Question to an expert: Can you get meningitis without wearing a hat?

Posted on August 1, 2021  in Medical news

While the cold season is gaining strength, the temperature regime is quite gentle, and for many of us this is a reason to postpone the need to wear a hat, which is often prickly, electrifies hair and negates any styling. It is difficult not to be afraid of reckoning later for your frivolity, because from childhood we are told: “Put on a hat, otherwise you will get sick.” And worst of all, when, to persuade, they are frightened of the dire consequences of meningitis. Is it really so easy to protect yourself from this disease, or is it just an annoying myth? Why does meningitis develop at all, who can face it, and why shouldn’t treatment be delayed? We asked these questions to an expert.

Valentin Kovalev

infectious disease specialist, pediatrician

Many people are pretty well aware of how dangerous meningitis is and what it can lead to. But understanding how the disease works and what its nature is, is less common, which feeds some of the misconceptions about meningitis. In fact, most often it is an infectious disease in which foreign microorganisms enter the membranes of the brain and spinal cord. There they multiply, which causes tissue inflammation and characteristic symptoms of the disease. First, the pathogen enters the nasopharynx, from there it enters the bloodstream, spreads throughout the body and eventually reaches the meninges. So you can breathe out: whether you wear a hat in cold weather or not, this has nothing to do with the risk of illness.

Meningitis can be very different, but viral and bacterial forms are common in Russia. In more rare cases, fungi and parasites can become pathogens , or meningitis will not provoke an infection at all . The culprits of viral meningitis are most often enteroviruses, but others, including the influenza virus, can lead to this complication. Outbreaks of viral meningitis are more often recorded in summer and early autumn. You can catch the corresponding virus by swimming in reservoirs or pools where sanitary standards have been neglected, as well as through touch and airborne droplets.

In bacterial meningitis seasonality does not exist, and the disease is caused by meningococcus , pneumococcus and Haemophilus influenzae type Bed and . Such meningitis spreads through carriers: it is transmitted in the same ways as viral, either from older children (and children under two years of age are most susceptible to meningitis), or from adult adult carriers in whom the infection does not manifest itself. If the viral forms proceed relatively easily and usually end favorably, then bacterial meningitis manifests itself much more aggressively, the patient needs resuscitation assistance. Such meningitis can be fatal (which happens, according to some sources , in 10% of cases, and for pneumococcal – and in 30%). Moreover, a person can literally “burn out” in a few hours, so at the first suspicion it is necessary to act quickly and not hesitate to call a doctor.

It is, in general, easy to suspect meningitis by pronounced, specific symptoms. The patient suffers from severe headache, which does not go away from taking painkillers. It is accompanied by photophobia, high fever, which is not knocked down by antipyretics, it becomes difficult to tilt the neck. Sometimes drowsiness and disturbances of consciousness are also noted. In some cases, these symptoms are also accompanied by seizures, vomiting, and skin rashes.

Children under 3 months of age are
70 times more likely to catch a bacterial infection that causes meningitis than adults

With such a picture, it is quite difficult to miss meningitis, but the problem is that children often get meningitis. And the younger the child, the more vulnerable he is to the disease and the more dangerous it is. For example, children under three months old are 70 times more likely to catch a bacterial infection that causes meningitis than adults. But diagnosing a disease in a newborn is much more difficult, and a high temperature does not always indicate a problem. It is worth paying attention to drowsiness, refusal to eat, difficulty breathing, and skin rashes. By the way, to check if the spots on the body speak of meningitis, they lightly press on them with an ordinary glass – if they do not turn pale from the pressure, you should immediately consult a doctor.

Adults are also susceptible to disease. The risk group includes people over 65 (at this age, some types of meningitis are more common), as well as first-year students living in dormitories, military recruits and those who have been in closed groups for a long time. Outbreaks of bacterial meningitis in this case often occur due to crowding, close contact of people and under the influence of stress, which weakens the body as a whole. It should not be forgotten that meningitis can still be secondary, that is, develop against the background of other diseases, severe bacterial infections. For example, in the form of complications of otitis media or sinusitis, if treatment is started out of time. Or as a complication of tuberculosis in adults or children who are not vaccinated with BCG . In any case, a patient with meningitis is admitted to a hospital. He will undergo a lumbar puncture to collect cerebrospinal fluid for analysis. This will allow an accurate diagnosis to be made; puncture is the most reliable method for diagnosing meningitis, other methods are rather auxiliary.

Recovery from viral meningitis takes about two weeks on average. But how long it will take to improve health after the bacterial form depends on the characteristics of the organism and on the severity of the disease. In addition, unlike viral meningitis, bacterial meningitis often leads to serious consequences. Some children may develop hearing loss after the disease . This is quite common after pneumococcal and hemophilic meningitis. Epileptic manifestations (convulsions), various degrees of damage to the nervous system are not excluded – from rather mild ones like fatigue, headache and absent-mindedness to serious changes in behavior and learning ability. Viral meningitis rarely leaves serious consequences, although seizures can occur after it. In this matter, everything depends on the age of the patient, on the aggressiveness of the pathogen, on how soon the disease was discovered. Even with timely and complete treatment (including resuscitation) for some types of meningitis, complete recovery occurs in less than 50% of cases – that is, more than half of the children have some kind of residual defects.

It is impossible to predict the development of meningitis, but it is worth trying to protect yourself from it. The most effective prevention is vaccination. Although not all types of disease are vaccines, purulent meningitis in children, for example, can be prevented today. Within the framework of the National Vaccination Calendar in Russia, from the age of nine months, they are vaccinated against meningococcal infection (although it is believed that such vaccines can be administered earlier), against hemophilus influenza B infection – from three months, and since 2015 , children from two months of age are vaccinated against pneumococcal infections. Theoretically, it is still possible to inoculate the bacteria that cause purulent meningitis. But this method of “prevention” is much more difficult, if only because not everyone will find the strength to conscientiously monitor the regularity of analyzes, and the monetary aspect should not be written off. Vaccination in this sense is much simpler and cheaper, and, as the world practice shows (for example, in the USA ), the frequency of the same hemophilic meningitis is met by specialists abroad in a much smaller quantity.

Unpleasant with useless: 10 reasons why traditional medicine is dangerous

Posted on July 28, 2021  in Medical news

ADDICTION TO FOLK MEDICINE IS PSYCHOLOGICALLY UNDERSTANDING : a person has the feeling that he is doing something useful, especially when there are no official medicines (such as for the treatment of colds ). Self-medication is often explained as a habit (“my grandmother did it, and I do it all my life”), and sometimes it really makes you feel better – the placebo effect or coincidence may work. At the same time, the argument “even if it doesn’t help, it won’t make it worse” is not very good. Traditional medicine in many cases is not only ineffective but also unsafe; we tell you how it can harm and how it is better to replace the recommendations of elderly relatives.

Instilling corrosive liquids into the nose

Pharmaceutical preparations for the common cold is really not recommended to be used often, and for children they are not registered at all in many countries: undesirable effects vary from the development of addiction in adults to severe intoxication in children. Perhaps it is the lack of suitable drugs that makes parents experiment with home remedies – to instill in the nose juices of aloe, garlic, onions, or, for example, breast milk. But for those who consider them a safe natural alternative to “chemical” drops from the pharmacy, it’s time to reconsider their views.

Breast milk, when put into the nose, will not harm – but it will not do any good either. Recommendations are usually based on the fact that it contains immunoglobulins, protein molecules that help the body fight off foreign elements, including those that cause infection. This is true, but in this case there will be no sense : there are much more of these protective components in the secretions of the nasal mucosa, that is, snot. Burning plant juices are even worse – they are dangerous, because they can burn the mucous membrane.

Rubbing with alcohol at a temperature

Probably due to the notorious notion that the normal temperature is exclusively 36.6, attempts to reduce it often become fanatical, and horse doses of antipyretic or rubbing with vodka are used. In fact, normal body temperature varies quite widely: when measured in the armpit, it can be approximately 35.5 to 37.2 degrees. Without any disturbing symptoms (for example, in healthy children), it is not worth measuring at all. Reducing the temperature, which is not too high (up to 38–38.5), is also completely unnecessary, if it did not affect the state of health. And it is definitely not necessary to try by hook or by crook to achieve a tenth of a degree.

