Tag Archives: Adrenal gland

Maytenus ilicifolia

Botanical Name : Maytenus ilicifolia
Family: Celastraceae
Subfamily: Celastroideae
Genus: Maytenus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Celastrales

Synonyms: Celastrus ilicinus, Gymnosporia ilicina, Maytenus ilicina
Common Names: Espinheira santa, cancerosa, cangorosa, maiteno, limaosinho
Habitat :Maytenus ilicifolia is native to Central and South America, Southeast Asia, Micronesia and Australasia, the Indian Ocean and Africa. They grow in a very wide variety of climates,
from tropical to subpolar.
Description:
Espinheira santa is a small, shrubby evergreen tree growing to 5 m in height with leaves and berries that resemble holly. It is native to many parts of South America and southern Brazil and it  is even found in city landscapes for its attractive, holly-like appearance. With over 200 species of Maytenus distributed in temperate and tropical regions throughout South America and the
West Indies, there are many Maytenus species that are indigenous to the Amazon region which have been used medicinally by indigenous tribes. It is even found in city landscapes for its
attractive, holly-like appearance….....CLICK  &   SEE  THE  PICTURES

Chemical Constituents:
Espinheira santa is a source for a group of well known chemicals (found in the leaf, bark and roots of the tree) called maytansinoids. These chemicals represent a class of substances which
have been studied since the early 1970’s for their antitumorous and anticancerous activities and are today, being developed into chemotherapy drugs. A different class of chemicals found in
espinheira santa – triterpene chemicals called cangorins – have also evidenced significant antitumorous, antileukemic, and anticancerous properties.

The main plant chemicals in espinheira santa include: atropcangorosin, cangoaronin, cangorins A thru J, cangorinine, cangorosin A & B, celastrol, dispermol, dispermone, friedelan,
friedelin, friedelinol, friedoolean, friedooleanan, ilicifolin, ilicifolinoside A thru C, kaempferol trisaccharides, kaempferol disaccharides, maitenine, maytanbutine, maytanprine, maytansine,
maytenin, maytenoic acid, maytenoquinone, pristimeriin, pristimerin, quercetin trisaccharides, quercitrin, salaspermic acid, tingenol, and tingenone

Medicinal Uses:
Leaf infusions and leaf powder in capsules or tablets are currently being used for ulcers, as an antacid, as a laxative, as a colic remedy, to eliminate toxins through the kidneys and skin, to
support kidneys, support adrenal glands, support digestive functions, and as an adjunctive therapy for cancer.

Espinheira santa is widely sold in Brazilian stores and pharmacies today for stomach ulcers and cancer. With its popularity and beneficial results in South America, as well as its recent
western research, espinheira santa is slowly becoming more popular and well known in the United States. Leaf infusions and/or leaf powder in capsules or tablets are currently being used for  ulcers, as an antacid, as a laxative, as a colic remedy, to eliminate toxins through the kidneys and skin, to support kidneys, support adrenal glands, support digestive functions, and as an adjunctive therapy for cancer.

Main Preparation Method: decoction or capsules
Main Actions (in order): anticancerous, antacid, antiulcerous, menstrual stimulant, detoxifier

Main Uses:
*For cancer (melanoma, carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, lymphoma, leukemia)
*For stomach disorders (ulcers, acid reflux, gastritis, dyspepsia, indigestion, and to tone, balance, and strengthen the gastric tract)
as a menstrual stimulant and for estrogen hormonal balancing during menopause
*For adrenal exhaustion and to support adrenal function
*For detoxification (skin, blood, kidney, stomach, adrenals)

Contraindications:
Research suggests that water extracts of espinheira santa may have estrogenic effects and reduce fertility in females. Women seeking treatment for infertility, attempting to get pregnant, or  those with estrogen positive cancers should not use this plant.

