing thickened arteries than people who sleep longer.

The benefit from just one hour of extra sleep per day is similar to the gain available from reducing blood pressure by 16mm, according to the study, to be published tomorrow in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The researchers detected thickened arterial deposits in 6 per cent of people who slept more than seven hours a night, in 11 per cent of people who slept between five and seven hours, and in 27 per cent of people who slept less than five hours.

“The magnitude of the difference was a surprise,” said Diane Lauderdale, associate professor at the University of Chicago Medical Centre’s department of health studies and the study’s director.

“It’s also a mystery. We can only speculate about why those with shorter average sleep duration were more likely to develop the calcification [thickening] of the arteries.”

“This is a large and dramatic effect,” said Batmanabhan Gitanjali, head of a sleep disorders laboratory at the Jawaharlal

Nehru Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, who was not associated with the study.

The study examined the sleep habits and coronary arteries of 495 men and women between the ages of 35 and 47 over a five-year period. None of the volunteers had any deposits in their arteries at the start of the study.

It revealed a 33 per cent lowered risk of arterial thickening even after the scientists adjusted data to cancel out the effects of other factors that could contribute to arterial thickening such as smoking, age, sex, race and education.

“But we’ll need to validate these findings through larger studies to understand what’s going on,” said Batmanabhan Gitanjali

One current idea among sleep medicine specialists is that healthy people may display a range of sleep habits. Short-sleepers could do with five hours of sleep while long-sleepers are comfortable sleeping eight hours or more.

A number of previous studies have shown that chronic lack of sleep is associated with a number of other risk factors linked to heart disease — weight gain, diabetes and even high blood pressure.

Lauderdale and her colleagues say the stress hormone called cortisol or some as yet unidentified factor may reduce sleep and increase arterial thickening.

Another possible mechanism may involve the blood pressure. Blood pressure decreases during sleep, so people who sleep less during a 24-hour cycle may have higher blood pressure which can contribute to the arterial thickening.

“This study does not prove that short sleep leads to coronary artery disease, but it is safe to recommend at least six hours of sleep a night,” said Lauderdale.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Sharp-Lobed Hepatica

Botanical Name:Hepatica acutilobasm
Family:Buttercup (Ranunculaceae)

Common name(s): Sharp-lobed hepatica, heart liverleaf, sharp-lobed liverwort, spring beauty, may-flower
Other Name:Liverwort, Herbally,

Range & Habitat: Sharp-Lobed Hepatica is occasional in wooded areas of central and northern Illinois; it is uncommon or absent in southern Illinois (see Distribution Map). Habitats include upland deciduous woodlands, rocky bluffs, the slopes of bluffs, and limestone cliffs (where some shade occurs). Sharp-Lobed Hepatica occurs in high quality wooded areas where the original flora is largely intact. Sometimes it is cultivated as a rock garden plant. While Sharp-Lobed Hepatica is native to North America, the typical variety of Hepatica, Hepatica nobilis nobilis, occurs in Eurasia.
Grows in moist woods, blooming in early spring.

Description: This native perennial plant is about 3-6″ tall. It consists of a tuft of basal leaves that develops during the late spring and persists through the winter. These leaves are up to 3″ long and across; they have slender petioles up to 6″ long. Each leaf is palmately divided into 3 lobes; the lobes are oval-ovate and approximately the same size. The smooth upper surface of each leaf can be green, brownish green, reddish brown, or contain patches of the preceding colors; usually, the upper surface is more green during the summer, but become reddish brown during the winter. The leaf margins are smooth; for var. acuta, the tips of the lobes are rather pointed in mature leaves.
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A mature plant will produce a tuft of flowers on long stalks during early to mid-spring, by which time the basal leaves that persisted during the winter may have withered away. Each flower occurs on a naked hairy stalk about 3-4″ long; this stalk is often reddish green or reddish brown. The flower may be erect or it may nod on its stalk. Each flower is up to 1″ across, consisting of 5-11 petal-like sepals, a green cluster of carpels in its center, and numerous white stamens surrounding the carpels. The sepals are white, pastel pink, or pastel blue; each sepal is oblong-oval in shape. At the base of each flower, there are 3 leafy bracts that are lanceolate, ovate, or oval in shape. These bracts are reddish green or reddish brown, hairy across the outer surface, and shorter than the sepals. The blooming period occurs during early to mid-spring and lasts about 2-3 weeks for a colony of plants; however, individual flowers are short-lived. The carpels turn brown and become beaked achenes that are often pubescent. The root system consists of a tuft of fibrous roots. This plant spreads by reseeding itself.

