UNKOWN IRON DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS MORE HARMUL - The Daily Guardian
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UNKOWN IRON DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS MORE HARMUL

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How often do you feel lethargic or feel exhausted? Can you barely make it up the stairs without getting winded even though you’re physically fit? If so, you might be lacking in iron.

Although many people don’t think of iron as being a nutrient, but it is an extremely important mineral for our body. Iron helps to transport oxygen throughout our body. It is an important component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body. Hemoglobin represents about two-thirds of the body’s iron. If you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. A lack of red blood cells is called iron deficiency anemia.

IRON DEFICIENCY IN INDIA

Iron deficiency that results in anemia has been a major public health burden in India. The incidence of anemia is as much as 53.2 percent among women and 21.7% among men. Iron deficiency occurs when the body lacks adequate iron, which is essential to make haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells enabling them to transfer oxygen around the body. Without enough oxygen in your blood, you may feel tired, weak, and experience shortness of breath. Your doctor will find out why your iron is low. Usually, you can treat iron deficiency anemia with supplements. Once your iron levels go up, you should start to feel better.

Some symptoms include: Fatigue or weakness; pale or yellow skin; hortness of breath; dizziness or lightheadedness; headaches; fast or irregular heartbeat; chest pain; cold feet and hands; brittle, cracked nails, spoon-shaped nails, hair loss, cracks near the side of your mouth, Pica (cravings for things that aren’t food, like dirt, starch, clay, or ice); sore and swollen tongue and restless legs syndrome (an urge to move your legs while you’re in bed)

How Much Iron Do You Need?

This depends on your age, gender, and overall health. Infants and toddlers need more iron than adults, in general, because their bodies are growing so quickly. In childhood, boys and girls need the same amount of iron — 10 milligrams daily from ages 4 to 8, and 8 mg daily from ages 9 to 13.

Women need more iron because they lose blood each month during their period. That’s why women from ages 19 to 50 need to get 18 mg of iron each day, while men the same age can get away with just 8 mg.

Moreover, you might need more iron, either from dietary sources or from an iron supplement, if you: are pregnant or breastfeeding; have kidney failure (especially if you are undergoing dialysis, which can remove iron from the body) have an ulcer, which can cause blood loss; have a gastrointestinal disorder that prevents your body from absorbing iron normally (such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis); take too many antacids, which can prevent your body from absorbing iron; have had weight loss (bariatric) surgery; work out a lot (intense exercise can destroy red blood cells)

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you may also need to take an iron supplement, because the body doesn’t absorb the type of iron found in plants as well as it absorbs the iron from meat.

FOOD ITEMS THAT CONTAIN IRON

You can easily supplement your child’s Iron needs through diet by including the below-mentioned food items: various kinds of meat like beef, lamb, pork, liver, chicken, turkey; legumes like chickpeas, lentils, dried peas, beans; vegetables like spinach, green peas, broccoli, brussel sprouts. Other food items such as Eggs, Fish, Grains and Cereals

By ensuring that children, women, and all adults consume Iron-rich food, you can guarantee healthy and normal growth.

The author is the Director of Haematology & BMT Dept., Fortis Hospital Mulund

Iron deficiency that results in anemia has been a major public health burden in India. The incidence of anemia is as much as 53.2 percent among women and 21.7% among men. Iron deficiency occurs when the body lacks adequate iron, which is essential to make haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells enabling them to transfer oxygen around the body.

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Medically Speaking

Covid-19 during pregnancy doesn’t harm baby’s brain: Study

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Covid-19 of mild to moderate severity in pregnant women appears to have no effect on the brain of the developing fetus, according to a recent study.

The study was presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Two years into the pandemic, there is evidence that pregnant women are more vulnerable to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19. However, little is known about the possible consequences for an unborn child if the mother is infected during pregnancy.

The likelihood and impact of vertical transmission, meaning the passage of the virus from the mother to the fetus, remains unclear.

“Women infected with SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy are concerned that the virus may affect the development of their unborn child, as is the case with some other viral infections,” said study senior author Sophia Stocklein, M.D., from the Department of Radiology at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, in Germany. “So far, although there are a few reports of vertical transmission to the fetus, the exact risk and impact remain largely unclear.

The aim of our study was to fill this gap in knowledge regarding the impact of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection on fetal brain development.”

