What are ‘fasting’ diets and do they help you lose weight?

Clare Collins, University of Newcastle Trying to lose weight is hard work. You need to plan meals and snacks, and make a big effort to avoid situations that trigger more eating and drinking than you’d planned. Dieting can also be…

WHAT MAKES COCAINE SO ADDICTIVE AND DANGEROUS?

Cocaine is a psychoactive alkaloid of the coca plant; it was originally used for local surgeries as an anaesthetic but has now become a recreational drug. Unlike amphetamines, which resemble the structural formula of dopamine and noradrenaline, cocaine has a similar structure to other synthetic sedatives. Cocaine is well absorbed when administered via the mucous membranes, the GI tract and IV route. Peak concentration happens within five minutes after intravenous injection, while the peak levels from smoking are usually reached within 60 minutes. Some cocaine is excreted in urine unchanged, the majority is metabolised into benzoylecgonine, ecgonine methyl ester, norcocaine and other metabolites. Although cocaine has a short half-life, the elimination half-life of the metabolites lasts longer. Studies also show that the half-life of cocaine may increase the longer it is used.

An overview of the inflammatory response

Inflammation is a pathological response that engages hundreds of mediators and different cells and tissue types. It can be initiated by any stimulus causing cell injury. Often the inflammation is a response to some sort of infection. In some cases, chemical or physical injury can also induce an inflammatory reaction. The goal of the inflammatory response is to remove the causative agent with minimal destruction to the body, and to repair the damage caused by the toxin. The duration of the inflammatory response is dependent on whether the causative agent has been eliminated. Acute inflammation is a relatively short process, lasting from minutes to a few day

THE IMPORTANCE OF END-OF-LIFE PLANNING

Palliative care can be defined as an approach to health that involves improving the quality of life of patients and their families that are facing issues related to chronic, incurable and life-threatening illnesses (Wallerstedt et al., 2019). It is vital to note that, palliative care is not just limited to the elderly, but can be anyone with an incurable illness and the goal is to improve quality of life. The stages of palliative care include; stable, unstable, deteriorating, terminal and bereavement (McClelland et al., 2020).

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