If, nevertheless, the temperature is high and you need to lower it, first of all you need to undress and take a cool shower, that is, physically cool the body. The child can also be doused with a shower or wiped with a damp towel – but it’s better to forget about alcohol-containing products. Firstly, because of their rapid evaporation, they really cool the skin, which is quite painful. Secondly, alcohol is very quickly absorbed through the skin, and alcohol intoxication can occur, which is extremely dangerous when it comes to a small child. In general, rubbing with vodka or alcohol is an ideal way to combine the unpleasant with the useless.

“Inhalation” over potatoes

Dry air causes a lot of inconvenience in case of colds, even more irritating the mucous membranes of the nose and throat, which is why the recommendation to breathe steam is so often heard. However, the real benefit in the treatment of couples does not bring , but can really relieve the irritation associated with dryness. At the same time, there is no need to bring the idea to the point of absurdity – it is enough to use a humidifier or stay in the bathroom for a while, having previously turned on a hot water tap for a few minutes. Sitting with a hot pot under a blanket can result in a burn to the respiratory tract; besides, as many of us remember from childhood, this is a rare test of boredom.

It is also unsafe to breathe in essential oils – they can cause severe allergic reactions. In addition, any products with a pungent odor can provoke a spasm of the larynx or bronchi, especially in children. Considering that for inhalation these oils are poured into a bowl or cup of boiling water, the situation becomes even more dangerous: one careless movement – and you can get a serious burn .

Banks on the back

During the 2016 Summer Olympics, spectators all over the world looked in amazement at the round spots on the backs of athletes – and only our compatriots recognized the traces of cans familiar to everyone. The ancient Chinese method of treatment is indeed gaining popularity among medical practitioners again, and researchers are taking the time to study it. There is evidence of its effectiveness for pain in muscles, shoulders and neck; however, in other reviews the results are inconsistent , and the quality of the studies can often be questioned.

Be that as it may, the effect of cans is superficial, and the effect in a healthy person can be compared with the effect of massage – which, of course, is not bad for professional athletes overloaded with training. The procedure itself has become much safer: now soft rubber cans are used, for which it is enough to squeeze them to suck (glass had to be burned from the inside). But it is completely useless to treat a cold or bronchitis with banks – if they work, it is practically on the surface of the body.

Hot baths and mustard plasters

Firstly, if you soar your feet in hot water at a temperature, there is every chance this temperature is not only not reduced, but also increased further. Secondly, there is no scientific basis for these painful methods, so it’s better to just forget about them. Again, a basin of hot water, especially if you pour it not from a tap, but from a kettle, is a risk of thermal burns, and mustard (as part of mustard plasters or by itself) can cause irritation or an allergic reaction.

Of course, a certain effect with such procedures is quite possible – and theoretically it is logically explained by an irritating or reflexological effect. But in practice, all these funds are ineffective and, moreover, rather risky, and in the acute period of a cold or when treating young children, they are frankly dangerous.

Stimulation of labor with castor oil

In the last weeks of pregnancy, it seems that it will never end: the stomach already interferes with normal sleep, many have swollen legs, and they want to meet with the baby as soon as possible. Pregnancy is considered full-term, starting at the full 37 weeks, that is, after that the baby can be born at any time. When waiting is already completely boring and there is no strength, it is tempting to use natural methods of stimulating labor – from exercise and sex to champagne and castor oil. In fact, none of these methods have been proven to be effective, and options where contractions still began immediately after sex, jogging or tea with raspberries are most likely coincidences – after all, the more time passes, the less there is to wait.

But if some methods are harmless and help to distract from the wait and relax, then such as taking castor oil or dried fruit in large quantities can be harmful. In fact, these are laxatives that cause a violent bowel reaction; According to studies , the stimulation safe delivery method, but it is not effective. True, some gynecologists believe that the use of laxatives in general can result in excessive excitation of the muscles of the uterus and placental abruption. Even if it doesn’t, diarrhea is hardly a comfortable condition.

Self-administration of “herbs”

When the doctor asks what medications or nutritional supplements you are taking , you need to talk about everything, including herbal teas or decoctions. Although herbal remedies often appear to be safe, they are much less studied than conventional medicines, which means that their effects can be unpredictable. And if an allergy or other direct reaction to a plant is easy enough to identify, then the body’s behavior in response to a combination of herbs with medications can be quite unexpected.

For example, common St. John’s wort can reduce the concentration in the blood (and therefore the effectiveness) of oral contraceptives, enhance all the effects of some antidepressants, including toxic ones, or increase sensitivity to the sun and the risk of sunburn. When introducing toxic drugs, such as chemotherapy, it is extremely important not to allow any self-medication, including “herbs” – it can negate the effectiveness of therapy or enhance its effect, harming the body.

Treatment with stuffiness and mud

Refusing to ventilate an apartment in which someone has a cold is the best way to make everyone else sick. We will not tire of repeating that the causes of ARVI and influenza are viruses, to which bacteria can attach in case of complications, but these diseases are in no way connected with a draft or a walk without a hat . Moreover, it is in a stuffy room that the chances of catching the virus are much greater – and it is precisely because of the refusal to open windows that we often get sick in winter.

The same applies to the myth about the dangers of water treatments for colds: wet hair does not lead to meningitis, and a cool shower at high temperatures not only does not harm, but also helps to reduce it. The stuffiness and dirt will not help you recover faster, but your health noticeably worsens.

“Cleansing” the liver and other detox

Mythical toxins and toxins haunt many, and mono-diets with superfoods and more brutal methods like coffee enemas are used to “cleanse” the body. Often, those who are faced with the need for an operation try to seriously interfere with the work of the body: they do not want to go to the surgical table, and now a person is looking in Google for how to “independently remove stones from the gallbladder.” We have already said that such a “purge” can end in disaster – and the risks will be much greater than during the original planned operation.

Attempts to fight parasites , which, as one sometimes hears, “everyone has”, are also at best pointless – the miraculous anthelmintic drugs sold for prevention , like folk remedies, are ineffective in this matter. If we are talking about real pharmaceutical agents against parasitic invasions, then for their use an appropriate diagnosis must first be made – “just in case” these toxic agents should not be taken.

Swaddling after childbirth

Striving for maximum naturalness in all processes associated with pregnancy and childbirth is dangerous in itself – it leads, for example, to refusal to take medications or dental treatment during pregnancy, or even to the decision to give birth at home . For the purpose of physical and psychological recovery after the birth of a child, the so-called swaddling is sometimes practiced. It is a mother’s wrap ritual that doulas and midwives say can do a variety of things, from putting the pelvic bones back in place to preventing postpartum depression and expressing self-gratitude.

Perhaps such a procedure really works for someone as psychotherapy, and also helps to relax or distract from the first child’s worries. Scientists are inclined to believe that such rituals are psychologically important primarily for those who grew up in a traditional environment, but as a result of migration ended up far from it. Nevertheless, in publications describing rituals (for example, Turkish , Vietnamese or African ) there is a definition of “potentially dangerous”. At a time when the body is just recovering after drastic changes, it is better to avoid serious influences like a bath and manual therapy – instead, you should take a walk and go for a pedicure.

ANY EMERGENCY SITUATION REQUIRING A RAPID RESPONSE

Posted on July 24, 2021  in Medical news

ANY EMERGENCY SITUATION REQUIRING A RAPID RESPONSE and immediate action is stress for an unprepared person. It happens that health and life depend on an instantly made decision, but often we simply do not know what to do (especially if the conversation about chest compressions was last in OBZH lessons a hundred years ago). We talk about the skills that help to survive or save someone else’s life in emergency situations, with the help of specialists: Candidate of Medical Sciences, psychotherapist of the Medicina clinic Irina Krashkina, educational psychologist, neuropsychologist Mikhail Ivanov and private psychologist Vadim Guliyev.