Dr Stocklein and colleagues used fetal MRI to study 33 patients with Covid-19 infection during pregnancy. The patients were roughly 28 weeks into their pregnancies, on average, with symptom onset occurring at a mean of just over 18 weeks into the pregnancy. The most common maternal symptoms were loss or a reduced sense of smell and taste, dry cough, fever and shortness of breath.

Two board-certified radiologists with several years of experience in fetal MRI evaluated the scans. They found that the brain development in the assessed areas was age-appropriate in all fetuses. There were no findings indicative of infection of the fetal brain.

“In our study, there was no evidence that a maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection has any effect on the brain development of the unborn child,” Dr Stocklein said. “This fact should help to reassure affected parents.”

Dr Stocklein cautioned that only mothers with mild to moderate symptoms and without hospitalisation were included in the study.

“Since the impact of severe infection on brain development in the fetus has not been conclusively determined, active protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy remains important,” she said.

As part of that protection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination for all people ages 12 and older, including women who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant. The CDC notes that the vaccine can protect against severe illness.

“So far, vaccination is the most promising protection against Covid-19,” Dr Stocklein said. “Any potential side effects are manageable, even in pregnant women. Therefore, despite the encouraging results of our study, pregnant women should strongly consider vaccination.”

The researchers will be following the patients over the next five years, including detailed neonatal assessment, as well as assessment of neurological development.

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WHY HEART ATTACKS IN YOUNG PEOPLE ARE ON THE RISE

Let’s find out the major risk factors of having a heart attack at a young age.

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37-year-old Jasbir Singh Hanspal had no signs of co-morbidities but began experiencing severe chest pain. When he was brought to Fortis Hospital, Kalyan, the doctor confirmed that he had suffered a heart attack and needed urgent Angioplasty; but just when the team started preparing him for the procedure, his heart stopped functioning. Without wasting a single minute, the doctors revived him and began the procedure where they diagnosed that despite no signs of co-morbidities the patient had a total block in one of the arteries, and diffused fat deposition in all other arteries that had caused the heart to collapse. Despite the great risk, doctors successfully saved his life. A few days later the doctors discovered that Hanspal had undiagnosed Diabetes and higher levels of Cholesterol that had impacted his heart. The patient is now recovering and is on Diabetes medication.

Similarly, 22-year-old Nilesh (name changed) suddenly suffered a heart attack. While he was brought to Fortis Hospital, Kalyan, just in time that saved his life, further investigations by doctors at the hospital revealed that he had a cardiac abnormity by birth which was never unravelled before. Nilesh also consumed tobacco regularly which caused his condition to aggravate. He was treated with a clot-buster injection in view of clotting and his age.

RISING RISK OF HEART ATTACKS IN YOUNG PEOPLE

These are just a few examples of the many cases of heart attacks among young Indians that doctors have experienced. The number is constantly mounting. Initially, these increasing number of cardiac events among young and active people puzzled experts, but now the picture seems clearer. Blame it on sedentary lifestyle and health negligence. Key risk factors of having a heart attack at a young age include:

• Substance abuse or excessive alcohol use

• Smoking

• High blood pressure

• High cholesterol levels

• Lack of physical activity

• Diabetes

• Obesity

• Poor diet

WHY PRIMORDIAL PREVENTION IS KEY?

Primordial prevention is necessary. This means trying to prevent the progression of the heart attack risk factors themselves. This includes trying to change the social and environmental conditions that could develop and progress risk factors. These are things that we have control over such as exercising, eating nutritious foods, not smoking, managing stress and blood pressure. Primordial prevention also includes education about what behaviours put you at risk for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), along with the above-mentioned risk factors, the list includes:

• Family history of Cardiovascular Disease

• Sedentary lifestyle

Now, the fact remains that heart attacks can happen to anyone – but the risk is especially high when genetics come into play. Primordial and primary prevention is crucial for those with a family history of heart disease. A person’s hereditary risk of heart disease is defined by having a first-degree male relative (like father, brother or son) under the age of 55 years with a Heart Attack or Stroke history, or a first-degree female relative (like mother, sister or daughter) under the age of 65 years with a Heart Attack or Stroke history.

In the end, our lifestyles need to change. Not enough young people take their risk factors seriously and that’s dangerous. We need to be aggressive about risk factor modification and build a society that is not only informed but empowered to resolve and reverse risk factors.

