Current Articles

RAMBUTAN -- health benefits

{"ops":[{"insert":"Rambutans are "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"furry, bright red fruits"},{"insert":" with a "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"creamy white center"},{"insert":". These fruits are native to Malaysia, but have recently begun to spread throughout the rest of the world. They make quite a statement in grocery stores, health food stores, and even farmers' markets around the U.S.. Most rambutans imported in the U.S. come from Mexico. On top of their unique appearance and sweet flavor, they also offer some "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"impressive health benefits"},{"insert":".\n\nThe vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in rambutans can provide vital nutrition benefits. For example, folate is an important vitamin essential for healthy cell division and DNA duplication. Physicians recommend that women who wish to become pregnant consume at least 400 micrograms of folate daily as it’s critical in "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"avoiding birth defects"},{"insert":". Rambutans are also full of potassium, a mineral that helps your heart beat, kidneys function, and muscles contract. In addition, rambutans can provide other health benefits like:\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Lower Risk of Cancer"},{"insert":"\n\nRambutans are rich in vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant. Consuming antioxidants helps fight off free radicals, which are waste products in your body that can damage your cells. Antioxidants have been shown to reduce cellular damage and potentially reduce the risk of cancer in many individuals.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Support Immune Health "},{"insert":"\n\nRambutans have been shown to support immune system health in several ways. First, the vitamin C in rambutans is connected to immune function and health. Consuming enough vitamin C regularly can help support long-term immune health. Second, early studies show that certain extracts from rambutan fruit may help fight infections. These extracts may prevent viruses from replicating, helping your immune system fight off germs more easily.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Help Digestive Health "},{"insert":"\n\nRambutans can help your digestive system be more resilient. They offer dietary fiber in both soluble and insoluble form. The dietary fiber in rambutans can help reduce constipation by adding bulk to stools and preventing impaction. Insoluble fiber also feeds the “good” bacteria in your digestive system, helping your intestines handle more complex foods with ease.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Enhance Nutrition"},{"insert":"\n\nRambutans are rich in nutrients like vitamin B5, which plays an important role in helping your body convert food into energy. Vitamin B5 is only available through food, and cannot be produced by your body, therefore, it’s important to intake 5 mg of vitamin B5 every day. \n"}]}

PINK EYE (conjunctivitis)

{"ops":[{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Pink eye"},{"insert":", or "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"conjunctivitis,"},{"insert":" is inflammation of the outermost layer of the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelid. It makes the eye appear pink or reddish. Pain, burning, scratchiness, or itchiness may occur. The affected eye may have increased tears or be \"stuck shut\" in the morning. Swelling of the white part of the eye may also occur. Itching is more common in cases due to allergies. Conjunctivitis can affect one or both eyes.\n\nThe most common infectious causes are "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"viral "},{"insert":"followed by "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"bacterial"},{"insert":". The viral infection may occur along with other symptoms of a common cold. Both viral and bacterial cases are easily spread between people. Allergies to pollen or animal hair are also a common cause. Diagnosis is often based on signs and symptoms. Occasionally, a sample of the discharge is sent for culture.\n\nPrevention is partly by "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"handwashing"},{"insert":". Treatment depends on the underlying cause. In the majority of viral cases, there is no specific treatment. Most cases due to a bacterial infection also resolve without treatment; however, "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"antibiotics"},{"insert":" can shorten the illness. People who wear contact lenses and those whose infection is caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia should be treated. Allergic cases can be treated with "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"antihistamines "},{"insert":"or mast cell inhibitor drops.\n\nAbout 3 to 6 million people get conjunctivitis each year in the United States. In adults, viral causes are more common, while in children, bacterial causes are more common. Typically, people get better in one or two weeks. If visual loss, significant pain, sensitivity to light, signs of herpes, or if symptoms do not improve after a week, further diagnosis and treatment may be required. Conjunctivitis in a newborn, known as neonatal conjunctivitis, may also require specific treatment.\n"}]}


