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Friday, September 30, 2011

What is Cretinine ?

Many of us are still not fully aware what this item is ..... and how serious it could be, if left unattended without proper medical attention.

When we goes for our health examination by the laboratory, this item is often included and it will be measured from the urine. When the level is too high, it would mean that the kidneys' function is facing problem and should the problem becomes critical, ones may even need to undergo renal dialysis to resolve it. Creatine is stored mostly in our muscles' system and when, ones goes for vigorous exercises, this item will be flushed out. Of course, the level measured for man is higher than the level for woman ... because the former has more muscles in their body.

As MedicineNet.Com explains .........

Creatinine is a chemical waste molecule that is generated from muscle metabolism. Creatinine is produced from creatine, a molecule of major importance for energy production in muscles. Approximately 2% of the body's creatine is converted to creatinine every day. Creatinine is transported through the bloodstream to the kidneys. The kidneys filter out most of the creatinine and dispose of it in the urine.

Because the muscle mass in the body is relatively constant from day to day, the creatinine level in the blood normally remains essentially unchanged on a daily basis.


Why is it important to check blood Creatinine levels ?

The kidneys maintain the blood creatinine in a normal range. Creatinine has been found to be a fairly reliable indicator of kidney function.

As the kidneys become impaired for any reason, the creatinine level in the blood will rise due to poor clearance by the kidneys. Abnormally high levels of creatinine thus warn of possible malfunction or failure of the kidneys. It is for this reason that standard blood tests routinely check the amount of creatinine in the blood. A more precise measure of the kidney function can be estimated by calculating how much creatinine is cleared from the body by the kidneys and it is referred to creatinine clearance.


What are "normal" blood creatinine levels ?

Normal levels of creatinine in the blood are approximately 0.6 to 1.2 milligrams (mg) per deciliter (dl) in adult males and 0.5 to 1.1 milligrams per deciliter in adult females.

Muscular young or middle-aged adults may have more creatinine in their blood than the norm for the general population. Elderly persons, on the other hand, may have less creatinine in their blood than the norm. Infants have normal levels of about 0.2 or more, depending on their muscle development. In people with malnutrition, severe weight loss, and long standing illnesses the muscle mass tends to diminish over time and, therefore, their creatinine level may be lower than expected for their age.

A person with only one kidney may have a normal level of about 1.8 or 1.9. Creatinine levels that reach 2.0 or more in babies and 10.0 or more in adults may indicate severe kidney impairment and the need for a dialysis machine to remove wastes from the blood.


What are the reasons for elevated blood creatinine ?

Any condition that impairs the function of the kidneys will probably raise the creatinine level in the blood. It is important to recognize whether the process leading to kidney dysfunction (kidney failure, azotemia) is longstanding or recent.

The most common causes of longstanding kidney disease in adults are high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus. Certain drugs can sometimes cause abnormally elevated creatinine levels. Serum creatinine can also transiently rise after ingestion of large amount of dietary meat.


Are there any symptoms associated with elevated blood creatinine levels ?

The symptoms of kidney dysfunction (renal insufficiency) vary widely. Some people may have a incidental finding of severe kidney disease and elevated creatinine on routine blood work without having any symptoms at all. In others, depending on the cause of problem, many different symptoms may be present including :
  • feeling dehydrated,
  • fatigue,
  • shortness of breath, and
  • confusion


Why do blood vessels burst in eyes ?


According to Medical Health Advice.Org, it was explained as such ...........

A burst blood vessel іn thе eyes іѕ a relatively common problem thаt саn hаνе many sources. Sοmе people experience pain whеn thіѕ occurs bυt, thіѕ ailment іѕ οftеn painless аnԁ noticeable οnƖу due tο a red, οr ԁаrk patch іn thе white οf thе eye. Although popped blood vessels іn thе eye happen frequently, ѕοmе conditions cause redness іn thе eye аnԁ mау really bе symptoms οf a better problem οr disease.
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Whаt іѕ a Burst Blood Vessel ?

