Archive | September 2020


“Unfortunately, there are currently no treatments for prion diseases, brain-wasting diseases that are invariably fatal. The most common human prion disease is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), better known as mad cow disease.  This disease is rare in humans.  Worldwide, there is an estimated one case of CJD diagnosed per million people each year, most often in older adults. There are 250 people who are inflicted with this in the U.S.”

The Center for Food Safety ( )


“The word BSE is short but it stands for a disease with a long name, bovine spongiform encephalopathy. “Bovine” means that the disease affects cows, “spongiform” refers to the way the brain from a sick cow looks spongy under a microscope, and “encephalopathy” indicates that it is a disease of the brain. BSE is commonly called “mad cow disease.”

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (


“Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S. Nearly 21 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S. Although an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood at any given time, less than 10 percent of that eligible population actually do each year. The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O (the universal donor).”

American Red Cross (


When diabetes is not controlled, too much sugar remains in the blood. Over time, this can damage organs, including the brain. Scientists are finding more evidence that could link Type 2 diabetes with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia and the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.”

Alzheimer’s Association (


“Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with the disease—those with the late-onset type—symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Early-onset Alzheimer’s occurs between a person’s 30s and mid-60s and is very rare. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.”

National Institute on Aging    (


“There is no clear cause for ovarian cancer, but certain factors can definitely increase your risk. These factors from age (older more likely to develop the disease), genetics (presence of a specific gene mutation), family history of ovarian or breast cancer, and previous medical conditions in the reproductive system. Additionally, the use of fertility treatments, estrogen hormone replacement therapy, and lack of pregnancy.  Ovarian cancer is often called a silent killer and for that reason that awareness and education about ovarian cancer needs to be a major priority.”

National Women’s Health Network ( 


“Pros High success rate, relieving pain, improving mobility and hip function, 80% to 86% of hip replacements are still working after 20 years since the it was inserted.

Cons An artificial hip isn’t as good as a natural hip. It has some limitations.      It can occur on some occasions that after total hip replacement one leg may feel longer or shorter than the other.”

Raleigh Orthopaedic  (

Hip Surgery: The Pro’s/Con’s, complications, things to consider before Sx and how to be prepped for it!

On the whole, total hip replacement is seen as one of the most successful operations that medicine has to offer. In the right patient, it can be an effective, safe, and durable way to treat many of the problems that come with severe arthritis of the hip. Pain relief: This is the greatest benefit that the procedure has to offer and the main reason for surgery.
A hip replacement can provide a dramatic reduction in pain, with almost all patients getting complete or near complete relief from arthritic hip pain. Improved mobility and hip function: After reduction in pain, increased mobility is the next major benefit.
A hip replacement should allow you get back walking without restriction. Improved hip function should also help significantly with other common problems associated with hip arthritis, such as climbing stairs, putting on socks, getting out of chairs, etc.
Long lasting: A hip replacement is a durable way to treat the problems that come with severe hip arthritis. Current evidence shows that 80-85% of hip replacements are still working at 20 years after they were inserted.

Know the
RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS, before surgery day:

While overall it is deemed to be a safe procedure, there are associated risks that potential patients need to be made aware of.
Infection: A small number of people (around 1%) can get an infection around their hip replacement. This can be one of the most debilitating complications associated with total hip replacements, as it can require several further surgeries and prolonged courses of antibiotics to treat the infection.
Blood clots: For a period after the operation, people who have a hip replacement are at an increased risk of developing blood clots in the veins in their leg and pelvis. These can be dangerous because pieces of the clot can break off and travel to the lungs. You may be prescribed blood thinners for a period after the operation to help reduce the risk=prevention. Other measures such as compression stockings, and calf pump exercises may also be advised as a prevention of clotting in the lower extremities.
Bleeding/Blood loss: Significant blood loss can occur during the operation, and in the immediate period after. In the event that this happens, a blood transfusion may be required.
Dislocation: This occurs when the ball of the hip becomes dislodged from the socket. Dislocation occurs in less than 2% of patients. In most cases the hip can be put back into the socket while the patient is under sedation. In cases where the hip keeps dislocating, further surgery to stabilise the hip may be necessary. To reduce the risk of dislocation some patients are given instructions on certain positions to avoid. The specifics of these instructions depend on how your surgery was performed, and therefore should be discussed with your consultant.
Change in leg length: It can occur that after surgery one leg may feel longer or shorter than the other. While your consultant will make every effort to make leg lengths equal, slight differences may occur as a result of trying to maximize the stability of the hip. In cases where there is a significant difference in leg length, some people find that wearing a raised insole is helpful.
Nerve injuries  They can cause weakness and numbness, which are generally temporary, but infrequently it can be permanent.
Loosening and wear: Over time, a hip replacement can begin to wear or loosen. This is the most common long-term problem associated with total hip replacements, and when severe, can cause significant hip pain. In such cases a second hip replacement surgery may be required. The rate at which wear and loosening occurs varies, however it usually only occurs many years after surgery.  This can lead into:
Need for revision or additional hip surgery
Other complications: During the operation, injury can occur like a fracture to either the femur or the pelvis can occur. Most of these injuries can be treated during the operation but can affect rehab.
You may have other risks depending on your specific health condition.
Finally, while they are very rare, there are life threatening complications like heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure associated with getting a hip replacement and all other invasive surgeries like this. While these can happen without surgery, the stress of the surgery can put you at increased risk during the post-operative period.
The risk of these life threatening complications is very much associated with the general health of the patient PRIOR to the surgery.
**Discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider before the surgery.

