The search for our identities—where we came from, what we’re made of—is a unifying human experience, and our collective fascination with ourselves as individuals has fueled a booming industry around personal DNA testing. Once difficult and expensive even for the most technologically advanced labs, genetic testing is fast becoming a cheap and easy consumer product. More than 12 million people have had their DNA tested by different companies, and that number is expected to grow substantially in the next few years. With a little spit and 200 dollars, you can find out your risk for everything from cystic fibrosis to lactose intolerance.
What Can I Find Out with my DNA test?
Any type of genetic testing, from the consumer-based kits that anyone can buy to the versions that doctors order, can only glean so much information from your DNA. Medical conditions like cancer and heart disease are complex and not likely to be traced to a single aberration in DNA. However, there are some genetic variants that do link to a stronger chance for certain conditions. In those cases, having the genetic change doesn’t ensure that you will develop the condition, but could mean that you have a higher chance of getting the disease.
To sort that out, a Spanish company has created its own unique chip that is able to identify more than 360 information items in the DNA, among which is the susceptibility to polygenic or complex diseases, the diagnosis of monogenic diseases, pharmacogenetic information and phenotypic traits. Thanks to this incorporation of exact biomarkers, the result of the TellmeGen’s DNA test is a 28% more accurate system, compared to than offered by other companies such as the american ‘23andMe’. This makes it a revolutionary DNA test because it offers the analysis of more items at a lower price. The goal of TellmeGen is to provide access to genetic information to people from anywhere in the world. In order to do so, they have developed a platform to store, interpret and update the genetic information when new mutations are discovered. TellmeGen is currently studying more than 555,000 mutations, and they provide this new and updated information at no additional cost.
How Does It Work?
After extracting DNA from your cheek swab or saliva sample, DNA testing companies search your DNA for certain genetic variants. The building blocks of DNA are chemical bases called nucleotides, which come in four varieties—A, T, C, and G (adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine, respectively). We have 3 billion pairs of these bases, so 6 billion letters in all, strung together in a sequence. Altogether, this genetic information is called your genome.
DNA testing companies determine which of the four letters is present at many locations in your genome. Much of the sequence is shared among humans, so the companies focus on specific letters that vary from person to person, known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Many SNPs have some biological relevance. For example, having one variant of a specific SNP near the gene OCA2, which codes for a protein believed to be involved in producing the dark pigment melanin, makes it much more likely you’ll have blue or green eyes. Other traits and even some diseases are also associated with certain SNPs, some more strongly than others.
The pioneering technology behind TellmeGen’s system is the genotyping chip, which is then analyzed in the sequencers of their many laboratories spread throughout Europe and Latin America. Thus, the system is based on scientific evidence and reaches 99.99% reliability. To get their DNA tested, all the user has to do is putting a sample of his saliva in the tube that arrives at home inside the TellmeGen Kit box and send it back to the company. You can get the DNA test on Amazon.com. Four to six weeks later, the client receives an electronic notification that his health map is already available online. In addition to the genetic information, each item in the genetic map is associated with the latest recommendations on health prevention. The users also have access to a free public forum where they can interact with medical professionals to interpret their results, and they can also hire the services of a specialist for a better interpretation of the results in an individual consultation.
How Much Does It Cost?
The idea of knowing our health’s risks in advance to be able to prevent diseases is always appealing, but the real question is: how much does a DNA test cost? TellmeGen wanted make genetic health maps affordable to everyone, and in order to do so they based their strategy on adjusting the costs. After years of previous study and analysis, they finally managed to launch TellmeGen DNA test kit, which reduces the average 3,500€ price to 199$, greatly improving the ratio items / price of any other market test.
Plus, the analysis offers four types of results in a single analysis for the same price: risk of the most common diseases, monogenic diseases, pharmacology and personal traits. In addition, in a few weeks ‘Ancestry’ will also be offered for the same price. Customers who used the kit prior to this will not have to pay more, as the results will automatically be updated for free.
Things that you need to consider before having a lumbar disk replacement surgery
In the world are many people who have difficult or problem with their spine. For that reason, is very common to see people having a lumbar disk replacement surgery recovery, after having had an intervention in the operating room to improve their health conditions. This kind of surgery usually doesn’t represent a risk for patients, but sometimes is necessary to know aspects that need to be considered before having this surgery.
A surgery is needed?
