QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“There’s a reason your gallbladder sits so close to your liver, your body’s largest internal organ. Think of your liver as a factory. And your gallbladder as a warehouse next door. Your liver makes a powerful digestive juice called bile.  Bile helps break down the food you eat.  The gallbladder plays a key role in digesting food and getting energy from it.  Bile’s most important role is breaking down fats.  Your bile travels down your cystic duct into your small intestine. Then another branch of ductwork, called the pancreatic duct, joins the channel. The pancreatic duct carries enzymes from your pancreas. Think of this as 2 rivers coming together. The digestive juices from the liver and the pancreas play a clear role in digestion. So do other enzymes in the small intestine. ”

University Hospitals/The Science of Health

 

Learn how the Stomach, Gallbladder, Small Intestines, and Liver all deal with Digestion!

Gallbladder: A pear-shaped reservoir located just under the liver that receives and stores bile made in the liver. The gallbladder sends this stored bile into the small intestine to aid in the digestion of food.

During digestion of a meal, smooth muscles in the walls of the gallbladder contract to push bile into the bile ducts that lead to the duodenum. Once in the duodenum, bile helps with the digestion of fats.

The stomach, gallbladder, and pancreas and liver are four of the most important digestive organs in the human body. These organs work together to produce and store secretions that digest our food into its most basic building blocks. Once digested, these small molecules pass into our intestines to be absorbed and to feed our body’s tissues. These are major organs that actually produce hormones for food digestion or store the hormones for digestion that help to coordinate their functions and even lead to the feeling of fullness after consuming a meal since it allows the food to get in smaller pieces to moves into the large intestines where the stool forms into a more solid form to evacuate via our rectum to the anus.

The common bile duct is formed by the union of the common hepatic and the cystic ducts. It leads to the duodenum, where a sphincter muscle guards its exit. This sphincter normally remains contracted until the bile is needed, so that bile collects in the common bile duct and backs up to the cystic duct. When this happens, the bile flows into the gallbladder and is stored there.

Yes the gallbladder stores bile produced by the liver so that there is a sufficient supply of bile on hand to digest fats at any given time.  Remember this, that the pancreas stores the pancreatic juice produced by its own exocrine glands so that it is prepared to digest foods at all times but passes the bile to the gallbladder which reaches the small intestines via the common bile duct (between the gallbladder and the duodenum). The small intestine is made up of the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. In living humans, the small intestine alone measures about 6 to 7 meters long. After death, this length can increase by up to half. It has a surface area of over 200 meters.

Small Bowel Obstruction: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

General Information About Bile Duct Cancer

So there is a relation between digestion in 5 major areas the stomach to the intestines, the gallbladder and the pancrease.  How does cancer relate to these  areas.  Well if your diagnosed with intestinal blockage that shows cancer cells you need to know where its located.  If cancer cells where questionable by the doctor in certain tests done in the stomach or small intestines.  You need to find out where the location is and if your told the small intestines find out if the MD questions the cancer cells going to the common bile duct to the gall bladder that could further end up in the pancreas also.  If pancreatic cancer is determined this now means in the 3 parts of the pancreas cancer its high probability being in the head of the pancreas.  The pancreas has a tail, body and head the head is located to easy access of spreading the cancer in ducts and to the gallbladder which can further have its cancer cells go into the small intestines from the bile duct that is connected to release stored bile when needed for digestion in the small intestines.

 

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“Vocal cord dysfunction is the abnormal closing of the vocal cords when you breathe in or out. It’s also called laryngeal dysfunction, paradoxical vocal cord movement disorder or paradoxical vocal fold motion. Like asthma, vocal cord dysfunction can be triggered by breathing in lung irritants, having an upper respiratory infection or exercising. However, unlike asthma, vocal cord dysfunction isn’t an immune system reaction and doesn’t involve the lower airways.”

MAYO CLINIC

Vocal Cord Dysfunction or Pardoxical Vocal Fold Motion (PVFM)

Symptoms of vocal damage include. Breathiness, huskiness, hoarseness, loss of vocal power, monotone, sore or tense throat, losing the voice, pitch breaks and easy vocal fatigue.

