What’s in a Heartbeat?

The human heart is fundamentally a fist-sized muscular organ located in the thoracic (chest) cavity. Small as it is, the heart plays a huge role in the functioning of the body by pumping blood around to supply organs and tissues with oxygen and nutrients, and to the lungs for purification. Circulation Arteries transport blood away…

Hyper- and Hypo- thyroidism

The thyroid gland is a component of the endocrine system and is responsible for the synthesis and release of two principal hormones – triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), using iodine obtained from our diet. The thyroid gland is regulated by the hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain, which are also components of the endocrine…

Hair Shedding and Hair Loss

On average, a healthy person sheds between 50-100 strands of hair a day, from around 100,000 hair follicles that are usually present on the scalp. This is considered to be normal hair shedding, and accounts for part of the natural hair cycle. Hair loss refers to significantly excessive shedding over a period of time, that…

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), or ‘cot death’, is a form of sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) which involves the sudden and unexplained death of a seemingly healthy infant. This usually involves infants below the age of one year (most commonly below six months) and more often than not occurs while they are asleep. According…

Endometriosis

The inner lining of the uterus that is shed during menstruation every month is known as endometrium and the tissue present on this inner wall is called endometrial tissue. Endometriosis refers to the abnormal growth of endometrial tissue in areas outside of the uterus. This may manifest in different parts of the abdomen including: ovaries…

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a form of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that prevails at one or more locations along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It affects both males and females equally, and is more prevalent in developed countries, Europe and North America than in other parts of the world. Patients with the disease may experience intermittent…

What is Chemotherapy?

In a strict sense, ‘chemotherapy’ refers to the use of chemical drugs to treat any given illness. However, it is most commonly and almost solely used with reference to the use of drugs in the treatment of cancer, which is what this article focuses on. Contrary to surgery and radiation therapy, both of which target…

Urticaria (Hives)

Urticaria, or hives, is a condition that affects up to 20% of the population at least once in their lifetime. While the source of the condition is immunology-related, it is often categorised as a dermatological condition due to its manifestation as small, pink/red, itchy bumps (welts) on the skin. They may occur on any part…

Cataract

Cataract refers to the condition where the lens of the eye – a transparent, biconvex structure behind the iris that focuses light onto the retina so that we see things as they are – develops cloudy patches. These patches usually increase in area over time, subsequently affecting one’s vision. Cataract may develop in only one…

Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease)

Leprosy (or Hansen’s Disease) is a communicable, infectious disease that has, over centuries, been associated with continued social stigma. In ancient times, it was believed to be some form of divine “punishment”, while in more recent history it was thought to cause “limbs to fall off” of affected individuals. In this article, we delve into…