The writer is Senior Consultant-Interventional Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan.

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STRESS LINKED TO CROHN’S DISEASE FLARE-UPS: STUDY

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According to new research by McMaster University, it is possible that psychological stress could be associated with Crohn’s disease flare-ups.

The study has been published in the ‘Nature Communications Journal’. Researchers using mouse models found that stress hormones suppressed the innate immune system that normally protected the gut from invasive Enterobacteriaceae, a group of bacteria including E. coli that has been linked to Crohn’s disease.

The key to innate immunity is the protective barrier of epithelial cells in the gut, which rely on molecular signals from immune cells to keep out harmful microbes, repair the cell wall and secrete mucus. Without properly functioning immune cells, the epithelial cellular wall can break down, allowing microbes associated with Crohn’s disease to invade the gut and trigger symptom flare-ups.

“The main takeaway is that psychological stress impedes the body’s ability to fight off gut bacteria that may be implicated in Crohn’s disease. Innate immunity is designed to protect us from microbes that do not belong in the gut, like harmful bacteria,” said senior author Brian Coombes, professor and chair of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster.

“When our innate immune system functions properly, it prevents harmful bacteria from colonizing us, but when it breaks down, it leaves an opening for pathogens to colonize locations they normally cannot and cause illness,” he added.

Coombes said that removing stress hormones in the mouse models restored proper function to immune cells and epithelial cells, blocking the invasion of harmful microbes.

While this discovery could lead to new treatments for Crohn’s disease, Coombes emphasized these findings are still at the pre-clinical stage and more work needs to be done.

“The more we know about what triggers Crohn’s disease, the closer we come to new treatments and potentially even disease prevention,” said Coombes.

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition that causes inflammation, ulcers and scarring in the digestive system. While its root cause is still not fully understood, Coombes said patients with the disease often have an altered gut microbiome dominated by Enterobacteriaceae like E. coli.

The Coombes lab is a part of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research and the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute based at McMaster University. External funding for the study was provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.

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COVID-19 LINKED TO HEART INFLAMMATION IN COLLEGE ATHLETES

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According to a new study, a small but significant percentage of college athletes with COVID-19 develop myocarditis, a potentially dangerous inflammation of the heart muscle.

The findings of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Myocarditis, which typically occurs as a result of a bacterial or viral infection, can affect the heart’s rhythm and ability to pump and often leaves behind lasting damage in the form of scarring to the heart muscle. It has been linked to as many as 20 per cent of sudden deaths in young athletes. The COVID-19 pandemic raised concerns over an increased incidence of the condition in student-athletes.

For the new study, clinicians at schools in the highly competitive Big Ten athletic conference collaborated to collect data on the frequency of myocarditis in student-athletes recovering from COVID-19 infection. Conference officials had required all athletes who had COVID-19 to get a series of cardiac tests before returning to play, providing a unique opportunity for researchers to collect data on the athletes’ cardiac status.

Jean Jeudy, MD, professor and radiologist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, serves as the cardiac MRI core leader for the Big Ten Cardiac Registry. This registry oversaw the collection of all the data from the individual schools of the Big Ten conference.

Dr Jeudy reviewed the results of 1,597 cardiac MRI exams collected at the 13 participating schools. There was no selection bias for cardiac MRI, as all COVID-positive athletes underwent a complete cardiac battery of tests including cardiac MRI, echocardiogram, ECG and blood tests, as well as a complete medical history.

Thirty-seven of the athletes, or 2.3 per cent, were diagnosed with COVID-19 myocarditis, a percentage on par with the incidence of myocarditis in the general population. However, an alarmingly high proportion of myocarditis cases were found in athletes with no clinical symptoms. Twenty of the patients with COVID-19 myocarditis (54 per cent) had neither cardiac symptoms nor cardiac testing abnormalities. Only cardiac MRI identified the problem.

“Testing patients for clinical symptoms of myocarditis only captured a small percentage of all patients who had myocardial inflammation. Cardiac MRI for all athletes yielded a 7.4-fold increase in detection,” Dr Jeudy said.

The implications of post-COVID-19 myocardial injury detected by cardiac MRI are still unknown.

“The main issue is the presence of persistent inflammation and/or myocardial scar. Each of these can be an underlying foundation for additional damage and increased risk of arrhythmia,” Dr Jeudy added.

