Liver Disease

Some people turn yellow when their liver becomes infected. This is called jaundice, and it means that the liver cells have become infected and inflamed. A pigmented product called bilirubin that is produced in the liver and normally passed into the bowel for elimination is blocked as the inflamed cells and canals jam up.

More and more is channeled into the bloodstream, giving the skin and normally white parts of the body (such as the whites of the eyes) a yellowish tinge.

Liver Disease Causes

The most common type of liver disease is infectious hepatitis, or hepatitis A. It’s caused by a virus believed to be transmitted from infected fecal matter to food that subsequently finds its way into the system. Infectious particles of the hepatitis A virus are seen with the aid of an electron microscope. Symptoms can occur anywhere from 30 to 40 days after infection.

This is a similar kind, but it seems to act much more slowly, taking anywhere from 40 to 110 days (average 65 days) to produce symptoms. It is probably transmitted in a different way, and once it was believed to occur if infected needles or blood were used. Now researchers have found that the virus may be transmitted from person to person in a multitude of ways.

A product in the blood that pinpointed accurate diagnosis was first discovered in an Australian aboriginal, and for many years it was called Australian antigen. But now it is known as the hepatitis B (surface) antigen. When trying to confirm the diagnosis, doctors seek this particular element in the blood of the patient.

Liver Disease Symptoms

Often symptoms start abruptly, with fevers, headaches, aches and pains all over, loss of appetite and vomiting. After two to five days, a yellowing of the skin or eyes may occur, and this gives the signal that hepatitis may be present. However, this is not always so, and many cases occur in which there are only a few symptoms. Often the upper part of the abdomen is painful. This indicates the liver or spleen, two large organs tucked up under the ribs, are affected and swollen.

With symptoms of this kind, a wise parent will call the doctor. Diagnosis is often difficult, although if there is a local epidemic, it is much easier to predict. The doctor will most probably order special tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Liver Disease Treatment

There is no specific drug in use, but the doctor will give advice on the best routine to follow. Also, the doctor’s supervision is advisable, for serious complications may take place in which hospital care may become necessary. Fortunately the majority of cases does well with simple measures, and get well before long.

Reducing physical activity with a few days in bed gives the body’s recuperative powers the best chance to work at maximum capacity. Plenty of fluids, especially fruit juices with added powdered glucose D provide food in an easy digestible form and help allay nausea. Fluids help rid toxins and dead germs from the system. They also help reduce fevers. There are no strict food restrictions, but high-fat-content meals are usually unpalatable.

Most cases do well, especially those in whom the infection has been mild – this is so in most instances. However, hospital care is sometimes necessary, especially if symptoms are severe, and the youthful patient is not able to take normal food by mouth.

Hepatitis B is a far more severe and dangerous disorder, and the outlook is often much poorer.

A vaccine offering protection against hepatitis B is now available, and is given to persons at risk. The main risk is in mothers infecting their babies during pregnancy.

There is no vaccine for hepatitis A, but those coming into contact with the disease may gain protection by an injection of special serum containing the protective elements called gamma globulin. The doctor arranges this for you.

Pregnancy Nutrition Guide

As your pregnancy progresses the nutritional demands of your body increases. A look at these increasing needs by trimester can provide a good first insight.

Pregnancy First Trimester Nutrition

During the early weeks of pregnancy, you may not be aware of the baby with your body. Therefore, you should consume an adequate diet even before you become pregnant. Once you realize that you are pregnant, you may experience morning sickness, which tends to minimize thoughts of food. But even in pregnancy, you need to make sure that you eat a good diet. This can be difficult, since your nutritional requirements at this point are already the same as those for a non-pregnant woman, with the exception of the additional folic acid requirement.

Lack of certain nutrients in the diet, primarily vitamin B6, is thought to cause morning sickness. Morning sickness may also occur because of dime sugar after not eating all night. Some women experience nausea the day, however, especially if they go for long periods without. Many women find that natural remedies can bring relief from morning sickness. However, if natural remedies do not help you, and nausea and vomiting is a severe problem, your doctor can prescribe medication. Gratefully sickness usually disappears by the fourth month.

Pregnancy Second Trimester Nutrition

During the second trimester, nutritional needs increase, and you should begin additional calories, vitamins, and minerals by following a pregnancy diet. The baby puts on very little weight during the second However, the maternal tissues greatly increase. The woman begins putting down a store of fat for her body to utilize during lactation. Her uterus and breasts enlarge, the volume of amniotic fluid increases, the placenta in size, and the blood volume expands. Therefore, increased protein intakes are essential.

