The Importance Of Reading Medical News Journals

Hardly does a month or a week go by before a friend or a member of our families fall ill. It may be a simple infection or even a terminal disease. At such critical times we seek information of the diseases and illnesses from the websites and books that we can access. Sometimes we even ask our friends. However, some of the material we read may either be outdated or simply irrelevant. The best alternative would be to follow-up on different medical conditions in the medical news sections in newspapers as well as the websites that constantly provide professional medical news.

There are certain medical news items that have specifically targeted certain diseases and medical conditions. The articles are fully dedicated on diseases such as cancer or even conditions such as diabetes. The main reason would be to provide a consistent flow of information for the targeted people. The advantages of such sections include the full coverage of the up-to-date medical trends that address the disease or condition. The article writers extensively cover areas such as research and management of these diseases. They provide the medical news with the specific readers in mind.

There are yet other medical news columns and websites that address medical insurance issues. The articles provide a rich source of information for people who are either looking for new medical insurance covers or those who already have the medical cover. By reading through the professional advice, they would be in a better position to make the best choices concerning medical insurance covers. These medical news areas avail information of the recommended medical insurance policy providers. When such kind of information is presented in a clear and straightforward manner, the readers would be aware of the opportunities and benefits that come with medical insurance covers.

Readers could spare a few minutes to read on the areas covered by the health news articles. The reason for this is that they would expose themselves to knowledge that would probably save a life. The knowledge obtained from such reading can be helpful in updating them on the ongoing research activities in the medical field. For instance, there is constant research into cancer drugs. Information on the progress made by the medical researchers working on the drug can be best located in the columns that cover the medical news. Alternatively, they can visit approved medical websites that provide all the updates on the research being done on a particular disease or medical conditions.

The medical news can be a source of tips or techniques that could be applicable in any situation that needs medical conditions. The doctors and other medical professionals have dedicated themselves to providing the individuals who are not in the medical field with information on diseases that may not necessarily warrant a visit to the hospital. For example, home remedies could be recommended where applicable. Doctors can give directions of handling such situations from a professional medical official’s perspective.

What Are the Most Important Elements of Wellness?

Introduction

The most important elements of wellness are reason, exuberance, athleticism and liberty. The acronym for these four dimensions is REAL. REAL wellness avoids the confusion that often occurs when wellness is sent out into the world without a bit of specificity for protection. The term wellness has been bandied about so recklessly over the past four decades that a modifier that signals a clear emphasis is essential to clear communications about the concept. These four areas are the most important elements of wellness, in my opinion. For this reason, I believe a new medical specialty is needed. Medical doctors who care about healthy lifestyles should be trained to deal in four REAL wellness specialty areas.

What follows is an outline for a new medical specialty area for fitness and nutrition, both of which are part of the element of athleticism.

Medical Specialties

In 2012, the AMA Physician Masterfile of specialty practices stood at 200 categories, with another 140 officially recognized subspecialties. (Source: Association of American Medical Colleges 2012 Physician Speciality Data Book.)

The range of disciplines is impressive and demonstrates the devotion our medical system has for diseases and dysfunctions. The range of specialties extends from A (allergy and immunology) to V (vascular surgery). Unfortunately, there is no specialty for dealing with what might be the most common disorder, a condition that afflicts hundreds of millions of sufferers in Western nations. I refer, of course, to Sedentarius Dysfunctionitis.

Sedentarius Dysfunctionitis or SD is a dreadful condition that presents itself in a wide range of disorders, all brought on by mental deficiencies, genetic abnormalities, adverse environmental factors and, rarely, absence of suitable information/education. All such factors contribute to the common inability of citizens throughout the developed world to sufficiently manipulate and engage their organs, muscle groups and ancillary body systems in movements at sufficient frequency, duration and intensity levels. This failure leads to a range of health-diminishing conditions and diseases, including obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and much else. Hapless millions face the reality of cantdoit and become vessels for medical billing codes in a sickness system still badly in need of repair.

