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Being Multicellular

Explorations in science.

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medicine

Top Mankillers 1- Movember

Heart Disease
By BeingMulticellular.

What do you think is the next biggest mankiller? Also, why do you think that men drink more than women? Happy Movember!

© Being Multicellular 2016. All Rights Reserved.

 

Sources

http://www.medicinenet.com/mens_health/page4.htm

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Top-12-First-Issues-That-Kill-Men-63066.shtml

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-lower-cholesterol-risk#1

https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/risk-factors/smoking

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-alcohol-your-heart

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/diseases/alcohol-and-heart-disease/

 

Sticky Blood- The disease with five names.

Sticky blood has many other names: Hughes Syndrome, Antiphospholipid Syndrome, APS and is an autoimmune disorder where abnormal antibodies attack phospholipids which have an important role in maintaining the consistency of blood; the blood becomes too sticky which increases the risk of blood clots. Continue reading “Sticky Blood- The disease with five names.”

Why Pathology is Important.

I was able to visit a pathology department recently and was told that pathology ‘is the science behind the cure.’ The department was responsible for testing blood, urine, tissue samples, even faeces. Even though getting samples were sometimes embarrassing or difficult if the patient is unable to collect their own samples, analysing them is how they were able to identify the problem with the patient’s health and therefore what treatment should be given.

One of the disciplines of pathology is clinical biochemistry. This concerns the bodily fluids like blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid (fluid from the brain). Clinical biochemistry is important because the most common diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart problems and kidney failure are all identified in the lab. For example, to test for renal failure blood tests are carried out and the level of waste products like urea are measured in the blood since urea is formed by the break-down of proteins so if the level of urea in the blood increases then the kidney’s aren’t filtering it properly. There are also urine tests and scans that are used to diagnose.

Pathology is also important due to the amount of people that need to be tested. Unless the illness or disease is obvious or uses other equipment like scans for broken limbs, bodily fluids have be tested because there are a number of illnesses that have similar symptoms. For example, if you had a headache, you may just have a headache from a cold or it could be meningitis which are two very different illnesses or something else altogether. Then there is also different types of meningitis, there’s the virus and the bacterial type. If we didn’t have pathology, we could treat somebody for a disease that they don’t have and this trial and error method until there is a positive reaction from the patient could do more harm than good and doesn’t give the patient the best care if they’re just being treated like a guinea pig. Therefore, pathology has improved healthcare tremendously, no more guessing, we know how to identify different diseases depending on what is identified in the bodily fluids and so we are treating more accurately.

Pathology is not just used to find what treatment to give but also to manage this treatment and to say when treatment can stop so that we don’t have people living in hospitals for years. On that note, pathology is very important for the NHS because only the medicine and treatments that are needed to treat the illness that has already been identified and so medicine isn’t wasted and hospitals aren’t full of people that don’t actually don’t have to be on treatment anymore. Prevention and early treatment are also ruled by pathology, reducing the risk of diseases to progress to a point where treatment is no longer an option.

Another great advancement is that clinical biochemistry can be performed at a patient’s bedside now, or at their home if they are unable to get to a hospital. These tests can have immediate results which mean that the patient can receive treatment sooner. These aren’t as accurate as the tests in the lab but, for a person that would otherwise struggle to be tested or would have to wait for the results of a delivered sample to return, this is an important.

The great range of disciplines of pathology include research and diseases have been eradicated by the development of pathology like haemolytic disease, which affected newborn and foetus of Rhesus- negative women (where there is a possibility of the woman’s antibodies attacking the baby’s red blood cells)which has been almost eradicated from the development of  blood typing tests that identify this blood type.

Why else do you think pathology is important or what did I leave out? Comment below.

 

© Being Multicellular 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Sources:

https://www.rcpath.org/

Female Nobel Prize Winners in Chemistry and Medicine/Physiology

 

Prior to this blog post, the only female Nobel Laureate in chemistry that I knew of was Marie Curie and I didn’t know that there were any in the field of medicine. This may have just been my ignorance but now I know all of them and have been empowered because of it. Continue reading “Female Nobel Prize Winners in Chemistry and Medicine/Physiology”

The Influence of Galen on Modern Medicine.

Although many of Galen’s have been disproved like that fact that he thought that blood was made in the liver, he was accurate about many helpful observations in medicine which may explain why his ideas lasted for fifteen centuries after his death, this, and the fact that he was physician to several emperors with influence over the entire Roman Empire. The same Roman Empire that spread from Scotland to Asia, Iraq to Africa and formed 35 languages therefore spreading Galen’s work and ideas. Continue reading “The Influence of Galen on Modern Medicine.”

CRPS- What is it?

 

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome was first described by Ambroise Pare who reported that after blood-letting King Charles IX, who had persistent pain. This fits into what can trigger the disorder: burns, cuts, surgical procedures, sprains. In the past CRPS was linked with the word causalgia which depicts a burning sensation.

About 1 in 3,800 people a year are diagnosed with CRPS and 7% of people who experience in one limb will later experience it in another limb.

Continue reading “CRPS- What is it?”

Pregnancy and Childbirth- How Women are Adapted.

It’s a miracle that women are able to form a person from a ball of cells which can then be pushed out of a hole that is tiny in comparison. Therefore, I decided to research what it is that makes this reproduction possible.

The story that all teenage girls are taught during sex-education classes is that women can give birth because they have wider hips and women that have slightly smaller hips are now more commonly told that they can’t have a natural birth or that their natural birth will be more laboured or longer in duration is slightly untrue. Continue reading “Pregnancy and Childbirth- How Women are Adapted.”

Antidepressants- Are Pills The Way Forward?

Pills
Pills (was it obvious?)

Antidepressants are drugs developed to suppress the symptoms of depression (too obvious?)

There are two main causes of depression that are treated by antidepressants; if the person has low serotonin levels they are mostly treated with SSRI’s; selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors to increase this level. Serotonin is important to brain activity because it is a neurotransmitter and so sends signals between neurons and although scientists are still unsure of why, especially since the level of serotonin can only be monitored in the bloodstream currently and not the brain, the site of neurological activity. Because of this uncertainty, it is unknown why serotonin relieves the symptoms of depression Continue reading “Antidepressants- Are Pills The Way Forward?”

Mitochondria- Nature’s Bank

Mitochondria are the organelles that release ATP, which is how energy is stored in living things and allows whole organisms, like the human body to function which is pretty impressive for such a microscopic (literally) body. In eukaryotic cells, usually cells that have a nucleus or other organelle such as a plant or animal cell but not bacterial cells, there are about 1,000 mitochondria in each cell and the knowledge we now have in the features and functions of the organelles are due to access to electron microscopy.

The discovery of mitochondria was in 1886 when Richard Altman used dye to identify, although Continue reading “Mitochondria- Nature’s Bank”

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