Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the general name for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The disease is characterized by swelling, ulcerations, and loss of function of the intestines.

The primary problem in IBD is inflammation, as the name suggests. Inflammation is a process that often occurs to fight off foreign invaders in the body, including viruses, bacteria, and fungi. In response to such organisms, the body’s immune system begins to produce a variety of cells and chemicals intended to stop the invasion.

These immune cells and chemicals, however, also have direct effects on the body’s tissues, resulting in heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. No one knows what starts the cycle of inflammation in IBD, but the result is a swollen, boggy intestine.

Infections

Infections
Infections
An infection is a condition in which viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites enter the body and cause a state of disease. Such invaders are called pathogens. They damage cells of the body by adhering to and damaging the cell walls, releasing toxic substances or causing allergic reactions.

The body has a set series of responses to infection, which mostly involve body chemicals, body tissues, and the immune system. It was recently reported that infection is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and kills more people than cancer and heart disease combined.

Pathogens are everywhere in a person’s daily environment: They may enter the body through breathing, ingested food or water, sexual contact, open wounds, or contact with contaminated objects. Having entered the body, pathogens begin to reproduce.

Influenza

Kid with influenza
Kid with influenza

Usually referred to as the flu or grippe, influenza is a highly infectious respiratory disease. Its name comes from the Italian word for “influence,” because people in eighteenth-century Europe thought that the disease was caused by the influence of bad weather. We now know that flu is caused by a virus.

When the influenza virus is inhaled, it attacks cells in the upper respiratory tract, causing such typical flu symptoms as fatigue, fever and chills, a hacking cough, and body aches. Although the stomach or intestinal “flu” is commonly blamed for stomach upsets and diarrhea, the influenza virus affects humans less often than is commonly believed.

Influenza is considerably more debilitating than the common cold. Influenza outbreaks occur suddenly, and infection spreads rapidly. The annual death toll attributable to influenza and its complications averages 20,000 in the United States alone. In the 1918-1919 Spanish flu pandemic, the death toll reached a staggering 20–40 million worldwide. Approximately 500,000 of these fatalities occurred in North America.

Ingrown Nail

Ingrown Nail
Ingrown Nail
Ingrown nail refers to the condition in which the edge of a nail cuts into the adjacent skin fold, causing pain, redness, and swelling.

Ingrown nail (onychocryptosis) occurs when the nail plate (the horny covering) grows into and cuts the skin alongside the nail (lateral nail fold). Ingrown toenails make up 3–5% of all foot problems. Most cases of ingrown nail occur in men between the ages of 10–30 years.

In this age group, males are affected twice as often as females. In older adults, the incidence is equal. There are three major types of ingrown nail: subcutaneous ingrown nail, in which the nail grows under the skin; over-curvature of the nail plate; and hypertrophy (overgrowth) of the lateral nail fold.

Insomnia

Insomnia
Insomnia

Insomnia is the inability to obtain an adequate amount or quality of sleep. The difficulty can be in falling asleep, remaining asleep, or both. People with insomnia do not feel refreshed when they wake up. Insomnia is a common symptom affecting millions of people that may be caused by many conditions, diseases, or circumstances.

According to a 1999 American Medical Association (AMA) report, approximately 30% of adults in the United States suffer occasionally from insomnia and 10% experience chronic insomnia.

Sleep is essential for mental and physical restoration. It is a cycle with two separate states: rapid eye movement (REM), the stage in which most dreaming occurs; and non-REM (NREM).

Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance
Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a condition in which cells, particularly those of muscle, fat, and liver tissue, display “resistance” to insulin by failing to take up and utilize glucose for energy and metabolism (insulin normally promotes take up and utilization of blood glucose from the blood stream).

In its early stages, the condition is asymptomatic, but may develop into Type II Diabetes. Although there are several established risk factors, the underlying cause is unknown.

It has been estimated that 30 to 33 million Americans are insulin resistant, and the number appears to be increasing.

Iodine

Iodine
Iodine
Iodine is a trace mineral required for human life. Humans require iodine for proper physical and mental development. It impacts cell respiration, metabolism of energy and nutrients, functioning of nerves and muscles, differentiation of the fetus, growth and repair of tissues, and the condition of skin, hair, teeth, and nails.

Iodine is also needed for the production of thyroid hormones. The thyroid (a small gland in the front of the neck), which contains 80% of the body’s iodine pool, converts iodine into the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are released into the bloodstream, controlling the body’s metabolism.

General use

As established by the National Research Council’s Food and Nutrition Board, the revised 1989 Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iodine is 40 mcg for infants, increasing to 150 mcg for adults and children age 11 and older. The RDA for pregnant and lactating women increases to 175 and 200 mcg respectively.

Ipecac

Cephalis ipecacuanha
Cephalis ipecacuanha

There are two categories of ipecac preparations— a syrup used in standard medical practice and a homeopathic remedy. They are given for different purposes. The medicinal effects of ipecac were recognized centuries ago by the Portuguese who settled in South America.

They found a plant that can make people vomit and appropriately named it Cephalis ipecacuanha, meaning sick-making plant. Nowadays, ipecac is used to treat a variety of conditions. Its most widely accepted use is to induce vomiting in cases of accidental poisoning.

When ipecac is swallowed, a substance in it called cephaeline irritates the stomach and causes vomiting. Syrup of ipecac is now considered the safest drug to treat poisoning and is often the most effective.

Ipriflavone

Ipriflavone
Ipriflavone

Ipriflavone (IP), also called ipraflavone, is a massproduced synthetic derivative of genistein (genistin) or daidzein. Genistein and daidzein are unique plant compounds called isoflavones, which are primarily found in soy products. Isoflavones belong to a larger category known as flavonoids, which are natural plant components that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, and anticancer properties.

Although most soy isoflavones are classified as plant estrogens (phytoestrogens), ipriflavone does not have estrogenic activity, and does not activate any estrogen receptors in the body. However, it may prevent or treat bone loss—osteoporosis—associated with menopause (the cessation of menstruation) and aging.

Ipriflavone contains three carbon rings. Its chemical names are:
  • 7-isopropoxyisoflavone
  • 7-isopropoxy-3-phenyl-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one
  • 7-(1-methylethoxy)-3-phenyl-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one
  • 7-isopropoxy-3-phenylchromone