Foilage: Broad and heart-shaped, the leaves get up to 2″ in breadth and width. They tend to be dark green and leathery with a smooth surface above, although the undersides are covered with dense hairs.
In autumn, the leaves turn shades of russet and purple to persist through winter. It is critical that the leaves remain during the winter months, as the plant continues to use them as a source of nourishment.

Taxonomic description: 3-lobed, acute or acutish, toothed or lobed again, 2″ long and broad leathery. Basal and long-stalked, densely pubescent below and smooth above.

Flowers:Ranging from pale pink or lavender-purple to pure white, these flowers seem to last forever. First opening in mid-March in the Chicago area, they last up to two months before fading. At up to 1″ in diameter, they’re fairly noticeable. Interestingly enough, this species has no petals, but instead presents showy bracts surrounding a large number of delicate sepals, which in turn frame dainty yellow stamens.

Taxonomic description: 1/2 to 1″ across, pale pink-purple or white, in spring. Apetalous, but 6-15 oblong or oval, obtuse, sepals and numerous small yellow stamens central. Perfect, calyx 3-lobed. Borne singularly on upright stalks.

Fruit:Supposedly a favorite of chipmunks, the fruit is present appears in early summer. Oblong and sharp-pointed, they can get up to 2″ long and are covered with silky hairs.

Taxonomic description: 2″ long hairy, oblong, and acute achenes in early summer.

Cultivation: The preference is dappled sunlight during the spring and light shade during the summer. The basal leaves should be left undisturbed during the winter. The soil should be well-drained, loamy, and can contain some rocky material, including pieces of limestone; a thin-layer of decaying leaves is also beneficial.

Medicinal uses: Hepatica has been used as a liver remedy, though not used in modern medicine. So named according to doctrine of signatures.
Although Hepatica is no longer popular as an herbal remedy, it does act as a mild astringent and diuretic. It is also supposed to stimulate gall bladder production, resulting in limited success as a laxative.
Although the leaves will stop bleeding, they are also extremely irritating to the skin and should not be placed on open wounds. Large doses can produce symptoms of poisoning.

However, not too long ago Hepatica was viewed as the cure-all for most ailments. The Greeks named the plant ‘heper’, meaning liver (named after the leaf shape), and prescribed it for liver disorders. It was believed that a dose of liverleaf cured all liver diseases or their symptoms: freckles, indigestion, or cowardice.

In North America, Native Americans used the plant as a tea to soothe coughs, irritated throats, and as a wash for sore breasts.

By the 1820’s Hepatica had fallen into disuse throughout Europe, but its popularity in America was rapidly growing. In 1859 it was the prime ingredient in “Dr. Roder’s Liverwort and Tar Sirup”, and was often used as a cure for kidney problems. In the 1883 over 450,000 pounds of dried leaves were harvested for export or domestic use, although its effectiveness was often a reason for debate amongst doctors. For this reason it eventually fell into disuse once again.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/hepatica.htm
http://www.hort.net/profile/ran/hepac/

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Lower GI Series

Endoscopic image of colon cancer identified in...
Image via Wikipedia

A lower gastrointestinal (GI) series uses x rays to diagnose problems in the large intestine, which includes the colon and rectum. The lower GI series may show problems like abnormal growths, ulcers, polyps, diverticuli, and colon cancer.

