Why Do Some Broken Bones Take Longer To Heal?

Image result for broken boneI have broken many Bones over my lifetime and some seem to continue to have pain while others are a thing of the past. I have seen some complaints recently about some sports stars that have a broken bone and the expectation is that they will come back in 6 weeks.

The reality – despite them being young and healthy – it may take longer and in some cases, significantly longer.

The general consensus is that a broken bone takes 6 weeks to heal.

And this “truth” remains for most injuries but certainly there are factors that can cause some individuals or certain bones to grow slower, if at all. But ideally, most bones will take 6-12 weeks.

First, it is important to know that a broken bone is also called a fracture. There are many different types of fractures.

In the orthopedic community, or the medical expertise about bones and injuries, about 5 to 10 percent of all broken bones go on to a delayed union or non-union.  This means that the broken bone is not healing at the expected rate or have stopped healing entirely.

There are some common reasons for the healing of bones to be less than ideal.

1.)  Age of the patient – the older we get – the slower our body tends to heal.

2.)  Co-morbidity.  This means we might have other diagnosis or medical conditions that can slow our tissues growth, including bones. Such examples would be: autoimmune, Diabetes, cancer, Osteomalacia, and many others.

3.)  Severity of injury.  The bone injury might be worse than initially thought. The expected healing process may be longer than anticipated because the injury might be worse that originally pictured. Some fractures involve Joints which may be a more severe injury and prevent healing.

4.)  Specific bone involved.  Not all bones are created equal. Some bones – such in hands and feet – might have less blood flow to them. This decreases the rate of recovery. Some bones – because of the type of injury and location simply will not heal on their own. The first attempt is to allow the body to heal – but if this can’t happen – surgery or other options may be necessary.

5.)  Misdiagnosis.  The process isn’t perfect. An X-ray sees 2 dimensional of an area and sometimes it is hard to really appreciate the extent of an injury. Sometimes someone may walk on a sprain that latter turns out to be a fracture.

Image result for non union fracture

 

How does a Bone Heal?

  • The healing process is similar in all bone fractures.
  • Three overlapping stages:  1.) Inflammation  2.)  Bone production  3.)  Bone remodeling

1.)  Inflammation

  • This immediately starts after injury
  • Will last for several days to weeks
  • Typically seen for 1-7 days
  • Bleeding occurs into area – bone and soft tissue  (Hematoma)
  • Clotting of blood occurs at fracture site
  • This provides the initial structure stability and framework for the new bone
  • Bone necrosis happens at edges of the bone

2.)  Bone production

  • Clotted blood is replaced by fibrous tissue
  • Typically seen for 2-3 weeks
  • Soft callus – from cartilage also forms
  • Over time, soft callus is replaced by hard bone – also called Hard callus
  • X-ray will pick up hard callus and observed healing process of the bone

3.)  Bone remodeling

  • Final phase
  • Can go on for several months
  • Typically for 3-4 months
  • Remodeling of bone as it forms, becomes compact, and returns to original shape
  • Blood circulation improves in the area.
  • Weight-baring helps encourage bone remodeling when the right time is seen.

 

Types of Bone Fractures

1.)  Simple Fracture

2.)  Compound Fracture

3.)  Oblique Fracture

4.)  Transverse Fracture

5.)  Spiral Fracture

6.)  Comminuated Fracture

7.)  Linear Fracture

8.)  Greenstick Fracture

9.)   Impacted Fracture

10.)  Complete and Incomplete Fracture

11.)  Compression Fracture

12.)  Avulsion Fracture

13.)  Stress Fracture

14.)  Displaced Fracture

15.)  Non-displaced Fracture

16.)  Fatigue Fracture

17.)  Pathological Fracture

To learn more about the specific fracture link here:  Types of Bone Fractures

Non-Union

This is the term that describes when a bone is unable to heal.  This can happen for several reasons such as infection, lack of appropriate blood supply, and when the patient or the bone itself moves too much.

This can result in a fake joint – also known as pseudo-joint formation. This happens when cartilage forms where bone should have.  If the nonunion continues past 6 months of the injury – a surgical option may be the only way to ensure healing of the bone.

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Is Nipple Discharge Concerning in a Non Pregnant Woman?

Image result for nipple dischargeIf you are a non-pregnant women, and you notice some Nipple Discharge, the first instinct is that something serious is wrong. There is no reason initially to hit the “panic” button. It is important to realize that most nipple discharge isn’t concerning. That doesn’t mean it won’t be bothersome and oftentimes embarrassing.

