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The pint-sized patients didn’t look like your everyday protesters. Frail children and teenagers, donning facemasks and hunched over in wheelchairs, clutched signs as they gathered with parents this week in a small crowd in front of the José Manuel de los Rios hospital in Caracas, Venezuela. They pleaded for help with a system they said was failing them. RIOS HOSPITAL IN EMERGENCY,” one protest sign blared. “CANCER DOESN’T WAIT,” read another. It was a demonstration for a desperate situation. de los Rios hospital, Venezuela’s pre-eminent medical center for children, was running out of drugs. Its supply of 19 different chemotherapy medicines had gone dry, leaving several young cancer patients untreated for more than two weeks. But if the situation at J. M. de los Rios was alarming, it wasn’t shocking. It’s the latest development in a long unfolding Venezuelan healthcare crisis that has reached new, severe heights this year. Accessible healthcare was one of the hallmarks of former President Hugo Chávez's socialist revolution, but rampant medicine shortages, aging equipment and an exodus of medical professionals have converged into a slow-motion emergency that has... Cancer patients, pregnant women, those with organ transplants and HIV-positive Venezuelans alike have been left scrambling for care while a black market for pharmaceutical drugs thrives. Venezuela is already staggering under the weight of a sputtering economy and rising political tensions, but human rights groups say the health situation is putting the country on a fast track toward a humanitarian crisis, as well. “It’s been getting worse every month. It’s getting worse every day,” said Francisco Valencia, director of Codevida, a Caracas-based coalition of organizations dedicated to promoting health rights in Venezuela. The oncology department at J. M. de los Rios hospital had seen scarcity before, of perhaps three or four chemotherapy drugs at a time, but the recent shortages had reached a new level, Valencia said. Two days after Monday's protest, the hospital received eight of the missing drugs and resumed chemotherapy treatments, but the two-week delay has already stoked new anxieties among patients and health rights groups. The problems extend far beyond cancer patients. Around 70 percent of medicines in Venezuela, including ibuprofen, treatments for hypertension and birth control, are now in. Source: www.ibtimes.com
Hanging out just below the liver's right lobe is your hollow, pear-shaped gallbladder . When it's full of bile that's waiting to help digest some food, the organ can grow as long as 8 to 10 centimeters (cm), and as wide as 4 cm. Unless you've had... But if it's causing you serious pain or other problems , you may need to ditch this little organ. Your gallbladder serves as a storage pouch. While the liver is hard at work making the dark green bile that helps with digestion, the gallbladder holds the bile until you actually need it, says Erin Gilbert, MD , an assistant professor of surgery at Oregon Health and Science University in... "It concentrates the bile into the form that's best used for digestion," Dr. Gilbert says. "When you eat, the bile is squeezed out of the gallbladder and goes into the first part of the small intestine, the duodenum, through the common bile duct. The liver produces anywhere from 500 to 1,000 milliliters (ml) of bile per day, but the gallbladder can concentrate that bile up to tenfold and store 30 to 50 ml of the denser bile. Gallstones are formed mostly from hardened cholesterol. Gallstones form when one of two substances — cholesterol or bilirubin — become supersaturated in the bile and crystallize, much the way sugar crystallizes when someone makes rock candy. Bilirubin is a brownish-yellow substance found in bile that results when old red blood cells in the liver break down. Your body normally eliminates bilirubin through your bowels (it's the reason for the color of feces). Bilirubin-caused gallstones are rarer than those formed from hardened cholesterol, and are more common in those with blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia. A low-cholesterol and low-fat diet is best for a healthy gallbladder. What's the best diet for a healthy gallbladder. "Most gallbladder stones are formed from cholesterol, so eating a low-cholesterol and low-fat diet is best for gallbladder health," says Cathleen Khandelwal, MD , a general surgeon at Cleveland Clinic. A diet good for your heart is good for your gallbladder, too. Any diet that would qualify as "heart-healthy" is "gallbladder-healthy," too. That means a diet with some healthy monounsaturated fats, such. Source: www.everydayhealth.com
My disenchantment with flax began quite innocently a couple years ago. When a nutritionist suggested I increase my flax consumption, I thought it was a great idea. After all, wasn’t flax the new “superfood”. Little did I know the potentially dangerous path I was heading down. Many studies have shown positive effects of eating flax, but are these benefits worth it. Flax also has many real concerns that need to be taken into account. Phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that mimic the hormone estrogen in a human body. A study that examined the phytoestrogen content of foods common in a Western diet found that flax seeds contained the highest amount of phytoestrogens , followed by soy beans and tofu. The same study determined that flax seeds contain almost four times the amount of phytoestrogens as soy beans. The phytoestrogens in soy have almost become an urban legend with tall tales of men growing breasts overnight. Regardless of the exaggerated stories, the consumption of phytoestrogens can affect our hormonal system and should be considered before including any significant amount of this seed in your diet. And if you’re afraid of sprouting “man boobs,” perhaps you should be more worried about that flax bread on your counter than the occasional piece of tofu. Certain cancers, such as breast, ovarian and uterine cancer, have been shown to be promoted by higher levels of estrogen in the body. Studies on the effect of phytoestrogens on hormonal affected cancers have been inconclusive as to whether they help or hinder these cancers. Based on the inconclusive research, many sources recommend you discuss any potential hormonal risks with your doctor before starting any type of flax supplementation. Phytic Acid. Flax seeds are also high in another controversial plant compound. Phytic acid is a natural part of all seeds and one of its purposes is to prevent a seed from germinating prematurely. When a seed is soaked, sprouted or fermented, phytic acid will naturally start breaking down as the seed prepares to grow. If it is not removed properly before consuming a seed, phytic acid has been reported to impair the absorption of minerals and trace elements, such as calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium, giving it the label of being an “anti-nutrient. Flax is known to be high in phytic acid. This makes proper preparation of the seed. Source: www.care2.com
Essential oils can be used for many things, and they're starting to be used more by pregnant women around the world. Essential oils are natural oils that are obtained by distillation and have a characteristic fragrance derived from a plant or other source.