Achoo! It’s the common cold.
- The ‘common cold’ is also called ‘nasopharyngitis’, ‘rhinopharyngitis’, ‘cold’, ‘ upper respiratory tract infection’ and ‘acute coryza’ and was discovered in 1950s, in the United Kingdom.
- Common colds are multiple viruses that infect the upper respiratory functions, from the throat and up to, and in particular, the nose.
- The rhinovirus is the most frequent cause of common colds, however there are 200 viruses that can cause the same or similar symptoms.
- Common colds have symptoms, that are generally a reaction of the human body immune system, that includes coughs, sore throat, sneezing, runny nose and fevers, which is similar to influenza, the flu.
- Common colds are generally gone 7 to 10 days later, but sometime it can take up to three weeks to be rid of the symptoms.
- Although there is not any specific prevention against common colds, they can be avoided by thoroughly washing hands and staying away from others with the symptoms, and it is said that the common belief of consuming extra vitamins to prevent a cold is ineffective.
- Common colds can not be treated, not even by antibiotics, although pain or symptom severity can be relieved by various means.
- Common colds are the most common disease, as every year an adult has on average 2 to 5 colds and a child has 6 to 12 colds.
- ‘Common colds’ are named ‘colds’ due to old folk theories that believed ‘colds are transferred in cold weather’, which is not true, although colds are most common in winter.
- In the United States alone, it is estimated that more than $10.6 billion is spent on the treatment and health services for the common cold every year.
Cold, 2011, Better Health Channel, <http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/colds_explained?open>
Common Cold, 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_cold>
Boom-boom… boom-boom… goes the heart.
- The heart is a muscle that pumps approximately 5 litres (1.3 gallons) of blood around the human body every minute..
- The Greek word for ‘heart’ is kardia, which is where the word ‘cardiac’, and other heart related medical words like ‘cardiology’ come from.
- The human heart beats an average of 72 beats per minute, and will beat approximately 38 million beats in a year, although animal beatings can range from 20 to 600 beats per minute.
- The human heart is typically 250 to 350 grams (9 to 12 pounds) in mass, depending on gender, and is approximately the size of a fist.
- The heart has four chambers and valves that control the flow of blood and that the blood travels through before it enters veins or arteries.
- The job of the heart is to send deoxygenated blood to the lungs, where it becomes oxygenated and then pumped around the body.
- The valves of the heart are said to have been first discovered in the 300s BC.
- It was originally thought that emotions were formed in the heart, but later it was discovered emotions were formed in the brain.
- Smoking and eating unhealthy foods can damage the heart but eating healthy foods and exercising makes it stronger.
- An average of 7.2 million people in the world die annually due to heart disease, such as cardiac arrest.
Heart, 2013, National Geographic, <http://science.nationalgeographic.com.au/science/health-and-human-body/human-body/heart-article/>
Heart, 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart>
Acne is a nuisance and can be embarrassing.
- ‘Acne’ is medically known as ‘acne vulgaris’, which is believed to be caused by hormones, and it occurs in approximately 80-90% of teenagers.
- Acne is a skin disease that often occurs in the period when children become adults, known as puberty, and can last until the age of 25, but can continue on for many years beyond this for some people.
- Acne occurs when skin pores are blocked due to excess skin and hair oil called ‘sebum’, as well as bacteria, and dead skin cells.
- Acne causes black, white or red bumpy spots known as ‘blackheads’, ‘whiteheads’, and ‘pimples’, which are also known as ‘zits’.
- Acne often appears on people’s faces, chests and backs.
- Acne can cause scars, particularly when one scratches or picks at it, and can possibly cause inflammation and cysts.
- Contrary to popular belief, chocolate does not cause acne, but regularly drinking milk, having a diet high in glucose, and significant stress can all increase the chance of acne.
- Special medication, lotions and creams can be used to treat acne, and in severe cases, antibiotics.
- To help prevent acne, you should wash your face gently, at least one daily, but do not scrub it.
- Acne can often cause mental side effects, typically due to embarrassment, including decreased self-esteem, and in some cases, depression and the urge to commit suicide.
Acne, 2011, Kids Health, <http://kidshealth.org/kid/grow/body_stuff/acne.html>
Acne Vulgaris, 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acne_vulgaris>
Don’t upset your stomach!
- The stomach is an organ that is hollow and consists of muscle, and is used in the process of digesting food by breaking it down and destroying any bacteria.
- The stomach is located in the middle of a human, above the small intestine and below the esophagus, and when empty, it is shaped like a letter ‘J’, and is approximately 25 cm (10 inch) long.
