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Home DNA testing has really hit the big time, with tests from companies like 23andme.com and ancestry.com flying off the virtual shelves. Many other brands are out there, each offering outcomes tailored to specific needs. People buy home DNA tests for two major reasons: genetic indicators of possible diseases that might strike later on in life, and genealogy, finding new relatives and geographical and national points of origin for those family connections. Genetic health is the more confusing of the two, as people often over-interpret the results and end up scared out of their wits.

What Home DNA Testing Can Tell Us

As recently as the last decade, gene sequencing was time-consuming, expensive (around $1000), and required a lab. Now, all it takes is a sample of the undifferentiated epithelial cells found in saliva and a few weeks. The need for several weeks is solely due to the time each sample has to wait in a processing queue. The tests come in kits that contain vials of reagents. People spit into the vials, then mail them to the manufacturer. After the gene tests are done, the recipient receives reports that focus on health indicators and genealogy. Some kits target health issues, while other home DNA tests are part of the trend called personal genomics. Personal genomics involves people learning as much as they can about their health as it’s “written” in their genetic codes. The goal is to identify possible disorders that might manifest themselves. Some kinds of predispositions to cancers are readily apparent in a person’s genes. A few kinds of dementia likewise can be found by gene testing. More and more disorders are discovered all the time, as over the last several decades, medical geneticists have learned a lot about what diseases are linked to genetic issues.

There’s some practical uses for DNA testing. Some disorders can be slowed down with early detection. There are several forms of dementia that respond to treatment in the early stages. Although there’s no cure, getting help early in the disease’s life cycle can give a person a better quality of life. However, a home DNA test is absolutely no substitute for a doctor’s consultation. Home DNA testing that reveals potential health issues should be taken with a grain of salt and some caution. After getting a scary result, that’s the time to contact a doctor and begin exploring the issue. The home test isn’t the end of your investigations, it’s the beginning.

DNA tests really shine when it comes to researching one’s ancestry. Everything from the origin of your ancestors to the races that have gone into making you who you are. In fact, most tests can show how much archaic DNA you have; that is, how many, if any, Neanderthal ancestors you have lurking in the distant past. Establishing kinship lines is absolutely crucial to genealogists, and the typical home DNA test kit really shines here.

The post Is Home DNA Testing Worthwhile? appeared first on Redorbit.

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Ketamine, a powerful anesthetic, holds promise for treating depression and other psychological maladies. Ketamine is also used as an illicit drug in the rave scene, known for producing euphoric, out of body experiences. Called “Special K,” it’s among the most commonly abused drugs. But it looks like it has a legitimate use as a depression-fighting medication. Ketamine works by blocking the action of the NMDA receptors, affecting the availability of the neurotransmitter glutamate. Glutamate is the most prevalent neurotransmitter in the human nervous system. Its actions affect 90% of all the connections in the brain.

SSRIs, the class of drug that includes Paxil, Prozac, Lexapro, Zoloft, and Celexa. The work well for about one-third of depression sufferers, moderately well for another third, and not at all for the final third of those diagnosed with depression. However, even when an SSRI works, it takes weeks for them to take effect. Two weeks at least, but four to six weeks is usually the time span needed for maximum benefit. That’s far, far too long for people with overwhelming suicidal thinking. For those at imminent risk of suicide, sometimes hospitalization in a behavioral health facility with round the clock supervision is the only way to stay alive. Costs for this kind of care can easily run around 1000 dollars a day, with insurance typically covering around 50% to 80% of the costs–but only up to the limit of the patient’s policy. It’s entirely possible for patients to leave a behavioral health hospital owing tens of thousands of dollars for stays over a couple of weeks. Even after such a lengthy hospitalization, there’s no guarantee that the anti-depressants won’t suddenly and catastrophically stop working.

Enter Ketamine

Johnson & Johnson is currently testing esketamine, a drug that’s highly similar to ketamine. Esketamine is in Phase III research trials, which will lead to approval or denial by the FDA. If approved, esketamine will be used to treat treatment-resistant depression. About one-third of depression suffers have hard to treat depression, depression that doesn’t respond well to medication. Allergan Pharmaceuticals is testing rapastinel, a related derivative of ketamine. Unlike SSRIs and other classes of antidepressants, ketamine starts working within hours or less. The effects of a single treatment can last up to a week, and daily dosing with lozenges and nasal spray is also in the works. Due to its swift action, ketamine would be a godsend for people at imminent risk of self-harm or suicide. It works rapidly and relieves depression so well that ideas of suicide subside and vanish for up to a week. Daily dosing ensures that the treated individual stays free of suicidal thinking.

