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Influenza

 

tiziano

Montag, 6. Juni 2011

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Definition:

Influenza is an infectious disease caused by influenza viruses. Although it is often confused with other influenza-like illnesses, especially the common cold, influenza is a more severe disease than the common cold and is caused by a different type of virus.

Typically, influenza is transmitted through the air by coughs or sneezes, creating aerosols containing the virus. Influenza can also be transmitted by direct contact with bird droppings or nasal secretions, or through contact with contaminated surfaces.

Influenza spreads around the world in seasonal epidemics, resulting in the deaths of between 250,000 and 500,000 people every year, up to millions in some pandemic years.

 Cold or Influenza:

As mentioned above the flu (influenza) is a lot more serious than a common cold. With a cold, the symptoms are centered around the nose and throat. But the flu tends to make the whole body ache the patient is sick all over.

The symptoms of a cold include a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, minor throat irritation, mild fever, sore throat, a feeling that your ears are blocked, and finally coloured mucus or nasal discharge (which means that your immune system is fighting the infection).

Symptoms of influenza usually start suddenly with a high fever and you may feel sick enough to go to bed. Other symptoms include, irritation in the throat or lungs, a dry cough, high fever, shivering, sweating and severe muscle aches. Tests are available to diagnose the flu but there are no such tests for colds.

 

 
 

Hypertension

 

Reyer

Montag, 6. Juni 2011

Kein Kommentar

 

Topics:

  • DEFINITION
  • SYMPTOMS
  • CAUSES
  • PREVALENCE
  • TREATMENT
  • SPHYGOMOMANOMETER
  • EXTRAS

 Definition:

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common condition that will catch up with most people who live into older age. Blood pressure is the force of blood pressing against the walls of your arteries. When it's too high, it raises the heart's workload and can cause serious damage to the arteries. Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of heart dis-ease, stroke, kidney, lungs, blood vessels and brain  disease.

Symptoms:

It is sometimes called a silent killer because it may have no outward symptoms for years. One in five people with the condition don't know they have it.

 

 Causes:

The exact causes of hypertension are usually unknown, there are several factors that have been highly associated with the condition. These include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Sedentary lifestyle (Lack of physical activity)
  • High levels of salt intake (sodium sensitivity)
  • Calcium, potassium, magnesium and Vitamin D deficiency
  • High levels of alcohol consumption
  • stress
  • Aging
  • Medicines such as birth control pills
  • Genetics and a family history of hypertension
  • Chronic kidney diseases

 

 Prevalence:

Statistics in the USA indicate that African Americans have a higher incidence of hypertension than other ethnicities. In Italy, hypertension is a common medical disorder affecting more than 8 million people. In the Ravenna area, antihypertensive medicines are prescribed for an estimated 19% of the population.

Treatment:

  • DASH Diet: Approaches to stop hypertension -- involves eating more fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, and nuts
  • Exercise:  it helps lower your blood pressure
  • Diuretics : they help the body shed excess sodium and water to lower blood pressure
  • Beta-blockers: slowing the heart rate
  • ACE Inhibitors: reduce your body's supply of angiotensin II; the result is more relaxed, open (dilated) arteries, as well as lower blood pressure and less effort for your heart
  • ARBs: prevents the chemical's artery-tightening effects
  • Calcium Channel Blockers: slow the movement of calcium into the cells of the heart and blood vessels
  • Complementary Therapies: mediation, yoga

 

 How is blood pressure measured?

Blood pressure is measured with an instrument called a blood pressure cuff (sphygmomanometer). The instrument measures the blood pressure in units called millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The cuff is placed around the upper arm and narrowed down with the help of an air pump. The doctor is able to measure the pressure with a stethoscope over the artery at the front of the elbow.

What is normal blood pressure?

NORMAL: 75-110

WARNING: 85-130

DANGER: 90– 140

 

Did you know that?

  • Studies haven't shown any link between caffeine and the development of hypertension. That means you can safely drink one or two cups a day.
  • Hypertension during pregnancy is called preeclampsia and endangers mother and baby. The condition can limit blood and oxygen flow to the baby and can affect the mother's kidneys and brain.
  • You can get “White Coat”- hypertension if you visit the doctor due to their fear.
  • Too much liquorice causes hypertension
 
 

HEART ATTACK

 

Bergmeister Peter

Montag, 6. Juni 2011

Kein Kommentar

 

What is a heart attack?

