eatwellgetwell – a nutrition and medicine study blog

Flu & Warming socks!
May 27, 2007, 12:10 pm
Filed under: flu, Hydrotherapy

So the last week and a half I have been really ill with the flu. And yes, it was the proper ‘knock you on your back’ flu and not a bad cold!

I was completely immobile last week – constant fevers, aches, even a bit delirious, and this week I came back to work even though on Monday and Tuesday especially I was still suffering – I was managing through the day then getting home and having fevers and totally uncomfortable sleepless nights still.

I got desperate and was looking for any natural therapies on the internet that could help me and stumbled accross a wonderful Hydrotherapy technique: Warming Socks.

Basically you make sure your feet are really warm, then you soak a normal pair of socks in cold water, ring them out well and put them on, then immediately put some thicker woollen socks over them and go to bed. The water almost immediately turns your body temperature and in the morning the socks are completely dry.

I’ve been doing it for the last couple of nights (the ritual of wrapping your little feet up before bed is very comforting too!) and have had lovely calm, rested sleep. I was on the mend anyway, but I do think they helped.

And it’s just a lovely free naturopathic technique.

Petition to Save the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital
March 21, 2007, 11:45 am
Filed under: Practices

Message from Hermann Keppler – Principal, CNM

The RLHH has been part of the Health Service for 150 years. It provides 40,000 homeopathic appointments per year for patients who would otherwise have no access to homeopathic treatment. In 2005, 67% of GPs and 85% of practices in it’s Primary Care Trust, referred patients to the hospital. The hospital provides effective and most importantly, COST-EFFECTIVE treatments.

We ask for an investigation into why the PCTs in Brent, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Islington and Kensington and Chelsea have cancelled their contracts with the hospital or plan to cancel them this year. It is our concern that these cancelled contracts and directives from PCTs to stop referrals to the RLHH, must result in a perceived lowered patient demand, and that this self-fulfilling prophecy will then be used as the rationale for the hospital’s closure. Furthermore we assert these cancellations make no sense whatsoever if cost-effectiveness is a yardstick by which treatments are to be measured.


Interesting article on Alcoholic brain repair
March 21, 2007, 11:41 am
Filed under: Alcohol, Articles

Abstinence Restores the Alcoholic Brain

New evidence correlates short-term recovery of brain structure, metabolism, and function in abstinent alcoholics.

Bartsch and colleagues used automated structural brain imaging, proton MR spectroscopy, and neuropsychological testing to assess whether abstinence in alcoholics leads to brain repair. Within a few days after alcohol withdrawal and 6 to 7 weeks later, they evaluated 15 patients with DSM-IV defined primary alcohol dependence. A group of 10 normal subjects served as controls. Notably, the alcoholics did not smoke heavily, and none required medication to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

From the first to the second evaluation, alcoholics exhibited a nearly 2% increase in total brain volume (compared with no change among controls), with region-specific increases in the superior cerebellar vermis, the perimesencephalic and periventricular regions, and the frontomesial and fronto-orbital edges. Increased brain volume correlated significantly with increases in cerebellar and frontomesial levels of choline, but not with N-acetylaspartate (NAA) levels. In contrast, improved performance on a test of attention was significantly associated with increases in frontomesial NAA levels. Measures of brain water levels did not change over time.

White matter and Grey matter of the brain

Comment: Although longitudinal studies have demonstrated short-term recovery of brain structure, metabolism, and function in abstinent alcoholics, this is the first to combine all three measures. The metabolic data suggest that increases in brain volume were due to white matter repair rather than to increases in brain hydration. The patient population may have had a less severe form of alcoholism than is typical, because detoxification was not associated with significant symptoms of withdrawal and metabolic measures did not differ at baseline from those in the control population. This study adds to a growing body of evidence that the brain undergoes significant repair during abstinence, particularly in less severe forms of alcoholism. It is noteworthy that volume increases were observed in several brain areas that are selectively affected in Wernicke encephalopathy, a disorder of thiamine deficiency that occurs most commonly in alcoholics. Hence, it remains possible that improved nutrition as well as sobriety contributes to brain repair following abstinence.

Michael E. Charness, MD

Dr. Charness is Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School; Associate Chief, Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and Chief of Staff, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System.

Published in Journal Watch Neurology March 20, 2007


Bartsch AJ et al. Manifestations of early brain recovery associated with abstinence from alcoholism. Brain 2007 Jan; 130:36-47.

The basic structure of the digestive tract
March 19, 2007, 8:52 pm
Filed under: Medicine Study, The Digestive System

Outer layer: Peritoneum  

= largest serous membrane of the body
(torso, map)
= Closed sac containing serous fluid
(serous fluid = watery fluid)

Supplied with many blood and lymph vessels

Barrier to local spread of infection

parietal layer: lines a cavity
visceral layer: surrounds organs

The organs are invaginated into the closed sac being at least partly covered
Greater ormentum

= fold enclosing the stomach.
It hangs in front like an apron
It stores fat

Middle layer: Muscle layer

Smooth, involuntary muscles

2 layers:
Circular muscle layer
Longitudinal muscle layer

In between:
Blood vessels, lymph vessels, a plexus
Myenteric or Auerbach’s plexus

= Network of sympathetic and
parasympathetic nerves


Contraction and relaxation in waves
= peristalsis

Moves food forward and mixes the food
Sphincters control movement


= increased numbers of circular muscle fibres

Act also as valves to prevent reflux


Connective tissue containing blood vessels, lymph vessels and nerves


mucous membrane
lamina propria
muscularis mucosa

Mucous membrane
In the intestinal tract: Columnar epithelial cells with mucus secreting goblet cells

Mucus lubricates and protects from digestive juices

Lamia propria
= Conncetive tissue with lymph tissue

Blood supply

The digestive organs are supplied form branches of the aorta.

Venous drainage

The portal vein drains the blood from the lower part of the oesophagus, the stomach, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine and part of the rectum.

Blood from the lower part of the rectum and the anal canal drains directly into the
iliac veins

The digestive process
March 19, 2007, 8:39 pm
Filed under: Medicine Study, The Digestive System

Ingestion: Oral uptake of substances into the body.

Digestion: Mechanical and chemical conversion of food
into absorbable substances

Absorption: Substances passing through the walls in
the alimentary canal into the blood and
lymph stream.

Assimilation: Incorporation of nutritive material
into living tissue

Egestion (=elimination): Discharge of not absorbed

The organs of the Digestive Tract
March 19, 2007, 8:38 pm
Filed under: Medicine Study, The Digestive System

The alimentary tract 

small intestine
large intestine
anal canal

The digestive system

alimentary tract
accessory organs
digestive process

Accessory organs

3 pairs of salivary glands
biliary tract

Peptic Ulceration

Peptic Ulcer Assignment

Click here for a pdf of my study into Peptic Ulcers for my Semester I Assignment, March 2007.