Latest information about Gout

Gout May Be Linked to Raised Diabetes Risk: Study

Posted October 6, 2014

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis, appears to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, especially in women, a new study finds.

Researchers followed more than 35,000 gout sufferers in the United Kingdom and found that women with gout were 71 percent more likely to develop diabetes compared with people without gout. For men, the increased risk was 22 percent.

“Gout seems to be contributing to the risk of diabetes independently of other diabetes risk factors, such as obesity,” said lead researcher Dr. Hyon Choi, from the division of rheumatology, allergy, and immunology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Gout causes intense pain and swelling in single joints, most often the feet, especially the joint at the base of the big toe. More than 3 million Americans suffer from the condition, men more often than women, according to the American College of Rheumatology.

People with gout have excess uric acid in the body, which forms needle-like crystals that lodge in the joints.

Diabetes, characterized by high blood sugar levels, can lead to kidney damage, heart disease and limb amputations over time. Clarifying its relationship to gout “is essential,” the study authors said.

However, while the current research suggests gout raises the risk of diabetes, the study can’t prove it. “The association is clearly there, but why that is so isn’t known,” Choi said.

Choi speculates that ongoing, low-level inflammation from gout may increase the risk for diabetes. Other risk factors shared by both diseases — high cholesterol and high blood pressure, for example — might also increase the risk, he said.

The researchers used data from health records on adult patients from January 1995 to May 2010. They zeroed in on about 35,000 people with newly diagnosed gout and compared them with more than 137,000 people without the condition.

To isolate the relationship between gout and diabetes, the investigators took age, sex and especially weight into account, because obesity is a risk factor for both gout and type 2 diabetes.

The study, published online Oct. 2 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, found that almost three-quarters of the new cases of gout were among men with an average age of 61. Among women with new cases of gout, the average age was 68.

The odds of developing diabetes alongside gout was much more likely for women, the researchers found. Choi said the absolute risk of a woman with gout developing diabetes is about 5 percent, and for a man it’s about 3 percent.

People with gout tended to drink more alcohol, saw their doctor more often, had more medical problems, and took steroids and diuretics more often than those who did not have gout, the study authors noted.

Treatments for gout are available and are tailored individually.

Choi said the best way to reduce the risk of developing gout or diabetes is to control risk factors, such as blood pressure, cholesterol and weight.

Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said this study may make doctors more aware of the association between gout and diabetes.

“The question for doctors is whether people with gout should be tested for diabetes and people with diabetes tested for gout,” Mezitis said.

“What this study tells us is that if the patient has gout, you have to be thinking that the patient is at increased risk for diabetes,” he said. This may be independent of other factors normally associated with diabetes, such as obesity and high blood pressure, he added.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Final twist to tale of Henrietta Lacks, the woman whose cells helped the fight against cancer!

Scientists recant in ethics row over publishing DNA genome of research’s unwitting heroine

Henrietta Lacks

Henrietta Lacks, who died of cancer in 1951, but whose tumour cells have been an invaluable resource for medical researchers. Photograph: Courtesy of the Henrietta Lacks Foundation

The astonishing story of Henrietta Lacks, who died of cancer in 1951 but whose still living cells are now the basis for much medical research, has captivated America for the past two years – and there is no sign of the debate, or its controversies, abating.

As revealed in the bestselling 2011 book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this is a tale of a poor black tobacco farmer who never consented to having her tissues taken but whose cancer cells have proved so important they have formed the foundation for work leading to two Nobel prizes.

Yet Lacks’s family never knew about it – even as the cells were used around the world in research, or when they themselves were asked for blood samples two decades later. The book described the indignity of the family’s ordeal even as giant corporations profited hugely from Lacks’s cells – known as HeLa in medical parlance. Her children, again without their knowledge, had their medical records studied and even published. It was a story of the complex intersection of medicine, race and profit that seemed to have a happy ending as the book, written by Rebecca Skloot, became a bestseller and Lacks’s contribution to medical science was recognised.

But now history seems to have repeated itself. A group of scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg recently published a paper in which they sequenced the entire genome of a HeLa cell – essentially putting Lacks’s DNA sequence up on the internet for all to see. Amazingly, they failed to alert anyone in the Lacks family about their intentions or ask their permission.

