The Similarities between Chlorophyll and Hemoglobin

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Posted on 29th November 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

Hemoglobin and chlorophyll have similar structures. The main difference is that the porphyrin ring of hemoglobin is built around iron (Fe), where as the porphyrin ring of chlorophyll is built around magnesium, (Mg). It is interesting that humans inhale oxygen and expel carbon dioxide and plants do the opposite. Our survival seems uniquely dependant upon one another. It isn’t surprising to think that the consumption of chlorophyll would benefit our own bodies. Chlorophyll is necessary for plant photosynthesis. One of chlorophyll’s main functions is to absorb light and transfer that energy to a specific chlorophyll pair. That is why plants are considered primary producers of energy. They are able to absorb the sun’s energy directly. I am not sure if the similar molecular structure of hemoglobin is what makes chlorophyll so beneficial to humans. However, the similarities between them are impressive. Hemoglobin is composed of four elements- carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. All four are organized around iron. Chlorophyll is composed of the same elements, which are organized around magnesium. I do believe that the direct source of energy from the sun and the rich vitamins and minerals that chlorophyll contains make it valuable for human consumption. Chlorophyll’s similarity to hemoglobin probably makes it easy for the body to use. Scientists have found chlorophyll to have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and wound healing potential. Many benefits have been found including: -The growth and repair of tissue. -Increased distribution of oxygen throughout the body. -Improving oxygen supply to red blood cells. -Deodorizing bad breath, urine, fecal waste and body odor. -Helping the body reduce toxins. So, the next time you are out at your favorite juice bar, you may want to consider trying a shot of wheat or barley grass. The benefits are substantial and will definitely out weigh the grassy flavor.

Coronary Stenosis: What you should know

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Posted on 23rd November 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

Coronary stenosis is the narrowing of the blood vessels of the heart.  There are three common types of coronary stenosis.  Aortic stenosis, triple vessel coronary heart disease and coronary artery stenosis are types of coronary stenosis.  While learning about the allied health fields, the heart is one good way to start.

Aortic stenosis is the narrowing of the aorta.  This narrowing can occur in the area where the aorta leaves the left ventricle or can be caused from scarring or inflammation of the aortic valve.  Stenosis of the aortic isthmus occurs when the region of the aortic arch narrows.  This can result in inadequate blood flow to the lower half of the body.  Aortic stenosis is sometimes discovered by chance when high blood pressure is under investigation.  An ECG can show the strain that is being placed on the left ventricle.  This can also be seen on X-ray as an abnormally enlarged section of the heart.  Reduced blood supply to the brain, dizziness, fainting, heart palpitations, breathlessness and cardiac rhythm disturbances are signs of arotic stenosis.

Triple vessel coronary heart disease is caused from atherosclerosis or calcification of the three main branches of the coronary arteries.  Without treatment this disease is fatal.  The only option for treatment is surgery which will require that the stenosed vessels be bypassed or replaced.  If it is impossible to do either, the only remaining option is a heart transplant.

Coronary artery stenosis is the narrowing of the coronary arteries.  Symptoms usually only appear when the coronary vessel is narrowed by at least 70%.  Symptoms, such as stress related pain behind the sternum are most common.  If untreated, it can result in a myocardial infarction.

Breastfeeding as Your Child Grows

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Posted on 17th November 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

As a baby grows his feedings will change to accommodate his needs.  Regardless of culture, all babies breastfeed more often and longer during the first 40 days postpartum.  During the first six weeks breastfed babies in Western cultures feed on average 20 to 40 minutes per feeding 8 to 12 times per day.  Many feedings are clustered together during certain times of the day, especially during the evening.  As the baby matures and becomes more proficient at sucking his feeding times tend to shorten.

After six weeks, breastfed babies tend to spend half as much time breastfeeding, approximately 15 to 20 minutes per feeding.  Their larger stomachs are able to hold more milk decreasing the number of feedings.  You may find that around this time your baby is not waking up to eat as often in the night.

Babies go through growth spurts that typically occur around two to three weeks, six weeks and again at three months.  During these growth spurts your baby may return to intense feedings.  When this happens your baby is trying to adjust your milk supply to accommodate his increased hunger.

At around three months babies become extremely aware of the world around them.  It is likely at this time that your baby will become easily distracted from nursing by the activities that are happening all around him.  You may want to find a quiet place to breastfeed, so that there are minimal distractions.  You may also notice that your baby breastfeeds better at night because of fewer distractions.

Teething is a challenging time for breastfeeding mothers.  Your baby may bear down on your breast during feedings causing you severe nipple pain or trauma.  To prevent this from happening, give your baby something cold to chew on, like a cold wet cloth, before breastfeeding.

Things We Should Know About Menopause

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Posted on 9th November 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

Menopause is the cessation of menstruation, when the ovaries stop releasing eggs and producing estrogen.  Women in their late forties to early fifties traditionally begin menopause.  This time line can vary widely between each person.  There are many factors that can influence the timing of menopause.

  1. Trauma can trigger premature menopause before the age of forty.  This is because prolonged stress can stop the production of sex hormones.
  2. If the ovaries are removed surgically, menopause will begin immediately.
  3. Low body weight can cause early menopause because of the decreased hormone output by the ovaries.  Anorexia can cause the ovaries to shut down completely.
  4. Extra fat from being overweight can delay menopause.  This is because the extra fat increases estradiol.
  5. Adrenal exhaustion from too much stress and poor diet can cause early menopause.
  6. Physically active women who eat healthy diets usually experience late menopause.  Smokers tend to experience earlier menopause.

