Calcium Needs At All Life Stages

It is the most abundant mineral in the body, present mainly in the bones and teeth. From the start, toddlers have an increased need for dietary calcium to support bone growth and skeletal development that takes place rapidly in the early years of life. This development and its need – continues into the teenage years and is particularly crucial for adolescent girls who need to stock their calcium supplies to prevent osteoporosis later in life. Adequate intake at this stage is needed to support ongoing bone growth and to achieve peak bone mass. It is an essential dietary element required in optimal amounts for good bone health, efficient nerve and muscle function, and overall cardiovascular health. Without enough of it throughout life, a person’s bones can begin to weaken over time. That can make it more difficult to stay active while also creating a higher risk of fractures and osteoporosis. A person’s bone density will generally reach its peak at roughly age 30, and then begin to fade after that. Adequate daily intake can help maintain proper bone density and help prevent osteoporosis – which creates porous and fragile bones. It makes up about three percent of the earth’s crust and is a basic component of most animals and plants. Eating a diet rich in calcium helps to restore it to the bones; supplements can help as well.

Why is calcium necessary?

It is known mostly for its role in building and maintaining strong bones and teeth, but it is also required for proper functioning of the heart, muscles and nervous system. It plays a role in maintaining normal blood pressure, regulating blood clotting. It is also associated with relieving mood swings, food cravings, and decreasing the pain, tenderness and bloating associated with premenstrual syndrome.

What are the deficiency signs?

Deficiency symptoms (also known as hypocalcemia) range from minor – numbness or tingling of the fingers, muscle cramps, lethargy and poor appetite – to more severe, including mental confusion, skeletal malformations, dermatitis, and in infants, delayed development. Illnesses such as osteoporosis (brittle, thin, porous bones that easily break) and rickets are also associated with a deficiency.

How much, and what kind, does an adult need?

If vitamin D levels are optimal, most adults should be able to meet their daily calcium needs via a varied diet. When individuals are unable to get enough of it through a diet or for those who may need more than the recommended daily allowance, supplements can help. Doctors recommends women supplement with 500 to 700 mg of calcium citrate in two divided doses taken with meals for a total of 1,000-1,200 mg a day from all sources. Supplementing with its citrate form, which is more easily absorbed than other forms, taken with half the dosage amount of magnesium.

How much does a child need?

The normal daily recommended intake for children is as follows: infants through three years of age is 400-800 mg; children between 4 and 10 years of age is 800 mg; adolescent males is 800-1,200 mg; and adolescent females is 800-1,200 mg daily.
How do you get enough from foods?

An abundant source of this mineral in the American diet is dairy products – two glasses of milk per day provide 1,000-1,200 mg. If you choose to get via dairy products – and this is not essential, as there are many other calcium-rich foods – make sure you use only hormone-free, organic dairy products to reduce your exposure to the antibiotics and hormones found in many dairy products. Non-dairy foods include: greens such as collards, mustard, kale, and bok choy; canned salmon (with bones) and sardines; tofu, soy milk, fruit juice and cereals; blackstrap molasses; and broccoli.

Are there any risks associated with too much?

Its supplements can be constipating, and should be balanced with magnesium as discussed above. Excessive amounts in the blood may have negative effects, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and increased urination. More serious complications include kidney toxicity, confusion, and irregular heart rhythm. Studies indicate that men who take too much may have an increased risk of prostate cancer, and should limit their dietary intake to 500-600 mg daily from all sources.

Who should we take it as supplements?

It is an important mineral for the human body. It helps build and protect your teeth and bones. Getting enough of it over your lifetime can help prevent osteoporosis. Most people get it through their normal diet. Dairy foods and leafy green vegetables have high levels of calcium. Your health care provider will tell you if you need to take extra dose id required.

TYPES OF CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS

Forms of calcium include:
Calcium Type
Pros
Calcium citrate (21% calcium)
Most easily absorbed
Calcium carbonate
Least expensive; has more elemental calcium

Calcium carbonate. Over-the-counter (OTC) antacid products contain it and these sources of it do not cost much. Each pill or chew provides 200 mg or more of calcium.

