WHERE does oxygen come from?

Oxygen, which makes up about 20 percent of the air we breathe in, is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas, that is essential for the production of energy and, therefore, to life.  Its main source is from living green plants. The ambient air we inhale is absorbed by the lungs that “extracts” and filters oxygen, which then combines with hemoglobin (red pigment in blood cells). The resultant oxyhemoglobin is circulated throughout the body by the pumping action of the heart to supply oxygen to the entire body. Some tissues in our body are more sensitive than others to oxygen deprivation. The brain is super-sensitive to lack of oxygen. It “dies” in about 3-4 minutes after oxygen delivery ceases (as in suffocation, drowning or cardiac arrest).

What causes dandruff?

The cause of dandruff is not known in majority of cases. Excessive greasiness of the skin and hair among adolescents has been found to initiate dandruff. The contributory factors implicated include heredity, diet, hormonal imbalance, poor hygiene. The existing dandruff can be aggravated by stress and emotional turmoil. A vacation or rest may totally eliminate dandruff. Anti-dandruff shampoos (coal tar- based or those containing selenium sulphide or zinc pyrithione) have been prescribed by physicians to arrest dandruff. Overzealous use of these shampoos is not recommended.

Why do breasts enlarge during pregnancy?

This is nature’s way of preparing the mother for breastfeeding. The placenta makes a lot of estrogen, which, in combination with the other hormones from the pituitary (Prolactin) and other glands, cause the ducts in the breasts to grow larger and form more branches. At the same, progesterone, also secreted by the placenta, stimulates the breasts glandular tissues to enlarge. The alveoli (sacs) are lined with milk-producing cells, and the colostrum (first milk), and the subsequent milk, flows into the collecting ducts and out through the nipples. The estrogen and progesterone (secreted by the placenta) actually inhibit milk production. Immediately after delivery and expulsion of the placenta, the suppression-effect of these two hormones are gone, and milk is secreted, as the Prolactin from the Pituitary Gland stimulates milk production. Indeed, the complex (and yet simple) physiology of the human body is mind-boggling. With all the artificial organs being invented, nothing, even to date, can beat Mother Nature.

What is dyslexia?

“Word blindness” is a term commonly used to describe this condition where the person, starting from childhood, ad extreme difficulty with reading and writing.  About 10% of children are dyslexic, and more common among boys. Dyslexia, which may be inherited, is caused by a localized brain lesion, where there is a certain number of brain cells being “faulty,” or there is delayed or incomplete development of the brain. These children are NOT brain damaged. Usually these youngsters are not recognized as dyslexic and may be thought of as lazy, disobedient, bored, problem kids and be relegated to the background as dumb. Early detection is important for those affected to be able to benefit from special schooling and catch up in their learning skills. With early and proper training, many of them can grow up to be very successful individuals.

What is “HELP” syndrome?

The acronym stands for “High Enzyme, Low Platelets,” a condition in a pregnant woman ready to deliver. The blood pressure skyrockets, the liver enzymes go up and the platelets (tissues needed for normal coagulation to prevent bleeding) drops, causing bleeding during delivery. The cause is not known. The condition could lead to severe, uncontrollable hemorrhage, and some maternal deaths have been reported from this syndrome. This is one of the reasons why prenatal medical checkups are very important to rule out any conditions that may complicate an otherwise normal delivery.

Is text messaging bad for our health?

Anything in excess, even water, oxygen, talking, food, rest, etc, is bad for us. Wise and appropriate use of cellphones and their nice features, like text messaging, used appropriately, does not pose any health hazard to the user. Cell phones and text messaging are technological wonders of our times, which, when utilized properly, provide great convenience, advantage, and security for the users and their family and friends. Exceptions are the use of cellphone while driving or doing activities that require full attention. Accidental deaths have been reported form improper use of cellphones. While on a night out, 100 percent attention on your date is a must. In this situation, the repeated use of a cell phone for calls, or frequent text messaging, could hazardous not only to user’s physical health but to the relationship. Besides, this unwelcome practice is rude and anti-social, vehemently frowned upon in polite society.

Are female tampons safe?

If used properly, yes, the new tampons are fairly safe. In 1978, a worldwide phenomenon called Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) was first described, with symptoms ranging from high fever, skin rash, fall in blood pressure, severe eye infection, headaches, disorientation, joint and muscle pains, diarrhea and kidney failure. The victims were females (average age 23) having their normal menstrual period. A number of deaths from TSS has been reported. Implicated was the use of super-absorbency tampons, which acted as a culture medium for the staphylococcal infection in the vagina. The longer the tampon was left in the vagina, the greater the risk. The toxin or poison produced by the staphylococci caused the serious illness described above. Most patients recovered after appropriate treatment of intravenous fluids and antibiotics, but at a later stage lost the skin of their palms and soles, the face and even the tongue. Mortality rate for TSS is about 2 or 3 percent. Tampons should be changed 3 to 4 times a day, even if not fully stained to prevent TSS. This makes it a bit too expensive. A time-proven safer alternative is the use of sanitary pads.

Does owning a pet help pre-menopausal women?

Yes, this is no fable. It has been shown that pre-menopausal women who owned a pet they could communicate with (like a dog or a cat), and who kept them company, went through this change in their life and physiology with much less pain and agony. The constant companionship and love the pets gave these suffering women provided the much needed love, sense of loyalty and security during this formidable stage in their life. For one thing, these pets do not complain and do not answer back. They give their love totally, genuinely and unconditionally. Because of these attributes, pets are considered by some people as “better than some friends and family members.”

***

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States. Email: scalpelpen@gmail.com

Dr. Philip S. Chua
Dr. Philip S. Chua

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.