Drug Interactions: One study with mice injected with a water extract of leaves recorded barbiturate potentiation activity. However the same study notes no potentiation activity when
administered to mice orally.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with    your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maytenus
http://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/Maytenus_ilicifolia.htm
http://strophantin.com/index.php?id_product=413&controller=product&id_lang=1

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Lycopus virginicus

Botanical Name: Lycopus virginicus
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Lycopus
Species: L. virginicus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms : Euhemus officinalis. Euhemus sylvaticus. Lycopus macrophyllus

Common Names: Bugleweed, Virginia water horehound, Virginia water horehound, American water hoarhound, Sweet bugleweed, Water bugle, Carpenter’s herb, Green archangel, Purple archangel, Paul’s betony, Woodbetony, Wolf foot, and Egyptian’s herb.

Habitat : Lycopus virginicus is native to Eastern N. America – New York and Wisconsin south to Georgia and Texas. It grows in Low damp shady ground in rich moist soils.

Description:
Lycopus virginicus is a perennial herb with a hairy, squared stem reaching a meter tall. The oppositely arranged leaves have oval to lance-shaped blades with toothed edges. The leaves are dark green or purple. Clusters of tiny white or pink-tinged flowers occur in the leaf axils. It is in flower from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.The plant has a mint scent and a bitter taste. This species can be easily confused with Lycopus uniflorus. The latter has stamens exserted from the flowers, while the stamens of L. virginicus are included. The two species may hybridize, producing Lycopus × sherardii……..CLICK & SEE  THE  PICTURES

Cultivation : Tolerates most soil types so long as they are wet. Succeeds in full sun or in partial shade, in damp meadows or in wet places by ponds or streams.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Edible Uses: Root – cooked.

Medicinal Uses:

Antianxiety; Antidandruff; Astringent; Cardiac; Hypoglycaemic; Narcotic; Sedative.

Bugleweed has sedative properties and is used in modern herbalism principally to treat an overactive thyroid gland and the racing heartbeat that often accompanies this condition. The whole plant is used as an astringent, hypoglycaemic, mild narcotic and mild sedative. It also slows and strengthens heart contractions. The plant has been shown to be of value in the treatment of hyperthyroidism, it is also used in the treatment of coughs, bleeding from the lungs and consumption, excessive menstruation etc. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women or patients with hypothyroidism. The root has been chewed, a portion swallowed and the rest applied externally in the treatment of snakebites. Current uses are predominantly for increased activity of the thyroid gland and for premenstrual syndrome symptoms such as breast pain . The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Lycopus for nervousness and premenstrual syndrome.

It should be used only in its fresh state (or freshly tinctured), not dried. For treating traumatic bruises and injuries, it is combined with other herbs in a liniment, and also taken internally. Good for cardiac problems. Studies indicate that bugleweed reduces the activity of the thyroid gland by slowing the release of the hormone thyroxine in the thyroid. It should help ease abnormal excitability, relieve acute hyperventilation, slow a rapid heart rate and relieve spastic coughing from those suffering from spontaneous hyperthyroidism. Bugleweed is also useful in many heart and vascular system disorders. It is believed to work in the cardiovascular system in a way that is similar to the drug digitalis—by strengthening the heartbeat while slowing a rapid pulse. But it is virtually free of the dangerous side effects.

Bugleweed is a good hemostatic or coagulant for home use, nearly as specific as shepherd’s purse without the latter’s diuretic or hypertensive effects. The fresh tincture is preferable, but the dried herb is adequate; one-fourth to one-half teaspoon of the tincture or a rounded teaspoon to tablespoon of the herb in tea. Treatment should be continued one dose after the bleeding has stopped to allow firm clotting or sealing. It can be used for nosebleeds, excess menstruation, bleeding piles and the like. Particularly useful for two or three days after labor, exerting little effect on colostrums or milk production.

Known Hazards : Known to cause the enlargement of the thyroid gland. Avoid in patients with thyroid disease or given concomitantly with thyroid therapy. Avoid during pregnancy.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycopus_virginicus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lycopus+virginicus

Parsnip

Botanical Name: Pastinaca sativa
Family:Apiaceae
Genus:Pastinaca
Species:    P. sativa
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:Apiales

Common Name :Parsnip

Habitat : Parsnip is native to Eurasia. It has been used as a vegetable since antiquity and was cultivated by the Romans, although there is some confusion in the literature of the time between parsnips and carrots. It was used as a sweetener before the arrival in Europe of cane sugar. It was introduced into the United States in the nineteenth century.

