- Progress in medical science, better diet and improved hygiene have made the world a healthier place for many.
- How long people are likely to live is called life expectancy. In 1950, the world average was just 40 years. Now it is over 63 years.
- Life expectancy is usually high in richer countries. The Andorrans live on average for 83.5 years; the Japanese live for 80.8 years.
- Life expectancy is much lower in poor countries. People in Zambia live just 37.3 years; people in Mozambique live 36.45 years.
- Vaccination programs have reduced the effects of some major diseases. The terrible disease smallpox was thought to be wiped out in 1977.
- Some diseases are on the increase in poorer parts of the world. AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is now killing huge numbers of Africans.
- In some parts of the world, disease, lack of food and water and poor healthcare mean that one child in every four dies before reaching the age of five in poor countries like Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. World geography
- In the USA and Europe less than one child in a hundred dies before the age of five.
- In wealthier countries such as Italy and Switzerland, there is on average one doctor for every 350 people.
- In most poor African countries, there is just one doctor for every 50,000 people.
- The first vaccination ever was given in 1796 by Edward Jenner. He used cowpox matter to vaccinate against smallpox.
Undescended Testes happens fairly frequently. Normally the testes descend from the body to the scrotum shortly before birth. But occasionally they seem to get lost. They may partially descend, then return to the body. This may keep on occurring. Alternatively, the testes may have developed in an abnormal manner, and are situated in some different place. This is termed an ectopic testis.
The testes belong in the scrotum from birth onwards. If they remain in the body, as age progresses, the sperm-producing capacity is adversely affected and infertility may take place in later life.
The other may be very hazardous. Testes remaining in the body have a high risk of turning cancerous. What’s more, it may be a very serious, rapidly growing and spreading type.
Undescended Testes Treatment
If a parent notices the testes are missing or come and go, referral to the doctor is essential, and the sooner the better.
What treatment is carried out? This will vary with the patient and the exact diagnosis. Some doctors prefer to give hormonal treatment a trial run first. They administer the hormone chorionic gonadotrophin, and this is occasionally successful in bringing the testes into the scrotum.
What if this fails?
And fail it often does. Then a surgical approach is taken. This is invariably successful. The testes are found and anchored securely into the scrotum. The operation is quite straightforward; the patient rapidly recovers, and usually the beneficial effect is lifelong. It is a highly successful procedure. But as you said earlier, the sooner a parent takes action, the better. Never neglect any disorder in this region. It’s often quite obvious, and a check is very simple.
The stomach and duodenum are very important parts of the gastrointestinal system. The cardiac valve at the lower end of the oesophagus leads into the stomach, a dilated part of the bowel, which leads into the duodenum via the pyloric valve. The relatively short duodenum in turn proceeds into the start of the very lengthy small bowel.
The stomach is important, for here digestion really commences. Powerful glands in the wall of the stomach pour forth a variety of fluids that act forcibly on the food as soon as it enters. Under the powerful dissecting microscope, the stomach lining has the appearance of a lattice caused by the opening of myriads of gastric glands. Near the cardiac valve, these glands produce chiefly mucus, a thick, heavy fluid, rather jellylike in nature. (This material is often seen in vomitus.)
The greater part of the stomach walls contain glands that actively secrete hydrochloric acid, pepsinogen and other chemicals. These all play a part in food digestion. Toward the far end of the stomach, the glands produce a powerful chemical called gastrin. The presence of food activates the production of gastrin, which in turn causes the other glands to secrete their gastric juices, and so aid digestion. Controlled by Nervous System But apart from this, most of the glands are under the direct action of the nervous system (the computer like mechanism we talked of earlier). This may also regulate gastric-juice production.
Most people are aware of the effect that mental tensions, anxieties and stresses have upon the stomach. Acting through the nervous system, potent gastric juices (containing all the components mentioned) may be liberated in force.
This is probably one reason why such a high incidence of ulcers attaches to occupations in which stress and mental turmoil are an everyday accompaniment. The stomach and duodenum are sites for some very important pathological processes. Peptic ulcers (that means a break in the mucosal lining) are very common, particularly in the duodenum.
Also, the stomach, being the place where all food and fluid intake must go as the first port of call, is subjected to all manner of abuses. Therefore, dietetic indiscretions (foolish food items, excesses of alcohol and other irritants, acid from cigarette smoking) frequently play a major part in producing adverse symptoms. Not only may they help to cause ulcers, but general inflammation of the lining walls (gastritis) can readily take place.
Infections also may gain entry into the intestinal system through this route. One of the system’s most lethal forms of cancer, carcinoma of the stomach, occurs here. Unfortunately, as with oesophageal cancer, symptoms appear usually when it is too late to provide an effective cure.
This is an intestinal mal absorption syndrome affecting some people who live or who have lived in tropical areas. India, Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia and Puerto Rico are the most commonly affected countries. Some cases have been reported in North America, the West Indies, Southern Europe and the Middle East.
It commonly occurs in middle life, the sexes being equally affected. Nearly all have a history of tropical living for a period, although the attack may come on years later. The bowel fails to absorb fats and certain starches.
The main symptom is diarrhoea, with pale, frothy, foul-smelling and greasy bowel actions. A high-fat diet aggravates, as does stress. Indigestion, flatulence, abdominal cramps, weight loss (often marked), pallor and wasting take place. There is often irritability, abnormal sensations in the skin (paraesthesia) and muscle cramps. Vitamin deficiencies, abdominal distension and mild oedema (swelling of the extremities) may occur. As fat absorption is impaired, often the correct absorption of vitamins and other nutritional essentials starts to become impaired also.
Proper medical supervision is essential, both to form a diagnosis, and then to supervise the correct therapy. Control of the diarrhoea and replacement of vitamins and minerals and controlling complications such as dehydration are necessary.
Antibiotics (the tetracyclines) and the insoluble sulfonamides usually control the diarrhoea, but may have to be given for many months.
Folic acid often gives remarkably effective benefits for the intercurrent anaemia. Diet is also important.