What Services To Expect At A Medical Imaging Center

There are many medical imaging exams that detect illness, infection or injury, and this includes an MRI, CT scan and digital x-ray. This is why it is important to schedule your appointment as soon as you receive your referral. You may feel a little nervous about your appointment, but you can expect the following services when you visit the imaging centers in NJ.

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3T Highfield Wide Bore MRI

The 3T Highfield Wide Bore MRI features a wide design to accommodate various sizes comfortably. There are many wide bore machines that make it easy to scan any part of the body, and this includes the Magnetom Verio. You are going to lie on a cushioned table that slides into the wide bore tunnel. The machine takes detailed images in 15 minutes to give your physician an accurate reading.

Open MRI

If the thought of an enclosed MRI causes feelings of anxiety or claustrophobia, you can reduce those feelings by choosing an open MRI. You are going to lie on a cushioned table that slides into the open machine, which only features a top and bottom area. The open space makes it easier to scan bodies of different sizes. Facilities in NJ are using state-of-the-art machines such as the Hitachi Airis Elite, which takes high quality images for an accurate diagnosis.

16-Slice CT Scan

The 16-slice CT scan is used to study a variety of organs, soft tissues, blood vessels, bones and the spinal cord. It uses a visual slice to detect an infection or injury of the target area. You may need a CT scan on your chest, abdomen, pelvis or urinary tract. The Hitachi 16-slice CT scanner is a popular machine among facilities, and it is designed to take high quality images using a low dose of radiation.

Digital X-Ray

Your physician may order an x-ray to identify a medical condition in your joints, bones, soft tissues or abdominal area. You are going to lie on an exam table or stand near a cassette holder. Your x-ray technician will let you know when you need to hold still during the procedure. It usually takes 10 to 30 minutes to complete a digital x-ray. The machine uses a low dose of radiation and takes detailed images of the body.

High Resolution Ultrasound

A high resolution ultrasound uses sound waves to look at organs and soft tissues, such as the heart, bladder, kidney and uterus. Your technician uses a transducer to transmit high-frequency sound waves through the body tissues. The sound waves cannot be heard by the human ear, but they create echoes that collect information on the organs and soft tissues. The ACUSON X300 by Siemens is a popular ultrasound system among facilities. It takes high quality images during this safe and painless procedure.

It is easier to schedule a medical imaging exam when you know what to expect at your appointment.

WHO Lists 12 Deadly Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and the Urgent Need for New Drugs

 

There are all sorts of diseases in the world, and every once in a while comes a certain ‘microorganism’ which creates havoc in the form of dangerous diseases like Ebola, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, and the like. Scientists have time and again come up with effective antibiotics to control the diseases and save lives, but the shocking part is that each year these microbes come back twice as more potent and resistant to the antibiotics. As such it is a constant struggle to reinvent and find effective cures. In such cases, intensive research is the only thing that can save lives as scientists discover more characteristics and behaviour of the triggers.

Recently, WHO published the first-ever list of antibiotic-resistant “priority pathogens” that included 12 families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health. The intention was to spread awareness, as well as guide and promote research and development of new antibiotics. There is a serious concern on the growing global resistance to antimicrobial medicines.
(How Antibiotics May Make You More Prone to Infections)WHO Lists 12 Deadly Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and the Urgent Need for New Drugs

What Did the List Include?

According to the global health body, the list is divided into three categories according to the urgency of need for new antibiotics: critical, high and medium priority.

“The most critical group of all includes multi-drug resistant bacteria that pose a particular threat in hospitals, nursing homes, and among patients whose care requires devices such as ventilators and blood catheters. They include Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas and various Enterobacteriaceae (including Klebsiella, E. coli, Serratia, and Proteus),” said a WHO statement.

It said that all the bacteria can cause severe and often deadly infections such as bloodstream infections and pneumonia.

“These bacteria have become resistant to a large number of antibiotics, including carbapenems and third generation cephalosporins – the best available antibiotics for treating multi-drug resistant bacteria,” said the report.
(Rare Disease Day: 7 Most Rare Diseases in the World and the Importance of Research)

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High- Medium Priority Type

The second tier includes antibiotics of high priority – for Enterococcus faecium, which is vancomycin-resistant; Staphylococcus aureus, which is methicillin-resistant; Helicobacter pylori, which is clarithromycin-resistant; Campylobacter spp, which is fluoroquinolone-resistant; Salmonellae, which is fluoroquinolone-resistant; and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which is cephalosporin and fluoroquinolone-resistant.