Whеn a blood vessel bursts іn thе eye, іt іѕ known аѕ subconjunctival hemorrhage. According tο MayoClinic.com, thіѕ occurs whеn a blood vessel brеаkѕ beneath thе clear surface οf thе eye. Thе clear раrt οf thе eye (thе conjuctiva) іѕ nοt аbƖе tο absorb thе blood rapidly; therefore, thе blood іѕ trapped beneath thіѕ area. Thіѕ іѕ whу thе eye appears tο hаνе a ԁаrk red mаrk fοr up tο 14 days. Thіѕ type οf eye condition ordinarily ԁοеѕ nοt require doctor hеƖр.
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Strain
A common reason thаt blood vessels burst іn thе eyes іѕ simple strain. Thіѕ strain mау bе brought οn bу regular bodily functions such аѕ sneezing, coughing οr vomiting. Burst blood vessels mіɡht аƖѕο result frοm heavy weightlifting, οr strenuous exercise.
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Injury
Direct contact tο thе eye іn thе form οf ѕοmе injury саn аƖѕο cause blood vessels tο burst. Thіѕ mау bе frοm a touch аѕ subtle аѕ gently bumping thе eye οr іt mау bе frοm a touch more severe such аѕ being struck іn thе eye wіth a sharp object.
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Diabetic Eye Disease
Sοmе diabetics mау suffer frοm аn eye disease, whісh іѕ characterized bу thе breakage οf small аnԁ delicate blood vessels іn thе eye. Thіѕ condition causes instant loss οf thουɡht іn thе infected eye. Fοr thіѕ reason, sufferers οf diabetes ѕhουƖԁ stay аn eye doctor regularly tο prevent thе onset οf thіѕ condition.

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Red Eye

According tο OhioLionsEyeResearch.com, red eye involves thе swelling οf blood vessels іn thе eye bесаυѕе thеу retain more blood thаn normal. Thіѕ condition mау result frοm glaucoma, fatigue, аn allergic reaction, аn infection аnԁ οthеr serious diseases. Individuals ԁіѕtrеѕѕ frοm thіѕ ailment ѕhουƖԁ stay a doctor іf thеу experience pain, hаνе loss οf thουɡht, notice a discharge frοm thе eye οr notice thаt thеіr cornea іѕ clouded.
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Blood іn thе Eye
Whеn blood appears іn thе eye between thе cornea аnԁ pupil, thіѕ іѕ known аѕ a hyphema. Thіѕ condition mау bе a warning thаt glaucoma wіƖƖ occur, whісh саn lead tο complete thουɡht loss. Therefore, thіѕ specific eye affliction ѕhουƖԁ receive doctor attention immediately.

Friday, September 23, 2011

How good and beneficial are Cow's Milk ?



After visiting a friend with a newly born baby today, I felt so sad and it compelled me to write a short article on breast-feeding habit of young people today.

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Humans were so fortunate to have alternative milk to feed their young ones, as soon as their umbilical cord were detached-off from their mums.

Spoken to a few young mums before and their responses were :

a) I am still young and their phobia is that they will soon have a sagging pair of ugly breast and nipples, if they let their offsprings consume their milk;

b) I am working and I cannot afford to spend time to change my padings inside my
brassiere, as my milk will be dripping during my office hours. Otherwise, it will look embarrasing when fellow working colleagues noticed my wet blouse;

The list might goes on and some of them are indeed lame excuses just because they wanted to maintain a better figure-line to their bodies.

Little did they ever realized how healthy they were because they, themselves have been sucking and snatching their mum's breast once (when they were hungry as a baby) and their own mum had never have such thoughts when feeding them. Perhaps, their mum were bringing them up in a harsh environment when they were indeed poor. Unfortunately, most of today's mum are working and thus, they can afford to provide their young ones with alternatives. Have they ever give it a thought on how these milks were produced.

So, the question is .... how good is the Cow's Milk that they are feeding their young ones today ?

Let me ask you first, whether do you know such facts that :

1) the protein level in cow's milk is said to be 4 times compared to human;

2) it is produced by the cow to feed their calves and not babies. A calf is about 60 kg at birth and with its mother's milk, they are supposed to grow up to a matured weight of 1 ton because of the hormone therein. This is how obesity in our today's children comes from.


3) we have seen how the cows were milked, using suction heads attaching to the pumps. Were these cows' nipple heads been properly sterilized when the process is in progress ? Where were they been kept ? Indoors, or outdoors. Were they 'standing' all the times with their nipples hanging in the air, or are they lying on the soggy grounds smeared with mud, or whatever !!!
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4) because of its commercial values and demands, imagine how strong were the 'sucking' from the pumps are, in order to meet the world's demand. Are we sure there is no injury, or no blood have been shed with such strength ? Is every cow been inspected and healthy before they are been milked ?

Again ... the list will go on again.

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The milk powder which we bought from the shelves in the supermarkets today, are so acidic. More than 60 % of them contains sugar (acidic). Additives/drugs (acidic) were added to provide shelf-life and also so-called, to boost up the child's brain cells, in which the milk companies had aggressively marketed, as a guarantee to the children' intelligence and superb health.