Things to consider BEFORE getting hip surgery:

Thanks to the wonders of modern science and medicine, people are living longer than they used to in the past. While this is good news for most individuals, one of the flip sides of the long life coin is that individuals’ joints can’t always withstand all those extra years of use. Total hip replacements have become one of the most common surgeries for individuals over forty-five years of age. Even though these total hip replacements can offer the opportunity for many more years of pain-free active living, there are a number of things to take into consideration before undergoing a hip replacement.
The most common cause of hip joint deterioration is osteoarthritis; other possible causes include inflammatory arthritis (eg, rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis), hip disorders of infancy and childhood, osteonecrosis (avascular necrosis), and trauma.
Before anything the patient should know their medical history including what treatments they are doing presently (including medications) for diseases or illnesses they may have.  Then finding out how they maybe effected with going under this invasive surgery.  You don’t have any idea?  That’s what a good M.D. or surgeon will provide you with before your final answer to the M.D. in having hip surgery.  If its yes than know this…
Recovering from a total hip replacement is a long and grueling process involving physical therapy, bed rest, and medications. Many individuals who undergo total hip replacement are surprised at the length of the recovery period and just how difficult it is to get back up and walking again. Hip replacements involve cutting through muscle and bone in some of the most tissue-dense areas of the body, creating possible serious wounds that take a good deal of time to heal.
Quick fixes have become more and more popular in today’s fast-paced society, but just because a solution is easy to come by doesn’t make it the most practical one. Even though hip replacements can offer long-term relief for arthritis and other hip issues, they shouldn’t be viewed as the only solution to hip issues.
Sometimes, lifestyle changes can offer the same level of relief that a total hip replacement can – and without the risky surgery. Losing weight, increasing one’s level of physical activity, and even moving to warmer climates can sometimes relieve hip pain.
Anesthesia is not easy on the body. Being put under for surgery is a little like being put into a controlled state of near-death. On top of that, hospitals have become notoriously plagued by antibiotic resistant bacteria. Going under the knife for any reason involves facing a long series of risks that include life-threatening infections, paralysis, or even death. Individuals should consult with their doctor about the many risks involved before undergoing any major surgery.
The goal of hip replacement surgery is to replace the parts of the hip joint that have been damaged. It also helps relieve hip pain that can’t be controlled by other treatments.
If other medical treatments don’t control your arthritis pain, your healthcare provider may recommend a hip replacement. Some medical treatments for degenerative joint disease may include: Anti-inflammatory medicines Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, pain medicines, limiting activities that are painful, assistive devices for walking such as a cane, physical therapy.
Your healthcare provider may have other reasons to recommend a hip replacement surgery.

How to be prepped for Hip Surgery long before the day of surgery:

1-Ask any questions that you might have about the procedure.
2-Sign a consent for the procedure.
3-Obtain a complete health history by your M.D. that is including medications you are on.
4-Your healthcare provider, you may have blood tests or other diagnostic tests prior to the procedure making sure the pt is a safe candidate for surgery and for the M.D.  to know what they are up against.
5-You may need to stop taking certain medicines before the surgery. (Ex. Blood thinners like Aspirin or Coumadin or Lovenox).  Usually the day before, for most.
6-You may meet with a physical therapist before your surgery to talk about rehabilitation (usually its after).
7-If your a smoker, stop before your surgery if not quit (the best choice). Smoking can delay wound healing and slow down the recovery period (overall affects your health).
8–Lose weight if you need to.
9-Also do conditioning exercises as prescribed to strengthen muscles.
10-Arrange for someone to help around the house for a week or two after you are discharged from the hospital or as long as the individual patient needs to be SAFE alone or for hours.
11-Highly likely, based on your health condition, your healthcare provider may order other specific tests or exams.


“Pain is not just a message from injured tissues to be accepted at face value, but a complex experience that is thoroughly tuned by your brain. The results are often strange and counter-intuitive, like quantum physics, but the science is clear: every painful sensation is 100% Brain Made, and there is no pain without brain.”