More than 1 million Americans have heart attacks each year. A heart attack, or myocardial infarction (MI), is permanent damage to the heart muscle. "Myo" means muscle, "cardial" refers to the heart, and "infarction" means death of tissue due to lack of blood supply.

What Happens During a Heart Attack?                                             

The heart muscle requires a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood to nourish it. The coronary arteries provide the heart with this critical blood supply. If you have coronary artery disease, those arteries become narrow and blood cannot flow as well as they should. Fatty matter, calcium, proteins, and inflammatory cells build up within the arteries to form plaques of different sizes. The plaque deposits are hard on the outside and soft and mushy on the inside. When the plaque is hard, the outer shell cracks (plaque rupture), platelets (disc-shaped particles in the blood that aid clotting) come to the area, and blood clots form around the plaque. If a blood clot totally blocks the artery, the heart muscle becomes "starved" for oxygen. Within a short time, death of heart muscle cells occurs, causing permanent damage. This is a heart attack. While it is unusual, a heart attack can also be caused by a spasm of a coronary artery. During a coronary spasm, the coronary arteries restrict or spasm on and off, reducing blood supply to the heart muscle (ischemia). It may occur at rest and can even occur in people without significant coronary artery disease. Each coronary artery supplies blood to a region of heart muscle. The amount of damage to the heart muscle depends on the size of the area supplied by the blocked artery and the time between injury and treatment. Healing of the heart muscle begins soon after a heart attack and takes about eight weeks. Just like a skin wound, the heart's wound heals and a scar will form in the damaged area. But, the new scar tissue does not contract. So, the heart's pumping ability is lessened after a heart attack. The amount of lost pumping ability depends on the size and location of the scar.

Causes and risks

Most heart attacks are caused by a blood clot that blocks one of the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries bring blood and oxygen to the heart. If the blood flow is blocked, the heart starves for oxygen and heart cells die.

A clot most often forms in a coronary artery that has become narrow because of the build-up of a substance called plaque along the artery walls. (See: atherosclerosis) Sometimes, the plaque cracks and triggers a blood clot to form.

Occasionally, sudden overwhelming stress can trigger a heart attack.

Risk factors for heart attack and coronary artery disease include:

  • Being a middle-aged male
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of coronary artery disease (genetic or hereditary factors)
  • High blood pressure
  • Increasing age (over age 65)
  • Smoking
  • Too much fat in your diet
  • Unhealthy cholesterol levels, especially high LDL ("bad") cholesterol and low HDL ("good") cholesterol

Symptoms

Chest pain is a major symptom of heart attack. You may feel the pain in only one part of your body, or it may move from your chest to your arms, shoulder, neck, teeth, jaw, belly area, or back.                  The pain can be severe or mild. It can feel like:

  • A tight band around the chest
  • Bad indigestion
  • Something heavy sitting on your chest
  • Squeezing or heavy pressure

The pain usually lasts longer than 20 minutes. Rest and a medicine called nitro-glycerine do not completely relieve the pain of a heart attack.                                                                                                       Other symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Anxiety
  • Cough
  • Fainting
  • Light-headedness, dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Palpitations (feeling like your heart is beating too fast)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating, which may be extreme

Some people (the elderly, people with diabetes, and women) may have little or no chest pain. Or, they may experience unusual symptoms (shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness). A "silent heart attack" is a heart attack with no symptoms.

 

Danger signals

The most typical signal of a coronary thrombosis or MI is severe chest pain, also called angina, because it indicates you that your coronary artery could be blocked.

If it takes less exertion to bring pain you are in danger.

This is because angina usually happens only after some sort of effort.

Pain radiates most often to the left arm, but may also radiate to the lower jaw, neck, right arm,  back, and epigastria, where it may mimic heartburn.

The normal chest pain usually is found by putting your fist on your sternum. 

And if chest pains last over 20 minutes you should go to the hospital immediately.

 

What should I do?

 

  • You should go to hospital as quickly as possible.
  • Do not drive to hospital by yourself if you are in worse condition.
  • Call the ambulance or ask a friend.
  • Rest while waiting for the ambulance.
  • Chew an aspirin of 300 mg to thin blood.
  • If you are waiting for the ambulance ask also your friends to stay with you.
  • Try not to get anxious.

