Category Human Body

What is anaemia?

Anemia is defined as a low number of red blood cells. In a routine blood test, anemia is reported as a low hemoglobin or hematocrit. Hemoglobin is the main protein in your red blood cells. It carries oxygen, and delivers it throughout your body. If you have anemia, your hemoglobin level will be low too. If it is low enough, your tissues or organs may not get enough oxygen. 

Anemia affects more than two billion people globally, which is more than 30% of the total population. It is especially common in countries with few resources, but it also affects many people in the industrialized world. Within the U.S., anemia is the most common blood condition. An estimated three million Americans have the disorder.

Anemia can have other affects on your body in addition to feeling tired or cold. Other signs that you might be lacking in iron include having brittle or spoon-shaped nails and possible hair loss. You might find that your sense of taste has changed, or you might experience ringing in your ears.

Different types of anemia may lead to other serious problems. People with sickle cell anemia often have heart and lung complications.


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What is bloating?

Bloating is a condition where your belly feels full and tight, often due to gas. When you are bloated, you feel as if you’ve eaten a big meal and there is no room in your stomach. Your stomach feels full and tight. It can be uncomfortable or painful. Your stomach may actually look bigger. It can make your clothes fit tighter.

Bloating happens when the GI tract becomes filled with air or gas. This can be caused by something as simple as the food you eat. Some foods produce more gas than others. It can also be caused by lactose intolerance (problems with dairy). 

Your doctor can generally diagnose the cause of your bloating through a physical exam in the office. He or she will ask you questions about your symptoms. They will want to know if your bloating is occasional or if it occurs all the time.

Temporary bloating is usually not serious. If it happens all the time, your doctor may order other tests. These could include an imaging test to look inside your abdomen. This could be an X-ray or CT scan.


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What is stomach flu?

The stomach flu (gastroenteritis) is a nonspecific term for various inflammatory problems in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Food allergies may produce eosinophilic gastroenteritis, a sign of which is increased eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) seen in the blood. Children with the stomach flu or gastroenteritis have similar symptoms to adults, but also may have symptoms such as refusing to drink or being very thirsty.

The main way contagious causes of the stomach flu are spread is person to person via the fecal-oral route. Individuals at most risk of catching the stomach flu are those in close association with an infant, child, or an adult that has a viral or bacterial cause of stomach flu .

Stomach flu is diagnosed in most cases without specific tests, however, tests can help define the underlying cause. Home remedies may reduce symptoms of stomach flu, including diet changes. Most people with viral or mild bacterial gastroenteritis require no treatment. Some individuals may require symptom reduction with medications but more serious bacterial infections may require antibiotic therapy.


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What is an ulcer?

Ulcers are sores that are slow to heal or keep returning. They can take many forms and can appear both on the inside and the outside of your body.

They can be found on places of your body you can see, such as a leg ulcer found on the skin, or in places you can’t see, such as a peptic ulcer in the lining of your stomach or upper intestine. From your eye to your foot, you can get them just about anywhere on your body.

Injuries, diseases, and infections can cause them. What they look like depends on where you have them and how you got them. While some go away on their own, others cause serious problems if you don’t treat them.


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Which is the smallest and lightest bone in the human body?

The stapes is the smallest and lightest bone in the human body at 3mm x 2.5 mm in size. The shape of a stirrup, it is one of three tiny bones in the middle ear, collectively known as the ossicles, that convey sound waves from the outer ear to the inner ear. The other two are the malleus (hammer) and the incus (anvil).

The stapes develops from the second pharyngeal arch during the sixth to eighth week of embryological life. The central cavity of the stapes, the obturator foramen, is due to the presence embryologically of the stapedial artery, which usually regresses in humans during normal development.

The stapes is one of three ossicles in mammals. In non-mammalian four-legged animals, the bone homologous to the stapes is usually called the columella; however, in reptiles, either term may be used. In fish, the homologous bone is called the hyomandibular, and is part of the gill arch supporting either the spiracle or the jaw, depending on the species. The equivalent term in amphibians is the pars media plectra.

The stapes appears to be relatively constant in size in different ethnic groups. In 0.01–0.02% of people, the stapedial artery does not regress, and persists in the central foramen. In this case, a pulsatile sound may be heard in the affected ear, or there may be no symptoms at all. Rarely, the stapes may be completely absent.


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How many sweat glands are there in the human body?