{"ops":[{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Klotho"},{"insert":" is a protein that circulates in the blood and brain throughout life. It declines with age, in conjunction with cognitive deficits. According to some research, it plays a role in longevity. It also helps "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"regenerate muscle"},{"insert":".\nPeople with genetic variants with higher levels of klotho proteins had lower rates of heart disease in one study. Klotho suppresses insulin in mice. It suppresses the production of biologically active vitamin D. Klotho may also enhance antioxidant balance.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Dana Dubal, M.D., Ph.D."},{"insert":", an associate professor of neurology at UC San Francisco, thinks we can use the science of aging to help stave off neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. \n\n“Aging is the biggest risk factor for cognitive problems, and cognitive problems are one of the biggest biomedical challenges that we face,” she said in a recent interview. “Why don’t we just block aging?”\n\nBlocking aging is easier said than done, but Dr. Dubal jumped head first into the problem by studying a protein called "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"klotho"},{"insert":".\n\nKlotho was named after the Greek fate godess "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Clotho"},{"insert":", a mythological figure who spun the thread of life and had say over when gods and mortals lived and died. The Japanese researchers who named the protein found that the amount of klotho produced by mice could affect how long the rodents lived. Other researchers later discovered that humans who naturally have more klotho tend to live longer.\n\nLiving longer is one thing, but Dubal, a member of the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, wanted to know if klotho could help our brains stay healthier and more resilient to cognitive problems. Could klotho levels predict how quickly subjects solved a variety of puzzles that test cognition? In both humans and mice, she found the same result: more klotho meant better cognitive function.\n\nTo bring this boost in brain health to everyone, and not just the 20 percent of people who happen to have naturally high klotho, Dubal is testing the protein’s potential as a therapeutic. The protein can exist in two forms: the first is anchored to the cell membranes of your organs, mostly your brain and kidneys; and the second occurs when the protein is cut loose from its anchor and freed to float around the bloodstream. Dubal found that by simply injecting this floating form into mice, she could re-create the cognitive boost she found by genetically increasing klotho.\n\n“We found that those mice that had been treated, within four hours had better brain function,” she said. This worked in young mice, old mice, and mice that had a condition similar to Alzheimer’s. Next, Dubal’s lab will try to understand how klotho acts on the brain without crossing the blood-brain barrier. And ultimately, could klotho become a therapy for humans to improve brain health and protect against aging and disease?\n\n“For humans, the end game really is: how can we increase our ‘healthspan?’” said Dubal. “And that may go hand in hand with an increase in life span, because the things that help us to live longer are also the things that help us to live better.”\n"}]}

DENTAL CROWNS -- why and when?

{"ops":[{"insert":"Generally speaking, crowns are a cosmetic restoration used to strengthen a tooth or improve its shape. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or partially destroyed by tooth decay.\n\nCrowns are 'cemented' onto an existing tooth and fully cover the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth's new outer surface. Crowns are usually made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Why and when?"},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Dr. Darlene Jeffries"},{"insert":", an experienced dentist from Pittsburgh-based dental practice "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Jeffries, Smith & Associates"},{"insert":" ("},{"attributes":{"link":""},"insert":""},{"insert":") explains: ''Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. Unlike fillings which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.''\n\nThere are a variety of situations that require a tooth to be restored with a dental crown. The following are the most common:\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Large filling"},{"insert":": When a tooth has a cavity or fracture that involves half the width of the tooth or more, it needs to be covered with a crown. This is because the remaining tooth around the large filling is so weak that it is prone to fracture. Sometimes a large filling that has been in the mouth for a while will need to be replaced with a crown because the tooth shows signs of stress and cracks around the filling.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Root canal"},{"insert":": Root canal treatment leaves the tooth hollowed out and predisposes the remaining tooth to cracking. So, a tooth that has had a root canal almost always needs to be restored with a crown immediately to prevent it from fracturing.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Cracked tooth syndrome"},{"insert":": This is a condition whereby a patient has fractures inside a tooth that cause pain when it is chewed on a certain way. Chewing produces stress on fracture lines that make it feel like it is splitting apart. A crown will hold the tooth together and redistribute the stress evenly throughout the tooth, eliminating the pain in most instances. In these situations, it is best to leave a temporary crown on for a while to make sure the pain goes away and the tooth doesn't require a root canal.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Broken cusps"},{"insert":": Cusps frequently break off of teeth due to trauma or large existing fillings. Since the cusps are the part of the tooth that take the most stress during chewing, they need to be completely covered or the tooth or filling will keep fracturing. Sometimes the tooth breaks all the way to the bone, and a crown-lengthening procedure is necessary. This means the bone and gums need to be trimmed down below the edge of the fractured part of the tooth so the margin of the crown can be placed on healthy, strong tooth structure.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Excessive wear of teeth"},{"insert":": If a person has a habit of grinding their teeth, the teeth will become shorter over time. The teeth can also wear away due to acid erosion caused by gastrointestinal acid reflux, bulimia, or an acidic diet. Sometimes, the enamel will wear away completely, leaving small, soft teeth. Over time, the bite can collapse and the only way of restoring the teeth to normal size is by covering the teeth with crowns.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Undesirable appearance of teeth"},{"insert":": Teeth that have an unacceptable appearance due to color, shape, or spaces between teeth can be made to look very natural and beautiful with crowns. Dental veneers are a very effective and conservative way of enhancing the look of the front teeth. They can be made to look very natural, and sometimes they don't even require preparing or shaving the existing teeth.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Other"},{"insert":": Crowns are placed on dental implants to restore spaces left from missing teeth. Another way of filling these spaces is with dental bridges, which are made from crowns on the teeth next to the spaces attached to fake teeth in the middle. If teeth are loose, crowns can be placed on multiple teeth and splinted together to provide more stability.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"What types of dental crowns are available?"},{"insert":"\n\nCrowns can be made out of a gold alloy, some other metal alloy, stainless steel, all-porcelain/all-ceramic, composite resin, zirconia, or porcelain on the outside fused to metal or zirconia on the inside. In some cases, ceramic crowns can be made with CAD/CAM technology by milling the crowns out of blocks of porcelain in the dental office, without the need for temporaries or a dental laboratory. There are advantages and disadvantages to all of the types of dental crowns. Stainless steel crowns are preformed crowns used to cover baby teeth for children. Gold dental crowns have traditionally been the most durable and require less of the tooth to be removed or shaved down. The primary advantage of porcelain crowns is their esthetics, while newer types of ceramic crowns have become increasingly more durable.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Find a dentist with extensive dental crown experience"},{"insert":"\n\nFinally, knowing that your teeth have been damaged or incomplete may have been holding you back more than you realized. If you're trying not to smile with your lips open, seeming subdued at work, or are always self-conscious in personal or professional situations, you could easily be missing opportunities to shine and dazzle those around you.\n\nEven if you have missed to do so in the past, take an opportunity to look into dental crowns which can improve your experience with your teeth for the rest of your life. A consultation with experienced dentists that have installed hundreds of crowns, like "},{"attributes":{"bold":true,"link":""},"insert":"Dr. Darlene and Dr. Zena Jeffries"},{"insert":" can determine if a crown is the best solution for your dental situation.\n"}]}

