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Allium carolinianum

Botanical Name : Allium carolinianum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. carolinianum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms :
*Allium blandum.
*Allium aitchisonii Boiss.
*Allium obtusifolium Klotzsch
*Allium platyspathum var. falcatum Regel
*Allium platystylum Regel
*Allium polyphyllum Kar. & Kir.
**Allium polyphyllum var. nudicaule Regel
Allium thomsonii Baker

Habitat: Allium carolinianum is native to central and southern Asia (Xinjiang, Xizang (Tibet), Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan. It grows on the stony slopes, 3000 – 4500 metres. Gravelly or stony slopes at elevations of 3000 – 5000 metres in Xinjiang, N and W Xizang provinces of China.

Description:
Allium carolinianum is a bulb, growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in).The plant produces egg-shaped bulbs up to 25 mm across. Scapes are round in cross-section, up to 60 cm tall.Leaves are narrow, flat, shorter than the scape. Umbel is round, with many white, red or purplish flowers. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.

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Cultivation:
Easily grown from seed, succeeding in a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Bulb – raw or cooked. The bulbs are usually in pairs and are up to 25mm in diameter. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.
Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses:…Repellent…..The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards : Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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/Allium_carolinianum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+carolinianum

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Takotsubo cardiomyopathy

 

  1. Other Names: Broken-heart syndrome, Transient apical ballooning syndrome, Apical ballooning cardiomyopathy,Stress-induced cardiomyopathy, Gebrochenes-Herz-Syndrom, and Stress cardiomyopathy.
    Definition:
    Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a type of non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy in which there is a sudden temporary weakening of the myocardium. Because this weakening can be triggered by emotional stress, It occurs as the response of the heart to sudden, intense emotional stress such as the death of a spouse; rejection at the workplace; acute fear; or uncontrolled anger. These intense emotions can cause immediate breathlessness or strokes. The broken heart can occur simultaneously or a few minutes later. Stress cardiomyopathy is a well-recognized cause of acute heart failure, lethal ventricular arrhythmias, and ventricular rupture.

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Around ten years ago, there were a few high profile deaths in young people. They were diagnosed as having died from a “broken heart”. Now, a broken heart or stunned myocardium syndrome is a documented condition.
Symptoms:
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or Broken heart syndrome symptoms can mimic a heart attack.The symptoms are similar to a heart attack – chest pain, sweating, giddiness or dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weakness and palpitations. Blood pressure may drop. Heart failure may develop.

Any long-lasting or persistent chest pain could be a sign of a heart attack, so it’s important to take it seriously and call your doctor if you experience chest pain.

Causes:
The exact cause of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is not very clear. It is thought that a surge of stress hormones, such as adrenaline, might temporarily damage the hearts of some people. How these hormones might hurt the heart or whether something else is responsible isn’t completely clear. A temporary constriction of the large or small arteries of the heart may play a role.

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is often preceded by an intense physical or emotional event. Some potential triggers are:

*News of an unexpected death of a loved one
*A frightening medical diagnosis
*Domestic abuse
*Losing a lot of money
*Natural disasters
*A surprise party
*Having to perform publicly
*Job loss
*Divorce
*Physical stressors, such as an asthma attack, a car accident or major surgery

It’s also possible that some drugs, rarely, may cause broken heart syndrome by causing a surge of stress hormones. Drugs that may contribute to broken heart syndrome include:

*Epinephrine (EpiPen, EpiPen Jr), which is used to treat severe allergic reactions or a severe asthma attack
*Duloxetine (Cymbalta), a medication given to treat nerve problems in people with diabetes, or as a treatment for depression
*Venlafaxine (Effexor XR), which is a treatment for depression
*Levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl), a drug given to people whose thyroid glands don’t work properly
Differances between Takotsubo cardiomyopathy and hear attack are:

Heart attacks are generally caused by a complete or near complete blockage of a heart artery. This blockage is due to a blood clot forming at the site of narrowing from fatty buildup (atherosclerosis) in the wall of the artery. In Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, the heart arteries are not blocked, although blood flow in the arteries of the heart may be reduced.
Diagnosis:
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or Transient apical ballooning syndrome is found in 1.7–2.2% of patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome. While the original case studies reported on individuals in Japan, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy has been noted more recently in the United States and Western Europe. It is likely that the syndrome went previously undiagnosed before it was described in detail in the Japanese literature.

The diagnosis of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy may be difficult upon presentation. The ECG findings are often confused with those found during an acute anterior wall myocardial infarction. It classically mimics ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, and is characterised by acute onset of transient ventricular apical wall motion abnormalities (ballooning) accompanied by chest pain, dyspnea, ST-segment elevation, T-wave inversion or QT-interval prolongation on ECG. Elevation of myocardial enzymes is moderate at worst and there is absence of significant coronary artery disease.