Pregnancy Third Trimester Nutrition

During the last trimester, the baby gains weight rapidly. His brain grows the last 2 months, and his liver stores up iron. Continue with your pregnancy diet during this time—and beyond, if you wish. You must take in sufficient calories and protein to ensure optimum nutrition of the baby’s brain and body. Dieting at this point is not beneficial for either of you, and fasting before doctor’s appointments to minimize Lam is foolish. Make certain that you eat well, and your weight gain will guarantee the health of both you and your baby.

If you experience increased swelling as your due date approaches, try adding more protein to your diet. In rare cases, swelling puts pressure on the nerves in the wrist, resulting in tingling, numbness, and pain in the hands. This is called carpal tunnel syndrome. Additional vitamin B6 may help relieve this condition or prevent its further development. The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome will gradually subside following delivery.


What is Purpura?

Purpura means there is a tendency for the skin to bruise. It’s more likely in children under the age of six years, and often there may have been a tendency to bruise easily with simple knocks. A large number of purpuras exist, and they have a strange variety of names. Basically, the cause is a fault with the clotting mechanism of the blood. This usually involves tiny particles called platelets, which are part of the solid phase of the blood. There may be too few, or the place where they are produced, in the bone marrow, may be diseased.

Sometimes the condition follows a few weeks after a simple infection, often a viral one, or germs collecting in the urinary tract or teeth. There may be bleeding into the skin causing bruising. It may come from the nose, gums or urinary system these are the most common areas. Sometimes bleeding may occur into the bowel or pints or even into the nervous system, hit these are more unlikely. The child may run a fever, appear pale, but this varies. When the blood is examined, there is usually a reduced number of platelets.

Purpura Treatment

It can be a worrying time, and treatment may be needed for many months, often up to six or eight. Blood transfusions are given to restore the platelet count to normal, and these may be repeated depending on the child’s reaction.

Any infection is treated. The child is given a nutritious diet, probably with added vitamins, and the steroid drugs are sometimes used. Every effort is made to avoid injuring the body, for this will aggravate the bruising and bleeding. Certain of the newer drugs may also be used. It depends on the case, and the opinion of the doctors treating it. In continuing cases despite treatment (probably after six to twelve months of active therapy), the spleen, the large organ in the upper abdomen is sometimes surgically removed.

In most cases the results are favourable often with or without treatment, the vast majority of people recover within six months, but some may take longer and cases have continued for three years or more. Occasionally a purpura is fatal, but usually not.

Facts About Archimedes

  • Archimedes (c.287-212Bc) was one of the first great scientists. He created the sciences of mechanics and hydrostatics.
  • Archimedes was a Greek who lived in the city of Syracuse, Sicily. His relative, Hieron II, was king of Syracuse.
  • Archimedes’ screw is a simple pump supposedly invented by Archimedes. It scoops up water with a spiral device that turns inside a tube. It is still used in the Middle East.
  • To help defend Syracuse against Roman attackers in 215Bc, Archimedes invented many war machines. They included an awesome ‘claw’ — a giant grappling crane that could lift whole galleys from the water and sink them.
  • Archimedes was killed by Roman soldiers when collaborators let the Romans into Syracuse in 212Bc.
  • Archimedes analysed levers mathematically. He showed that the load you can move with a particular effort is in exact proportion to its distance from the fulcrum.
  • Archimedes discovered that objects float because they are thrust upwards by the water.
  • Archimedes’ principle shows that the upthrust on a floating object is equal to the weight of the water that the object pushes out of the way.
  • Archimedes realized he could work out the density, or specific gravity, of an object by comparing the object’s weight to the weight of water it pushes out of a jar when completely submerged.
  • Archimedes used specific gravity to prove a sly goldsmith had not made King Hieron’s crown of pure gold.

