Tag Archives: Reviews

Cholesterol: How To Read The Lipid Panel Blood Test

There are three general types of large molecules of which our body is composed. There are PROTEINS, essential components of the Nanomachines that power of our bodies, the CARBOHYDRATES which can form structures, as well as provide and store nutrients, and LIPIDS, which can function as a storehouse of nutrients.

Lipids, unlike carbohydrates and proteins, are essentially nonpolar, that is they have no profusion of charged molecules. The main characteristic of lipids is that they do not dissolve in water, thereby allowing for domains and structures to develop in the cell and beyond.

Cholesterol is a lipid that is essential to our cell membranes, and therefore to life. As people get older, however, cholesterol tends to accumulate and get stored in unwanted places, such as under the lining membranes of blood vessels. In this location, they can cause blockages that threaten the very life for which they are essential.

All of the lipids measured in the comprehensive lipid panel measure lipids in different forms that have different functions and significance in the body. The only one of the lipids that is almost always good, or at least neutral, is the high density lipoprotein, the HDL. The level of this lipoprotein is under genetic control and is increased by EXERCISE and FISH OIL, among other things.

“Good Genes”, healthy diet and exercise will help keep down the bad lipids, especially the LDL, and elevate the main good lipid , HDL.

Coronary artery disease and strokes are the main killers in mid and into later life, and are therefore very important to control. Many people do not seem to have the self-discipline that healthy diet and exercise requires. Fortunately, we have a miracle drug. the HMG- CoA inhibitors, the “statin” drugs, which most people tolerate without the muscle pain and myolysis side effect.

I have taken the statin drugs for years, ever since I discovered my cholesterol was 220, above the optimal level. Fearful of muscle effects, since I am a heavy exerciser, I started out on 1/2 of the lowest dose, 2.5 mg., of Rosuvastatin. This amazingly took my cholesterol level all the way down to 180, and my LDL down below 100, a powerful medication indeed.

My most recent Lipid panel results are below:

                                      Result value.              Ref. Range

Triglycerides.                    51 mg./dL.                <150 mg./dL

Cholesterol.                        186 mg./dL.                <200 mg./dL

HDL.                                    90 mg./dL.                  > 60 mg./dL

LDL direct.                          95 mg./dL.                  <100 mg./dL.

The authorities have lowered the normal range a couple of times during my lifetime. It is true that even lower values than mine show ever more benefit.

It is best to keep your lipids under control with diet and exercise, so stay healthy!

—Dr. C.

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Screening Tests: What Makes Up A Urinalysis?

The urinalysis is a very good screening test, and therefore often ordered with an annual physical examination. It gives insight into a very vital organ, the kidney.

It is the definitive test for a urinary tract infections, which are very common particularly in women, with their short urethras, and is also very good at reflecting abnormalities in the body of various sorts.

Urine color– very helpful in many conditions, such as liver disease, hemolytic anemia, porphyria, and Homocystinuria. When I had my bladder cancer bleed, the urine was red in color of course.

Clarity – The presence of many small particles, such as white blood cells or bacteria will make the urine cloudy.

Urine specific gravity – Will be high if you’re drinking insufficient water.

Urine pH — Will be out of range in several conditions, such as urine infections and somatic acidosis, which can happen in diabetes.

Urine protein – Gets into the urine in some kidney conditions such as nephrosis.

Urine glucose – Is positive mainly in diabetes, which was very important to follow when I was practicing in order to follow the diabetes. It is still important in the early pick up of diabetes and people that didn’t know they had it. Blood sugars are much more used these days to follow diabetes.

Urine ketones – Can indicate out of control diabetes. Can also Occur with certain very low carbohydrate diets; keto diets are named for this effect.

Urine blood -A counter check to the microscopic examination for red blood cells.

Urine nitrite – Elevated with urinary tract infections, a check on microscopic white blood cells.

Urinary Urobilinogen – Elevated in certain liver diseases.

Urinary leukocytic esterase -A check on urinary white blood cells

Urinary microscopic examination:

Urinary RBC – Elevated in urinary tract bleeding in certain  kidney and bladder diseases.

Urinary WBC – Elevated with urinary tract infections

Transitional epithelial cells – Sometimes have significance to doctors

Urinary bacteria – Of course Indicates urinary tract infection

Urinary yeast and hyphae – May indicate a fungal infection.

The urinalysis I obtained when my red urine due to my bladder cancer alarmed me showed Red urine color 30 mg/dL urine proteins, large amount of blood, 10-15  red blood cells, (elevated) and a few bacteria and yeast, a spurious finding.

When you go in for a general physical, assuming that you are well, it is always comforting to have a negative urinalysis, a broad screening test for all kinds of different problems.