Description:
Parsnip is a biennial  plant with a rosette of roughly hairy leaves that has a pungent odor when crushed. The petioles are grooved and have sheathed bases. The leaves are once- or twice-pinnate with broad, ovate, sometimes lobed leaflets with toothed margins; they grow up to 40 cm (16 in) long. The flower stalk develops in the second year, growing to a height of 40 to 200 cm (20 to 80 in). It is hairy, grooved, hollow (except at the nodes), and sparsely branched. It has a few stalkless, single-lobed leaves measuring 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 in) long that are arranged in opposite pairs. The yellow flowers are in a loose, compound umbel measuring 10 to 20 cm (4 to 8 in) in diameter. There are 6–25 straight pedicels, each measuring 2–5 cm (1–2 in) that support the umbellets (secondary umbels). The umbels and umbellets usually have no upper or lower bracts. The flowers have tiny sepals or lack them entirely, and measure about 3.5 mm. They consist of five yellow petals that are curled inward, five stamens, and one pistil. The fruits, or schizocarps, are oval and flat, with narrow wings and short, spreading styles. They are colored straw to light brown, and measure 4–8 mm long….click & see

Parsnip  is a biennial plant usually grown as an annual. Its long tuberous root has cream-colored skin and flesh and can be left in the ground when mature as it becomes sweeter in flavor after winter frosts. In its first growing season, the plant has a rosette of pinnate, mid-green leaves. If unharvested, it produces its flowering stem, topped by an umbel of small yellow flowers, in its second growing season. By this time the stem is woody and the tuber inedible. The seeds are pale brown, flat and winged.

Parsnips are grown for their fleshy, edible cream-colored taproots. The roots are generally smooth, although lateral roots sometimes form. Most are cylindrical, but some cultivars have a more bulbous shape, which generally tend to be favored by food processors as they are more resistant to breakage. The plant has a apical meristem that produces a rosette of pinnate leaves, each with several pairs of leaflets with toothed margins. The lower leaves have short stems, the upper ones are stemless, and the terminal leaves have three lobes. The highly branched floral stem is hollow and grooved, and can grow to more than 150 cm (60 in) tall.

Cultivation:
The wild parsnip from which the modern cultivated varieties were derived is a plant of dry rough grassland and waste places, particularly on chalk and limestone. Parsnips are biennials but are normally grown as annuals. Sandy and loamy soils are preferable to silt, clay and stony ground as the latter produce short, forked roots.. Parsnip seed significantly deteriorates in viability if stored for long. Seeds are usually planted in early spring, as soon as the ground can be worked to a fine tilth, in the position where the plants are to grow. The growing plants are thinned and kept weed free. Harvesting begins in late fall after the first frost, and continues through winter. The rows can be covered with straw to enable the crop to be lifted during frosty weather. Low soil temperatures cause some of the starches stored in the roots to be converted into sugars, giving them a sweeter taste.

Propagation :   
Seed – sow from late winter to late spring in situ. Seed can be slow to germinate, especially from the earlier sowings, it is best to mark the rows by sowing a few radishes with the parsnips. The seed has a short viability, very few will still be viable 15 months after harvesting

Edible Uses:
The parsnip is usually cooked but can also be eaten raw. It is high in vitamins and minerals, especially potassium. It also contains antioxidants and both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.

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Parsnips resemble carrots and can be used in similar ways but they have a sweeter taste, especially when cooked. While parsnips can be eaten raw, they are more commonly served cooked. They can be baked, boiled, pureed, roasted, fried or steamed. When used in stews, soups and casseroles they give a rich flavor.  In some cases, the parsnip is boiled and the solid portions are removed from the soup or stew, leaving behind a more subtle flavor than the whole root, and starch to thicken the dish. Roast parsnip is considered an essential part of Christmas dinner in some parts of the English-speaking world and frequently features in the traditional Sunday Roast.  Parsnips can also be fried or thinly sliced and made into crisps. Parsnips can be made into a wine that has a taste similar to Madeira.

