Immune System: Is It A Guard Dog Or Wolf?

Without an immune system, we wouldn’t be here. Even the simplest creature, like bacteria, have types of defensive systems.

However, as we learned with Covid, the immune system can become mistimed, and be a detriment. Covid retards the innate immune system, and unleashes it later on when it no longer serves a useful purpose and actually damages tissue. In certain illnesses, like the common cold, most of the symptoms are actually CAUSED by the immune system.

in the case of allergies, symptoms are caused by the operation of our th2 immune system against a harmless entity, like pollen. With organ transplantation, our immune system recognizes the transplant as foreign; it has no reasoning capacity to realize that the transplanted tissue is necessary for us to live, and  to proceeds to reject the transplant.

In the case of the previous post, hydrocortisone, the prototypical shotgun that tamps down the immune system, benefited severe pneumonia.

With public health, immunizations, and a clean environment, infection is no longer the big killer is once was. Our immune system, designed to defend against a much more infectious world, is currently a real source of danger and disease.

Just like our coagulation system, once critical to stop the more frequent blood flowing in a violent world, Is now a bigger danger than ever because of our development of atherosclerotic blood vessel disease as we live longer.

Anticoagulants and anti-immunity treatments, some of them very expensive, are finding increased utility.

Please press the magnifying glass on the green field, and type in “immune system”. There are a number of previous posts of a more specific and detailed nature.

— Dr. C

Reviews: Hydrocortisone Use In Severe Pneumonia

NEJM Group (May 25, 2023) – Glucocorticoids can help mitigate the adverse consequences of pneumonia, but whether they can reduce mortality in severe community-acquired pneumonia is unknown. New research findings are summarized in a short video.


Among patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia being treated in the ICU, those who received hydrocortisone had a lower risk of death by day 28 than those who received placebo.

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Medical Update: A Review Of Tuberculosis In 2023

TB has been a gradually diminishing presence in the United States for decades, and currently there are only 2.4 cases per hundred thousand people in our country.

When I was in medical school, TB was still a big problem, and we learned about the fever, night sweats, weight loss and coughing up blood from active tuberculosis. With any of these symptoms, you should, of course, check with a physician.

These severe infections still happen but, currently, tuberculosis occurs primarily in immigrants from other countries, homeless people, prison inmates, people with Immune deficiency, such as cancel therapy and HIV infection.

TB is also  more common in Asians, Native Americans and Eskimos, and Hispanics.

The Ordinary middle class American citizen these days is unlikely to catch tuberculosis, unless they are exposed to somebody that has an active, open case, more likely in people described above.

On first contact, the Tubercle bacillus is almost always controlled by the immune system. Most of these primary cases are without symptoms, and after a few weeks could be picked up by an immune blood test, called the T-spot.TB, or the skin tuberculin test. The chest x-ray can also show a spot on the lung with primary tuberculosis. it is with reactivation that the severe symptoms of secondary TB, described above, can occur.

My own inclination would be to get tested with exposure to any of the groups mentioned above, especially if they have a cough.

Incidentally, there was a dip in tuberculosis incidence during the contagion versus COVID-19 pandemic, showing one more advantage in avoiding big, inside groups.

Catching tuberculosis at the earliest possible moment still continues to be important, especially since long drawn out disease in individuals who have defective immune systems has led to the development of drug resistant organisms.

—Dr. C.

Reviews: Brain Tumor Risk Factors & Symptoms

Mayo Clinic (May 17, 2023) – Learning about a brain tumor can be intimidating. Alyx Porter, M.D., a neuro-oncologist at Mayo Clinic, walks you through the facts, the questions, and the answers to help you better understand this condition.

Video timeline: 0:00 Introduction 0:37 What is a brain tumor? 1:38 Who gets a brain tumor? / Risk factors 2:26 Symptoms of a brain tumor 3:36 How is a brain tumor diagnosed? 4:13 Treatment options 6:24 Coping methods/ What now? 7:14 Ending

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Heart Health: What To Know About Cholesterol

May 16, 2023: Patients have many questions about how to lower cholesterol and what to do after a high cholesterol diagnosis.

Dr. Ashish Sarraju answers some of these common questions including why fasting before your test is important, what all of the different tests tell your doctor and what you can do to help your heart.

Infographic: Systemic Arterial Hypertension

Systemic arterial hypertension is the most important modifiable risk factor for all-cause morbidity and mortality worldwide and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Fewer than half of those with hypertension are aware of their condition, and many others are aware but not treated or inadequately treated, although successful treatment of hypertension reduces the global burden of disease and mortality. The aetiology of hypertension involves the complex interplay of environmental and pathophysiological factors that affect multiple systems, as well as genetic predisposition.

The evaluation of patients with hypertension includes accurate standardized blood pressure (BP) measurement, assessment of the patients’ predicted risk of atherosclerotic CVD and evidence of target-organ damage, and detection of secondary causes of hypertension and presence of comorbidities (such as CVD and kidney disease). Lifestyle changes, including dietary modifications and increased physical activity, are effective in lowering BP and preventing hypertension and its CVD sequelae.

Pharmacological therapy is very effective in lowering BP and in preventing CVD outcomes in most patients; first-line antihypertensive medications include angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, dihydropyridine calcium-channel blockers and thiazide diuretics.


Technology: New Head & Neck Cancer Treatments

Mayo Clinic (May 11, 2023) – In the U.S., HPV is linked to about 70% of throat and mouth cancers. And more than 70% of those cancers are diagnosed in men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Treatment for throat and mouth cancers, also referred to as oropharyngeal or head and neck cancers, will depend on location and stage of the cancer as well as other factors. Dr. Phillip Pirgousis, a Mayo Clinic head and neck surgeon, says patients have safer, less invasive surgical treatments available to them thanks to ongoing innovation.

Heart Disease: A Surgeon’s View Of Aorta Surgery

Cleveland Clinic (MAY 9, 2023): Have you ever wondered what your surgeon thinks about when they are deciding if you need an operation?

Dr. Lars Svensson and Dr. Marijan Koprivanac discuss all things aorta, such as your past medical history, current health, and how your surgeon looks to the future to provide the best options for you.


Empowering Patients Through Education And Telemedicine