Archive for transplants

Cures for Diabetes

Posted in North America, Our Health with tags , , , , on March 18, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

Diabetes is one of the nation’s leading causes of death, yet it is also a leading industry. Yes, industry. Think of all the treatment and maintenance supplies a diabetic need in just one month. Include the trips to the various doctors (include all of the specialist diabetics need), the special diets, the special shoes, etc. And do not forget the medicines.  It is a profitable industry.

Researchers have conducted studies for over 40 years. There have been advances in the treatment of diabetes, yet people are still running for a cure. Are there cures to diabetes?

Transplants are in the news as a growing possibility for a cure. Pancreas transplants will end the need for insulin, diet, and oral medications. It will not reverse the damage from complications that have already developed. Since the body has only one pancreas donors pancreas have to come from cadavers. This presents a limited amount of donors for transplantation.

Insulin-producing cells have been transplanted into monkey with success in curing diabetes. This process is still experimental (and has been for years).  The transplantation is reported to work with the use of a drug containing antibodies to prevent rejection.

Currently, immune suppressants are used to prevent rejection in organ transplants. This new drug works differently than suppressants. The experimental drug will thwart a key part of the immune system. Human trials of the drug are scheduled to begin soon.

Researchers are also conducting studies involving a drug that has been used for 40 years to treat arthritis. Glucose levels have been reported to improve for all patients in a study using Salsalate. Salsalate chemically resembles aspirin without the risk of stomach bleeding.  Future research will determine the risks of kidney problems as a potential side effect.

The American Diabetes Association reports that there are 23.6 million people living with diabetes in the United States. It is a leading health disparity for minorities. This leads the question: Is the demand for a cure as great as profit margins in treatments?

Water risks for Weakened Immune Systems

Posted in Our Health with tags , , , on January 27, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

Replacing sugary drinks with water is on the rise. Most health conscious individuals are aware of the benefits of water. Even risks that are related to drinking water, such as the relevance of its source, has become recognized health issues. There are special risks that people who have compromised immune systems.

Transplant recipients, chemotherapy and AIDS patients have an increased vulnerability to contaminants in drinking water. Weakened immune system are unable to guard against microorganisms that the average person would need prolonged exposure to before seeing the effects.

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These contaminants come from microorganisms that can be found in drinking water:

  • Cryptosporidium-It comes from human or animal fecal matter in the water; symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, and cramps.
  • Giardia lamdlia-It comes from human or animal fecal matter in the water; symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, and cramps.
  • Legionella-found naturally in water and multiplies in heating systems; it causes a type of pneumonia called Legionnaire’s Disease.
  • Turbidity– It comes from soil runoff and creates a cloudiness in the water; symptoms are nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and headaches.

For people with suppressed or weakened immune systems, these contaminates can cause death. For extra precaution, use a filter or boil your water before drinking.

Photo by Jon Sullivan