In Roman times, parsnips were believed to be an aphrodisiac.  However, parsnips do not typically feature in modern Italian cooking. Instead, they are fed to pigs, particularly those bred to make Parma ham.

Medicinal Uses:
In traditional Chinese medicine, the root of Chinese parsnip is used as a herbal medicine ingredient.

Poultice;  Women’s complaints.

A tea made from the roots has been used in the treatment of women’s complaints. A poultice of the roots has been applied to inflammations and sores. The root contains xanthotoxin, which is used in the treatment of psoriasis and vitiligo. Xanthotoxin is the substance that causes photosensitivity .

Other Uses:
Insecticide;  Repellent.

The leaves and roots are used to make an insect spray. Roughly chop the leaves and roots, put them in a basin with enough water to cover, leave them overnight then strain and use as an insecticide against aphids and red spider mite.

Known Hazards:
While the root of the parsnip is edible, handling the shoots and leaves of the plant requires caution as the sap is toxic.  Like many other members of the family Apiaceae, the parsnip contains furanocoumarin, a photosensitive chemical that causes a condition known as phytophotodermatitis.  The condition is a type of chemical burn rather than an allergic reaction, and is similar to the rash caused by poison ivy. Symptoms include redness, burning, and blisters. Afflicted areas can remain discolored for up to two years.  Although there have been some reports of gardeners experiencing toxic symptoms after coming into contact with foliage,  these have been small in number compared to the number of people that grow the crop. The problem is most likely to occur on a sunny day when gathering foliage or pulling up old plants that have gone to seed. The symptoms have mostly been mild to moderate.  The toxic properties of parsnip extracts are resistant to heating, or a storage period of several months. Toxic symptoms can also affect livestock and poultry in parts of their bodies where their skin is exposed.  Polyacetylenes can be found in Apiaceae vegetables such as parsnip, and they show cytotoxic activities  In sunlight, handling the stems and foliage can cause a skin rash…...click & see

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsnip
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Pastinaca+sativa

Pheochromocytomas

Definition:
Pheochromocytomas are a type of tumor of the adrenal glands that can release high levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine. As the name implies, the “ad-renal” glands are located near the “renal” area. In other words, the adrenal glands are small glands that are located near the top of the kidneys. One adrenal gland sits on top of each of the two kidneys.

Despite their small size, the adrenal glands have many functions. They are complex endocrine (hormone secreting) glands. Cells in different regions of the adrenal glands have different functions in the endocrine system. There is an area (zona fasciculata) where the cells secrete cortisol, a hormone similar to cortisone. There is another area (zona glomerulosa) where cells secrete a hormone called aldosterone which helps in water regulation.

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There is yet another area, referred to as the adrenal medulla, where the cells secrete substances called catecholamines — epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. These are “flight or fight” hormones. They are responsible in part for that feeling of an “adrenaline” rush people feel when they are afraid. It is these cells that are involved in a pheochromocytoma. Basically, a pheochromocytoma is a tumor of these catecholamine-secreting cells, and that causes the clinical signs and symptoms we will discuss below. The catecholamine-secreting cells are sometimes referred to as chromaffin cells, and they are found in other areas of the body as well as in the adrenal medulla.

Sometimes, pheochromocytomas arise from chromaffin cells that are located outside of the adrenal gland. In this case, they are termed extra-adrenal pheochromocytomas or paragangliomas and are usually located in the abdomen.

Pheochromocytomas may occur in persons of any age. The peak incidence is between the third and the fifth decades of life, but approximately 10% occur in children. Pheochromocytomas are, fortunately, quite rare (only about 800 new cases are diagnosed per year in the US) and the majority of them are entirely benign. Only about 10% of pheochromocytomas are malignant.