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Before taking x rays of your colon and rectum, the radiologist will put a thick liquid called barium into your colon. This is why a lower GI series is sometimes called a barium enema. The barium coats the lining of the colon and rectum and makes these organs, and any signs of disease in them, show up more clearly on x rays. It also helps the radiologist see the size and shape of the colon and rectum.

You may be uncomfortable during the lower GI series. The barium will cause fullness and pressure in your abdomen and will make you feel the urge to have a bowel movement. However, that rarely happens because the tube used to inject the barium has a balloon on the end of it that prevents the liquid from coming back out.

You may be asked to change positions while x rays are taken. Different positions give different views of the colon. After the radiologist is finished taking x rays, you will be able to go to the bathroom. The radiologist may also take an x ray of the empty colon afterwards.

A lower GI series takes about 1 to 2 hours. The barium may cause constipation and make your stool turn gray or white for a few days after the procedure.

Preparation
Your colon must be empty for the procedure to be accurate. To prepare for the procedure you will have to restrict your diet for a few days beforehand. For example, you might be able to drink only liquids and eat only nonsugar, nondairy foods for 2 days before the procedure; only clear liquids the day before; and nothing after midnight the night before. A liquid diet means fat-free bouillon or broth, gelatin, strained fruit juice, water, plain coffee, plain tea, or diet soda. To make sure your colon is empty, you will be given a laxative or an enema before the procedure. Your physician may give you other special instructions.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892–3570
Phone: 1–800–891–5389
TTY: 1–866–569–1162
Fax: 703–738–4929
Email: nddic@info.niddk.nih.gov
Internet: www.digestive.niddk.nih.gov

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Established in 1980, the Clearinghouse provides information about digestive diseases to people with digestive disorders and to their families, health care professionals, and the public. The NDDIC answers inquiries, develops and distributes publications, and works closely with professional and patient organizations and Government agencies to coordinate resources about digestive diseases.

Sources
: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/lowergi/index.htm

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Liver Biopsy

In a liver biopsy (BYE-op-see), the physician examines a small piece of tissue from your liver for signs of damage or disease. A special needle is used to remove the tissue from the liver. The physician decides to do a liver biopsy after tests suggest that the liver does not work properly. For example, a blood test might show that your blood contains higher than normal levels of liver enzymes or too much iron or copper. An x ray could suggest that the liver is swollen. Looking at liver tissue itself is the best way to determine whether the liver is healthy or what is causing it to be damaged.

Preparation
Before scheduling your biopsy, the physician will take blood samples to make sure your blood clots properly. Be sure to mention any medications you take, especially those that affect blood clotting, like blood thinners. One week before the procedure, you will have to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen, and anticoagulants.

You must not eat or drink anything for 8 hours before the biopsy, and you should plan to arrive at the hospital about an hour before the scheduled time of the procedure. Your physician will tell you whether to take your regular medications during the fasting period and may give you other special instructions.

Procedure
Liver biopsy is considered minor surgery, so it is done at the hospital. For the biopsy, you will lie on a hospital bed on your back with your right hand above your head. After marking the outline of your liver and injecting a local anesthetic to numb the area, the physician will make a small incision in your right side near your rib cage, then insert the biopsy needle and retrieve a sample of liver tissue. In some cases, the physician may use an ultrasound image of the liver to help guide the needle to a specific spot.

You will need to hold very still so that the physician does not nick the lung or gallbladder, which are close to the liver. The physician will ask you to hold your breath for 5 to 10 seconds while he or she puts the needle in your liver. You may feel pressure and a dull pain. The entire procedure takes about 20 minutes.

Two other methods of liver biopsy are also available. For a laparoscopic biopsy, the physician inserts a special tube called a laparoscope through an incision in the abdomen. The laparoscope sends images of the liver to a monitor. The physician watches the monitor and uses instruments in the laparoscope to remove tissue samples from one or more parts of the liver. Physicians use this type of biopsy when they need tissue samples from specific parts of the liver.