Pelican Facts

  • The great white pelican catches about 1.2 kg of fish a day in its large throat pouch.
  • The brown pelican dives from a height of 15 m above the water to catch fish below the surface.
  • Great white pelican breeding colonies may number as many as 30,000 pairs of birds.
  • There are seven species of pelican. Most live and feed around fresh water, but the brown pelican is a seabird.
  • Pelicans are often found in large colonies, particularly during the breeding season.
  • A great white pelican comes in to land on the water.
  • One of the largest pelicans is the Australian pelican, which is up to 180 cm long and weighs about 15 kg.
  • The white pelican lays 1-2 eggs in a nest mound on the ground. Both parents help to incubate the eggs and care for the young.
  • Pelican chicks are able to stand at 3 weeks old and can fly at 7-10 weeks old.
  • In heraldry, a pelican is shown pecking its breast to feed its young on its blood. This may stem from the bird’s habit of resting its beak on its breast.
  • White pelicans work as a group to herd fish into a shoal by swimming around them in a horseshoe formation. Then they scoop up pouchfuls of fish with their large beaks.
  • In flight, a pelican flaps its wings 1.3 times a second. This is one of the slowest wingbeat speeds, when actively flying, of any bird.

Garden Facts

  • The ancient Chinese and Greeks grew fruit trees, vegetables and herbs in gardens for food and for medicines.
  • In the 1500s there were five famous botanical gardens in Europe designed to study and grow herbs for medicine.
  • The first botanical gardens were at Pisa (1543) and Padua (1545) in Italy.
  • Kew Gardens was once owned by the Royal Family, but since 1841 has been open to the public.
  • Carolus Clusius set up a famous flower garden in Leiden in Holland in the late 1500s. Here the first tulips from China were grown and the Dutch bulb industry began.
  • The most famous gardener of the 17th century was John Evelyn who set up a beautiful garden at Sayes Court in Deptford near London.
  • The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew near London were made famous by Sir Joseph Banks in the late 1700s for their extensive collection of plants from around the world.
  • Today Kew Gardens has 33,400 classes of living plants and a herbarium of dried plants with 7 million species – that’s 98% of the world’s plants.
  • Plants such as rubber plants, pineapples, bananas, tea and coffee were spread around the world from Kew.
  • Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (1716-83) was a famous English landscape gardener. He got his nickname by telling clients that their gardens had excellent `capabilities’.
  • Ornamental gardens are ordinary flower gardens in which a variety of flowers are laid out in patterns that are pleasing to the eye.
  • Gardening has become one of the most popular of all pastimes.
  • All garden flowers are descended from plants that were once wild, but they have been bred over the centuries to produce flowers quite unlike their wild relatives.
  • Garden flowers like tea roses, created by crossbreeding two different species, are called hybrids.
  • Garden flowers tend to have bigger blooms and last for longer than their wild cousins.
  • By hybridization gardeners have created colours that are impossible naturally, such as black roses.
  • Ornamentals are flowers cultivated just for show.
  • Botanical gardens such as I hose at Kew, London, display collections of flowers from many parts of I he world.
  • I 8th-century botanist Carl Linnaeus made a clock by planting flowers that bloomed at different times of day.
  • The earliest flowerbeds were the borders of flower tufts Ancient Persians grew along pathways.
  • A herbaceous border is a traditional flowerbed that is planted with herbaceous perennial flowers such as delphiniums, chrysanthemums and primroses. It llowers year after year.
  • Herbaceous borders were invented by Kew gardener George Nicolson in the 1890s.

Sparrow Facts

  • More than 70% of all bird species – over 5,000 species altogether – are perching birds, or Passerines. They have feet with three toes pointing forwards and one backwards, to help them cling to a perch.
  • Perching birds build neat, small, cup-shaped nests.
  • Perching birds sing – this means that their call is not a single sound, but a sequence of musical notes.
  • Songbirds, such as thrushes, warblers and nightingales, are perching birds with especially attractive songs.
  • Usually only male songbirds sing – and mainly in the mating season, to warn off rivals and attract females.
  • Sparrows are small perching birds found in many parts of the world. Sparrows are seed-eaters with the house sparrow specializing in grain. Changes in farming practices are thought to account for this bird’s dramatic decline in numbers in Britain.
  • Starlings often gather on overhead cables ready to migrate.
  • Sparrows are small, plump birds, whose chirruping song is familiar almost everywhere.
  • Starlings are very common perching birds which often gather in huge flocks, either to feed or to roost.
  • All the millions of European starlings in North America are descended from 100 set free in New York’s Central Park in the 1890s.
  • Many perching birds, including mynahs, are talented mimics. The lyre bird of southeastern Australia can imitate car sirens and chainsaws, as well as other birds.
  • The red-billed quelea of Africa is the world’s most abundant bird. There are over 1.5 billion of them.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is the most commonly known disease caused by tick bites in the Northern Hemisphere. Approximately 70,000 cases are reported in the United States on an annual basis. Also called Lyme Borreliosis, the condition is thought to be caused by at least three members of the Borrelia family (a family of bacteria with over 36 types that are transmitted mainly by the bites of infected ticks and some species of lice). The disease received it name from Lyme, Connecticut in the US after the discovery of multiply cases (in children) in 1975.

