Lactose intolerance means the body cannot easily digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products. This is not the same thing as a food allergy to milk.
When lactose moves through the large intestine (colon) without being properly digested, it can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as gas, belly pain, and bloating. Some people who have lactose intolerance cannot digest any milk products. Others can eat or drink small amounts of milk products or certain types of milk products without problems.
Lactose intolerance is common in adults. It occurs more often in Native Americans and people of Asian, African, and South American descent than among people of European descent.
If you have lactose intolerance, your symptoms may include:
Pain or cramps in the lower belly
Gurgling or rumbling sounds in the lower belly
Loose stools or diarrhea. Sometimes the stools are foamy
Guinea-worm disease is caused by the parasitic worm Dracunculus medinensis or “Guinea-worm”. This worm is the largest of the tissue parasite affecting humans. The adult female, which carries about 3 million embryos, can measure 600 to 800 mm in length and 2 mm in diameter. The parasite migrates through the victim’s subcutaneous tissues causing severe pain especially when it occurs in the joints. The worm eventually emerges (from the feet in most of the cases), causing an intensely painful oedema, a blister and an ulcer accompanied by fever, nausea and vomiting.
Infected persons try to relieve the burning sensation by immersing the infected part of their body in local water sources, usually ponds water. This also induces a contraction of the female worm at the base of the ulcer causing the sudden expulsion of hundreds of thousands of first stage larvae into the water. They move actively in the water, where they can live for a few days.
No drug is available to prevent or heal this parasitic disease – exclusively associated with drinking contaminated water. Dracunculiasis is, however, relatively easy to eliminate and eventually eradicate.
Common signs and symptoms involve progressive obesity and skin changes, such as:
Weight gain and fatty tissue deposits, particularly around the midsection and upper back, in the face (moon face), and between the shoulders (buffalo hump)
Pink or purple stretch marks (striae) on the skin of the abdomen, thighs, breasts and arms
Thinning, fragile skin that bruises easily
Slow healing of cuts, insect bites and infections
Women with Cushing syndrome may experience:
Thicker or more visible body and facial hair (hirsutism)
Irregular or absent menstrual periods
Men with Cushing syndrome may experience:
Other signs and symptoms include:
Depression, anxiety and irritability
Loss of emotional control
New or worsened high blood pressure
Glucose intolerance that may lead to diabetes
Bone loss, leading to fractures over time
Treatments for Cushing syndrome are designed to lower the high level of cortisol in your body. The best treatment for you depends on the cause of the syndrome. Treatment options include:
Reducing corticosteroid use. If the cause of Cushing syndrome is long-term use of corticosteroid medications, your doctor may be able to keep your Cushing signs and symptoms under control by reducing the dosage of the drug over a period of time, while still adequately managing your asthma, arthritis or other condition. For many of these medical problems, your doctor can prescribe noncorticosteroid drugs, which will allow him or her to reduce the dosage or eliminate the use of corticosteroids altogether.
Don’t reduce the dose of corticosteroid drugs or stop taking them on your own. Do so only under your doctor’s supervision. Abruptly discontinuing these medications could lead to deficient cortisol levels. Slowly tapering off corticosteroid drugs allows your body to resume normal cortisol production.
Surgery. If the cause of Cushing syndrome is a tumor, your doctor may recommend complete surgical removal. Pituitary tumors are typically removed by a neurosurgeon, who may perform the procedure through your nose. If a tumor is present in the adrenal glands, lungs or pancreas, the surgeon can remove it through a standard operation or in some cases by using minimally invasive surgical techniques, with smaller incisions.
After the operation, you’ll need to take cortisol replacement medications to provide your body with the correct amount of cortisol. In most cases, you’ll eventually experience a return of normal adrenal hormone production, and your doctor can taper off the replacement drugs. However, this process can take up to a year or longer. In some instances, people with Cushing syndrome never experience a resumption of normal adrenal function; they then need lifelong replacement therapy.