Spine problems can generate pain and make people have an unhealthy posture. This makes necessary to solve any problem associated with it to have a great life condition and to avoid any risk associated with spine diseases. Unfortunately there are many people who, for one reason or another, need an intervention in the operating room, due to the wear on their spine
Is a solution to many spine problems that could be generating difficulties or pain to patients. Recovery from lumbar disc replacement surgery requires that the patient receive rehabilitation for a few months for optimal results. This surgery has a fast recovery and doesn’t represent any risk of having it. It is a way to ensure the recovery of the spine; even about 80% of people can return to sports.Therefore, it’s normal that professionals recommend it as the first way to cure any disease related to the spine.
Despite all this, there are some indications or information that people need to know before having a lumbar disk replacement surgery. This will make the patient be more confident about this surgery and will make them to pass all this process with no difficulty.
Here you will find full information about some things that need to be present before having this type of surgery. This will be essential to have the best process and have a fast surgery recovery.
What kind of things are necessary to consider before having a lumbar disk replacement surgery?
The degeneration of the parts of the spine can cause many health problems that, in the long run, they can bring serious health diseases. Therefore, having a lumbar disk replacement will be beneficial to patients. Despite this, is recommended to consider some aspects before decide or not to have this type of surgery.
Some main aspects that you need to think about before having this type of surgeries, are:
- Find the best center: it’s necessary to consider many spine centers that can do this surgery with no problem. Also, is recommended to compare all options to determine which will be the best for your needs. This will help you in the surgery recovery and to avoid any possible risk.
- Collect any information about the surgery: it’s indispensable to collect all the information about this surgery. For example, any risk, costs, recovery plan and the knowing about if this replacement will fix any health problem or disease.
- Determine the quality of the artificial lumbar disc: it’s necessary to know the quality of the object that will be used on the surgery. This will understand any possible risk using this artificial product and will let you know if is the best option at this moment.
- Ask for not intrusive solutions: if you have any problem with the lumbar disk or the spine, it’s recommended to have a not intrusive treatment, instead of having a surgery or disk replacement. Therefore, try to only have surgery at the last option.
- Find a plan of recovery and prevention: have a lumbar disk replacement has its problems and risk. Therefore, always it’s recommended to follow some recommendations and plans to keep your spine healthy. All this can be determined by a professional in this area, which will give you the correct information and indications about the after surgery treatment.
Treatment of Bunions and Claw Toes
Bunions have some obvious signs, such as a deviation of the big toe and a bony protuberance in the joint. Claw toes are the result of anatomical imbalances, which cause the deformity. Do you know what is the best treatment for bunions and claw toes? Keep on reading and take notes!
Bunions and Claw toes Facts
When suffering with bunions it is common to have joint swelling and pain, caused by the deviation of the first toe towards the second toe, accompanying the bone prominence on the outside of the foot. Further deformities may also develop, such as hammer or claw toes. Bunions and claw toe deformities do not appear from one moment to another; the deformity develops gradually throughout life, although in some cases it can evolve fast.
Are bunions and claw toes common all over the world? No, because bunions occur almost exclusively in people who wear shoes. So it may be strange to find similar cases in populations that walk barefoot.
The bunion deformity, or hallux valgus, can be classified in different ways. The Manchester scale is the most common one, it classifies bunions into four grades of deformity. Grade 1 is when the person does not have any deformity, grade 2 is a mild form, grade 3 corresponds to a moderated one, and grade 4 corresponds to the most severe form.
Why does the deformity develop? The enlargement of this deformity is caused by a combination of factors. The most common one is the continuous friction and pressure of the shoe on the bone protrusion. Although, other factors can affect its growth, such as the foot type, abnormal shortening of the first metatarsal bone, trauma, hypermobility, inflammatory diseases and footwear with narrow toebox and heels.
How to Deal With Bunions
Did you know bunions are also transmitted from one generation to the next? In some cases a generation is skipped. According to Coughlin & Jones (2007), up to 83% of patients who suffer hallux valgus have a family history. This alteration in the foot structure could be due to the bone, soft tissue, or both. Which does not mean that all inherited alterations will develop bunions.
On one hand, women are seven-to-nine times more likely to suffer from bunions than men. It increases if they have a low body mass index and wear high heels habitually. On the other hand, men with flat feet and high body mass index are more likely to have them.
Treating bunions is recommended because with time the deformity can affect the other toes, and unfortunately, they cannot be resolved or corrected without surgery. There are silicone separators which can align the big toe slightly, and orthotics which can be used to stabilize the joint of the first toe. But there is no way to fully correct the problem.
Minimal Invasive Surgery Technique
The best way to correct bunions and claw toes is by performing minimal invasive surgery. This operation is accomplished by medical specialists and podiatrists with extensive experience in this field.
The minimal invasive surgery technique has been used for about 40 years. These are some of its advantages:
- Avoids complications that may arise from general anaesthetics.