Calcium citrate. This is a more expensive form of calcium. It is absorbed well on an empty or full stomach. People with low levels of stomach acid (a condition that is more common in people over age 50) absorb this better than other forms.

HOW TO TAKE HIGHER DOSE

Increase the dose of your supplement slowly. Your provider may suggest that you start with 500 mg a day for a week, and then add more over time.Try to spread the extra dose you take over the day. DO NOT take more than 500 mg at a time. Taking it throughout the day will:

Allow more calcium to be absorbed

Cut down on side effects such as gas, bloating, and constipation
The total amount adults need every day from food and supplements:
19 to 50 years: 1,000 mg/day
51 to 70 years: Men – 1,000 mg/day; Women – 1,200 mg/day
71 years and over: 1,200 mg/day

SIDE EFFECTS AND SAFETY

DO NOT take more than the recommended amount of it. Try the following if you have side effects from taking extra calcium:

Drink more fluids.

Eat high-fiber foods

Switch to another form of calcium if the diet changes do not help.

Always tell your provider and pharmacist if you are taking extra dose. Its supplements may change the way your body absorbs some medicines. These include certain types of antibiotics and iron pills.

Are there any other special considerations?

Vitamin D is key to absorbing and so make sure to get adequate intake of vitamin D. Vitamin D, often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” is actually a fat-soluble hormone that the body can synthesize naturally. There are several forms, including two that are important to humans: D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is synthesized by plants, and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is synthesized by humans when skin is exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from sunlight. The active form of the vitamin is calcitriol, synthesized from either D2 or D3 in the kidneys. Vitamin D helps to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.

Vitamin K2 is a beneficial form of Vitamin K for bones. Unlike Vitamin K1 which is used to activate blood clotting proteins, Vitamin K2 is beneficial for activating proteins which help bind calcium to bones. Vitamin K2 is found in food but not in anywhere near the concentration found in Osteo-K. Taking Osteo-K helps boost daily intake of vitamin K2 to support bone health. Older people may need to take it in extra larger doses because they do not absorb it as well as younger people.

If you take oral vitamin D,you also need to take vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 helps to move calcium to proper areas where its needed and removes it from sites where it shouldn’t be present like arteries and soft tissues. When you take vitamin D, your body creates more of these vitamin K2-dependent proteins, the proteins that will move it around. They have a lot of potential health benefits. But until the K2 comes in to activate those proteins, those benefits aren’t realized. So, really, if you’re taking vitamin D, you’re creating an increased demand for K2. Vitamin K2 deficiency is one of the reason why people suffer from vitamin D toxicity symptoms which includes improper calcification leading to hardening of arteries. And vitamin D and K2 work together to strengthen your bones and improve your heart health.

It seems likely that 150 to 200 mgs of vitamin k2 is enough to activate your K2 dependent proteins to shuttle calcium to proper areas.

How can you tell that you are deficit of vitamin k2?

There is no specific tests for finding it. By assessing the lifestyle and diet you eat,one can find whether he is lacking the critical nutrients needed for the body. If you face following health conditions then you are likely deficient in vitamin K2.

Do you have osteoporosis?

Do you have heart disease?

Do you have diabetes?

If you are facing such symptoms, its better to think on deficiencies and take necessary steps.

Things That Are Expected From a 24 Hour Emergency Doctor

More than the regular doctor who visits a clinic or a hospital, a 24 hour emergency doctor service is essential. Medical emergencies may crop up anytime. These situations are inevitable and irrespective of the nature of the emergency, an immediate helping hand is essential. Numerous hospitals have emergency medical services like a 24 hour emergency doctor service even after the visiting hours. Though any helping hand is welcomed at the time of adversity or an emergency, there a couple of things that are expected from a doctor, regardless the situation at hand.

