Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mercury: a friend or a foe?

Xean James, a 7 year old kid, was rushed to the hospital due to heavy metal poisoning. Thanks to the management and the health care team that attended him, his life was saved. Days have passed, the boy fully recovered from the tragic incident. One sunny morning, Leslee, the mother of the child, visited his son and grab the chance to sit back and talk to his naughty son about what just had happened. She told her son that the reason behind his hospitalization was due to exposure to mercury.

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Exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury, aluminum, copper, and other less common metals can cause serious disease and can be fatal. Scientist has established threshold limits that indicate dangerous exposure, depending on the metal in question, but there is widespread controversy over whatever any degree of exposure can be considered safe and tolerable. In fact, no one knows if even the smallest exposure to any toxic metal is safe, particularly, among people considered sensitive to a particular metal.


  1. HAIR MINERAL ANALYSIS. This test offers a cost-effective and painless way of screening for chronic heavy metal accumulation in the body. A small amount of hair is collected from the nape of the neck, where removal is not visible. Hair that has just emerged from the follicle provides a good representation of heavy metal exposure in the recent past. If a hair analysis shows significant abnormalities, additional information can be obtained by performing a urine provocation test fro more exact measurement and confirmation of results.

  1. URINE PROVOCATION TESTS. Typically, the patient is given an oral or intravenous injection of an agent designed to concentrate heavy metals in the urine, which is then collected for the next 6 to 24 hours fro analysis. Based on these results, a course of heavy metal detoxification, typically using oral or injectable chelating agents, can be determined.

  1. BLOOD TESTS. These are less useful fro measuring heavy metal toxins. For toxic metals to show up in blood tests, you need to have significant toxicity or poisoning. Subacute and low grade accumulation are much more common, yet are rarely detected with blood tests, so in most cases we prefer hair or urine screening tests.


Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods 21st Edition, Edited By Richard A. McPherson, Matthew R. Pincus, 2007

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The New Trend

With this moral issue, bigger part of me is personally, physically, socially, legally, logically, and spiritually in favor for it. The approval of drug testing methods and procedures to any student, faculty staff or to any personnel related to the school (even the security guards) must undergo with this policy –if approved.

In this process, we are not primarily after catching the lawbreakers but we are after the PREVENTION of further drug abuse amongst youngsters. Especially nowadays wherein, youth are easily influenced by the people around them.

PEER PRESSURE underlies this cause.

But wait, there’s a big BUT, if drug testing will be implemented to all universities, schools and colleges, I strongly suggest that the test should not be administered prior to school opening nor enrollment but rather must be done in unannounced date during the academic year of the said campus.

That’s my point of view with regards to that issue. And I would stand fro it ALL THE WAY, HIGHWAY! lol:)


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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Killing yourself Softly.

Try these simple steps.

1. Smoke Regularly.

Ingredients of a Cigar stick:




d. TAR


Those are some of the thousands of chemicals that can be found in a single stick of your commercially available cigarette stick. For more info about the chemicals visit this site.

Factors to consider why cigarette is one of the most abused substances:

  1. First, no one can deny that it is very CHEAP!
  2. You can buy anywhere and anytime you want. Almost every store here in our place sells cigarette sticks.
  3. Even there is a law prohibiting people to smoke, the government legalized the tobacco industry. Primarily because the government benefits from the taxes that they added to it.
  4. Even our PRESIDENT smokes!
  5. There lots of commercials endorsing the habit of smoking.
  6. According to the people I talked to, smoking relieves stress, makes you feel that you are the so-called “astig” or “siga ng bayan”, promotes bowel movement, and makes you feel light.

Cigarette smoking is said to be addictive because nicotine. Nicotine acts as a stimulant which stimulates the mind and the body. When the tolerance of an individual rose up, then one ends up needing to use larger doses of nicotine to maintain a certain level of the physiological effect. And when the body becomes habituated by the presence of nicotine, the body now requires the use of some chemical to help the body in functioning well and normally.

2. Drink Always.


  • slows down brain activity
  • affects alertness, judgment, coordination, and reaction time
  • drinking increases the risk of falls and accidents
  • Heavy drinking can permanently damages the brain and central nervous system, as well as the liver, heart, kidneys, and stomach

Reasons why people drink: (according to

A lot of research has been done to find and explore the reason why people drink alcohol. From research conducted in the Netherlands among 15 to 25 year-olds, the following answers came up:

· Sociability (71%)

· Like the taste (51%)

· Feel at ease (12%)

· Get intoxicated (6%)

· Get drunk (2%)

· Because everybody does it (6%)

· To forget problems (0%)

Alcohol gets risky when you need more to feel good. If you can't do that anymore on your own, and you use the alcohol for it, at a certain point you run the risk of starting to drink more and more each time to still feel the effects. This can be the beginning of an addiction. If you drink to feel good, you should ask yourself if you can also feel at ease without alcohol.

