Regenerative Medicine and the Thymus Gland

In the field of modern medicine, debilitating musculoskeletal injuries are becoming less of a threat to long-term vitality thanks to advancements in knowledge of the body’s own intrinsic recuperative mechanisms. Now, increasing awareness about the body’s own healing processes has revealed a vital but still poorly understood regenerative mechanism initiated by the thymus gland. While still undergoing extensive study, clinical research has revealed its function in physiological protection and regeneration. Proteins produced by the thymus gland play key roles in rehabilitation and recuperation from all types of musculoskeletal injury.

Thymus proteins are produced naturally by the thymus gland early in life, with most production ceasing before the onset of puberty. Also referred to as Tβ4, they exhibit a myriad of cellular functions that assist the repair and recovery of wounded tissue. These include the enhancement of new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis), cell migration, stem cell differentiation, and gene expression. When the body suffers a physical injury (for example, a torn quadriceps), these proteins are found in greater concentrations near the wounded area, where they facilitate healing through the aforementioned mechanisms. Clinical studies have shown them to consistently facilitate the healing and recovery of damaged bodily tissue.

For instance, a 1999 study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that the thymus gland accelerates wound healing through the process of angiogenesis. Researchers observed that treated subjects’ wounds contracted by a minimum of 11% more than control subjects’ wounds by the one week mark. Though the study was conducted on rats, the researchers concluded that the thymus gland was a wound healing factor with multiple activities.

Further, a 2014 study in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research showed that the thymus gland was able to enhance bone fracture healing in mice test subjects. The study found that treated mice had a 41% increase in peak force to failure and had up to 26% more new mineralized tissue than the control group. Importantly, researchers noted that the findings of their study indicated that thymus proteins played a key role in the healing of bone fractures.

Moreover, additional studies have demonstrated that thymus proteins have potent anti-inflammatory effects as well. A 1999 study published in Nature Medicine sought to explore the action mechanisms of Tβ4 as anti-inflammatory agents. After the study’s conclusion, researchers noted that the thymus may have far-reaching effects on the body’s inflammatory processes.

Certainly, research on the thymus gland’s healing mechanisms may have a beneficial impact on our knowledge of the body’s regenerative processes. Again, though still in the early phases, clinical study to this point has shown the thymus gland to be a key part of the body’s natural recuperative mechanisms. Currently, several research centers are invested in further clinical study to yield greater knowledge of the thymus gland.

Is Your Health Portfolio Balanced?

We are all aware of the need to balance our financial portfolio so that in times of hardship or when disaster strikes — stock market drops, pink slips, etc — we will be affected by financial challenges as little as possible. Having a substantial bank account allows us many opportunities that people with lesser financial savvy and preparation must for ego.

Perhaps you are at a “comfortable” financial level, able to pay off bills and credit cards timely, and have enough disposable income to enjoy a good quality of life. Perhaps you enjoy an “extremely high” financial level, with unending “toys”, travel when and where you want, and other opportunities for the “good life”. Either way you are able to handle sudden financial challenges and able to take advantage of financial opportunities as they come your way. Feels good, doesn’t it?

But what about your health portfolio? When faced with challenges such as a cold, flu season, children’s ear infections, etc. do you just accept them as part of life? What about when disaster strikes in the form of a serious health challenge to you or a family member. Is your health bank account equipped to fight back?

In the United States, the average age of disability (when quality of life becomes so poor that you need help for daily activities of living) is 65 years old. Modern medicine is providing miracles in keeping us alive longer — increasing our “lifespan”. But what about the quality of our lives? If we want to continue our “health span” along with our “lifespan”, it is imperative to raise the level of our health bank account as well as balance our health portfolio.

If you think the cost of health care has gone through the roof now, wait until the majority of baby boomers reach the “age of disability”. Now is the time to take a serious look at your own health bank account and ask “Do I have all the energy I need each day?”, “What is my ‘cushion’ in case of serious illness?” and “Does my health portfolio need balancing?”

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.

Talking To Your Doctor Tips

When you are sick, taking an active role in your health care will get you the best services. You can start by improving your personal relationship with your doctor. Furthermore, you should let your doctor know about your current and past health care. Especially, if you are allergic to some medications, your doctor should know about it. If you have any medicines you are currently taking, you should bring them with you. Don’t forget to bring vitamins, x-rays, medical records, test results with you to the appointment.

Sometimes your doctor may ask embarrassing questions. It is important that you tell your doctor the truth, even if you are embarrassed. Lying to your doctor can lead to serious potential health risks.

If you don’t understand something, you should ask. Some people are afraid to speak up. You doctor will assume that you understand everything, if you do not ask questions. You should write down the questions in a piece of paper, if you have questions before the appointment. If you need more time to talk to your doctor, you need to let them know. If your doctor is busy, a nurse or a physician assistant may be able to help you. If everyone is busy, you should schedule another appointment to answer your questions.