Transvenous biopsy involves inserting a tube called a catheter into a vein in the neck and guiding it to the liver. The physician puts a biopsy needle into the catheter and then into the liver. Physicians use this procedure when patients have blood-clotting problems or fluid in the abdomen.

Recovery
After the biopsy, the physician will put a bandage over the incision and have you lie on your right side, pressed against a towel, for 1 to 2 hours. The nurse will monitor your vital signs and level of pain.

You will need to arrange for someone to take you home from the hospital since you will not be allowed to drive after having the sedative. You must go directly home and remain in bed (except to use the bathroom) for 8 to 12 hours, depending on your physician’s instructions. Also, avoid exertion for the next week so that the incision and liver can heal. You can expect a little soreness at the incision site and possibly some pain in your right shoulder. This pain is caused by irritation of the diaphragm muscle (the pain usually radiates to the shoulder) and should disappear within a few hours or days. Your physician may recommend that you take Tylenol for pain, but you must not take aspirin or ibuprofen for the first week after surgery. These medicines decrease blood clotting, which is crucial for healing.

Like any surgery, liver biopsy does have some risks, such as puncture of the lung or gallbladder, infection, bleeding, and pain, but these complications are rare.

For More Information:
American Liver Foundation (ALF)
75 Maiden Lane, Suite 603
New York, NY 10038
Phone: 1–800–465–4837
1–888–443–7872
or 212–668–1000
Fax: 212–483–8179
Email: info@liverfoundation.org
Internet: www.liverfoundation.org

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892–3570
Phone: 1–800–891–5389
TTY: 1–866–569–1162
Fax: 703–738–4929
Email: nddic@info.niddk.nih.gov
Internet: www.digestive.niddk.nih.gov

Sources:http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/liverbiopsy/index.htm

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10 Dangerous Everyday Things in Your Home

toxins, toxic, danger, poisons, pesticides, mattress, bra, clothing, formaldehyde, fluoride, DBP, chlorine, dioxinHousehold consumer products injure 33.1 million people in the United States every year. These incidents cost $800 billion in related expenses from death, injury or property damages. And many scientists are starting to believe that, in particular, the chemicals found in a wide variety of the goods you use every day may be more toxic than previously thought. Here are 10 of the most common products that may be hazardous to your health:

10. Mothballs

Since moths chew holes through clothing and other textiles, people pack away these stinky repellents to kill them. But studies on one active ingredient in some repellents, paradichlorobenzene, found that it can cause cancer in animals. Other types of moth balls use naphthalene, which after prolonged exposure can damage or destroy red blood cells, and which can also stimulate nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

9. Pesticides.

Ninety percent of households in the United States use some form of pesticide, a broad term that encompasses a variety of chemical formulas that kill everything from tiny microorganisms up to rodents. In 2006, the American Association of Poison Control Centers received nearly 46,000 calls regarding children under 5 years old who had been exposed to potentially toxic levels of pesticides.

8. Pressed Wood Products

This faux wood takes bits and pieces of logs and wood leftovers and combines them together. Pressed wood products include paneling, particle board, fiberboard and insulation, all of which were particularly popular for home construction in the 1970’s. However, the glue that holds the wood particles in place may use urea-formaldehyde as a resin. The U.S. EPA estimates that this is the largest source of formaldehyde emissions indoors. Formaldehyde exposure can set off watery eyes, burning eyes and throat, difficulty breathing and asthma attacks. Scientists also know that it can cause cancer in animals. The risk is greater with older pressed wood products, since newer ones are better regulated.

7. Chemicals in Carpets.

­Indoor carpeting has recently come under greater scrutiny because of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with new carpet installation. The glue and dyes used with carpeting are known to emit VOCs, which can be harmful to your health in high concentrations. However, the initial VOC emissions will often subside after the first few days following.