Ability to provide first aid

In most Western countries, they teach to provide first aid at all ages, and on a gratuitous basis. Such courses are taken by teenagers, housewives, call center employees, not to mention those who constantly interact with people at work. At the same time, for example, electric defibrillators are installed in public places: in subways and airports, cafes and cinemas, at gas stations and in shops. If you want to refresh your knowledge over time, you can enroll in the course again. This program is helping to save hundreds of lives year after year by reducing the number of “street deaths”.

First aid courses also exist in Russia. But there are several nuances: usually they are paid, they are not very popular (many do not even know about them) and are not always suitable for those who do not have a medical education. For example , in the Medical Simulation Center (MSC) of the Botkin Hospital, interactive equipment and robotic simulators are taught to provide emergency assistance in specially created critical conditions: for example, in the event of a terrorist attack in the subway with smoke or a shootout on the street with shouts and groans of victims. The problem is that such training is available only to medical workers, first of all to emergency doctors.

Of course, there is always a fallback – instructional videos on the Internet, but practice is the best teacher. You can take paid courses, for example, at the Moscow Rescue Service , PARAMEDIC School or the Scientific and Practical Center for Emergency Medical Aid . In Russia, you can also take certified American Emergency First Response courses – for example, basic CPR for assisting in life-threatening situations (cardiac arrest or bleeding), or Care for Children to save children of different ages. The cost of training is from two thousand rubles. At the end of the course, a certificate, certificate or certificate is issued, which is usually valid for 2-3 years (after this time, it is advisable to take the course again).

Knowledge of self-defense techniques

Self-defense skills at any level of sports training (even zero) will definitely come in handy in life. For example, Krav Maga, based on the self-defense technique of the Israeli army, translated from Hebrew means “contact combat”. There are elements from boxing, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, karate. But, unlike many traditional martial arts, in Krav Maga all the techniques are applicable not only in the gym, but also in real life – in case you need to stand up for yourself. In the classroom, they usually play out several extreme situations, for example, an attack by a robber, a maniac with a knife, an aggressive dog, and practice the skills of safe behavior in them. Moreover, they teach not only to defend themselves, having mastered throws and grabs, but also to inflict damage on the enemy, determining the least protected points.

The ability to swim well

Feeling confident at depth, especially in open water, when you have to overcome currents or waves, is not only an excellent workout for strength and endurance and a sure way to strengthen your back muscles. It is also an opportunity to challenge yourself by taking part in swimming races (for example, swimming across the Bosphorus at a distance of 1 to 6.5 kilometers), and sometimes even saving someone’s life. Irina Mitina, the head of the company, says that she once saved her daughter: “We were vacationing on the Black Sea; my daughter was small, but already knew how to swim well. While everyone was splashing along the shore, she swam far enough, and I began to wave my hand to her so that she would swim back. At first it seemed to me that the child was not obeying, but suddenly I realized that she simply could not cope with the waves and the sea was pulling her further and further. I threw myself into the water, swam to my daughter and began to push her with all my strength through the waves, while I myself went deep under the water, and when I emerged, I was covered with a new wave. Fortunately, everything worked out, but I remember that we staggered out of the sea and could not come to our senses for a long time. ”

Kite-surfer Nikolai Anokhin had to rescue drowning people on the river near Kolomna: “I saw a girl running along the bank and excitedly calling her mother, stretching out her arms towards the water. There were two drowning people in the river – a woman and a boy about ten years old. I jumped into the water with my clothes on – while I was running, I managed to throw all my documents out of my pockets. While he was swimming, time seemed to have stopped: I thought that I could not save both of them. When I was next to the drowning people, there was only a child on the surface, I picked him up, turned him over on his back and swam to the shore. The boy grabbed my arm with all his might, his eyes huge with fear. Having pulled out the child, he began to look for a woman. Her face was barely noticeable on the surface of the water – she struggled to fold her lips with a tube and breathe. I quickly swam to her, as if I no longer felt tired – and, fortunately, managed to save her. ”

 

 

 

Ability to support in an emergency

The goal of a terrorist attack is to sow fear and panic, so the reaction of a witness to a terrorist attack plays an important role. The less panic, the faster you will be able to leave the danger zone and get the necessary medical attention. Doctor Irina Krashkina notes that, of course, it is important to protect the wounded as much as possible: stop bleeding, immobilize a limb in the event of a fracture, before evacuating people. But it is equally important to assess the situation, not to panic and realize that all the victims are under severe stress. Suggestions to “calm down and not worry” are doomed to fail. According to psychologist Vadim Guliyev, real help in this case is to establish contact with the victim, share his feelings and express support by taking the person by the hand or stroking the shoulder, and then try to switch his attention.

 

 

 

Orientation in space without a navigator

According to neuropsychologist Mikhail Ivanov, the ability to orientate is not an additional option or a special talent, everyone has it. In research of neurobiology it is believed that a person determines his location in space thanks to the hippocampus, and close to it cortex Nobel laureate John O’Keefe discovered specific neurons in the hippocampus, which he called spatial cells. They are excited when they find themselves in a certain place – this happens about once a second, but the process is accelerated at times if there is already a cognitive map of the space. This system works in coordination with others – for example, thanks to the vestibular apparatus, the body understands whether it is positioned straight, whether it is leaning on something or falling. With the help of the proprioceptive sensory system, the brain constantly reads the impulses of neurons, thus figuring out where certain parts of the body are located. It turns out that orientation in space is closely related to orientation within one’s own body.

The most important thing is that it is not accessible to the chosen few, but to any person; those who label themselves as “topographic cretinism” may well develop the skill of orientation, because every time we find ourselves in a new place, the brain “draws” a new map. Finding yourself in an unfamiliar place in the city or getting lost in the forest, it is important not to panic. There is always some kind of landmark and, as a rule, not one. It can be a tall building, a source of noise or the sun , hills, bends of a stream, if you are in the forest. Focusing on them, you can draw up a preliminary cognitive map of the area in which you are, and supplement it taking into account further movements.

You should act in a similar way when familiarizing yourself with a map of the area. First, find memorable places that will serve as a landmark. Secondly, try to visualize the space using a map: how you will stand when you find yourself where the selected landmarks will be located relative to you, and so on. By the way, it is very useful to visit new places and make routes to the already known ones. It trains the brain well and helps it make cognitive maps faster and more efficiently.

Prions: What We Know About Proteins That Kill 

Posted on July 20, 2021  in Medical news

PROTEIN IS THE MAIN BUILDING MATERIAL OF THE BODY and an invariable component of a healthy diet. Although proteins have always worried researchers, today the attention of the latter has switched to a special kind – prions. On the Internet, whatever they call them: “ideal killers”, “the key to immortality” and even “zombie molecules”. The scientific community is racking its brains over how to use proteins that can rapidly and inevitably destroy the brain, for the benefit of humanity. We decided to figure out what prions are and asked experts how killer proteins could potentially be useful for humans.

Why people started talking about them

They began to study prions, because they are the cause of rare, but very dangerous diseases of humans and animals. These include the so-called mad cow disease, pruritus of sheep and, for example, lethal familial insomnia , in which a person practically stops sleeping and dies within 12-18 months against the background of progressive dementia. Another example of prion disease – disease of Creutzfeldt – Jakob disease , leading to death within six months or a year after the onset of symptoms; the disease affects the brain, therefore, memory and attention disorders develop, and then coordination disorders and seizures. The latter is included in the list of the most dangerous        diseases in the world, because doctors simply do not know what to do with it. It all started with the mysterious kuru disease in Papua New Guinea, for which there seemed to be no rational explanation.

