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7 million air polluition-linked deaths a…

24 March 2014 In new estimates released today, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that in 2012 around 7 million people...

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Super User

he medical world is full of weird and wonderful treatments for all kinds of ailments. Some are more effective than others. Some are less traditional. Take acupressure, for instance, this is a form of non-traditional treatment for pain. Some swear by it, others are more sceptical. And so is the case with addiction, some forms of treatment are traditional, others less so.

 

Addiction can be a debilitating thing. It can ruin relationships and lives and bring about all sorts of financial problems. Many people suffer from several forms of addiction on a daily basis. It might be alcohol, drugs or gambling. But whatever it is it’s important that people get help to fight the problem themselves.

 

The first step to battling any addiction is acceptance that you have a problem in the first place. Once this is done the road to recovery can begin, but until you accept it you’ll continue to have problems. Once you’ve faced up to the fact that you suffer from addiction, you can proceed onto the next stage of getting treated. There are quite a few treatments you can get to help you battle through addiction. Here are some of the most effective ones to help get you started.

 

Rehab

 

One of the most traditional methods of treatment for any form of addiction is to enter a rehabilitation centre. Rehab, as it’s often known, is a safe, serene environment that allows people to withdraw in peace. Everybody else in there will be in a similar situation to you, so there’s the opportunity to be there for each other. Rehab centres normally run programmes for a few months that help people kick their dependency. These centres are optimised to provide the perfect environment for recovery. That means no drugs or alcohol permitted on site.

 

Cold Turkey

 

Going cold turkey is a more unusual and less common method of recovery. This is the process of simply stopping using without the process of cutting down or getting help. Going cold turkey is thought to be the most difficult form of treatment, but is one of the most effective. The advantage of going cold turkey is that you’re quitting on your own without help from anybody else. This can happen much quicker and be longer lasting than seeking rehab treatment.

 

Non-Traditional

 

There are also other non-traditional forms of treatment for those battling addiction. While a lot of alcohol treatment poses a 12-step plan, there are non 12 step recovery rehabilitation methods. These attempt to get to the route causes of why people have addictions and what it is that’s stopping them from recovering. They attempt to tap into the underlying problems you might be facing that play a huge role in your addiction. If these underlying factors aren’t resolved, it can be difficult to enjoy a long-term recovery.

 

Group Therapy


Group therapy is another form of treatment for addiction. A lot of rehab centres offer group therapy, but it’s also possible to take group therapy classes without being at rehab. In the group you’ll interact with other people in a similar situation. You’ll share your stories of addiction and work towards trying to get better. These therapy classes are often led by an expert who helps figure out the problems with your addiction and how you can get past them. Group therapy isn’t for everyone, but a lot of people find it a vital and effective form of treatment and recovery.

Whether you're celebrating with your dad, kids or grandkids, Father's Day is a great reminder that fitness is key to a long and healthy life.

If you're already working out, that's great. If you're not hitting the gym regularly, start slow. Either way -- your age matters. Follow this fitness guide by decade to have healthy Father's Days for years to come.

If you're in your 20s

You're young. You're invincible (or at least as invincible as you're ever going to be.)

"This is when you should be running, jumping and playing," said Lecia Whitlock, an instructor at The National Personal Training Institute. "Test your body in any way that you can."

Think about explosive movements, plyometric drills and full-body movements -- like a lunge with an overhead dumbbell press -- that work more than a single muscle group. And have fun!

Challenge: Train for an extreme race like the Tough Mudder.

Sunday, 15 June 2014 00:00

Blood donation facts to know

According to the World Health Organization, 800 women die every day from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. Severe bleeding is the cause of 34% of maternal deaths in Africa, 31% in Asia and 21% in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Because of these statistics, the theme for 2014's World Blood Donor Day is "Safe blood for saving mothers."

Held on June 14 each year, the date marks the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, who helped make modern blood transfusions possible.

One blood donation can save the lives of up to three people, and the donation process only takes eight to 10 minutes, according to the American Red Cross.

Find a blood donation center near you

Sunday, 15 June 2014 00:00

Levitra (Vardenafil) Facts

What is Levitra?

Levitra is a PDE-5 inhibitor, a class of on demand oral treatments available to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).

Who can be treated with Levitra?