Often, the first thought is Breast Cancer, but there are far more likely causes.

If you aren’t pregnant or nursing, it still is important to contact your healthcare provider because testing is likely required. Depending on other symptoms, including medications, other medical conditions, recent illnesses, examination and other evaluation processes – these will help determine a course of treatment.

Questions you need to ask yourself?

  • Is the discharge from one Breasts or both?
  • What color is the discharge?
  • Does it have a smell?
  • Do you have breast redness that coincides with your discharge?
  • Does discharge only happen with touching or stimulating breast?
  • Does discharge happen on its own?

What is normal breast discharge?

1.)  Pregnancy

  • Early stages of pregnancy can lead to some clear nipple discharge
  • This happens in the months leading up to delivery.
  • Late stages of pregnancy can lead to a milky or watery appearance
  • This happens in the weeks leading up to delivery.

2.)  Breast feeding

  • This can be normal due to breastfeeding
  • But if the color changes, redness of the breast is noted, and/or serious irritation – you may need to stop breastfeeding for a period of time.

3.)  Stimulation

  • Fluid may be secreted when nipples are stimulated or squeezed
  • This varies from individual to individual.
  • This also includes possible discharge after chafing following vigorous exercise or irritation from your bra.

 

Possible Causes for Abnormal breast discharge

Typically the cause is non-cancerous so we will start there.

1.)  Infection

  • Discharge may be purulent discharge
  • Also known as Mastitis
  • Can be seen in women breastfeeding
  • Can also be seen in non-breastfeeding women
  • Can have an abscess in her breast.
  • Breast may be sore, red, swollen, and warm to the touch.

2.)  Fibrocystic breast changes

  • The presence of fibrous tissue or cysts  (breast fibroadenoma)
  • Causes lumps in breast tissue
  • Non-cancerous finding
  • Can be slightly painful or itching.
  • Can cause secretion of a clear, white, yellow, or green nipple discharge.

3.)  Galactorrhea

  • The process of when a women secretes milk even when she is not pregnant or breast feeding
  • Has many different causes:  Some medications, Pituitary gland tumors, some herbs, some drugs including marijuana.

4.)  Mammary Duct Ectasia

  • Second most common cause
  • Often seen in women approaching menopause
  • Inflammation process that may block the ducts under the nipple
  • An infection develops that results in thick, greenish nipple discharge.

5.)  Intraductal Papilloma

  • Non-cancerous growths of the ducts of the breasts.
  • Most common cause of abnormal nipple discharge.
  • Discharge may contain blood and be sticky in texture.

 

Nipple Discharge and Cancer

In some cases – the discharge in a sign of cancer – though rare – it is something that needs to be considered.

If you have a hard lump or mass in your breast and discharge – testing and evaluation is necessary.

A Mammogram is essential.

Intraductal Carcinoma

  • One type of breast cancer that can have nipple discharge
  • It develops in milk ducts found beneath the nipple.

Paget’s Disease

  • Also found in the breast ducts
  • It then moves to the nipple.
  • It can cause the Areola and surrounding areas to bleed or ooze.

 

Possible Evaluation tests

  • Lab/Blood work testing
  • Culturing Discharge
  • Breast Ultrasound
  • Breast Mammogram
  • Brain scan
  • Fine needle biopsy
  • Surgical examination/excision
  • Others

 

Newer Evaluation processes that are being studied/evaluated

1.)  Ductoscopy

  • Newer technology that allows visualization of the breast ducts
  • Can be done in the office
  • Complete role not completely clear

2.)  Ductal Lavage

  • Newer technology that evaluates a large sample of cells that are washed out (lavaged) from the ducts.
  • Can be costly
  • Unsure the effectiveness of this procedure.

 

Also look at the following links

 

 

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Should you get the Flu Vaccine – Important Questions Answered

Image result for Flu shotThousands of your neighbors and friends are asking themselves if the Flu Vaccine is right for them. Flu season is just a few sneezes and coughs away. There are hundreds of ads from local pharmacies to hospitals to your own physician telling you to get one.

But some vaccine companies are hoping that you wait and there are plenty of groups telling anyone who will listen, to avoid them completely.

Which is it:  Should you wait or get it tomorrow? Should you even get one in the first place?

The CDC or the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention joined their voices to the barrage to encourage you and your friends to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

Last year, only about 45% of Americans received a flu shot.  A 5% increase in the number would save almost 10,000 hospitalizations.

