Health and Health Conditions


The Esophagus

The esophagus is part of the gastrointestinal tract, or alimentary canal, of the digestive system.

It is a straight, collapsible muscular tube in the neck which connects the pharynx to the stomach, passing through the diaphragm.

Approximately 10 inches (25 cm) in length, the esophagus carries food, liquids and saliva from the mouth to the stomach.

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What is Bursitis? Its Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

Bursitis involves inflammation or irritation of the bursa of a joint. The word bursitis comes from the word bursa and "itis" which means inflammation.

A bursa is a small, synovial fluid containing sac surrounded by a membrane. These sacs act as cushions for the joints. Located in areas that are subject to friction, as when a muscle or tendon is pulling around a corner or over a bone, their purpose is to cushion and lubricate the tissues.Bibliography item acr not found.,Bibliography item jhwhite not found.

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Muscle Spasms, Handwriting Cramps, and Involuntary Movements: What is Dystonia?

Dystonia is a disorder of movement which causes muscle cramps, involuntary twisting actions, other repetitive movements or abnormal postures. These can be brought on by sustained muscle contractions or spasms and may be painful, affecting a single muscle or group of muscles. Dystonias can occur in the arms, legs, neck, face, or all over the body. Dystonias that affect specific area are called focal dystonias. These conditions affect over 300, 000 people in the U.S.

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How to Treat Minor Burns: Basic First Aid

There are three types of burns, categorized by the degree of injury to the body's tissues. First-degree burns are burns that result in injury to the outside layer of skin only. These types of burns are commonly caused by very brief contact with hot surfaces, such as cooking pans, hot water, steam, and mild sunburn. No blistering occurs. These burns are minor and should heal within a week

First-Degree Burn Symptoms

  • Redness
  • Mild Swelling
  • Pain
  • Skin is unbroken (no blisters)

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Retinal Detachment: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

The retina is the transparent light sensitive membrane which lines the back of the eye. When light strikes this membrane messages are sent to the brain through the optic nerve. When the retina becomes separated from it's underlying supportive tissue this is termed "retinal detachment" or a detached retina. This condition, which causes visual disturbances, was known as early as the 1700's when a pathological examination of an eye was reported by de Saint-Yves. Almost a century later the the first clinical description appeared and after that, with the invention of the opthalmoscope in 1851 retinal detachments were increasingly observed.

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What is Anemia? Its Causes, Symptoms, Diagnoses and Treatments

Anemia is a condition in which your blood does not carry enough oxygen to the rest of your body because of a shortage of health red blood cells. This is most commonly caused by a shortage of iron in the body, which is needed to make hemoglobin. The iron containing protein that gives blood the its red color, hemoglobin is the actual component of the blood cells which carries the oxygen.

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The Wound Healing Process: Inflammatory, Proliferative and Remodeling Phases

Wound healing is a complex process that involves the organization of cells, chemical signs and extracellular matrix to repair the tissue. In turn, the treatment of wounds tries to quickly close the damage to obtain a functionally and esthetically satisfactory scar. To that end, it is indispensable to have greater understanding of the biological process involved in the healing of wounds and tissue regeneration [3].

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The Role Of Soy In Vegetarian Diets

Soyfoods have long been prized among vegetarians for both their high protein content and versatility. Soybeans differ markedly in macronutrient content from other legumes, being much higher in fat and protein, and lower in carbohydrate. In recent years however, soyfoods and specific soybean constituents, especially isoflavones, have been the subject of an impressive amount of research. Nearly 2,000 soy-related papers are published annually. This research has focused primarily on the benefits that soyfoods may provide independent of their nutrient content. There is particular interest in the role that soyfoods have in reducing risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and certain forms of cancer. However, the estrogen-like effects of isoflavones observed in animal studies have also raised concerns about potential harmful effects of soyfood consumption. This review addresses questions related to soy and chronic disease risk, provides recommendations for optimal intakes, and discusses potential contraindications. As reviewed, the evidence indicates that, with the exception of those individuals allergic to soy protein, soyfoods can play a beneficial role in the diets of vegetarians. Concerns about adverse effects are not supported by the clinical or epidemiologic literature. Based on the soy intake associated with health benefits in the epidemiologic studies and the benefits noted in clinical trials, optimal adult soy intake would appear to be between two and four servings per day.

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The Impact of Zinc on Human Health: The Essential Toxin

Compared to several other metal ions with similar chemical properties, zinc is relatively harmless. Only exposure to high doses has toxic effects, making acute zinc intoxication a rare event. In addition to acute intoxication, long-term, high-dose zinc supplementation interferes with the uptake of copper. Hence, many of its toxic effects are in fact due to copper deficiency. While systemic homeostasis and efficient regulatory mechanisms on the cellular level generally prevent the uptake of cytotoxic doses of exogenous zinc, endogenous zinc plays a significant role in cytotoxic events in single cells. Here, zinc influences apoptosis by acting on several molecular regulators of programmed cell death, including caspases and proteins from the Bcl and Bax families. One organ where zinc is prominently involved in cell death is the brain, and cytotoxicity in consequence of ischemia or trauma involves the accumulation of free zinc. Rather than being a toxic metal ion, zinc is an essential trace element. Whereas intoxication by excessive exposure is rare, zinc deficiency is widespread and has a detrimental impact on growth, neuronal development, and immunity, and in severe cases its consequences are lethal. Zinc deficiency caused by malnutrition and foods with low bioavailability, aging, certain diseases, or deregulated homeostasis is a far more common risk to human health than intoxication.

