What is HDL and LDL?

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HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is a lipid protein complex found in human blood circulation. HDL molecules are produced by liver.

HDL removes bad cholesterol (also known as LDL, ie low-density lipoprotein) from the blood circulation and from the internal layer of artery and dumps it into the liver, where it’s broken down and finally excreted from the body. By this way HDL cholesterol helps our body to get rid of the bad cholesterol. This is why HDL is also called good cholesterol.

LDL or the bad cholesterol on the other hand dumps cholesterol in the inner layer of the arteries and called hardening and narrowing of the arteries. Once the arteries become hard, the elasticity of these arteries decrease and at times of heavy physical exertion blood supply (and oxygen supply) may not be adequate to the heart and can precipitate a heart attack.

Similarly, narrowing of arteries can decrease blood and oxygen supply to the brain and can give rise to a stroke. There are many others complications that can happen due to atherosclerois, which we are not discusssing here. Here comes the role of HDL cholesterol’s which dont allow dumping of bad (LDL) cholesterol undereath the arteries and therefore reduce the risk of having dangerous aftermaths like stroke, heart attack etc.

HDL cholesterol levels should be higher than 40mg/dl. Cigarette smoking decreases blood HDL cholesterol levels, hence increases the risk of hardening of arteries. Regular exercises help to raise the HDL levels.

Should you drink plenty of water in chronic kidney problems?

Why insulin requirement decreases in diabetes patients with long term kidney disease?

Those people who are suffering from diabetes and taking insulin probably become happy when their doctor decreases their dose of insulin or stops insulin.

But if a person is suffering from chronic kidney disease along with diabetes, decrease in insulin doses may not be something to be happy.

When chronic kidney disease deteriorates i.e. progresses to advanced stages, the requirement of insulin falls in diabetics.

Now the question is:

Why insulin requirement falls in advanced stages of chronic kidney disease?

Answer:

  • In advanced stages of chronic renal failure, the kidneys excretion capacity of insulin molecules decrease, therefore more of the insulin remains in blood. Unless the insulin gets excreted normally the further requirement of insulin is less. In such scenario your doctor might decrease your insulin doses.

Ask you doctor today to be sure why your insulin dose was decreased.

Osteoarthritis of knee joint

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease condition of our joints (like knee joint, hip joint etc), commonly manifests in the knee joints.

First, we will take a look in the word ‘Osteoarthritis’ itself- osteo ( i.e. bone ) + arthritis (i.e. joint inflammation causing pain). Number of people affected with osteoarthritis are unfortunately too high. Only in USA 27 million people are affected by the disease (link).

Knee, a commonly affected joint in osteoarthritis

Why is this disease called degenerative joint disease?

This disease is called degenerative joint disease since the cartilage (cartilages are the cushions present at the end of  the bones) of joints degenerate and the bones at a joint come closer and might get rubbed against each other and cause pain. At times bone fragments might be found between two bones in the joint and also contribute to the pain.

How does this disease present?

The disease generally presents with pain at the affected joint area and also might be accompanied with swelling of the joint. The pain interestingly increases with activity and decreases with rest. Hence in the early morning the pain might not be that severe since you are resting in the night during your sleep. Affected individuals can get certain deviation of their legs too.

What is the cause of the disease?

Exact causes are yet to be discovered although relation to family history and previous history of joint injury seems to be associated with the disease.

How can we prevent this disease from occurring?

Probably we can’t. But certain things might help us coping with the disease like keeping an optimum body weight, avoiding joint trauma, exercising regularly (choosing right type of exercise might need an experts help) etc.

What are the treatment options?

Since it’s incurable all efforts are focused to ease the symptoms  like pain and disability.

For pain symptoms pain-killers are advised but long-term use of pain medication might have its own negative consequences. Exercising to keep the muscles healthy are also a good choice to decrease the pain but doing it during the pain episodes is probably not wise.

If pain medication doesn’t help final option is generally a knee joint replacement (artificial joint is placed in place of the real one).

For good heart health some motion exercises that increases the heart rate (like running, fast walking) are needed. However, it’s generally difficult for osteoarthritis of knee sufferers to do fast running or walking, bicycling and swimming are good alternatives for them. Bicycling  and swimming probably don’t harm the knee-joint directly like jumping running etc.

Why body weight is so important in osteoarthritis of Knee?

Since our knees directly or indirectly carries most of our body weight and increase in body weight can contribute to further damage of the knee joint.

Pregnancy vaccines

Vaccines that are recommended in pregnancy include hepatitis A, hepatitis B, inactivated influenza vaccine and Tdap.

Certain other vaccines are sometimes recommended depending on various health requirements of some individuals. 

Vaccines should not be used) in pregnancy are mostly the live vaccines like MMR vaccine , live attenuated influenza vaccine (used as nasal spray), varicella vaccine, zoster vaccine, BCG vaccine etc.

Recently another vaccine is making its place in the list of recommended vaccines for pregnant women, the whooping cough vaccine. (link)

English: This is CDC Clinic Chief Nurse Lee An...

What is the meaning of the word attenuate?

 Attenuate means decreasing the force or intensity of something.

Are hand sanitizers safe?

Alcohol based hand sanitizers are used frequently in our daily life. Almost all hand sanitizers have a compound called triclosan which kills the bacteria.

Then how are these products bad. Well while killing the unwanted bad bacteria these sanitizers also kill good bacteria which maintain our health.

A recent study shows that it can increase absorption of Bisphenol A (BPA), a component used on thermal receipt paper. If hand sanitizers used before dealing with this compound, BPA absorption through skin rises. BPA is know to be bad for health, as it can  cause infertility, cancer, diabetes, heart disease etc. It can also be ingested unknowingly if you are eating with your hand, BPA goes from your hand to food and then to your gut. (link).