Symptoms Lyme disease

Early symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, fatigue, depression, headaches and circular rashes on the skin called erythema migrans. The rashes can appear anywhere between one day to a month after being bitten by an infected insect. Contrary to popular beliefs, the rash is not indicative of an allergic reaction but a bacterial infection. In the absence of treatment, symptoms could progress to complications of the joints, central nervous system and the heart.

If left untreated or treated at a late stage, more severe symptoms can develop that are not only hard to treat but can also be disabling. In some instances, arthritis caused by Lyme disease as well as some after symptoms may remain after treatment suggesting that Borrelia can lead to autoimmunity (a condition in which the body recognizes parts of itself as harmful, causing the immune system to fight the cells or tissues thought to be foreign agents).

Stage two of Lyme disease is characterized by paralysis of the facial nerves, stiffness of the neck, abnormal heart rhythm, numbness of the extremities and weakness. The incubation period for the final stage of the disease is 6 week to 2 years after the infected bite or bites.

It is possible for Lyme disease to go untreated because the symptoms are similar to many other conditions, the most obvious sign is the rash resulting from the bite which can appear within the first 48 hours after infection takes place. However, since the range of time runs for 24 hours to 1 month, this telltale sign can also appear at a late stage in the infection. Rashes can still be misinterpreted even if they appear early since many people will mistake them for allergic reactions.

The vagueness of the symptoms that characterize Lyme disease is not the only problem when diagnosing the infection. The disease is one that can prove rather evasive during testing. Unlike most viral infections, this condition cannot be easily spotted using tissue cultures and blood tests are only successful if certain antibodies are produced. Even in these cases, the antibodies may be undetectable or show up late in the disease’s development. It often takes an evaluation of a person’s medical history, symptoms and test results for Lyme disease to be suspected.

Treating Lyme disease

2 to 3 weeks of antibiotics like Amoxicillin or Tetracycline is often sufficient to treat early stages of the disease while a long period and more intense treatment is needed for advance stages.

Flood Facts

  • A flood is when a river or the sea rises so much that it spills over the surrounding land.
  • River floods may occur after a period of prolonged heavy rain or after snow melts in spring.
  • Small floods are common; big floods are rare. So flood size is described in terms of frequency.
  • A two-year flood is a smallish flood that is likely to occur every two years. A 100-year flood is a big flood that is likely to occur once a century.
  • A flash flood occurs when a small stream changes to a raging torrent after heavy rain during a dry spell.
  • The 1993 flood on the Mississippi–Missouri caused damage of $15,000 million and made 75,000 homeless, despite massive flood control works in the 1930s.
  • The Hwang Ho river is called `China’s sorrow’ because its floods are so devastating.
  • Not all floods are bad. Before the Aswan Dam was built, Egyptian farmers relied on the yearly flooding of the River Nile to enrich the soil.
  • After the Netherlands was badly flooded by a North Sea surge in 1953, the Dutch embarked on the Delta project, one of the biggest flood control schemes in history.
  • Even when no one drowns, a flood can destroy homes and wash away soil from farmland, leaving it barren.

Galileo Galilei Facts

  • Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was a great Italian mathematician and astronomer.
  • Galileo was born in Pisa on 15 February 1564, in the same year as William Shakespeare.
  • The pendulum clock was invented by Galileo after watching a swinging lamp in Pisa Cathedral in 1583.
  • Galileo’s experiments with balls rolling down slopes laid the basis for our understanding of how gravity affects acceleration (speeding up).
  • Learning of the telescope’s invention, Galileo made his own to look at the Moon, Venus and Jupiter.
  • Galileo described his observations of space in a book called The Starry Messenger, published in 1613.
  • Through his telescope Galileo saw that Jupiter has four moons (see Jupiter’s Galilean moons). He also saw that Venus has phases (as our Moon does).
  • Jupiter’s moon and Venus’s phases were the first visible evidence of Copernicus’ theory that the Earth moves round the Sun. Galileo also believed this.
  • Galileo was declared a heretic in 1616 by the Catholic Church, for his support of Copernican theory. Later, threatened with torture, Galileo was forced to deny that the Earth orbits the Sun. Legend has it he muttered `eppur si muove’ (`yet it does move’) afterwards