What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease, sometimes spelled as coeliac disease, is an autoimmune disease and a genetic disorder. Celiac disease can be hard to diagnos, as it is camouflaged by a variety of general, sub-acute symptoms. After diagnosis though, a gluten-free diet will provide a relatively normal life. Celiac disease and gluten-free diets are often discussed simultaneously, and below I have researched why.

Should I Ice or Should I Heat?

After posting about inflammation and swelling last week, I had a few questions about icing or heating muscle pains and injuries and how that interacts with the inflammatory process. Unfortunately there does not seem to be a good answer. Medical professionals seem quite divided on when to ice an injury and when to heat an injury. PubMed, a repository of peer reviewed science journal articles, shows a significant number of published papers with the conclusion that icing helps, icing is detrimental, or that icing has no effect, along with heating an injury helps, heating an injury does not help, and that heating an injury has no effect. So, at this point in time, it seems as though the jury is still deliberating on this case. Personally, I am in the pro-icing camp for specific injuries and in the pro-heating camp for general aches and pains. Basically my recommendation is to try something and see how your body reacts--icing, heating, or both.

Inflammation and Swelling

Inflammation is the body’s protective response to eliminate and neutralize foreign invaders and promote tissue repair. Inflammation is not the same as infection, although the two sometimes occur at the same time. Infection is the body’s response to a foreign microbe, whereas inflammation is a generalized response to tissue damage. Signs of inflammation are remembered by the mnemonic PRISH, which stands for Pain, Redness, Immobility, Swelling, and Heat. The heat and redness are a result of increased blood flow to the area, and swelling due to the plasma and white blood cells. The nerve endings in the area are painfully hypersensitive due to the increased release of chemicals in the blood and plasma in that area. Read on for information about acute inflammation, chronic inflammation, and anti-inflammatory diets.

Blood Testing

Blood is integral to every major system of your body. Because of that, much information can be learned about your general health and diet. This is why blood testing is often performed as it can contain markers for a variety of different diseases and illnesses. There are a variety of tests involving your blood--blood pressure, blood typing, CBC, BMP, and tests for specific diseases.

All About Blood

What do George Washington, Rasputin, and Lance Armstrong have in common? Blood! But not in that they are related, more that they have stories of historical significance involving blood. Blood is quite important and permeates nearly every part of our internal body. It is connected to many different aspects of our daily life: our diet, our general health, and many diseases. Read on for some basic facts of blood.

What is Motion Sickness?

My husband and I are headed on our very first cruise this week. In preparation, I have researched motion sickness. Motion sickness is brought about by motion, whether it is from riding in a car, train or rollercoaster, on a boat, or in a plane. It is sometimes referred to as seasickness, airsickness, or car sickness. But it all describes the same thing. Symptoms generally include nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and headache. “Nausea” is actually Greek for seasickness, as “naus” means ship. If the unlucky person is nauseous, the person may vomit. And unfortunately, vomiting doesn’t relieve the nausea and the person will continue to vomit until the nausea is treated. Fun times--who is ready for a cruise?

Pi Day! Today’s Special: The Human Body

Happy Pi Day! Pi Day is definitely one of my favorite holidays, right up there with Halloween and 4th of July. But, what is Pi day? Pi day is celebrated on March 14, which can be shortened to 3-14 which is very similar to 3.14, the rounded off number for pi. Ta da! Pi day! Sometimes abbreviated with the Greek letter, π, pi is mathematically equivalent to the ratio of the circumference of a circle divided by the diameter. It has been calculated to over a trillion places beyond the decimal point, and doesn’t have a pattern. While the human body doesn’t have any mathematically exact ratios like pi, it does have some other interesting, approximate ratios, both internally and externally.

Are you always tired?

Some people may experience a profound fatigue, which is all encompassing, affecting daily routines, and not alleviated with rest. This tiredness is called “chronic fatigue syndrome,” commonly abbreviated to CFS. Coping with CFS can lead to feelings of anger, guilt, anxiety, isolation and abandonment. The feelings can lead to an increased stress level and exacerbated symptoms, which can make management and recovery more difficult. One treatment that can be beneficial to sufferers of CFS is massage, which can greatly improve the quality of life.

Tinnitus

Are your ears ringing? Many say it’s because someone is talking about you. Or, it could be because something is actually wrong with you. Sorry. It’s called tinnitus (pronounced TINN-a-tus or ti-NIGHT-us). The word tinnitus has a Latin origin that means “to ring or tinkle” [1]. Tinnitus is relatively common, affecting 50 million Americans. Most people describe it as a constant ringing in the ears, but it is defined medically as a perception of sound when there is no actual sound present. Tinnitus can occur occasionally or constantly and the volume of the sounds can fluctuate. Tinnitus can be a frustrating diagnosis to live with. I encourage sufferers to seek multiple and varied ways to help manage the symptoms.

Anatomical Considerations of Sword Swallowing

Many people, including Harry Houdini, think that sword swallowing is just a gimmick and that the performers use a collapsible sword. Sword swallowing is very real. The swords are dull, but still pointed and must be a minimum of 38 cm (just over a foot) in length. Sword swallowing is inherently dangerous because of the important organs the sword passes by during the swallow.