Supplement support for menopause include black cohosh, Vitamin C, red raspberry, dong quai, Vitamin E and B complex.

Good lifestyle choices for menopause include having a bone density test performed to measure bone mass which begins to deplete during menopause.  Doing weight-bearing exercises to increase bone density.  Have a regular mammogram done.  Practice deep breathing techniques and exercise regularly.

If you are going through menopause be sure to support your adrenal glands.  The adrenals will have more work for your ovaries as your hormone production decreases.  Taking an adrenal glandular supplement with licorice and Siberian ginseng in the same formula can be beneficial to the adrenals.

Phlebotemy Training: Transfusion Reactions

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Posted on 8th November 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

A transfusion reaction occurs when mismatched blood is infused and the donor’s red blood cells are attacked by the recipient’s plasma agglutinins.  When this occurs small blood vessels throughout the body become clogged.  During the next few hours, the clumped red blood cells begin to rupture or are destroyed by phagocytes.  As a phlebotomist you will learn all about blood transfusions through your phlebotemy training, but here is a brief overview.

There are two problems that can arise from these events.  The first problem concerns the disruption in the oxygen-carrying capability of the transfused blood cells.  The second problem is that the clumping of red blood cells in small vessels hinders blood flow to tissues beyond those points.  The hemoglobin released into the bloodstream when the red blood cells rupture or are destroyed causes cell death and renal shutdown.

Transfusion reactions are rarely lethal unless they lead to renal shutdown.  In most instances they can cause fever, chills, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, nausea, vomiting and general toxicity.  If a transfusion reaction is suspected treatment is directed toward preventing kidney damage.  This is accomplished by administering fluids and diuretics to increase urine output as well as diluting and washing out hemoglobin.

Before blood is transfused it is critical to determine the blood group of the donor and the recipient. There are four blood types- A, B, AB and O.  People with type A and type B blood can donate blood to A, B and AB blood types and can receive blood from A, B and O blood donors.  Type AB blood types can only donate to the same blood type and can receive blood from A, B, AB and O blood donors.   People with type O blood are considered universal donors and can donate to all blood types but can only receive blood from type O donors.

Fibromyalgia: A Stress Related Immune Disorder

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Posted on 5th November 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

Fibromyalgia is a stress-related immune disorder that millions of people suffer with in America and throughout the world.  Women seem to be most susceptible to getting fibromyalgia.  The central cause of this disorder comes from low levels of serotonin and reduced growth hormones.  It is an arthritic muscle disease.

I have a relative who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a few years ago.  She is not as active as she used to be.  She gets tired quickly and complains often of sore muscles.  Her symptoms are typical of fibromyalgia sufferers.  Common symptoms include painful, tender, recurrent aching areas all over the body, diffuse musculo-skeletal pain and stiffness, fatigue, weakness, headaches, confusion, migraines, chronic bowel problems, poor sleep, nervous symptoms, hypoglycemia, shortness of breath, cardiovascular problems and allergies.

Stress along with a weak immune system can cause fibromyalgia as well as magnesium deficiency or possible viral connection.  It is most often associated with Mitral Valve Prolapse.

If you have fibromyalgia, improving your diet can bring great relief.  Like most disorders, illnesses or diseases, the body functions better when sugars, fats, red meats and caffeine are avoided and emotional stress is reduced.  Deep breathing exercises, meditation and yoga are helpful at reducing stress and strengthening the body physically and mentally.

Several supplements can help reduce the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.

For general symptoms: Royal Jelly
To reduce pain and inflammation:  Glucosamine Cream
For brain balance:  Gingko biloba
For musculo-skeletal system:  B complex, Magnesium
For restful sleep:  Valerian root extract, Passionflower
To boost immunity:  Vitamin C

Ask a Midwife: How to Avoid Mastitis

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Posted on 5th November 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

Mastitis is an extremely painful infection of breast tissue.  Breast infections are normally caused from common bacteria found on normal skin. If the nipple becomes cracked the bacteria can enter the blood system.  The infection usually takes place on the fatty tissue of the breast.  The swelling cause’s pressure on the milk ducts and usually results in lumps and pain.  Typical signs of mastitis include breast enlargement on one side, breast pain when nursing, hard or swollen milk ducts, fever, flu-like symptoms, nausea, swelling, tenderness, redness and warmth in the breast tissue.  On our allied health blog today we asked a midwife how to avoid mastitis.

Even though nursing will be painful, do not stop breast feeding.  You need to release your milk and nursing is the most effective way of doing this.  It is best to begin each feeding from the sore side.  Your baby usually sucks the strongest in the beginning and will hopefully be able to unblock the blocked milk duct.

Applying moist heat to the infected breast can help to relieve the swelling.  A warm wash cloth can be used 15 to 20 minutes, four times a day.  Massaging and expressing milk from the tender breast while taking a warm shower can also be helpful.  Ensuring that baby is latching on properly can help prevent mastitis.  When you are ready to wean your baby, it is recommended that you do not abruptly stop nursing.  Reducing the frequency and length of feedings over time can help prevent engorgement and mastitis.

Your doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotic medications to treat the mastitis.  You can still breastfeed while taking these medications.