Interferon is a protein released by the cells of the body when they are under attack from a virus or other invader. When interferon is released, it sets off a series of reactions in nearby cells to help them defend against the infection. Interferon is, therefore, a critical part of the immune system. There are three basic forms of interferon. These are alpha and beta, also known as type 1, while gamma is known as type 2. Each form of interferon has different effects on the body. As well as occurring naturally in the body, interferon is also used as a treatment for various health disorders, including multiple sclerosis, some types of cancer, and hepatitis C. The side effects of interferon can be grouped into three categories, according to Cancer Research UK. These are as follows: Common side effects Common side effects are those that affect more than 10 percent of users. They include: dizziness pain, redness, or swelling at the point of injection loss or thinning of hair reduced … [Read more...] about What side effects can result from interferon?
Liver Disease / Hepatitis
Palmar erythema is a rare condition that makes the palms of the hands turn red. There are a few different causes for the condition, such as pregnancy and liver cirrhosis. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of palmar erythema should contact their doctor for diagnosis and treatment of any underlying conditions. Palmar erythema, often called liver palms, is reddening in both of the palms. Reddening typically occurs on the lower part of the palm (the heel), but sometimes it may extend all the way up through the fingers. Redness may also show up on the soles of the feet, but this is called plantar erythema. The redness may resemble a rash, and the skin will turn pale when pressed. The degree of redness may vary depending on several factors, such as a person's body temperature, physical activity, and even their emotional state. Palmar erythema is not a harmful condition. It can be a primary condition with no underlying cause, but it is usually caused by another medical condition. These … [Read more...] about What is palmar erythema?
Biliary colic can happen when a gallstone blocks a bile duct, causing intense stomach pain. It is also known as a gallstone attack or gallbladder attack. Many people have gallstones without realizing it, as they rarely cause symptoms. But if people experience biliary colic, they may need surgery to remove the stones. Diet may play a part in creating gallstones, and eating a more healthful diet could prevent them forming. Treatment for biliary colic is usually surgery to remove the gallbladder, which will prevent the problem from happening again. Biliary colic is intense stomach pain caused by gallstones. The pain can come and go in "attacks." Some 10 to 15 percent of adults in developed countries are affected by gallstones. Each year, only 1 to 4 percent of those people will have biliary colic. The gallbladder is an organ in the body where bile is stored. Bile is a substance produced by the liver that helps with digestion in the small intestine. This part of the intestine is connected … [Read more...] about Biliary colic: Causes and treatment
Liver cleanses promise to rid the body of toxins and impurities, but they are controversial because there is little science to support their use. Products that claim to detox the liver might even be dangerous, and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not regulate them. In this article, we look at how liver cleanses claim to work and what evidence exists to support them. The liver is the body's natural detoxifier, as it cleanses the body of toxins and produces bile to support healthy digestion. A healthy liver can detoxify almost everything that a person encounters. The liver is on the right side of the body, just under the rib cage, When the liver is diseased, the body cannot filter out toxic substances as efficiently. This can cause a wide range of symptoms, including: itching yellow jaundiced skin swelling blood vessel problems gallstones fatigue nausea diarrhea A variety of natural health practitioners, supplement companies, and medical websites argue that the … [Read more...] about Do liver cleanses work? Evidence and risks
Hypervolemia is a condition in which there is too much fluid in the blood. It is also known as fluid overload. Although the body does need plenty of fluid to remain healthy, too much can cause a dangerous imbalance. Hypervolemia is usually a result of an underlying health problem. However, mild hypervolemia can occur after eating foods with too much sodium or during hormonal changes. Mild hypervolemia usually resolves on its own if there are no other health problems. Hypervolemia is often treatable if caught early, but the underlying cause of hypervolemia should be addressed to keep it from recurring. Hypervolemia is usually caused by too much sodium (salt) in the body. When there is too much salt present, the body retains water to balance it. Usually, hypervolemia occurs because the body has a problem regulating sodium and water, but other causes include certain medications or medical procedures. Congestive heart failure Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart … [Read more...] about Hypervolemia: What you need to know about fluid overload
The nopal cactus is more commonly known as the prickly pear cactus. It is native to Mexico and famous for its health benefits due to its high antioxidant, vitamin, mineral, and fiber content. In this article, learn more about the uses and benefits of the nopal cactus and its fruit. Nopales or nopalitos are the pads of the nopal or prickly pear cactus. They are eaten as a vegetable and commonly found in restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers' markets across the American Southwest and Mexico. They can be sautéed and used in many dishes, including tacos, scrambled eggs, or as a side dish with tomatoes and onions. Nopales can also be eaten raw. They resemble a green pepper when diced and are turned into juice, jams, or tea. Prickly pear fruit or the small, rounded, and often colorful part of the plant can also be consumed. Juice extracted from the fruit is a popular drink of choice for health-conscious consumers in Mexico. One cup of raw nopales contains approximately: 14 … [Read more...] about What are the benefits of nopal?
