Archive for September, 2013

Blood Test for H-pylori

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When Gabe Mirkin, MD was on the radio, he would recommend individuals get an H-pylori test if they had stomach issues.  More than 90% of stomach ulcers are caused by a bacteria called helicobacter pylori and a simple blood test can provide your physician information if you have antibodies for H-pylori.

What is a Peptic Ulcer?

A peptic ulcer is an area in your digestive tract that has been eaten away by the acid that is used to dissolve food.  The ulcers can occur in the esophagus, stomach or small intestine and can create open sores that are painful and can even bleed.   We have acid in our digestive track to dissolve the food we eat and extract the nutrition our body needs to function.  There is a mucous layer in the digestive tract that normally protects against acid, but if the acid is too much or the mucous layer to little, an ulcer can develop.

One of the number one causes for a peptic ulcer is by the bacterium, Helicobacter pylori – also known as H-pylori.  If you harbor this bacteria, they can quickly multiply within the mucous layer and inflame the lining of your stomach or duodenum, producing an ulcer.

The most common symptom of peptic ulcer is abdominal pain that is dull, comes and goes over a period of time, may occur a few hours after eating or during the night, and is relieved by food and/or antacids. Weight loss, bloating and nausea are lesser indicators.

How do you get the bacteria?  The science is not clear and therefore it is speculated that it is spread from person to person.   It may be transmitted from person to person by close contact, such as kissing.  Some people have been known to contract H. pylori through food and water and there is also research that it can be transmitted from your pet cat if you are around felines.

What is the H. Pylori Antibody Test IgG?

This blood test is to aid in the diagnosis of H pylori infection; determine the cause of chronic type B gastritis or ulcers of the stomach or duodenum. Abnormal results may require further evaluation by your physician.  In general, if you order a H. Pylori Antibody test and the result is positive, then this indicates that you have been infected with this organism.  Since this bacteria can cause peptic ulcers, your physician will usually prescribe a does of antibiotics.  A negative blood antibody test may mean that you are not infected. However, if symptoms persist, a doctor may order the more invasive tissue biopsy to more conclusively rule out infection.

Peptic Ulcer image resized 600

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Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


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Low Hormone Levels May Increase Pancreatic Cancer

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The Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that a deficiency of a fat cell hormone known as adiponectin may heighten the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

What is Adiponectin?

Adiponectin is a hormone in your blood stream and is used to decrease inflammation and assists with the bodies sensitivity to insulin.  If you are deficient in the fat cell hormone, you are at increased risk for many diseases.  The study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital analyzed data from cancer pancreatic cancer patients as compared to health patients and found a correlations between low adiponectin levels and pancreatic cancer development.

Scientists know that there is a link between obesity, insulin resistance and pancreatic cancer risk, but this new study shows additional correlation with the hormone adiponectin and the increased probability of developing pancreatic cancer.

Function of the Pancreas

The information provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), states that the pancreas, which is located behind the stomach, is responsible for making enzymes that allow the body to absorb fatty foods. The pancreas produces two hormones, insulin and glucagon, that assist with regulating blood sugar levels.  Although studies do not know if diabetes causes pancreatic cancer, it is more commonly diagnosed amongst those who have diabetes.

Symptoms of Pancreas Issues

Be on the lookout for the following symptoms that may be related to issues of the pancreas:

  • Some symptoms of pancreatic cancer include
  • dark-colored urine and feces,
  • fatigue,
  • jaundice,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • a lack of appetite and
  • pain in the abdomen.

Physicians use blood tests, in addition to ultrasounds & MRIs, to diagnose and treat pancreas issues.  The most prevalent blood test is a general screening test.

To prevent the condition, the NIH recommends that people abstain from smoking, eat a diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and exercise frequently.

Medical Disclaimer:  The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.  The writer is not a physician or other health provider.

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Why Should I Get a Cholesterol Lipid Test?

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One of the major causes of natural death in the United States is heart attack and it is believed that about half a million Americans succumb to the disease ever year. This number can easily be reduced if an individual takes proper care of their health. Apart from a regular stint at exercising and strict diet control, it is mandatory that the person check his cholesterol frequently.  A Cholesterol lipid panel will help a person check his cholesterol and help him retain normalcy. When the level of cholesterol in the blood increases, chances are the person is a good candidate for heart attack. Apart from high cholesterol, other causes too can contribute:

  • Genetic factors
  • Age
  • Stress
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Heavy bouts of drinking
  • Obesity

 What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a soft wax-life fatty substance produced mainly in the liver.  There are two kinds of cholesterol – High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL). Cholesterol also contains Triglycerides and this is responsible for giving energy to a person’s body. The body has the capability to produce the energy needed by a person; complemented by the food he consumes. Once the food is eaten by a person it is converted into energy, the rest of it is stored in the body for later use.

cholesterol in blood vessel resized 600

 

Cholesterol is found in every cell in a person’s body in the form of lipoproteins. High-Density Lipoprotein, or HDL, as it is fondly called, is good for the body as it is responsible for removing the blocks in the arteries and taking the cholesterol back to the liver. Low-Density Lipoprotein, or LDL, on the other hand is considered bad cholesterol because it has the tendency to clog the arteries. However, minuscule amounts are necessary because a person’s body needs a certain amount of cholesterol.

Cholesterol levels

Too much cholesterol will lead to a condition called atherosclerosis (thickening of arteries and later, when the plaque in the arteries rupture clotting of blood too) and this will eventually lead to heart attacks. In order to control this from happening, a person should check his cholesterol, HDL, LDL, Triglycerides through cholesterol lipid panel. The total cholesterol must never go beyond 200mg/DL. HDL should be maintained at 40 or 50mg/DL and LDL at a range of 70-130 mg/DL.

A cholesterol lipid panel test is actually a blood test that measures cholesterol levels and should be taken after 12 hours of fasting.
Take Control of Your Health!

 Medical Disclaimer:  The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.  The writer is not a physician or other health provider.

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