2 new flu vaccines will be available this year.  One will protect against 4 strains of the influenza virus instead of 3.  Also available are Adjuvant vaccine which is essentially a boost to the effectiveness of the vaccine.

 

A few things to consider:

  • The peak time for flu can change from year to year.
  • Typically the earliest it is seen is October and the latest is May.
  • Last year, the peak time was December, and some reports show that it will likely be similar to this year.
  • Some recommend that you don’t get your flu shot until sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving
  • But don’t forget – often those who wait even a few extra weeks will forget.
  • The CDC recommends that you get it as soon as possible.
  • Traditional Flu Vaccines protect against 3 flu viruses: Two Influenza A viruses and One Influenza B virus.

Image result for Flu shot

 

Who should get a flu shot?

  • CDC recommends that anyone over 6 months old should get a flu shot.
  • A child under 6 months is not recommended.
  • Don’t get a flu shot if you have a life threatening response to any part of the flu vaccine.
  • Children and the Elderly are highly encouraged.
  • The Flu shot is approved for Pregnant Females and those with Chronic Medical Conditions.
  • The nasal flu vaccine is no longer available – its effectiveness is being questioned.
  • You should talk to your doctor if you have ever had Guillain-Barre Syndrome or GBS
  • It might be discouraged if you aren’t feeling well.

 

How long does it take for the Flu shot to work?

  • It takes the body 2 weeks for antibodies to be produced sufficiently.
  • Antibodies are like guardians against the virus and need to be adequately produces.
  • Immunity is provided by the flu shot
  • Over time, the effectiveness of the shot will become less and less.
  • You could be protected, then over time, that protection becomes less and less.
  • This is seen often in those over 65.

 

Are their risks to wait for the flu shot?

  • The greatest risk is that you won’t get one – Procrastination
  • Availability – pharmacies push for you to get the flu shot because there are plenty at the beginning of the season.
  • That number diminishes over time.
  • There have been a few years where we have run out of flu shots.

 

Image result for Flu shot

If there was a Flu Vaccine shortage – who should be a priority or get the vaccine first?

  • According to the CDC – the following should get them – not necessarily in this order
  • Children between the ages of 6 months and 58 months (4 years).
  • Immunosuppressed – either through medication or by HIV
  • Chronic Lungs Conditions (Pulmonary) such as: Asthma, COPD, Respiratory Failure, and others
  • Chronic Heart Conditions such as: Cardiac Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Enlarged heart, etc. (This doesn’t necessarily include High Blood Pressure or Hypertension alone)
  • Chronic Metabolic Conditions such as: Diabetes
  • Other Chronic Conditions such as kidney problems, hematologic, liver, and neurologic.
  • Women who are or will be pregnant.
  • Those in Nursing Homes or Chronic care facilities
  • Health Care workers
  • Children between age 6 months and 18 months who are on long term Aspirin.
  • Household caregivers of children under 5 and/or for adults 50 and older.
  • Others
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Food Allergies on The Rise – Looking at The Top 8 Most Common

Allergies to food is an ongoing and potentially life altering medical condition that is often unexpected and unwanted.

Each year, thousands of children, adolescents, and even adults deal with the pleathera of symptoms, from mild to severe, that are associated with food.

The variety of food that can cause allergies is wide and difficult. But research has shown that 80% of individuals that have a food allergy will have one or more of the top eight food allergies.

Children have a risk factor of up to 8% while adults hover around 2%.  That means that almost 1 in 10 children will have some sort of allergy to food, while adults is more in the range of 1 in 50.

The response to allergies can be very mild to very severe, even anaphylaxis which is a risk for death. Studies have indicated that for an unknown reason, the presence of anaphylaxis as a result of food is on the rise.

 

Risk Factors

  • Family member having Asthma
  • Family member having Allergies (in general)
  • Family member having Allergies to Food
  • Elevated blood levels of specif allergy related serum immunoglobins.
  • Younger than age of 3

 

Severity

Severity is the symptomatic result of coming into contact – skin, air, or consumption of an allergy.

Exposure to type of food may get a “stronger” reaction than at other times.

Mild symptoms may become more severe.

Or….an obvious different reaction from one person to another may be seen.

Allergy response may be worse when younger and less severe when older.

Some individuals will have minimal symptoms while others may have anaphylactic or serious symptoms.