We all knew that our body needs to be more on the alkalinity level, in order to stay in better health. Imagine, as a young babe, the calcium 'stolen' from their mums (which is meant for their future bone growth and development) are been used up, for neutralizing the acidity milk that they are fed with. No wonder, some babies were late-walkers because of their weaker bones' structure.
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[Colostrum is the first lacteal secretion produced by the mammary gland of a mother prior to the production of milk. Any secretion after the first removal of all, or part, is then termed Transitional Milk. Only colostrum collected from the single first milking within 0-6 hours after birth, maintains nature's perfect balance and highest levels of immunological and body regulating biologically active proteins. As the first food for new life, bovine colostrum is a natural immune system enhancer for good health]. When a baby is born, they have the weakest 'defence system' and are easily vulnerable to sickness through the invasion of bacteria and virus. How are they going to gain a stronger immune system to protect themselves, if without such provision ?

I dread to think of the well-being of future generations to come. Too many brands of milk powder are already in the market, each boasting about their better and superior products. How many ever realized that more and more drugs are added ? What does the parents care ? If the baby have a bigger appetite, often they will ask the nannies to increase the amount of milk powder too. Is it so important to boost the brain cells during the various stages of the child's growing age ? Why must such those egoistic parents wanted their children to appear more intelligent, or superior than others ? At what cost !!

Probably to them, hyper-active children means they are gifted with super-brains and often, their behaviour (without the child's faults) have turned them into little spoilt brats and beyond the toleration of others.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What is Hiatal Hernia ?








According to the information and definition by Mayo Clinic, it states that a hiatal hernia occurs when part of your stomach pushes upward through your diaphragm. Your diaphragm normally has a small opening (hiatus) that allows your food tube (esophagus) to pass through on its way to connect to your stomach. The stomach can push up through this opening and cause a hiatal hernia.
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In most cases, a small hiatal hernia doesn't cause problems, and you may never know you have a hiatal hernia unless your doctor discovers it when checking for another condition. But a large hiatal hernia can allow food and acid to back up into your esophagus, leading to heartburn and chest pain. Self-care measures or medications can usually relieve these symptoms, although a very large hiatal hernia sometimes requires surgery.

Symptoms

Most small hiatal hernias will cause no signs or symptoms. But, the larger hiatal hernias can cause signs and symptoms such as :
  • Heartburn
  • Belching
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea

A hiatal hernia occurs when weakened muscle tissue allows your stomach to bulge up through your diaphragm. It's not always clear why this happens, but pressure on your stomach may contribute to the formation of hiatal hernia.
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How a hiatal hernia forms

Your diaphragm is a large dome-shaped muscle that separates your chest cavity from your abdomen. Normally, your esophagus passes into your stomach through an opening in the diaphragm called the hiatus. Hiatal hernias occur when the muscle tissue surrounding this opening becomes weak, and the upper part of your stomach bulges up through the diaphragm into your chest cavity.
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Possible causes of hiatal hernia
  • Injury to the area
  • An inherited weakness in the surrounding muscles
  • Being born with an unusually large hiatus
  • Persistent and intense pressure on the surrounding muscles, such as when coughing, vomiting, or straining during a bowel movement or while lifting heavy objects
This sort of complication occurs commonly in people who are :
  • Age 50, or older
  • Obese
  • Smokers
If you've been diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and are experiencing signs and symptoms that aren't controlled with medications and lifestyle changes, ask your doctor for a referral to a doctor who specializes in digestive diseases (gastroenterologist).  

A hiatal hernia is often discovered during a test or procedure to determine the cause of heartburn or chest or upper abdominal pain, such as :
  • An X-ray of your upper digestive tract. During a barium X-ray, you drink a chalky liquid containing barium that coats your upper digestive tract. This provides a clear silhouette of your esophagus, stomach and the upper part of your small intestine (duodenum) on an X-ray.
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  • Using a scope to see inside your digestive tract. During an endoscopy exam, your doctor passes a thin, flexible tube equipped with a light and video camera (endoscope) down your throat and into your esophagus and stomach to check for inflammation. 

Treatments and drugs


Most people with hiatal hernia don't experience any signs or symptoms, and won't need treatment. If you experience signs and symptoms, such as recurrent heartburn and acid reflux, you may require treatment, which can include medications or surgery.
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Medications for heartburn