How they were discovered

The story of the discovery of prions draws on an adventure film with elements of fantasy: it would seem, what could be healthier than life on a beautiful island in the middle of the ocean, for example, in New Guinea? But once upon a time a disease of an unknown nature fell upon the Fore people who lived there, which manifested itself as a very strong shaking that prevented a person from first walking, then standing and sitting. In the end, all the patient was capable of was to lie down and tremble. Paralysis followed, followed by death. For its unusual clinical manifestations, the locals called the disease kuru (translated as “shivering”). Pediatrician and virologist Carlton Gaidushek went to New Guinea to study infectious diseases, including the mysterious kuru. Everything worked out for him: in 1976, Gaidushek received the Nobel Prize “for discoveries concerning new mechanisms of the origin and spread of infectious diseases,” sharing it with Baruch Blamberg, who discovered the hepatitis B virus.

However, Gaidushek did not discover the prions themselves – he only suggested that the virus causes a “pathogenic particle” that is not visible under a microscope. To do this, the scientist had to spend a long time on the island, dissect a couple of hundred deceased representatives of the handicap and even send their organs (especially Gaidushek was interested in the brain, which acquired a spongy structure in patients) to his colleagues from different countries. The cause of the epidemic among the Fore people was ritual cannibalism: it was practiced even after the official ban of the authorities. The motives are prosaic: Foret believed that along with eating the flesh of a deceased person, his mind, abilities or talents would pass to them.

What is it all about

At first, scientists thought they had found a new virus or viral particle. Prions are really similar to viruses in that they do not have a cellular structure – that is, they do not consist of cells, unlike bacteria. In this case, the virus is a nucleic acid, that is, DNA or RNA, in a protein envelope. But when prions were exposed to agents that destroy these acids, dangerous infectious qualities persisted. Gradually, it was concluded that a prion is just a protein, only with an unusual structure. All protein molecules have a certain three-dimensional configuration – to simplify greatly, this is how a chain of amino acids is stacked in space. Well, in prions this structure is abnormal; surprisingly, given the “usual” chemical composition, it is this anomaly of configuration that makes the prion deadly.

How Normal Protein Is Made Abnormal

The name of the anti-human proteins was given by the American physician Stanley Pruziner. By combining the words protein and infection, he obtained “prions”, designated them as the newest type of biological infectious agents, and for the first time described their principle of action. In 1997 he received the Nobel Prize for his work. Prusiner also discovered a protein that generates prions – it was called a prion protein, PrP. The most interesting thing is that the gene encoding PrP is contained in the twentieth chromosome of a person – that is, it is present in the DNA of any of us. But the chance of its transformation into a prion is minimal, and most people live peacefully without the risk of prion diseases. However, just one mistake in protein synthesis can lead to the conversion of normal PrPC to abnormal PrPSc.

As Valery Ilyinsky, geneticist and CEO of Genotek, explains, prions are ordinary proteins that have acquired an unusual structure. This allows them to change the structure of similar proteins, also turning them into prions, a process similar to infection. For the onset of the disease, the manifestation of the first damaged protein is necessary – this can occur either as a result of a spontaneous error in its synthesis, or after the ingress of a prion from the outside, from another person or animal. And then a chain reaction starts.

Rustam Ziganshin, Ph.D. in Chemistry, notes that the reason and mechanism of transformation of the “normal” form of prion protein into a dangerous one is very poorly understood today. In in vitro (in vitro) experiments, this transformation requires various additional factors. At the same time, in experiments on animals, prion diseases developed when a “normal” prion protein was injected into mice that were completely devoid of its programming gene. It is not clear what caused him to become “aggressive” in this case

Eternal youth or inevitable death

Now they started talking about the fact that, for example, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease may be associated with the prion mechanism. If so, then we can expect the emergence of new methods of treatment or prevention of these serious diseases. Interestingly, yeast proteins are similar in their mechanism of action to prions – it is quite possible that yeast will help in the study of these strange molecules. There is also talk that it is prions that will help find a cure for various malignant tumors or HIV infection, and indeed will become a “philosopher’s stone” that will lead humanity to eternal life or eternal youth. However, while these statements are unfounded.

Rustam Ziganshin explains that, like any research in the field of biology, the study of prion proteins expands the boundaries of our knowledge of living things. From a practical point of view, the results can help to understand how a number of dangerous, as yet incurable, diseases develop. Perhaps we will get a tool to deal with them. If we understand how an abnormal protein is obtained from a normal protein, and learn to control this process, then maybe we will be able to start it in the opposite direction – that is, turn pathological proteins into healthy ones, and with them restore health to tissues and organs.

“Still Will Be Stretched”: What Happens to Sex After Childbirth 

Posted on July 16, 2021  in Medical news

IT IS ACCEPTED THAT AFTER BIRTH, A woman forgets about herself and completely concentrates on the child – and even if this is not the case, the child still requires more attention, and the mother “will somehow figure it out herself” with her own problems. This toxic position leads to the fact that often women do not know what to expect after returning from the hospital in terms of well-being and body changes, and issues related to sex life are poorly covered. Although in fact there is nothing special about them: sex after pregnancy exists.

When can you start

The main recommendation of gynecologists, which concerns sex with penetration, is one: do not rush. When labor ends with the separation of the placenta, there is essentially an open wound on the inner surface of the uterus that must heal. The uterus itself, the cervix and the vagina take time to contract and return to normal size, and a woman needs a break to recover and generally want sex. The average time to start vaginal sex is six weeks. In about this time, the body copes with the main consequences of childbirth. A gynecologist can fully confirm the readiness for sexual activity, who, in any case, must be visited in those very six weeks.

The same amount should be abstained from anal sex, especially if stitches from tears or cuts remain in memory of childbirth. Sexual activity can cause these stitches to come apart or simply hurt. In addition, hemorrhoids, a common complication after natural childbirth and attempts, can interfere with anal contact . But sexual activity in general (oral sex and petting, for example) is not contraindicated: many women practice it within 3-4 weeks after childbirth and it goes away without consequences for the body.

Difficulties after a cesarean section

It seems that after a cesarean section, it is easier to return to sexual life than after a natural birth, because the operation does not injure the vagina. However, women report different problems within three months of giving birth, no matter how they went. It happens that a cesarean section is performed urgently when difficulties arise already during childbirth – which means that it is preceded by contractions and cervical dilatation. Therefore, for the sake of safety with penetrative sex, it is better not to rush until the body returns to normal. It takes four to six weeks, during which women who have had a caesarean section also experience bleeding – they may end earlier than in the case of a natural birth. In any case, a cesarean is an abdominal operation, and you need to wait until the stitches on the internal organs are completely healed.

How tears and cuts affect sex

In childbirth, an episiotomy is sometimes used, that is, the perineum is cut. This is necessary for many reasons, for example, when it is necessary to speed up labor or the baby is in the wrong presentation. The perineum is cut to prevent tissue tears – especially if there is a risk of severe third or fourth degree tears . That is, the wound would have been anyway, but the difference between a laceration, with muscle damage, and a neat surgical incision that does not affect important organs, is significant. In addition, after the incision, it is easier to apply even stitches, and the wound heals faster. True, now there is more and more evidence in favor of the fact that light ruptures (at the level of only the mucous membrane) heal themselves well and episiotomy is indicated only for individual patients with difficult labor.

Sutures sometimes have to be applied not only to the perineum, but also to the cervix and the walls of the vagina, depending on how severe the damage was during childbirth. In any case, by the time the lochia (postpartum discharge) ends, the stitches are in order and the wounds are healed. Unpleasant sensations may be present during genital intercourse even several months after childbirth. Sometimes this is due to how the breaks have healed: pain can occur for some time due to damage to the nerve endings. As a rule, discomfort can be eliminated without special treatment, and if the tears or cuts were well sewn and already healed, just normal preparation for sex is enough: get aroused, use lubricant and not rush anywhere.

How to protect yourself
after childbirth

Lactational amenorrhea – the absence of menstruation during breastfeeding – is usually treated with disdain as a method of contraception: almost every person has a story about “a friend who breastfeed and became pregnant.” Nevertheless, at the early stage of breastfeeding, ovulation does not really occur (that is, the egg does not mature), and pregnancy cannot occur, but only under strict observance of four conditions .