As part of the study, Dr Jeudy and colleagues continue to add to the Big Ten Cardiac Registry to gain more understanding.

“We still don’t know the long-term effects. Some athletes had issues that were resolved within a month, but we also have athletes with continued abnormalities on their MRI as a result of their initial injury and scarring. There are a lot of chronic issues with COVID-19 that we need to know more about, and hopefully, this registry can be one of the major parts of getting that information,” Dr Jeudy explained.

The registry will allow researchers to look beyond the presence of abnormalities and study things like changes in exercise function over time.

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STUDY FINDS WHY MOLES BECOME MELANOMAS

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Melanocytes are cells that give colour to the skin to protect it from the sun’s rays. Specific changes to the DNA sequence of melanocytes, called BRAF gene mutations, are found in over 75 per cent of moles. The same change is also found in 50 per cent of melanomas and is common in cancers like colon and lung.

Moles and melanomas, which come from the same cell called melanocytes, are similar in nature as they both are skin tumours. However, moles are harmless while melanomas are cancerous and require treatment or can turn fatal. Robert Judson-Torres, PhD, Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) researcher and University of Utah (U of U) assistant professor of dermatology and oncological sciences has explained how common moles and melanomas are and why moles can turn into melanomas. It was thought that when melanocytes only have the BRAFV600E mutation the cell stopped dividing, resulting in a mole. When melanocytes had other mutations with BRAFV600E, they divided uncontrollably, turning into melanoma. This model is called “oncogene-induced senescence.”

“A number of studies have challenged this model in recent years,” said Judson-Torres.

“These studies have provided excellent data to suggest that the oncogene-induced senescence model does not explain mole formation but what they have all lacked is an alternative explanation — which has remained elusive,” he added.

With help from collaborators across HCI and the University of California San Francisco, the study team took moles and melanomas donated by patients and used transcriptomic profiling and digital holographic cytometry. Transcriptomic profiling let researchers determine molecular differences between moles and melanomas. Digital holographic cytometry helped researchers track changes in human cells.

The study showed melanocytes that turn into melanoma didn’t need to have additional mutations but are actually affected by environmental signalling when cells receive signals from the environment in the skin around them that give them direction. Melanocytes expressed genes in different environments, telling them to either divide uncontrollably or stop dividing altogether.

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STUDY FINDS MORNING EXPOSURE TO DEEP RED LIGHT IMPROVES DECLINING EYESIGHT

The study showed daily three-minute exposure to longwave deep red light ‘switched on’ energy-producing mitochondria cells in the human retina, helping boost naturally declining vision.

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A pioneering study by UCL researchers has found that just three minutes of exposure to deep red light once a week when delivered in the morning, can significantly improve declining eyesight.

Published in the journal Scientific Reports, the study builds on the team’s previous work, which showed daily three-minute exposure to longwave deep red light ‘switched on’ energy-producing mitochondria cells in the human retina, helping boost naturally declining vision.

For this latest study, scientists wanted to establish what effect a single three-minute exposure would have, while also using much lower energy levels than their previous studies. Furthermore, building on separate UCL research in flies that found mitochondria display ‘shifting workloads’ depending on the time of day, the team compared morning exposure to afternoon exposure.

In summary, researchers found there was, on average, a 17 per cent improvement in participants’ colour contrast vision when exposed to three minutes of 670 nanometres (long wavelength) deep red light in the morning and the effects of this single-exposure lasted for at least a week. However, when the same test was conducted in the afternoon, no improvement was seen.

Scientists say the benefits of deep red light, highlighted by the findings, mark a breakthrough for eye health and should lead to affordable home-based eye therapies, helping millions of people globally with naturally declining vision.

Lead author, Professor Glen Jeffery (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology), said: “We demonstrate that one single exposure to long-wave deep red light in the morning can significantly improve declining vision, which is a major health and wellbeing issue, affecting millions of people globally.

“This simple intervention applied at the population level would significantly impact on quality of life as people age and would likely result in reduced social costs that arise from problems associated with reduced vision.”

In humans around 40 years old, cells in the eye’s retina begin to age, and the pace of this ageing is caused, in part, when the cell’s mitochondria, whose role is to produce energy (known as ATP) and boost cell function, also start to decline.

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