Therefore, it is inexcusable, outrageous, scandalous and shocking that no medical specialty exists to provide treatment, not for the symptoms of SD (at least half of all specialists treat the myriad SD-caused illnesses and diseases) but for the condition of SD itself. As long as people suffer from SD, specialists in at least 100 specialty categories will have ample opportunities to stay busy and prosper treating those who suffer from symptoms of SD disorder, while the disorder itself will go undetected or at least untreated.

The Role of the Physician Fitness Specialist

The doctor who specializes in treating SD will have to know, in addition to mastering the standard medical school curriculum and other requirements for licensing in that profession, advanced training in exercise physiology, the psychology of motivation, the nature of REAL wellness and a range of similar skills that permit assessment and counseling, experimentation, research and more. He will have to understand related fields, such as nutrition and positive psychology.

However, one area that will occupy her or his time with patients to a considerable extent will be diagnosing and helping the patients reform lifestyle-generated metabolic, musculo-skeletal and psychological dysfunctions. These, after all, are the foundation elements in the onset and persistence of SD. Rather than prescribing drugs or engaging in invasive interventions, the Fitness specialist M.D. will prescribe and monitor, often assisted by a team of professionals within the exercise arena, exercise and fitness regimens. These patient-centered plans will be keyed to aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility. A standard goal will be the restoration and maintenance of sound metabolic, musculo-skeletal and psychological stability and strength.

An example of the detailed focus of the Fitness Specialist might be assisting SD sufferers regain needed levels of strength and flexibility. The doctor will want the pelvis and bones above it to align, else joint and muscle pain will persist. Weak musculature does not enable a person to manage typical everyday tasks without breakdowns because muscles take bones out of alignment. The Fitness Specialist doctor will know that pain sites are rarely the causal areas of pains experienced. He will know where to look for the problem and proscribe routines and lifestyles that get at sources, not symptoms.

Summing Up

As Australian physical educator John Miller, has long maintained, it is a big ask to expect anyone to stay healthy without keeping him or herself fit. It’s an even bigger ask expecting to get better by having someone do something to you; sooner or later you have to do something to yourself.

Health without exercise and fitness cannot be maintained – at least not for long. Medical spending would be a fraction of what it is today (nearly 18% of GDP in the U.S. – it was 6% in 1965) if we had half as many doctors treating SD as we have treating allergies, performing vascular surgeries and practicing the other specialties in-between. Too many physicians devote their talents to relatively rare as well as end stage disorders. It is long past the time for getting our national health system doctor specialty house in order. It’s time to create specialists in the all too common maladies of SD caused by dysfunctions brought about my underuse of major body systems, particularly the cardio-vascular, digestive and musculo-skeletal systems.

Have a look at the Miller model continuum shown below, one of countless variations on the classic model created in the early 70’s by John Travis, M.D. and first promotion at the world first Wellness Center, located in the heart of downtown Mill Valley, CA. Every malady and malaise known to man and woman exists on this continuum from the Tipping Point in the center all the way to the far left of the continuum – the dreadful nadir or slough of despond point of physical worseness. This is the field of play for all 200 medical specialties. Now look to the right of the Tipping Point on the graph. This would be the province of the medical doctor fitness specialist.

Be well, exercise daily, get fit and stay that way. No point waiting for medical leaders to create a new specialty of doctors to look after you when you get SD.

Do Not Mistake Hemorrhoids With Other Ailments

Most symptoms of hemorrhoids are identical to those of many other diseases. Pain, bleeding, and anal discomfort may or may not be caused by hemorrhoids. It is not difficult to confuse symptoms for such diseases like bowel diseases, colorectal cancers, and sexually transmitted diseases with those of hemorrhoids.

You should always consult your doctor about any sign or symptom which you think you have. Early diagnosis is extremely important. Your doctor can arrange tests and examinations, and even a complete analysis and a medical examination if they believe they may be required, to confirm your ailment. That avoids worry and unnecessary expense or surgery for you.

You are then better prepared to deal with whatever is affecting you. Proper diagnosis and understanding of the ailment is essential for correct medical care and treatment.

