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A Virtual Help to Track and Improve Your Moods – Woebot

I‘m not sure if all of you have heard about this one but Woebot, is one app that calls itself a life coach. As an automated conversational agent, it helps you track your mood patterns and helps reduce depression through therapeutic conversation. What’s more all of it with a dash of humor.

It is created by a team of Stanford psychologists and AI experts its is rather an inexpensive solution for helping you out with mental health issues like depression. It uses talk therapy and checks on you every day once. Though experts who have worked to create this virtual therapist of sorts do want us to know that it is only capable of knowing as much as you reveal to it and thus it is more like a self help book to you as it can only help as much as you want to help yourself.

Woebot communicates with you through facebook messenger. So, one of the setbacks with this is with the data protection or privacy as Facebook does have access to the information shared on this bot and apparently owns these conversations. The brighter side for users seems to be the availability of a therapists anytime anywhere, according to the over 100 long term users.

FEATURES
Its available 24/7 – This is one therapist that can be available to your round the clock.
Its a therapist – A survey of users did show that woebot does help in making you feel better
Its a mood tracker – It tracks the patterns of your mood around the week and display the same over a graph.
Its a Teacher – Yup! that’s right it does share some interesting content with yourself
Its a learner – Over time through conversations, it gets to know you better
Its a seeker – It finds patterns that are hard for humans to see

Let’s come to the bottomline. Yes, after sharing all this information on this virtual therapist or conversationalist, you would want to know about it, already. It does come at a cost but certainly less expensive to a physical affair.

We do not know to how much extent does woebot help a depressed or a low in mood person but it does claim to make a little positive difference in your mood. Well, to use it or not, is just a matter or individual choice.

Gut Bacteria as an Anti – Aging Agent – An Overview

Gut Bacteria as an Anti - Aging Agent

Gut bacteria in the years to come can help reduce the effects of aging, rather could be of great help in slowing down aging process. This could be possible with the help of supplements derived from gut bacteria. These bacterial genes and compounds can also decrease the rate of tumor progression inside our body besides amyloid beta accumulation, a compound known to be related to Alzheimer’s disease, as per University of Texas Health Science Center.

The scientists and researchers fraternity is well aware that the body interacts with millions of microbes called the microbiomes, inside the body. These microbiomes tend to influence the metabolic and cognitive activities as well as the aging process. Scientists at the Huffington Center are investigating on the possibility of importance of genetic composition of microbiomes for long life.

Experimentation
An experiment was carried out on laboratory work C. elegans as doing it on mammals was quite challenging technically. The characteristics of C. Elegans are very much similar to that of human biology and are simple, transparent organisms with a short life span of upto 3 weeks. This aids in rapid collection of data.

The experiment involved deleting one gene each from the 4000 genes at a time in an e.coli bacteria library to study the effects of each one. The researchers fed each individual mutant bacteria to the C. Elegans and then observed the worm’s life span closely.

As per the researchers, out of 4000 bacterial genes that they tested, they deleted 29 of them and found that it increased the life span of the worms. Furthermore, they also noticed that, 12 of these bacteria restricted tumor growth besides amyloid-beta accumulation. Even purified colanic acid was provided to C. Elegans and showed increased life span in them besides fruit fly and other mammalian cells. They also found that colanic acid regulated the dynamics of cellular structures called mitochondria, responsible for providing energy to the cell.

Well, based on the research that has been carried out and is being carried out, the researchers affirmatively suggest that designing supplements of the bacteria or their compounds could help slow down the aging process.

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All You Need To Know About Lipomas

If you have seen some lumpy formations around your body of the size 1 cm – 2 cm then they could be lipomas. Lipoma is a lump formed under the skin from fat deposits. It is generally found in ages 40-60 years and areas may include neck, back or shoulders. They could occur in younger generations as well and on almost any part of the body.

Lipomas are generally slow growing tumors which are generally benign in nature. They might not grow also. As per doctors, they are rarely harmful and there is meager possibility of they turning malignant.

Lipomas

Detection
A lipoma is a fat tissue based tumor and is very soft to touch. Its just under the skin and rarely painful, but it could be. It is colorless, grows slowly and moves easily when you prod it with your finger.

Causes
As of now, there is not defined reason for causing Lipomas. Though, one of the most common reasons is genetic or heriditary factor.