The third tier includes medium priority antibiotics for Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is penicillin-non-susceptible; Haemophilus influenzae, which is ampicillin-resistant; and Shigella spp, which is fluoroquinolone-resistant.

“This list is a new tool to ensure research and development responds to urgent public health needs,” said WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation Marie-Paule Kieny in the statement.

Evelina Tacconelli, Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Tubingen and a major contributor to the list, said, “New antibiotics targeting this priority list of pathogens will help to reduce deaths due to resistant infections around the world.

“Waiting any longer will cause further public health problems and dramatically impact on patient care.”

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World Kidney Day: 8 Common Causes of Kidney Failure You Should Know About

 

By now we know that cancer, heart disease and obesity are some of the heavy weights in the category of major diseases in the world that are also responsible for killing millions and millions of people every year. So much have been spoken about these diseases that somehow other ailments, of significant importance too, seem to have been pushed to the background. The truth is that there are other diseases, probably resulting from our sedentary lifestyles, that are on the rise, and alarming growing every year. For example, kidney disease. According to several Indian population-based studies, the number of Indians suffering from chronic kidney ailments has doubled in the past 15 years, and at present 17 in every hundred citizens suffer from some form of kidney disease.

In an attempt to spread awareness about kidney diseases, 9th March is observed as World Kidney Day. The theme of the global campaign this year is obesity and how it plays such a crucial role in increasing the risks of kidney ailments. Kidney is an essential organ in the body. Its primary role is to remove toxins and excess fluids from the body through urine, and also maintain a good balance of body salts and other chemicals. It is also involved in controlling the production of red blood cells and regulating blood pressure.World Kidney Day: 8 Common Causes of Kidney Failure You Should Know About

So how do we prevent kidney failure and other ailments? Here are some pointers –1. Obesity is a Lead Cause

Obesity is becoming a growing worldwide epidemic, and is expected to affect more people in the years to come. One’s lifestyle habits, particularly sedentary lifestyle, are adversely impacting health. According to researchers and authors of the study – Obesity and Kidney Disease: Hidden Consequences of the Epidemic, “Obesity is one of the strongest risk factors for new-onset chronic kidney disease, and also for nephrolithiasis and for kidney cancer.”

As stated on the official website of the campaign, “A growing body of evidence indicates that obesity is also a potent risk factor for the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). People who are overweight or obese have 2 to 7 more chances of developing ESRD compared to those of normal weight. Obesity may lead to CKD both indirectly by increasing type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, and also by causing direct kidney damage by increasing the workload of the kidneys and other mechanisms.”

Also read: (Are You Obese? Your Child Could Inherit Obesity and Be At Health Risk)

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2. Cut Down on Red Meat

According to a study done by National University of Singapore, they found that participants who ate the largest amount of red meat had about 40 percent greater risk of developing kidney failure compared with people consuming the lowest amounts of meat. “Our findings suggest that individuals can still maintain their protein intake unless their kidney function has been severely compromised. However, to reduce the risk of end-stage renal disease, it is best to eat red meat in moderation,” said the lead author of the study Woon-Puay Koh.

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3. Good Sleep Time is Crucial

According to a study done Brigham and Women’s Hospital, shorter sleep duration can lead to a more rapid decline in kidney function. Many of the body’s processes follow a natural daily rhythm or so-called circadian clock that is based on regular sleep-wake cycles. The study found that kidney function may be compromised when this natural cycle is disrupted.

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4. Hypertension Ups Risk

About 20 per cent of India’s youth suffer from hypertension which makes them 40 percent more vulnerable to kidney damage and cardiac arrest. There is little understanding in the country of hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, which usually does not cause symptoms but gradually affects various body parts. “As many youngsters do not get to know that they are hypertensive they continue with their sedentary lifestyle,” said Gireesh Manwani, Senior Consultant (Internal Medicine), Saroj Super Speciality Hospital. “This slowly and steadily damages the kidneys and heart apart from giving rise to various other problems; it could even be fatal.”

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5. Say No to Junk Food

According to a study by Anglia Ruskin University in Britain, a diet that relies mostly on junk food or processed food may cause long-term damage to the kidneys and trigger diabetes. “Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes both induce changes in glucose transport in the kidney but junk food or a diet high in fat causes changes that are very similar to those found in Type 2 diabetes,” said Havovi Chichger, lead author of the study.