Signs and symptoms:
The signs and symptoms of a pheochromocytoma are those of sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity, including:

*Skin sensations
*Flank pain
*Elevated heart rate
*Elevated blood pressure, including paroxysmal (sporadic, episodic) high blood pressure, which sometimes can be more difficult to detect; another clue to the presence of pheochromocytoma is orthostatic hypotension (a fall in systolic blood pressure greater than 20 mmHg or a fall in diastolic blood pressure greater than 10 mmHg upon standing)

*Palpitations
*Anxiety often resembling that of a panic attack
*Diaphoresis (excessive sweating)
*Headaches
*Pallor
*Weight loss
*Localized amyloid deposits found microscopically
*Elevated blood glucose level (due primarily to catecholamine stimulation of lipolysis (breakdown of stored fat) leading to high levels of free fatty acids and the subsequent inhibition of glucose uptake by muscle cells. Further, stimulation of beta-adrenergic receptors leads to glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis and thus elevation of blood glucose levels).

A pheochromocytoma can also cause resistant arterial hypertension. A pheochromocytoma can be fatal if it causes malignant hypertension, or severely high blood pressure. This hypertension is not well controlled with standard blood pressure medications.

Not all patients experience all of the signs and symptoms listed. The most common presentation is headache, excessive sweating, and increased heart rate, with the attack subsiding in less than one hour.

Tumors may grow very large, but most are smaller than 10 cm.

Causes:
Conditions that are associated with Pheochromocytomas can be a component of certain familial or genetic syndromes. The most common familial condition is called multiple endocrine neoplasia, or MEN for short. Two types of MEN — MEN 2A and 2B — are associated with pheochromocytomas. Both are genetic syndromes that run in families and are transmitted from parent to child in an autosomal dominant manner.

Pheochromocytomas are not the only tumors that occur in MEN 2A and 2B. MEN 2A carries an increased risk of tumors of the parathyroids, glands near the thyroid that help to regulate calcium levels in the body. And both MEN 2A and 2B elevate the risk of thyroid cancer. In families where MEN is suspected, genetic testing can be done to help identify family members at risk.

Pheochromocytomas are a feature of other genetic disorders, including von Hippel-Lindau syndrome and neurofibromatosis. Both of these disorders are associated with the development of numerous benign and malignant tumors.

There are also many individuals who have pheochromocytomas with no known family history of them. These cases are termed sporadic. In general, if these patients have bilateral disease (pheochromocytomas in both adrenal glands) or are diagnosed before the age of 21, genetic screening is recommended.

Statistics:
*About 10% of adrenal cases are bilateral (suggesting hereditary disease)
*About 10% of adrenal cases occur in children (also suggesting hereditary disease)
*About 15% are extra-adrenal (located in any orthosympathetic tissue): of these 9% are in the abdomen and 1% are located elsewhere. Some extra-adrenal pheochromocytomas are probably actually paragangliomas, but the distinction is only possible after surgical resection.

*About 11.1% of adrenal cases are malignant, but this rises to 30% for extra-adrenal cases
*About 26% are hereditary (earlier opinion had 10%)
*About 3% recur after being resected
*About 14% of affected individuals do not have arterial hypertension (Campbell’s Urology)

Other Causes:
Basically, anything that can cause over activity of the sympathetic nervous system can be on the list of diagnoses to rule out when suspecting a pheochromocytoma. The sympathetic system is the main control panel governing the release of the “flight or fight” response in response to stress or fear, as mentioned above. Things that can stimulate this include drugs (even excessive use of decongestants should be considered); withdrawal from drugs (such as suddenly stopping certain blood pressure medications); panic attacks, and spinal cord injuries are among the many conditions that can also lead to some of the symptoms seen in pheochromocytomas.

Up to 25% of pheochromocytomas may be familial. Mutations of the genes VHL, RET, NF1(Gene 17 Neurofibromatosis type 1), SDHB and SDHD are all known to cause familial pheochromocytoma/extra-adrenal paraganglioma.

Pheochromocytoma is a tumor of the multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome, type IIA and type IIB (also known as MEN IIA and MEN IIB, respectively). The other component neoplasms of that syndrome include parathyroid adenomas, and medullary thyroid cancer. Mutations in the autosomal RET proto-oncogene drives these malignancies . Common mutations in the RET oncogene may also account for medullary sponge kidney as well.