If you can not remember all instructions from your doctor, you should write down your instructions. Some people use a tape recorder. Your doctor may even have brochures or other education materials for you. Ask you doctor for his/her contact’s information.

The Oregon Plan: Health Care Rationing in a Medicaid Population

The Oregon Medicaid program in the 1980’s instituted a type of rationing of health care that determined a finite list of services that were provided to an expanded number of recipients. This was novel in that it openly and overtly admitted that the resources available to pay for services in their state’s Medicaid program were limited, and that they were going to spend those dollars on the services that were determined to be the most cost-effective.

By doing this they attempted to provide a level of health care services to all residents who were below 100% of the federal poverty level, while reducing services for which the individuals currently receiving health care insurance through the state’s Medicaid program. The reduction was accomplished by not paying for services that fell below a cutoff for cost effectiveness of the service.

Essentially all health care services were analyzed and a measurement of the benefit and cost of the services was given a grade. All of the services were put into a list from the most value for cost being #1 on down to the least value for the cost. Then an estimate of the number of persons who would require the services was used to calculate the cost of each service. The number of dollars available for Medicaid was used to determine which of the services would be covered.

The services that were not covered were at times controversial, and at times heartbreaking. Certain transplants and therapy for some cancers brought great anguish to patients in need of these services. Initially the decisions about which services to cover were made based strictly on the best evidence available. As these various emotional issues came up legislation mandating coverage of various conditions eroded the integrity of the list of covered services.

Professional Health Management

A career in health care management requires advanced education. A person needs at least a bachelor’s degree for an entry-level position. Smaller companies and organizations will probably accept a bachelor’s degree. However, larger organizations usually prefer a person with more education. A Master’s degree is the best choice for the most opportunity, though. The more education a person has the more opportunity. In addition, many positions require on-going education in order to stay current in the medical field.

Health care management professionals can find work throughout the health field. They can work everywhere from hospitals to nursing centers to health insurance companies. This is a large field with plenty of opportunity. The healthcare field is always changing and growing, so a person choosing a career in health care management is sure to find a great job.

Health care management professionals have an array of job duties. They handle everything from patient needs to finances to operations. They play a crucial role in how patients benefit from the health care system. They also help to educate the public about the health care system and current health care concerns. Health care management professionals ensure that the health care system for which they work runs smoothly and offers the best care possible.

Health care management is a growing career within the medical field. There are many options for a person with a degree in health care management. Health care management professionals play an important role in keeping the health care system moving along.

Understanding Molecular Medicine and Its Major Advantages

Molecular medicine is a broad concept and it incorporates the study of molecular structures, identifying genetic errors for the cause of a disease, use medical nanotechnology to correct them. The fundamental concept of molecular medicine is the distribution of medicine to the body cells and it is similar to the assimilation of oxygen by a healthy human being. The discipline (molecular medicine) is new. It combines medical studies of modern times with biochemistry. It offers a bridge between today’s medical science and biochemistry. The course of molecular biology includes disciplines like biochemistry, immunology, and biotechnology. Nanotechnology in medicine has many advantages like it leads to diminished costs of treatment, cost-effective and yet high quality drugs. Nanotechnology in medicines help in effective diagnosis and treatment of diseases, it will lead to modern treatment methods, treating complicated medical problems can become simplified.

Benefits of molecular medicine

Molecular medicines and nanotechnology in medicine have their own advantages. These include the following:

  • Molecular medicines can lead to the invention of elegant and cheap surgical/diagnostic tools.
  • Medical diagnosis and research can become effective and efficient.
  • Nano medical devices can be implanted permanently to treat specific medical conditions.
  • Many medical conditions can be prevented.
  • Unknown diseases can be treated effectively.
  • This can lead to semi-automated diagnosis and treatment.
  • The nanotechnology in medicines help to reduce mortality rate, improve health.
  • Using gene therapy or similar treatment methods, organs can be replaced easily.
  • The different biological systems in the body can be improved.

When nanotechnology is applied in medicine then it is known as Nano medicine. It caters to the improvement of human health using Nano tools (tools at the molecular level) of the human body. Such technology in medicine encompasses areas like drug delivery using nano-particles.

The human body comprises of molecules, the use of molecular nanotechnology enhances progress in the human medical services. The Nano medicine helps to understand the functioning of the biological machinery inside the living cells. This understanding helps medical professionals to cater to complicated medical conditions like AIDS, cancer, ageing. All these help to bring a significant improvement of the natural human biological structure. The understanding helps to reduce mortality rate, ensure proper functioning at the molecular level of the humans.