Vocal cord dysfunction or paradoxical vocal fold motion (PVFM) is an episodic condition that results when vocal cord movement is dysfunctional. We open our vocal cords when we breathe, and we close them when we speak, sing, swallow or lift heavy items. Vocal cord dysfunction describes what is occurring when our vocal cords close when we intended them to open to breathe. This incorrect vocal cord motion causes an abnormal narrowing of the voice box. The voice box narrowing leaves only a small opening for air to flow through the vocal cords, which can result in a sensation of difficulty moving air into or out of the lungs.

People who suffer PVFM episodes often have a very sensitive or reactive airway. Common triggers include:

  • Acid reflux
  • Exercise
  • Postnasal drip or allergy to airborne particles
  • Strong emotion
  • Voice overuse
  • Cough or fumes

Vocal cord dysfunction is sometimes misdiagnosed as asthma because the symptoms and triggers for PVFM and asthma can be similar. The difference between PVFM and asthma is that if you have asthma, medicines that open your breathing tubes (bronchodilators such as albuterol) will improve your breathing. If you have PVFM alone, the bronchodilator will likely not work.

To make it even more confusing, you may have both PVFM and asthma co-occurring.

What are the symptoms of vocal cord dysfunction?

  • Throat or chest tightness
  • Noisy inhalation
  • Difficulty getting air “in”
  • Feeling of throat closing
  • Feeling of being “strangled”
  • Intermittent shortness of breath
  • Chronic cough
  • Voice change/Inability to speak

Vocal Cord Dysfunction Treatment

Treatment for vocal cord dysfunction is often nonmedicinal and involves respiratory retraining therapy with a qualified speech-language pathologist. Therapy generally requires two to six 60-minute sessions. These sessions aim to:

  • Identify and eliminate sources of chronic throat irritation.
  • Identify and control triggers for PVFM episodes.
  • Provide an exercise program to give patients better control over breathing, reduce the discomfort and fear that comes with being short of breath, and lessen PVFM episode frequency and duration.
  • Include feedback to help the individual learn to relax the throat and keep the vocal cords apart when breathing.

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“Functional diseases are those in which the GI tract looks normal when examined, but doesn’t move properly. They are the most common problems affecting the GI tract (including the colon and rectum).”.

Cleveland Clinic

Part II Gastrointestinal Diseases

Other perianal infections

Sometimes the skin glands near your anus become infected and need to be drained, like in this structural disease. Just behind the anus, abscesses can form that contain a small tuft of hair at the back of the pelvis (called a pilonidal cyst).

Sexually transmitted diseases that can affect the anus include anal warts, herpes, AIDS, chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Diverticular disease

The structural disease diverticulosis is the presence of small outpouchings (diverticula) in the muscular wall of your large intestine that form in weakened areas of the bowel. They usually occur in the sigmoid colon, the high-pressure area of the lower large intestine.

Diverticular disease is very common and occurs in 10% of people over age 40 and in 50% of people over age 60 in Western cultures. It is often caused by too little roughage (fiber) in the diet. Diverticulosis can sometimes develop/progress into diverticulitis

Complications of diverticular disease happen in about 10% of people with outpouchings. They include infection or inflammation (diverticulitis), bleeding and obstruction. Treatment of diverticulitis includes treating the constipation and sometimes antibiotics if really severe. Surgery is needed as last resort in those who have significant complications to remove the involved diseased segment of the colon.

Colon polyps and cancer

Each year, 130,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, the second most common form of cancer in the United States. Fortunately, with advances in early detection and treatment, colorectal cancer is one of the most curable forms of the disease. By using a variety of screening tests, it is possible to prevent, detect and treat the disease long before symptoms appear.

The importance of screening

Almost all colorectal cancers begin as polyps, benign (non-cancerous) growths in the tissues lining your colon and rectum. Cancer develops when these polyps grow and abnormal cells develop and start to invade surrounding tissue. Removal of polyps can prevent the development of colorectal cancer. Almost all precancerous polyps can be removed painlessly using a flexible lighted tube called a colonoscope. If not caught in the early stages, colorectal cancer can spread throughout the body. More advanced cancer requires more complicated surgical techniques.

Most early forms of colorectal cancer do not cause symptoms, which makes screening especially important. When symptoms do occur, the cancer might already be quite advanced. Symptoms include blood on or mixed in with the stool, a change in normal bowel habits, narrowing of the stool, abdominal pain, weight loss, or constant tiredness.