Each year in the U.S., it is estimated that anaphylaxis to foods results in approximately:

  • 30,000 emergency room visits
  • 2,000 hospitalizations
  • 150 deaths

 

Symptoms:

  • Throat itching
  • Throat tingling
  • Face, tongue, or throat swelling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Skin changes
  • Itching and Scratching
  • Nose running
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Throat closing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of Consciousness

 

Top 8 Food Allergies  (Alphabetical order only)

1.)  Eggs

  • Can be found in Breads, deserts, mayonnaise and other baked goods.
  • Alternatives include: Hummus, tofu, and others.

 

 

2.)  Fish

  • Certain types of fish may be Tuna, Catfish, Salmon, Talapia, Cod, Flounder, and more.
  • May or May not have allergy to shellfish
  • Can be found in imitation crab meat
  • Alternatives include:  Canned Chicken, Deli meats, or other types of meat.

 

3.)  Milk

  • Whey = Milk
  • This includes cow products and all food products
  • Butter, cheese, cream cheese, half and half
  • Cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, pudding
  • Some (but not all) are sensitive to goat’s milk and sheep’s milk as well.
  • Alternatives include:  rice, soy, or almond milk

 

4.)  Peanuts

  • Can be found as peanut butter, peanut oil, mixed nuts.
  • Should also avoid tree nuts.
  • Very commonly used along with chocolate, granola bars, some candy, and certain meals.
  • Alternatives include:  apples, bananas and/or honey on sandwiches, cream cheese when dipping, others.

 

5.)  Shellfish (Seafood)

  • Shrimp, crab, lobster,
  • Clams, Scallops, crayfish, and more.
  • Should also be concerned about allergy to Fish.
  • Can be found in soups, certain meals, fish stock, and more
  • Alternatives include: Deli meats, meat in general, vegetables, and more.

 

6.)  Soybean

  • Lecithin = Soy
  • Tofu, Soy milk, edamame
  • Soybeans, Soy protein, Soy sause
  • Soy nuts, Tamari, Miso, others
  • Can be seen in certain meals, deli meats, some vegetable broths, infant formulas, soups, and more.
  • Alternatives include: Wheat gluten (seitan), Rice milk, Almond milk, others.

 

7.)  Tree nuts

  • Almonds, cashews, pistachios
  • Walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts
  • Hazelnuts, chestnuts, macadamia nuts,
  • Pine nuts, and more
  • Can be seen in some cereals, granola bars, some candy and more
  • Should avoid peanuts as well
  • Alternatives include: Dried fruits, cereal, raisins, and more.

 

8.)  Wheat

  • Flour = Wheat
  • Can be found in breads, pasta, cereals
  • Bran, Wheat germ, Semolina
  • Snacks, foods, and many more.
  • Alternatives include: Noodles, different pastas, corn tortillas, others.

 

Treatment

Depends of severity

1.)  Food Avoidance

2.)  Allergy medications:

  • Loratadine (Claritin)
  • Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  • Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton)
  • Diphenhydramine  (Benedryl)
  • and others

3.)  Topic medications

4.)  Taking a bath

5.)  Epi-pen – Epinephrine used for anaphylactic reactions

 

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What is the Zika Virus?

The Pandemic of the Zika Virus is currently in full swing, but we should be asking ourselves if there is a real concern.

Zika is a condition that is very similar to West Nile, Dengue, Yellow Fever, Japanese encephalitis and a few others.

The virus is part of the Flaviviridae family with a genus of Flavivirus.

It is named from a forest in Uganda called – The Zika Forest.

1950’s and after was mostly found from Africa to Asia.

Starting after 2007, the virus was seen more eastward, crossing the Pacific Ocean to the Americas.

2015-2016 – A pandemic level was reached.

In many of those affected, severity of symptoms can range from: None to Mild.

Typically Tylenol and Rest are the treatment of choice.

No prevention, such as immunizations, have been thus far effective.

The largest concern is that Zika can be spread from a pregnant women to her unborn child.

This can result in brain malformations, small brain size, and other birth defects.

Guillain-Barre can be a result in Adults.

 

Symptoms

  • Often no symptoms
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Red Eyes
  • Joint Pain
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Microcephaly (Transmission to unborn children)
  • Brain Malformations (Transmission to unborn children)
  • Guillain-Barre

  

The Virus

Flaviviridae [family] Flavivirus [genus]

Virus is enveloped and icosahedral with a  nonsegmented, single stranded RNA genome.

There are two “lines” or lineages of Zika – 1.) African and 2.) Asian

The virus spreading to Americas has been studied and is similar to African, but it is most closely related to the Asian strain that was found in French Polynesia (2013-2014)

 

Transmission

Initially, the host was monkeys through a mosquito-monkey-mosquito cycle.