Humans have 2,000,000 to 5,000,000 eccrine sweat glands, with an average distribution of 150 to 340 per square centimetre. They are most numerous on the palms and soles and then, in decreasing order, on the head, trunk, and extremities. Some individuals have more glands than others, but there is no difference in number between men and women.

The specific function of sweat glands is to secrete water upon the surface so that it can cool the skin when it evaporates. The purpose of the glands on the palms and soles, however, is to keep these surfaces damp, to prevent flaking or hardening of the horny layer, and thus to maintain tactile sensibility. A dry hand does not grip well and is minimally sensitive.

The glands on the palms and soles develop at about 3 1/2 months of gestation, whereas those in the hairy skin are the last skin organs to take shape, appearing at five to 5 1/2 months, when all the other structures are already formed. This separation of events over time may represent a fundamental difference in the evolutionary history of the two types of glands. Those on palms and soles, which appear first and are present in all but the hooved mammals, may be more ancient; those in the hairy skin, which respond to thermal stimuli, may be more recent organs.


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What is gustatory sweating?

Gustatory sweating is sweating that occurs on the forehead, scalp, neck, and upper lip while eating, talking, or thinking about food.

Gustatory sweating can occur for no apparent reason or as a result of an underlying condition, such as diabetes or Parkinson’s disease. These diseases can also cause damage to the nerves in the mouth. When the nerves become injured, they can become confused and cause sweating.

Gustatory sweating may cause some people distress, as thinking about food can trigger the reactions of sweating. Since there is often an underlying cause, a person should talk to their doctor to find out what may be causing the sweating.

People do not necessarily need to see a doctor after sweating from eating food. Those who only sweat while eating either very hot or spicy foods have no reason to be concerned.

Some people who experience Frey’s syndrome may consider it to be a nuisance but do not consider it significant enough to seek help.


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Sweat is made of 99% water. What is the remaining 1%?

A body has between two and four million sweat glands lying deep in the skin. They are connected to the surface by coiled tubes called ducts. You perspire constantly, even without exercise. Sweat is a liquid made from 99% water and 1% salt and fat. Up to a quart of sweat evaporates each day.

When your body becomes overheated, you sweat more. The evaporation of sweat from your skin cools your body down.

When you’re frightened or nervous (imagine being pinned under heavy weights) you also sweat more. Your palms and forehead begin to sweat. So do the soles of your feet and your armpits. These are sites where sweat glands are most abundant.

So why do you smell when you sweat? You may notice the smell mostly comes from our pits (hence why we put deodorant there). This is because the apocrine glands produce the bacteria that break down our sweat into “scented” fatty acids.

“Apocrine sweat by itself does not have an odor, but when the bacteria that lives on our skin mixes with apocrine secretions, it can produce a foul-smelling odor,” Haimovic says.


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What is perspiration?

Perspiration, also known as sweating, is the production of fluids secreted by the sweat glands in the skin of mammals.

Two types of sweat glands can be found in humans: eccrine glands and apocrine glands. The eccrine sweat glands are distributed over much of the body and are responsible for secreting the watery, brackish sweat most often triggered by excessive body temperature. The apocrine sweat glands are restricted to the armpits and a few other areas of the body and produce an odorless, oily, opaque secretion which then gains its characteristic odor from bacterial decomposition.

Sweat contributes to body odor when it is metabolized by bacteria on the skin. Medications that are used for other treatments and diet also affect odor. Some medical conditions, such as kidney failure and diabetic ketoacidosis, can also affect sweat odor. Areas that produce excessive sweat usually appear pink or white, but, in severe cases, may appear cracked, scaly, and soft.


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Which organ filters blood and helps fight infections?

Your spleen’s main function is to act as a filter for your blood. It recognizes and removes old, malformed, or damaged red blood cells. When blood flows into your spleen, your spleen performs “quality control”; your red blood cells must pass through a maze of narrow passages. Healthy blood cells simply pass through the spleen and continue to circulate throughout your bloodstream. Blood cells that can’t pass the test will be broken down in your spleen by macrophages. Macrophages are large white blood cells that specialize in destroying these unhealthy red blood cells.

Your spleen also plays an important part in your immune system, which helps your body fight infection. Just as it detects faulty red blood cells, your spleen can pick out any unwelcome micro-organisms (like bacteria or viruses) in your blood.

When one of these invaders is detected in your bloodstream, your spleen, along with your lymph nodes, jumps to action and creates an army of defender cells called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that produces antibodies, special proteins that weaken or kill bacteria, viruses, and other organisms that cause infection. Antibodies and white blood cells also stop infections from spreading through the body by trapping germs and destroying them.


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