Treatment
Though, a doctor may not suggest any treatment on lipomas as they are painless and non benign.
But, if you are uncomfortable with the lipomas as they might look ugly, then your doctor may remove it with a minor surgery that includes numbing the area around lipoma, creating an incision and removing it. Then stitching the incision. Alternatively Liposuction can be used for removal. Another option is steriod injections in and around the affected area in order to shrink the lipoma can be used. Steriods only help to an extend of shrinking them and not complete elimination.

Home Remedies
Some natural supplements have known to be very effective with fat deposits. This includes turmeric roots, dandelion roots and more. These are those detoxifying herbs that have to be consumed with a lot of water so as to aid in elimination of the toxins. You can even take in turmeric by adding a teaspoon every day in your milk.

There are a few natural oils that might just help in controlling lipomas. This includes tea tree, frankincense, castor oil, sage oil, to name a few. Simple add a half a teaspoon of oil in you regular hair oil and apply it to the affected areas twice a day. Castor oil can also be massaged at night before going to bed on and around the lipomas.

When you use home remedies, their effect is generally slow but steady. So, you need to have a lot of patience to see the results. Use the home remedies atleast for a month and if it does not seem to work then try some other remedy from the suggested ones as per suitability. Its not that natural remedies won’t work. They might just work for you if you keep calm and use them for a long duration of time. There are stories where natural remedies have been affective in treating lipomas. They do not have side effects, so you may as well try them out.

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Seal Your Heart With Glue Patches Inspired From Slugs

Here is some interesting and possibly affirmative news about heart repair. A report released in July 2017 science journal describes about a glue that has the ability to stick to wet and dynamic surfaces including that of a heart. Many of us are aware about surgical glues used in medical procedures but what we might not be aware is that most of them turn out to be toxic to the cells.

Seal Your Heart With Glue Patches

Properties
The glue is very tough and stretchy enough. It is known to be inspired by the slimy and large slug species from Western Europe and North American regions – Arion subfuscus. This very characteristic of the slimy slug inspired the researchers to create a man made version of the same. A slimy slug is made up of polymers which is a straight and long chain of molecules. These are cross linked to each other. The best part being that the bonds are covalent as well as iconic. This hybrization of slug mucus results in it being highly stretchy and tough. Based on this, the researchers created a similar artificial version of the slug polymer.

Testing
This adhesive has been successfully tested on a pigs heart by researchers at Harvard university’s Wyss Institute for biologically inspired engineering. Besides, they have tested it on a pigs arteries, liver tissues, skin, cartiliage and included blood covered and water inflated hearts. The end result shows that its prowess was eight times as strong as the available surgical glues in the market.
Furthermore, it has been tested on rats as well. The procedure involved an emergency surgery wherein a rats liver tissue was sliced up and patched up with the newly created glue as well as a blood staunching product called surgiflo. While the rat that was treated using surgiflo suffered from scar tissue and tissue death, the ones treated using the new found adhesive showed good blood stoppage and no additional hemorrhaging up to two weeks post surgery.

Availability
Its usability in the operation theatres requires further extensive clinical testing but the researchers are highly positive on its availability for treatment of external wounds sooner than later.

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Soure: https://www.livescience.com/59959-slug-slime-glue-patches-pig-hearts.html

see video – Slug-Inspired Glue Sticks Together a Beating Heart

Hopes Of HIV Cure Strengthen

Here is a good news on HIV treatment. It has so happened that a child diagnosed with HIV appears to be cured of it after just a year of treatment and living a drug free life after wards upto eight and a half years. The infant had contracted the HIV virus from its mother and went treatment for 40 continuous to suppress the virus. After that the child was monitored consistently to check for relapse, if any. But, to the surprise of the doctors, even now after almost 8.5 years without drugs, the child hasn’t shown any signs of relapse.

Cure HIV

The child is of South African origin. As of now the child is 10 years old and is not taking any drugs. Apparently, patients with HIV need to use anti-retroviral (ART or ARV) drugs all their life once diagnosed. Also known as elite controllers, if these drugs are stopped abruptly, the virus usually comes back roaring within just a few weeks.