6. Laser Printers Chemicals.

­­A 2007 study found that some laser printers give off ultra fine particles that can cause serious health problems. Another study confirmed that laser and ink-jet printers can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ozone particulates. All of these have been linked with heart and lung disease.

5. Lead Paint.

­In 1991, the U.S. government declared lead to be the greatest environmental threat to children. Even low concentrations can cause problems with your central nervous system, brain, blood cells and kidneys. It’s particularly threatening for fetuses, babies and children, because of potential developmental disorders. Many houses built before 1978 contain lead paint. Once the paint begins to peel away will, it release the harmful lead particles that you can inhale.

4. Air Fresheners and Cleaning Solutions.

­Air fresheners and cleaning solutions, when used excessively or in a small, unventilated area, can release toxic levels of pollutants. This comes from two main chemicals called ethylene-based glycol ethers and terpenes. While the EPA regards the ethers as toxic by themselves, the non-toxic terpenes can react with ozone in the air to form a poisonous combination. Air fresheners in particular are linked to many volatile organic compounds, such as nitrogen dioxide, and some fresheners also contain paradichlorobenzene, the same chemical emitted by mothballs.

3. Baby Bottles and BPA.

Canada has taken the first steps to outlaw the sale of baby bottles made from polycarbonate plastics, which are the most common type on the market. It has done so because the plastics are made with a chemical called bisphenol-a (BPA). BPA has a structure very similar to estrogen and for that reason is referred to as a “hormone disruptor.” Hormone disruptors can interfere with the natural human hormones, especially for young children.

2. Flame Retardants

Commonly used in mattresses, upholstery, television and computer casings and circuit boards, flame retardants use polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs for short. Two forms of PBDEs were phased out of use in manufacturing in the United States in 2004 because of related health threats, but the products containing them linger on. Studies have linked PBDEs to learning and memory problems, lowered sperm counts and poor thyroid functioning in rats and mice. Other animal studies have indicated that PBDEs could be carcinogenic in humans, although that has not yet been confirmed.

1. Cosmetic Phthalates

Phthalates, also called plasticizers, go into many products including hair spray, shampoos, fragrances, and deodorants. Phthalates bind the color and fragrance in cosmetic products, and are also used to increase the durability and flexibility of plastics. Like BPA, these hormone-like chemicals are linked to reproductive and developmental problems in animals. Because of these findings, California and Washington state have banned the use of phthalates in toys for younger children.

Sources:
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Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH

Definition:

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH is a common, often “silent” liver disease. It resembles alcoholic liver disease, but occurs in people who drink little or no alcohol. The major feature in NASH is fat in the liver, along with inflammation and damage. Most people with NASH feel well and are not aware that they have a liver problem. Nevertheless, NASH can be severe and can lead to cirrhosis, in which the liver is permanently damaged and scarred and no longer able to work properly.

NASH affects 2 to 5 percent of Americans. An additional 10 to 20 percent of Americans have fat in their liver, but no inflammation or liver damage, a condition called “fatty liver.” Although having fat in the liver is not normal, by itself it probably causes little harm or permanent damage. If fat is suspected based on blood test results or scans of the liver, this problem is called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). If a liver biopsy is performed in this case, it will show that some people have NASH while others have simple fatty liver.

Both NASH and NAFLD are becoming more common, possibly because of the greater number of Americans with obesity. In the past 10 years, the rate of obesity has doubled in adults and tripled in children. Obesity also contributes to diabetes and high blood cholesterol, which can further complicate the health of someone with NASH. Diabetes and high blood cholesterol are also becoming more common among Americans.