Initially transmission to humans was rare.

Infrequently, the host becomes a mosquito-human-mosquito cycle.

The cause of this most recent Pandemic is unknown.

But like dengue, a similar arbovirus – the same species of mosquito vector is involved.

The mosquito family involved is the female Aedes aegypti mosquito.

This mosquito is primarily active during daytime.

The virus has been found in other mosquito types but, at this point, they don’t seem to be a vector for transmission.

***But Zika can be transmitted from a man to his sex partners.

This has been seen in Argentina, France, United States, Italy, Chile, and New Zealand.

Zika has been transmitted from mother to unborn child.

Zika has been transmitted through blood transfusions.

 

Diagnosis

  • Blood
  • Urine
  • Saliva

 

Vaccine Development

No effective Vaccine is currently known

Other vaccines target other Flaviviridae family virus – like yellow fever, dengue fever, and others.

 

Treatment

Rest

Tylenol

 

Travel Warnings

As of 2016, the CDC has issued travel recommendations and precautions for pregnant women.

Columbia, Jamaica, Ecuador, El Salvador and more countries have advised women to postpone pregnancy until more is known.

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More Men Are Using Botox To Look Younger – Calling it “Brotox”

Men aren’t alone in trying to find a way to improve their youthful appearance. More and more men are turning to cosmetic procedures including Botox to find a way to rejuvenate. The trend is that less men feel ashamed to admit a desire to improve their own looks especially as they get older.

Perception of Botox Changing

Advertisements and marketing analysis have started to dive deeply into the market of Men and Botox. The goal is for “real men” to feel and understand that Botox can be for them as well. The feeling of being ashamed for cosmetic procedures is something of the past.

Avoiding a surgical procedure may be the first desire of many men. That is where an injectable or Botox comes into play.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over 400,000 men received Botox injections in 2014, marking a 337 percent increase since 2000. In addition, over 90,000 men received fillers, an 86 percent increase since 2000.

 

Why Men Consider Botox

The goal for men isn’t to look younger, but they want to look better, feel more rejuvenated, they want a healthier life, to feel rested and fit.

Dr. Michael Bedecs says, “The benefits of Botox go beyond the surface and can help with things like blood pressure, depression and weight loss. This is about improving your confidence in yourself, when that happens a lot of really cool things happen, in terms of your own medical health.

Dr. Daniel Rousse, a plastic surgeon recently said, “They [Men] realize that they also want to look and feel their best. Many men do it for reasons involving their work. They’re executives or they’re just out in the public and just want to look their best. They’re also becoming more and more interested in either surgery or the noninvasive procedures that we do.

 

Women and Botox

Women have been using Botox for years – part of Women’s Health. It has become a fad and a fashion statement. But many women have noticed an improvement in self esteem, appearance, and overall health. Men want the same things.

 

What to Think about if Considering Botox

Dr. Rousso does highly recommend that if you are interested in Botox that you do your research first. You must go into a certified physician’s office for injections of any kind. He says if you do decide to go to a party, ask questions and do your research. It’s important to know who is administering the injections and what ingredients are being used before putting it into your body.

 

Is Botox Safe?

Some would argue that Botox isn’t safe. Much research as shown that Botox can be safe but that overuse or addiction to botox can cause harm.

In addition, not all Botox is created equal.  Some Botox Parties can have bad outcomes.

Learn more here: Is Botox Dangerous?

 

Botox and Celebrities

Male celebrities have recently admitted to Botox use. It is likely that this will increase exponentially. What holds you up from getting botox?

Women have been using Botox and more for years. Cosmetic changes have almost become the norm.

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Possible Fake Norco Causing Overdoses in California

Norco is a Opioid pain medication with the combination of Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen. Opioids and especially Norco are often called narcotic pain medications.

It is used to treat moderate to severe pain and requires a prescription, at least legally. As with any medications there are side effects and the risk of overdose is always present with too much medications.

But recent news from Sacramento California brings to light a few self evident problems with some “medications.”  There is a risk that counterfeit or fake Norco are being sold on the streets.  Since March 23rd – more than 43 people have been treated for overdoses with 10 deaths.

The San Francisco DEA division is concerned that the drugs have been contaminated. Recently they opened an anonymous tip line. Anyone with information is asked to call 530-722-7577.

 

The Problems

1.)  Availability

Norco can be purchased on the streets in almost any city in the country.  Prescription in the legal way to do it, but so often Norco and other opiods can be found easily and purchased.