This is one of the rare cases and there have been a few similar cases earlier. Well, as per experts, it is a ray of hope wherein there is a less possibility of relapse if the treatment is started immediately after the diagnosis of HIV. Some case studies in France include almost 30 people who had undergone ARVs for 3 years continuously and stopped treatment for various reasons theron. The HIV virus had remained undetected in these people for an average of 7 years without treatment. On the flip side, there was this case of an HIV patient who underwent treatment within 10 days of being infected with it. The treatment spread over a period of 34 weeks. After that, a massive sampling of his blood, spinal fluid, bone marrow, rectum and some more parts in the body was done, but the virus was not detected. However, once the blood sample of his was injected into a humanized mouse, it did resurface. As it was not detected, the treatment was discontinued, but the virus relapsed within 7 months.

Nevertheless, experts say that the case of non detection of HIV in the 10 year old South African is one of the rarest of cases yet, it does pave the way to research on not just long term remission of the virus in individuals who begin treatment immediately after detection but in investigating the effects of treatment on infants immediately after their birth as a part of sustained virological control of HIV.

** source from Internet **

Facts and Tips on Eye and Care

Just imagine a vision free life. You can’t right? Eyes are such an important part of the body and caring for them is thus equally important. We’re aren’t aware that sometimes knowingly or unknowingly we make our eyes suffer. Here is a run down a few facts and some eye care tips to help you keep your vision safe. Let us first run through some facts and then a few tips on eye care.

Facts and Tips on Eye and Care

Sun glasses and Spectacles are good for eyes – There has been a myth that wearing spectacles for a long span affects eyes adversely. This is not at all true, spectacles are good for your eyes and only help in improving your vision and not degrading it.

Smoking is bad for your eyes – Yes, the fact is smoking is responsible for increasing macular degeneration. Smoking harms the blood vessels of the optic nerve as well as the retina and damages it. On a long run, it can also result in loss of eyesight.

Non removal of Eye makeup is harmful – These days girls use a lot of eye makeup accessories that include eye lash volumizers, eyeliner, maskara, etc. As per reports of experts the eye makeup can get into the eye layers and harm them. It is therefore important to remove all makeup after use and use antibiotic drops for eye protection.

Protect your eyes from the PC/ Laptop – As our life style has changed predominantly in the last decade or so, with most of the work being done on PCs/ laptops, eye protection becomes an ever concerning issue. We tend to spend most of our day on the PC or laptop and hence our eyes are put to risk. As per experts, its ideal to give your eyes some rest every couple of hours to avoid straining and vision blurring issues. Resting process includes shutting your eyes ever half and hour to forty five minutes for a few minutes, moisturizing them and lubricating them as well.

Do not wear lenses while asleep - Its a real bad idea to sleep with your eye lenses on. Doing this repeatedly can cost you your vision. So, remove lenses every night and soak them in a disinfectant. Also, while wearing them be careful to touch them with clean hands and store them in a clean case as well.

Eyes are not forever – Caring for your eyes is important, yes it is, but we need to remember that eye issues are going to occur as and when we age and at some point of time we all need to do a cataract surgery mostly. But, with proper eye care you can definitely prolong that time and have good healthy eye sight for longer years.

Well, stay outdoors, with nature, keep your eyes clean and lubricate them, moisturize them and protect them with sun shades and spectacles and keep them working efficiently for you for a long long time.

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First Strokes – Now Earlier Than Before

A recent study in USA has found that there has been a significant rise in the first stroke rates at younger ages. The startling figures indicate a growth in strokes rates for age groups of people under 55. The matter of concern lies in the fact that people who suffer from strokes at such earlier age and survive tend to have adverse effects on their health leading to disabilities of different types for a longer period post the stroke compared to the ones suffering from strokes at an old age of 65 plus.

Study also revealed that average age for stroke had decreased by two years and the common type of stroke occuring in these age groups is generally the ischemic stroke. The risk factors included type 2 diabetes with high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation.

First Strokes - Now Earlier Than Before

This above stays true for USA but coming to India, the figures are rather alarming. India tops the list of heart attacks in young age. The figures state that 78% of males between the age group of 30 and 35 are under the risk of heart attack. Further, because the arteries of Indians are narrow as compared to the caucasians, the risk is much more because of the genetical vulnerability.

