Heavy metals are dangerous because they tend to bioaccumulate. Bioaccumulation means an increase in the concentration of a chemical in a biological organism over time, compared to the chemical's concentration in the environment. Compounds accumulate in living things any time they are taken up and stored faster than they are broken down (metabolized) or excreted.
Heavy metals can enter a water supply by industrial and consumer waste, or even from acidic rain breaking down soils and releasing heavy metals into streams, lakes, rivers, and groundwater.
Heavy metal toxicity can result in damaged or reduced mental and central nervous function, lower energy levels, and damage to blood composition, lungs, kidneys, liver, and other vital organs. Long-term exposure may result in slowly progressing physical, muscular, and neurological degenerative processes that mimic Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis. Allergies are not uncommon and repeated long-term contact with some metals or their compounds may even cause cancer (International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre 1999).
The association of symptoms indicative of acute toxicity is not difficult to recognize because the symptoms are usually severe, rapid in onset, and associated with a known exposure or ingestion (Ferner 2001): cramping, nausea, and vomiting; pain; sweating; headaches; difficulty breathing; impaired cognitive, motor, and language skills; mania; and convulsions.
The symptoms of toxicity resulting from chronic exposure (impaired cognitive, motor, and language skills; learning difficulties; nervousness and emotional instability; and insomnia, nausea, lethargy, and feeling ill) are also easily recognized; however, they are much more difficult to associate with their cause. Symptoms of chronic exposure are very similar to symptoms of other health conditions and often develop slowly over months or even years. Sometimes the symptoms of chronic expo
Lead is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to young children.
Lead in the body is distributed to the brain, liver, kidney and bones. It is stored in the teeth and bones, where it accumulates over time. Human exposure is usually assessed through the measurement of lead in blood.
Lead in bone is released into blood during pregnancy and becomes a source of exposure to the developing fetus.
There is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe.
Lead poisoning is entirely preventable.
Lead is a naturally occurring toxic metal found in the Earth’s crust. Its widespread use has resulted in extensive environmental contamination, human exposure and significant public health problems in many parts of the world.
Important sources of environmental contamination include mining, smelting, manufacturing and recycling activities, and, in some countries, the continued use of leaded paint, leaded gasoline, and leaded aviation fuel. More than three quarters of global lead consumption is for the manufacture of lead-acid batteries for motor vehicles. Lead is, however, also used in many other products, for example pigments, paints, solder, stained glass, lead crystal glassware, ammunition, ceramic glazes, jewellery, toys and in some cosmetics and traditional medicines. Drinking water delivered through lead pipes or pipes joined with lead solder may contain lead. Much of the lead in global commerce is now obtained from recycling.
Young children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead and can suffer profound and permanent adverse health effects, particularly affecting the development of the brain and nervous system. Lead also causes long-term harm in adults, including increased risk of high blood pressure and kidney damage. Exposure of pregnant women to high levels of lead can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and low birth weight, as well as minor malformations.
In men, urine flows from the bladder through the urethra. BPH is a benign (noncancerous) enlargement of the prostate that blocks the flow of urine through the urethra. The prostate cells gradually multiply, creating an enlargement that puts pressure on the urethra -- the "chute" through which urine and semen exit the body.
As the urethra narrows, the bladder has to contract more forcefully to push urine through the body.
Over time, the bladder muscle may gradually become stronger, thicker, and overly sensitive; it begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing a need to urinate frequently. Eventually, the bladder muscle cannot overcome the effect of the narrowed urethra so urine remains in the bladder and it is not completely emptied.
Symptoms of enlarged prostate can include:
A weak or slow urinary stream
A feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
Difficulty starting urination
Urgency to urinate
Getting up frequently at night to urinate
A urinary stream that starts and stops
Straining to urinate
Continued dribbling of urine
Returning to urinate again minutes after finishing
Kidney failure can be caused by many underlying issues and generally falls into two categories of disease, classified as acute or chronic. Acute diseases generally develop quickly, lasts for a limited amount of time and are more immediately severe than chronic conditions (think food poisoning). However, acute disease can also develop or cause lingering problems. Chronic diseases generally develop and worsen over time and do not go away.