Ketamine isn’t a miracle drug, and it’s no cure for depression. It will not eliminate suicide universally. However, it looks like it will be a lifesaver for thousands of people who every year find themselves in the deepest, darkest pits of depression. For those for whom suicide seems like a reasonable choice, prescription ketamine and its derivatives could be the difference between life and death.

The post Prescription Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression appeared first on Redorbit.

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The recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain shocked the nation, but suicide is nothing new, and it’s becoming far more frequent. In the USA, suicide rates have been rising since 1999. At first, the uptick appeared to be a statistical anomaly. Now, it’s apparent that the increase is real and it’s large. The suicide rate overall has increased about one-third in the last 18 years. A 33% jump in less than 20 years is unprecedented and frightening. Suicide is up in 49 states, with the exception of Nevada, where rates have dropped 1% since 1999. Picking out a common thread in the search for relative causation isn’t easy, but some trends in demographics are clear: most suicides are white men. Around 84% of suicides are white; 77% are men. What’s particularly troublesome is that only half of all suicides come from people with known mental health issues. Half of the instances originate out of seemingly nowhere. Note also that suicide rates are underreported. Two factors drive the underreporting of suicide: the stigma of suicide, and the potential for financial loss. Suicide is the third largest killer of young people under 30, but white, middle-class males make up a large proportion of the climb in suicides. The reason for the increase is unclear.

Many Factors, Not Many Answers

Some problems recur in looking at the causes of suicide. People with severe, chronic pain have higher suicide rates, and chronic pain is on the rise. So is substance abuse, which also correlates to suicide rates above the national average. The opioid epidemic has led to a wave of suicide in people with addiction issues.  Chronic stress is a major psychological precursor to suicide. American life in the 21st century is synonymous with stress. Consider, too, military veterans. Suicide among vets has been rising for a decade, as the US has been mired in the Middle East since 2001. Suicide in veterans has outpaced even the national increase, reaching 35% over the prior high mark. In part, this is due to deaths by suicide of veterans who served post 9/11. Not all of those deaths are attributable to diagnosed PTSD. Many vets don’t carry that diagnosis, but still kill themselves.

There may be a particularly American factor that adds to suicidality: the pursuit of happiness.  Americans focus on high levels of happiness as a measure of personal worth, as strange as that may sound. Constantly judging whether or not we’re deliriously happy may lead to a sense of relentless disappointment, verging on hopelessness. There’s the idea that if we are not happy all the time, we are somehow doing something wrong, or are even failures at life. For people who are already living under a burden of high stress, feelings of worthlessness amplify misery.

The post US Suicide Rates Rocketing Up appeared first on Redorbit.

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Incoming asteroids conjure images of the world cracked apart, but that’s not always the case. The world got a shock on June 2nd, 2018, when a small space rock, about six feet long, plunged into Earth’s atmosphere, detonating spectacularly over South Africa. Given that the explosion was several miles above land, no one was ever in any danger. In fact, Catalina Sky Survey, on the outskirts of Tucson, Arizona, were the first sky-watchers to see the asteroid. The incoming space rock was very dim, due to its dark coloration and tiny size, just under 7 feet long. It’s amazing that scientists were able to detect such a tiny piece of stellar flotsam, but also a bit chilling, given that only hours later it struck the Earth’s atmosphere. That rock did no damage, but will we always get lucky?

The simple answer is no. We won’t.

Asteroid Dangers

An asteroid’s potential for destruction is related to its size, composition, and speed.  Size of the rock is always critical, but in composition, asteroids come in three categories. Type M are composed of metals, mainly iron and some of the platinum group of metals. Type C, the carbonaceous chondrite asteroids, are made up of metal, organic compounds, and water. These asteroids tend to be quite dark on their surfaces. They’re problematic in that their very low reflectivity makes them challenging to detect. Type S the NASA maintains a skywatch program, cataloguing near-earth asteroids (NEAs) 460 feet and above. An asteroid of that size would be disastrous if it stuck near a city, but wouldn’t cause mass extinctions. However, a direct hit on a populated area would cause many deaths. much like a nuclear warhead. An ocean collision would result in giant tsunamis.

Around 1500 feet and up, an asteroid impact would cause regional disaster on the scale of a devastated continent. After 3000 feet and above, we’re talking about an extinction level event. The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was around 6 miles long.

Slowing Down Doom

In the case of potentially dangerous earth-crossing asteroids, being forewarned is literally forearmed. The further away from earth a dangerous body is, the more time scientists have to determine what to do. Without enough lead time, there won’t be anything to do at all if an asteroid or comet is large and has low reflectivity (low albedo).  A positive takeaway is that NASA believes they have all the dangerous near-earth asteroids mapped out. If that’s so, then our chances of dodging a fatal rock are pretty good. In fact, no known asteroid poses a significant threat of impact for over a century. The catch is “known.”  There’s always the potential for a nasty surprise.