The reason is early aging of the heart. Your calendar age may be in your 30’s but biologically your heart may be older by 8 -10 years, majorly due to unhealthy lifestyle and to some extent genes. The world is also coming to terms with the concept of heart age which is calculated on the basis of age, gender, total and HDL, blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, BMI and more. As per doctors, youth does not mean protection to the heart against stroke. With a rather unhealthy lifestyle that includes fats, excessive caffeine, alcohol and salts, it is only going to come sooner than later.

Generally speaking, Indians consume very less fruits, not even a single fruit every day rather. Moreover, the food is loaded with refined carbohyrdates and saturated fats and prolonged cooking destroys most of the nutrients from the food. Hence, it is but natural for heart diseases to occur at early ages.

The only benefit today as compared to earlier times is that with the advancement in technology heart attacks can be predicted accurately as much as 90%. Tests like CT coronary Angiogram, measure cartid IMT, high sensitivity CRP in blood, stress testing, lipid profile, blood sugar, BMI and more can help indicate the risk factors. Therefore, a 64-slice CT scan every few years post the age of 30 is advisable to Indians to check for blockages in the artery.

Well, for Indians, its time to change the lifestyle and adopt a healthy one loaded with fruits and exercises included to ensure that the biological age is much younger than the calendar and not vice versa.

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Source: https://www.livescience.com/56911-age-stroke-declining.html

Frozen Shoulder – Tips On Dealing With The Painful Shoulder Condition

Medically known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder usually affects only one shoulder. It is most commonly found in people with diabetic conditions. This condition causes the swelling of the articular shoulder capsule, swelling and stiffening of it and restricting mobility to an extent. Its medical name is derived from the Latin word adhaerens, capsula and it is meaning sticking, little container and inflammation respectively. This condition commonly occurs in the age group of 40 -60 years and most in women more than men.

Frozen Shoulder

A shoulder is made up of a speriodal joint. The other joint has a concave slaught where the round part of one bone fits in. Frozen shoulder is the consequence of thickening of the shoulder joints capsule due to the formation of the scar tissue there. This in turn results in tightening and immobility of the shoulder, even causing pain.

SYMPTOMS
The most common symptom is stiffness in the shoulder join and persistent pain. Frozen shoulder pain is divided into three stages namely painful stage, frozen stage and thawing stage.

Painful stage – This is the first stage of the condition and is very painful. The shoulder stiffens and restricts movement. The pain might aggravates at night.

Frozen stage – This is the second stage of the condition and results in worsening the stiffness of the shoulder. It is restricts the motion to a greater extent compared to the first stage and is painful. The pain thankfully doesn’t worsen.

Thawing Stage – This is the final stage of the condition wherein improvement in the shoulder can be noticed. The pain gradually fades and the shoulder movement improves. But, there are chances of it re-occuring though.

DIAGNOSIS
The diagnosis of frozen shoulder involves the following –
A close physical examination of the shoulders by pressing the pain points and checking the arm movement.
An X-ray to reaffirm the same or an MRI.

RISK FACTORS
The most common risk factors for frozen shoulder include -

Diabetes – It is one of the most common causes of frozen shoulder, though the reason is unknown.

Aging – This condition is common amongst people between age groups of 40 -60 years

Stroke – It also occurs amongst people who have suffered from stroke in the past
Other risk factors include Hypothroidism with overactive or underactive thyroids, Parkinsons disease and Cardiovascular disease.

TREATMENT
Treatment of frozen shoulder aims in increasing the mobility of the shoulder while decreasing the pain. Having said that, you need to accept the fact that the recovery of frozen shoulder takes a long time and can vary from 6 months to a few years as well.

Compression Packs – Use of Hot and cold compression packs on a regular basis can help you decrease the swelling and pain as well. Its better to use the two alternatively rather than using only one of them.

Exercise- Exercising regularly and mildly can help regain shoulder mobility to a good extent.

Pain Killers – Pain killers like ibuprofen and paracetamol or Tylenol can be taken in case of high pain but its important to not make it a habit. As frozen shoulder could last for a few years as well, its advisable to take them only in dire need and also check with your doctor first before taking any of them to confirm the suitability.

Transutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) - In this treatment procedure, small electric pads are applied to the skin through which small pulses of electricity are passed on with the help of a TENS machine.

