Saturday, February 28, 2009

Medicinal Properties of Raisins

Dry grapes are known as raisins. Like fresh grapes these are rich source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, natural sugars and gum. Calcium is an essential mineral of our bones and teeth. The structural strength of our skeletal system is the contribution of calcium. As a coagulation factor, calcium helps our body in checking any bleeding disorder. Phosphorus is also an essential mineral of bones, nerve tonic and buffering chemical of blood plasma and various body fluids. Calcium, magnesium and potassium take part in cellular metabolism and functions. Potassium plays a vital role in the cardiac, renal and muscle physiology. Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin and hence the red blood cells (RBCs), and also essential for the formation of blood. Consumption of 20 to 25g of raisins daily could supply us all these nutritious components. Raisins also possess anti-inflammatory properties and are useful as an expectorant for cough. Beneficial effects of raisins have also been documented in the treatment of acidity and jaundice.

Statins as New Generation Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are considered to be more safe drugs for inflammatory diseases since these have minimum side effects. Statins are normally meant for patients with high cholesterol levels to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. Current studies by researchers have found that statins could be beneficial for people with normal cholesterol levels. The drug rosuvastatin has been found to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke to around 45% in a systematic clinical study by a team of researcher in the United Kingdom. In people with inflammatory diseases like joint pains or rheumatoid arthritis, showing elevated levels of Carbohydrate Reactive Protein (CRP) in blood/serum, it has been observed that administration of 20mg of rosuvastatin daily could scale down the level of CRP and inflammatory symptoms. Consult your physician if you feel like using statins for satisfactory relief from an inflammatory disease without much side effects.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rheumatic Fever and Complications

Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease. Group-A Streptococcal infection of the throat or pharyngitis may lead to acute rheumatic fever. Central nervous system, skin, joints and the heart are predominantly affected by rheumatic fever. Young children in the age group of 5 to 15 years are usually affected by acute rheumatic fever. The incidence rate is about 3% in the patients with acute Streptococcal pharyngitis and the latent period is about 2 to 3 weeks. There is a need for throat swab culture to find out the type of bacterial infection in cases of acute pharyngitis or tonsillitis. A positive throat swab culture for group-A Streptococcal infection is considered as the direct evidence of throat infection. Antibiotics are the choice of drug to eradicate group-A Streptococci. The antibiotics could be given even if the throat swab is negative for Streptococci since the organisms may be present in the areas inaccessible to the swabs. The patient may have moderate to high grade fever with skin rash or arthralgia. Inappropriately treated cases may develop endocarditis, polyarthritis, chorea or subcutaneous nodules. There may be transient or persistent rise in 'erythrocyte sedimentation rate' (ESR). The test for acute phase protein called carbohydrate reactive protein (CRP) is also found to be positive in addition to elevated levels of 'Anti-Streptolysine-O' (ASO) antibodies. The patient needs specialized consultation and adequate treatment to avoid serious complications.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Silence Is a Sound !

The statement "silence is a sound" may look strange but could be understood well in the light of the facts cited below. The sound is associated with the faculty of hearing under our sensory system and is produced due to vibrations of molecules in the atmosphere. These vibrations are known as waves and a wave always has a definite frequency, wavelength and amplitude. Our brain is embedded with the necessary neurons capable of intercepting and analyzing the sound waves received through the ears. The sensation of hearing is interpreted by our brain as a pleasant or unpleasant sound or the music or a noise. The irregular sound waves produce noise whereas the regular and rhythmic waves produce the music. The sound waves travel at a speed of 375 yards per second in still air at 60oC. The levels of the sound or voice are expressed in decibels (db). The decibel is a unit of sound pressure levels. Our ordinary conversation has a sound level of 60 to 70 db. The level of sound generated by heavy traffic is around 90 db and that of a jet engine could be around 150 db.

The higher is the amplitude of the sound wave the higher would be the decibel level. The sub-audible sound has very low amplitude. The ultrasound could be called an inaudible sound current or silence. The silence is beyond the sensitivity of our hearing apparatus or ears, hence inaudible. One could experience the silence as a sound through deeper incite into ones brain with eyes closed. The alpha state of our mind is the state when our mind is empowered to intercept the silence. The silence is subtle, serene and blissful.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Internet Addiction Disorder: A Lifestyle Disorder

We have been living through an era of information technology. The World Wide Web is an open source of a variety of information in every field of the science and technology. Sitting in any corner of the world we may stay connected to our near and dear ones through the voice and video chat on the internet. Too much involvement, dependence and attachment transform our habit as addiction. Those who stay glued to the internet for more than 6 hours without any professional compulsion could be called internet addicts. The internet addiction disorder (IAD) could be called a lifestyle disorder of the modern age. Everything is under the control of our intellect. Let not allow your habit become an addiction. You may be affected by IAD if you feel disturbed and angry for not being getting connected to internet and you pass your time surfing internet without any professional compulsion. Five major activities which could lead us to internet addiction have been listed below:

  1. On line gaming.

  2. Excessive involvement in internet surfing or exploration for needful information in the initial stage and becoming a habit for unnecessary exploration later.

  3. Shopping on line and extended sessions of chatting.

  4. Too much general surfing on internet.

  5. A taste for net pornography.

Just minimize the time for above said activities to save yourself from the grip of internet addiction disorder. Those who feel being affected by the IAD should seek medical advice and change their lifestyle and dependence on internet. To overcome the internet addiction disorder one should get involved into a variety of activities like reading books and periodicals, site seeing, exercising, cooking, watching creative channels on television etc.