Chronic constipation is usually a benign condition that affects about 20% of the world’s population, it is found more frequently in women and the elderly. Studies indicate from 12% to 27.2% of people in North American are afflicted with this condition.
Chronic constipation is characterized by 12 weeks in a year in which you experience difficult or infrequent passage of stool (less than 3 per week), hardness of stool, prolonged time to complete an evacuation, or feelings of incomplete evacuation.
Practically everyone experiences constipation at some point, but chronic constipation can cause serious difficulties including hemorrhoids, bleeding, fecal impaction, bowel perforation, incontinence and an overall decreased quality of life. Serious effects of chronic constipation include blood in the stool (hematochezia) and weight loss of 10 pounds or more.
Constipation may be caused by many factors including increased stress in life or a change in diet. However, that may be underlying organic disorders causing the constipation. Actual physical disorders may be diagnosed by tests or procedures such as a complete blood count, measuring serum calcium, thyroid function tests, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and a colonoscopy. Continue reading →
Cannabis, or marijuana (Cannabis sativa) is known for its psychoactive properties and its illegal recreational use to get “high” or “stoned”. The main psychoactive chemical in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC. This was isolated in 1964. Another important component, nonpsychoactive cannabidiol (CBD), was identified in 1963. All together, there are more than 60 pharmacologically active compounds called “cannabinoids”.
In the 1980s the endoCannabinoid system was discovered. It is a complex neurotransmitter or signalling system consisting of receptors, endogenous ligands and enzymes that exists throughout the central nervous system (including the brain) as well as the peripheral nervous system.
This endocannabinoid system has been found to express elevated signalling in various neurodegererative diseases including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, allergic encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis. The purpose of this activation seems to be to reduce neuronal hyperactiviety and local inflammation which could cause damage as well as to reduce tremors and spasticity. Continue reading →
Is Vaping Safe? E-cigarettes are battery powered devices that heat a liquid to form a vapor that you inhale. While that vapor does not contain the tars found in burning tobacco cigarettes, the vapor does contain other chemicals that could cause harm.
The liquid typically contains combinations of propyleve, glycol and glycerin. Liquids may also come with varying levels of nicotine and flavors that are carried along with the vapor for inhalation.
And, while electronic cigarettes do not provide your lungs will all the tars or alkaloids of conventional tobacco cigarettes, they are not a safe way to obtain nicotine.
The market for e-cigs is booming. It is estimated that by 2023 the market will be worth $48 billion. Because these devices are not traditional cigarettes, the tobacco companies have gotten back into advertising their brands of these nicotine delivery systems in a big way. Some of these big tobacco electronic cigarette brands include VUSE, Vype, Mark Ten, and Blu.
E-Cigarettes : Welcome Back, Big Tobacco – the fifth estate
Big Tobacco is trying clean up its image, moving into the booming e-cigarette business which continuing to peddle the deadly tobacco products. This has left public health officials in Canada, the U.K. and the US concerned.
Stress can cause poor health and make you look exhausted and haggard. Stress is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, poor immune function, premature aging, high blood pressure, obesity and even diabetes. Exactly how stress brings about the early onset of age-related disease is not entirely clear. Many believe that stress increases the rate of aging within the cells themselves.
Cellular aging is associated with oxidative stress, lowered telomerase activity, and shorter telomere lengths. These factors affect the longevity of your body’s cells.
Telomeres are the caps or ends of chromosomes which provide protection and help give stability to the chromosomes. Telomeres are composed of terminal sequences of TTAGGG DNA base units at the ends of all chromosomes that signify the end of chromosomal information. At conception there are approximately 2,500 TTAGGG sequences as “end caps” to chromosomal data.
Telomers are a target of oxidative damage and become damaged and shortened due to the action of free radicals.
Psychological stress itself seems to accelerate the shortening of telomeres. In one study 58 mothers were studied. 19 of the mothers had a healthy child while 39 mothers cared for a chronically ill child. The research found that (adjusted for the age of the mother) the more years of caregiving, the shorter the mother’s telemores, the lower the telomerase activity and the more oxidative stress the mothers experienced. Continue reading →
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