The diagnosis is made by the pathognomonic wall motion abnormalities, in which the base of the left ventricle is contracting normally or is hyperkinetic while the remainder of the left ventricle is akinetic or dyskinetic. This is accompanied by the lack of significant coronary artery disease that would explain the wall motion abnormalities. Although apical ballooning has been classically described as the angiographic manifestation of takotsubo, it has been shown that left ventricular dysfunction in this syndrome includes not only the classic apical ballooning, but also different angiographic morphologies such as mid-ventricular ballooning and rarely local ballooning of other segments.

The ballooning patterns were classified by Shimizu et al. as takotsubo type for apical akinesia and basal hyperkinesia, reverse takotsubo for basal akinesia and apical hyperkinesia, mid-ventricular type for mid-ventricular ballooning accompanied by basal and apical hyperkinesia and localised type for any other segmental left ventricular ballooning with clinical characteristics of takotsubo-like left ventricular dysfunction.

The ECG changes are atypical, with imprecise changes in the ST segment and T waves. They are “suspicious of but non conclusive” of myocardial infraction. Blood tests for the enzyme creatine kinase and proteins troponin should be done. These are elevated in a heart attack. In a stunned heart, these results too are inconclusive. The echocardiogram is the clincher. The heart is ballooned out. This change occurs typically at the apex of the heart. It is important to make a distinction between heart attack and takotsubo as the medication is different.

Treatment:
The treatment for takotsubo is mainly supportive. Medication is given to remove fluid from the lungs and prevent clots. Recovery occurs within a few days.

About two per cent of people who were thought to have a heart attack actually had broken hearts. In the case of women, this increases to seven per cent. Women, mainly menopausal ones (60-75 years), have “broken hearts” eight to nine times more often than men. Some people are genetically prone to “broken hearts.” Depression plays a role in susceptibility to this condition. Recurrences can occur in 10 per cent of people.

People who are in poor physical condition do not need severe emotional stress to suffer a broken heart. An episode may be precipitated by a minor event like rejection, or even a lecture or talk before an audience.

In order to never develop this condition; it is important to develop metal and physical toughness. Walking for 40-60 minutes a day at a brisk pace exposes the heart to small doses of adrenaline and nor adrenaline in a controlled manner. The heart gets conditioned and is immune to sudden chemical surges. Meditation and yoga provide calmness and the mental strength to cope with good days and bad.

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/Takotsubo_cardiomyopathy
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/broken-heart-syndrome/basics/causes/con-20034635
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1141208/jsp/knowhow/story_2612.jsp

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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Strengthen Core, Tighten Abs with Upper Body Twist

Your core is your center and is considered the powerhouse of the body. It consists of all your torso muscles from your upper back to your pelvis. To keep it strong, do this simple yet challenging exercise to tighten your abs and strengthen your back and hip muscles. Be sure you only twist from your waist up. Your lower body should remain stationary throughout the exercise.
……..
1. Hold a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell with both hands and sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Inhale and, on the exhale, tighten your abs, pressing your navel to your spine. Lean back slightly and extend your arms in front of your chest.
2. Slowly rotate your arms and upper torso to the right. Keep the dumbbell in front of your chest. Hold for three seconds, then rotate back to the center. Do three sets, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat on the other side

Sources: Los Angeles Times

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Vitamin D is a Key Player in Your Overall Health

 

Vitamin D, once linked to only bone diseases such as rickets and osteoporosis, is now recognized as a major player in overall human health.In a paper published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Anthony Norman, an international expert on vitamin D, identifies vitamin D’s potential for contributions to good health in the adaptive and innate immune systems, the secretion and regulation of insulin by the pancreas, the heart and blood pressure regulation, muscle strength and brain activity.

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Access to adequate amounts of vitamin D is also believed to be beneficial towards reducing the risk of cancer.

Norman also lists 36 organ tissues in the body whose cells respond biologically to vitamin D, including bone marrow, breast, colon, intestine, kidney, lung, prostate, retina, skin, stomach and uterine tissues.

According to Norman, deficiency of vitamin D can impact all 36 organs. Already, vitamin D deficiency is associated with muscle strength decrease, high risk for falls, and increased risk for colorectal, prostate and breast and other major cancers.

An unrelated study also suggests that low vitamin D is associated with Parkinson’s disease. The majority (55 percent) of Parkinson’s disease patients in the study had insufficient levels of vitamin D.

Meanwhile, the American Academy of Pediatrics has doubled its recommendation for a daily dose of vitamin D in children, in the hopes of preventing rickets and promoting other health benefits.

The new guidelines now call for children to receive 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day, beginning in the first few days of life.

“ … Evidence has shown this could have life-long health benefits,” said Dr. Frank Greer of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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