But you should also now what you should do if somebody else has a heart attack:

  • Give a cardiac massage.
  • Call help.
  • Provide artificial respiration.

I know that many people aren‘t able to give first aid so remember that you should call help.

 

Diagnosis

Once the emergency care team arrives, they will ask you about your symptoms and begin to evaluate you. The diagnosis of the heart attack is based on your symptoms, ECG and the results of your blood studies. The goal of treatment is to treat you quickly and limit heart muscle damage.

12-lead ECG

The 12-lead ECG (also known as EKG or electrocardiogram) can help to tell how much damage has happened to your heart muscle and where it has occurred.

In addition, your heart rate and rhythm can be watched. You will also be connected with leads (wires) to a bedside monitor for continuous monitoring of your heart rate and rhythm.

Blood studies

Blood may be drawn to measure levels of biochemical markers. These markers are found inside your body's cells and are needed for their function. When your heart muscle cells are injured, their contents --including the markers -- are released into your bloodstream. By measuring the levels of these markers, the doctor can determine the size of the heart attack and approximately when the heart attack started.

Treatment

Early treatment for a heart attack can prevent or limit damage to the heart muscle. Acting fast, at the first symptoms of a heart attack, can save your life. Medical personnel can begin diagnosis and treatment even before you get to the hospital.

Certain treatments usually are started right away if a heart attack is suspected, even before the diagnosis is confirmed. These include:

  • Oxygen therapy
  • Aspirin to thin your blood and prevent further blood clotting
  • Nitro-glycerine to reduce your heart's workload and improve blood flow through the coronary arteries
  • Treatment for chest pain

Once the diagnosis of a heart attack is confirmed or strongly suspected, doctors start treatments to try to promptly restore blood flow to the heart. The two main treatments are "clot-busting" medicines and angioplasty, a procedure used to open blocked coronary arteries.

 

Medication

Heart Attack Medication for Restoring Blood Flow

After a heart attack medicals have to restore blood flow to the heart to prevent or even limit damage to the heart muscle. The used medicines are called thrombolytic drugs.

These drugs dissolve blood clots that block blood flow to the heart. It has to be given as soon as possible. It’s the most effective one hour after the start of the first heart attack symptoms start. So you can prevent permanent damage to the heart.

 

Other Heart Attack Medication

Other heart attack medication is used to reduce complications or the chance of another heart attack.

Beta-blockers are very important. They lower your blood pressure, slow down your heart rate and make your heart beat with less force (they decrease workload). Beta-blockers also help to prevent additional heart attacks and some of them can even correct irregular heartbeats.

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) prevent strokes, control blood pressure and improve survival after heart attack. It can be mixed with other medicines if someone does not respond sufficiently on them.

If you cannot tolerate ACE inhibitors, or sometimes due to other reasons, you have to use angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). They  have the same effects, but they work with another mechanism.

To prevent blood from coagulating, medicals give patients that have had a heart attack anticoagulant. Thrombosis (a formation of a blood clot) really can damage you heart and blood vessels.

antiplatelet drugs are drugs that reduce the risk of clots forming in your blood. An example of these drugs is aspirin, which is well known all over the world. Also low doses daily have success.

Most of the times you have to use arrhythmiatic drugs do correct irregular heartbeat. This medications work by suppressing the abnormal firing of peacemaker tissue or depress the transmission of impulses.

 

Examinations

After someone has had a heart attack, there may remains damage to the body. Nowadays you can expect better outcomes, because medical accommodation has improved much.

But if the lack of oxygen is too big, you can have damage to the heart damage.

 
 

Symptoms and treatment of cancer

 

Moritz Prinoth

Montag, 6. Juni 2011

Kein Kommentar

 

Symptoms:

Cancer has not got real symptoms. Therefore it is very difficult to detect and to diagnose.

Each cancer type has different symptoms. For example lung cancer can cause shortness of breath while a brain tumor causes headache. Colon cancer can cause diarrhea. There are many types of treatment which also have various side effects like vomiting and fever.

Treatment:

 

There are numerous types of treatment of cancer. This is also due to the great number of different types of cancer.