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6. Cut Down on Sugar

Dr. Anshul Jai Bharat, a Delhi-based Nutritionist, says, “Most processed food products contain too much sugar, so when it goes to your system it leads to hormonal imbalance and also your blood profile changes. High consumption of these empty calories can cause obesity and diabetes – diseases that directly impact the functioning of your kidneys. You can treat yourself to your favourite dessert or a fast food burger sometimes as long as it does not replace your daily balanced diet.”

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7. Keep a Check on Phosphorous Intake

Health experts and doctors have issued a warning against excess phosphorous in the human body claiming that it may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease where the phosphate levels in the body shoot up to abnormally high levels. According to them, muscle cramps, numbness, tingling, bone or joint pain and rash are all the symptoms of hyperphosphatemia and people who experience them quite often should consult a doctor at the earliest. Foods that should be strictly avoided, or at least consumed in moderation include soft drinks, chocolates, tinned milk and processed meat,” suggests Neerja Jain who works in Nephrology department at Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital.

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8. Pollution is to Blame As Well

According to a study by George Institute for Global Health, climate change may be accelerating the rate of chronic kidney disease caused by dehydration and heat stress. The research paper, published in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), suggests that a condition called heat stress nephropathy may represent a disease of neglected populations but one that may emerge as a major cause of poor kidney health in the near future.

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Sleep on left side, drink water from copper vessel: How to fix indigestion naturally

Swaryog recommends having meals, including spicy or warm food, with activation of right nostril. It helps in controlling excessive body acids generated due to food, thus helping in digestion process

Physical activity helps keep your digestive system working smoothly. But is important to take a nap after every meal to soothe your digestive system. While taking the nap, you should first sleep on the left side for some time and relax for 10 minutes before rushing for work, says an expert.

Pramod Kulkarni, swaryog expert and founder of SwarYog Foundation, Mumbai, lists some tips: Try these for your better digestive health.

1 Swaryog recommends having meals, including spicy or warm food, with activation of right nostril. It helps in controlling excessive body acids generated due to food, thus helping in digestion process.

2 Having sweet or cold or frozen food dishes during activation of left nostril helps in harmonising the body fluids without disrupting the body temperature.indigestion

3 It is recommended to sleep on the left side at night because the longer the right nostril is active during this period, the better for digestion and, hence, for overall health.

 Sit in Padmasana pose for 10 minutes in morning. Concentrate on the Swadisthan Chakra — around navel. Do deep breathing through right nostril for 15 times. It helps in streamlining the digestion flow.

5 Drinking water from copper vessel is recommended as it helps your body maintain its temperature according to outside weather, thus, helping one to feel rejuvenated and energetic throughout the day.

6 One can practise this application daily after having lunch and dinner: Lie down straight on plain surface and breathe in normal breathing pattern for eight times, then turn around to right side and breathe for 16 times and then to left side and breathe for 32 times.

This application helps to make your digestive system stronger and spread out the food particles evenly throughout the system.

 

Having Children May Help Increase the Life Span of Parents

 

Parenthood is no easy task. It takes immense effort as well as patience to raise kids, right from toddlers to teenagers and then watch them growing into adults. It is a roller coaster of a ride having to deal with tantrums, sleepless nights, anger issues, so on and so forth. But parenthood also brings along with it many fruitful rewards that can never be matched with anything else. The joy of having a family, sharing happiness, laughter and pain with children, watching them grow up into successful individuals, having them around during old age – it’s an overwhelming experience. And this emotional turmoil actually increases your social behaviour, keeping you active and healthy. Having Children May Help Increase the Life Span of Parents: StudyAccording to a recent study done in Sweden, men and women with at least one child had lower death risks than those without. And fathers are said to gain more in life expectancy than mothers.

The study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health stated, “At 60 years of age, the difference in life expectancy was two years for men and 1.5 years for women” compared to those with no kids. Researchers tracked the lifespan of more than 1.4 million people (men and women) born between 1911 and 1925 and living in Sweden. They also gathered data on whether the participants were married and had children.

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By age 80, men who fathered children had a remaining life expectancy of seven years and eight months, compared to seven years for childless men, said the team. For mothers, life expectancy at 80 was nine years and six months, while for childless women it was eight years and 11 months.

However, the researchers admitted that the study merely pointed out a correlation, and cannot conclude that having children is the cause of the life expectancy gains. The parents benefitted more probably from social and financial support from their children in old age, or a healthier lifestyle as compared to those without children.