Most cases of colorectal cancer are detected in one of four ways:

  • By screening people at average risk for colorectal cancer beginning at age 45.
  • By screening people at higher risk for colorectal cancer (for example, those with a family history or a personal history of colon polyps or cancer).
  • By investigating the bowel in patients with symptoms.
  • A chance finding at a routine check-up.

Early detection is the best chance for a cure.

Colitis

There are several types of colitis, which are conditions that cause an inflammation of the bowel. These include:

  • Infectious colitis.
  • Ulcerative colitis (cause unknown).
  • Crohn’s disease (cause unknown).
  • Ischemic colitis (caused by not enough blood going to the colon).
  • Radiation colitis (after radiotherapy).

Colitis causes diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal cramps and urgency (frequent and immediate need to empty the bowels). Treatment depends on the diagnosis, which is made by colonoscopy and biopsy.

Prevention:

Can gastrointestinal diseases be prevented?

Many diseases of the colon and rectum can be prevented or minimized by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, practicing good bowel habits and getting screened for cancer.

A colonoscopy is recommended for average-risk patients at age 45. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, a colonoscopy may be recommended at a younger age. Typically, a colonoscopy is recommended 10 years younger than the affected family member. (For example, if your brother was diagnosed with colorectal cancer or polyps at age 45, you should begin screening at age 35.)

If you have symptoms of colorectal cancer you should consult your healthcare provider right away. Common symptoms include:

  • A change in normal bowel habits.
  • Blood on or in the stool that is either bright or dark.
  • Unusual abdominal or gas pains.
  • Very narrow stool.
  • A feeling that the bowel has not emptied completely after passing stool.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Fatigue.
  • Anemia (low blood count).

Other types of gastrointestinal diseases

There are many other gastrointestinal diseases. Some are discussed, but others are not covered here. Other functional and structural diseases include peptic ulcer disease, gastritis, gastroenteritis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, gallstones, fecal incontinence, lactose intolerance, Hirschsprung disease, abdominal adhesions, Barrett’s esophagus, appendicitis, indigestion (dyspepsia), intestinal pseudo-obstruction, pancreatitis, short bowel syndrome, Whipple’s disease, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, malabsorption syndromes and hepatitis.

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

Digestive Diseases. The digestive system made up of the gastrointestinal tract (GI), liver, pancreas, and gallbladder helps the body digest food. Digestion is important for breaking down food into nutrients, which your body uses for energy, growth, and cell repair. Some digestive diseases and conditions are acute, lasting only a short time, while others are chronic, or long-lasting.”

NIH National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Part I Gastrointestinal Diseases

GERD, diarrhea and colorectal cancer are examples of gastrointestinal diseases. When examined, some diseases show nothing wrong with the GI tract, but there are still symptoms. Other diseases have symptoms, and there are also visible irregularities in the GI tract. Most gastrointestinal diseases can be prevented and/or treated.

What are gastrointestinal diseases?

Gastrointestinal diseases affect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the mouth to the anus. There are two types: functional and structural. Some examples include nausea/vomiting, food poisoning, lactose intolerance and diarrhea.

What are functional gastrointestinal diseases?

Functional diseases are those in which the GI tract looks normal when examined, but doesn’t move properly. They are the most common problems affecting the GI tract (including the colon and rectum). Constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea, food poisoning, gas, bloating, GERD and diarrhea are common examples.

Many factors may upset your GI tract and its motility (ability to keep moving), including:

  • Eating a diet low in fiber.
  • Not getting enough exercise.
  • Traveling or other changes in routine.
  • Eating large amounts of dairy products.
  • Stress.
  • Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement, possibly because of hemorrhoids.
  • Overusing anti-diarrheal medications that, over time, weaken the bowel muscle movements called motility.
  • Taking antacid medicines containing calcium or aluminum.
  • Taking certain medicines (especially antidepressants, iron pills and strong pain medicines such as narcotics).
  • Pregnancy.

What are structural gastrointestinal diseases?