First, breastfeeding should be the only food for the baby. Secondly, the frequency of feeding plays an important role in maintaining hormonal levels that prevent ovulation: the baby should receive breast milk at least every four hours (that is, at least six times a day). The third condition is that no more than six months after childbirth should pass, and the fourth is the absence of menstruation. An important disadvantage of lactational amenorrhea as a method of contraception is that it is impossible to predict when the first egg will mature – you can get pregnant during this period. And since menstruation has not yet been, there will be no delay, one of the main signs of pregnancy. A woman may not pay attention to other changes, because a nursing mother’s breasts are constantly poured, and the body does not behave as usual.

By and large, the short period while lactational amenorrhea is active is given to us by nature in order to recover, orient ourselves and start using effective methods of contraception – these can be condoms or non-hormonal intrauterine devices, or certain types of hormonal contraceptives. During breastfeeding, drugs are prescribed that contain exclusively a progestin component: some tablets (so-called mini-pills), hormonal implants and intrauterine systems. Combined oral contraceptives containing estrogen can weaken lactation (but not all studies confirm this), which is undesirable if a woman wants to continue breastfeeding. Therefore, combined contraceptives are recommended to be used only after breastfeeding has already improved, and not earlier than six weeks after childbirth. In addition, there is a theoretical risk that the hormones taken by the mother can affect the health of the child (children, due to the immaturity of the liver and kidneys, find it difficult to process hormones in milk). However, there is no evidence of harm (as well as complete safety) yet.

Why you don’t want sex after childbirth

Not all women find it difficult to abstain for six weeks after childbirth. Some, on the other hand, do not want to think about sex for quite a long time. Polls show that in the first eight months after the birth of a child, the quality of sex and satisfaction with intimate life noticeably decrease. Several factors affect this: parents of a small child often suffer from lack of sleep and fatigue, which do not contribute to desire in any way. Hormonal changes after gestation and childbirth lead to vaginal dryness, stitches and soreness. After all, pregnancy, childbirth and the associated fatigue change the body . The question is not even about the ideas of beauty – you just have to get used to yourself, the birth of a child gives too many new sensations. So you don’t always want sex, and that’s absolutely normal. Even if the set six weeks are long over, and you are not ready yet, it means that you are not ready, no matter what the gynecologist says.

Is it true that the vagina stretches after childbirth ?

Well, we must not forget about the main postpartum horror story – a stretched vagina, in which there is too much space and little pleasure. Indeed, the vagina expands to allow the baby to pass. But this is not only due to mechanical stretching – hormones help the tissues. After childbirth, their level returns to normal, and all organs are gradually reduced and take almost the same form as before pregnancy. The pelvic floor muscles may become somewhat weaker – and the gynecologist will be able to distinguish a woman who has given birth from a woman who has not given birth. But without examination on the gynecological chair, this is imperceptible and not so important. Yes, for a while, vaginal sex may be unusual , not the same as you are used to, but later everything will return to normal; To speed up this process, you can always do exercises to train the muscles of the pelvic floor, and then the usual sensations will return faster. In addition, do not forget that a woman’s main friend in matters of orgasm is the clitoris .

Massage therapist with a raised price tag

Posted on July 12, 2021  in Medical news

The American Medical Association fought against osteopathy for a long time, but in the end it took the “if you can’t win – lead” path, allowing osteopaths to become real doctors and recognizing osteopathic schools as medical schools. In return, osteopaths were able to load full responsibility for patients – as it should be for licensed doctors. As a result, since the sixties, osteopaths in the United States have turned into family doctors who practice some kind of manual techniques.

This approach has gained momentum. Under the slogan “do what you want, but bear medical responsibility for the consequences of your actions” osteopathy was legalized in 1993 in Great Britain, later in Canada, France, Belgium, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand, Portugal, Egypt and India. In all countries where osteopathy became official, approximately the same picture was observed: some osteopaths gradually moved to scientific rails, concentrating on various methods of relaxation, rehabilitation after injuries, and work with contractures (limitation of movement in the joint). In this case, they turned out to be covered from the legal side – recommendations and guidelines that were previously actively used by specialists in physiotherapy exercises, massage, sports medicine and other related specialties.

One osteopath briefly described the essence of movement in an interview: “A chiropractor is a massage therapist with a raised price tag. An osteopath is a chiropractor with a raised price tag. ” That is, some of the adherents of osteopathy have successfully merged into mainstream medicine, leaving only an attractive facade for especially impressionable patients, for which they are ready to pay extra. The advantage of this approach is that the osteopath has a medical education and the opportunity, if something happens, to ask him through the court as an ordinary doctor.

In the USSR, osteopaths began active work during the perestroika period. The starting point is considered the lecture of the famous American osteopath Viola Fraiman at the Turner Research Institute of Orthopedics and Traumatology in Leningrad in 1988. The author of this material was present at it – everything was presented very “tasty”, harmonious and logical, and some Soviet doctors, who were not spoiled by the alternative, were fired up with a new idea, went to the USA to gain experience. The fact that in 1992 Fryman was accused of official inconsistency for the negligent and unprofessional treatment of a patient, a one-week-old baby, was no longer of interest to anyone: the grains of weeds that fell on fertile soil began to swell violently. As a result, by 1994, the first Russian non-state osteopathic school was created in St. Petersburg, in 2003 the Ministry of Health officially recognized osteopathy as a treatment method, in 2012 the documentary registration of the specialty began, which ended three years ago.

What is your evidence

Like any alternative method, even if legalized, osteopathy has big problems with the evidence base. The authors of one of the few scientific reviews on the topic concluded that “there is no clinically significant difference between osteopathic and other interventions to reduce pain and improve function in patients with chronic lower back pain.” If we analyze the results of studies in which the effectiveness of osteopathic manipulations has been shown, numerous design violations, errors in statistical processing of results, or simply an incorrect interpretation of the data obtained are necessarily found. In one of the analyzes, it turned out that in fact, in a randomized controlled trial, osteopathic manipulations were not only ineffective, but also reduced the effectiveness of rehabilitation, although the authors, of course, argued the opposite.

And even convinced osteopaths are increasingly saying that there is a lack of well-conducted research. Otherwise, osteopaths run the risk of being stuck in the wheels of history – after all, scientific medicine continues to develop at an impressive pace.

There are contraindications

Osteopathy, of course, can also do harm. Directly – unlikely, osteopaths are not chiropractors who are ready to “set” the vertebrae and twist the patient’s head so that the vertebral artery is damaged and a stroke develops. Fortunately, osteopaths are much more cautious – perhaps that’s why they legalized them, not chiropractors. And legalization, in turn, led to the fact that osteopaths got rid of the statement about the absence of contraindications. Previously it was “possible for everyone without exception”, now – “there are a lot of contraindications.”

For example, the official website of the Russian Osteopathic Association provides an impressive list of contraindications : these are a variety of infections, fever, diseases of the skin, blood, heart and lungs, benign and malignant tumors, and much more. A separate line mentions acute and subacute inflammatory diseases of the brain and spinal cord and its membranes – myelitis, meningitis and others, which is especially interesting in the context of the birth of osteopathy as a way of miraculous healing, including from meningitis.

The indirect harm from osteopathy, as is usually the case in such cases, can be done in two ways. The first is the diagnosis of a non-existent disease and its treatment for a tangible amount of money. A characteristic sign of “divorce” can be considered the words of an osteopath about the need to straighten a certain internal organ, correct the symmetry of the skull bones, and restore a certain craniosacral rhythm. The second is a waste of time with a real-life disease, when the help of a specialized specialist is required. This mainly concerns diseases from the list of contraindications – in the event that the osteopath does not bother to inform the patient about it.

If you have a burning desire to see an osteopath, first make sure that this is not contraindicated for you. Also inquire about the availability of all the necessary documents such as a diploma and license. And, of course, keep in mind that there will be no miracles – you can simply be helped to relax. If this is exactly what is needed, you can turn to an osteopath, and in all other cases it is better to start with specialists with a more scientific background.