NASA has two plans to stop an asteroid from hitting the earth. An impactor approach involves striking the asteroid with an object propelled at high speed. The idea isn’t to shatter it, but to slow it down. Asteroids move around 12 miles per second, so introducing even a small but incremental slowdown would allow the earth to sail on unimpeded. The other technique would involve placing an extremely heavy mass in a close, but fixed position near the asteroid to pull it off course enough to miss the earth. The most important thing we can do is catch a dangerous incoming rock as soon as possible. Neither of these techniques would work with less than several months–or years—of forewarning.

The post Incoming Asteroids: Too Fast, Too Dim, Too Late appeared first on Redorbit.

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Redorbit by Ahmed - 1w ago

Surprisingly, 8.3 million Americans were reported to be affected by gout between 2007 and 2008 according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC)! Well, this figure is huge right? The number must have gone higher by now.

So what exactly is gout?

This is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting mainly the joints to cause painful experiences. In worse cases when gout attacks the same joint repeatedly, it leads to gouty arthritis which is a severe form of arthritis. In most cases, gout comes and goes, with worse symptoms referred to as flares while mild or no signs referred to as remissions. No known cure has been found for gout to date. However, with effective treatment and maintenance, you can efficiently manage the condition using medication and other self-management remedies.

What are the typical symptoms of gout?

This form of arthritis starts suddenly with the flares lasting for days or even weeks. Once the symptoms disappear, it may take extended periods, like months or even years, before experiencing another flare. This condition usually attacks one joint at a time especially the big toe. Other joints that may be affected include the ankle, knee and lesser toe joints.

Flares usually come with the following symptoms;

  • Intense pain around the affected joints
  • Swelling of the joints
  • Redness
  • Heat and tenderness

Sometimes gout may develop into more severe complications like kidney stones in case uric acid crystals accumulate in the urinary tract and recurrent gout with regular recurrences that cause more and more damage to the specific joints and tissues surrounding them.

What are the causes of gout?

Gout is caused by renal under-excretion of uric acid; a condition called hyperuricemia. The breakdown of purines found in the body and foods you take is what results in uric acid, and excessive accumulation of this acid in the body may build up in the joints, tissues and body fluids over time. The signs of this condition are as a result of the body’s response to uric acid crystals formed in the joints. The build-up of uric acid in the body, however, does not always cause gout and in such cases, no treatment may be needed.

There are five different stages of gout as its severity progresses. The various stages are classified as different types of gout.

Asymptomatic hyperuricemia

This stage involves elevated levels of uric acid in the body without showing any outward symptoms. No treatment may be required at this stage but, continued accumulation of the acid may result in minor damages to specific joints. It is only advisable for people with this type of gout to avoid possible risk factors that may aggravate the condition due to the build-up of uric acid.

Acute Gout

During this stage, accumulated uric acid crystals in the joints suddenly start causing intense pain, and inflammation. However, the flares don’t last for long as they usually diminish within three to ten days. Stress, excessive alcohol consumption, cold weather and specific drugs can trigger the flares during this stage.

Intercritical/ interval gout

This stage occurs in between two flare attacks. The next flares may take months or even years before occurring. However, if not treated and managed well, they may occur more frequently and take longer to diminish. There is more accumulation of uric acid crystals during this stage.

Chronic tophaceous gout

This is a severe type of gout probably resulting in permanent damages to the kidneys and joints. This may further result in chronic arthritis and development of big lumps, urate crystals and tophi around the colder parts of the body especially the finger joints.

Usually, it takes long periods of no treatment to get to this stage- roughly ten years. With proper treatment, it is not likely for a patient to progress to this stage

Pseudogout

This condition exhibits same symptoms as gout but, not indeed gout. In this condition, joints get irritated by the accumulation of calcium crystals instead of uric acid. The condition thus requires a different type of treatment.

Which are the risk factors for gout?

As earlier mentioned, accumulation of uric acid does not necessarily cause gout. However, the risk factors below increase your chances of developing hyperuricemia causing gout.