Physiotherapy – A physiotherapist helps you through exercises that for lower pain and regaining mobility without straining the shoulder.

Shoulder Arthroscopy – This involves a small surgery wherein an endoscope is inserted through the small incision into the shoulder joint in order to remove the scar tissue.

Shoulder Manipulation – This involves a small surgery wherein the shoulder joint is moved gently and is done in a rather few cases.

Well, Frozen shoulder is a prolonged condition and needs to be tackled smartly with patience. With proper care it might as well fade away in half a year or so, but can rebound as well.

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ALL ABOUT MESENTERIC ADENITIES – INFLAMMATION OF LYMPH NODES IN THE MESENTERY

Before we talk about the condition, for those of us who aren’t aware of the less likely used term Mesentry, lets know what the term means. Mesentry holds the abdominal wall in place by attaching to it. Now, Mesenteric adenities or Mesenteric lymphadenitis causes swelling of the lymph nodes in the mesentry. Mild in nature, the infection is easily cured without treatment in a few days. Here’s a run down about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of the same.

MESENTERY

Causes - The lymph nodes belong to the lympathic system and are spread across the body. These lymph nodes store lymphocytes or white blood cells that are body’s soldiers against any attack in form of infections or more. Thus, lymph nodes are body protectors in a way. Whenever there is an attack like infection, the number of WBC’s in the lymph nodes increase resulting in painful swelling. Mesenteric adneitis could be either bacterial or viral or due to some sort of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or cancer.

Signs and Symptoms - The early symptoms vary from simple cold or sore throat to upper respiratory infection or pain around the belly button and lower right side of the abdomen. Sometimes, this type of pain could be misinterpreted as appendicitis or ectopic pregnancy. Other common symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

Diagnosis and Treatment – The pain that Mesenteric lymphadenitis causes is generally very mild in nature and hence does not require any sort of intervention.

Complications and more – In case the pain is severe in nature which could rarely happen, or if there is some irregularity in bowel movement, you are advised to seek medical consult as soon as possible. Further more, if your infection lasts for a longer period which is not the case with Mesenteric lymphadenitis generally, it could be severe bacterial infection, requiring immediate treatment. Any neglect in the matter, could lead to it spreading through the blood stream causing a life threatening condition known as Sepsis. So, you need to be informed and take necessary action if symptoms mentioned above persist.

Well, this is a condition not known to many people and generally gets healed without intervention but in cases where complications arise, medical help needs to be sought without fail

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HYDROGEN RICH WATER – BENEFITS

Hydrogen enriched water is loaded with health benefits that include inflammation and wrinkle reduction, aiding in metabolizing glucose and fat faster. To take advantage of these benefits you need to drink only two glasses of hydrogen rich water or 500ml as compared to studies that say that our body requires 8 to 10 glasses of water per day.

Here is a run down some of the major health benefits that Hydrogen rich water provides -

HYDROGEN RICH WATER

Protects your Brain – Our brain gets damages due to several reasons like stroke, surgery or oxidative stress over time. Hydrogen rich water consumption protects you against the neurological damage that is caused due to any such brain injury.

Improves Fat and Glucose Metabolism – Studies and research carried out on rats has revealed that hydrogen rich water improves the glucose metabolism and fat in people suffering from type 2 diabetes as well. Furthermore it effects are also found on cholesterol, fatty liver and obesity.

Prevents Bone loss and Osteopenia – Alkaline or hydrogen enriched water helps in maintaining the PH in your blood without much of a use of magnesium and calcium stores in the bones and muscles. It thus helps in retaining the minerals and proteins inside the bone tissue, ultimately preventing bone loss and osteopenia, a condition caused to the reduction of the same.

Works well against Inflammation – A research experiment conducted on mice revealed that drinking hydrogen rich water relieved the mice suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. Another other study also proved that it could relieve lung inflammation, liver disease and specifically help asthmatic condition.

Eases Cancer Treatment Radiations side effects – Radiation therapy on A study on cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy showed that patients drinking two quarts of hydrogen rich water everyday over six weeks showed lower blood levels of oxidative markers and thus better quality of life compared to tap water drinkers undergoing therapy.

Well, the data available on the long term benefits of hydrogen is not much but primary studies do indicate that hydrogen rich water could certainly help, considering the benefits mentioned.

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