Various intestinal ailments cause uncontrollable anal leakage. Similarly, changes in feces characteristics like tar-like stool, pencil-like and narrow stools, and blood on the stool are common to various ailments like colitis or intestinal diseases. Changes in bowel movements are a common feature of numerous ailments.

Some of the medical conditions which have symptoms that sometimes may overlap with those of hemorrhoids include inflammatory bowel diseases, including:

  • Anorectal conditions
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Polyps and cancers
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Common inflammatory bowel diseases include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both these diseases cause inflammation of the digestive tissue. Crohn’s disease causes inflammation of the small intestine and colon. It causes blockage of the intestines and digestive tract. This is expected to result in infection and fissures, abscesses, and skin tags. These cause similar symptoms as hemorrhoids, like blood in the stool, pain, itching in the anal region, and other similar symptoms. They can be readily mistaken for hemorrhoidal symptoms.

Ulcerative colitis causes serious inflammation of the surface of the colon. This causes bleeding and leads to blood in the stool. Diarrhea is a frequent symptom of ulcerative colitis. This again could cause symptoms similar to hemorrhoids.

Anorectal Conditions

Abscesses, fissures, and fistulas are common anorectal conditions with symptoms similar to hemorrhoids. An abscess is a set of pus due to bacteria. Trapped fecal materials within the glands of the sphincter muscle of the anal canal can cause swelling and a painful bulge develops. This is just an anorectal abscess. It is essential to locate such abscesses and drain them. A skin tear of the anal canal is a fissure. A deep fissure can even expose the sphincter muscle. Regular contraction of the anal muscles worsens fissures. Fissures develop due to forcible expulsion of hard stools or due to anal surgery.

Frequent symptoms of fissures include blood in the stool, a burning sensation before and after bowel movements, pain, and swollen tissue. Skin tags are the same as hemorrhoidal skin tags. Again, simple self-care treatments like warm baths and analgesic creams can bring temporary relief for hemorrhoids. Although fissures are normally self-healing, surgery could become indispensable in specific cases.

Untreated and undrained abscesses develop into fistulas. The infection in the abscess spreads through the internal tissue into a troublesome external opening. Pus comes out of these fistula openings. This condition requires immediate surgery. The symptoms are very similar to hemorrhoids.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Most sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia, Anal Warts, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and Herpes, have hemorrhoid-like symptoms. Chlamydia causes bleeding, rectal infection, pain, and anal discharge. Anal warts cause bleeding, itching, fleshy growth in the anal canal or near the anus, pain, and discharge.

A syphilis infection starts with an ulcer. If the infection is located in the anal canal, pain can cause symptoms similar to hemorrhoids. Gonorrhea causes extensive pain and discharge. Herpes causes severe pain and itching in the genitals, bleeding, blisters, and the development of anal sores.

Polyps and Cancer

Polyps are harmless growths in the intestinal linings and rectum. However, these develop into colorectal cancers. Polyps are discovered through colonoscopies and manual medical examinations. Normally polyps depict multiple growths. Some polyps can cause mucus discharge, rectal bleeding, pain, and changes in bowel habits. Removal of polyps is essential, as it is not possible to analyze which of these could develop to be cancerous.

Colorectal cancer is a very common cancer and is the second-most important type of cancer leading to death. Most colorectal cancers develop from polyps.

Common symptoms of colorectal cancer include rectal bleeding, blood in the stool, pain in the rectum, regular changes in bowel habits, false defecating urges, weakness, weight loss, anal opening protrusions, an ulcer near the anus, and regular bouts of diarrhea and constipation. These are very similar to hemorrhoid symptoms. It is possible to rectify colorectal cancer symptoms by eating a fiber-rich diet. This is again similar to rectification of hemorrhoidal symptoms. Therefore differentiating between colorectal cancer and hemorrhoidal symptoms can be difficult as most symptoms can be similar.

How Vitamin D Affects Thyroid Conditions

Vitamin D is well-known for its importance in managing calcium in the gut, bones, and blood and disease resistance. However, many studies now show vitamin D levels affect may be a contributing factor in many other health issues too.

