Being Multicellular

Explorations in science and medicine.

The Stress Hormone

Cortisol is a steroid hormone made from cholesterol in the two adrenal glands above each kidney. It is best known for its role in the ‘fight or flight’ response and how, in stressful situations, it can increase the body’s energy production temporarily.

The secretion of cortisol is controlled by the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and the adrenal gland [2]. When there are low cortisol levels in the blood, Continue reading “The Stress Hormone”

What Is Locked In Syndrome?

Locked In Syndrome is also known as cerebromedullaspinal disconnection, de-efferented state and pseudocoma [1] and is a rare neurological disorder where the patient is conscious, awake and retain their sleep-wake cycles but can’t move or speak due to having complete paralysis of all of their voluntary muscles. The cognitive ability of the individual which is the ability to perceive information, their memory and reasoning remain unaffected which allows the individual to be able to sustain some form of communication by blinking. Continue reading “What Is Locked In Syndrome?”

Genetics in Eating Disorders

Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder all have many possible genes that predispose the individual to the particular disorder in accompaniment to the main psychiatric aspect. Is it the media and unrealistic magazine images that ‘encourage’ this disorder or something that is predetermined by our DNA? Continue reading “Genetics in Eating Disorders”

What is Raynaud’s?- Raynaud’s Awareness Month.

Raynaud’s is a disease that causes parts of the body but usually the fingers and toes to feel numb and cold due to cold temperatures and stress. Other  affected areas may include the ears, nose, lips and nipple [2] It is quite a common condition with 20% of the adult population having it worldwide and 10 million being estimated to have it in the UK [2]. Continue reading “What is Raynaud’s?- Raynaud’s Awareness Month.”

It’s OCD Week of Action and I wanted to say…

Everyday, we hear phrases like, “I’m so OCD!” or “Mind my OCD!” and we laugh about it because it’s funny to make fun ourselves and what is wrong with us (for some reason) but, the thing is, how many of us really know what it is like to have OCD? Continue reading “It’s OCD Week of Action and I wanted to say…”

Why Do People Sleepwalk?

Definition: a sleep disorder characterized by walking or other activity while seemingly still asleep- Psychology Today

Synonyms: somnambulism, parasomnia

Sleep walking usually occurs when a person is in deep sleep and most sleep walking episodes last for less than ten minutes. 30% of all adults are thought to have sleep walked at least once in their lives. Sleep walking itself is only one of the complex behaviours carried out while a person is asleep like sitting up in bed and looking around, some even drive! Why does this happen? Continue reading “Why Do People Sleepwalk?”

The Health Risks of Female Genital Mutilation…

Female genital mutilation is a procedure where the female genitals are ‘cut, injured or changed’ [1]. There are four types of the procedure: clitoridectomy where part/ all of the clitoris is removed, excision where part/all of the clitoris and the inner labia are removed, infibulations where the vaginal opening is narrowed. The fourth type is when the area is burnt or pierced. I am aware of the fact that there is no medical need for the act, religious stipulation and that it is illegal in the UK. This post will be focused on the health problems FGM cases present with. Continue reading “The Health Risks of Female Genital Mutilation…”

Why Are Women More Likely to Get Alzheimer’s?

In the US, out of 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s, 3.2 million of these are women [1] and I thought that this was due to women living longer than men collectively but this gap between living ages of men and women is not substantial enough to be the whole story; Alzheimer’s is a disease that can last for as long as 20 years before the individual passes away and so the life expectancy of 5-8 years doesn’t add up. Continue reading “Why Are Women More Likely to Get Alzheimer’s?”

Women’s Role in Medicine Over Time.

As an aspiring surgeon, I am interested in how women’s role in medicine has changed over the decades, especially in hearing the chatter about the participation of girls in science and other areas of work like surgery.

In medieval texts, the supervisors of pregnancy were all women; the mothers and female family members of the mother and midwives. Female healers were trained by their male family members [1]- there seemed to have been plenty of opportunity in terms of how long ago this was.

In fact, it was education as an establishment that began to Continue reading “Women’s Role in Medicine Over Time.”

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