- The stomach creates protein enzymes, named protease, and acid to help break down and digest food.
- The job of the stomach is to send partially digested food to the intestines so nutrients can be extracted, and it also holds food, ready to be received by the intestines.
- A typical adult stomach has an empty volume of 45 to 75 millilitres (1.5 to 2.5 fluid ounces) which enlarges to generally contain 1 litre (0.25 gallon) of food, however it can hold up to 2-3 litres (0.5 – 0.8 gallon) of food.
- Some stomach related diseases include gastric ulcers, peptic ulcers, gastritis and stomach cancer.
- The ‘stomach’ is also known as the ‘gaster’ which is a Greek word, hence the stomach related words ‘gastro’ and ‘gastric’.
- Some deadly stomach cancers require those patients to have a total gastrectomy (stomach removal) to prevent loss of life, however, even though they face challenges with what and how they eat, and have to change the regularity and quantity of food intake, patients can live quite successfully without a stomach.
- The capacity of a newborn baby’s stomach is approximately 30 ml (1 fl oz).
- Muscles in the stomach move every 2 seconds to break down the food, and it takes 40 minutes to a few hours to process the food.
Hill K, What does your Stomach do?, 2013, The Big Site of Amazing Facts, <http://www.bigsiteofamazingfacts.com/what-does-your-stomach-do>
Stomach, 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stomach>
Sticky, sticky, adhesive bandages.
- ‘Adhesive bandages’ are also known as ‘sticker plaster’ or ‘sticking plaster’, but are often known by brand names such as ‘Band-Aid’ and ‘Elastoplast’.
- Adhesive bandages are used to guard small cuts from foreign objects or particles as well as extra damage to the cut.
- Adhesive bandages often hold cuts together to quicken the process of healing the cut.
- Adhesive bandages are typically plastic, fabric or rubber strips that are coated with a special adhesive to stick to the skin and have a pad to absorb moisture from the wound.
- Blue, waterproof adhesive bandages are often used by those working in kitchens or the food industry, as they are less likely of losing the adhesive’s stickiness as well as increasing the likeliness of spotting the bandage if it falls off.
- Adhesive bandages come in all different shapes and sizes, and can have adhesive that is quite sticky, flexible or stretchy.
- Adhesive bandages, once removed, can leave a sticky residue on your skin, which is said to be able to be removed by rubbing with moisturiser, baby oil, rubbing alcohol, vinegar or vegetable oil.
- The first adhesive bandages were invented by Earle Dickson in 1920, for his wife, which his employer, Johnson & Johnson then started making commercially and called them a ‘Band-Aid’.
- Some people are allergic to the chemicals used in the glue of an adhesive bandage, and a significant portion of people will develop a skin rash from the bandage if left on for more than a short time.
- Adhesive bandages often stick and bond with the hairs on the skin, so the removal of the bandage can sometimes be quite painful.
Adhesive Bandage, 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adhesive_bandage>
Carson N, About Bandage Adhesive, 2013, eHow, <http://www.ehow.com/about_4617276_bandage-adhesive.html>
Blood is thicker than water…
- Blood is a liquid solution that every animal or person needs that transports oxygen, nutrients for cells, and body waste in the body.
- Blood contains mainly 55% plasma, which is mainly water, white blood cells and 45% red blood cells.
- Blood is pumped throughout the body by the heart muscle, and blood vessels burst if they are hurt or cut, which is called ‘bleeding’.
- Often blood terms use the prefixes ‘haemo-’ or ‘haemato-’, which comes from the Greek word for blood, ‘haima’, such as ‘haematology’, the study of blood.
- Blood makes up 7 to 8% of the weight of a human’s body and is little denser than water.
- Human blood is always red, due to the protein haemoglobin, although animal’s blood can be blue or green, but deoxygenated blood is a darker red, even though some people think it is blue, which is the way it is often depicted in diagrams.
- ‘Blood’ comes from the word ‘bluot’, which is an Old High German word for blood.
- A healthy adult has approximately 5 litres (1.3 gallons) of blood circulating in their body, although their will generally be less blood in someone who is dehydrated, since the water in the fluid is diminished.
- Blood forms in the bone marrow, typically in the leg bones in children and in the spine and central bones in adults.
- Only a few animals drink blood for nutrients, and these include female mosquitoes, ticks, leeches and vampire bats.
Blood, 2013, Kids Health, <http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/body_basics/blood.html>
Blood, 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood>