Saturday, March 24, 2012
A stroke, also known as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), is the rapid loss of brain function(s) due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia (lack of blood flow) caused by blockage (thrombosis, arterial embolism), or a hemorrhage (leakage of blood). As a result, the affected area of the brain cannot function, which might result in an inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech, or an inability to see one side of the visual field.
A stroke is a medical emergency and can cause permanent neurological damage, complications, and death. It is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States and Europe and the second leading cause of death worldwide. Risk factors for stroke include old age, hypertension (high blood pressure), previous stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), diabetes, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking and atrial fibrillation. High blood pressure is the most important modifiable risk factor of stroke.
A silent stroke is a stroke that does not have any outward symptoms, and the patients are typically unaware they have suffered a stroke. Despite not causing identifiable symptoms, a silent stroke still causes damage to the brain, and places the patient at increased risk for both transient ischemic attack and major stroke in the future. Conversely, those who have suffered a major stroke are at risk of having silent strokes. In a broad study in 1998, more than 11 million people were estimated to have experienced a stroke in the United States. Approximately 770,000 of these strokes were symptomatic and 11 million were first-ever silent MRI infarcts or hemorrhages. Silent strokes typically cause lesions which are detected via the use of neuroimaging such as MRI. Silent strokes are estimated to occur at five times the rate of symptomatic strokes. The risk of silent stroke increases with age, but may also affect younger adults and children, especially those with acute anemia.
An ischemic stroke is occasionally treated in a hospital with thrombolysis (also known as a "clot buster"), and some hemorrhagic strokes benefit from neurosurgery. Treatment to recover any lost function is termed stroke rehabilitation, ideally in a stroke unit and involving health professions such as speech and language therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy. Prevention of recurrence may involve the administration of antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin and dipyridamole, control and reduction of hypertension, and the use of statins. Selected patients may benefit from carotid endarterectomy and the use of anticoagulants.
Saturday, March 03, 2012
A recent study published last January 2012 in the International Journal of Epidemiology shows that both men and women have more sexual satisfaction when the male is uncircumcised.
All over the world, only 30 percent of the male population is circumcised. In the Philippines, the numbers are very different—93 percent of Filipino men have gone under the knife.
In fact, the practice of circumcision in the Philippines dates back to the pre-Hispanic era. The Islamic culture of our datus prescribed circumcision as a rule. The ritual was observed in the southern islands of the Philippines all the way up to the north where, curiously, more Christians carried on with the same custom.
Myths of circumcision
For years it has been believed that circumcision protects the male from cancer and other infections. But, that may have been a myth.
Recent studies have proven that sexually transmitted infection and malignant tumors in the penis can be prevented just by proper hygiene combined with use of condoms and vaccination.
Current evidence does not support the role of circumcision in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. In fact, no professional medical organization, here or abroad, has endorsed routine circumcision to be the norm.
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Fewer orgasms reported
In the new study conducted in Denmark, 10,916 male and female participants were asked to fill up a questionnaire on sexual health.
Results showed that circumcised men had more episodes of orgasmic difficulties (11 percent) compared to uncircumcised males (4 percent).
On the other hand, there were more women who complained that their sexual needs were incompletely fulfilled when their partners were circumcised (38 percent) compared to only 28 percent for women with uncircumcised spouses.
Sexual function difficulties were also more frequent in women with circumcised spouses. Examples of these disorders were inability to achieve orgasm, lack of lubrication, painful intercourse and spasms of the vagina.
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Decreasing pleasure was deliberate?
Overall, circumcision seems to reduce sexual satisfaction in both male and the female. This suggests that the removal of the foreskin may have something to do with reduced penile sensitivity. It is this excess skin that contains all the sensory nerve endings that contributes to arousal and excitement.
This decreased sexual pleasure seems to be deliberate, the result which the rabbis, datus, and high priests of yesteryears were trying to achieve by having men circumcised.
Moses Maimonides a philosopher in the early 12th century said that "circumcision was required to cause man to be moderate, because it weakens the power of sexual excitement and lessens the natural enjoyment'."
Well, this bit of information might come a little too late for many of us, since almost all of our Filipino men have already lost their caps.