Skloot was outraged, arguing that scientists appeared to have learned little. “The publication of the HeLa genome without consent isn’t an example of a few researchers making a mistake. The whole system allowed it. Everyone involved followed standard practices. They presented their research at conferences and in a peer-reviewed journal. No one raised questions about consent,” she wrote in a column in the New York Times.

David Kroll, a science writer and board member of the Henrietta Lacks Foundation, was furious that Lacks and her family had again apparently fallen into a scientific ethics blind spot. “I was pretty appalled. I could not believe this was happening all over again.”

The impact was rapid. Though the scientists at EMBL had insisted that the genome could not be used to make any sensitive medical conclusions about Lacks or her living family members – such as whether they had a predisposition to certain diseases – one researcher told Skloot they had done precisely that by downloading the genome and provided proof of their deductions confidentially to Skloot. Eventually the EMBL revised its publication, removing full details of the genome, and apologised.

The incident has added an unexpected last chapter to what was already a remarkable story. Lacks died quickly, aged 31, after being diagnosed with cervical cancer. The cells taken from her have been used in experiments all over the world and even in space. HeLa cells have helped make hundred of millions of profits for companies all over the world and been used for medical breakthrough after breakthrough. They have been used to develop the polio vaccine and in vitro fertilisation and even cloning.

Yet, before Skloot’s book was published, her story was little known. Now, not only is Lacks honoured – she has had a school named after her – but her case is held up as a prime example of the abuse of medical ethics where getting consent from test subjects is now seen as a primary moral duty. “The scientific community can still be arrogant and have a disregard for people’s feelings,” Kroll said.

That seems to be particularly true of this latest incident involving the publication of the genome of the HeLa cells. As genetic technology and medicine becomes more common it is going to raise key issues of privacy. The human genome is becoming easier and cheaper to map in its entirety and the sort of breaches that just took place with the HeLa cell line are likely to become more frequent. That could open up many people to unscrupulous employers or health insurance companies trying to analyse DNA sequences for confidential information.

“It speaks very widely to genetic privacy,” Kroll said. After all, Kroll argued, if researchers were still blithe enough to publish a genome as well known as a HeLa cell, then they might be even less bothered by people whose identities are – now – less famous. “The whole Henrietta Lacks case has been a blessing in disguise. Often mistakes can lead to advances and correcting behaviour,” said Kroll.

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Hair Therapy for Thinning Hair! Are you losing your hair?

Hair Therapy for Thinning Hair – Laser Procedures vs Shampoos

Thinning hair can occur for various reasons among both men and women. While losing hair over a period of time is regarded as normal, excessive hair loss is a problem that needs to be addressed. A number of people notice that their hair thins as they grow older or genetic factors may be involved. Hair therapy for thinning hair is an effective way of helping to slow down hair loss and restore lost hair.

Thinning hair can be a source of frustration and distress for most people. The reality is that more and more people are facing the challenge of losing their hair in various parts of their scalps. This is why many people seek a solution that will not subject them to harsh or painful treatments. Hair therapy is available for the purpose of keeping hair in good condition and preventing the thinning process from taking place.

People can choose between laser procedures and shampoos as solutions for their thinning hair concerns. As people grow older, it is normal for them to experience some level of hair thinning. In cases where the hair loss causes bald patches, it becomes necessary to find a way to deal with the problem. Hair thinning can be a result of genetic factors, autoimmunity, and subjecting the hair to harsh treatments over a period of time. Hair can also be lost as a result of certain reactions to medication, stress, and poor diet.

Since most people lack the patience that it takes for hair to grow, treatments in the form of laser procedures and shampoos can be considered. When hair thins naturally, shampoo treatments can be used by applying them to the scalp so as to stimulate the follicles and cause hair to grow and fill out the bald spots. Another option that is worth considering is laser procedures that are typically used to promote hair growth and effectively treat thinning hair.