In adults the most common causes of kidney failure are diabetes and hypertension. In children congenital defects causing urinary tract blockages (posterior urethral valves) or small or non-functioning kidneys (hypoplastic and dysplastic) or another disorder that causes scarring of the glomeruli that leads to nephrotic syndrome (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis), are the most common causes. (1)
Until age 4, birth defects and hereditary diseases are by far the leading causes of kidney failure. Between ages 5 and 14, hereditary diseases continue to be the most common causes, but glomerular disease incidence rises. As children age past 15, glomerular diseases are the leading cause, and hereditary diseases become rarer.
Acute kidney disease can come from poisoning, but often comes from an injury. Injuries that result in blood loss may temporarily reduce kidney function; however once blood loss is limited, the kidneys usually recover.
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) - is rare disease that affects children mostly under 10 years of age and can result in kidney failure. HUS is caused by eating foods contaminated by Escherichia coli (E coli) bacteria, which leads to an infection in the digestive system. Poisons produced by the bacteria can damage the kidneys, causing acute kidney failure. Children with HUS may need blood transfusion or dialysis for a short time. Most however, return to normal after a few weeks, and only a small percentage of children (mostly those who have severe acute kidney disease) will develop
The diagnosis of prostate cancer most commonly involves a combination of three tests:
Digital rectal examination DRE As part of a physical examination your doctor inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into your rectum and feels toward the front of your body. The prostate gland is a walnut or larger sized gland immediately in front of the rectum, and beneath your bladder. The back portion of prostate gland can be felt in this manner. Findings on this exam are compared to notes about the patient's prior digital rectal examinations.
The exam is usually brief, and most find it uncomfortable due to the pressure used to adequately examine the prostate gland. Findings such as abnormal size, lumps, or nodules, may indicate prostate cancer.
The national comprehensive cancer network NCCN notes that a DRE should not be used as a stand-alone test for detection of prostate cancer but should be performed in men with an elevated PSA. The NCCN also notes that DRE may be considered as a baseline test in all patients, as it may help identify high-grade cancers associated with a normal PSA.
Prostate specific antigen PSA blood test: The PSA blood test measures the level of a protein found in the blood that is produced by the prostate gland and helps keep semen in liquid form. The PSA test can indicate an increased likelihood of prostate cancer if the PSA is at an increased or elevated level, but it does not provide a definitive diagnosis. Prostate cancer can be found in patients with a low PSA level but this occurs less than 20% of the time.
If the PSA level is elevated levels can depend upon your age, on the size of your prostate gland on examination, certain medications you may be taking, or recent sexual activity, further testing may be needed to rule out prostate cancer.
PSA measurements are often tracked over time to look for evidence of a change. The amount of time it takes for the PSA level to increase is referred to as PSA velocity. The time it takes for the PSA to doubl
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Fungal infections can affect any part of the body. Fungi are normally present in and on the body alongside various bacteria. When a fungus begins to overgrow, you can get an infection.
Onychomycosis, also called tinea unguium, is a fungal infection that affects either the fingernails or toenails. Fungal infections normally develop over time, so any immediate difference in the way your nail looks or feels may be too subtle to notice at first.
Also known as onychomycosis and tinea unguium, nail fungal infections are the most common diseases of the nails, making up about 50 percent of nail abnormalities. Fungus is normally present on the body, but if it overgrows, it can become a problem.
Both fingernails and toenails are susceptible to infection, which usually appears as discoloration and thickening of the nail, and crumbling edges. The condition most commonly occurs in toenails.
Fungal infection of nails (tinea unguium) is common. The infection causes thickened and unsightly nails which sometimes become painful. Medication often works well to clear the infection but you need to take medication for several weeks.
Phil Johnson, M.D. discusses the evolution of the definition of AIDS over time and how it evolved as scientific understanding of HIV and AIDS improved over time. Initially it was noticed due to unusual outbreaks of Kaposi's Sarcoma and pneumocystis pneumonia among young gay men and referred to as Gay Related Immune Deficiency. The virus now referred to as HIV was isolated in 1983 and the disease was renamed AIDS for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Today, being HIV positive and having either (a) a CD4 cell count below 200 or (b) one of a number of opportunistic infections results in a diagnosis of AIDS.
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