If you experience heartburn and acid reflux, your doctor may recommend medications, such as :
  • Antacids that neutralize stomach acid. Over-the-counter antacids, such as Maalox, Mylanta, Gelusil, Rolaids and Tums, may provide quick relief. But antacids alone won't heal an inflamed esophagus damaged by stomach acid. Overuse of some antacids can cause side effects, such as diarrhea or constipation.
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  • Medications to reduce acid production. Called H-2-receptor blockers, these medications include cimetidine (Tagamet HB), famotidine (Pepcid AC), nizatidine (Axid AR) or ranitidine (Zantac 75). H-2-receptor blockers don't act as quickly as antacids, but they provide longer relief. Stronger versions of these medications are available in prescription form.
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  • Medications that block acid production and heal the esophagus. Proton pump inhibitors block acid production and allow time for damaged esophageal tissue to heal. Over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors include lansoprazole (Prevacid 24HR) and omeprazole (Prilosec OTC). Stronger versions of these medications are available in prescription form.
Surgery to repair a hiatal hernia

In a small number of cases, a hiatal hernia may require surgery. Surgery is generally reserved for emergency situations and for people who aren't helped by medications to relieve heartburn and acid reflux. Hiatal hernia repair surgery is often combined with surgery for gastroesophageal reflux disease.
An operation for a hiatal hernia may involve pulling your stomach down into your abdomen and making the opening in your diaphragm smaller, reconstructing a weak esophageal sphincter, or removal of the hernia sac. In some cases, this is done using a single incision in your chest wall (thoracotomy) or abdomen (laparotomy). In other cases, your surgeon may insert a tiny camera and special surgical tools through several small incisions in your abdomen. The operation is then performed while your surgeon views images from inside your body that are displayed on a video monitor (laparoscopic surgery). 

Lifestyle changes may help control the signs and symptoms of acid reflux caused by a hiatal hernia. Consider trying to :
  • Eat several smaller meals throughout the day rather than a few large meals.
  • Avoid foods that trigger heartburn, such as chocolate, onions, spicy foods, citrus fruits and tomato-based foods.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Limit the amount of fatty foods you eat.
  • Sit up after you eat, rather than taking a nap or lying down.
  • Eat at least three hours before bedtime.
  • Lose weight if you're overweight or obese.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Elevate the head of your bed 6 inches (about 15 centimeters).
  • Work to reduce the stress in your daily life.

Friday, September 16, 2011

How beneficial is The Custard Apple ?



This unique looking fruit has become quite a common sight in most gardens today. Undoubtedly, they grew well in tropical country because it needs plenty of sunshine and sufficient water to sustain growth. The flesh is always sweet in taste but sometimes, it could be slight sourish too. Of course, the possible reason could be due to the infertile soil that they grew upon. The fruit gets its name as Custard Apple because of its shape which appears like a heart, or otherwise similar to the shape of an apple. It appears to have a rough skin but its thin. If the fruit is over-ripened, the whole fruit may break apart due to the weight of its flesh.


I remember a few healthy plants that were grown in our backyard during my school days. It bears fruits continuously throughout the year and our greatest enemy was the naughty birds that will fight with us for the sweet fruit. They have a better sense of smell and every time before we can pluck them, we are  bound to see holes appearing on the side of the fruits because they are been eaten by those notorious birds first.
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Nutritional Value of Custard Apple (Based on per 100 gm)
  • Thiamine (B1) - 0.05 to 0.08 mg
  • Vitamin A -1 mg       
  • Riboflavin (B2) - 0.08 to 0.1 mg
  • Natural Sugar - 14 to 18 gm           
  • Niacin (B3) - 0.5 to 0.8 mg
  • Carbohydrate - 23.71 gm    
  • Iron - 0.7mg
  • Total Acidity - 0.4 mg           
  • Energy - 76 to 96 cal (310 to 420 kJ)
  • Protein - 1 to 4.3 gm            
  • Zinc - 0.2 to 2.7mg
  • Magnesium - 32 to 88 mg  
  • Copper - 2.4mg
  • Potassium - 250 to 578 mg            
  • Sodium - 4 to 14 mg
  • Calcium - 17 to 22 mg         
  • Vitamin C - 22 to 43 mg
  • Fibre - 1 to 3.2 g       
  • Total Soluble Solids (Brix) - 22.3%
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Benefits of Eating Custard Apple 
  • it has an abundant content of Vitamin C, which is an anti-oxidant and
    helps in neutralizing free radicals.
  • it also contains reasonable amount of Vitamin A, which is good for
    the hair, eyes and skin.
  • it contains magnesium, which is important to relax all muscles and
    protecting the heart against diseases.
  • it also contains Potassium, Copper and Vitamin B6.
  • it is a rich source of dietary fiber, which helps in digestion.
  • it contains low fat levels and good for maintaining optimum health.
  • the flesh of the fruit can be used for local application on ulcers,
    abscesses and boils.
  • in the olden days, such unripe fruit can be dried, crushed and
    used for treating diarrhea and dysentery.
  • this fruit can also serve as an expectorant, stimulant, coolant and
    haematinic and is even useful in treating anemia.