Friday, February 11, 2011

0 The Friday Four

Bringing you four links on Friday you may be interested in and don't want to miss...

  1. Takes a licking, keeps on ticking... that's the story of ticks in your washer and dryer.

    Okay, I know this isn't news, but it may be to someone and because it is important, I am reposting it here:

    Wash and dry clothes at HIGH temperatures after spending time in areas known to harbor ticks.

    If you can get clothes that can withstand an hour of being in a dryer on a high temperature setting - all the better.

    Excerpts from this research include:
    "Carroll used a combination of water temperature settings and detergent types to wash the ticks. The majority of lone star ticks survived all the water-detergent combinations with no obvious side effects. Most of the deer ticks lived through the cold and warm water settings as well. But when one type of detergent was used with a hot water setting, only 25 percent of the deer ticks survived.

    When it came time to dry, all the ticks of both species died after an hour of tumbling around at high heat. But when the dryer was set to "no heat," about one-third of the deer ticks and more than half of the lone star ticks survived."
  2. I know an old lady who swallowed a fly... I don't know why she swallowed that fly... perhaps she'll die?  Hope not.

    So as the story goes - or this particular variation of it - that sand fly had Leishmania infection, and get this? The Leishmania parasite was also infected with a virus that can trigger a severe response in macrophages, allowing the parasite to do more harm in animal infections

    In humans, the parasite's viral infection may be why some strains of Leishmania in Central and South America tend to cause a disfiguring form of disease that erodes the soft tissues around the nose and mouth

    How often does this sort of infectious piggybacking go on? This brings more issues to light when discussing polymicrobialism. 

    We just don't know how all these organisms are interacting - or even that they are there.

  3. On the other hand... Maybe you should hold off on that parasite cleanse. Do you have abdominal pain or symptoms of IBS, celiac disease, MS, asthma, or food allergies? Thinking of doing a parasite cleanse? You may just want to hold off on that cleanse, depending on what is bugging you: Research is being done on the benefits of certain parasites in human hosts with the above conditions.

    The treatment used is called Helminthic therapy, where patients are inoculated with specific intestinal parasitic nematodes and monitored for improvements in their conditions.

    Helminthic therapy is based on the hygeine hypothesis. The hygiene hypothesis proposes that appropriate immune response is in part learned by exposure to these microorganisms and parasites, and in part regulated by their presence. In industrialised nations, humans are exposed to somewhat lower levels of these organisms. The development of vaccines, hygienic practices, and effective medical care have diminished or eliminated the prevalence and impact of many parasitic organisms, as well as bacterial and viral infections. This has been of obvious benefit with the effective eradication of many diseases that have plagued human beings. However, while many severe diseases have been eradicated, humans' exposure to benign and apparently beneficial parasites has also been reduced commensurately.

  4. Women with anemia - low iron levels - need to know this.  Dr. Kathryn Clancy writes a blog with informative medical information in it, and this recent post is no exception.

    Remember the old saw about how women have lower iron levels than men and are more likely to have anemia due to menstruation? Well, it looks like bunk
Red blood cells (RBC) and hemoglobin (Hg) are positively correlated
with endometrial thickness (from Clancy et al 2006). Click for a closer look.

Dr. Clancy sites studies stating the following:
  • The sex difference in iron status in males and females derives from an increase in male iron stores at puberty, not a decrease in female iron stores. This has to do with oxygen transport and testosterone (Bergstrom et al 1995).

  • The main culprit for iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) in men is upper-gastrointestinal bleeding, so when men present with IDA the first thing they do is an endoscopy. When women present with IDA they give her iron supplements and tell her to go home because it's just her ladybusiness. Kepczyk et al (1999) decided to actually do endoscopies on women for whom a gynecological source was diagnosed by a specialist for their IDA. They found a whopping eighty-six percent of these women had a gastrointestinal disease that was likely causing their IDA.

  • Resumption of menses after pregnancy is positively associated with hemoglobin. That iron stores increase once you start getting your period again, indicate again that menses is not having a negative effect on iron stores.
The good doctor's advice to women?
"Ladies, unless you are menorrhagic (bleeding more than 120 milliliters each cycle) your period is not doing you wrong. If you have iron-deficiency anemia and your doctor is insisting it's because you slough off your endometrium from time to time without doing a single test to confirm it, you may want to insist on an endoscopy. It could save your life."
Have a good weekend, readers... I am still working on my post-dated citations, so expect to see more posts in the meantime before that list is published.


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