Hair therapy for thinning hair can be undertaken through non-surgical laser procedures to treat hair loss. When laser therapy is used as regularly as required it causes the roots of the hair to become stronger and regenerates them. This goes a long way towards halting the hair loss process. It is important to start the treatment as soon as possible before the damage to the roots occurs. Laser procedures efficiently cause hair to grow once again and become fuller as well as easier to manage.

Treatment causes blood to reach the scalp more efficiently and hair follicles are stimulated. People can rely on noninvasive treatments such as shampoos and laser therapy to prevent the effects of hair loss. The results of laser treatment are typically visible as soon as treatment begins. With shampoos, the results may take longer and one will need to exercise more patience and apply the product regularly.

The purpose of hair therapy for thinning hair is to enhance the volume of hair and improve the hair shaft. This serves to make the hair stronger and stop further hair loss from happening. People who struggle with baldness and those who experience thinning hair can all try out hair therapy for thinning hair and look forward to excellent results.

Noninvasive hair replacement therapy is ideal for people who are unhappy with their hair loss. This ensures that one is able to achieve fuller healthier hair without having to undergo a surgical procedure. Treatments last for varying periods of time depending on the extent of hair loss or thinning. The therapy needs to be maintained so that the hair can improve and remain healthy for many years to come.

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Everyone will not have wash board abs but we all can improve what we do have. These are five exercises to help you get going!


The lower part of belly is the most common part people are fed up with and want to change.Often, when you have changed every muscle in your body, lower abs won’t cooperate. This is because there are not many exercises known that focus on that stub born part of abdomen. So Here on I Pack Six Pack we will show you which exercises to do and how to do them, Enjoy!

1.       Double Leg Lifts: Lie down on your back, with your hands placed under your butt, with the palms facing the floor. Then, contracting your lower abdominal muscles, and tightening the muscles of your legs, lift them straight up vertically, and hold them there for a few seconds. Then lower them down until they are a few inches off the floor, and hold it there again for a few seconds. Repeat 5-8 times to begin with. Later, as you feel your abs getting stronger, increase the reps to 15-20 times. Then, as you get even stronger, you can lift your head and shoulders off the floor while performing the leg lifts.

2.       Alternating Leg Walks: Begin by lying on your back, placing your hands under your butt, and take a few deep breaths. Then, contract the lower ab muscles and lift your right leg up slowly, until it is 90 degrees to your body. Then, equally slowly, lower it back down, until it is a few inches off the floor, while simultaneously raising your left leg. Keep lifting your legs alternatively about 8-10 times to begin with. Later, as your abs become stronger, you can increase the count to 15-20 times. And, as in the previous one, lift your head and shoulders off the floor while performing the exercise.

3.       Double Leg Reverse Crunches: Lie down on your back, with your hands under your butt. Lift both your legs up until they are in a vertical position. Now bend your legs at the knees, so that the lower part is parallel to the floor. Then, contracting your lower abs, and maintaining your bent knees, gradually lower your legs until the soles of your feet are just a couple of inches off the floor. Keep your abs contracted and hold this position for a few seconds. Then increasing the contraction in your abs, lift your knees up again, bringing them towards your chest. This is a somewhat challenging exercise, so begin by doing just 3-5 reps. Later, as you feel yourself getting stronger, increase the reps gradually, until you can do 15-20 reps.

4.       Scissors: Lying on your back, with your hands under your butt, contract your lower abs and tighten your leg muscles and lift both your legs up, until they are about two feet off the floor. Now, without bending the knees, get your right leg across your left leg, so that both legs are crossed. Then open your legs out, and close them again, reversing the positions of the legs. Keep repeating this scissoring action, keeping your lower abs contracted, about 8-10 times, to start with. Then, increase that to 15-20 reps as you get stronger.

5.       Double Leg Circles: Lie down on your back, with your hands under your butt. Then, contracting your lower abs, lift both legs a few inches off the floor. Now, rotate both legs together in circles. Make 5 circles in a clockwise direction. Then lower the legs to the floor, and relax for a few seconds. Then repeat the exercise with 5 anticlockwise circles. You can increase the number of circles to 10-15 as you get stronger.

Also keep in mind to do these exercises slowly to keep them effective.


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