.Biliary system

Symptoms:
NASH is usually a silent disease with few or no symptoms. Patients generally feel well in the early stages and only begin to have symptoms—such as fatigue, weight loss, and weakness—once the disease is more advanced or cirrhosis develops. The progression of NASH can take years, even decades. The process can stop and, in some cases, reverse on its own without specific therapy. Or NASH can slowly worsen, causing scarring or “fibrosis” to appear and accumulate in the liver. As fibrosis worsens, cirrhosis develops; the liver becomes seriously scarred, hardened, and unable to function normally. Not every person with NASH develops cirrhosis, but once serious scarring or cirrhosis is present, few treatments can halt the progression. A person with cirrhosis experiences fluid retention, muscle wasting, bleeding from the intestines, and liver failure. Liver transplantation is the only treatment for advanced cirrhosis with liver failure, and transplantation is increasingly performed in people with NASH. NASH ranks as one of the major causes of cirrhosis in America, behind hepatitis C and alcoholic liver disease.
Liver Damage

.Liver Biopsy

Causes
Although NASH has become more common, its underlying cause is still not clear. It most often occurs in persons who are middle-aged and overweight or obese. Many patients with NASH have elevated blood lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, and many have diabetes or pre-diabetes, but not every obese person or every patient with diabetes has NASH. Furthermore, some patients with NASH are not obese, do not have diabetes, and have normal blood cholesterol and lipids. NASH can occur without any apparent risk factor and can even occur in children. Thus, NASH is not simply obesity that affects the liver.

While the underlying reason for the liver injury that causes NASH is not known, several factors are possible candidates:

*insulin resistance

*release of toxic inflammatory proteins by fat cells (cytokines)

*oxidative stress (deterioration of cells) inside liver cells

Diagnosis
NASH is usually first suspected in a person who is found to have elevations in liver tests that are included in routine blood test panels, such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or aspartate aminotransferase (AST). When further evaluation shows no apparent reason for liver disease (such as medications, viral hepatitis, or excessive use of alcohol) and when x rays or imaging studies of the liver show fat, NASH is suspected. The only means of proving a diagnosis of NASH and separating it from simple fatty liver is a liver biopsy. For a liver biopsy, a needle is inserted through the skin to remove a small piece of the liver. NASH is diagnosed when examination of the tissue under the microscope shows fat along with inflammation and damage to liver cells. If there is fat without inflammation and damage, simple fatty liver or NAFLD is diagnosed. An important piece of information learned from the biopsy is whether scar tissue has developed in the liver. Currently, no blood tests or scans can reliably provide this information.
Treatment
It is important to stress that there are currently no specific therapies for NASH. The most important recommendations given to persons with this disease are to

*reduce their weight (if obese or overweight)
*follow a balanced and healthy diet
*increase physical activity
*avoid alcohol
*avoid unnecessary medications
These are standard recommendations, but they can make a difference. They are also helpful for other conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

A major attempt should be made to lower body weight into the healthy range. Weight loss can improve liver tests in patients with NASH and may reverse the disease to some extent. Research at present is focusing on how much weight loss improves the liver in patients with NASH and whether this improvement lasts over a period of time.

People with NASH often have other medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or elevated cholesterol. These conditions should be treated with medication and adequately controlled; having NASH or elevated liver enzymes should not lead people to avoid treating these other conditions.

Experimental approaches under evaluation in patients with NASH include antioxidants, such as vitamin E, selenium, and betaine. These medications act by reducing the oxidative stress that appears to increase inside the liver in patients with NASH. Whether these substances actually help treat the disease is not known, but the results of clinical trials should become available in the next few years.

Another experimental approach to treating NASH is the use of newer antidiabetic medications—even in persons without diabetes. Most patients with NASH have insulin resistance, meaning that the insulin normally present in the bloodstream is less effective for them in controlling blood glucose and fatty acids in the blood than it is for people who do not have NASH. The newer antidiabetic medications make the body more sensitive to insulin and may help reduce liver injury in patients with NASH. Studies of these medications—including metformin, rosiglitazone, and pioglitazone—are being sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and should answer the question of whether these medications are beneficial in NASH.