Radiation therapy. If the surgeon can’t totally remove a pituitary tumor, he or she will usually prescribe radiation therapy to be used in conjunction with the operation. Additionally, radiation may be used for people who aren’t suitable candidates for surgery. Radiation can be given in small doses over a six-week period or by a technique called stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma Knife surgery).
Medications. Medications can be used to control cortisol production when surgery and radiation don’t work. Medications may also be used before surgery in people who have become very sick with Cushing syndrome.
Shellfish poisoning is a general term used to indicate poisoning that occurs when shellfish (mainly oysters, clams, scallops or mussels) are eaten by humans. Shellfish are usually associated with saltwater habitats, but some species inhabit freshwater. Both freshwater and saltwater shellfish may cause poisoning. Because the symptoms of shellfish poisoning are somewhat similar and patients often did not know exactly what type of shellfish they ate, the tendency of the medical community was to simply lump the symptoms together and diagnose “shellfish poisoning” for any shellfish-related problem. However, more recent clinical studies have separated the group of shellfish poisonings into four groups:
Amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP)
Diarrheal shellfish poisoning (DSP)
Neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP)
Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP)
These groups are based on the specific toxins or chemicals that poison humans; they cause specific and nonspecific symptoms. The toxins can accumulate in many different types of shellfish (see above) because the shellfish are filter-feeders and consume marine diatoms and algae that may contain the chemicals. If shellfish consume high levels of the foods that produce the poisons, the shellfish then contain high levels of poison that can be absorbed by humans when they eat the shellfish. In addition, shellfish may concentrate other things such as bacterial and viral pathogens while filter-feeding and transfer these pathogens to people when the shellfish are eaten. These problems are discussed in other articles (for example, Vibrio infections). The goal of this article is to acquaint the reader with shellfish poisonings.
Shellfish Poisoning Symptoms and Causes
The four major categories of shellfish poisoning are based on the symptoms produced and the specific poisons or pathogens that cause shellfish poisoning. The symptoms appear rapidly, usually within about thirty minutes of eating the poison-containing shellfish. The table below summarizes the symptoms and the poisons that cause them; some researchers consider azaspiracid (see below) a separate type because the symptoms are more serious, others do not. In addition, several textbooks and other articles group all “fish and shellfish toxins” together, so this table represents one organized view of only shellfish poisons.
Shellfish Poisoning Type
permanent short term memory loss, brain damage, death
diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
okadaic acid, azaspiracid
slurred speech, nausea, vomiting
parathesias, coordination loss, speech defects, nausea, vomiting, death
saxitoxin, neosaxiton and gonyautoxins I to IV
Amnestic and paralytic types of poisoning are the most serious types as they can, in a few individuals, cause death. Death from diarrhea or neurotoxic poisoning is rarely, if ever, observed.
Raw honey is an alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants and other important natural nutrients. These are the very nutrients that are destroyed during the heating and pasteurization process. In fact, pasteurized honey is equivalent to and just as unhealthy as eating refined sugar.
Raw honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It promotes body and digestive health, is a powerful antioxidant, strengthens the immune system, eliminates allergies, and is an excellent remedy for skin wounds and all types of infections. Raw honey’s benefits don’t stop there. Raw honey can also stabilize blood pressure, balance sugar levels, relieve pain, calm nerves, and it has been used to treat ulcers. Raw honey is also an expectorant and anti-inflammatory and has been known to effectively treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma.
Arachnophobia, or fear of spiders, is one of the most common specific phobias. Those who are afraid of spiders will go to great lengths to ensure that they are not exposed to a spider. They may be unwilling to participate in activities, such as hiking or camping, that carry a heightened risk of exposure to spiders.
Like all specific phobias, arachnophobia is most commonly treated through therapy, particularly cognitive-behavioral techniques. Antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications may also be used. Some newer research has shown that virtual reality therapy, in which the sufferer is exposed to virtual representations of spiders, may work as well as the older technique of gradually exposing the client to live spiders.
Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.
Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.