Pheochromocytoma linked to MEN II can be caused by RET oncogene mutations. Both syndromes are characterized by pheochromocytoma as well as thyroid cancer (thyroid medullary carcinoma). MEN IIA also presents with hyperparathyroidism, while MEN IIB also presents with mucosal neuroma. It is now postulated that Lincoln suffered from MEN IIB, rather than Marfan’s syndrome as previously thought, though this is uncertain.

Pheochromocytoma is also associated with neurofibromatosis.

Diagnosis:
The diagnosis can be established by measuring catecholamines and metanephrines in plasma (blood) or through a 24-hour urine collection. Care should be taken to rule out other causes of adrenergic (adrenalin-like) excess like hypoglycemia, stress, exercise, and drugs affecting the catecholamines like stimulants, methyldopa, dopamine agonists, or ganglion blocking antihypertensives. Various foodstuffs (e.g. vanilla ice cream) can also affect the levels of urinary metanephrine and VMA (vanillylmandelic acid). Imaging by computed tomography or a T2 weighted MRI of the head, neck, and chest, and abdomen can help localize the tumor. Tumors can also be located using an MIBG scan, which is scintigraphy using iodine-123-marked metaiodobenzylguanidine.

Pheochromocytomas occur most often during young-adult to mid-adult life.

These tumors can form a pattern with other endocrine gland cancers which is labeled multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN). Pheochromocytoma may occur in patients with MEN 2 and MEN 3 (MEN 2B). Von Hippel Lindau patients may also develop these tumors.

Patients experiencing symptoms associated with pheochromocytoma should be aware that it is rare. However, it often goes undiagnosed until autopsy; therefore patients might wisely choose to take steps to provide a physician with important clues, such as recording whether blood pressure changes significantly during episodes of apparent anxiety.

Testing:
*Blood Tests: analysis of free metanephrine in blood plasma. High levels are indicative of pheochromocytoma

*Urine Tests: Although this test is slightly less effective than plasma testing it is still considered highly effective in diagnosis. Usually the metabolites of norepinephrine and epinephrine, vanillylmandelic acid (VMA) and homovanillic acid (HVA) are found in relatively small amounts in normal humans. The increased intermittent excretion of these metabolites is indicative of the disease, but does not completely rule out other diseases which may cause the same excretion values.

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*Other Tests:
….#One diagnostic test used in the past for a pheochromocytoma is to administer clonidine, a centrally-acting alpha-2 agonist used to treat high blood pressure. Clonidine mimics catecholamines in the brain, causing it to reduce the activity of the sympathetic nerves controlling the adrenal medulla. A healthy adrenal medulla will respond to the clonidine suppression test by reducing catecholamine production; the lack of a response is evidence of pheochromocytoma.

….#Chromogranin A is elevated in case of pheochromocytoma.

….#Another test is for the clinician to press gently on the adrenal gland. A pheochromocytoma will often release a burst of catecholamines, with the associated signs and symptoms quickly following. This method is NOT recommended because of possible complications arising from a potentially massive release of catecholamines.

.#Warning: Testing via histamine and tyramine is dangerous and should not be used.

 

Tumor location:
In adults, approximately 80% of pheochromocytomas are unilateral and solitary, 10% are bilateral, and 10% are extra-adrenal. In children, a fourth of tumors are bilateral, and an additional fourth are extra-adrenal. Solitary lesions inexplicably favor the right side. Although pheochromocytomas may grow to large size (>3 kg), most weigh <100 g and are <10 cm in diameter. Pheochromocytomas are highly vascular.

The tumors are made up of large, polyhedral, pleomorphic chromaffin cells. Fewer than 10% of these are malignant. As with several other endocrine tumors, malignancy cannot be determined from the histologic appearance; tumors that contain large number of aneuploid or tetraploid cells, as determined by flow cytometry, are more likely to recur. Local invasion of surrounding tissues or distant metastases indicate malignancy.