• Always available: Emergency medical services comprises of two different parts. First is the pre-hospital care given to a patient and this includes the first aid measures taken. It also includes the transportation of the patient from the place of emergency to a hospital for which the ambulance services are used. The second division of the emergency service involves the transfer of the patient from one hospital to another in the case of an emergency or a need of better treatment and care.

• Transparency: A long drag speech in medical jargons and a series of tests and an illegible prescription is not what is expected of a doctor. In the case of an emergency, you need a clear picture of what is happening and not a haphazard answer. A 24 hour emergency doctor is expected to be dedicated and passionate about his work and understands the mental state of not only the patient but also the people with him. Telling what things mean, and what is to be done immediately is well appreciated.

• Respects you and your emotions: An ideal doctor must be able to listen to you actively, your problems and your worries without interrupting and intimidating you. In this busy world, rushed appointments have become a common thing, and it neither benefits the patients nor the doctor. More than respecting your time, it is essential that you are able to connect with your doctor emotionally as well. A certain level of trust and confidence is essential to make things easier for both. A clear idea of the big picture is essential before coming to conclusions and taking a decision.

• Makes decisions with you and not for you: You should always be a part of any decision that is taken for you. An ideal doctor must be able to understand that you know your body and routines better than anyone else. You have the right to ask questions regarding any tests or medicines prescribed to you, and a doctor is answerable to any of your doubts.

• Shouldn’t Keep money in mind: Doctors are one the most respected people in the society. It is a service that requires a lot of ethics, commitment and passion. A doctor cannot be successful if he just money-minded. The life-saving profession should be done as a service and not as a job.

Kidney Transplant – Patient Assessment Factors

When kidneys stop working effectively, you either have an option of a dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dialysis ensures that you get rid of the waste products from your body but it does not replace all the functions of the kidneys. When you are diagnosed with failing kidneys, treatment can sometimes prevent or at least delay their complete failure.

However, with a transplant, your body can continuously remove the waste products of metabolism, and excess fluid. Kidneys also help in the production of a natural hormone called erythropoietin that prevents anemia. It also helps convert the vitamin D in food into an active compound that helps keep bones healthy. Moreover, it helps excretion of some toxic drugs. Finally, it plays an important role in helping control blood pressure.

Kidneys normally undertake all these functions. It is a known fact that kidney transplant provides patients with a better quality of life than dialysis.

Assessment for kidney transplant

There are a few very important factors to be checked before you undergo kidney transplant surgery. To begin with, you will be referred to transplant only when you are nearing or have started dialysis.

  • There is no dependency on age factor or ethnic background when it comes to assessment for a transplant. It all depends on whether you are fit enough to have the operation and deal with all the after effects of the surgery.
  • Some of the factors checked are evidence of heart disease, chest conditions and other problems. Special investigations are conducted to assess whether these risk factors are too great for transplant.
  • Next there will be a thorough discussion between the specialists such as the surgeons, nephrologist, cardiologist and the physician before the decision is finalized.
  • Once you are considered fit enough for a transplant, the specialists will explain all the risks and benefits to you.
  • Many times there is a waiting list for a transplant.
  • There will be a number of tests conducted to check whether you have had certain virus infections.
  • Well, the specialists will also ask you whether you have any close friends or family who are willing to be live donors.
  • Live donor transplants are known to give the kidneys a better chance of long term survival as compared to diseased donor transplants.

Whether you receive a particular donor kidney or not is determined initially by the blood group. It is pretty difficult to get two people to be perfectly alike, because the genes are different. It is however possible to achieve a good enough match for a successful transplant. The surgery takes around three hours and appropriate care needs to be taken post operation too. 

A Few Things To Know About Sport Physicals

Many parents choose to have a sports physical conducted on their children during the summer. This makes sure they are ready for another activity filled sports season while last minute, mad rushes to the physician are avoided. Although most parents know that they need to get a sports physical conducted on your child, in order for him/her to participate in athletics, there are still a few unanswered questions.