The understanding of the molecular medicine has resulted in developing Nano particles/molecules to help transfer medicine to each cell of the body. For a sick or unhealthy entity, such developments in molecular biology lead to effective treatment of complicated diseases. Using Nano medicine, malignant cells within a human body can be tracked and then treated. This entire process includes targeting of bacteria/viruses/tumors within the body by Nano particles, treating infections, diseases.

Molecular medicine advantages

Other advantages of using Nano medicines are given as follows:-

With Nano medicines, treatment is gentle and advanced. Most of such treatments are non-invasive. Powerful drugs may have side effects which cannot be ignored. By using molecular medicines, one can reduce the effects of the drugs. Since the use of Nano medicines does not involve surgery therefore it is less painful. Another important advantage of using Nano medicine is that it involves small yet highly sensitive diagnostic tools which accounts for better treatment of diseases. Treatments using Nano technology in medicines are cost effective. It is effective to treat complicated medical conditions like cancer.

Nano medicine disadvantages:

Nano-particles used as part of nanotechnology in medicines uses biochemical pathways, affect the different biological processes of the human body. Under such circumstances, a lack of knowledge about the effects of the nano-particles on the human body, it processes can be a disadvantage. The researchers who deal with design of the nano-particles remain concerned about their toxicity and characterization on their exposure to the biological pathways. If the nano-particles are toxic then they can pose severe threat to the humans and the environment. The researchers remain concerned as the people part of the society use the molecular medicine. In certain instances, researchers remain in doubt of the possible outcome of the use of certain Nano medicines.

Nanotechnology in medicines have revolutionized medical treatment. The doctors now see a ray of hope to treat medical conditions and diseases which were not treatable earlier. Nano medicines have their own advantages. However, researches are on to make the most of nanotechnology in the days to come.

Aging Does Not Have to Mean Decreased Quality of Life Thanks to Holistic Medicine

One unavoidable facet of the human condition is the progression of time and the correlating health changes that go along with the passage of time. Those who are aging typically face conditions that weaken the body and reduce the quality of life as the years add up. There are various holistic approaches that can help these individuals tone their bodies and improve their quality of life again. These approaches avoid the prescribed medications of functional medicine and focus on other treatments that utilize natural compounds and therapy focused on movement and invigoration.

Healthy Eating Habits

Fruits and vegetables are important to help the body stay fit and operate as it should. Eating organic is a big boost to the body’s efforts to maintain strong muscles and healthy skin. Making sure to include the right amount of Vitamins C, D, E and K as well as Vitamin A will keep the body functioning as it should and help individuals enjoy their remaining years.

Supplements

Holistic medicine believes that providing the body with the natural compounds it needs, the body’s capabilities return to what they were in the individual’s younger years. It is important to take supplements rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants in order to help the body complete processes as it should.

Skin Care Taken Seriously

The first step is to minimize sun exposure and also cut down on the amount of chemicals the skin is exposed to on a regular basis. Next, it is important to use topical vitamin C and moisturizers to help the skin stay supple and healthy.

The aged look of skin can be addressed and reduced, provided you utilize the right products and don’t -buy into the promises from make-up or cleansers that are sold for profit and not for the true benefit of the consumers.

Exercise and Sleep Can Mean the Difference

It is important to get enough sleep and make sure to take proper care of teeth and gums. This allows the body to handle illness and any pain or discomfort as it should, rather than having the focus diverted to these issues or the energy available reduced due to lack of sleep.

For those who want to stay healthy, it is important to fit in some exercise, even if it is a regularly scheduled walk. The body needs the exercise to help burn fats and process certain compounds to remove them from the system.

Functional medicine revolves around a specified pain or condition, the diagnosis of said illness and prescriptions meant to resolve or at minimum keep the issue at bay. For those who want to feel healthy and avoid taking too many prescriptions, it is wise to turn to the holistic option to evaluate the potential answers for the condition the sufferer deals with on a daily basis. The prognosis may be better, and the sufferer may get more immediate resolution to the problem. A happy ending using natural solutions can be within reach quickly. Functional medicine has its place, but holistic medicine is an undervalued resource for those with chronic conditions.

Natural Remedies Best for Head Lice Treatment

Natural Remedies Best for Head Lice Treatment

After treating an outbreak among elementary school-age children, public health doctors in Wales discovered that 80% of head lice were resistant to the insecticidal shampoos commonly used to eliminate them.

Despite the wide availability of treatments, head lice infestations are on the rise. Why? After years of using the same products to eradicate lice, they are becoming immune to our treatments. Insects either evolve methods of neutralizing the insecticide before it destroys them or simply become less sensitive to the toxins in the insecticide.

At the National Public Health Service for Wales Communicable Disease Surveillance Center, Dr. Daniel Thomas discovered that four out of five lice were resistant to pyrethroids (the chemicals commonly used in head lice treatments) due to the development of a specific gene.