INVISILIGN -- the best orthodontic solution?

{"ops":[{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Invisalign "},{"insert":"is an alternative to wire braces that uses transparent, incremental aligners to adjust teeth. It is manufactured by Align Technology, a multinational medical device company headquartered in San Jose, California. The Invisalign treatment process involves taking a mold of the patient's teeth that is scanned in order to create a computerized model. Using the doctor's treatment plan, the computer model creates stages between the current and desired teeth positions that are used to create molds for individual aligners. The company was founded in "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"1997"},{"insert":". The Invisalign product was approved by the "},{"attributes":{"italic":true,"bold":true},"insert":"Food and Drug Administration"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":" "},{"insert":"in"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":" 1998"},{"insert":".\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Why would I want it?"},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Dr. Sean Sherman"},{"insert":", a certified Invisilign provider from Pittsburgh-based Sherman Orthodontics ("},{"attributes":{"link":""},"insert":""},{"insert":") explains: \"Not only are the aligners virtually invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment. Plus, brushing and flossing are no problem. They are also more comfortable than traditional braces, with no metal or wires, which also usually means you spend less time in your doctor's office getting adjustments. Invisalign treatment also allows you to view your own virtual treatment plan when you start so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"How does it work?"},{"insert":"\n\nYou wear each set of aligners for about two weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move - little by little, week by week - until they have straightened to their final positions. You'll visit your orthodontist about once every six weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. Total treatment time averages nine to 15 months and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 18 and 30, but both will vary from case to case.\n\nInvisalign treatment uses a series of virtually invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners that allow you to smile more during treatment as well as after. Invisalign clear aligners are made with 3D computer imaging technology and have been proven effective.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Traditional braces vs. Invisilign?"},{"insert":"\n\nClearly, in "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"comparing braces vs Invisalign"},{"insert":", it's a tight race. If you're an adult, or have a teen, who tends to be "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"self-conscious"},{"insert":", "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Invisalign "},{"insert":"may appeal to you. And the fact that it's "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"removable "},{"insert":"so you can eat, drink, brush and floss more naturally, may sound desirable. But if the idea of having to "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"remove your trays"},{"insert":" for meals or while drinking anything but water seems inconvenent, Invisalign may not be the best solution for you. Plus remember, you"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":" should brush after each meal"},{"insert":" before putting your trays back in, to avoid staining.\n\nExact success rates for braces vs Invisalign are difficult to find, since Invisalign has not been around long enough to gather sufficient long-term data. Plus, "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Invisalign's success "},{"insert":"depends largely on the beholder. If you don't wear them, they won't work. With braces, you don't have any choice in the matter! Lastly, if you need to address issues with your back teeth, need to rotate teeth or move teeth vertically, "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Invisalign may not even be an option"},{"insert":". That's why it's critical to enlist an orthodontist experienced with both traditional braces and Invisalign. Then he or she can recommend the most effective solution to perfect your smile and teeth.\n\nClearly, in"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":" comparing braces vs Invisalign"},{"insert":", it's a tight race. If you're an adult, or have a teen, who tends to be "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"self-conscious"},{"insert":", "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Invisalign "},{"insert":"may appeal to you. And the fact that it's "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"removable "},{"insert":"so you can eat, drink, brush and floss more naturally, may sound desirable. But if the idea of having to "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"remove your trays"},{"insert":" for meals or while drinking anything but water seems inconvenent, Invisalign may not be the best solution for you. Plus remember, you "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"should brush after each meal"},{"insert":" before putting your trays back in, to avoid staining.\n\nLastly, if you need to address issues with your back teeth, need to rotate teeth or move teeth vertically, Invisalign "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"may not even be an option"},{"insert":". That's why it's critical to enlist a provider experienced with both braces and Invisalign. Then your orthodontist can recommend the most effective solution to perfect your smile and teeth.\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Find a Certified Invisalign Provider"},{"insert":"\n\nStraightening your teeth to improve your smile and overall oral health should not be taken lightly. If you need help deciding whether braces or Invisalign makes more sense for you or your child, consult an experienced specialist\n\nBy 2016, there had been over two million Invisalign patients and many dentists and orthodontists in North America had been trained on the Invisalign system.\n\nConsider Invisalign treatment to get the beautiful straight teeth you've always wanted - without traditional braces. A consultation with a certified Invisilign provider like "},{"attributes":{"link":""},"insert":"Dr. Sean Sherman"},{"insert":" can determine if Invisalign clear aligners are the right choise for you.\n"}]}