Extra-adrenal Pheochromocytomas: Extra-adrenal pheochromocytomas usually weigh 20 to 40 g and are <5 cm in diameter. Most are located within the abdomen in association with the celiac, superior mesenteric, inferior mesenteric ganglia and Organ of Zuckerkandl. Approximately 10% are in the thorax, 1% are within the urinary bladder, and less than 3% are in the neck, usually in association with the sympathetic ganglia or the extracranial branches of the ninth cranial nerves....CLICK  & SEE
Differential diagnosis
The differential diagnoses of pheochromocytoma include:

*Anxiety disorders

*Paragangliomas
*Essential hypertension
*Hyperthyroidism
*Insulinoma
*Mercury poisoning
*Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
*Renovascular hypertension
*Carcinoid

Treatment and recovery
Treatment involves drugs to bring blood pressure to normal levels, followed by surgery to remove the tumour. Blood pressure and adrenaline/noradrenaline levels must be checked for some time afterwards to ensure that removal of the tumour was complete. If the tumour was benign then survival rates are high, but in people affected by malignant pheochromocytomas, less than 50 per cent survive longer than five years.

Prevention;
Since the cause of phaeochromocytoma is unknown, it isn’t possible to prevent it.

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/Pheochromocytoma
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/phaeochromocytoma1.shtml
http://www.lexic.us/definition-of/pheochromocytoma

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Kidney transplant

Introduction:
A kidney transplant is an operation that places a healthy kidney in your body. The transplanted kidney takes over the work of the two kidneys that failed, and you no longer need dialysis.

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During a transplant, the surgeon places the new kidney in your lower abdomen and connects the artery and vein of the new kidney to your artery and vein. Often, the new kidney will start making urine as soon as your blood starts flowing through it. But sometimes it takes a few weeks to start working.

If you have advanced and permanent kidney failure, kidney transplantation may be the treatment option that allows you to live much like you lived before your kidneys failed. Since the 1950s, when the first kidney transplants were performed, much has been learned about how to prevent rejection and minimize the side effects of medicines.

But transplantation is not a cure; it’s an ongoing treatment that requires you to take medicines for the rest of your life. And the wait for a donated kidney can be years long.

Many transplanted kidneys come from donors who have died. Some come from a living family member. The wait for a new kidney can be long. People who have transplants must take drugs to keep their body from rejecting the new kidney for the rest of their lives.

A successful transplant takes a coordinated effort from your whole health care team, including your nephrologist, transplant surgeon, transplant coordinator, pharmacist, dietitian, and social worker. But the most important members of your health care team are you and your family. By learning about your treatment, you can work with your health care team to give yourself the best possible results, and you can lead a full, active life.

Around 40 per cent of patients with end-stage renal failure (ESRF) need a transplant which frees people from the need for dialysis treatments.

A successful kidney transplant has ten times the function of dialysis (for example ten times the ability to remove toxins and extra water from the blood). It means that transplant patients have a better quality of life, with more energy than they did on dialysis.

How transplants work:-
An assessment is necessary to determine whether your body will accept an available kidney. This may require several visits over four to six months, and all potential recipients must be healthy enough for surgery.

Although there is no age limit, few units will transplant patients over 70 years – unless very fit.

If a family member, partner or friend wants to donate a kidney, they will need to be evaluated for general health too.

If there is no potential living donor, you will need to register with hospital and be put on a national waiting list to receive a kidney from a deceased donor. but this varies considerably around the country. Kidneys can also be donated by strangers.

If there is a suitable living donor, the operation can be scheduled in advance, when it suits both sides. If you’re on a waiting list for a deceased donor kidney, as soon as it becomes available, you must go to the hospital quickly – where a test is carried out to check the kidney won’t be rejected. If it’s suitable, the transplant can proceed. The operation usually takes three to four hours.

A surgeon places the new kidney inside your lower abdomen and connects the artery and vein of the new kidney to your artery and vein. Your blood flows through the new kidney, which makes urine, just like your own kidneys did when they were healthy. Unless they are causing infection or high blood pressure, your own kidneys are left in place.

During the operation, the transplant kidney is inserted into the lower abdomen and connected to an artery and vein (to the leg). The blood flows through the new kidney, which makes urine, just like the old kidneys did when they were healthy. The old kidneys are usually left in place.