How Should I Prepare Myself For This Checkup?

Make a list of questions about your child’s health and well being, should you experience any concerns or alarming signs. Ask your child if there is anything they s/he would like to ask the examiner. Take the medical history of your family and your child’s medical history reports with you.

Do Parents Need To Be Present At This Check Up?

Minors under the age of 18 require parental consent in order to have a sports physical performed. Parents also need to fill up the health history portion of the form. All in all, it is best that you are present for your child’s physical.

Is It Required For School Sports?

Yes, most schools do need a pre-participation checkup before enrolling students into their many athletic programs.

For How Long Is The Report Valid?

The report that you get is generally valid for one year. You need to pay special attention to this duration. Students who fail to go for this checkup can be disallowed from participating in sport and athletic activities.

What Should You Expect During The Procedure?

During a procedure, a child’s blood pressure, height and weight are checked. The physician will also look at the lungs, heart and spine. The immunization schedule will be reviewed and signs of puberty will also be taken into consideration.

What Is The Difference Between An Annual And Sports Physical?

Although an annual physical is the same as a sports physical, you go in for a sports physical when your child wants to involve himself/herself in a sport or physical activity. In such cases, the sports physical can be incorporated into the annual physical.

How Can I Prepare My Child For The Upcoming Check Up?

Sit down and have a thorough conversation with your child. Tell him/her about the procedure that is to be conducted and that there is nothing to worry or be fearful about.

These are just a few answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this checkup.

The Top 10 Benefits and Uses of Essiac Tea

Essiac tea is an alternative health drink that is getting a lot of attention lately. It’s a tea that is comprised of several herbal elements include burdock, rhubarb, elm bark, and many other elements. It has been traced to being a major drink of indigenous tribes in North America. Researchers have been studying the drink for some time, and it has been shown to help the body in a number of ways. Drinking this on a regular basis could very well help with the following 10 benefits.

Liver Health

The first major benefit is in regard to the liver. The blend of herbs helps with cleaning the liver of toxicity. It can flush toxicity through the liver, and process it through the urine. With this tea, some individuals may see a reversal of issues related to jaundice. Which is a disease of the liver. While it’s not a miracle cure, it does support liver function, enzymes, and the removal of toxicity that can end up traveling through the body’s digestive tract. It can help boost immune system, and waste management, with a boost to the liver outright.

Ease Constipation

For individuals that are dealing with bowel movement issues, specifically constipation, this tea can help. The herbs can help soften the stool, and can help bring through enough fiber to help with intestinal distress. This is an easy laxative to take as it works with the body’s natural systems. It’s not a chemical stimulant, or harsh fibrous element. The herbs help the body manage waste, and assist with constipation with ease. There is no pain, or issue when taking this tea, as it helps the body within a few hours of drinking it, assuming the individual is struggling with constipation.

Iron Supplement

Essiac tea has a few key vitamins and minerals. One of the most common is iron. Iron is a very critical part of the body’s natural systems. With iron supplemented through tea drinking, you’ll find that the proteins in the blood help form red blood cells, and even help with reversing anemia. This strengthens circulation, and assists with proper production of hemoglobin. Staving off anemia is a great thing, and can help people that are struggling with diet and exercise, get a small boost in the right direction. It helps directly with the circulatory system, promoting heart health.

Blood Pressure Regulation

Those dealing with blood pressure issues, specifically high blood pressure, will find that the tea can help with circulation. It can help with lowering pressure, and regulating heartbeat. Those that utilize this as a calming drink, will find that it can help with a variety of different elements in the body. It can lower pressure, and even help with stress. It begins working within the first time taking it, and works as one drinks more of it through several days. Studies have shown that in a few days, pressure can significantly drop to safer levels.

Bone Health

Much like calcium, this tea can help with bone health. While it’s not the same compound as calcium, it does help with strengthening bone structure, and delivers a powerful mix of vitamins and minerals that the body utilizes to strengthen bone structure. There is a calcium element in this, but not as much as milk, but enough to help boost the body’s natural resources to help with strengthening bones that are susceptible, or may be weakening from injury, or malnutrition.