Researchers now believe it plays a crucial role in how cells communicate. Clinical studies link abnormal vitamin D levels to colon, prostate, and breast cancer as well as heart disease, weight gain, and thyroid conditions.

Vitamin D Production

Vitamin D is unique compared to other vitamins, because it is nearly impossible to get what you need from food. Instead, your body produces it naturally in the skin when you’re exposed to natural or artificial UVB light.

Once your body produces vitamin D or you take it as a supplement, it’s sent to the liver. The liver transforms vitamin D into 25(OH)D and sends it various areas of the body and activates it. Once activated, it is ready to perform its duties.

Autoimmune Conditions

Autoimmunity occurs when the immune system treats a person’s healthy tissues and cells as a threat. When this happens, their body produces an immune response and attacks. This response can cause damage, inflammation, and chronic pain in many parts of the body.

Vitamin D deficiencies may reduce the body’s ability to fight infection and may link to or cause autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Grave’s Disease.

Clinical Studies

Several 2014 studies presented at the annual meeting of the Thyroid Association are of special interest. Researchers from Nanjing, China evaluated 34 patients with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and 32 with Grave’s Disease against 52 healthy patients. Researchers measured many thyroid-related factors including vitamin D3.

Vitamin D is actually a group of compounds classified vitamin D1, D2, and D3. Vitamin D3 is the naturally occurring form of the vitamin, and the most biologically active.

Researchers found patients with autoimmune thyroid disease had significantly lower vitamin D3 levels than the healthy controls. Patients with high thyroid peroxidase antibodies the body produces in thyroid autoimmune disease also had lower vitamin D levels. This suggests vitamin D insufficiency could link to or cause autoimmune thyroid disease.

Brazilian researchers studied 54 Hashimoto’s patients, compared to 54 healthy controls. They also found vitamin D deficiency in 63.2% of the patients. Those with low vitamin D levels also had higher thyroid-stimulating hormone levels and a larger thyroid.

Lack of Vitamin D

Normally, the skin produces sufficient vitamin D when exposed to adequate UV light. However, the risks of skin cancer or melanoma now mean many people use sunscreen and cover their bodies. We also spend more time indoors for work and entertainment.

Since more clinical tests show a link between vitamin D and thyroid function, many physicians now recommend vitamin D testing as part of thyroid evaluation and care. Nonetheless, functional practitioners and doctors following the medical model may treat you differently based on your results.

Medical Model vs Functional Model

The medical model recommends 400 International Units per day of vitamin D. They also define a sufficient serum 25(OH)D level as over 50 nmol/L as it “covers the needs of 97.5% of the population”. The test used to measure vitamin D levels in the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test.

The medical model usually recommends supplementation to increase low vitamin D levels. However, the functional approach to care recognizes multiple reasons may cause low vitamin D levels. Consequently, recommending supplements before looking at overall health and other possible issues can be ineffective and counterproductive.

Supplements don’t always correct low vitamin D levels, because they do not address underlying problems. The vitamin D receptor in some autoimmune patients cannot activate due to variations in their DNA sequence. Consequently, they need higher than normal blood levels of vitamin D to avoid vitamin D insufficiency.

Vitamin D is fat soluble, and some patients with thyroid issues like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have low stomach acid and poor fat absorption. Autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s disease also make the immune system work overtime, which depletes the body’s stores of vitamin D. Therefore, addressing gut and digestive issues and modulating the immune system are of primary importance before considering vitamin D supplementation.

A highly qualified functional practitioner will look at your gut and digestive health and if they’re satisfied, they may order a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test for your vitamin D levels.

Your practitioner may recommend supplementation to reach between 60 and 80 nmol/L. This is still well below the 125 nmol/L threshold where a patient might experience adverse effects. After several months, they’ll retest. If their serum level rose to an acceptable level, the doctor will adjust vitamin D intake so serum levels stay between 50 and 60 nmol/L.

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Vitamin D insufficiency is just one factor that can contribute to thyroid problems, so self-supplementation is not recommended as it can be ineffective if underlying problems remain. Discuss your thyroid issues with a functional practitioner to develop an effective treatment protocol.

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