Tag Archives: Alcohol

Alcohol can cause low blood sugar & skin cancer

When we humans consume alcohol, like most other drugs, it goes through certain metabolic processes. Interestingly, our liver produces an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase, which converts alcohol to acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde, is further degraded by another enzyme acetaldehyde dehydrogenase.

So let  us see how is this acetaldehyde formation in body is important in various way: Continue reading Alcohol can cause low blood sugar & skin cancer

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Drink with CAUTION, don’t spoil your christmas.

Christmas is knocking at the door, most people are finishing their work to enjoying the day. In almost all western nations christmas is celebrated by means of various foods- cakes, chocolates, variety of sweets to alcohol. Today we are particularly talking about the latter. Continue reading Drink with CAUTION, don’t spoil your christmas.

Causes of gout

What causes a gout?

Hi, today we aren’t going to deal with any new study or research finding rather will look into a specific issue of interest to many that is-what causes a gout? Before we immerse ourselves in the causes of gout let’s have few lines briefing about what the disease is about. Gout is a disease condition that affects the joints of our body due to certain crystals (monosodium urate crystals) accumulation. It occurs in association with high blood uric acid level. When uric acid levels are too high than normal uric acid crystals are formed and precipitated in joints.

This crystals when seen under microscope look like needles and in medical literature it’s said to have negatively birefringent pattern (just to know, don’t bang your head with the term ‘negatively birefringence’, it’s all related to lab people who identify those crystals).

Uric acid crystals
Uric acid crystals

The disease can have an acute or a chronic presentation and cause pain in the affected joint. It can present as tophi also. The crystals can form stones in kidney and might contribute in causing a condition called urate nephropathy. Historically gout is known as rich peoples disease or disease of kings.

Hope that was enough of introduction. Now lets look into our discussion topic today that is the what causes gout?

The rule of thumb might be like this to identify causes of gout- anything that raises the blood uric acid level may precipitate a gout (but not always). For example what we call is purine diet like read meat which upon digestion breakdown to uric acid and increase its level. Similarly certain vegetable like beans, peas, lentils etc. Alcohol are also accused as the offender. These were examples of some food and beverages that can cause a gout.

Next in the list of offenders are drugs. Diuretic drugs like loop diuretics (furosemide) and thiazides decrease the excretion of uric acid and increase its level in blood and gout can occur (diuretics are drugs that helps remove our body water through urine (hence named di-uretic). Another set of drugs that can raise uric acid levels and cause gout are the immunosuppressive drugs (don’t want to list them here) . Just to ease your reading – immunosuppressive drugs are used for treating disease related to malfunction of our immune system like in cases after organ transplantation (eg kidney transplantation), rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE in short) etc.

English: Gout presenting in the metatarsal-pha...
Gout presenting in a joint of the big toe. Slight redness of the skin on the joint.

Furthermore there are certain diseases where uric acid level in blood can be sky high to cause a gout and one such example is Lesch Nyhan disease (due an enzyme deficiency called HGPRT -hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase- vigorous attempts to pronounce the enzyme name might save your loose tooth extraction charges- just kidding!). In this disease the affected individual has self mutilating behaviors like biting their own lips and fingers.

Finally as we see in present day medicine the evil of most diseases are our own genes. Blame whom? Partly blame your ancestry as if we are set with a time bomb in our body and at some part of our life the bomb activates and can cause a gout or a breast cancer or an osteoarthritis or a type 2 diabetes. Genetics are partly linked with gout too.

That was a briefing of causes of gout. Some other day in some other post we’ll talk the rest of the disease i.e. its symptoms and treatment. Should go for a coffee now. Tired of typing.

gouty tophi on knee and elbow of middle aged nurse
gouty tophi
Please cross check information from other sources too. For all your health concerns please be guided by your healthcare provider.

Light pregnancy drinks

One issue that always seems confusing is if alcohol is evil or good during pregnancy. Although its evil scale seems to win the race but some good’s are queuing too. Heavy alcohol drinking during pregnancy can cause a condition called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. But question is what about light drinking?

A recent study suggest that light drinking i.e. one or two drinks per week during pregnancy probably don’t harm the mental health of the baby. They followed children of mothers who drank in light amounts up-to the age of 7 years and found no mental deficit rather those children excelled in maths and certain other tests given to them. This might be a good news for women who drink alcohol and planning a pregnancy. Although what happens to the mental health of these children after 7 year age is not known since they followed up-to that age only. Before you sprout with joy to have liberty of drinking during your pregnancy, just talk about it with your doctor, after all it’s all about  your new coming junior. Think wise, decide better!

English: Baby with the FAS-syndrome. Deutsch: ...

Please cross check information from other sources too. For all your health concerns please be guided by your healthcare provider. (Reference: LINK)

Phoning and texting during driving

In this advanced era of mobile phones and other internet enabled devices we can hardly find a person not busy talking on a mobile phone or messaging in the road. But if we are the driver of the vehicle and using such devices while driving, probably we are risking our and others life too.

A recent study done on college students found that, while we talk on phone or text messages during driving, it’s almost equally dangerous like driving after drinking significant amount (above legal levels) of alcohol. Recently, almost everywhere around the globe the ease of mobile technology has reached, and it’s not uncommon to see the drivers plugged with headphones in their ears and talking during driving or sometimes driving in one hand and holding mobile set with the other hand. Not that we don’t know about the dangers of multitasking during driving, but when confronted we probably try to show of a little bit of over-confidence of our multitasking abilities. Now it’s not our grandpa shouting at us to not to drive and use mobile phones, its scientific research hinting about the seriousness of such habits.

An LG VX8300 mobile phone

Alike link you might like:  Alcohol drinking and cancer; Please cross check information from other sources too. For all your health concerns please be guided by your healthcare provider. References- (Link)