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Often the new kidney will start making urine as soon as blood starts flowing through it, but about one third of patients will require dialysis for around a week. Most patients leave hospital two weeks after the operation.

To prevent the immune system from seeing the new kidney as foreign and rejecting it, you’ll have to take drugs that turn off (or suppress) your immune response (immunosupressants). It’s important to understand the instructions for taking these medicines before leaving hospital, as missing the tablets for just 24 hours can cause rejection and the loss of the kidney.

 

Recovery From Surgery:-
As after any major surgery, you’ll probably feel sore and groggy when you wake up. However, many transplant recipients report feeling much better immediately after surgery. Even if you wake up feeling great, you’ll need to stay in the hospital for about a week to recover from surgery, and longer if you have any complications.

Posttransplant Care:-
Your body’s immune system is designed to keep you healthy by sensing “foreign invaders,” such as bacteria, and rejecting them. But your immune system will also sense that your new kidney is foreign. To keep your body from rejecting it, you’ll have to take drugs that turn off, or suppress, your immune response. You may have to take two or more of these immunosuppressant medicines, as well as medications to treat other health problems. Your health care team will help you learn what each pill is for and when to take it. Be sure that you understand the instructions for taking your medicines before you leave the hospital.

If you’ve been on hemodialysis, you’ll find that your posttransplant diet is much less restrictive. You can drink more fluids and eat many of the fruits and vegetables you were previously told to avoid. You may even need to gain a little weight, but be careful not to gain weight too quickly and avoid salty foods that can lead to high blood pressure

Rejection:-
You can help prevent rejection by taking your medicines and following your diet, but watching for signs of rejection—like fever or soreness in the area of the new kidney or a change in the amount of urine you make—is important. Report any such changes to your health care team.

Even if you do everything you’re supposed to do, your body may still reject the new kidney and you may need to go back on dialysis. Unless your health care team determines that you’re no longer a good candidate for transplantation, you can go back on the waiting list for another kidney.

Side Effects of Immunosuppressants:
Immunosuppressants can weaken your immune system, which can lead to infections. Some drugs may also change your appearance. Your face may get fuller; you may gain weight or develop acne or facial hair. Not all patients have these problems, though, and diet and makeup can help.

Immunosuppressants work by diminishing the ability of immune cells to function. In some patients, over long periods of time, this diminished immunity can increase the risk of developing cancer. Some immunosuppressants cause cataracts, diabetes, extra stomach acid, high blood pressure, and bone disease. When used over time, these drugs may also cause liver or kidney damage in a few patients.

Hope through Research:-
The NIDDK, through its Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases, supports several programs and studies devoted to improving treatment for patients with progressive kidney disease and permanent kidney failure, including patients who receive a transplanted kidney.

•The End-Stage Renal Disease Program promotes research to reduce medical problems from bone, blood, nervous system, metabolic, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and endocrine abnormalities in kidney failure and to improve the effectiveness of dialysis and transplantation. The program seeks to increase kidney graft and patient survival and to maximize quality of life.

•The NIH Organ/Tissue Transplant Center, located at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD, is a collaborative project of NIH, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Naval Medical Research Center, and the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami. The site includes a state-of-the-art clinical transplant ward, operating facility, and outpatient clinic designed for the study of new drugs or techniques that may improve the success of organ and tissue transplants.

•The U.S. Renal Data System (USRDS) collects, analyzes, and distributes information about the use of dialysis and transplantation to treat kidney failure in the United States. The USRDS is funded directly by NIDDK in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The USRDS publishes an Annual Data Report, which characterizes the total population of people being treated for kidney failure; reports on incidence, prevalence, mortality rates, and trends over time; and develops data on the effects of various treatment modalities. The report also helps identify problems and opportunities for more focused special studies of renal research issues.

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://www.topnews.in/health/kidney-transplant-patients-low-physical-activity-likely-die-early-211177
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/kidneytransplantation.html
http://www.kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/transplant/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/kidneys/kidneys_transplant.shtml

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