Carcinogens: What Substances Cause Cancer – And Should You Avoid Them 

Posted on July 8, 2021  in Medical news

ACCORDING TO WHO, CANCER DISEASES (in particular, cancer of the lung, trachea and bronchi) occupy the fifth place in the list of leading causes of death in the world. At the same time, they are much more afraid of them than coronary heart disease or stroke, which are in the first two positions. Fear has given rise to panic: carcinogens are now looking for – and finding – in everything from cigarette smoke and exhaust fumes to non-stick pans and coffee . Let’s figure out which of them you can really hide from and whether it should be done.

What it is

The name speaks for itself: a carcinogen is a substance or effect that affects the integrity of DNA and promotes carcinogenesis, that is, the formation and reproduction of malignant cells. The fact that there are chemicals with such effects became known about a hundred years ago, and in 1916, Japanese scientists were first able to cause cancer in a rabbit during an experiment: the animal was coated with coal tar every day. Of course, there was no question of the ethics of research then – but a revolution took place in medicine, because for the first time it was possible to see how a malignant tumor occurs in an absolutely healthy individual under the influence of chemicals.

Since the resin was a complex mixture of chemicals, scientists (not only in Japan) went in search of other substances that could cause cancer. Despite the fact that carcinogens are indeed more common in synthetic substances, studies have shown that plant compounds can also have carcinogenic properties. However, this does not make either one or the other undoubtedly dangerous.

What are carcinogens

Scientists have not fully decided how best to classify the effects that can cause cancer: they are divided either into radioactive (all types of hazardous radiation fall into this group) and non-radioactive, then into genetic and associated with environmental influences . The latter include lifestyle factors – smoking, alcoholism, unhealthy diet, low physical activity – and exposure to sunlight or viruses, and work in hazardous industries, and the use of certain drugs such as chemotherapy drugs. By and large, it is not important how to classify carcinogens – it is important what this can give in practice. After all, if it is sometimes impossible to refuse from a certain therapy, even carrying a risk of carcinogenesis, then the impact of other factors can be minimized (for example, by protecting the skin from the sun or quitting smoking).

Carcinogens affect DNA , causing dangerous changes – but the latter do not necessarily lead to the formation of a tumor, they only increase the likelihood that the proliferation of abnormal cells reaches a level at which the immune system cannot cope. A recent study found that two-thirds of the genetic mutations that lead to cancer are errors that occur spontaneously when copying DNA, and only the remaining third is caused by environmental carcinogens.

Are they so scary

The WHO list of carcinogens is constantly growing; for a layman who sees a document for the first time, it can cause horror – it seems that all the products and substances mentioned in it are terribly dangerous. In fact , this is not so – and all carcinogens on the list are assigned a special code: 1 (carcinogenic to humans), 2a and 2b (potentially carcinogenic to humans, and for “a” the probability is higher than for “b”), 3 (not classified as carcinogenic to humans), 4 (possibly not carcinogenic to humans).

The first, most dangerous group includes not so many agents – scientists are still not sure about the carcinogenicity of chlorinated water, caffeine even in large quantities, hair dyes, dental materials, sulfites, which are often used in cosmetics, or tea (all these substances are labeled with code 3), as well as those classified as categories 2a and 2b red meat, aloe vera leaf extract , or shift work that disrupts circadian rhythms. This is a random sample of familiar foods from the “carcinogenic list” and shows why you shouldn’t believe the loud headlines about “new research that will shock you.”

Many substances on the list of carcinogens are not as dangerous as they seem: we are not under the influence of them enough or we do not consume them in the quantities necessary to cause real harm. Trying to eliminate all carcinogenic substances from life can affect mental health, rewarding you with anxiety or orthorexia . But still it is worth paying attention to those carcinogens that are recognized as truly dangerous and at the same time amenable to control.

Should you be afraid of fried food?

Research is increasingly hinting that burnt food should be wary of. According to scientists, acrylamide is to blame – a compound that is formed during the heat treatment of certain foods, especially those rich in carbohydrates. This substance is also used in the textile, plastic and paper industries, in the synthesis of dyes and for wastewater treatment. However, there is still no convincing evidence of its harm to humans, although there is data on the ability of acrylamide to interact with DNA and lead to certain mutations – and its place in the list with code 2a is explained by studies in which mice and rats were given doses of dozens thousands of times greater than what you can get.

In general, the carcinogenicity of fried potatoes for humans has not been proven. Experts believe that the consumption of fried carbohydrates should really be reduced because they are full of unnecessary calories – and obesity is one of the main triggers of cancer worldwide.

Will switching to electronic cigarettes save

Of course, smoking is a personal choice of everyone, but you can’t argue with statistics: it is this that is the main cause of lung cancer. It is very important to try to protect yourself from secondhand smoke: according to research , such components of cigarette smoke as benzene, polonium-210, benzopyrene and nitrosamines, not only provoke DNA damage, but also affect the genes encoding the body’s ability to defend against cancer by working thus in two directions at once. Once in the bloodstream, chemicals from cigarette smoke are carried throughout the body, which endangers not only the lungs, but also the kidneys, liver, digestive system, bladder, ovaries and other organs.

At the same time, vapes, invented just in order to reduce the risks associated with smoking (an electronic cigarette in the form as we know it, patented in 2003, and in 2004 was released on the market by the Chinese Hon Lik , whose father shortly before died of lung cancer), in fact, turn out to be almost worse. Their main problem is understudied. But even a negligible amount of research, in comparison with cigarettes, allows us to say that a cocktail of chemicals contained in smoking fluids gradually causes irreparable harm to the body.

Alcohol is also a carcinogen

Alcohol is considered a common cause of breast, larynx, liver, esophagus, oral cavity cancers, and a likely cause of pancreatic cancer. When alcohol enters the body, it breaks down first to acetaldehyde and then to acetic acid. Acetaldehyde causes liver cells to renew faster than normal, and this acceleration increases the likelihood of gene copying errors. It is important that this applies to alcohol in any beverage: aged wine, premium vodka, or the cheapest beer. While we regularly learn new things about the benefits of craft beer or red wine , a dose of healthy skepticism doesn’t hurt as the risks outweigh any benefits so far, and even the authors of alcohol-justifying studies agree.

All this – perhaps, together with attempts to fit alcohol into a healthy lifestyle and find a new business niche – leads to the fact that alcohol enthusiasts are trying to bring new types of intoxicating drinks to the market. For example, alcosynth , which does not lead to the formation of acetaldehyde, or California non-alcoholic wine based on marijuana – the latter can reduce the risks, since marijuana, even when smoked, is less carcinogenic than tobacco.

What about meat and sausage

In 2015, meat was listed as a potential carcinogen. Its problem, scientists say, is in heterocyclic amines (HA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – chemicals that are released during heat treatment of meat, especially when frying or grilling. The longer the beef is cooked, the higher the level of potential carcinogens becomes.

Let’s be fair: the connection between GA and PAH and the increased risk of cancer has not yet been established. But a number of epidemiological studies show that addiction to processed red meat increases the risk of colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancers. WHO advises to consume no more than 70 grams of red and processed meat per day.

What to eat in spring: 10 healthy seasonal foods 

Posted on July 4, 2021  in Medical news

THE DAYS ARE BECOMING LONGERand although only the calendar reminds of the onset of spring, the sun is about to begin not only to shine, but also to warm. It’s time to wake up from hibernation and replenish the reserves of vitamins, energy and joy spent by the long winter. We have compiled a list of seasonal products that will help you find energy and spring mood in the coming March.

Leek

This vegetable came to Russia from Mediterranean countries and quickly gained popularity. Compared to onions, the taste of leeks is softer and more interesting, the smell is less pronounced, but there are almost the same nutrients: it contains vitamins C, B1 and B2, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. The white-green onion stalks also contain quite a lot of carotene – a natural antioxidant.