Factors to consider why alcoholic drinks are one of the most abused substances:

  • Like cigars, you can buy it anywhere and anytime (even while doing your weekly grocery, you can locate an isle on the supermarket especially for alcoholic drinks)
  • The government also benefits from the taxes added to alcoholic products.
  • and it is a great way to SOCIALIZE.

Manifestations of alcohol abuse include:

· Failure to fulfill major responsibilities at work, school, or home

· Drinking in dangerous situations, such as drinking while driving or operating machinery

· Legal problems related to alcohol, such as being arrested for drinking while driving or for physically hurting someone while drunk.

· Continued drinking despite ongoing relationship problems

· Long-term alcohol abuse can turn into alcohol dependence

The difference between Alcoholism and Alcohol Addiction

Alcoholism is the allergy stemming from the body's inability to process alcohol without it triggering the event of desire. Alcoholics unavoidably get drunk, once started drinking.


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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cinderella and the Cursed Apple

Hear this BABY!!!

“An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.”

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I’ve heard this quotation a lot of time, from different lips in various places. But how "100% panatag ka" that an apple a day really keeps the doctor away?

As I indulge myself to my daily doze of breakfast, I didn’t notice that I was eating my apple up to its middle part where the seeds are located. Out of nowhere, I took a bite of the apple seed, and it tasted awkward, it was like something I couldn’t explain, and there’s no exact word even in the dictionary that can explain the taste I felt.

Without hesitation, I stopped eating my apple and ran hurriedly to my computer and started to do some research. Due to the curiosity I felt, I found out that APPLE SEEDS contain toxic substances. And I’m talking about CYANOGENIC GLYCOSIDES also known as PRUNASIN. This chemical compound is cyanide attached to a sugar. Cyanogenic glycosides are not solely found in apples. It is also found in peaches, apricots, cherries and raspberries (so you better watch what you eat)

When small amounts of prunasin are ingested the following will be manifested by the patient:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting

But when large amounts are ingested the following will occur:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increase cardiac output
  • Convulsion
  • Coma
  • At worst, even DEATH

The good part is, eating 1 apple (with the seeds) will not kill you. It will take 100 grams of prunasin or half a cup of apple seeds to make 150 lbs ill. Therefore, we can still say that “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” in spite of the toxic chemical found on the seeds.

For more additional information about this news, click this.

Moral of the story:

Things consumed in excess are bad. Self control is advised.




The Nth commenter will receive a special treat from me.

(Clue: N is equal to the date of my birthday. :]

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Inside the lab

“An unexamined life is a life not worth living.”


A quotation that is printed on the shirt of my co-passenger in the jeepney when I was going home last Saturday. Thanks to Socrates, because of his philosophy, I was reminded of our assignment in Clinical Chemistry: to research about the laboratory test regarding catecholamines.

And as the jeepney ride becomes boring 'cause of the traffic jams, I decided to peak through the windows to gasp some fresh air and be amused on how the construction worker manages the bulldozer as it picks and throws heavy rocks from one place to another. And in a blink of an eye, I was transported to a certain hospital that seemed so familiar to me yet I can’t remember the exact details why this hospital appears to be a part of my life.

Still in a state of shock as to what was happening to me, I didn’t notice that a nurse was talking to me in that very instant. She’s like explaining things to me about what I will be going through. She asked me if I exercised, smoked or in emotional stress, and I answered no. She smiled and said "Good boy, because if you did one of the things that I have mentioned, results of your test will be inaccurate." Feeling confused and puzzled, I remembered her explaining the test, that what I will be going through is for my own sake. Also, I must remain calm as I can cause either negative and positive results.

The nurse then instructed me to go to the laboratory downstairs. I didn’t know why I followed her. Going downstairs, I saw a familiar face going the opposite direction. I smiled to him, and he smiled back. I liked to open a conversation with him, but when I looked, back he was gone. I felt goosebumps all over my body.

As I still refresh my mind of the guy, I didn’t notice that “nasa laboratory na pala ako.”, and a Med.Tech warmly welcomed me. I noticed that he was holding a tray of syringes, wet and dry cotton, tourniquet, micropore and a GREEN VACUTAINER TUBE. I remembered in our class discussions that a green vacutainer tube contains sodium heparin or lithium heparin. This anticoagulant is said to potentiate the action of antithrombin III.

After 30 minutes, the med tech told me to lie in a supine position and inserted the needle right into my vein. When I was about to feel uncomfortable of the situation, I remembered the angelic face of the nurse telling me to be calm as the sea. So I did. And after the procedure, I was left puzzled (again) as to why I had to wait for 30 mins before starting the procedure. Surprisingly, even before asking him, he answered right back at me. This is assure that I will be as comfortable as I can be, because anxiety or unease feeling will increase catecholamine blood level.