Drug abuse and even overdose is one of the leading medical problems in the country. Often drug abuse leads to other problems and concerns. An overdose of Acetaminophen [Tylenol] can damage your liver or cause death.

Those who have agreed to talk have said that they have purchased the pills on the streets from strangers. Others have admitted they were given to them by friends, family, and neighbors.

 

2.)  Contamination

Whenever you are purchasing some drug on the streets, you never really know what you are getting. A contaminated Norco or anything for that matter can be life threatening.

In this case, just recently, several pills in question were tested and they were found not to have any Hydrocodone or Acetaminophen.

The lab was able to identify the pills as containing fentanyl instead. This indicates that they are really fentanyl pills (street drugs – counterfeit) that have been made to look like Norco,” said the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services.

Fentanyl, also a Opioid can be lethal in large doses. It may be up to 50 times more potent than heroin.  Far more dangerous than Opioiods.  It also can be up to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the DEA.

The regulation of street drugs is almost never adequate.

 

 

Symptoms of Opioid or Tylenol Overdoses

  • Unconsciousness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Seizures
  • Trouble breathing
  • Cessation of breathing
  • Slurred Speech
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Bluish discoloration of skin
  • Vomiting
  • Pinpoint pupils

 

Treatment

  • Go to emergency room or call your local provider
  • Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222
  • Nalexone  (Narcan)
  • Can help reverse symptoms for a short period of time
  • Symptoms can return if Professional help isn’t received.

 

Prescriptions

Officials are reminding everyone to use only prescription drugs that have been prescribed for them. Only take pills that have been received from a pharmacy.

References:
http://www.saccounty.net/news/latest-news/Pages/Tainted-Street-Drugs-Lead-to-Overdoses,-Deaths.aspx
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What is Vitamin D and How Can It Help You?

We hear about Vitamin D all around us from commercials, to media, to the internet. But do you really know what Vitmain D is and how it can be beneficial?

In the medical community there is a push to better understand both the risks of low Vitamin D as well as the vast effect of this Vitamin on health.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble Vitamin that helps with intestinal absorption of several other compounds including: Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc and more. There are several different types of this Vitamin, for humans, the most important is D3 or Cholecalciferol.  Vitamin D2 – Ergocalciferol is also important.

Both types can be ingested and from supplements. But very few foods contain Vitamin D.  Synthesis from Cholesterol happens in the skin from sun exposure, UVB radiation.

This is the catch 22 problem though – no official recommendation will be given for sun treatment due to the fact that sun can be a leading cause of cancer of the skin. Therefore, many intake guides only recommend consumption of Vitamin D.

Currently low Vitamin D can cause some serious medical issues such as Osteomalacia and/or Rickets. This is actually the same condition, Rickets is found in children.

Donald Hensrud, MD, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program said, ” 20-50 percent of adults have some form of low vitamin D values.”

Image result for Vitamin D

InterMoutain Medical Center Study

Recently, from Intermountain Medical Center – researchers suggest that the risk of Diabetes, Heart Attack (MI), heart failure, High Blood Pressure, Stroke and other cardiac events can be predicted by reviewing Vitamin D total and Vitamin D bioavailable.

Bioavailable vitamin D is vitamin D that has been absorbed but has yet to attached to certain proteins.

Dr. Heidi May was the lead researcher and she presented some findings in Chicago. She noted and followed approximately 4,200 adults between the ages of 52 – 76.

25% had Diabetes and 70% had Cardiac Heart Disease.

Dr. May said, “Our study found that low levels of both total vitamin D and bioavailable vitamin D appear to be associated with poor cardiovascular outcomes.”

Their study tested Vitamin D levels and the metabolism of Vitamin D. Only 10-15 percent of Vitamin D total is available to act on “target cells”.

 

The study did test some of the different types of vitamin D, but found that measuring total vitamin D and bioavailable vitamin D were the most accurate.

This study is the first research that evaluates the association of vitamin D metabolites with cardiovascular events And evaluating usable vitamin D could mean the difference on the amount of vitamin D prescribed, if it’s prescribed at all,” continued Dr. May.

Intermountain Medical Center is the flagship facility for the Intermountain Healthcare system, which is based in Salt Lake City.

Also read:  Where is the Vitamin D?