Energy Boost

While Essiac tea is not caffeinated like a cup of tea, there is an energy level boost given to drinkers of this tea. It’s done through an increase of vitamin-C, and B elements. By helping the body’s natural systems get a boost in vitamins, waking up becomes easier, and getting a little natural energy delivers on the premise that coffee does, without the crash. That’s right, there’s no crash, there’s no sleepiness after drinking this, instead, energy becomes natural, without stimulants. It has a balance that works with the body.

Helps Digest Food

Having problems digesting food? Upset stomach? Nausea? Well, the benefit that this tea gives the digestive system is immense. It helps bring about the right pH levels of the body. By stimulating the stomach to produce the right enzymes, and bile production from the glands, you’ll find that digestion is much easier. That means that eating will not be a chore, and you’ll reduce heart burn, acid reflux, and much more. This helps by adding a helping hand to the stomach’s acid, so that it stabilizes a bit easier. It becomes easier to enjoy your favorite foods, that’s for sure.

Regulate Sugar Levels

While this is not a cure for diabetes, it has been shown to help with insulin production. It can help with insulin secretion, and management. This can help lower blood sugar spikes, and help keep levels lower, although it’s not a replacement for any diabetes treatment. It can help people that are susceptible to blood sugar spikes. This can also help with boosting the pancreas’s levels as well. For those that are diabetic, the tea can help with kidney function, and help with reducing toxicity. It helps with urination, frequency, and quantity as well.

Help The Skin

Researchers exploring the benefits of Essiac Tea have found that it can help with skin care. Used as a topical solution it can help with anti-septic, and anti-inflammatory elements. It also helps from the inside out, providing skin care elements, reduction of acne, and even fine lines. Those that are looking to help with the signs of aging will see a boost in overall skin care in a few days. It helps the body with hormonal secretions and balance, helping the skin heal from the rays of the sun, to the interior of the dermal layers.

Promotes Weight Loss

The last major thing that you’re going to find with this tea is that it helps with losing weight. By helping the body’s digestive system, you may get a boost of metabolic ratio. That means that you will burn calories, even when asleep. Pushing the metabolic rate is a great thing, and can lead to faster weight loss, and sustained management in time.

Top Ways to Prevent Chronic Disease

Even if you have a family history of chronic diseases, you can take steps to prevent these conditions and maintain your health for many years. Studies show the best ways to prevent chronic diseases include:

Eating Healthy Foods
No diet has to be perfect, but you should strive to eat nutritious, lean foods as much as possible. A healthy diet should always include foods like:

  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Lean meats like poultry
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Healthy fats like olive oil or avocados

By filling your plate with these items, you’ll rarely have space left to eat sugary or fatty foods that can increase your risk of a chronic disease.

Staying Active
You don’t have to run marathons to see the health benefits of exercise. Simply walking for about 150 minutes each week can help your body stay healthy. Even if you walk in short 10 minute intervals, you will see healthy benefits.

For extra health benefits, incorporate resistance training to build strong muscles and bones.

Maintaining Low Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension) can hurt your heart and your kidneys. While a healthy diet and exercise should keep your blood pressure healthy, be sure to check your blood pressure at least once a year and take blood pressure medicines as your doctor recommends.

Sleeping Well
Sleep may play a larger role in your health than you think. People who are sleep deprived tend to have higher levels of stress, higher blood pressure, higher blood sugar and poor metabolism. Proper sleep helps your body work well.

Keep a Healthy Weight
If you are already at a healthy weight, work to maintain that weight through proper diet and exercise. If you are carrying a few extra pounds, work with your physician to find ways to lose weight that work for you. Everyone is different, and no single weight loss plan works for everyone. Keep trying to find the plan that’s right for you and your lifestyle.

