Sunday, December 12, 2004

Diverticulosis, Gallstones, Hepatitis and Osteoporosis Explained

Am busy studying for my final pathophysiology exam tomorrow. Have learned I am somewhat at risk for gallstones: fat, flatulent, forty, female and fair. Am neither fat nor forty but firmly meet the other three criteria.

I have also learned about diverticulosis. North Americans and Western Europeans are the only people dumb enough on the planet to suffer from diverticulosis (a condition where bits of your large intestine pouch out and can become infected). Apparently, the other 6 or so billion people in the world manage to a) eat enough fiber and b) do not hold poop in too long. North Americans and Western Europeans are apparently neglecting to do these things in droves so almost 60% of people over 60 will suffer from diverticulosis. Diverticulosis isn't so bad but if it turns into diverticulitis you can contract peritonitis, go into shock and die. So lets all go to the bathroom OK?

I have also had to learn about each type of Hepatitis (A, B, C, D and E) which has been boring but helpful because I've always had no clue about what differentiated one from the other. Essentially, A and E are generally short-term illnesses that are spread by water and poop (see a theme?). B, C and D are spread by blood and other body fluids and can covert into chronic hepatitis. C is the one you really want to watch out for as it can raise your chances of having liver cancer. However, most people get C from doing IV drugs so I hope my readership is out of the running. B can be very nasty but luckily we have a vaccine. So there you have it: the A,B,C,D and Es of Hepatitis.

We also learned about Osteoporosis last week and I have been eating dairy products like a madwoman. Apparently, we've laid down all of our bone mass by the age of 30 and lose 0.7% per year thereafter. I've looked at the nutrition labels of all the foods in my fridge and have been downing mozarella cheese, soy milk and spinach. Yoghurt has a disappointingly small amount of calcium (only about 10-15% of your daily requirement compared with 30% in a cheese stick or soy milk).

So while I may not ace the exam tomorrow I've clearly internalized all sorts of information and am keen to share. Watch out family and friends! I'm coming home armed with so much "information" and "advice" that you might just want to send me right back.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'll be sure to stock extra TP for your long-awaited return to Hyde Park.


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Blogger murmayd said...

Actually, you might want to give this a much closer look. I can't believe that's the information you received in nursing school on HepC - in Baltimore, no less. Oh my - millions of folks in the US have it, many boomers have it - you can get it from sharing a coke straw - just once! I've met folks that have gotten it from dentists, medical procedures, blood transfusions, tattoos, piercings, jet air gun vaccines (VietNam vets comprise almost 2/3 of those currently diagnosed in the US)course, that's because the VA is testing. The list goes on ... very, Very scarey that this is what you got out of your nursing instruction. It's a slient epidemic that will likely bankrupt this country - geeez. Dear bloggers: get tested!

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hep C is the only one on the list that is strictly a blood borne pathogen.

While it appears that many Hep C patients could have gotten it from IV drug use, MANY people have gotten it from dentists and drs who were infected, or used infected instruments not properly sterilyzed.

It is quite difficult to pass this form of hepatitis sexually, as it is only passed by blood to blood transferance.

Hep C was only identified as a disease with the ability to test for it starting in 1989.

Re-using or sharing of needles by IV drug users is only one of MANY ways it can be passed--as shown by the VA administrations acceptance of the fact that the air-jetguns were responsible for MANY cases of Hep C in the armed forces, and additonally, this practice was not stopped until 1999.

Please do not think that IV drug use is the ONLY way that this disease is spread.

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