Seeing The Way to Healing With Radiology

There was a time in medicine, and not all that long ago, that despite technological advances, health care providers were still not getting the best views of the interior of the human body. On top of that, the medium used to capture these images often did not store well, and the potential risks to patients because of techniques used were not inconsiderable.

But the field of radiology, or diagnosing medical issues based on images of the interior of the body, has made great strides over the last several decades. Today, in addition to X-rays, depending on the medical situation, radiologists have the option of using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and positron emission tomography (PET), which is one of the disciplines of nuclear medicine.

Specifically, the process of X-rays involves passing radioactive rays through specific areas of the patient’s body. Some of these rays passing through “congregate” around the body area in question, transmitting an image of it which can be captured on film. The technique was first developed in 1895, and was the only image viewing technology available to medicine until the early 1950’s. Traditional X-rays are still effective tools for viewing fractures, arthritis, and some lung ailments. Due to the radioactive elements used, there is a slight chance of health risk in being X-rayed, but this can be circumvented by shielding the patient, or not using the technique on patients with certain conditions, like pregnancy. Recent advances in X-raying include fluoroscopy and angiography which involve using special equipment and ingested “contrasting elements” like barium, to provide an interior view that can be seen over closed circuit television.

Computed tomography uses both X-ray techniques and computer algorithms to produce a cross section of a certain area of the body. The equipment rotates around a prone patient to capture the images. CTs are especially effective in pinpointing kidney stones, and the first one was used in 1972.

Ultrasound involves passing high frequency sound waves through the patient’s body, which bounce off “obstructions” encountered. The safety of this procedure makes it popular for examining pregnant woman, but this technology is more limited than others described here. First used in the 1970’s, it first provided what were essentially 2-D photographs. Modern advances in this technology however, allow medical practitioners to view images in real time and in 3-D.

And magnetic resonance imaging uses strong magnetic waves to disrupt and realign the body’s natural radioactive activity, and captures radio signals that this process transmits. Recent advances have allowed for less scanning time and clearer images, and this technique is especially useful in neurology. Nuclear medicine involves introducing “nuclear tracers” into the patient’s body.

While doctors often consult with patients about the results of these tests, radiology technicians are the specialists who operate the technologies used, and interpret the findings. And a company that has been invaluable in helpings them with both is Imaging Advantage, a company that not only provides medical facilities with the latest in imaging technology, but providers trained operators of such technology, and skilled interpreters of resulting images. The company also offers other services, such as setting up medical billing programs, and is not only committed to providing facilities with the best in imaging technology, but customer care.

Life Without Vaccines

The polio virus paralyzes muscle groups, as it progresses through the body, ultimately leaving patients unable to breath on their own. There was no treatment for anyone stricken with polio prior to the vaccine. The only thing patients could do would be to lay in the iron lung. Most died from the disease.
Polio was one of the most deadly diseases. It effected more than 35,000 people in the U.S. each year between the late 1940s and the early 1950s. As medicine progressed and vaccinations became more common, polio seemed to disappear.
When we look back at facts like that it seems odd that anyone would not want the vaccine. In 1998 there was a paper published that linked the vaccine for measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and autism. This paper was later withdrawn from public record, but the myth held strong for many years.

It is rare to have negative effects from vaccines. Other than an allergic reaction vaccines cause very few health problems. The danger of the illnesses that the vaccines save us from far outweighs the risks that may be associated with the vaccines themselves. We need to remember these illnesses that the vaccines protect us from can kill us, it was not that long ago that they did.

Thanks Keith Mann for all the time you spent talking with me about this.

Why Using Gadgets May Hurt Normal Social Interaction

Just imagine all of the things you can quite easily do on a smartphone or tablet. You can chat with friends, send emails, play games, log your food intake and many more things you could just dream about.  When you look at the wide range of things gadgets can do, it’s no wonder that normal human social interaction is almost becoming a thing of the past. Nowadays, people like to send emails rather than call or visit someone to interact with them.

Gianfrancesco Genoso reports that the best way to avoid this and to encourage more human interaction is to only use gadgets sparingly. If you find that you and your spouse spend a lot of your time on phones and tablets, put them down for a bit and spend quality time together. You will find that those quality moments mean more and last more in your memory than the time you played a really fun app by yourself. This is why it is a great idea to take a breather from some of those apps and to simply enjoy being with the ones you love in your life.

Gum disease linked to prostate inflammation by new study

A new study has revealed the link between gum disease and an inflamed prostate gland has been confirmed and that treating gum disease can reduce the symptoms and effects of prostatitis. Science Daily reports the inflammation of the semen producing gland can have a major impact on the life of individuals who suffer with the condition and see problems with urination. A link between gum disease and prostatitis has long been suspected, but the latest study offers the chance to see how treating gum disease can have a major effect on the symptoms of prostatitis.

Sam Tabar has learned that a group of 27 men who had been diagnosed with prostatitis aged 21 years and older were studied for the effects the treatment of their gum diseased had on their prostatitis condition. The symptoms were tested against the International-Prostate Symptom Score test used by medical groups around the world to see how the treatment of gum disease reduced the symptoms of prostatitis.

Espresso Lovers Conquer a New Frontier

Good news for those who can’t go a day without an espresso. The first espresso ever made and consumed in spaces was enjoyed by Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. She is known to be a ground breaker as she is also the first Italian female astronaut to go into space.
This feat was a coordination of efforts of the Italian Space Agency, espresso maker Lavassa and engineering firm Argotek. This 44 pound piece of equipment can also be used to make other hot beverages to drink as well as hot broth to rehydrate freeze dried astronaut food.
The astronauts drink the hot beverages from pouches with a straw to contain the hot liquids. They also have several microgravity coffee cups they can use in the future. Variety says that STX Entertainment is excited that they will be able to stay awake if they ever start making movies in Space. This information can be used back on earth to help develop and improve medical diagnostic equipment.

North American Spine Nominated for Dallas Ethics Award

North American Spine has been cited for its mission to help others while advancing healthcare as key factors for its nomination for the 2015 Greater Dallas Business Ethics Award (GDBEA). The award honors businesses that use their core values to drive their business actions.

Businesses are also nominated because their work reflects positive and ethical values of the local Dallas business community. Companies that operate in the this manner exemplify what it means to do the right thing for their business and individuals who have a stake in its operation.

Best known for its exclusive AccuraScope® procedure, North American Spine is committed to helping patients with chronic back and neck pain by connecting them with board-certified physicians. AccuraScope® is a minimally invasive outpatient procedures that offers benefits beyond traditional spinal surgery. Advanced diagnostics such as interoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) help the procedure’s accuracy and can further promote patient outcomes.

Two published university and clinical research medical studies have confirmed that the AccuraScope® procedure has an average success rate of 82 percent for patients who have not achieved pain relief through non-surgical treatments or other spinal surgeries. Those studies, along with patient testimonials, indicate that more than 95 percent of North American Spine’s patients would recommend the company to others. The company’s success stories include country music singer and songwriter Larry Gatlin who found relief from 47 years of chronic leg pain.

Southern Methodist University’s Cary M. Maguire for Ethics and Public Responsibility and the Financial Planning Association of Dallas/Fort Worth are two of annual nominating organizations.