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Understanding Osler-Weber-Rendu Syndrome

osler weber rendu syndrome
Olser-Weber-Rendu syndrome (OWR), also known as Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT), is an inherited condition affecting the blood vessels. It affects approximately one person out of 10,000, or about 1.2 million people throughout the world.

Causes of Osler-Weber-Rendu Syndrome

Olser-Weber-Rendu syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by an abnormality in either the endoglin gene (ENG) on chromosome 9, or the activin receptor-like kinase 1 gene (ALK1) on chromosome 12. Both of these genes are involved in blood vessel formation. A mutation in either of these genes will result in similar OWR symptoms, and those who have the disorder generally only have an abnormality in one of the genes.

OWR syndrome has an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance, meaning only one copy of the abnormal gene is necessary to cause the disease and to pass it on. Each child of an individual who has the disorder has a 50% chance of inheriting it. The vast majority of those affected have a family history of the disorder.

Symptoms of Osler-Weber-Rendu Syndrome

Most symptoms of OWR syndrome are due to abnormal formation of capillaries, tiny vessels that normally connect arteries to veins. Abnormalities in capillary formation cause defects known as arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), fragile areas in the vessels that can easily rupture. AVMs may occur on the surface of the skin or in the lungs, brain, liver, stomach or gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms often begin to appear in affected people when they are between ten and twenty years old, and increase with age. Individuals with OWR will not necessarily have all of these symptoms.

  • Telangiectasias are small AVMs that may appear on the skin as red spots on the face, hands, lips, or inside the mouth. They may bleed spontaneously or from minor trauma.
  • Nosebleeds (epistaxis) usually begin to appear around 12 years of age, and are due to telangiectasias in the nose.
  • Anemia can be caused by blood loss from frequent nosebleeds or bleeding from AVMs elsewhere in the body.
  • Pulmonary AVMs cause bleeding in the lungs, increase the risk of bacterial infections by interfering with normal filtering processes, and cause low blood oxygen levels, migraine headaches, and can possibly lead to stroke.
  • Brain AVMs can cause headaches, seizures, paralysis or stroke.
  • Liver AVMs can interfere with normal circulation of the blood and lead to increased risk of heart failure.
  • Gastrointestinal AVMs can cause significant loss of blood, leading to anemia.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Osler-Weber-Rendu Syndrome

OWR syndrome is usually diagnosed by observation of symptoms such as frequent nosebleeds and telangiectasias, and whether there is a family history of the disorder. Blood tests can detect anemia and monitor blood oxygen levels; chest x-rays or EKGs can assess if lungs and heart are normal; ultrasound is used to find AVMs in the stomach or liver; MRIs are used to look for AVMs in the brain. Gastrointestinal bleeding can be detected by stool samples.

Treatment varies depending on the severity of the condition. Mild cases may require little or no treatment. Treatment for more severe symptoms may include iron supplements for anemia or laser therapy to seal telangiectasias. Chronic bleeding from the GI tract may require endoscopy and treatment by laser therapy or cauterization of AVMs. Pulmonary AVMs may be treated with embolization, which is insertion of a tube through a vein in the groin area that is used to place a balloon in the lung to block the bleeding artery. Brain AVMs may be treated by surgery, embolization, or stereotactic radiosurgery, which uses a focused beam of radiation.

Other treatments include hormone therapy with estrogen, or aminocaprioic acid, which improves clotting. In cases of severe blood loss, blood transfusions may be necessary. Many people who have Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome do not have severe symptoms, and require minimal treatment to manage the condition, but early screening and proper diagnosis are crucial.

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Anemia: Serious or Minor Illness?