  • Obesity– in a research study conducted to determine the association and prevalence of gout among obese people in the US, it was concluded that overweight and obese adults (both men and women) were more prevalent to suffer from gout. The prevalence of gout among participants with normal BMI was about 2% and slightly higher by 1% among overweight participants.
  • Specific health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance
  • Tumor lysis syndrome– this is a rapid release of intracellular content into the bloodstream and possibility of multiple organ damages leading to renal failure, pulmonary edema and eventual death as a result of certain cancers and chemotherapy treatments. Studies have revealed a close relationship between tumor lysis syndrome and elevated uric acid levels responsible for gout development.
  • Psoriasis– this is a condition that causes scales, dry and itchy patches on the skin. A study reveals that high levels of serum uric acid are often detected in psoriasis patients. This indicates that the condition is directly associated with gout.
  • Food and drinks with high fructose volumes– the modern society is full of sugar-sweetened and higher fructose-quantity beverages. The effects of such additives have been studied to determine their relation with gout. Earlier studies indicated an elevated plasma uric acid and lactate levels driven by purine nucleotide or de novo purine synthesis.
  • Purine-rich foods-sea food, meat, animal protein and some vegetables are known to be highly rich in purines and thus associated with gout development. In a study to evaluate the relationship between specific diets and serum uric acid levels, it was observed that serum uric acid levels increased with increase in meat and seafood intake. This is to say, more intake of meat and seafood is associated with higher serum levels of uric acid causing gout.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption– for a long time, excessive alcohol consumption has been associated with gout. Research carried out back in the 1960s indicated a reduced uric acid excretion as a result of alcohol consumption. Further studies were carried out to determine the effects of ethanol on the development of gout, and accurate to the research, a comparison of consuming an alcoholic and a non-alcoholic beer indicated a rise in plasma uric acid levels at 5% and 4.4% respectively. This is a clear indication that purine load in alcoholic drinks has a significant effect on uric acid.
  • Gender– a research study reveals that males under the age of 65 have a higher prevalence of gout than females. However, above this age, the ratio of male to female developing gout reduces to 3:1. This only means that regardless of the age, men still have the most burden of gout condition with younger men having four times higher prevalence than women.
  • Age –this has always been associated with increased the chance of getting gout. Data analysis from the NHANES demonstrated rising prevalence of gout with age increase. This is the same case with the prevalence of other diseases associated with gout including diabetes, hypertension, and use of diuretics
  • Geneticsstudies have been carried out to define the role of genetics in gout and all point out explicitly that genetic polymorphisms are associated with uric acid and gout. This is based on findings indicating a significant correlation in between parents and siblings.
  • Too much exposure to lead-chronic exposure to lead has been closely linked to gout cases. A cross-sectional analysis of subjects in a lead-polluted area in China indicated that blood lead level increased with increase in serum uric acid in males and females thus associated with higher prevalence of gout.
Treatment of Gout

To effectively treat gout, diagnosis by a medical doctor is necessary. The doctor will assess all the symptoms and results of physical examination, lab tests and x-rays to determine presence or absence of uric acid crystals in the joints affected. With no cure for gout, your medical doctor will recommend some strategies to help manage the flares and pain as well as prevent future occurrences of the flares. Among some of these treatment and management strategies include;

  • Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids, colchicines, and ibuprofen
  • Diet and lifestyle changes including taking less purine-rich foods, stop smoking and minimizing alcohol consumption
  • Take enough water to hydrate the body
  • Take low-fat dairy products
  • Getting physically active at least 3 hours a week by walking, swimming, jogging or bike riding. This will also help prevent other severe health conditions like diabetes and heart disease, both of which are major risk factors of gout.
  • Attend physical activity programs to help ease the pain and complications associated with gouty arthritis.
  • Attend self-management education programs to learn how to manage your gout
  • Using corticosteroids like prednisone to reduce inflammation and ease the pain
  • Taking medicines that help reduce production of uric acid by the body, such as allopurinol
  • Taking medications that help to promote excretion of uric acid, like probenecid
  • Weight loss
Conclusion

Gout is a severe joint condition that may cause excruciating pain and discomfort. Although the condition has no cure, various treatment and maintenance options available will help a lot. Don’t get stressed up; wake up and take control of the situation and you can lead a healthy, painless life.

The post How Do You Get Gout appeared first on Redorbit.

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The Ebola vaccination seems like a dream come true for those who live and work in areas endemic to Ebola. Ebola and all its relatives are horrific diseases that compose the stuff of nightmares. With a lethality rate around 50%, it’s a killer, and here’s the kicker: twenty to fifty percent of Ebola patients die even if they get top-notch care in high-level hospitals, like those found in the USA and Europe. Anything other than round the clock care in a hospital yields a mortality rate of 90%. Ebola is a blood-borne disease, but given that extensive hemorrhaging is a common symptom, the Ebola virus is transmitted readily from human host to host. Considering the interconnectedness of the modern world, it’s possible for the virus to travel from nation to nation, continent to continent, in asymptomatic carriers; that is, people who’ve contracted the disease and are contagious, but don’t know they’re sick yet.

Should Americans Worry?