Structural gastrointestinal diseases are those where your bowel looks abnormal upon examination and also doesn’t work properly. Sometimes, the structural abnormality needs to be removed surgically. Common examples of structural GI diseases include strictures, stenosis, hemorrhoids, diverticular disease, colon polyps, colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

Constipation

Constipation, which is a functional problem, makes it hard for you to have a bowel movement (or pass stools), the stools are infrequent (less than three times a week), or incomplete. Constipation is usually caused by inadequate “roughage” or fiber in your diet, or a disruption of your regular routine or diet.

Constipation causes you to strain during a bowel movement. It may cause small, hard stools and sometimes anal problems such as fissures and hemorrhoids. Constipation is rarely the sign that you have a more serious medical condition.

You can treat your constipation by:

  • Increasing the amount of fiber and water to your diet.
  • Exercising regularly and increasing the intensity of your exercises as tolerated.
  • Moving your bowels when you have the urge (resisting the urge causes constipation).

If these treatment methods don’t work, laxatives can be added. Note that you should make sure you are up to date with your colon cancer screening. Always follow the instructions on the laxative medicine, as well as the advice of your healthcare provider.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (also called spastic colon, irritable colon, IBS, or nervous stomach) is a functional condition where your colon muscle contracts more or less often than “normal.” Certain foods, medicines and emotional stress are some factors that can trigger IBS.

Symptoms of IBS include:

  • Abdominal pain and cramps.
  • Excess gas.
  • Bloating.
  • Change in bowel habits such as harder, looser, or more urgent stools than normal.
  • Alternating constipation and diarrhea.

Treatment includes:

  • Avoiding excessive caffeine.
  • Increasing fiber in your diet.
  • Monitoring which foods trigger your IBS (and avoiding these foods).
  • Minimizing stress or learning different ways to cope with stress.
  • Taking medicines as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
  • Avoiding dehydration, and hydrating well throughout the day.
  • Getting high quality rest/sleep.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are dilated veins in the anal canal, structural disease. They’re swollen blood vessels that line your anal opening. They are caused by chronic excess pressure from straining during a bowel movement, persistent diarrhea, or pregnancy. There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external.

Internal hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids are blood vessels on the inside of your anal opening. When they fall down into the anus as a result of straining, they become irritated and start to bleed. Ultimately, internal hemorrhoids can fall down enough to prolapse (sink or stick) out of the anus.

Treatment includes:

  • Improving bowel habits (such as avoiding constipation, not straining during bowel movements and moving your bowels when you have the urge).
  • Your healthcare provider using ligating bands to eliminate the vessels.
  • Your healthcare provider removing them surgically. Surgery is needed only for a small number of people with very large, painful and persistent hemorrhoids.

External hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids are veins that lie just under the skin on the outside of the anus. Sometimes, after straining, the external hemorrhoidal veins burst and a blood clots form under the skin. This very painful condition is called a “pile.”

Treatment includes removing the clot and vein under local anesthesia and/or removing the hemorrhoid itself.

Anal fissures

Anal fissures are also a structural disease. They are splits or cracks in the lining of your anal opening. The most common cause of an anal fissure is the passage of very hard or watery stools. The crack in the anal lining exposes the underlying muscles that control the passage of stool through the anus and out of the body. An anal fissure is one of the most painful problems because the exposed muscles become irritated from exposure to stool or air, and leads to intense burning pain, bleeding, or spasm after bowel movements.

Initial treatment for anal fissures includes pain medicine, dietary fiber to reduce the occurrence of large, bulky stools and sitz baths (sitting in a few inches of warm water). If these treatments don’t relieve your pain, surgery might be needed to repair the sphincter muscle.

Perianal abscesses

Perianal abscesses, also a structural disease, can occur when the tiny anal glands that open on the inside of your anus become blocked, and the bacteria always present in these glands causes an infection. When pus develops, an abscess forms. Treatment includes draining the abscess, usually under local anesthesia in the healthcare provider’s office.

Anal fistula

An anal fistula – again, a structural disease – often follows drainage of an abscess and is an abnormal tube-like passageway from the anal canal to a hole in the skin near the opening of your anus. Body wastes traveling through your anal canal are diverted through this tiny channel and out through the skin, causing itching and irritation. Fistulas also cause drainage, pain and bleeding. They rarely heal by themselves and usually need surgery to drain the abscess and “close off” the fistula.