Hepatitis C is a type of liver disease that can spread from person to person. It is caused by the hepatitis C virus, otherwise known as HCV or hep C. There is no current vaccine to protect against hepatitis C, although preventive measures can be taken to reduce a person's risk of contracting the disease. Unprotected vaginal and anal sex can lead to contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but people may wonder if the same applies to oral sex. Hepatitis C is a viral disease and is contagious — is it possible to contract hepatitis C from oral sex? Hepatitis C spreads through coming into contact with another person's blood. If infected blood from one person enters another person's bloodstream, that person may become infected. Overall, the risk of transmitting hepatitis C during any type of sexual activity is low. While highly unlikely, it could happen during oral sex if a person with hepatitis C has cracked and bleeding lips and the partner has an open wound. According to … [Read more...] about Can hepatitis C be transmitted through oral sex?
Biotin or vitamin B-7 is a water-soluble vitamin. It is an essential nutrient that helps convert food into fuel for the body and helps metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Biotin also plays a role in gene regulation and cell signaling and is associated with healthy hair, nails, and skin. It is important for the developing fetus in pregnant women and for liver health. As biotin is water-soluble, it is not stored in the body. However, biotin can be manufactured by bacteria in the gut, taken as a dietary supplement, or obtained by eating certain foods. The Office of Dietary Supplements state that an adequate intake (AI) of biotin for adults is 30 micrograms (mcg) daily, with breastfeeding women requiring 35 mcg. How much biotin food retains is affected by the processing techniques. For example, canning can reduce biotin levels. Also, some research suggests that it is difficult to estimate the biotin content of foods due to inaccuracies and gaps in the data of food composition … [Read more...] about What you should know about biotin-rich foods
The body stores fat in many areas of the body for use as energy and insulation. The liver is partially made up of fat, but if the fat content in the liver is too high, it may be a sign of fatty liver disease. There are two types of fatty liver disease: alcoholic liver disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It is also possible to get fatty liver disease due to pregnancy. Fatty liver disease damages the liver, preventing it from removing toxins and producing bile for the digestive system. When the liver is unable to do these tasks effectively, it puts a person at risk of developing other problems throughout their body. The primary treatment for fatty liver disease concerns making changes in diet and exercise, although some people may need to see a doctor for further treatment. A diet for fatty liver disease includes a wide variety of foods. Reducing calories and eating high-fiber, natural foods are a good starting point. Eating foods containing complex carbohydrates, fiber, and … [Read more...] about What to eat for a fatty liver
Proteins are vital to every part of the human body. They are found in bones, muscles, skin, and nearly every vital organ or tissue. Protein must be consumed through food, as it is needed by the body for proper functioning and survival. The body cannot store protein long-term for future use, as it does fat, so it requires an adequate protein intake each day. Hypoproteinemia is uncommon in developed countries where people eat a normal, well-balanced diet. But, it can affect people who have certain health conditions or have diets lacking in protein. Health conditions that affect the body's digestion or absorption of proteins from food, or the processes that allow the body to use protein, are often to blame. In other cases, undereating or very restrictive diets can be the cause. Malnutrition and undereating Hypoproteinemia can be related directly to a person's diet. This is especially so if calorie consumption is too low or certain food groups are eliminated. Diet-related hypoproteinemia … [Read more...] about What you need to know about hypoproteinemia