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Diverticulitis: Sacs in Colon

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Diverticula are small bulging pouches that can often form in the lower part of the large intestine (colon) for people over the age of 40. The formation of these pouches is known as diverticulosis. These pouches usually don’t cause any problems but they can become inflamed or infected. This condition is known as diverticulitis.

The signs and symptoms of diverticulitis include pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal tenderness, and constipation. While mild diverticulitis can be treated with rest, disregarding changes in your diet and intaking antibiotics may result in more severe diverticulitis, thus requiring surgery.    

Possible diverticulitis complications include: Perforation and peritonitis, abscess and phlegmon, fistula, and intestinal obstruction.

  • Diverticulitis usually creates perforations in the diverticula and in severe cases, these small openings can grow large and spill the colon’s contents into the peritoneal (abdominal) cavity. This can cause peritonitis, which is the inflammation and infection of the abdominal cavity. Treating peritonitis involves an emergency procedure where the damaged part of the colon is removed and the abdominal cavity is cleaned out.
  • An abscess is an infected pocket filled with pus while a phlegmon is an infected area within the tissue. Both can form along the wall of the colon. Antibiotics can be used to treat abscesses and phlegmons, but more serious cases require surgery in order to remove the affected tissue.
  • A fistula is an abnormal connection between an organ and another structure.  Diverticulitis can make a fistula that connects the colon with the bladder, vagina, or small intestine. Treating a fistula usually requires surgery in order to repair the fistula and the surrounding tissues.
  • Intestinal obstructions are blockages of the colon that severely narrows the colon. Intestinal obstructions are usually treated with surgery in order to remove the affected part of the colon.

Diverticulitis usually occurs amongst older individuals, however, there are other known causes such as being obese, eating too much red meat, and not exercising regularly. Hence, for the youth as well the aged, pay attention to your diet and make sure you are active.

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A-Z

Did You Hear About the Woman Who Cannot Hear Men’s Voices?

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Remember all the times your parents might have told you not to blast the music so loud? Well, they are right. Surrounding yourself in a noisy environment could eventually lead to a loss of hearing over time, and can increase the possibility for other auditory loss symptoms.

Last week, a woman named Ms. Chen from China was diagnosed with a rare disease called reverse-slope hearing loss. As mentioned first on Daily Mail, she woke up one morning and was unable to hear her own boyfriend’s voice.

This condition affects only about 3,000 people in the U.S. and Canada and is a genetic condition that is unfortunately untreatable. This disease affected the fluid surrounding inner hair cells and was potentially triggered by a sudden viral infection.

The patient is unable to hear low-pitched voices and can only listen to women’s voices that are naturally higher pitched. Also, these patients are unable to hear vowels, which have a low pitch energy that our eardrums cannot perceive.

There is a slight hope if the ear, nose, throat (ENT) specialist could catch the condition overnight and provide a steroid injection, but most conditions are permanent. The patient revealed that she has been under large amounts of stress which may have caused it.

More Information on Reverse- Slope Hearing Loss (RSHL)

This hearing loss mostly affects low-frequency audible noises. It is caused by a dominant gene that affects the inner hair cells, which send messages from outside sounds to the brain.  

Some symptoms include difficulty understanding speech and men’s volume. It is difficult to hear low tuned environmental noises such as the refrigerator humming. Many people who use a hearing aid utilize it to hear higher frequency noises, so it would not be an effective tool for people diagnosed with RSHL. People with this disorder require a different amplification so that they would need different settings.

Photo from Pexels

This rare disease is difficult to treat because not many physicians have encountered this disorder. Although the symptoms are not severe, it is critical to hear low environmental noises, such as a car heading towards you.

There are some starting points to treat RSHL, such as using a digital, multichannel, nonlinear hearing aid. This would amplify lower frequency settings at a level that is comfortable for the patient.

Reference: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6574093/Woman-unable-hear-voices-men-pick-higher-frequency-tones-females.html

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Stress

What is evening stress and why should we beware of it?

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When we experience stress, it can often lead to a series of hormones being released in the body. New studies have suggested that we actually have a vulnerability to stress as the day progresses. Our body may actually react more strongly to acute psychological stress in the evening compared to stress that we might experience in the morning.

Studies conducted by Japan’s Hokkaido University are suggesting that even with normal work hours and sleeping habits, we react differently to acute psychological stress later on into the evening. In a study conducted on 27 healthy young volunteers as they went about their normal routine, it was determined that hypersonic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis changes occurred, leading to different responses for acute stress as the day progressed.

The HPA axis connects directly to the central nervous system and endocrine system in the body. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone that gets released every few hours when the HPA gets activated due to a stressful event. Stressful events will directly provide us with energy and activate a fight-or-flight response. The circadian clock within our body can actually work to maximize these responses and make sure that a fight-or-flight response can get supercharged during specific hours of the day.