Part 2 How pain actually works.

Pain areas

In most instances, painful sensations arise from tissue injury in the body. Sensitive nerve endings pick up pain signals and carry these messages along nerves to the spinal cord and then onto the brain. All along these complex pathways, there are biological “gates” that can be either opened or closed. When these gates are closed, pain is reduced or eliminated. When open, pain messages continue through the circuit. It is when these gates are jammed open that chronic pain cycles begin.

As you recall, acute pain is short lived and serves as a warning signal. When you fix whatever is wrong, the pain usually goes away. In the case of chronic pain, pain does not necessarily signal that the body is undergoing more damage. Most chronic pain is caused by a malfunction of the nervous system, either in nerves or the brain. The malfunction or opening of the pain gates causes and endless barrage of pain signals to cycle. Chronic pain then becomes a disease itself, taking on a life of its own.

How can we close the gates of pain?
The gates are affected by several factors, most importantly by the pattern of nerve impulses which reach the spinal cord from the rest of the body, and nerve impulses coming from the brain. Sometimes the nerve impulses traveling through the spinal gates can be affected by other forms of physical stimulation. Giving your nervous system a competing source of input can fool the nervous system and alter your perception of pain.

There are many ways to accomplish this. You may have noticed that rubbing or massaging a painful area may have relieved your pain in the past. Applying electrical stimulation (e.g. TENS), applying heat or cold, acupuncture, or nerve blocks may also provide a competing source of input. It is also important to realize that certain mental activities or thoughts taking place in the brain can help to close the spinal gates.

Another way we can work to close the gates of pain is to affect the release of several chemicals that help pain signals travel to the brain. Neurotransmitters are biochemical messengers that carry pain signals from one nerve cell to the next. The three main neurotransmitters that send pain signals to the brain are substance P, NMDA (n-methyl-d-aspartate), and glutamate. Excess amounts of these chemicals, especially substance P, make it easier for pain signals to reach the brain.

Therefore, another way of stopping pain involves manipulating pain provoking neurotransmitters. This can be accomplished by prescription or over the counter medications, acupuncture, injections, hypnosis, or biofeedback.

The role of the Endorphins
The endorphins are another class of chemicals which are produced in the brain and serve an important role in the pain experience. These chemical are naturally occurring pain relieving substances, similar to morphine or other opiates, produced in the body. Endorphins work on special receptor sites in the brain. They act as keys which unlock receptors thus generating nerve impulses to shut down pain. Morphine and other opiates have similar chemical structures which turn off pain.

Several situations or conditions raise endorphin levels in the brain thus reducing pain. They include thinking with a positive attitude, happiness, and regular exercise.

The Role of Stress

It is natural to connect a physical stress to the body, such a broken arm, to the perception of pain. The role of psychological stress may not seem as obvious. The brain structures involved in stress can affect the production of key hormones in the body, suppress the body’s immune system, and activate the autonomic nervous. These are the same biological changes that may occur from physical stresses on the body-the body may not differentiate between physical and psychological stress. The net effects of these changes on the body are to lower our internal resistance to pain, thus further encouraging the chronic pain cycle.

Many sources of stress feed into the chronic pain cycle. First off, as you would expect, pain itself is stressful. Pain sensations are perceived as undesirable and are at very least annoying. Pain creates tension, both physical and emotional. Physical tension may show itself as muscle tension or affect the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, or immune systems. Emotional tension may reveal itself as anger, frustration, worry, depression, or frustration. Both physical and emotional tension, initially set in motion by pain, worsen pain. Thus the vicious cycle of pain is begins-pain leads to tension and tension leads to more pain.

A second source of stress comes from all the negative consequences that occur as a result of a chronic pain condition. Chronic pain may create difficulties with family relationships, social or recreation activities, self-esteem, and employment.

Yet another source of stress arises from the hardships that can be encountered from the stresses of everyday living. Everything from difficulties putting on your shoes in the morning to difficulties standing long enough to go grocery shopping are added on top of pain-related stressors. In the end, an individual not only suffers from chronic pain, but from chronic stress.

The consequences of chronic stress
Whatever the type of stress, either physical or psychological, the outcome on pain is to worsen it. Chronic stress also may result in other physical ailments such as tension headaches, muscle spasms, gastrointestinal problems, and elevated blood pressure. It can also lead to fatigue, depression, and a sense of hopelessness.

Chronic pain can’t always be prevented. But staying in good physical and mental health may be the best way to prevent it or help you cope with it.

  • Treat your health problems early.

  • Get enough sleep every night. Learn to alternate activity with rest throughout each day.

  • Exercise.

  • Eat a balanced diet.

  • Try to reduce stress in your life.