Really, we shouldn’t, although Ebola, one of the Marburg viruses, isn’t simply “an African disease,” and over the last several years, it’s moved out of the remote jungles to some of the larger cities in Africa. That’s the kind of situation no one wants, as the more people the virus infects, the more likely exponential infection can occur. In fact, in the late 1980s, a variant of Ebola was discovered in monkeys at a research facility in Reston, Virginia. Luckily, that variant of Ebola virus isn’t know to infect humans, although it killed many of the monkeys that carried it.

Back to the idea of worrying over Ebola: Ebola isn’t likely to cause a pandemic in the First World, but elsewhere, it has caused great loss of life. In the outbreak of 2014 to 2016 in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, 11,310 people died. It’s a real threat.

A New Vaccine in Action

Ebola vaccines have been studied since the early 21st century. The first viable vaccine, rVSV-ZEBOV, was developed in 2016, with a protection gradient around 70 to 80 percent effectiveness.  It’s being used currently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, during the worst outbreak of Ebola since 2016. Prevention specialists there are using the ring technique of vaccination, in which only those people most likely to contract the disease are vaccinated.

The effectiveness of rVSV-ZEBOV will be thoroughly analyzed in the months following the end of the Congo outbreak. From there, researchers are hoping to develop a highly reliable vaccine for people who are at the highest risk of contracting Ebola.

The post An Ebola Vaccination is On the Way appeared first on Redorbit.

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Some vape juices may break down into harmful chemicals when heated, and recent reports indicate it’s possible to identify dangerous vape juice by flavor.  A recent article presented in May 2018 at the American Thoracic Society’s annual meeting in San Diego indicated that cinnamon vape juices may be particularly dangerous to vapers’ lungs. An article published back in January 2018 in Frontiers added vanilla and buttery flavors to the list of potentially harmful ejuices, although although “popcorn lung” is not under discussion or investigation. The article also indicated these specific flavors of vape juice cause damage to monocytes (white blood cells) and increase oxidative stress beyond the average wear-and-tear one would normally expect to see.

It’s important to note that it’s the flavorings themselves that are called into question The issue isn’t nicotine at all. The health risk from these flavorings is present whether or not the vape juice has any level of nicotine, or none. The flavors researchers examined are considered food-safe. They’re harmless when ingested. However, inhaling them is a completely different ballgame. Consider that cinnamon flavoring produces cinnamaldehyde when heated. Aldehydes that are inhaled contribute to the tiny hairlike fibers of the lungs, know as cilia, slowing down. These little hairs have to move in order to keep dirt, dust and particles out of our lungs. and becoming inert. Vanilla flavoring yields o-vanillin, and buttery or creamy flavorings produce pentanedione when vaporized or treated with high heat, including heat levels consistent with common vape use. Essentially, these flavors of vape juice decompose into dangerous aldehydes that are then inhaled. They cause cell death in the lining of the lungs. Note that formaldehyde isn’t part of the story, here. Cinnamaldehyde comes directly from flavorings that mimic cinnamon.

No one is saying that these flavorings are causing cancer, or that they present an imminent risk to a person’s health. However, the evidence is mounting that these three popular flavor families of vape juice break down into chemicals that actively harm the body in subtle, but cumulative ways. When the flavors are combined, the level of risk goes up. Without doubt, vaping is far, far less dangerous than smoking. However, it’s interesting that the flavors associated with cinnamon, vanilla, and creamy or buttery tastes are themselves more dangerous than other ejuice flavors. At the least, it can’t hurt to be aware of potential risk factors involved in such a fairly new activity.

The post Is Vaping Dangerous? Certain Flavors Can Increase Risk appeared first on Redorbit.

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Many conditions are considered to be very common in the general population, affecting millions each and every year. Flu, a condition that causes a variety of unpleasant symptoms, is one particular condition that is widely discussed due to the widespread prevalence of this viral infection. One study reports that up to five million people in European countries are affected by severe flue on an annual basis. Additionally, up to 500,000 people die each year in these countries due to the flue. Furthermore, up to 30% of children and up to 10% of adults will be affected by flu every single year.

Flu is a term that is used to refer to infection by the influenza virus. This is a type of viral infection that affects the patient’s upper airway. Many symptoms can develop and, while the condition can often resolve within just a couple of days, complications can develop that can cause potentially life-threatening events to occur.

Fever is one of the most common symptoms caused by the influenza virus and can be quite unpleasant. In this post, we’ll take a look at how long fever tends to last when a person is infected with the influenza virus. We will also take a look at what causes the influenza virus, the symptoms that develop with this condition, and also consider the most effective ways to treat the condition quickly and easily.

Causes And Risks Of Influenza

The flue is caused by the infiltration of viruses in the human body. These viruses are tiny germs that enter the body and then start to multiply. In reaction to the infection by these viruses, the immune system then starts to produce cells that are known as antibodies, which is sent toward the location where the virus is found to fight off the germs. Over a hundred of different viruses can cause flu.