{"ops":[{"insert":"Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Bacillus anthracis"},{"insert":". Anthrax most commonly occurs in hoofed mammals and can also infect humans. \n\nSymptoms of disease vary depending on how the disease was contracted, but usually occur within 7 days after exposure. The serious forms of human anthrax are inhalation anthrax, cutaneous anthrax, and intestinal anthrax.\n\nInitial symptoms of inhalation anthrax infection may resemble a common cold. After several days, the symptoms may progress to severe breathing problems and shock. Inhalation anthrax is often fatal. The intestinal disease form of anthrax may follow the consumption of contaminated food and is characterized by an acute inflammation of the intestinal tract. Initial signs of nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, and fever are followed by abdominal pain, vomiting of blood, and severe diarrhea.\n\nDirect person-to-person spread of anthrax is extremely unlikely, if it occurs at all. Therefore, there is no need to immunize or treat contacts of persons ill with anthrax, such as household contacts, friends, or coworkers, unless they also were also exposed to the same source of infection.\n\nIn persons exposed to anthrax, infection can be prevented with antibiotic treatment. Early antibiotic treatment of anthrax is essential–delay lessens chances for survival. Anthrax is usually susceptible to penicillin, doxycycline, ciprofloxacin (sometimes shortened to 'Cipro' ) and fluoroquinolones.\n\nAn anthrax vaccine also can prevent infection. Vaccination against anthrax is not recommended for the general public to prevent disease and is not available.\n\nThis article is based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.\n"}]}


{"ops":[{"insert":"Smallpox infection was eliminated from the world in "},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"1977"},{"insert":". \n\nSmallpox is caused by the "},{"attributes":{"italic":true,"bold":true},"insert":"variola"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":" "},{"insert":"virus. The incubation period is about 12 days (range: 7 to 17 days) following exposure. Initial symptoms include high fever, fatigue, and head and back aches. A characteristic rash, most prominent on the face, arms, and legs, follows in 2-3 days. The rash starts with flat red lesions that evolve at the same rate. Lesions become pus-filled and begin to crust early in the second week. Scabs develop and then separate and fall off after about 3-4 weeks. The majority of patients with smallpox recover, but death occurs in up to 30% of cases.\n\nSmallpox is spread from one person to another by infected saliva droplets that expose a susceptible person having face-to-face contact with the ill person. Persons with smallpox are most infectious during the first week of illness, because that is when the largest amount of virus is present in saliva. However, some risk of transmission lasts until all scabs have fallen off.\n\nRoutine vaccination against smallpox ended in 1972. The level of immunity, if any, among persons who were vaccinated before 1972 is uncertain; therefore, these persons are assumed to be susceptible. According to the "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Centers for Disease Control and Prevention"},{"insert":", vaccination against smallpox is not recommended to prevent the disease in the general public and therefore is not available.\n\nIn people exposed to smallpox, the vaccine can lessen the severity of or even prevent illness if given within 4 days after exposure. Vaccine against smallpox contains another live virus called "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"vaccinia"},{"insert":". The vaccine does not contain smallpox virus. The United States currently has an emergency supply of smallpox vaccine.\n\nThere is no proven treatment for smallpox, but research to evaluate new antiviral agents is ongoing. Patients with smallpox can benefit from supportive therapy (intravenous fluids, medicine to control fever or pain, etc.) and antibiotics for any secondary bacterial infections that occur.\n\nThis article is based on information from the "},{"attributes":{"italic":true},"insert":"Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."},{"insert":"\n"}]}