The most popular treatment options are: radiation; chemotherapy and surgery.

All of them have many different side effects.

Surgery, for example, is risky if you have to operate the brain or the organs.

Chemotherapy makes people feel sick. They are vomiting and have diarrhea and fever.

Radiation is another type of treatment which tries to kill cancer cells but you cannot only kill ill cells; also dying human and sane cells die in every radiation therapy. This is a risk and can also be dangerous for people. It can also cause long lasting damages of the tissue.

 

 
 

Effects of alcohol on health

 

Philipp Plattner

Montag, 6. Juni 2011

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Short-term effects of alcohol consumption include intoxication and dehydration.

Long-term effects of alcohol include changes in the metabolism of the liver and brain and alcoholism.

Alcohol intoxication affects the brain, causing slurred speech, clumsiness, and delayed reflexes. Alcohol stimulates insulin production, which speeds up glucose metabolism and can result in low blood sugar, causing irritability and (for diabetics) possible death. Severe alcohol poisoning can be fatal.

4,5 ‰ is the concentration of blood alcohol that is fatal in 50% of the test subjects. That is about six times the level of ordinary intoxication, but vomiting or unconsciousness may occur much sooner in people who have a low tolerance for alcohol. The high tolerance of chronic heavy drinkers may allow some of them to remain conscious at levels above 4‰ although serious health dangers are incurred at this level.

Alcohol also limits the production of vasopressin (ADH) from the hypothalamus . This is what causes severe dehydration when large amounts of alcohol are drunk. It also causes a high concentration of water in the urine and vomit and the intense thirst that goes along with a hangover.

A study found that lifelong abstainers were 2.36 times more likely to suffer a stroke than those who regularly drank a moderate amount of alcohol beverages. Heavy drinkers were 2.88 times more likely to suffer a stroke than moderate drinkers.

 

 
 

Exercise - the activity that maintains health and wellbeing

 

Philipp Plattner

Montag, 6. Juni 2011

Kein Kommentar

 

 

Physical exercises are generally grouped into three types, depending on the overall effect they have on the human body.

 Flexibility exercises, such as stretching, improve the range of motion of muscles and joints.

Aerobic exercises, such as cycling, swimming, walking, skipping rope, rowing, running, hiking or playing tennis, focus on increasing cardiovascular endurance.
Anaerobic exercises, such as weight training, functional training, eccentric training or sprinting, increase short-term muscle strength.
Proper nutrition is as important to health as exercise. When exercising, it becomes even more important to have a good diet in order to aid the body with the recovery process following strenuous exercise.
After eccentric exercise we often feel pain and stiffness in our muscles. The soreness is felt most strongly 24 to 72 hours after the exercise. It is a symptom of muscle damage and helps the muscle to prevent muscle damage if the exercise is repeated.

 

 
 

Sleep

 

Philipp Plattner

Montag, 6. Juni 2011

Kein Kommentar

 

Sleep is essential for energy, health, productivity, and emotional balance. And most people don’t get nearly enough. Learning about sleep and healthy sleep habits can help us put a stop to nighttime problems and improve the quality of our rest and with it, the quality of our life. Most adults need six to eight hours of sleep each night.

When we sleep, we rest and our body is able to renew its energy. This may be why a good night’s sleep seems to improve the immune system, minimizing our risk of illness.

Sleep is also important because of dreams. When we dream, we process all the events of daily life. Getting a good night’s sleep influences our psychological wellbeing. Moreover, there are lots of sleep disorders such as sleepwalking. If treated well and with medical help, they could pass, if not, you will have to get used to them.

 

 
 

Cancer

 

Moritz Prinoth

Montag, 6. Juni 2011

Kein Kommentar

 
  • WHAT CAUSES CANCER

  • Cancer starts when cells in a part of the body start to grow out of control.
  • Smoking is the most preventable cause of tumor.
  • Cancer cell growth is different from normal cell growth.
  • Instead of dying, cancer cells continue to grow and form new, abnormal cells.
  • Cancer cells can also invade (grow into) other tissues, something that normal cells cannot do.
  • Growing out of control and invading other tissues are what makes a cell a cancer cell.
  • Cells become cancer cells because of damage to DNA.
  • the damaged DNA is not repaired, but the cell doesn’t die like it should.
  • Instead, this cell goes on making new cells that the body does not need. These new cells will all have the same damaged DNA as the first cell does.

