Category: Medical

Long Term Opioid Risks

Addiction and abuse are by no means the only risks associated with opioids. Aside from short-term issues such as impaired concentration and constipation, there are long-term risks that must be considered, particularly among patients whose pain is chronic and whose intake of the drugs would likely be long-term.

One small study recently aimed to identify the prevalence of sleep disordered breathing and signs of chronic respiratory failure among long-term opioid users. Opioids are known to have a depressive effect on the respiratory process. Forty-six percent of the patients in the study were found to have severe sleep disordered breathing, as measured by a sleep apnea index. The participants had a high frequency of a form of sleep apnea called central apnea. This type of sleep disorder occurs when the brain doesn’t send signals to the respiratory system to breathe continuously. Rather, breathing starts and stops abruptly over and over again throughout the night.

Another disturbing finding of the study was that nine out of 20 participants were found to have hypercapnia. This condition is characterized by an abnormally high amount of carbon dioxide in the blood. Carbon dioxide is a waste product of breathing. When the respiratory system is working properly, carbon dioxide is exchanged for oxygen. Hypercapnia is a symptom of chronic respiratory failure. Researchers were alarmed to find that 45% of the study’s participants exhibited signs of this serious illness.

Life of Mammogram Inventor Stafford L Warren

Born in New Mexico in 1896, Stafford L. Warren attended the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated with his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1918. Heading to the University of California, San Francisco, he graduated with his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1922 and later did post-doctoral work at John Hopkins School of Medicine and Harvard University.

Warren became an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1926. Since the Department of Radiology was brand new at the time, Warren was one of the original group of medical professionals that Dean George Whipple chose to staff the school. By 1930, Warren was an Associate Professor of Medicine. He began to study the work of Albert Salomon, a sociologist from the University of Berlin who produced over 3,000 images of mastectomy specimens and extensively studied the many forms and stages of cancer in the breast. Since Salomon wasn’t keen to recognize the life saving aspects of his discoveries, Warren expanded on his research, using radiology to track changes in breast tissue and developing a stereoscopic technique in which the patient would lie on her side with one arm raised while being X-Rayed. This was a huge breakthrough for breast cancer detection, as it allowed diagnosis of breast cancer to be possible without surgery. Warren subsequently published “A Roentgenologic Study of the Breast” in 1930. Today Warren is cited as the inventor of the mammogram for his breast imaging technique. Each year mammograms are responsible to diagnosing millions of breast cancer cases, effectively saving the lives of women the world over.

Warren, having now tackled a major milestone in his career and developing a new life saving technique, then went on to take on a new project: overseeing the health and safety of thousands during the Manhattan Project. His new role meant being responsible for the safety aspects of the detonation of the Trinity nuclear test in Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16, 1945. He later handled radiological safety when he led a team of surveyors to Japan, and to the Bikini Atoll in 1946, where more nuclear testing was done. Warren was in charge of assessing the radioactive contamination of the environment and atmosphere, which he was appalled by.

In response to this, in a piece for LIFE magazine in 1947 he wrote, “The development of atomic bombs has presented the world with a variety of formidable scientific, moral and political problems, nearly all of them still unsolved.” He went on to write an in depth analysis of the effects of the bombs, people and environment affected, the time length in which the effects of the bomb lasted, safety measures used during the Bikini expedition in which “a month passed before men could stay on some of the ships for more than an hour”, and “300 men of the safety section lived and worked in the contaminated area to protect some 42,000 other members of the Bikini expedition. Every group which entered the target area was accompanied by a safety monitor who determined how long it could stay.” The men were then bathed carefully when they returned, and if their Geiger counters indicated radioactive contamination they had to be bathed again. “Occasionally when a man had taken off his protective gloves in the ‘hot’ area, the safety section had to dissolve the outer layer of skin from their hands with acid.” Clothes and other materials found too contaminated were sunk into the ocean a mile below the surface, because there was literally “no other way to keep them permanently away from human beings.”

In the article, Warren concluded that atomic weapons can never be prepared for by anyone involved, and that “no defense would have been effective. The only defense against atomic bombs still lies outside the scope of science. It is the prevention of atomic war.”

Warren left his position in 1946, becoming the Chief of the Medical Section of the Atomic Energy Commission, which is a civilian agency that succeeded the Manhattan Project; and later he was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit for his contributions to radioactive and atomic weapons safety.

In 1947, Warren was once again at the helm of a brand new medical university, this time UCLA, which had been voted on to establish a medical school for Southern California. He was appointed as the school’s first dean. In 1951 the first students, 28 in total, were enrolled, and there were 15 faculty members. By 1955, when the class graduated, there were 43 faculty members. The UCLA Medical Center officially opened in 1955, and Warren oversaw many milestones and achievements while there, including the addition of schools for Dentistry, Nursing, and Public Health.

Concierge Medicine

A mass-market variant of Concierge Medicine, distinguished by its low prices, Direct Primary Care (DPC) is also quite popular by many Gen Xers and the Boomer population. Due to much smaller patient panels than traditional primary care and insurance-based medical practices, DPC doctors say they spend more time with patients discussing treatments, procedures, prescription use and other healthcare options.

Similar to its older familial medical model, Concierge Medicine, Direct-Pay doctors frequently promote the fact that they can provide “unhurried appointments” and same-day access to a physician. Most Direct-Pay medical clinics and doctors with price points under $100 per person per month are slowly gaining traction in the highly competitive healthcare marketplace in the U.S. Direct-Pay Medicine’s strength has not been in the number of physicians signing up to change their business model but in the low monthly fee they charge their patients.