This and other studies indicate that natural remedies to the problem might be the best solution. Specially designed combs trap and kill lice and nits, and mixtures composed primarily of coconut or olive oil have proven extremely effective in head lice treatment. Not surprisingly, natural treatments are also much safer for the patient. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continually maintains that no pesticide can legally be sold as a “safe” product, and as such, chemical shampoos for head lice treatment cannot be assumed completely nontoxic.

The active ingredients in head lice treatment shampoos are pediculicides: nerve poisons which are neurotoxic to children as well as lice. Lindane is the most dangerous of the pediculicides, and it can be absorbed through your skin. Some of the tamer side effects include headaches and vertigo, but lindane also has the potential to cause nerve damage, convulsions, disrupt hormonal function, and damage the liver, kidneys, and immune system.

Guaranteed safety and guaranteed louse immunity make an all-natural treatment like olive, coconut, or neem oil the preferred choice for many who suffer and are seeking head lice treatment. In addition to being less expensive and more readily available, you can rest assured these natural treatments will always work and that those who suffer won’t run the risk of developing any dangerous side-effects.

The Weakness of Contemporary Cultural Medicine

The term Cultural Medicine is used to refer to changes to a medical system provided specifically to reach out to and serve a diverse culture. The title is applied differently than Integrative Medicine. Integrative Medicine acknowledges that there are different preventive and reactive ways to address issues of preventive health, health maintenance, disease, injury and medical care (IntgMed), many of them cross-cultural. Cultural Medicine is applied to all that is not specifically IntgMed. Rather, it is that which supports underlying layers of infrastructure required to deliver ever-expanding, culture-specific positions, products and services, rather than focused, inclusive services.

An example of inclusive delivery is recognition that the national language is English. A focused, nationally oriented, fully integrative system of medicine would acknowledge the beneficial elements of all IntgMed, but it would be delivered in English (except non-translatable elements). This approach encourages all citizens to learn and excel in English and markedly limits the cost of IntgMed products/services components delivery. If for example, government-paid and/or delivered services focus on delivering a more culture-neutral, English-based IntgMed service only, costs would be markedly reduced and all citizen-consumers would be encouraged to become more English-language proficient. As an aside, pharmaceutical products, medical technologies, acupuncture needles, physical therapeutic manipulations and exercises, and other key elements of IntgMed do not recognize the human body as gender, ethnicity or culture-specific – they simply perform functions. Such subdivisions are behaviors of service providers.

One of the primary sets of questions ignored by state and U.S. governmental agencies are:

  1. Who is most qualified to determine if a proposal or intervention should be that in which we should invest given all other needs, ideas, and proposals?
  2. Who should be responsible for payment for this proposal/intervention if we proceed with it?
  3. Define success. What does it look like?
  4. When (initial and follow-up) and how shall we measure the effectiveness of the subsequent program, service, or intervention?
  5. Is it not appropriate for payers (e.g., public taxpayers) to receive easily accessible, unbiased reporting of interim services delivery progress and performance measurements?”, and
  6. What will we do if measured results are not as expected and desired (e.g., inadequate Return on Investment)?

If you took your car in for service, paid for the services, and only fifty percent of the claimed fixes were effective, would you be satisfied? No, you would not be satisfied. If the same automotive repair company employed you, yet still provided you and your peers with the above-described poor service, would you then be satisfied and recommend to your friends that they should be satisfied in similar circumstances? You should respond, “No.” You should not be favorably biased toward the repair company simply because it employs you. However, government initiatives usually provide many millions, if not billions of dollars to the recipients of their investments, including the creation of well-paying jobs. And, unlike as would be the case in private industry, recipients of these public windfall monies and opportunities are loath to give up your tax money, and are often willing to publicly denigrate you for demanding that they be held accountable (e.g., fix the entire car as promised versus aren’t you satisfied with partial function?)

There are numerous governmental pseudo-medical/medical programs that are abysmal failures, that continue to expand. In spite of their prolonged failures at missions to curtail drug abuse, misuse, pharmaceutical products-related deaths, decrease STD/STI incidence, minimize gender-critical maladies, and social disruptions due to related issues, the programs and funding persist. With grand budgets and swollen senses of importance and entitlement, no one receives good answers to above listed six questions from these program representatives. Such are the effects and weaknesses of contemporary Cultural Medicine. Everyone in the culture, position-empowered or not, rich and poor, citizens or not, payers or not, aware of and sensitive to current budget constraints or not, believes that they should receive timely, broad-based, sometimes very expensive, individualized care and financing of their programs. And, numerous cultural subgroups (geographic, ethnic, gender-specific, age-specific, financial, religious, secular, other) with sufficient financing and/or sophisticated representation, lobby for special consideration. To suggest that they do not have the right to do so would be politically incorrect and insensitive, right?

Contact your local, regional, state and national government representatives to determine how they are addressing the weakness of contemporary Cultural Medicine in your neighborhood.