Levitra has been shown to be effective in treating ED in a broad range of men, including men with diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, spinal cord injury and those who have had their prostate gland removed. (1)

How effective is Levitra?

74% of ED patients achieve full sexual intercourse with their first Levitra tablet (2)

87% of ED patients achieve penetration with their first Levitra tablet (2)

75% of men with diabetes and ED achieved penetration with their first Levitra tablet (3)

84% of men with hypertension and ED achieved penetration with their first Levitra tablet (3)

84% of men with dyslipidaemia and ED achieved penetration (with their first Levitra tablet (3)

Sunday, 15 June 2014 00:00

Cialis (Tadalafil) Facts

What is Cialis?

Cialis is the trade name for a drug called Tadalafil. Cialis is one of a class of drugs known as PDE-5 (Phosphodiesterase type 5) inhibitors. Cialis and the other PDE-5 inhibitors can help men with erectile dysfunction (male impotence) by enhancing the erectile response when a man is sexually stimulated. Aside from Cialis, the other drugs in this class are Viagra (Sildenafil) and Levitra (Vardenafil).

How does Cialis work?

Cialis does not cause a man to be sexually aroused. Cialis will only be effective if a man is mentally sexually aroused. To understand how Cialis works you need to understand the mechanics of how a man gets an erection. When a man is sexually stimulated, the nervous system in the erectile tissue of your penis releases nitric oxide (NO). The nitric oxide stimulates an enzyme that produces a 'messenger' called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). The cGMP relaxes the smooth muscle cells. One result of this is that the arteries in the penis dilate and the blood can flow into the penis more easily. Another result is that the erectile tissue itself fills with blood. Both of these processes result in an erection. Cialis works by maintaining the level of cGMP in the smooth muscle cells. If you are not mentally sexually aroused, your brain will not stimulate the release of any nitric oxide and you will not produce increased levels of cGMP.

Sunday, 15 June 2014 00:00

Viagra (Sildenafil) Facts

What is Viagra?

Viagra is the trade name for a drug called Sildenafil. Viagra is one of a class of drugs known as PDE-5 (Phosphodiesterase type 5) inhibitors. Viagra and the other PDE-5 inhibitors can help men with erectile dysfunction (male impotence) by enhancing the erectile response when a man is sexually stimulated. Aside from Viagra, the other drugs in this class are Cialis (Tadalafil) and Levitra (Vardenafil).

How does Viagra work?

Viagra does not cause a man to be sexually aroused. Viagra is only effective if you are sexually aroused. To understand how it works you need to understand the mechanics of how a man gets an erection. When you get sexually stimulated, the nervous system in the erectile tissue of your penis releases nitric oxide (NO). The nitric oxide stimulates an enzyme that produces something called a messenger cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). The cGMP relaxes the smooth muscle cells. One result of this is that the arteries in your penis dilate and the blood can flow into your penis more easily. Another result is that the erectile tissue itself fills with blood. Both of these process result in an erection. Viagra works by maintaining the level of cGMP in the smooth muscle cells. If you are not turned on, your brain will not stimulate the release of any nitric oxide and you will not produce any cGMP.

Sunday, 15 June 2014 00:00

Erectile Dysfunction (Male impotence)

You may find it embarrassing if you are having difficulty maintaining an erection, or finding it hard to ejaculate, but you are not alone. Many men have the same problem. As many as two and a half million men around the UK may have some sort of sexual dysfunction at any one time. And although it may not be something you want to discuss with your friends, it is important that you get some advice if you are worried about it.

Young Men
The most common cause of erectile dysfunction for young men is anxiety. This may include concerns about getting someone pregnant, not wanting to appear inexperienced, or worrying about using a condom without embarrassment or losing your erection while putting a condom on.

Middle Aged Men
Common causes of erectile dysfunction for middle aged men may include stress, guilt, or having sex with a new partner after many years of monogamy. Other causes may include diabetes.

Older Men
Although 70% of men over the age of 70 are still sexually active, erectile dysfunction does get more likely as you get older. This may be linked to the deterioration to the blood vessels that carry blood to the penis, and also to the deterioration of heart or brain arteries.

24 March 2014

In new estimates released today, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died - one in eight of total global deaths - as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world's largest single environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives.