Anemia is a condition where there are not enough red blood cells in the body, or there is not enough protein (hemoglobin) in the red blood cells. There are many different types of anemia ranging from mild to moderate, moderate to severe. According to Women's Health.gov, over three million people in the United States have anemia. Women and people with chronic health conditions are at greater risk than others (1).

anemia

Is anemia really a serious condition? The answer is yes. Not having enough healthy red blood cells in the body, the cells that carry oxygen to vital organs, means the body is not getting the supply of oxygen it needs. Vital organs are effected and can be damaged, and eventually could lead to death. Anemia can be temporary or long term, diet induced or hereditary, and also could be an indicator of other medical conditions.

What are the Types of Anemia and the Symptoms?

Some types of anemia include:
  • iron deficiency anemia (IDA)
  • sickle cell anemia
  • aplastic anemia
  • vitamin deficiency anemia
  • thalasemia
Symptoms vary, but some types of anemia share common symptoms. According to Mayo Clinic vitamin deficiency anemia symptoms can include: fatigue, pale or yellowish skin, diarrhea, muscle weakness, mental confusion or forgetfulness, irritability, numbness and tingling in hands and feet, weight loss and other symptoms (2). Aplastic anemia carries some of the same symptoms, but also include unexplained or easy bruising, skin rash, dizziness, rapid or irregular heart rate and prolonged or frequent infections (3).

Depending on the type and intensity of the anemia, some patients may experience all, some or none of the symptoms. These symptoms can also be a sign of other illnesses so it is important for patients to discuss any symptoms with a medical professional, undergo testing and discuss treatment options with a doctor.

How is Anemia Treated?

Treatments for anemia vary based on type and severity. Self diagnosing anemia and self medicating could cause other problems, such as hemocrhomatosis, a condition caused by too much iron build up in the blood (1). Too much iron can damage organs, including the liver. Iron overload can also cause heart problems, early menopause, arthritis and even a loss of sex drive (1). While iron supplements may be prescribed for treatment of IDA, one should be sure to follow the physician prescribed dosage, and to go back for any follow up doctor's visits in order to monitor iron levels.

Medical professionals run blood test to determine the type of anemia, along with other physical exams, and evaluate patient medical history and family medical history when diagnosing. Some types of anemia require a moderate change in diet to ensure vitamin intake is sufficient, others require medication or more extreme methods of treatment including surgery.

Each type of anemia carries its own degree of risk, with varying symptoms that present. Those who have anemia, or expect they have anemia, should consult a medical professional for proper testing, and to discuss treatment options. Anemia left untreated could make the heart work faster, which can harm the heart and even lead to heart failure (1).

Since anemia can also be a symptom of other illnesses, including kidney disease, celiac disease and even ulcers and some types of cancers, it is important to seek medical attention. Primary care physicians can perform testing, but may also refer the patient to a hematologist for further assessment, and other specialists depending on the cause of anemia.

Anemia is a serious condition, no matter the type, and should not be overlooked, self diagnosed or self medicated. If one experiences any of the symptoms of anemia one should seek medical attention as anemia may be the result of an underlying illness.
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A Sweetener That Provides Missing Minerals

It's ironic that the byproduct of unhealthy refined sugar processing is full of beneficial and assimilable iron and magnesium, among other important nutrients. Why? Sugar cane has roots that go down as far as 15 feet below the ground. Thus the the mineral depleted topsoil is bypassed, enabling the plant to absorb minerals from richer, unspoiled bottom soil.
minerals

After sugar cane is processed to obtain refined empty calorie glucose spiking insulin debilitating white table sugar, the black gooey mess known as molasses is left with all the nutrients. The very best grade of molasses is unsulfured blackstrap molasses. It's not the best for sweetening, but it is the highest in nutrients. Unhealthy sulfur is an added preservative that you can do without.