Check out Part II tomorrow!

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominately dopamine-producing (“dopaminergic”) neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra.
 
Symptoms generally develop slowly over years. The progression of symptoms is often a bit different from one person to another due to the diversity of the disease.”
 
Parkinson’s Foundation

What is Parkinson Disease (PD)?

Parkinson's Disease1  Parkinson's Disease 2

Parkinson Disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive movement disorder, meaning that symptoms continue and worsen over time. Nearly one million people in the US are living with Parkinson’s disease. The cause is unknown, and although there is presently no cure, there are treatment options such as medication and surgery to manage its symptoms.

Parkinson’s involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain, called neurons. Parkinson’s primarily affects neurons in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra. Some of these dying neurons produce dopamine, a chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. As PD progresses, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases, leaving a person unable to control movement normally.

There are three types of Parkinson’s disease and they are grouped by age of onset:

 

1-Adult-Onset Parkinson’s Disease – This is the most common type of Parkinson’s disease. The average age of onset is approximately 60 years old. The incidence of adult onset PD rises noticeably as people advance in age into their 70’s and 80’s.

 

2-Young-Onset Parkinson’s Disease – The age of onset is between 21-40 years old. Though the incidence of Young-Onset Parkinson’s Disease is very high in Japan (approximately 40% of cases diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease), it is still relatively uncommon in the U.S., with estimates ranging from 5-10% of cases diagnosed.

 

3-Juvenile Parkinson’s Disease – The age of onset is before the age of 21. The incidence of Juvenile Parkinson’s Disease is very rare.

 

Parkinson’s disease can significantly impair quality of life not only for the patients but for their families as well, and especially for the primary caregivers. It is therefore important for caregivers and family members to educate themselves and become familiar with the course of Parkinson’s disease and the progression of symptoms so that they can be actively involved in communication with health care providers and in understanding all decisions regarding treatment of the patient.

 

According to the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, there are approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. who suffer from Parkinson’s disease – approximately 1-2% of people over the age of 60 and 3-5% of the population over age 85. The incidence of PD ranges from 8.6-19 per 100,000 people. Approximately 50,000 new cases are diagnosed in the U.S. annually. That number is expected to rise as the general population in the U.S. ages. Onset of Parkinson’s disease before the age of 40 is rare. All races and ethnic groups are affected.

Knowledge is Critical when Dealing with a Life-Altering Condition such as Parkinson’s Disease and being able to make the changes to last longer and at your optimal level of functioning! First step is accept you have it!

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it’s critical to learn everything you possibly can about this condition so that you can make informed decisions about your treatment. That’s why we created the Medifocus Guidebook on Parkinson’s Disease, a comprehensive 170 page patient Guidebook that contains vital information about Parkinson’s disease that you won’t find anywhere in a single source.

The Medifocus Guidebook on Parkinson’s Disease starts out with a detailed overview of the condition and quickly imparts fundamentally important information about Parkinson’s disease, including:

The theories regarding the underlying causes of Parkinson’s disease.

 

What Are the Possible Risk factors that can be a cause of Parkinson’s Disease?

 

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation notes that even after decades of intense study, the causes of Parkinson’s disease are not really understood. However, many experts believe that the disease is caused by several genetic and environmental factors, which can vary in each person.

1-Genetic Factors

In some patients, genetic factors could be the primary cause; but in others, there could be something in the environment that led to the disease. Scientists have noted that aging is a key risk factor. There is a 2-4% risk for developing the disease for people over 60. That is compared to 1-2% risk in the general population.

2-Environmental Factors

Some scientists believe that PD can result from overexposure to environmental toxins, or injury. Research by epidemiologists has identified several factors that may be linked to PD. Some of these include living in rural areas, drinking well water, pesticides and manganese.

Some studies have indicated that long term exposure to some chemicals could cause a higher risk of PD. These include the insecticides permethrin and beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (beta-HCH), the herbicides paraquat and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and the fungicide maneb. In 2009, the US Veterans Affairs Department stated that PD could be caused by exposure to Agent Orange.

We should remember that simple exposure to a single toxin in the environment is probably not enough to cause PD. Most people who are exposed to such toxins do not develop PD.