 

Did you know...?

  • ...that in 2007 cancer caused 13% of all human deaths
  • ...that the origin of the word “cancer” comes from Hippocrates
  • …that more than 70 percent of all cancer deaths occur in developing and emerging economic countries
  • ...that1 in 8 deaths are due to cancer
  • ...theoretically the risk for a smoker to get cancer is 23 times higher than for a non-smoker
  • ...that scientists found a note from 1600 B.C. that seemed to deal with cancer without using this word though
 
 

Amphibians

 

Sauermoser

Montag, 28. Februar 2011

Kein Kommentar

 

poison-dart-frog

What is their class name and their phylum or group?
My group is amphibians. Their name is Amphibia.  This is their class name.  They are a part of the phylum Chordata.  This includes frogs and salamanders.

 eastern_mud_salamander-8790

What are some examples of this group of animals?
One example of an amphibian is a frog.  Some more examples are salamanders and toads. One other one is a newt. Another one is a caecilian or a worm-like creature.

 Molch

How do these animals reproduce? What is their life cycle like?
For Amphibians to reproduce, the male fertilizes the female's eggs after they have left her body. The female usually lays eggs in clumps or strands. Some amphibians take the time to wrap all their eggs in leaves to protect them. After the egg hatches, you have larva. Tadpoles are an example of larva. After the animal is larva, it changes into an adult.

The Olm

Olm 2

Interesting Facts

1. The Olm can survive up to 10 yrs without food!!

2. They can live to be over 58 yrs old!!

3. They are born with good eye sight, but with the complete darkness around them, their eyes stop developing and a special skin grows over them.  Their eyes are still light sensitive though.

4. They have extremely hightened senses such as smell, taste, hearing and electrosensitivity, just like sharks.

5. A female olm will lay up to 70 eggs over a 25 day period.  They hatch between 85-185 days depending on water temperature.  The young live off of yolk stored in there digestive systems for about a month.

6. They eat primary mollusks, annelids, crustaceans, insects.

 

 
 

Reptiles

 

Plunger Stephan

Plunger Stephan

Montag, 28. Februar 2011

Kein Kommentar

 
They are characterized by breathing air, laying shelled eggs, and having skin covered in scales and/or scutes. Reptiles are classically viewed as having a "cold-blooded" metabolism. They are have four limbs or descend from four-limbed ancestors. Modern reptiles inhabit every continent with the exception of Antarctica, and four living orders are currently recognized:
   
•Crocodilia (crocodiles, gavials, caimans, and alligators): 23 species
•Sphenodontia (tuataras from New Zealand): 2 species
•Squamata (lizards (Echsen), snakes, and worm lizards): approximately 7,900 species
•Testudines (turtles and tortoises): approximately 300 species
  
Contrary to amphibians, reptiles do not have an aquatic larval stage. As a rule, reptiles are egg-laying, although certain species of squamates are capable of giving live birth. Many of the live-birthing species feed their fetuses through various forms of placenta like mammals, with some providing initial care for their hatchlings. Extant reptiles range in size from a tiny gecko, that grows to only 1.6 cm (0.6 in) to the saltwate crocodile that may reach 6 m in length and weigh over 1,000 kg. The science dealing with reptiles is called herpetology.
   
>There are more than 8,000 species of reptiles on the planet, and the live on every continent except Antarctica (where it is too cold).
      
>"Cold-blooded" is not the best way to describe reptiles. Their blood is not necessarily cold by itself. But they are ectothermic, which means they get their body heat from external sources. Reptiles cannot regulate their body temperature internally as humans do
       
>Most of the world's snakes (nearly two-thirds) are non-venomous. Only about 500 snake species are venomous, and of those only 30 - 40 are considered harmful to humans. In other words, less than 2 percent of all snakes are considered harmful to humans. 

>Most kinds of reptiles do not tolerate the cold very well. But the Blanding's turtle is sometimes found swimming under the ice in the Great Lakes region of the United States.
       
>Many people think that reptiles are slimy. But the fact is that reptiles do not have sweat glands like you and I have, so their skin is usually cool and dry. People who touch reptiles for the first time always say the same thing: "Oh wow, they're not slimy at all."
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