Leeks are cold-resistant plants, and young greens appear in early April. Leek leaves are tougher than green onion feathers, so they are usually not eaten raw, but cooked – and there are a million different ways to do this. Soft-tasting onions will decorate an omelet (say, Alsatian – with leek and ham stewed in butter), a variety of soups (including vegetable, chicken or onion), and you can also bake a quiche based on it.

Chard

Another early and cold-resistant plant that easily withstands all the vagaries of changeable spring weather. Large chard leaves, dark green with cherry-red cuttings, are pleasing to the eye and are beneficial: beets contain a lot of vitamin C, vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting, calcium, which helps to strengthen bones, and iron, which ensures a normal level of hemoglobin in the blood.

Unlike ordinary beets, chard is an early vegetable, its greens appear in April and remain until severe frost. Young leaves taste like a cross between spinach and beets and are great in salads like feta and olive oil. Beets can be stewed and served as a side dish or as a separate dish, added to omelettes and quiche filling , used for dressing soup instead of cabbage; cabbage rolls can be made from large Swiss chard leaves.

Oranges

Everyone knows about the benefits of citrus fruits from childhood, and do not forget about them in adulthood. Orange is not a fruit, but a whole pharmacy: vitamins A, groups B, C and E, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and much more. It saturates the body with useful substances and improves mood, which is especially valuable in early spring, when there are still few other fresh fruits and vegetables.

Fresh oranges don’t have to be eaten just like that – you can make a salad with yogurt and orange juice, use peeled orange slices as an addition to green leafy salads, or garnish your morning oatmeal with them. If you wish, you can cook something more serious: fragrant orange pie with cinnamon , duck with oranges or traditional English marmalade – liquid jam, where fruits are cooked together with the skin.

Asparagus

Asparagus is now available all year round, but it’s only really good in spring – just another reason to celebrate the changing seasons. This early vegetable is also packed with B vitamins, including folic acid, vitamins C and K, and a host of trace elements. Asparagus also has a very low calorie content, and its only drawback can be considered a rather high price.

You can prepare it in a variety of ways: asparagus is good in green salads with olive oil, in creamy soups (with potatoes or on its own), omelets, pasta and casseroles. Asparagus makes an excellent side dish for fish or chicken – you just need to boil it or bake it on the grill. You can also serve asparagus as an independent dish: boil and season with hollandaise sauce (or just butter) or bake, wrapped in thin prosciutto slices.

Sauerkraut

In contrast to expensive asparagus, there is a domestic and affordable superfood. The most useful sauerkraut without heat treatment – in the form of a salad with vegetable oil. In this case, we get the maximum vitamins B, K and C contained in cabbage, as well as beneficial lactic acid bacteria. Cabbage is very high in fiber , which is important for gut health.

You can buy sauerkraut or make it yourself – in this case, you can diversify the recipe by adding apples, cranberries, lingonberries and beets, or, for example, red peppers and garlic. You can salt cabbage in Caucasian style, with whole bean pods and pepper, or in German – without carrots, but with cinnamon, cloves and juniper.

The resulting product is pleasant to eat in its pure form and is easy to use in cooking: Russians cook cabbage soup from cabbage, Poles stuff dumplings with it and stew with porcini mushrooms, and Germans prepare an excellent warming dish called sauerkraut , where brisket and sausages are stewed together with cabbage in white wine and a large piece of meat

Arugula and other salads

There are more than a dozen leafy salads, and they are all good in their own way – bitter arugula, and refreshing watercress, and fragrant lollo-rosso, and crispy iceberg. They are available and full of vitamins and fiber all year round, but they taste best in the spring. Most often, lettuce leaves are eaten, in fact, in salads – you can supplement them with almost anything, from fresh berries to tuna. It is a great habit to substitute fresh lettuce for carbohydrate side dishes, and the ability to mix different types of leaves and change dressings helps to diversify the diet.

You can make your own pesto with fresh arugula, parmesan and pine nuts – all you need is a powerful blender. Head salads are great on the grill; to do this, you need to cut the head of cabbage lengthwise into two halves and pour it over with olive oil – in Italy, this is how red-leaved radicchio is prepared as a side dish for fish.

Lamb

While lamb is available all year round, fresh lamb is a seasonal product. The season begins in April, and lamb meat is considered the most delicious – in Russia this is considered to be a lamb younger than three months old. Compared to lamb, lamb is significantly softer, it has less fat, a weaker characteristic smell, it cooks faster and better assimilated, while possessing all the advantages of meat: a large amount of protein, trace elements and vitamins.

The taste of lamb is softer than that of lamb, so many chefs prefer to serve it neat – simply by grilling the steaks or roasting a piece of lamb whole. At the same time, there is a sea of ​​different recipes with lamb, from delicious Georgian dishes like chakapuli to Asian options, where lamb is cooked with soy sauce and sesame seeds.

Spinach

Another spring vegetable that is irreplaceable in European cuisine. Spinach is very early and becomes tasty by the beginning of March, it is good for its ability to adapt to almost any dish, and it is also perhaps one of the healthiest foods in principle. It is rich in vitamins A, E, C and K, carotene, folic acid, iron and other trace elements.

Young spinach leaves turn into a salad perfectly, and tougher ones can be cooked in a pan, slightly simmered with butter. As soon as they decrease in volume, the spinach is ready. It is suitable as a side dish with meat or fish, it can be used to season soup, add to stew, mix with ricotta and turn it into a filling for homemade ravioli, or simply put it in a paste.

Germinated seeds

Wheat, rye, barley, beans, or soybeans are foods that can be eaten as germinated seeds, more commonly referred to as “sprouts.” It may seem that this is food for an amateur, but such seeds help to diversify the diet and make it healthier due to vitamins and iron. Unfortunately, ready-made germinated seeds are quite expensive and are stored for a very short time – but you can remember the biology lessons and germinate them yourself.

Ready sprouts are added to fresh vegetable salads, smoothies and oatmeal; another option is to sprout soybeans and cook Asian dishes with it. Soy sprouts are needed to make the right udon with chicken, it is good to add them at the very end of frying in vegetable and meat stir-fries or season them with funchose or Thai pad thai – soy gives the noodles a pleasant nutty flavor.

Chinese cabbage

This vegetable is often called “Chinese salad”, but this is not entirely correct: in front of us is cabbage, albeit a strange shape. It is endowed with cabbage properties in full and contains not only many vitamins, but also iron and fiber.

The thin crunchy Chinese cabbage leaves are really are similar to salad dressings, therefore they are used in a similar way. They look best in a salad – even the most ordinary one, with cucumbers and tomatoes. Peking cabbage is most widely used in Asian cuisine: chopped leaves are added to udon with chicken or shrimp, they are seasoned with Thai version of curry, noodles and fried rice, and Koreans turn it into kimchi .

7 hormone myths you should stop believing in 

Posted on June 30, 2021  in Medical news

HORMONES START AND REGULATE THE MOST DIFFERENT PROCESSES – from cell growth and digestion to reproductive function and sex drive. With age, the production of some hormones gradually decreases, while others increase, and the balance between them may be disturbed. Stress, illness, unhealthy diet affect the level of these substances – and the temptation to “blame” hormones for feeling unwell becomes too high. We have collected popular myths about these substances in order to dispel them together with experts: Candidate of Medical Sciences, endocrinologist at GMS Clinic Alevtina Oranskaya, gynecologist-reproductologist of the Stolitsa clinic chain Denis Titov and certified FPA trainer Vladimir Kuksov.

Insulin release is only associated with sweets

An increase in blood glucose is a natural reaction of the body to food. In response, the pancreas secretes insulin, the amount of which depends on what you eat. The main problem with this hormone is that under certain conditions the cells’ sensitivity to it decreases and more insulin is required to return the glucose level to normal – so-called insulin resistance occurs. The pancreas ceases to cope, and the concentration of glucose in the blood rises rapidly; gradually this can lead to diabetes mellitus.

Alevtina Oranskaya notes that such a state can be accompanied by a constant feeling of hunger, when you want to eat even after a heavy meal, and the glucose level on an empty stomach is above 5.5 mmol / l. The release of large amounts of insulin occurs with a sharp increase in glucose levels – and this happens not only after a sweet meal, but also after foods with a high glycemic index, which may even be seemingly harmless vegetables .

