Archive for November, 2009

Urinary Tract Infections

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Infections of the urinary tract (UTIs) are the second most common type of infection in the body. You may have a UTI if you notice

  • Pain or burning when you use the bathroom
  • Fever, tiredness or shakiness
  • An urge to use the bathroom often
  • Pressure in your lower belly
  • Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy or reddish
  • Less frequently, nausea or back pain

If you think you have a UTI, it is important to see your doctor. Your doctor can tell if you have a UTI by testing a sample of your urine. Treatment with medicines to kill the infection will make it better, often in one or two days.


Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Sometimes treating diseases of the digestive or urinary systems involves removing all or part of your small intestine, colon, rectum or bladder. In these cases, there must be a new way for wastes to leave the body. The surgery to create the new opening in the abdomen is called ostomy. The opening is called a stoma.

There are many different types of ostomy. Some examples are

  • Ileostomy: The surgeon removes the colon and rectum and attaches the bottom of the small intestine (ileum) to the stoma.
  • Colostomy: The surgeon removes the rectum and attaches the colon to the stoma.
  • Urostomy: The surgeon attaches the ureters – the tubes that carry urine to the bladder – to either the small intestine or to the abdominal wall.

Why do women get urinary tract infections more often than men?

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Women tend to get urinary tract infections more often than men because bacteria can reach the bladder more easily in women. The urethra is shorter in women than in men, so bacteria have a shorter distance to travel.

The urethra is also located near the rectum in women. Bacteria from the rectum can easily travel up the urethra and cause infections.

Having sex may also cause urinary tract infections in women because bacteria can be pushed into the urethra. Using a diaphragm can lead to infections because diaphragms push against the urethra and make it harder to completely empty the bladder. The urine that stays in the bladder is more likely to grow bacteria and cause infections.

Kidney Cancer

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

You have two kidneys. They are fist-sized organs on either side of your backbone above your waist. The tubes inside filter and clean your blood, taking out waste products and making urine. Kidney cancer forms in the lining of tiny tubes inside your kidneys. It happens most often in people over 40. Risk factors include smoking, having certain genetic conditions and misusing pain medicines for a long time.

Often, kidney cancer doesn’t have early symptoms. However, see your health care provider if you notice

  • Blood in your urine
  • A lump in your abdomen
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pain in your side
  • Loss of appetite

Treatment depends on your age, your overall health and how advanced the cancer is. It might include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or biologic therapy. Biologic therapy boosts your body’s own ability to fight cancer.

Priorities for health and safety in catering activities

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

This information sheet has been produced by the Health and Safety in Catering Industry Liaison Committee consisting of trade and professional associations, unions and enforcement authorities. It is intended that it will be reproduced through member associations and other avenues to reach catering establishments.

Sheet uses analysis of accidents reported to HSE and local authorities and HSE investigations to point employers, employees and inspectors to the situations and equipment in catering activities to concentrate on. Past experience shows that these give the most significant risks in catering in practice. These situations in particular should be carefully assessed to ensure appropriate precautions are, and remain, in place.

The analysis was confined to injuries reported while the person was engaged in catering activities, ie preparation of meals etc. It therefore excludes other activities that can take place in establishments where catering is done, but it captures catering activities in premises where the main activity is other than meal preparation.

Alzheimer Disease

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in western civilization. It affects more women than men, and the clinical course generally lasts approximately five years.  The younger the individual is at the onset of the disease, the more severe the deficits for the patient.  One famous contemporary who suffers from the disease is former U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

The cerebral cortex and some other forebrain regions atrophy so severely that the brain may weigh less than 1000g at death. Shrinkage is most pronounced in the frontal and temporal lobes.  The insula and the medial part of the temporal lobe tend to demonstrate the highest  number of neuritic plaques.  The greater the number of plaques the higher the degree of dementia.  The disease often causes vacuolization of the subpial layers of the temporal and parietal lobes.  The spongy state is associated with neuronal loss and is similar to the effects of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Researchers continue to search for causes and cures for AD.  The gene that codes for the B-amyloid protein located on chromosome 21 is implicated in the 20% of  patients for whom there is a family history of AD.  Head injury has been implicated in 3 to 5 % of AD cases.  There is a 70 to 90% decrease in the production of the enzyme that makes acetylcholine.  Other neurotransmitter abnormalities have also been implicated.

Itching and Itchy Eyes

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Almost all eye itching is caused by some sort of allergy. Very often, mild itching can be helped with over-the-counter lubricating eye drops. I’d avoid the ones that take away redness (decongestants), as they can be addictive. You can also use cold compresses or ice packs to help with itchy eyes.

More severe itching may need extra help, such as oral antihistamines or prescription eye drops. Although itchy eyes are not an emergency, you still may need to consult your eye doctor for advice or a prescription.

If your eyelids are red and inflamed, you could have blepharitis. Make sure you visit your eye doctor to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.

Quick Tip: Try to avoid rubbing your eyes! Rubbing releases chemicals called histamines that actually make the itching worse.