In particular, the new data reveal a stronger link between both indoor and outdoor air pollution exposure and cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and ischaemic heart disease, as well as between air pollution and cancer. This is in addition to air pollution's role in the development of respiratory diseases, including acute respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.

The new estimates are not only based on more knowledge about the diseases caused by air pollution, but also upon better assessment of human exposure to air pollutants through the use of improved measurements and technology. This has enabled scientists to make a more detailed analysis of health risks from a wider demographic spread that now includes rural as well as urban areas.

Regionally, low- and middle-income countries in the WHO South-East Asia and Western Pacific Regions had the largest air pollution-related burden in 2012, with a total of 3.3 million deaths linked to indoor air pollution and 2.6 million deaths related to outdoor air pollution.

"Cleaning up the air we breathe prevents noncommunicable diseases as well as reduces disease risks among women and vulnerable groups, including children and the elderly," says Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director-General Family, Women and Children's Health. "Poor women and children pay a heavy price from indoor air pollution since they spend more time at home breathing in smoke and soot from leaky coal and wood cook stoves."

Included in the assessment is a breakdown of deaths attributed to specific diseases, underlining that the vast majority of air pollution deaths are due to cardiovascular diseases as follows:

Outdoor air pollution-caused deaths - breakdown by disease:

  • 40% - ischaemic heart disease;
  • 40% - stroke;
  • 11% - chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • 6% - lung cancer
  • 3% - acute lower respiratory infections in children.

Indoor air pollution-caused deaths - breakdown by disease:

  • 34% - stroke; 
  • 26% - ischaemic heart disease;
  • 22% - COPD;
  • 12% - acute lower respiratory infections in children;
  • 6% - lung cancer.

The new estimates are based on the latest WHO mortality data from 2012 as well as evidence of health risks from air pollution exposures. Estimates of people's exposure to outdoor air pollution in different parts of the world were formulated through a new global data mapping. This incorporated satellite data, ground-level monitoring measurements and data on pollution emissions from key sources, as well as modelling of how pollution drifts in the air.

"The risks from air pollution are now far greater than previously thought or understood, particularly for heart disease and strokes," says Dr Maria Neira, Director of WHO's Department for Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health. "Few risks have a greater impact on global health today than air pollution; the evidence signals the need for concerted action to clean up the air we all breathe."

After analysing the risk factors and taking into account revisions in methodology, WHO estimates indoor air pollution was linked to 4.3 million deaths in 2012 in households cooking over coal, wood and biomass stoves. The new estimate is explained by better information about pollution exposures among the estimated 2.9 billion people living in homes using wood, coal or dung as their primary cooking fuel, as well as evidence about air pollution's role in the development of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and cancers.

In the case of outdoor air pollution, WHO estimates there were 3.7 million deaths in 2012 from urban and rural sources worldwide.

Many people are exposed to both indoor and outdoor air pollution. Due to this overlap, mortality attributed to the two sources cannot simply be added together, hence the total estimate of around 7 million deaths in 2012.

"Excessive air pollution is often a by-product of unsustainable policies in sectors such as transport, energy, waste management and industry. In most cases, healthier strategies will also be more economical in the long term due to health-care cost savings as well as climate gains," says Dr Carlos Dora, WHO Coordinator for Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health. "WHO and health sectors have a unique role in translating scientific evidence on air pollution into policies that can deliver impact and improvements that will save lives."

The release of today's data is a significant step in advancing a WHO roadmap for preventing diseases related to air pollution. This involves the development of a WHO-hosted global platform on air quality and health to generate better data on air pollution-related diseases and strengthened support to countries and cities through guidance, information and evidence about health gains from key interventions.

Later this year, WHO will release indoor air quality guidelines on household fuel combustion, as well as country data on outdoor and indoor air pollution exposures and related mortality, plus an update of air quality measurements in 1600 cities from all regions of the world.

Saturday, 14 June 2014 00:00

List of Medical Specialties

1. Allergy and Immunology
The medical specialty of Allergy and Immunology focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of allergies.

2. Anesthesiology
Anesthesiology is the medical specialty focusing on administering pain-killing drugs during surgery in the operating room. Anesthesiology also includes the field of Pain Management, a sub-specialty which helps manage chronic (ongoing) pain in patients with prescription medication, injections, or other therapeutic methods.

