Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS as it is more commonly known, is a condition that affects every three in four menstruating women at some point in their lifetime. Symptoms are generally mild in about 75% of affected women, but may be more severe in others. Symptoms may surface any time between five days to a couple…

Transverse Myelitis

Transverse myelitis (TM) is a neurological disorder that affects around 1-8 per million people annually. It involves inflammation of the spinal cord, which is made up of neurons (nerve cells) responsible for carrying nerve impulses between the brain and the rest of the body. ‘Transverse’ refers to the spinal cord being affected across a particular…

Encephalitis

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain tissue that causes the brain to become swollen. It is not a very common condition and, on average, affects about 10-15 individuals per 100,000 annually. The condition can be life threatening and therefore requires immediate medical attention. Encephalitis more commonly affects small children than adults. Older people are…

Vitamin D and the Human Body

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is present in two forms – D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). It is also casually referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ as both forms are naturally produced in organisms in the presence of the sun’s ultraviolet-B (UV-B) rays. Vitamin D2 is produced in plants and fungi, while D3…

Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a type of neurological disorder that is characterised by the occurrence of tics. Tics are impulsive movements/twitches in the body or vocal sounds that occur due to sudden, repetitive muscular contraction. While not technically being ‘involuntary’, tics are often referred to as an involuntary act as they are difficult…

Laryngitis

The larynx, or voice box, is an organ found in the upper region at the back of the throat that contains the vocal cords which are responsible for the vocal sounds that we make. The vocal cords comprise of two membranous folds that ideally open and close smoothly and create sounds with their movement and…

What’s in a Cramp?

A muscle cramp, or spasm, occurs as a result of prolonged involuntary contraction of a muscle group, a single muscle, or a group of fibres within a muscle. This may last from between a few seconds up to several minutes. A spasm may sometimes be felt in its mild form as a continuous twitching, but…

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…

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…