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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Most people misunderstand the word Anemia. They come to our clinic, have their blood pressure taken in order for them "to know if they have anemia". The thing is that one will not be able to diagnose the presence or absence of anemia by taking the blood pressure. The sphygmomanometer will only tell the presence of hypertension (high blood pressure), normotension, or hypotension (low blood pressure).

There are two parts of the blood: the liquid part which is the plasma and the solid part is the cells. The cells are of 3 types: the White Blood Cells (WBC) are the ones responsible for fighting infection, the platelets are responsible for blood clotting, and the Red Blood Cells (RBC) carry Oxygen and carbon dioxide.

The RBCs contain hemoglobin, an iron-rich protein which gives the red color to the RBC and enables the RBC to carry oxygen and carbon dioxide. The blood pumped by the heart contains oxygenated blood. The oxygen is delivered to the different tissues of the body in exchange for the carbon dioxide. In a person with anemia, the RBC and hemoglobin count of the blood is less than normal. This is maybe due either to increase destruction or decrease formation so that there are not enough RBCs to carry oxygen to the tissues and this will lead to different signs and symptoms. The most prominent symptom is easy fatiguability. There may also be headache, weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, pale skin, and numbness of the extremities. Heart rate also may increase as a compensatory mechanism of the heart to increase oxygen delivery.

Anemia per se is not a disease. It is a condition present in many diseases like iron deficiency anemia, sickle cell anemia, aplastic anemia, vitamin deficiency anemia, and hemolytic anemia.
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 9:39 AM   2 comments
Virgin Coconut Oil
Tuesday, August 08, 2006

In the photo is a bottle of Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) given to me by a friend. She told me to try it by taking about 1 tablespoon everyday in order to attain its benefits. She said that it improved her overall well being since she started taking it. That prompted me to read more about VCO.
Actually, 1 tablespoon per day is not enough. In order to build our immune system we should be taking around 3 to 4 tablespoons of VCO per day. Studies show that VCO contains lauric acid which is responsible for its anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. This is why it is used for treatment of a variety of disorders. It is also believed to increase the body's metabolism thereby making you slimmer despite intake of fats present in VCO. Unlike other fats, VCO is not stored as fat and does not increase the blood cholesterol level.
There are plenty of coconut here in the Philippines. By using coconut as an ingredient to our food, I think there is no more need for us to buy the commercial one since most of these products use the refined coconut oil.
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 4:56 PM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Amelyn R. Rafael,MD
Home: San Fabian, Pangasinan, Philippines
About Me: Family Physician, and Associate Professor (Clinical Anatomy and Medical Physiology)
See my complete profile
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