Thursday, January 15, 2009

Patello-femoral disease

This chronic condition is also called chondromalacia patella is the most common cause of chronic knee pain. In the knee there are three main bones, there's the long thigh bone, the femur then the shin bone, the tibia, and then the kneecap (patella). There's a groove in our femur where the patella should track and in quite a lot of people that doesn't track well and that usually is due to a combination of an imbalance in the muscle strength and flexibility and so the patella, the kneecap rubs on the femur underneath and causes some irritation and pain. And so it usually causes some pain when you exercise, often the knee will swell up after you exercise as well. In that particularly situation that patella-femoral syndrome the muscle strength is really important. So it's really important that the quadriceps, which is the big muscle at the front of the thigh, is strong and keeps it in track but the hamstrings at the back and the muscles at the front also have to be stretched and flexible, so exercise is the most important treatment.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Good Cholesterol HDL

HDL - high density lipoproteins also called "good cholesterol" are the smallest of the lipoproteins. They are very dense because they contain the highest proportion of protein. The liver synthesizes these lipoproteins as complexes of apolipoproteins and phospholipid, which resemble cholesterol-free flattened spherical lipoprotein particles. They are capable of picking up cholesterol, carried internally, from cells they interact with. A plasma enzyme called lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) converts the free cholesterol into cholesteryl ester (a more hydrophobic form of cholesterol) which is then sequestered into the core of the lipoprotein particle eventually making the newly synthesized HDL spherical. They increase in size as they circulate through the bloodstream and incorporate more cholesterol molecules into their structure. Thus it is the concentration of large HDL particles which more accurately reflects protective action, as opposed to the concentration of total HDL particles. This ratio of large HDL to total HDL particles varies widely and is only measured by lipoprotein assays using either electrophoresis or newer NMR spectroscopy.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is an injury to the esophagus that develops from chronic exposure of the esophagus to acid coming up from the stomach (reflux). In contrast, heartburn is the symptom of acid in the esophagus, characterized by a burning discomfort behind the breastbone (sternum). Findings in GERD include esophagitis (reflux esophagitis) - inflammatory changes in the esophageal lining (mucosa), strictures, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) and chronic chest pain. Patients may have only one of those findings. Atypical symptoms of GERD include cough, hoarseness, changes of the voice, and sinusitis. Complicatons of GERD include stricture formation, Barrett's esophagus, esophageal ulcers and possibly even to esophageal cancer.
Occasional heartburn is common but does not necessarily mean one has GERD. Patients that have heartburn symptoms more than once a week are at risk of developing GERD. A hiatal hernia is usually asymptomatic, but the presence of a hiatal hernia is a risk factor for development of GERD.

Avoiding aggravating factors
Lifestyle modifications is the term physicians use when recommending non-pharmaceutical treatments for GERD.

Certain foods and lifestyle tend to promote gastroesophageal reflux:

Coffee, alcohol, calcium supplements, and excessive amounts of Vitamin C supplements are stimulants of gastric acid secretion so avoiding these helps. Calcium containing antacids such as TUMS (Calcium carbonate) are in this group[1]
Foods high in fats and smoking reduce lower esophageal sphincter competence so avoiding these tends to help as well.
Having more but smaller meals also reduces the risk of GERD as it means there is less in the stomach at any one time.
Advice generally given:

avoid eating for 2 hours before bedtime
elevate the head of the bed on 6 inch blocks. (Pillows under the head and shoulders have been shown to be ineffective.)
avoid sodas that contain caffeine
avoid chocolate and peppermint
avoid spicy foods
avoid acidic foods like oranges and tomatoes
avoid cruciferous vegetables: onions, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts
avoid fried and fatty foods
avoid milk and heavily milk based products
Avoiding food for 2 hours before bedtime, as well as not lying down after a meal, are the most important of the lifestyle modifications. Elevation to the head of the bed is the next easiest to implement. If pharmacologic therapy in combination with food avoidance before bedtime and elevation of the head of the bed, then the other steps are recommended.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Love your liver

Liver is a multifunction and a the largest organ in the human body. All the tasks performed by liver are carried out by the liver cells or hepatocytes.
The liver produces and excretes bile required for food digestion. Some of the bile drains directly into the duodenum, and some is stored in the gallbladder.
The liver performs several roles in carbohydrate metabolism:
Gluconeogenesis (the formation of glucose from certain amino acids, lactate or glycerol)
Glycogenolysis (the formation of glucose from glycogen)
Glycogenesis (the formation of glycogen from glucose)
The breakdown of insulin and other hormones
The liver also performs several roles in lipid metabolism:
Cholesterol synthesis
The production of triglycerides (fats).
The liver produces coagulation factors I (fibrinogen), II (prothrombin), V, VII, IX, and XI, as well as protein C, protein S and antithrombin.
The liver neutralizes toxins, most medicinal products, and hemoglobin.
The liver converts ammonia to urea.
The liver stores of a multitude of substances, including glucose in the form of glycogen, vitamin B12, iron, and copper.
In the first trimester fetus, the liver is the main site of red blood cell production. By the 42nd week of gestation, the bone marrow has almost completely taken over that task.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Steps to alternative medicine


Medicine of today is really just an alternative to natural remedies of centuries past. To enjoy life's rich possibilities, we must travel uncharted and sometimes challenging territory. Remember: nothing new is gained if nothing new is tried.


The smart explorer buys a map before heading into unfamiliar terrain. When it comes to alternative medicine, there is much being written - so "surf" and browse and read. Poke around and do a little research.


Now's a good time to heed Mother's warning not to believe everything you read. Books and Web sites are only part of the picture.

Sometimes, the best confirmation, or contradiction, of those printed facts is other people's experience. Chat people up at the health food store; strike up conversations in the gym or at the water cooler at work. Trust me, those who use alternative medicines and remedies love nothing more than to talk about it... I know.


Well, that's not entirely true. Sometimes the experience of using something that's beautifully presented can make you feel pampered, thus heightening the benefits of what's actually in the package.

But, considering that the price of the product may be a result of a fancy container and not what's in it, you may want to create your own packaging.

Transferring the contents into a colored jar, bottle or decorative basket may increase your feeling of indulgence without feeling it in your wallet.


So you've read and you've asked and you still feel open to trying something new.


Consider making a quick call to your doctor to check for any possible drug interactions or side effects that may apply to you.

Generally speaking, your "western" doctor may not be open to, or well versed in herbal and other alternative medicines or practices.

But, due to their increasing popularity, many doctors are at least familiarizing themselves with those alternative medications that may negatively interact with the prescription variety.

When you do try, follow the directions provided on labels or found in those books you've read and then listen.

Your body will give you feedback on how it feels.