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The Role Of Carnitine in Disease

Carnitine is a conditionally essential nutrient that plays a vital role in energy production and fatty acid metabolism. Vegetarians possess a greater bioavailability than meat eaters. Distinct deficiencies arise either from genetic mutation of carnitine transporters or in association with other disorders such as liver or kidney disease. Carnitine deficiency occurs in aberrations of carnitine regulation in disorders such as diabetes, sepsis, cardiomyopathy, malnutrition, cirrhosis, endocrine disorders and with aging. Nutritional supplementation of L-carnitine, the biologically active form of carnitine, is ameliorative for uremic patients, and can improve nerve conduction, neuropathic pain and immune function in diabetes patients while it is life-saving for patients suffering primary carnitine deficiency. Clinical application of carnitine holds much promise in a range of neural disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, hepatic encephalopathy and other painful neuropathies. Topical application in dry eye offers osmoprotection and modulates immune and inflammatory responses. Carnitine has been recognized as a nutritional supplement in cardiovascular disease and there is increasing evidence that carnitine supplementation may be beneficial in treating obesity, improving glucose intolerance and total energy expenditure.

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Grass Fed Versus Grain Fed Beef: Fatty Acid Profiles, Antioxidant Content and Taste

Growing consumer interest in grass-fed beef products has raised a number of questions with regard to the perceived differences in nutritional quality between grass-fed and grain-fed cattle. Research spanning three decades suggests that grass-based diets can significantly improve the fatty acid (FA) composition and antioxidant content of beef, albeit with variable impacts on overall palatability.

Grass-based diets have been shown to enhance total conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) (C18:2) isomers, trans vaccenic acid (TVA) (C18:1 t11), a precursor to CLA, and omega-3 (n-3) FAs on a g/g fat basis. While the overall concentration of total saturated fatty acids (SFA) is not different between feeding regimens, grass-finished beef tends toward a higher proportion of cholesterol neutral stearic FA (C18:0), and less cholesterol-elevating SFAs such as myristic (C14:0) and palmitic (C16:0) fatty acids. Several studies suggest that grass-based diets elevate precursors for Vitamin A and E, as well as cancer fighting antioxidants such as glutathione (GT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity as compared to grain-fed contemporaries. Fat conscious consumers will also prefer the overall lower fat content of a grass-fed beef product. However, consumers should be aware that the differences in FA content will also give grass-fed beef a distinct grass flavor and unique cooking qualities that should be considered when making the transition from grain-fed beef. In addition, the fat from grass-finished beef may have a yellowish appearance from the elevated carotenoid content (precursor to Vitamin A). It is also noted that grain-fed beef consumers may achieve similar intakes of both n-3 and CLA through the consumption of higher fat grain-fed portions.

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Vitamin B12 In Health And Disease

Vitamin B12 is essential for DNA synthesis and for cellular energy production. This review aims to outline the metabolism of vitamin B12, and to evaluate the causes and consequences of sub-clinical vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency is common, mainly due to limited dietary intake of animal foods or malabsorption of the vitamin. Vegetarians are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency as are other groups with low intakes of animal foods or those with restrictive dietary patterns. Malabsorption of vitamin B12 is most commonly seen in the elderly, secondary to gastric achlorhydria. The symptoms of sub-clinical deficiency are subtle and often not recognized. The long-term consequences of sub-clinical deficiency are not fully known but may include adverse effects on pregnancy outcomes, vascular, cognitive, bone and eye health.

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Reverse Breathing

Previously I've called upper chest breathing either inverted or paradoxical breathing. In case you haven't gotten the news flash, it's bad. Now, I'm seeing something called 'reverse breathing' being promoted for martial artists. Wikipedia says that it is "Ancient Chinese Secret".

The practice appears to be an almost perfect instruction on incorrect breathing. The idea is to expand your abdomen while breathing out and pull your stomach in while breathing in. Absolutely ridiculous and a good way to 'gas out' for a martial artist. Here is a some excerpts from an article at DragonDoor. It's full of nonsensical gobbledygook but these are the highlights of the instruction:

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The Origins of Lactase Persistence in Europe

Lactase persistence (LP) is common among people of European ancestry, but with the exception of some African, Middle Eastern and southern Asian groups, is rare or absent elsewhere in the world.

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Diverticulitis

Diverticulosis, defined simply as the presence in the large intestine (colon) of small saccular outpouchings, termed diverticula, is extremely common in “developed” countries and increases dramatically with age (Image 1 below). It affects approximately 5% of the population under 45 years of age and increases to almost 80% in those older than age 85 (1). Diverticula develop most commonly in the descending (“left-sided”) and sigmoid colon, however, there is geographic variability. In Asia and Africa, the ascending (“right-sided”) colon is more commonly involved, but the overall rate is much lower, at approximately 0.2%. Despite the prevalence of diverticulosis, about 70% of all people remain asymptomatic throughout their lifetime; 5-15% develop complications of diverticular bleeding, and 15-25% develop diverticulitis and associated complications.

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