Don’t Smoke
Smoking has countless negative effects on your health, increasing your risk for heart attack, stroke, lung cancer and more. If you need help quitting smoking, speak to your physician. Your physician can help you find smoking cessation support and give you access to prescription medicines that might help you quit.

Remember, your doctor is your partner in healthy living. If you have any questions about preventing or managing chronic disease, always ask your physician for help.

How Do Strong Social and Community Ties Impact Your Health?

I called my friend, also named Lisa, who lives in Houston, Texas. Hurricane Harvey’s devastation had not only hit Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, but many communities in the Gulf Coast region. According to my friend, who lives on the north side of Houston where they got no flooding except for those who were near a river or large body of water, the worst of the rain is over. People are leaving shelters scattered thought-out Harris County, where Houston is located.

Out of the 6.5 million people in the greater Houston area only about 1.5 million lost power and most all the water is drinkable. No need for ice, a valuable commodity, for many of us here in Charleston who experienced the wrath of Hurricane Hugo. Unlike Houston, Hurricane Hugo, also a category 4 storm, was a direct hit and as a result we not only got the flooding but also high winds. But no one can deny that the Houston area experienced the worst flooding in its history, with some areas getting as much as 50 inches of rain. And because Hurricane Harvey’s devastation was so widespread, it will take years for the region to recover from this natural disaster.

My friend, Lisa, who is originally from Charleston, knows about hurricanes and the emotional roller coaster they bring; the anxiety before the storm of not knowing exactly what is going to happen, the storm itself, the flooding and aftermath once the storm has passed. No doubt, you too, no matter where you call home, are aware of the horrific situation the residents of the Gulf Coast region, north of Brownsville, Texas, are now experiencing. Lives have been lost, people displaced and the uncertainty of what’s ahead. It is one thing to watch the news again and again and be reminded of the destruction and the anguish. But to just absorb the information without acting when we can help can be paralyzing and emotionally harmful.

Animals as well need help and assistance. Donate to the Houston Humane Society, which is helping animals affected by the storm. The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation, is another charity. You may also want to check out Charity Navigator to further ensure your donations are helping those in need.

By helping those in need, you too can benefit. Studies have shown that people with strong social and community ties tend to live longer, are less likely to report being depressed, and have a stronger a sense of belonging, purpose and self worth.

How to Safeguard Your Immune System

The immune system of a human body is a network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to defend the body against the attacks by the ‘foreign’ invaders. The term ‘foreign invader’ is used for the bacteria, parasites, fungi and other viruses that can lead to illness through infections. It is the job of an immune system to keep these infectious organisms out and destroy them.

Though unseen, the immune system cells are constantly gobbling up with the bacteria and blocking viruses from invading your cells. Similar to your heartbeat and indigestion, the immune response is a system that functions on its own and you don’t control them. But, there are a lot of practices that can work as your helping hand. Some of such practices are:

Good hygiene- The first step to begin with the defence is to keep all prospective germs at bay. How can it be done? By following good personal hygiene habits. Stop infection as it begins and before it begins. Make sure you avoid spreading your infections to others with these simple measures:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap or use sanitizers 5-6 times a day. Always prepare or eat food after washing your hands and every time you use the restroom.
  • Whenever you sneeze or cough, make sure you cover your mouth and nose with a tissue in order to avoid its germs infect others.
  • Always bandage all your cuts because if left open, it can become septic and harm your immune system. If you have any serious cut or wound anywhere on your body, get is examined by the doctor within due course of time.
  • Do not touch your healing wounds and do not squeeze pimples because doing so allows germs to enter your body.

Vaccination or Immunisation- A number of serious infections can be prevented by immunisation. Whereas vaccination is used to cure a sore arm or low fever. The vaccination is generally safe and effective in curing such diseases. And when it comes to the infections, consult your doctor for the immunisation status. A number of health care providers and centres provide immunisation services. Generally:

  • Children should be given all necessary immunisations and vaccinations as and when recommended by the doctors.
  • All adults should make sure their vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • Travellers should get additional immunisations before their date of journey.