Throughout the experience, the research team worked to measure the cortisol levels in volunteers at their baseline when they first woke up. Volunteers were divided into two groups where one group was exposed to stress in the morning and another group was exposed to stress in the evening, around 10 hours after they’d been awake.

Volunteers that were taking the test in the evening continued to experience a much higher heart rate than individuals that were taking the test in the morning. It seemed as though the participants that were exposed to stress in the morning had a much easier time activating their HPA axis within the sympathetic nervous system. Individuals that were exposed to stress in the evening experienced a vulnerability in preventing extreme stress within their system.

The largest issue with evening stress now that we know we are susceptible to it and that it can prevent sleep. When we get worked up before it’s time for our bodies to go to sleep, it often leads to fits of insomnia and issues when it comes to sleeping. As we know that our biological clock can have a large effect on our ability to manage stress, the more time that we continue to change our city and rhythm and go without sleep, the worse our reaction to stress can be.

If you have ever felt extremely frazzled as a result of several days of not sleeping, you have likely experienced this connection in action yourself. Recognizing that we can be more susceptible to stress in the evening can help us prepare our schedules accordingly. If you have some stressful activities planned for the day, it could be a wise idea to schedule these actions for the morning where your body can be better equipped to handle the extra stress.

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Diabetes

The Diabetes Epidemic Prediction in 2045

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Diabetes Epidemic throughout the World

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), there are approximately 425 million individuals living with diabetes. By 2045, the population with diabetes is expected to increase to 629 million. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in three adults globally is suffering from diabetes. Diabetes is expected to increase because roughly 352 million people are predisposed to have diabetes. The values indicate that 6 percent of the population has diabetes, and 5 percent are predisposed.

Due to these alarming numbers, many organizations have formed to set parameters that will, in turn, reduce the risk for an individual to develop diabetes or will train them on how to better manage the condition. If diabetes goes untreated, it can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and death.

Figure 1: IDF Diabetes Population in 2017 and 2045

Organizations Trying to Stop the Diabetes Epidemic

In the previous decades, the prevalence of diabetes globally has increased and will continue to rise if the preventative measures set by governments and health organizations fail. Listed below are global organizations that are combating the spread of diabetes:

  1.    Center for Disease Control (CCDC)
  2.    Center of Disease Prevention (CCDP)
  3.    International Diabetes Federation (IDF)
  4.    World Health Organization (WHO)

Figure 2:  Healthcare Expenditures to Treat Diabetes in 2017

These are only a few examples of the many organizations that are investing time and money on research that will help prevent and manage diabetes. The current amount that was globally spent on healthcare expenditures to treat diabetes in 2017 was $727 billion. The United States alone accounts for $348 billion of spending to treat diabetes because a large amount of its population has diabetes or is at high risk to develop the disease.

Global Measures on Diabetes

As mentioned previously, there are many organizations that strive to find solutions for those affected by diabetes. At the same time, some organizations have collaborated to further improve their analysis and preventative parameters in economically impoverished and wealthy cities. These programs are being implemented all over the world in nations where diabetes is an ongoing epidemic.

The Center for Disease Control and the Center of Disease Prevention established a monitoring system to survey the upward trend of diabetes in rural cities globally. The organizations determined that healthcare expenses caused by diabetic-related diseases have led to poverty. The following list describes the current standard methods used to prevent diabetes:

  1.    Organize educational sessions to train and inform rural and village health care providers on diabetes prevention and management.
  2.    Provide technical support and assessment for patients’ self-management.
  3.    Evaluate high-risk diabetic elements and provide a screening service to individuals.
  4.    Train people with diabetes standard self-management skills.

The organization’s goals are to educate impoverished communities on how to better manage their diabetes. However, training people on self-management alone is not the best way to prevent diabetes. The diabetes epidemic is so alarming that even governments within cities have set up their own preventative measures. 

To prevent diabetes from further affecting their citizens, action plans have been set to facilitate a health-enhancing physical and social environment to promote health advice to manage diabetes. Government’s all over the world have made it their goal to gather as much data in hopes of implementing the appropriate strategies to combat diabetes. This global research has led to three targeted goals that are being focused on for improved results:

  1.    Reduce the risk of individual’s becoming pre-disposed to diabetes. 
  2.    Stop the exponential growth of diabetes.
  3.    Improve the availability of inexpensive medical devices and medicines to treat diabetes.

Multiple governments and health organizations put an emphasis on improving technology and medicine for halting diabetes because they determined that educating the population on self-management alone was not going to fix the problem. The global objective is to implement more accurate medical devices that monitor diabetes. In the 1970’s, diabetes monitoring was invented to help those with diabetes control their sugar intake at home. The two most popular methods used today are daily testing through self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) and long-term testing through glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). However, these methods still contain some faults and there is a need for faster and more accurate results to match with the growing numbers. Many nations will need to develop a more efficient and faster point-of-care diagnostic device in order to stop the growing diabetes epidemic.

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