Click for alternative medication for NASH..……………….………(1)……(2)

Hope Through Research:-
What is most needed in the management of NASH is more research to better understand the liver injury found in this disease. When the pathways that lead to the injury are fully known, safe and effective means can be developed to reverse these pathways and help patients with NASH. Recent breakthroughs in mapping the human genome and uncovering the individual steps by which insulin and other hormones regulate blood glucose and fat could provide the necessary clues.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases funds the NASH Clinical Research Network, which comprises eight clinical centers located throughout the United States and a coordinating center at Johns Hopkins University. The NASH network researches the nature and underlying cause of NASH and conducts clinical studies on prevention and treatment. More information on the NASH Clinical Research Network and the locations of the clinical centers are available at www.nashcrn.com.

Important Points to Remember:-
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is fat in the liver, with inflammation and damage.

NASH occurs in people who drink little or no alcohol and affects 2 to 5 percent of Americans, especially people who are middle-aged and overweight or obese.

*Nash can occur in children.
*People who have NASH may feel well and may not know that they have a liver disease.
*NASH can lead to cirrhosis, a condition in which the liver is permanently damaged and cannot work properly.
*Fatigue can occur at any stage of NASH.
*Weight loss and weakness may begin once the disease is advanced or cirrhosis is present.
*NASH may be suspected if blood tests show high levels of liver enzymes or if scans show fatty liver.
*NASH is diagnosed by examining a small piece of the liver taken through a needle, a procedure called biopsy.

People who have NASH should reduce their weight, eat a balanced diet, engage in physical activity, and avoid alcohol and unnecessary medications.

There are no specific therapies for NASH. Experimental therapies being studied include antioxidants and antidiabetes medications. (As NASH is common in uncontrolled diabetes. )

For More Information
American Liver Foundation (ALF)
75 Maiden Lane, Suite 603
New York, NY 10038–4810
Phone: 1–800–GO–LIVER (465–4837),
1–888–4HEP–USA (443–7872),
or 212–668–1000
Fax: 212–483–8179
Email: info@liverfoundation.org
Internet: www.liverfoundation.org

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

Sources:http://www.diabetesmonitor.com/b303.htm

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Some Health Quaries & Answers

Q: I like to avoid breakfast as I feel it is unnecessary. I also think I am more likely to lose weight in this way.

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A: Many studies have shown that 40 minutes of exercise followed by a healthy breakfast is the best way to kickstart your day. It prevents “mid morning blues” and reduces the craving for food and hence the total consumption of calories during the day.

Dog bite bother

Q: I got bitten on the cheek by my neighbour’s dog. They say that they were unable to complete the schedule of immunising the dog.

A: Dog bites are dangerous as they can transmit rabies. The safest course of action is to clean the wound thoroughly with soap and water and then leave it open. Take a single injection of tetanus toxoid and then proceed to take the anti-rabies injections as per schedule of the injection package. The newer vaccines are given in the arm. They are safe and produce fewer side effects than the older vaccine which was given around the umbilicus. The vaccine is freely available. You need not go to a government hospital for treatment as earlier.

Better safe than sorry

Q: I was told that only the semen contains disease causing organisms, and so using a condom just before ejaculation is enough to prevent diseases like AIDS.

A: During sex the skin of the vagina is in close contact with that of the penis even before ejaculation. Small abrasions are enough to transmit infection. Be safe. Use a condom from the beginning of the intercourse. You have only one life. Why endanger yourself?

i-pill?

Q: My wife has just had a baby. How soon can we have intercourse? I don’t want another child before 3-4 years. Can we use the i-pill?

A: Intercourse can be resumed six weeks after childbirth, provided the attending physician hasn’t advised otherwise. You need to use contraception even if your wife doesn’t begin menstruating after six weeks or if she is breast feeding. You can use condoms, or opt for the insertion of an IUCD (intrauterine contraceptive device), also called a “loop”, or take regular injections (every 12 weeks) of a long acting progesterone or take “progesterone only” pills daily. Combined (estrogen-progesterone) pills are not advisable for breast feeding mothers.

The i-pill is intended only for emergency contraception. It is not meant for use on a regular basis.