Food safety- Mark yourself safe from the causes of food-poisoning not because they are life-threatening but they can lead to serious medical conditions sometimes. For this, you have to prepare and store your food safely. Take necessary precautions to kill germs or to prevent them entering your immune system:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after each time you handle a raw food.
  • Rinse all meat, poultry, and fish under running water before cooking. Rinse all fruits and vegetables under running water before cooking or serving them.
  • Separate raw foods and cooked foods, and never use the same utensils or cutting boards with cooked meat that were used with raw meat.

Healthy travel- If you’re planning a trip, make sure you consult your doctor once, for, if your body needs some immunisations and vaccines before you make any travel. Consult your doctor at least 3 months or as early as possible about your journey and ask him about the precautions you have to take during your visit to the place.

Three Important Things to Know About Radicava

The ALS Association is the largest charity for people with Lou Gehrig’s disease in the United States. Not only do they provide excellent patient provision through care takers and support groups, they are also the leading fundraiser for new research when it comes to ALS treatment and a possible cure. During the summer of 2014, the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge went viral online and raised over 100 million dollars. This was the largest amount of donations the fundraisers at ALS had ever seen. They were ecstatic! This boost in funding led to the research and development of three new treatments for Lou Gehrig’s disease, one being Radicava, which will likely be available August of this year. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Radicava slows the progress of ALS by reducing oxidative stress in the body. ALS is essentially a slow reduction in the body’s ability to function overall. This eventually leads to the shutdown of vital organs within the body. One of the first signs of ALS is the presence of oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between the presence of toxins in the body and the immune system’s ability to detoxify. These effects will first manifest themselves as a general slowing of autoimmune abilities followed by the more sinister effects of ALS, such as major organ failure. Radicava offers a time out to these unfortunate realities. The new medication has been shown to slow oxidative stress, and most patients see a 33% reduction in the decline of their physical abilities. Additionally, all Radicava test patients had higher scores on the ALS Functional Rating Scale
  2. First new medicine in 22 years. Because the origins of ALS are still largely misunderstood, it is incredibly difficult to approve and test new medications. Since the mid nineteenth century, our knowledge of what causes ALS has not kept up with other medical advancements. Because of this, it is incredibly difficult to find funding for new treatments when legislatures do not understand the medicinal premise. The first and last drug to be approved for treatment of ALS was Riluzole, which slowed lung failure. Unfortunately, the relatively small benefit offered to ALS patients compared to its astronomical costs essentially relegated Riluzole to pipe dream status. The mystery surrounding its origins combined with a lack of funding lead to a two decade ASL treatment dry spell. However, after the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge, three new medications were presented to the FDA for approval. The first to reach the pharmaceutical market will be Radicava in August!
  3. Administered by infusion. At this point you’re probably wondering how Radicava will be administered to patients. Is it overly intrusive or painful? Will it even be worth it? For those who participated in the testing of the drug, Radicava absolutely is. The treatment is administered intravenously over a fourteen day period, followed by a fourteen day rest. After the initial treatment, patients will receive injections for ten out of every fourteen days. While this is a time-consuming treatment, this is the first ASL medication with legitimate promise for, not only extending the lives of those with Lou Gehrig’s disease, but also improving their quality of life!

After so many years of failed treatments and questions surrounding the origins of ALS, Radicava’s approval is a beacon of hope for patients and their loved ones.

Ethical Dilemmas Doctors Have to Confront

The ethics and professionalism in medicine are of core importance when it comes to the role of the physician in his code of conduct.

With the great prestige and nobility in this profession comes the great responsibility in doctor’s hand, as they have to go through quandary in situations when it comes to cases like euthanasia, abortion, making a decision of who even makes it onto a waiting list for organ transplant, quick and life-changing decisions, psychological pressure from the loved ones of the patient, the patients family blame the doctors if the patient is unable to make during surgery, they should understand that death is imminent and the doctors do, whatever they can to save a life.