The association between having children and longer life was found in married and unmarried people, but appeared to be strongest in single, older men, said the study. This could be because unmarried men relied more heavily on their offspring in the absence of a partner.

 

5 Easy Tips to Take Care of Your Skin After Playing Holi

 

Holi – the festival of colours is here! The time when you put all rules on hold and let the child within loose, playing with colours, dancing on paan banaras wala, and simply soaking up the sun as you gorge on gujias and gulp down the thandai. As you get ready to have all the fun, make sure that your skin is well protected, so that you do not suffer from any after effects like skin allergies or irritation after the game is over.

Traditionally, the festival was all about natural colours made from flowers and herbs. But these days there are many varieties of cheap and synthetic colours available in the market made from chemicals, and artificial dyes. They could also contain heavy metals, acids, mica, glass powder and dangerous alkalis. These chemicals can cause serious harm to the skin. It is a great idea to play with natural colours and herbs like tesu or genda flowers, rose petals, haldi and sandalwood that are actually good for your skin.

If you are going out and not sure about the colours others will use, make sure make sure that you oil your entire body with coconut oil. You can also use Olive oil or Vitamin E oil if you prefer. While oiling, make sure you do not forget places like behind the ear, between finger tips and near the finger nails where paint is bound to collect. You can oil your hair with mustard oil and tie it in a plait or pony. If you’ve been wanting to experiment with nail colour, here’s your chance to go wild. Paint your nails with the darkest shade possible to avoid the Holi colour from seeping inside the nail bed.

After you have had all the fun with colours and can hardly recognize yourself in the mirror, it is now time to get back to your normal self. If you are wondering how you will ever get rid of all those stubborn colours, worry not. Here are few tips to cleanse your skin and get back that glow safely.

1. Stand in running water for 5-10 minutes after playing Holi, and ensure that you do not scrub or scratch aggressively.

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2. Apply liquid soap gently on the body. Still struggling? You can try home remedies thereafter, such as applying a mix of lemon juice, curd and sandalwood. You can also apply a mix of turmeric and white flour, and wash off after 15-20 minutes with milk. The trick with white flour works wonders for the face.

3. Be extra careful while removing the Holi colours from your face. It is ideal to use olive oil to remove the colour. Dab some, leave it on for a few minutes and then wash off.

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4. A concoction of fresh lemon juice, curd and a pinch of sandalwood powder is great to remove those stubborn traces of colour from your body and get back the glow.

5. However, if there are still some traces of colour, then remember to give it a couple of days to fade away naturally rather than scrubbing away aggressively and harming your skin in the process. It is advisable not to use body scrubs, exfoliators or bath salts for at least 48 hours after playing Holi, and try not to go out in the sun for too long.

Here’s wishing you all a happy, safe, and colourful Holi!

 

4 Yoga Poses That Hep You Sleep Better & Relax Your Body

 

When we face a stressful situation, sleep is the first thing we give up on. Not just that, for most of us dealing with the day to day pressures of life is enough to make us lose sleep. And before you know it, the unhealthy habit of not sleeping enough becomes your lifestyle. You should know that the amount of sleep you get is as important as the quality of sleep. Both, sleep deprivation and disturbed sleep have their consequences on our body and our mind. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day.

If you have trouble sleeping, here’s help. We asked Yoga instructor Ajit Singh Tapaswi from Bangalore to suggest some soothing yoga poses to help you get sound sleep.

1. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)

This intense stretching pose is known to relieve stress and reduce fatigue by calming your brain nerves. It is also great for treating headaches and insomnia that can hamper your sleep. Stand straight with your feet apart. Raise your hands above your shoulders and stretch gently. Then, fold your torso reaching towards the ground. Keep your knees straight. You can decide to place your palms on the ground (in front of your feet or next to them) or wrap them around your ankles. If it’s not possible, then cross your forearms and hold your elbows. Press your heels into the floor and keep your head and chest in. Now, as you inhale, stretch your front torso slightly and while exhaling emphasize on the forward bend. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds, release and then gently come back to the standing position.

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2. Viparita Karani (Leg Up The Wall Pose)

This asana is a restorative pose which means it improves your blood circulation. Find a wall and sit in front of it with your feet on the floor. Place a support like a bolster or a cushion under your lower back about half a foot away from the wall. Exhale and gently lie on your back stretching your legs against the wall such that the back of your legs press against the wall and your soles are facing upwards. Keep your sit bones as close to the wall as you can. Look up with your face and chin in one line. Open your arms sideways, lengthen your neck and keep your legs firm. If you do not wish to use the support, you can use your hands to support your hips and rise forming a curve in your body. With the help of a support, you can stay in this pose for as long as 5 minutes.