3. Dermatology
The field of dermatology focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the skin.

4. Emergency Medicine
Emergency Medicine is the field which focuses on emergent, or acute medical care of patients who need immediate medical attention due to trauma, accident, or a major medical event.

5. Family Medicine
Family medicine is a primary care field overseeing the basic healthcare needs of patients of all ages, from infant to geriatric.

6. Internal Medicine
Internal medicine is similar to family medicine in that it includes primary care and basic healthcare management of all areas of a patient's health. However, internal medicine typically does not include pediatrics or obstetrics, whereas family medicine often does. Additionally, internal medicine includes more in-depth training and patient care in a hospital setting and acute care. Finally, internal medicine includes many more sub-specialties such as:

  • Cardiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Oncology and Hematology
  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  • Infectious Disease
  • Nephrology
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Rheumatology

7. Neurology
Neurology is the medical specialty focusing on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the brain and nervous system. Patients who have suffered a stroke, or who battle ailments such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's, or Parkinson's are a few examples of some of the patients who are treated by neurologists.

8. Neurosurgery
Neurosurgery is a surgical specialty of medicine devoted solely to surgery of the brain.

9. OB/GYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Obstetrics is healthcare for pregnant women, including labor and childbirth and providing a safe delivery of the baby. Gynecology entails the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the female reproductive system.

10. Ophthalmology
Ophthalmology is the medical specialty focusing on treatment of the eyes, and retina. Not to be confused with an optometrist, ophthalmologists can also do eye surgery and prescribe medication unlike optometrists, who typically focus on eyesight correction and enhancement and prescription lenses.

11. Orthopaedic Surgery
Orthopaedic surgery entails surgery of the joints, bones, and muscles. Patients with sports injuries, or injuries from an accident may be treated by orthopaedic surgeons, as are patients with some types of arthritis in the joints which may be surgically repaired.

12. Otolaryngology (E.N.T.)
Otolaryngology is the medical specialty commonly known as "E.N.T.", which stands for ear, nose, and throat. Otolaryngology includes office-based care, and surgical procedures both in the hospital and in the office. Therefore, a variety of practice environments and employers are available in this field.

13. Pediatrics
Pediatrics is a primary care field of medicine focusing on the healthcare of children, from newborn to age 18. Most pediatric jobs are office-based, where routine physicals, immunizations, coughs and colds, and "lumps and bumps" are handled frequently. However, there are also numerous pediatric jobs available at children's hospitals, particularly in pediatric subspecialties such as pediatric surgery.

14. Psychiatry
Psychiatry entails the treatment of patients' mental health and well-being. Psychiatry may be practiced in an office, providing psychotherapy and medication for more common psychiatric care, or in a psychiatric hospital for more serious, acute psychiatric issues such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other issues requiring hospitalization. Psychiatry also involves treatment of patients with addictions such as drugs or alcohol.

15. Radiology
Radiology is the medical field which entails the use of medical imaging to diagnose a variety of problems across all specialties and body systems. Radiology is a very high-tech field offering a great deal of job growth, because it is utilized in conjunction with so many other medical specialties including cardiology, surgery, oncology, gastroenterology, to name a few.

16. Surgery
General surgeons perform a variety of abdominal and laparoscopic surgeries. Surgeons may also subspecialize to focus on trauma surgery, vascular surgery, plastic surgery, or cardiac surgery. Surgical careers involve surgeon, surgical tech, or OR nurse.

17. Urology
Urology is the medical specialty involving diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the urinary tract as well as the male reproductive system. Urology includes office-based care and surgical treatment.

The results, published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, show that many young people aren't getting adequate sleep - and the problem is much worse in one out of every 10 teens, who are addicted to electronic media.

"Although there are many known benefits of electronic media for young people, including opportunities for learning and socialisation, previous studies have suggested that excessive electronic media use could impact negatively on sleeping patterns and the quality of sleep," says the lead author of the study, Dr Daniel King from the University of Adelaide's School of Psychology.

The study has found that with use of electronic media, more than 70% of adolescents are not receiving optimal sleep during weekdays,  delaying the time they go to bed, interrupting them during the night, and leading to longer times to achieve a deep sleep.

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