- Ambulatory surgery: this allows patients to come and leave walking unaided from the clinic.
- Great long term results.
- A faster recovery due to a minimal incision, which leaves little post-operative pain.
- Better scar healing and low risk of infection.
- No screws or implants are required.
Consult a foot specialist on time, such as Dr. I. San Román Sirvent or Dr. José Manuel San Román Pérez, who are specialists in minimal incision surgery at Clínica San Román. You will have a complete exam of the foot performed. X-rays will establish the degree of bunion deformity and other problems that may have developed.
Cryotherapy, the hidden beauty secret of celebrities to burn 600 calories in 3 minutes
Cold and ice have been used as a treatment for physical ailments for a long time. In ancient Greece,
Nowadays, is used as a fundamental therapeutic treatment of physical complaints such as sprains, dislocations, contractures, spams, pulled muscles and swollen tissues.
As well, to manage diverse pathologies symptoms as fibromyalgia, psoriasis, chronic pains, among others.
Cryotherapy benefits have gone way beyond of what we can imagine. Not only is a pain management treatment but has become a top model treatment of celebrities and supermodels.
Film stars, high performance athletes and celebrities like Tom Cruise, Jennifer Aniston, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kim Kardashian are a few example of the many followers of this therapy that recommend it in their social media by showing their experience after each session because of it multiple benefits
What is cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy is the exposure of the skin surface of the body to very low temperatures (between -110ºC and -196ºC) by using a cryotherapy cabin which uses “vaporized” liquid nitrogen.
Because nitrogen has a very low temperature without applying extra cold, it can easily achieve the extreme temperature required for this treatment.
At a room temperature, liquid nitrogen can easily pass from a liquid state to a gaseous state. This is the reason of nitrogen use in this kind of treatments and this is why it is said that uses nitrogen “vaporized”.
When exposing the body to very low temperatures because of liquid nitrogen evaporation, the body responds at different levels involving the circulatory system, muscles and the neuroendocrine system. This happens because the brain receives a cold shock caused by a drastic reduction of body’s temperature. The hypothalamus releases series of substances in our body to combat an imminent hypothermia situation. Among these substances we can find dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, which increases blood flow, lipolysis and the production of free radicals catalytic enzymes, while reducing the production of inflammatory cytokines.
One of the main benefit of cryotherapy -and the reason why it is so popular, is the burn of calories. The extreme cold application causes a decrease in body’s temperature, and to compensate this situation the body generates energy by burning localized fat deposits –such as the fat in the belly, therefore a loss of weight occurs togheter with a swelling in the lower abdomen. This same process works for all the body fat deposits. It also reduces, considerably, the annoying cellulite giving an appearance of youth to the body. Additionaly, cryotherapy builds up tissues tone and prevents flaccidity, allowing the body to remain firm and giving the skin a smoothly and healthy look.
Among other benefits, cryotherapy has been proven to be a non-invasive treatment helping to manage and alleviate symptoms of chronic skin diseases such as psoriasis, neurodermatitis, dermatitis, seborrheic complex syndrome, eczema, erythematosis and scleroderma. This due to the peripheral vasodilatation that occurs because of the decreasing in body’s temperature, carring a large amount of oxygen to the body and increasing the blood flow.
Experts explain that there are several and diverse cryotherapy benefits:
- It helps fight migraine and insomnia.
- It improves blood circulation and inhibits varicose veins.
- It reduces inflammation, stress, anxiety and fatigue.
- It accelerates metabolism generating a boost of energy.
- It increases the caloric expenditure -between 500 and 800 kilocalories in the next few hours after a 3-minute session.
Finally, research show that cryotherapy helps in recovery processes and chronic pain issues, and it is also recommended for diseases such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, or multiple sclerosis.
Is cryotherapy dangerous?
Like any other medical-aesthetic treatment, if handled properly there is no risk for our health and integrity.
Provided temperatures reached by liquid nitrogen are very low, it could cause burns when used incorrectly. This is why the skin is only exposed for a very short period of time on the skin -from 2 minutes to 4 minutes, and always in a controlled environment under medical supervision.
As a general rule, cryotherapy is a safe treatment for everybody. However there are exceptional cases where the use of cryotherapy is not recommended:
- People with heart problems and serious health problems, because the sudden decrease in temperature could have a negative effect on the health of people suffering from heart problems.
- People with little resistance to cold, as they would suffer excessively during the session due to the low threshold of pain towards the cold.
- Pregnant women and children. This due to negative effects this treatment could have on fetus of a pregnant women and in children it is not advised because of they are still developing their bodies.
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