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3. Virasana (Hero Pose)

This asana is basically a meditative pose. It really helps you in calming you down and makes you physically and emotionally stable. It also helps in relieving tired legs.  Kneel down on the floor, with your knees bent and your legs folded underneath you. Let your hand rest on your thighs or you can also fold them in front of your chest. Bring your knees close so that the gap between your feet automatically widens. It should be wider than the width of your hips. The top of your feet should be flat on the floor and your spine should be straight. If you feel too much pressure on your knees, you can place a pillow between your calves and thighs. Hold the position for 30 seconds.

While you are in the sitting positions, it stimulates the pressure points on your feet that help in relaxing your whole body.  You can also use this position to meditate and breathe deeply. It instills a sense of quiet while making you aware of your mental state.

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4. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Regarded as the ‘mother of asanas’, tadasana is like the base from which all the poses emerge. This steady and concentrated posture of the pose can really help calm the mind. Stand straight with your feet slightly apart. Keep your hands hanging by your side. Make your thigh muscles firm and slightly turn them inwards while lifting your knee cap. Lengthen your tailbone and imagine a line of energy passing through your body. Lift your chest up and out and push your shoulder blades back. Keep breathing deeply. While inhaling, you will feel the breath travelling through your toes, stomach and up to the head. As you exhale, feel your breath going down from the head to the stomach and finally your feet. You can concentrate on a spot in front of you to avoid any distraction. This helps in increasing your mental awareness.

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A word of caution: Yoga expert Ajit suggests that these poses should not be performed right before you get into bed. Perform them in the evening, probably before dinner on an empty stomach. Also, just before you prepare to sleep you should meditate for about 5 minutes focusing on your breath to calm your senses and sleep peacefully.

 

Surgery and Other Treatment Options for Arthritis Patients

Arthritis in the knee is the most common type is osteoarthritis which is a progressive condition that slowly wears away the joint cartilage. It is mostly likely to strike after middle age but can also occur as a result of injury or if a person is overweight. When the cartilage gets destroyed, the the bones of the joint rub constantly against each other and this may lead to swelling, pain and stiffness.

While age seems to be the most common cause of knee arthritis as the ability of the cartilage to heal diminishes when people get older and it may not be able to repair itself after the regular wear and tear, there are other factors that can also put you at risk. Obesity, people who are involve din athletics or some kind if genetic mutations may make a person more likely to develop knee arthritis.Surgery and Other Treatment Options for Arthritis Patients

Knee arthritis may bring a lot of pain to the patients and they may also lose mobility or find it difficult to walk. Therefore, the primary goal of treatment is to deal with these issues. Here are some common methods of treating knee arthritis. Be sure to take your doctor’s decide before you decide to follow any of these as the treatment option totally depends on the severity of the condition.

1. Pain Relievers and Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: Consult your doctor who may prescribe certain medications to relieve the pain and control the swelling.

2. Injections: Some doctors may suggest getting injected with corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid that helps in lubricating the joints and lessening the effects of the constant rubbing of bones.

3. Physiotherapy: Some easy exercises can help in strengthening your muscles and increase the flexibility in your joints. Some amount of physical stress can also help in easing out the symptoms of knee arthritis like pain, swelling and stiffness.

Also read: ( How To Treat Knee Pain: Easy Tips And Home Remedies )

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4. Weight loss: One of the main causes of knee arthritis may may be excess weight that puts an extra load on your knees leading to discomfort. The inflammatory mediators produced in fat can cause your joint tissues. In such a situation, weight loss can help in improving the joint functions.

5. Surgery: In severe cases, a ‘total knee replacement surgery’ may be recommended by doctors. Depending upon the degeneration of the knees, doctors may also suggest arthroscopes or partial replacements.

Stem Cell Therapy May Help Treat Lung Inflammation and Damage

Those suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can now seek alternative therapy to reduce their lung inflammation. According to a recent study, stem cell therapy may potentially help in repairing lung damage in patients with cystic fibrosis and COPD. Experts at Queens University Belfast, UK investigated the effectiveness of Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy in a mouse model of chronic inflammatory lung disease. Chronic inflammation in conditions such as COPD and cystic fibrosis leads to inflammation, lung damage and reduced lung function which may often result in respiratory failure.