— Dr, C

Ear Health: Diagnosing And Managing ‘Tinnitus’

Mayo Clinic – About 1 in 5 people experience the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. It’s called tinnitus. Dr. Gayla Poling says tinnitus can be perceived a myriad of ways. Hearing loss can be age-related, come from a one-time exposure, or exposure to loud sounds over a lifetime.

Dr. Poling says the tiny hairs in our inner ear may play a role. Dr. Poling says there’s no scientifically proven cure for tinnitus, but there are treatment and management options. Other options include using a sound generator or using a fan at night. If ringing in your ears bothers you, start by seeing your health care provider for a hearing test.

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Prostate Cancer: A PSMA Scan Predicts Recurrence

“We found that the information we could get from PSMA scanning in patients with newly-diagnosed prostate cancer before surgery was at least as reliable and useful as other information from biopsy, PSA levels, or clinical exam for predicting how patients would do after surgery or other treatment,” says Farshad Moradi, a radiologist at Stanford who co-authored the study.

In December, scientists at Stanford University reported promising findings with a new technology that lights up prostate tumors on specialized imaging scans. The approach relies on a minimally-radioactive tracer that travels the body hunting for cancer cells.

Called 68Ga-PSMA-11, and delivered intravenously, the tracer binds exclusively with a protein called prostate- specific membrane antigen (PSMA). Prostate cancer cells contain far more of this protein on their surfaces than normal prostate cells do. Tumors flagged by 68Ga-PSMA-11 show up on an imaging scan like lit matches in a dark room. Doctors are already using PSMA scans to diagnose early metastatic cancer, and the tracer can also be used to ferry drugs directly into malignant tumors.

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EPIGENETICS & AGING: DNA BREAKAGE & REPAIR EFFECTS

Harvard Medical School – A 13-year international study in mice demonstrates that loss of epigenetic information, which influences how DNA is organized and regulated, can drive aging independently of changes to the genetic code itself.

It also shows that restoring the integrity of the epigenome reverses age-related symptoms.

Learn more at https://hms.harvard.edu/news/loss-epi…

MEDICAL REVIEW: ‘SINGLE-PORT ROBOTIC SURGERY’

Freethink – Robotics are helping make minimally invasive surgeries even less invasive. Case in point: single-port robotic surgery, a relatively new type of approach where a robotic system controlled by a human surgeon executes the procedure by making only one incision into the patient.

Although still relatively uncommon, single-port surgery has been gaining momentum in recent years. The benefits are noticeable. Compared to traditional surgery, single-port surgery might leave patients with shorter recovery times, less scarring, and overall better outcomes.

The technique is also transforming how surgeons think about and execute surgery itself. “It’s allowing us to do surgeries differently than we do with [multi-port surgery],” said Michael Stifelman, M.D., director of robotic surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center. “What every patient wants is to get back to their life. Single-port robotics is allowing us to get them to that point more quickly.”

Learn more about the future of single-port surgery in this episode of “Operation: Reimagine Surgery,” a Freethink original series produced in partnership with Intuitive, which created the world’s first commercially available robotic surgery system in the 1990s.

Reviews: Heart Attacks Vs. Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) isn’t the same as a heart attack, though people often use the terms interchangeably. While both are life-threatening heart conditions, understanding the differences could be lifesaving.

When it comes to cardiac arrest versus a heart attack, it can be easy to get them confused. You may be wondering, Is cardiac arrest the same as a heart attack?

Both a heart attack and cardiac arrest can be scary and life-threatening medical conditions affecting your heart, but there are differences in how and why they occur.

A heart attack is caused by a blockage. It happens when an artery blocks the blood flow to your heart.

Cardiac arrest is an electrical issue. It occurs when quick, irregular impulses take over your heart’s rhythm.

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Infographic: Diagnosis & Care Of Multimorbidity

People with multimorbidity (two or more coexisting conditions in an individual) are more likely to die prematurely, be admitted to hospital and have an increased length of stay than people with a single chronic condition.

Multimorbidity is also associated with poorer function and health-related quality of life (HRQOL), depression and intake of multiple drugs (polypharmacy) and greater socioeconomic costs. Most health care is designed to treat individual conditions rather than providing comprehensive, person-centreed care, which often leads to fragmented and sometimes contradictory care for people with multimorbidity and increases their treatment burden.  Moreover, treating one condition at a time is inefficient and unsatisfactory for both people with multimorbidity and their health-care providers.

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Reviews: WHY ARE FLU, RSV AND STREP SURGING IN 2022?

Daniela Hernandez | WSJ – Getting the flu can increase the risk of getting a second infection, including strep throat. WSJ’S Daniela Hernandez explains the science behind that, plus what it means for the rest of the winter and how we can protect ourselves so the tripledemic doesn’t get worse.

Video timeline: 0:24 – Flu Damage 1:25 – Lower population immunity 2:03 – Who’s most vulnerable? 3:05 – How can we protect ourselves?