A List of Nutrients

From just one tablespoon of unsulfured blackstrap molasses, you get an abundance of the following nutrients:
  • Magnesium: Many nutritional experts call this the master mineral because it is essential to more metobolic processes than any other one mineral. Because of poor topsoil, the greens that normally are the best source of magnesium are mostly insufficient. You should have half as much magnesium in your body as calcium.
  • Iron: Molasses contains more iron per serving than red meat! This can help vegans and vegetarians avoid anemia. And it's cheaper and safer as well.
  • Calcium: Molasses contains about the same amount of calcium that you'd get in a glass of cow's milk without the growth hormones. If you can't find organic whole raw milk, grab your unsulfured blackstrap molasses!
  • Potassium, which is nearly as essential as magnesium, especially for heart and kidney functions.
  • Vitamin B: Molasses is high in vitamin B complex, good for energy while helping your body cope with stress.
  • Chromium is a trace mineral that is rare in our diets. Helps your body maintain stable blood sugar levels.
  • Other Minerals: Molasses also contains manganese, copper, and selenium.
  • Enzymes: Molasses contains enzymes, which are the catalysts for metabolizing nutrients, and the reason why raw food vegans do that diet. But some blackstrap molasses and good veggie juicing will boost your enzyme levels regardless of your general diet.
Unsulfured blackstrap molasses is a food, and it's best to get your minerals from whole foods rather than supplement pills. This is agreed upon more and more by top nutritionists. Even if the supplement is food derived, the minerals lack the synergy of its natural food source.

Minerals are actually more important than vitamins because vitamins cannot be synthesized without minerals present. The order of importance for nutrients is oxygen, pure water, enzymes, minerals, then vitamins.

Using Molasses

If you intend to use the molasses contents in a couple of months or less, you won't need to refrigerate it. Since it is so thick, it's difficult to use in anything but warm or hot dishes. Molasses goes well with pancakes or waffles. Half-and-half with good organic syrup or honey will diminish the strong taste of molasses this way if you find it disagreeable.

Molasses is great for oatmeal or any other hot cereal as well. Remember, a tablespoon a day provides a lot of nutrition. Some have simply mixed a tablespoon in a half glass of warm water and gulped it down. This technique is especially useful repeated often daily to help recover from iron deficiency anemia.

Caveat: Many sugar cane growers use defoliants to get the cane leaves out of the way, making it easier to harvest them. There is such a thing as organic sugar. Try to track down molasses from organic sugar cane to optimize your health benefits by avoiding traces of chemical defoliants if you can.
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Healing Properties of Fruits:Grape

Grapes
This fruits has a neutral thermal nature, it has sweet-and-sour flavor and has the ability to increase energy. Grapes are used in the East and West as a blood tonic—contains valuable cell salts known to build and purify the blood and develop the cleansing function of the glands; benefits the kidneys and liver and thus strengthens their relevant tissues—the bones and sinews. Grapes are also used to treat rheumatism and arthritis, especially when these conditions are marked with signs of coldness. It has diuretic properties and reduces edema and treats urinary difficulty including painful urination. Grape juice is also a valuable remedy for liver malfunctions such as hepatitis and jaundice.

A poultice of mashed grapes purifies infected areas and reduces growths. For this purpose, a fresh poultice is applied daily and kept in place for at least 8 hours. These poultices should be used until the condition improves. Grapes make a good energy snack for children. The dark varieties of grapes are better for blood-building needs such as anemia; they are also more strengthening. Excessive use of grapes may diminish visual acuity. As a healing remedy it should be used approximately for 8 ounces once daily for chronic conditions, twice daily for acute conditions.
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Healing Properties of Fruits: Cherry

Cherries
Cherries are fruits with warming thermal nature. They have sweet flavor, increase energy, tonifie the spleen-pancreas, and prevent involuntary seminal emission. Cherries are a well-known remedy for gout, arthritis, and rheumatism. They also help defeat numbness in the limbs and paralysis as a result of rheumatism. Part of their action in rheumatic disorders occurs from their aptitude to eliminate the surplus of body acids. Cherries are most beneficial for treating disorders accompanied by coldness, such as the feeling of perennially cold. Richly supplied in iron, cherries are frequently used to improve the blood quality and treat anemia.
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