Understanding the risk factors for flu can also help you determine whether you need to be extra careful due to a higher chance of being infected with the influenza virus. If you live in an area where the virus is especially common, or your local area is facing an epidemic with the virus at the moment, then this automatically increases your risk.

Other risk factors include:

  • Children are more likely to suffer from flu than adults. The elderly are also at a higher risk.
  • Certain chronic diseases and medical conditions are known to cause an increased risk of influenza virus infections. Examples include cancer and diabetes.
  • A weak immune system, such as in people with HIV/AIDS, also causes an increased risk of being infected with the virus.
  • Pregnant women are also at a higher risk.
  • Obesity is another risk factor that plays a part in the risk of becoming infected with the influenza virus and developing flu.
Symptoms Of Influenza

Flu usually results in symptoms that are more severe as compared to the common cold. Most people who contract the influenza virus also find that their symptoms develop rapidly after being exposed to the virus. The primary symptoms that signal an infection of the influenza virus are most often very similar to the symptoms that a person experiences when they contract the common cold.

Some of the specific symptoms that the influenza virus tends to cause include:

  • Fever is very common in patients with flu.
  • Joint pain is also very common and can be accompanied by muscle aches.
  • A dry cough, along with a runny or a stuffy nose.
  • Extreme levels of fatigue and feeling tired all the time.
  • A significant reduction in appetite.
  • Headaches are also very common in patients who develop influenza.

When the influenza virus affects a child or a baby, then additional symptoms may also develop. These symptoms often include gastrointestinal symptoms, which often costs of nausea that may be accompanied by vomiting.

How Long Fever Tend To Last With The Influenza Virus

Being infected with the influenza virus and developing flu is a condition that takes longer to improve as compared to the common cold. The symptoms associated with the condition can start within the first day following exposure to the influenza virus, but it may take up to four days for these symptoms to develop. Once the symptoms have presented themselves, it can take up to two weeks, and in some cases even longer, for all the symptoms to clear up and for the influenza virus to be successfully expelled from the body.

Fever is a very common symptom experienced by a patient infected with the influenza virus – this is also one of the very first symptoms associated with the condition. Fortunately, fever is not one of the symptoms that tend to last for the entire course of the infection. In most cases, fever as a symptom of flu will only last for the first three to four days after symptoms start to develop. It should, however, be noted that in some cases fever may last for up to ten days.

How Long Is The Influenza Virus Contagious?

One of the most problematic factors about the influenza virus and flu is the fact that the condition is contagious before and after symptoms are present. A person infected with the virus can spread it to another person through sneezing and coughing. The contagious period of flu starts approximately one day prior to the development of the first symptoms associated with the influenza virus infection. The virus will continue to be contagious for approximately five days after the individual’s symptoms have started. In younger children, however, the virus may continue to be contagious for longer.

The Best Treatment Methods For Flu

In the majority of cases, the treatment plan provided to a patient who has developed flu would primarily target the symptoms they are experiencing. These symptoms can be very unpleasant, which makes it essential for treatment to assist in relieving the symptoms and easing the effect that the condition has on the patient’s overall quality-of-life. In addition to treating the symptoms, antiviral drugs that have been designed especially for the purpose of fighting against the influenza virus should also be used to help the body in fighting against the virus.

Current antiviral drugs for influenza that has been approved by the FDA include oseltamivir, peramivir, and zanamivir. Most of these medications are provided to the patient for around five days, except for Peramivir, which is a once-off drug that is administered to the patient intravenously.

In addition to the use of these medications, several home remedies can also be used to assist with providing a faster relief in the symptoms caused by the influenza virus. Rest and maintaining hydration are two of the most important home remedies for flu. Ensure get you a lot of rest and make sure to drink a lot of water. If you are a smoker, then you should consider giving up smoking – at least until the symptoms have cleared up.

Effective Preventative Methods For Flu

Influenza can spread from an infected person to another person relatively easily. For this reason, it is important to take preventative measures in order to reduce your risk of being infected with the virus and, in turn, developing flu. Prevention methods need to be implemented when you are in the same surroundings as someone who has been infected with the virus. Even when not in the same environment as a person with flu, it is vital for you to ensure you still implement specific preventative methods to help reduce the risk of being infected.

  • It is important to wash your hands frequently. If you touch a spot where particles from a cough or sneeze have touched, then the influenza virus may be present on your hand. If you do not wash your hands before eating food or touching your mouth, then you can become infected.
  • If you have contracted the influenza virus, then disposing of tissues that you used immediately is vital. This will help to prevent you from spreading the virus to those around you.
  • If you have contracted the influenza virus, then remaining in bed and staying in at home can be an effective preventative method for reducing the risk of infecting other people.