The doctor must explain the procedure to the patient and give him full information about the benefits, risks, positive and negative effects, leaving up to the patient to make the choice about undergoing the surgical procedure. The doctor should not perform the surgical intervention, only taking into consideration his personal gains and benefits. His first priority always has to be the patients’ health and to act in the best interest to protect the patient from any kind of harm. The doctor should be impartial when it comes to the selection of deserving cases and their needs, and on the basis of their degree of sickness.

The one of the most important and foremost ethical concern is taking an informed consent. Informed Consent is taken in advance from the patient, it is an agreement or a gesture to permit the doctor to have his medical history, undergo examination procedure, diagnosis, treatment, and intervention. The patient should be competent, well aware; mentally and emotionally stable. In some cases, the patient in spite, of his serious condition, refuse to agree with the intervention or surgical procedure, where then doctors have to make a decision for the welfare of the patient.

The information of the patient can only be breached if:

  1. himself asks the physician.
  2. In the case of children, the information is conveyed to the parents; as they are very
    young to handle their condition.
  3. There is a need of the help of the healthcare team in solving the case. Whether, the disclosure is for the criminal investigation of crime or harm to others, assault case, protecting the vulnerable; such as in child abuse case.
  4. For research purposes but only as anonymous and after taking consent from the patient.
  5. When it comes to public interests it may be breached when a patient has a highly contagious disease such as tuberculosis; the doctor has to inform the patients family so that precautionary measures can be taken. If the patient has a sexually transmitted disease, let’s say HIV which is a communicable disease, the doctor may disclose his disease to his partner in order to protect from the risk of getting the disease.
  6. State registries where officials keep track of cases like diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and many other diseases.

It is the duty of the doctor to act in his best interest while dealing with a case, abide by the principles in common clinical situations, and work in the beneficence of the patient and do no harm in the treatment procedure.
The common ethical conundrums that doctors’ have to face in their course of profession:-

1- Euthanasia:

Euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide is considered as one of the supreme problems when it comes to ethics of patients treatment. The decision of euthanasia by the patient or his family is made in order to reduce the suffering of the patient in his terminal sickness. It can be voluntary or involuntary. When the patient makes a decision, it is voluntary. When the physician makes a decision it is involuntary. However, may it be voluntary or involuntary, it is unethical.

The World Medical Association issued the following declaration on euthanasia:-

“Euthanasia, that is the act of deliberately ending the life of a patient, even at his own request or at the request of his close relatives, is unethical. This does not prevent the physician from respecting the will of a patient to allow the natural process of death to follow its course in the terminal phase of sickness.”

2- Staying within their boundaries:

Doctors have to work long hours, off work, and even operate in odd hours in hospital settings and have to treat patients irrespective of their age, gender, and other attributes. They have to work in coordination with other staff members, the nurses, anesthesiologist, interns, assistants and many related members. Personal relationship or intimate relationship between the doctor and any other member like, his fellow, intern, other staff member is unethical and is prohibited. Patients often offer gifts to the doctors when their treatment intervention has been successful, or when the surgery goes well. It is quite fine, to accept those gifts as long as they are in the form of sweets or bouquet. The patient who brings gifts during the intervention may cause trouble, it may be the sign the patient needs more of the doctors’ attention. The physician should simply show reluctance to such presents and should not accept them by justifying that its’ against the ethics of their respective field.

3- Organ transplant:

Unfortunately, the availability of the transplant organs is far less, than their demand. Doctors have to make a tough decision here, that who will receive the next available organ and who will not, keeping in view the whole scenario, and what criteria is used for determining the donor. The surgeon should opt to give the transplant organ to the deserving patient on the list, on the basis of his health condition.

The physician should be approachable, equitable, able to communicate effectively and compassionately respecting the dignity of the patient regardless of his race, ethnicity, cast, choice of lifestyle. He should be dedicated to his profession, attenuate the pain of the patient by all means, preserving the health and enhancing the quality of life.