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Millions of people worldwide suffer from chronic renal disease, with currently 2.5 million people dependent on regular dialysis treatment due to terminal renal failure. If a donor organ isn’t available at this critical stage or a transplant is contraindicated, dialysis is the only remaining option for effective treatment. While it can be a short-term solution, dialysis can also replace the kidneys’ functions over a long period of time. By using hemodialysis, the blood is cleansed outside the body using a special filter called a dialyzer, before it is reintroduced into the body again. This method is used to regulate hydration and electrolyte balance, as well as to eliminate metabolic (by-)products and toxins. Physiologically, the kidneys take on a variety of different tasks, such as the regulation of the electrolyte and water balance, as well as hormone production. The electrolyte concentration requires close regulation, since even the smallest changes can lead to serious consequences, such as cardiac arrhythmia. In order for patients to maintain their quality of life and to improve
From the age of one, infants enter the toddler stage which lasts until their fifth birthday. During this period, they go through comprehensive physical and mental development, which has a lasting impact on them later in life. After a rapid development of weight and size in their first year of life, their growth speed stabilizes. Generally, toddlers grow about 5 to 7 cm as well as 4 to 6 pounds pe
Is it actually healthy to go jogging in freezing temperatures? Many ambitious runners ask themselves this very question during the colder seasons. Generally, regular cardio exercise has proven to be positive for our health. Especially the cardiovasc
Most of us like the idea of having a slim figure and strive to attain the beauty standards we are constantly exposed to in the media. But with the excess of available food in many western countries, it’s difficult for us to overcome our fundamental human instincts. We tend to consume excessive amounts of sugary and fatty foods, often in conjunction with a sedentary lifestyle. This imbalance betwe
Experiencing pain from an unfortunate movement, a twisted knee or a bent foot are all signs that the musculoskeletal system has been injured. Depending on the severity of the injury, the recovery might require a long period of rehabilitation. Particularly in the case of performance athletes, cumulative injuries to the musculoskeletal system require proper rehabilitation to restore the athlete's body as soon as possible, to be fit again for training and competitions. Conservative treatment usually requires a break in training, followed by physiotherapy treatment and a new, modified training program. Any physical strain on the body should only be gradually increased, in order to not jeopardize the progression of the healing process. For this reason, it is essential to control rehabilitation closely. In order to obtain a good overview of the body's state during the course of therapy, the use of accurate measuring instruments is essential. seca offers an innovative solution: the medical b
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a collective term for a series of chronic respiratory diseases characterized by a persistent cough, sputum, or a diminished performance and quality of life. Pathophysiologically, the COPD is a narrowing (obstruction) of the airways and hyperinflation of the lungs. As a result of chronic inflammation, the bronchial tubes get progressively and irreversibly constricted. Especially while moving or during exertion, this impedes and prolongs the expiration, so that the inhaled air can not be exhaled entirely and the air vents (pulmonary alveoli) inflate. Further pathological processes ultimately lead to the destruction of the alveoli and to an impaired gas exchange. Consequently, the concentration of oxygen in the bloodstream drops while the carbon dioxide concentration increases. COPD is primarily caused by long-term tobacco consumption, passive smoking and high air pollution. However, occupational exposure to dusts and a genetic predispositi
Wouldn't it be nice if doctors could take the time to see us properly and listen to our problems carefully? Unfortunately in reality, consultations between a doctor and patient last merely five minutes, of which only half a minute is spent by the patient describing his or her symptoms without interruption. Due to a multitude of non-medical tasks and an ever-increasing workload, it is getting harder for doctors to provide basic medical care. But by shifting, optimizing and reorganizing the workflow, doctors could free u
Nowadays, it is widely recognized that high sugar consumption is associated with a variety of health risks. For this reason, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently reduced the recommended daily amount of refined sugars to 25 grams, or about six teaspoons. Already, a 8.5 fl oz can of commercial soft drink exceeds this recommended daily quantity. Over the last decade, the unhealthy consumption levels of our population and the consequent rise in health care expenses, has forced some countries to regulate their c
Crowded waiting rooms, delayed appointment bookings and doctors under permanent time pressure are a frequent source of frustration. Doctors would also like to have more time for their patients’ treatment, but a considerable portion of their working time is tied up by administrative tasks. Of course a modern health care system necessitates some level of bureaucracy, but this needs to be in a reasonable proportion to the medical job. Instead of reducing bureaucracy, to provide more time for patient care, t
As a New Year’s resolution, many people resolve to not only stop smoking, but also to lose weight by changing their diet and exercising regularly. Generally, the first step towards these goals is also the hardest and while many may start January with good intentions, their motivation drops noticeably over time. The most common reason for this is a lack of progress or visible results, especially when attempting to lose weight. After an initial quick success, the scales appear to stand still and further we