Stem cells were intravenously administered to mice at four and six weeks of age. Sample tissue and cells were then collected from their lungs at about eight weeks. As a result, it was found that the inflammation was significantly reduced in the group receiving MSC therapy as compared to the group of mice that didn’t receive the therapy. Cell count for both monocytic cells and neutrophils – signs of inflammation – were significantly reduced after MSC therapy, researchers said.

On investigating the lung tissue, it was revealed that the mean linear intercept and other measures of lung destruction had reduced in MSC treated mice. MSC therapy also resulted in significant improvements in lung structure, suggesting that this form of treatment has the potential to repair damaged lung.

(Also Read: Breathe Easy: 5 Natural Ways to Increase Your Lung Capacity)

Stem Cell Therapy May Help Treat Lung Inflammation and Damage: Study

“These preliminary findings demonstrate the potential effectiveness of MSC treatment as a means of repairing the damage caused by chronic lung diseases such as COPD,” said Declan Doherty, Queens University Belfast.

“The ability to counteract inflammation in the lungs by utilizing the combined anti-inflammatory and reparative properties of MSCs could potentially reduce the inflammatory response in individuals with chronic lung disease whilst also restoring lung function in these patients,” Doherty added.

MSC therapy is currently being investigated as a promising therapeutic approach for a number of incurable, degenerative lung diseases.

Long-Term Use of Antibiotics Can Put You at the Risk of Cancer

Antibiotics have long been seen as a class of wonder drugs which could fight bacterial invasions and viruses and bring relief in about no time. These are essentially anti-bacterial. Over recent years there has been much debate over the rise in the consumption of antibiotics. Prolonged use has made human body resistant to its effects while others believe that bacteria, viruses and pathogens have become much stronger and therefore resistant to the present class of drugs. Developing a newer, more potent army of antibiotic would suggest an added pressure on human health. What is little know is the fact that prolonged use of potent antibiotics can meddle with the functioning of gut bacteria (the good bacteria that is essential for gut health and immunity) that feeds on yeast and unhealthy bacteria found in our body.

“These healthy bacteria form the basis of our immune system – or they did until we took antibiotics because antibiotics regularly kill our healthy bacteria. And that can set you up for numerous problems down the road – including some very serious problems,” states Kim Evans in her piece for HuffPost US. Evans’ article published in the year 2009 throws light on the relation between prolonged antibiotic use and development of cancer. She talks about a Roman oncologist, Dr. Tullio Simoncini, who describes cancer as an advanced fungal growth or candida overgrowth, “a kind of fungal growth that develops after using antibiotics,” Evans.

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Another research, closely tying antibiotics use and cancer together, is the latest that was published in the online journal, Gut. “The findings, if confirmed by other studies, suggest the potential need to limit the use of antibiotics and sources of inflammation that may drive tumour formation,” noted the study.

Antibiotics fundamentally alter the gut microbiome, by curbing the diversity and number of bacteria, and reducing resistance to ‘hostile’ bugs, they say. Previous research points to depletion of certain types of bacteria and an abundance of others in patients with bowel cancer. This might all have a crucial role the development of bowel cancer, added to which the bugs that require antibiotics may induce inflammation, which is a known risk for the development of bowel cancer.

It was found that prolonged antibiotic use by people in their early to mid-life can put them at a heightened risk of abnormal growths in the colon and rectum. These abnormal growths are called polyps or colorectal adenomas, which precede the development of most cases of bowel cancer.

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For the research, the team drew health records of 121,700 US nurses ageing 30 to 55. Health records included detailed questionnaires answered by the participants and other details on demographics, dietary habits, lifestyle factors, medical history and disease development of the participants. For the purposes of the current study, analysis of the data was restricted to 16,642 women who were aged 60 and older in 2004 and were able to provide a history of antibiotic use between the ages of 20 and 59. The participants also had at least one bowel investigation (colonoscopy) between 2004 and 2010. 1195 adenomas were newly diagnosed in this group. Recent use of antibiotics within the past four years wasn’t associated with a heightened risk of an adenoma diagnosis, but long term use in the past was.

Those who had consumed antibiotics for two months or more were 36 percent more likely to be diagnosed with an adenoma when compared to the participants who didn’t take antibiotics for any extended period in their 20s and 30s.

The team also compared women who had never taken antibiotics between their 20s and 50s to the ones who had consumed the drugs for over 15 days between their 20s and 50s. 73 percent of the latter group was found to be more susceptible to be diagnosed with an adenoma.