 

 

Additional Research and Studies

1.) Prostate Cancer

Dr. Adam Murphy  said, “Vitamin D deficiency may predict aggressive prostate cancer. Men with dark skin, low vitamin D intake or low sun exposure should be tested for vitamin D deficiency when they are diagnosed with an elevated PSA or prostate cancer. Then, a deficiency should be corrected with supplements.“ Dr. Murphy is a urologist, assistant professor of urology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and the lead investigator on this study.

2.) Multiple Sclerosis

According to research, taking a high dose of vitamin D may be an easy and less expensive way to treat people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disorder that affects the brain and spinal chord.

3.) Progression of HIV and/or Tuberculosis.

Additional researchers recently conducted a longitudinal study of patients in order to determine whether vitamin D supplementation modifies the response to HIV infection and possibly Tuberculosis noted lead researcher Nina Jablonski, PhD.

4.)  Other links have included Sleep Apnea, Depression, Melanoma survival and much more.

 

Vitamin D supplements

  • Can be taken in the form of a multivitamin
  • The Food and Nutrition Board established guideline – 400 IU  (International units) per day.
  • Institute of Medicine recommends – 600 IU
  • Vitamin D council recommends – 1,000 IU for children, 5,000 IU for pregnant and adults, 10,000 IU limit for certain Deficiencies.
  • Osteoporosis International recommends – 2,000 – 3,000

 

References:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/308566.php

How Vitamin D supplements can boost your health

Garland, CF, CB French, LL Baggerly, and RP Heaney. “Vitamin D supplement doses and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the range associated with cancer prevention.” Anticancer Research, 2011.

https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/further-topics/for-health-professionals-position-statement-on-supplementation-blood-levels-and-sun-exposure/

http://swtimes.com/features/are-you-getting-enough-vitamin-d

http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/diet-diary-the-vitamin-d-route-to-fight-tuberculosis/

 

 

 

 

 

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Male Oral Contraceptive and More…May Be a Thing of the Near Future

Birth Control advancements are pushing towards an oral pill developed strictly for men. This controversial research calls into question the effectiveness and risks for men.  For years, women have asked why they should be the only ones responsible for taking a bill to prevent pregnancy.

In addition, questionnaires have shown an increased desire for men to take an oral contraceptive.

But it seems, as far as research shows, a successful and effective male oral contraceptive has been harder to finalize.

ultrasonic-contraceptionIn a statement, Jillian Kyzer said, “At certain doses, it (works)But at those doses, it doesn’t work for up to 20% of men, and it can cause side effects, including weight gain and a decrease in ‘good’ cholesterol.”  Kyzer is a graduate student at the University of Minnesota who has been working on a male contraceptive pill.

Lead researcher Gunda I. Georg, PhD, of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, and his colleagues recently presented their findings at the 251st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in San Diego, CA.

Some of the studies have investigated the male hormone testosterone as a possible basis for such a drug; a huge side affect has been infertility at higher doses.

Other compounds have been assessed as a male contraceptive pill, but Georg and her team note there are a number of barriers that need to be overcome before such a drug can reach the market.

The pill would need to be soluble – allowing it to be taken orally – and it would need to work quite quickly, without affecting a man’s sex drive.”

 

There are some pharmaceutical companies that have reached the experimental stages. Improvements and advancements still need to be seen during research that includes selectivity and not a broad shotgun approach, improved effectiveness, and decreased side effects.

Even if just 5-10% of men used this (an oral contraceptive), it would limit population growth,” says Ilpo Huhtaniemi, emeritus professor of Reproductive Endocrinology at Imperial College London.

In a study in Mice Published in October 2015, Haruhiko Miyata and colleagues at Osaka University in Japan discovered a protein, called Calcineuron.

This protein may be crucial in helping sperm swim and break through the membrane of a female egg in order to fertilize it. When the genes behind this protein were blocked, the mice became infertile.

Ongoing Research

Pharmaceutical companies have been trying different areas of research for several years with varied results.

Areas that have been studied or are currently being studied include:

  • Controlling sperm production
  • Targeting testosterone productions
  • Preventing sperm fertilizing with egg
  • Decreased sperm motility
  • Prevention of ejaculation

 

Often these different areas will fall into two categories.

Types of Research

1.)  Hormonal Contraceptive

2.)  Non-Hormonal Contraceptives

 

Hormonal Contraceptive

Sperm is created in testicles daily – this is triggered by the hormone testosterone.  Therefore, the goal is to temporarily block this process – not allowing the production of healthy sperm cells.

The problem is that when this happens and the overall level of testosterone decreases – this causes other side effects including depression, loss of sexual desire, and others.

