Healthcare Treatment Guidelines

Asthma, a disease of the human respiratory system, which narrows the airways, commonly in response to a “trigger” such as an exposure to an allergen, exercise, cold air, or emotional stress. This narrowing can cause symptoms like shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. Between asthmatic episodes, most people with the condition feel fine.

This disease is a chronic inflammatory condition wherin the airways develop an increased responsiveness to certain stimuli, shown by bronchial hyper-responsiveness, increased mucus production, inflammation, and intermittent airway obstruction. Asthma can be anywhere from mild to life threatening, but can generally be controlled with a combination of drugs, inhalers and changes in lifestyle. People have focused on asthma recently because of its rapidly increasing number of patients, affecting up to one in four urban children. Genetic factors can contribute to cases of asthma, but there is no clear pattern of inheritance found. It is a very complex disease which is influenced by many various developmental, genetic, and environmental factors, which work togetherto create the widespread condition.

Breast-fed babies have proved to be less susceptible to asthma. Current research indicates that the prevalence of asthma in children has been increasing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Surveys, around 9.2% of US children under 18 years old had asthma in 2001, in comparison with just 4% in 1980. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 8% of the population of Switzerland suffer from asthma today, compared to 1.9% in 1983. Asthma is more common in countries outside North America, but is by no means a problem restricted to location. “WHO” estimates that there are between 15.3 and 20.1 million asthmatics in India. In the U.S., urban residents, African Americans and Hispanics are affected moreso than the population as a whole.

Around the globe, asthma is the cause of approximately 175,000 deaths per year. Asthma and AthleticsAsthma appear to be more common in athletes than in the general population. One particular survey of participants in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games revealed that 16% had asthma, and 10% were on medication for asthma. There seems to be a high number of asthmatics in sports like mountain biking, cycling, and long-distance running, and a somewhat low percentage in weightlifting. It is not clear how much of these cases are results of the effects of training in the sport.

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  • Filed under: Asthma treatment
  • 1. A teaspoon of iodine is all a person requires in a lifetime, but because iodine cannot be stored for long periods by the body, tiny amounts are needed regularly. As iodine is only found in soil, humans receive their iodine by consuming animal products and plants.

    2. The solution to IDD is relatively simple and inexpensive. Food fortification has proven to be a highly successful and sustainable intervention. Iodized salt programs and iodized oil supplements are the most common tools in the fight against IDD.

    3. Iodized salt is the first choice for intervention because it is universally and regularly consumed, costs very low per person annually and is manufactured with simple technology.

    4. A reliable method of assessing the extent of IDD in a population is to determine the urinary iodine excretion levels in a vulnerable group. Pregnant mothers are a susceptible group for assessing iodine deficiency, as the iodine requirements during this physiological state are comparatively high.

    5. High TSH levels are an indicator of low iodine levels. TSH helps the thyroid gland capture iodine from the blood, so if little iodine is available, the body increases its production of TSH to try and capture more. In a population with sufficient iodine, fewer than three per cent of newborns should have a TSH concentration over 5mIU/L, says the WHO. Dietary changes are responsible for the lack of iodine.

    6. Health education is a effective way to eradicate IDD, where messages related to IDD are disseminated and the schoolteachers can be requested to visit children’s homes to check living conditions and to check if they are consuming iodized salt and if the iodine content of the salt they consume is adequate. A public awareness program before and during pregnancy would be good for iodine.

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  • Filed under: iodine deficiency
  • Iodine Deficiency is the world’s most prevalent – yet easily preventable – cause of brain damage. Today we are on the verge of eliminating it – an achievement that will be hailed as a major public health triumph, ranking together with smallpox and poliomyelitis. Less than 20 years ago, few people realized the magnitude of the problem, let alone the solution. However, since the 1980s, WHO has been at the forefront of a worldwide public health drive to eliminate this under-publicized yet devastating deficiency. The WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development (NHD) provides both technical tools – scientifically sound standards, guidelines and methodologies – and guidance to build up countries’ national salt iodization programmes. Progress has been significant since the primary intervention strategy for IDD control – Universal Salt Iodization (USI) – was adopted in 1993. Salt was chosen because it is widely available and consumed in regular amounts throughout the year, and because the costs of iodizing it are extremely low. In 1990, the World Summit for Children, UNICEF and the World Health Organization committed to virtually eliminate IDD by promoting the iodisation of salt and its use. However, to date, while global significant progress towards reducing iodine deficiency disorders has taken place over the past decade, much still remains to be accomplished.

    Iodine deficiency, one of the world’s oldest and most devastating nutrition-related health problems. Iodine deficiency disorders (IDDs) are the leading cause of mental retardation in the world.

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  • Filed under: iodine deficiency
  • Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) is a public health problem and in India, no state is free from iodine deficiency. About 200 million people are ‘at risk’ of IDD in India.

    A few salient facts

    o IDD affects over 740 million people, 13% of the world’s population; 30% of the remainder are at risk.

    o IDD preys upon poor, pregnant women and preschool children, posing serious public health problems in 130 developing countries.

    o Iodine deficiency is a problem for the developing brains of foetuses and young children. According to the WHO, it is the single greatest cause of mental retardation. In the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the foetus relies on its mother directly for thyroid hormone. After that, it uses iodine from the mother to make its own.

    o Iodine-deficient people may forfeit 15 IQ points.

    o Nearly 50 million people suffer from some degree of IDD-related brain damage. Yet we have the means to prevent it – small quantities of iodine at low cost.

    The answer to iodine deficiency disorders is iodized salt. A spectacularly simple, universally effective, wildly attractive and incredibly cheap technical weapon – IODIZED SALT.

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