Then the medtech asked me to go to the doctor’s main office, and without hesitation I did. It was like I was hypnotized to follow whatever they were telling me. Before I leave the laboratory, a paper flew to me from the pocket of the medtech, and i read whats on it, its about RADIOMETRIC ANALYSIS of CATECHOLAMINES. According to what is written on the paper, it says that doing the said method of catecholamine determination follows the following principle:

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And in a split of a second, I was with the doctor. Amazing! He started to open the conversation asking me that if I know the purpose of the test. I answered back no. The doctor explains that the test was to determine whether I have pheochromocytoma or tumors of the nervous system that affects the catecholamine levels that are secreted in my body. This results in constant or intermittently high blood pressure. Incidents of high blood pressure may be escorted by indications such as headache, sweating, palpitations, and anxiety. The test was also to determine if high blood pressure and other symptoms are connected to unseemly hormone secretion and to spot the type of tumor causing elevated catecholamine levels. "And for the normal level of the catecholamines, read this", said the doctor.

Before thanking the doctor, I heard people laughing. I felt that someone was shaking me. I didn’t know her but I remembered that this particular old lady was in the same jeep as I am. She’s waking me up because I was drooling. I knew it! I was just sleeping. Everything was a dream. And as I wiped the drool, I was enlightened and happy (though they were still laughing -- "saliva case") because I now know how to present my CC assignment in a different way.

for additional income for the brain about RIA test for this

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Adrenal Medulla and the Hormones Secreted

It was very late in the evening, and yes! I can’t sleep, even if my body wants to, but my mind doesn’t. And I do know the reason why, I just keep myself unaware of the feeling what I’m going through. The feeling which everyone wishes to feel with somebody and for some people, it’s the feeling that they don’t want to go through anymore. Wait! I’m not supposed to discuss this. Back to the real topic which is the “ADRENAL MEDULLA and the Hormones it Secretes".

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According to all the books and internet resources I’ve read lately, the adrenal medulla is the interior fraction of the adrenal gland that plays a big job in the SYMPATHETIC-ADRENAL MEDULLARY SYSTEM. The ADRENAL MEDULLA is totally surrounded by cortical epithelium. It is composed chiefly of chromaffin cells.

Out body's response to the stress (like exercise), the medullary cells releases catecholamines into the blood. 17:3 is the ratio of the epinephrine to norepinephrine when secreted by the medullary cells. It is also the site of the conversion of TYROSINE (an amino acid) into the stress hormone, EPINEPHRINE and NOREPINEPHRINE.


EPINEPHRINE- a catecholamine which naturally occur in the body. It is synthesized from tyrosine in the adrenal medulla and released along with norepinephrine into the bloodstream. The following are some of its functions.

a. CARDIOVASCULAR EFFECT: strengthens the hearts contractility and increases the rate of contraction therefore, cardiac output increases which in return supplies more oxygen to the muscles putting the body in an alert or heightened state.

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b. RESPIRATORY EFFECT: a powerful bronchodilator. In case of asthma attacks, epinephrine rapidly relieves dyspnea and increases the tidal volume of the lungs.

c. HYPERGLYCEMIA EFFECT: inhibits insulin-induced glucose uptake in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue leading to a rapid increase in plasma glucose concentration.

NOREPINEPHRINE- a stress hormone which have an effect on the part of the brain where awareness and responding actions are controlled. Along with adrenaline or the epinephrine, it also underlies the flight-or-flight response by setting off the release of glucose, and mounting the blood flow to skeletal muscle. The following are some of its functions.

a. VASCULAR EFFECT: the noradrenaline hormone dilates the blood vessels during vasoconstriction. When the blood vessels are dilated, there is an increase flow of blood due to the decrease of vascular resistance. In short, it will lead to a decrease ion blood pressure.

b. HYPERGLYCEMIA EFFECT: norepinephrine increases the production of the glucose (not as the same amount with epinephrine, its less than) but increases glucose uptake and its utilization in skeletal muscle and in adipose tissue by the potent beta3 andrenergic receptor that is independent of insulin action. This now explains the principle that lies beneath in the immediate source of energy during stressful situations.

  • dilation of the pupil
  • hair stands on end ("gooseflesh" in humans)
  • clotting time of the blood is reduced;
  • increased ACTH secretion from the anterior lobe of the pituitary.

All of these effects prepare the body to take immediate and vigorous action.

Thats all up to now.

I hope that this post helped you

alot with your concerns. :)


with the currently music your listening to right now (the one embedded in my profile) tell me what do you think is the relation of this song to my topic (post it as a comment) and ill be giving free globe load for the first one who will get it correctly/nearest to the answer (for mt4 people only).. :)


· Medical physiology: principles for clinical medicine by Rhoades, Rodney




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