Another effective preventative method is to ensure you get an influenza vaccine once a year when flu is common in your local area. This vaccine can help to avoid you from obtaining the influenza virus even when you are in the same room as someone who has been infected.

Conclusion

Flu is a common condition that affects a significant percentage of the population each year. The condition can be treated relatively easily, but the symptoms caused by the influenza virus can be very unpleasant and be disruptive to a patient’s daily life. In some cases, more serious complications may also develop, which may become life-threatening when not attended to promptly. We provided an overview of how long you can expect the fever to last if you develop flu, as well as the symptoms you should recognize, the potential causes of flu, and how you can get rid of the influenza virus quickly.

The post How Long Does Fever Last with Flu? appeared first on Redorbit.

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Humble baking soda may turn out to be a great treatment for autoimmune disorders. It’s not a cure, but a recent study in the Journal of Immunology demonstrated a moderate drop in inflammation in the joints and soft tissues most affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Inflamed tissues inside and around the joints result in the intense pain from arthritis and and rheumatoid diseases, as well as lupus and a host of other maladies. Even a slight reduction in swelling can mean a big drop in pain. But does plain sodium bicarbonate really come to the rescue?  It seems too good to be true, but recent research is bearing out the truth: baking soda helps. The process by which it relieves inflammation and swelling isn’t immediately easy to grasp, but scientists think they have a good understanding of what happens.

Baking soda in the bloodstream reduces the activity of one type of cell, the M1 macrophage, that causes an inflammatory immune response, while increasing the number of anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages. Macrophages are cells that patrol the tissues and bloodstream, actively attacking and destroying threats to the body. Immune disorders are often the result of the immune system turning on the tissues of the body they’re supposed to protect. These cells originate in the mesothelial cells of the stomach and spleen. It’s the mesothelial cells in the spleen that react most significantly to baking soda. They send out the M2 cells, that send chemical signals to the rest of the immune system, essentially telling that very complex system to stay calm.

Baking soda is nothing more than sodium bicarbonate, a naturally occuring compound that’s alkaline. The body’s natural alkalinity is balanced around a pH of 7. If our body’s pH slides down into the acidic range, cellular waste products build up. The M1 cells tend to become overactive in a situation where the body’s tissues become too acidic, and a lot of detritus is accumulating in the tissues.

Thus, increasingly alkalinity with sodium bicarbonate lowers the activity of inflammation causing cells, while activating anti-inflammatory tissues. We know that alkalinity offsets the effects of acids in the stomach. However, as the increased alkalinity also seems to relax the tendency of the human immune system to overreact. . Indeed, baking soda helps a number of ailments. People are familiar with it as a cure for an upset stomach, but its usefulness goes beyond soothing a furious stomach. A teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate may help reduce the signs and symptoms of lupus, another painful autoimmune disorder.

There’s considerable medical evidence that the body is at its fittest when the overall tissue and fluid pH is slightly alkaline. The dosage required to get this balance is 2 teaspoonfuls a day, every day, in eight ounces of water.

The post Baking Soda as a Treatment for Autoimmune Disorders appeared first on Redorbit.

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Redorbit by Ahmed - 1M ago

Owning a dog may not be as fun and interesting as you may think. The euphoria that surrounds the whole “getting a dog” part is excellent, and it will last for as long as you have him, however, pretty soon you will find out that taking care of a dog is no different to taking care of a baby. There are some “hairy” differences but it is all the same when you look at it from that perspective.

You see, your dog has to eat just as much as you do. Your dog has to drink water just as much as you do. Of course, your dog needs to take a walk because he can’t just stay in one place, just as much as you can’t!

Oh, and your dog can get sick, just like you can! You see, before getting a dog you have to really be prepared for all of these things, because at the end of the day, it is actually a chore you must do! Yes, your dog will be your best friend, but you have to make him happy! So, in order to get better prepared you have to think of everything listed – especially about “dog” diseases.

With that being said, if you own a dog, this article will be of great use to you!

What is exactly arthritis?

Arthritis can easily be explained as pain and inflammation in joint and tissue area. So, anywhere where your bones meat each other (like in knees, fingers, hips, toes – which are all joints) the pain may occur. Unfortunately, this disease is very common nowadays.

As we can see from this medical research, arthritis can (if not dealt with in time) cause many horrifying diseases and problems, such as immobility.

To make arthritis look even more like a real “bad guy” here, another research shows that over 50 million people have some form of arthritis. So yes, there are many types and none of them are better than the other.

What is important here is that you notice the early signs of arthritis because you will be able to act fast and avoid getting diagnosed with it in the first place.

The early signs are: joint pain, joint warmth, joint tenderness, joint stiffness, limited range of motion in some areas.