Rash riddle

Q: My one-year-old son developed rashes on both his cheeks. The doctor said it is allergy to cow milk. Although I’ve stopped giving him milk, the rash has not improved. How is that possible?

A: What you are describing is eczema, an allergic skin reaction. You may have stopped giving him milk but he may be receiving milk indirectly in biscuits or pre-packaged ready to eat weaning cereals. This may perpetuate the problem.

Help, I’m fat

Q: I am 32 years old and weigh 97kg. I calculated my BMI and it is 37. I read recently that if the cholesterol values are high, it is not possible to lose weight no matter what you do. This is very discouraging.

A: You do urgently need to lose weight and this cannot be achieved by diet alone. You need a sensible low fat 1,500-calorie diet and at least an hour of exercise. Brisk walking is probably sufficient. Consult your physician for your cholesterol values and appropriate treatment. Safe medications are now available to lower cholesterol and also to control appetite.

Twin trouble

Q: What are the chances of having twins? The number of twins seems to be increasing in general and I am worried.

A: Twins occur in around 30 out of 1,000 pregnancies. The percentage may seem to be high. In fact, pregnancies after fertility medication or in vitro fertilisation (test tube babies) are more likely to be multiple.

Your chance of having twins is greater if there is a family history of twins.

Sources:
The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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New Solution for Colon Cancer

colon cancer, colon, cancer, vitamin D, D3, sunshine, sunlightVitamin D can affect a colon cancer cell by adjusting everything from its gene expression to its cytoskeleton. Recent research shows that one pathway governs the vitamin’s diverse effects, a result which helps to clarify the actions of a molecule that is undergoing clinical trials as a cancer therapy.

Vitamin D stymies colon cancer cells in two ways — it switches on certain genes, and it induces effects on the cytoskeleton. The net result is to curb cell division and cause colon cancer cells to differentiate into epithelial cells that settle down instead of spreading.

The recent study is the first to show that vitamin D’s genomic and nongenomic effects use one simultaneous pathway and integrate to regulate cell physiology.

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Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Flexible sigmoidoscopy (SIG-moy-DAH-skuh-pee) enables the physician to look at the inside of the large intestine from the rectum through the last part of the colon, called the sigmoid or descending colon. Physicians may use the procedure to find the cause of diarrhea, abdominal pain, or constipation. They also use it to look for early signs of cancer in the descending colon and rectum. With flexible sigmoidoscopy, the physician can see bleeding, inflammation, abnormal growths, and ulcers in the descending colon and rectum. Flexible sigmoidoscopy is not sufficient to detect polyps or cancer in the ascending or transverse colon (two-thirds of the colon).

CLICK & SEE

For the procedure, you will lie on your left side on the examining table. The physician will insert a short, flexible, lighted tube into your rectum and slowly guide it into your colon. The tube is called a sigmoidoscope (sig-MOY-duh-skope). The scope transmits an image of the inside of the rectum and colon, so the physician can carefully examine the lining of these organs. The scope also blows air into these organs, which inflates them and helps the physician see better.

If anything unusual is in your rectum or colon, like a polyp or inflamed tissue, the physician can remove a piece of it using instruments inserted into the scope. The physician will send that piece of tissue (biopsy) to the lab for testing.

Bleeding and puncture of the colon are possible complications of sigmoidoscopy. However, such complications are uncommon.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy takes 10 to 20 minutes. During the procedure, you might feel pressure and slight cramping in your lower abdomen. You will feel better afterward when the air leaves your colon.

Preparation

The colon and rectum must be completely empty for flexible sigmoidoscopy to be thorough and safe, so the physician will probably tell you to drink only clear liquids for 12 to 24 hours beforehand. A liquid diet means fat-free bouillon or broth, gelatin, strained fruit juice, water, plain coffee, plain tea, or diet soda. The night before or right before the procedure, you may also be given an enema, which is a liquid solution that washes out the intestines. Your physician may give you other special instructions.

Sources:http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/sigmoidoscopy/index.htm

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