A possible solution may be the the process of giving men a synthetic version of testosterone. This has been somewhat successful in the testing phases. One problem, is that some men, despite the testosterone changes – still produce enough sperm to cause a pregnancy. The reason is still unknown. Further studies are looking at different combinations of synthetic testosterone and Progesterone.

 

Non-Hormonal Contraceptive

Many of the studies surround this area deal with the Vas Deferens. This is a tube the sperm passes through on the way to the penis. The vas deferens is cut during a vasectomy.

RISUG is a technique called Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance. A chemical (non-toxic) is injected into the vas deferens. This chemical reacts and blocks the process. It kills the sperm it comes in contact with.

The chemical stays in place until the man wants to have children, then it can be washed or flushed away. Long term effectiveness and safety still needs to be researched.

Other research is looking into the Epididymis. This is a coiled tube behind the testicles where sperm matures. Thus far, research hasn’t been very successful.

Other Male Contraceptive Options:

Some other options are more and less effective than others.

  • Condoms
  • Vasectomy
  • Withdrawal

 

Oral Contraceptive for Women

The pill for women went onto the marker in the 1960’s.  About 20% of women are currently taking contraceptives or have done so within the last 3 months. The primary age of use is between 15 and 45.

Women’s Health is advancing rapidly and is a very important area of study.

Typically oral contraceptives do not have side effects on libido.

While there are a number of birth control pills available for women, they are not a suitable option for all couples.

Georg says:  “It would be wonderful to provide couples with a safe alternative because some women cannot take birth control pills.”

 

Share your thoughts

Do you think that male birth control pills present a positive potential change in relationships, sex and reproductive health?

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Newborns Suffering With Increase Use of Opioids During Pregnancy?

Opioids are a group of medications or drugs that result in pain relief. The goal is to reduce the overall intensity of pain signals that are sent out from the periphery of the body to the brain.

Once an opioid is taken – the effects of the pain are diminished, the actual cause of the pain has not been addressed.

Opioid includes Heroin and analgesic drugs in the category described below.

 

But what happens when you take this medication or drug is taken during Pregnancy?

Is it safe?  Essentially this is the million dollar question and the answer is pretty straight forward.

In the U.S – reports indicate that use of Opioids during Pregnancy are anywhere from 15% to 25%. This is a large amount of pregnant females that are using Drugs During Pregnancy or taking medications.  And almost 5% of these women are using heroin during their pregnancy.

NAS or Neonatal abstinence syndrome is a medical condition that is on the rise – it is a serious medical problem for newborns. It can be seen in patients where illegal Narcotics and/or prescriptions Opioids are used prior to birth.

Essentially, the neonate becomes physically dependent on the Opioid and goes through withdrawal once they are delivered since the drug is no longer available to them.

One study showed that methadone itself can lead to serious medical problems and care for the child.

There is an association with first-trimester use of codeine and congenital heart defects.

The CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that around 30% of the young women enrolled in Medicaid and 25% of the young women with private insurance filled opioid prescriptions every year from 2008 through 2012.

The Director of the CDC – Dr. Tom Frieden said, “Many women of reproductive age are taking these medicines and may not know they are pregnant and therefore may be unknowingly exposing their unborn child.”

In addition to the underlying problems to the unborn child – pregnant females using heroin are far less likely to be seen for their first and second trimester prenatal care.

 

Effects of Opioid Exposure

The entire effects on the fetal brain are unknown. But the CNS or Central Nervous System has been studied in rodents.

Neural Tubal and birth defects are a risk in these situations. Even Cognitive impairments have been reported in children and adolescents.

Withdrawal symptoms are often seen in infants and treatment is required in some cases. Preterm labor, low birth weight, Placenta Abruption, fetal distress and even fetal death can be seen.

 

What is an Opioid?

Medications that fall into the category of Opioids are: hydrocodone (Lortab, Norco, Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), morphine (Kadian, Avinza)

Hydrocodone is the most commonly prescribed of the class of Opioid medications. They are used for things such as surgery, dental procedures, acute injuries, long term chronic conditions, infections, and much more.

Morphine is used immediately after surgery, serious pain, and more.

OxyContin is an oral medication that is used to treat moderate to severe pain through a slow steady release. Typically considered for pain more than Hydrocodone and less than Morphine.

This class of medications is among some of the oldest known drugs – opium poppy predates recorded history.

Some of the general side effects include: Drowsiness, itching, euphoria, increased sleep, mental confusion, respiratory problems, nausea, constipation, and more.

 

 

 

 

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