Cortisol does not affect your ability to get pregnant

Stress is the main negative factor causing fertility problems in women. In the event of a potential threat, a signal is sent to the brain that it is necessary to release adrenaline – a hormone that puts the body in a “fight or flight” mode. At such moments, the body begins to accumulate strength to repel a blow or flight, and therefore can temporarily “disable” the ability to reproduce. Doctor Denis Titov notes that excess cortisol – a hormone that helps to cope with stress – increases insulin resistance. Insulin, in turn, is toxic to the ovaries and increases testosterone levels, and this is one of the main factors in polycystic ovary syndrome , which causes infertility.

High cortisol levels can also slow down the thyroid gland, promoting non-ovulating menstrual cycles and the developmental phase of the corpus luteum. We talked about what to do to effectively deal with stress. For this, it is also important to get enough sleep – sleep at least 6-8 hours a day. In his book The Cortisol Connection, Dr. Sean Talbot writes that one night of insomnia leads to an excess of cortisol (sleep deprivation is also stressful for the body), and not getting enough sleep for only two hours three nights in a row increases the hormone content by almost 50%.

Workout Raises Testosterone Levels To Male

With physical exertion, the body also experiences stress. The latter encourages to prepare for fight or flight, making muscles stronger, strengthening blood vessels and the heart – and testosterone production increases. However, according to personal trainer Vladimir Kuksov, even after a hard workout, the concentration of testosterone in the blood of women is almost fifteen times lower than that of men.

Therefore, without the intake of hormonal doping from the outside, significant muscle growth in women does not occur – and also the voice does not change and additional hair does not grow on the face and body.

When the function of the thyroid gland is reduced, a person gains weight.

The thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) really affect the metabolism, and when they are in excess, people lose a lot of weight. But hypothyroidism (a decrease in the function of the thyroid gland) can proceed for a long time without external changes: due to the fact that not enough thyroxine is produced, the pituitary gland releases more TSH – a hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland – which makes it work for two. At the same time, in the results of a blood test, thyroid hormones will be normal, but TSH is increased. The diagnosis of hypothyroidism is made precisely on the basis of the latest data, while the weight may not change or even decrease.

Nevertheless, this condition, although it does not manifest externally, requires treatment, which consists in taking thyroid hormones to compensate for their deficiency. According to the doctor Alevtina Oranskaya, if a person is forced to drink these hormones temporarily or constantly, the treatment will also contribute to weight loss.

The release of estrogen accelerates aging

Any physical activity, whether it be training in the gym, outdoor activities or having sex, increases the level of estrogen in the blood – and this contributes to the processes that are not associated with aging, but, on the contrary, the work of a young body; estrogens can improve the condition of the skin and hair. It is impossible to get estrogens from food (another popular myth), according to Denis Titov, in contrast to phytoestrogens – plant compounds that have estrogen properties in the body or can have an antiestrogenic effect. They are found in some foods , such as nuts, legumes, flax seeds, and beer.

Phytoestrogens can also be found in dietary supplements, the effectiveness of which has not been proven. But the use of these elements in cosmetics for problem skin and anti-baldness products can give a positive result . With all the need for estrogen, excess in the body does not bode well: sudden mood swings, painful menstruation, swelling, and headache usually signal a problem.

Question to an expert: Is it possible to get cancer from ripping off a mole

Posted on June 26, 2021  in Medical news

We are used to searching online for ANSWERS TO MOST OF THE QUESTIONS OF EXCITING US . In the new series of materials, we ask just such questions: burning, unexpected or common – to professionals in various fields.

Last year, we talked about the risk of melanoma – an extremely dangerous skin tumor – and how to reduce this risk: you need to use sunscreen, regularly examine the skin, ideally undergo screening with photographs, and moles that seemed suspicious to the doctor should be removed and sent to research in the laboratory. These rules are suitable for those who are not worried about anything, and are especially important for those with more than fifty moles (although recently there is evidence that a much smaller number requires close attention).

But what if you injured a pigmented formation on the skin (for example, accidentally injured a mole with your fingernail or the strap of a swimsuit)? Is it more dangerous than a simple scratch? Do I need to go to the doctor right away and take action? We asked these questions to experts.

Anastasia Kolodiy

dermatovenerologist, cosmetologist of the Chaika clinic

Simple nevi, or moles, are the most common benign skin tumors. Most often, they look like small flat spots, and with age they can turn pale and slightly rise above the surface, growing strongly in older people. The growth of nevi is associated with hormonal factors (therefore, moles can appear or increase in adolescents and during pregnancy) and, of course, with exposure to sunlight. Today there are no clear indications for the removal of moles that do not bother; it is necessary to remove nevi that have changed externally, interfere physically (for example, constantly in contact with the edge of clothing) or aesthetically.

If you have damaged a mole, you should not panic, but you still need to see a doctor (dermatologist or oncologist). First, as with any damage to the skin, infection must be prevented. It is necessary to treat the wound with an antiseptic and, as necessary, use wound healing agents such as panthenol. Second, while trauma alone will not cause degeneration into melanoma or other skin cancer, the tendency to trauma and bleeding may indicate that the adverse process has already begun. And if we are talking about melanoma, then a timely visit to a doctor can save lives.

It is important to go not to a cosmetology clinic, and even more so not to a beauty salon, but to an institution where there is an oncodermatologist. Of course, any removal of a mole must be accompanied by its sending for histological examination. There are times when a disturbing “mole” was removed to a person in the salon without examining it under a microscope, and after a while he has metastases of a malignant tumor and it becomes clear that it was melanoma, but precious time has already been lost.

Alexander Geynits

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Surgeon of the Highest Category of the Atlas Medical Center

There are pigmented formations, they can be located at the level of the skin or rise above it, they are also called birthmarks – this is local pigmentation, an accumulation of melanocytes. They should not be touched unless they cause major cosmetic or aesthetic inconvenience. Another story is pigmented skin tumors, or nevi (these can include papillomas, keratomas, fibromas). If they rise above the level of the skin, this is an absolute indication for their removal.

Nevi, or, in the conventional sense, moles, are dangerous because they can degenerate into malignant skin tumors, the most dangerous of which is melanoma. If a person accidentally damaged a birthmark, then it is better to immediately consult a doctor. The global trend at the moment is that any neoplasm of the skin must be removed with subsequent analysis of this tissue. And an injured mole is primarily a road to infection. I must say that not only injuries and ultraviolet light, including in solariums, are dangerous, but also infrared (thermal) sun rays. There are infrared saunas – and they are dangerous too.

The number of moles is genetically determined and, of course, if there are two hundred of them, you do not need to remove everything. It is necessary to get rid of moles that increase, become inflamed or otherwise bother a person. In any case, the decision should be made by the doctor after a thorough examination.

It is believed that when removed with a laser, the tissue completely evaporates, and there is nothing to carry for histological examination – but in fact this is not the case. A thin laser beam can cut off the formation on the skin, like a scalpel; what is left on the skin can really evaporate; at the same time, oncological principles are followed so that nothing remains.

Text to help you understand how people with dyslexia read

In the “Bookmark” section, we talk about sites and online services – both useful and completely useless, but funny and amazing – which, in fact, should be added to your favorites or added to the RSS feed.

Dyslexia is a neurobiological feature in which it is often difficult for a person to recognize, read and write words correctly; in general, the list of symptoms is long and includes, for example, the inability to distinguish between right and left. And while it is still believed that this is a fictional star fever, which was promoted by Hollywood celebrities like Tom Cruise, it is a real problem that is faced by three to seven percent of the population.

On the website of the Association of Parents and Children with Dyslexia, a text has been posted , thanks to which you can feel how people with this feature perceive words in writing. You can read this text, but it will take much more time: letters jumping back and forth slow down perception at times. Perhaps the best way to explain what dyslexia is is still hard to come up with.