So, arthritis is pretty common in humans, but the real question here, and the topic of this article – can it affect dogs?

Can dogs have arthritis?

Since arthritis is such a common problem as it is, there was many research conducted by many different scientists related to the disease. Backed up by this research, arthritis is a disease also very common in animals; dogs in particular!

Even when it comes to dogs there are many types of arthritis. Since they are more or less all the same, this article will address only the most common one – arthritis related to age.

How to see if your dog has arthritis?

Just like with humans, it is important to notice the signs of arthritis in dogs as well. Sometimes all you will be able to do is ease the pain, but sometimes you might just eliminate disease before it even begins.

Here is what you should look out for when it comes to arthritis in dogs:

Limping

If you notice your dog limping or favoring one leg over the other without you knowing of his injury, that just might be the sign of arthritis.

The best time to spot this is when your dog stands up after a long time of laying down as that will be the time when his muscles will be “cold” and his body will feel everything when it comes to movement, just like humans do.

Difficulty moving

If your dog suddenly doesn’t seem energetic when you take him out for a walk, or if he chooses to sit all the time rather than walk and run, it may be time to check the vet. This will be quite easy to spot. Also, if your dog is in pain while he is moving, you will definitely easily “read” that from him.

Issues regarding the spine

Arthritis can not only be located in your dog’s legs. It also very often targets your pet’s spine. The sign of spinal issues is a hunch in the back.

Tired all the time

If your dog suffers from arthritis it may seem that he is tired all the time. That’s because he actually is! The way to notice this is by simply watching your dog’s behavior. If he spends more time lying on the ground doing nothing than usual, it might be the time for concern.

Muscle atrophy

Dogs that suffer from arthritis also suffer from muscle atrophy. Dying of your dog’s muscle tissue is a strong sign that there is something wrong – most likely the problem is arthritis.

Why does this happen to dogs?

Well, if you want to look at it that way, it happens for the same reason it happens to humans.

As your dog gets older and older, the surface of his joints becomes thinner. That’s the time when his cartilage cells die as well. After a cartilage cell dies it releases an enzyme that causes inflammation of the joint capsule. Joint fluid is released in the process.

As the surface of his joints gets thinner, the space where the joints are normally stored gets smaller. This makes the bones deteriorate.

So, that’s the science behind arthritis in dogs, which was also essential for you to understand in order to help your dog better. Also keep in mind that genetics plays an important role.

Since we have started talking about helping your dog, the following part of the article will show you some solutions you may try that are found quite beneficial.

How to help your dog if arthritis occurs? 1. Take care of the surfaces of your house

Your dog will spend most of his time around your house, if you are not keeping him inside of it. Well, since that will be his “habitat” for the time being, you should at least make sure that it is comfortable. You wouldn’t want to sleep on a bed that makes your back hurt in the morning, would you?

With that being said, try and provide your dog with a padded bedding that will keep him away from cold drafts.

So, instead of steps you may want to put ramps. Inside the house or (or outside, if possible), you should put surfaces that are not that hard to the feet and not that slippery as well. You can also put padded steps near the bed so that your dog can easily get on and off of it.

2. Take care of your dog’s body

It would be good for your dog’s arthritis problem if you learned how to massage his body correctly. This would stimulate his blood flow and his regeneration would be faster. If your dog’s arthritis state cannot be reversed, this method would at least eliminate the pain to a decent extent.

There are lots of canine massage therapist and most of them are offering pet owners some free lectures so that they too can take care of their pets.

3. Buy supplements

There are countless products that are meant for dogs that are suffering from arthritis. Most of them contain MSM, green-lipped mussel, chondroitin etc.

Although there are plenty of verified and trusted products, you should take your dog to a local vet and ask him for an advice. He might give you the best product for your dog’s condition. You have to be careful with this one because your dog’s health is on the line here! You can’t just throw everything at him and hope something will work. That could just make things worse.

Conclusion

So, as we have come to the ending of the article I would want to make one final statement. That statement is actually a flashback to something I have already written in this article earlier.

In all times you must remember that your dog’s health is in your hands! Taking care of your dog is just like taking care of your child – it will hurt itself if you don’t look over it.

With that being said, if you still haven’t gotten a dog yet, first prepare everything you need and prepare yourself for the chores you would have to do around it.

If you already have a dog, be more responsible when it comes to him. You may not see that but your dog will appreciate it so much! Also, you won’t have to worry about taking your dog to the vet every other day because your dog will be healthy to begin with. So, if you want to hear a healthy “woof”, you must take care of everything described.

Well, that would be it when it comes to this article. I hope you have enjoyed and I definitely hope you have learned many interesting, helpful things! Until next time, good luck with your dog!

The post Do Dogs Get Arthritis? appeared first on Redorbit.

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