Initially, Concierge Medicine and Direct-Pay doctors were mostly operating in primary care and family practice. The latest data reported by the concierge medicine industry trade journal reports that there are an estimated 12,000 Concierge Medicine and Direct-Pay practices nationwide. While these figures differ somewhat from analysis touted in the media and quoted by other organizations, their number represents primary care and family physicians plus a wide range of Concierge Medicine and Direct-Pay healthcare specialty practices in the U.S. There started to be a growing number that practice in secondary Concierge Medicine specialties including: pediatrics; general surgery; psychiatry; spine surgery; gynecology; dentistry; cardiology; addiction medicine; dermatology; oncology and more. These specialty practices usually offer the same immediate access, longer appointments, and a proactive health focus similar to primary care concierge practices. Some also offer home visits. Specialists usually limit their practices to a smaller number of patients -150-300 compared to the more typical 300-750 patients for primary care. They also tend to have patients who have chronic conditions.

Recent industry changes along with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act bringing a sudden influx of recently insured lower-income patients to the doctor’s offices. Primary care and family medicine doctors are listing their prices in menu-like fashion and offering affordable healthcare services and discounts on laboratory tests and examinations for a fraction of the cost seen in most traditional, insurance-based, managed care medical offices. The trade journal found that approximately two-thirds charge less than $135 a month on average. This figure includes primary care, family medicine, osteopath and various specialty physician practices.

Heal a Meniscus Tear

What Are The Treatment Options For A Meniscus Tear?:

The degree of aggressiveness when approaching the treatment options is based on the extensiveness of the meniscal tear. Meniscal tears are classified based on the anatomical region of the meniscus that is affected and how deep into the tissue the tear occurs. Medial meniscal tears occur on the inside of the knee. Lateral meniscal tears occur on the outside of the knee. Horizontal tears occur in the front part of the knee and run parallel with the tibial plateau (knee end of the tibia). Radial tears occur at center of the “C” shaped structure and go across the middle dividing the meniscus. Oblique or meniscal flap tears can occur at any part of the meniscus but are most likely to be found in the ends of the “C” shaped structure. Complex or degenerative tears include more than one tear and are usually gradual over time as opposed to a specific event causing an acute tear. The degree as to the extent of the tear is classified by partial thickness (does not tear completely through the structure) and full thickness tears (completely tears through the entire thickness of the structure).

How to Treat a Meniscus Tear with Conservative Management:

In almost all cases of a meniscus tear conservative management (non-operative) is the first treatment option. This treatment involves steroid knee injections to reduce inflammation and swelling, physical therapy for six to nine weeks, and wearing a knee brace in everyday life to help take some of the load off of the joint while the body has a chance to repair the tear on its own. Patients that have symptomatic meniscus tears can expect a 50% chance of full resolution of pain and symptoms with conservative treatment. The steroid injections reduce the inflammation and swelling of the knee joint. Some of the pain can be reduced from these injections as well. This can allow for more productive physical therapy appointments. The physical therapy can assist with realigning the body mechanics with respect to movement. This will also stop the knee joint from freezing up and will reduce soreness. Physical Therapy is administered by a licensed Physical Therapist. A list of exercises are performed by the patient concentrating on stretching and moving the knee joint in a controlled fashion under the supervision of the physical therapist. Some of the exercises can evoke a pain response. Careful consideration must be acknowledged while performing physical therapy to avoid further damage to the meniscus tear. The knee brace will protect the joint and reduce load weight while the body repairs the meniscus lowering the chances of re-injuring the healing tear. The body repairs the meniscus by way of a collagen layer that is regenerated inside the tear.

How to Treat a Meniscus Tear with Surgery:

Patients that fail to respond to conservative treatment must consider surgical options to pursue achievement of a reduction in pain and symptoms associated with a meniscal tear. The majority of tears that need this next step are usually advanced in the severity of the tear or have an abundance of scar tissue around the tear that has prevented the proper collagen tissue from being deposited. Traditionally open knee surgery was the only option available for partial or full meniscalectomy (removal of the meniscus) surgeries. State of the art standards of care now include arthroscopic surgical intervention options. The goal of all surgical options is to relieve pain and symptoms associated with the meniscal tear. Choosing the correct surgical option is based on the severity and location of the meniscus tear.

How to Treat A Meniscus Tear With Arthroscopic Surgery:

Advances in arthroscopic procedures have allowed the meniscus to be surgically repaired by the use of a camera and endoscopic surgical instrumentation. These surgeries are typically performed outpatient at a surgery center. The most common surgery is an arthroscopic meniscal “shaving” technique. A scope is inserted into the knee joint and then the joint is filled with a saline solution. The scope is connected to an intra-operative television monitor allowing the surgeon to view the inside of the knee joint. Next a shaver is inserted into the knee to shave off scar tissue and the jagged edges of the tear. Again this will allow the body to heal the tear with collagen. More extensive surgery is needed for some full thickness and or broken pieces that are ‘free floating.’ For these extreme cases the use of a grasper is needed. The surgeon will insert the grasper into the knee joint in the same fashion as the shaver. Once the broken or floating piece of meniscus cartilage is identified the grasper can clinch it and the instrument is pulled from the knee removing the broken specimen. More extensive arthroscopic surgery techniques may include partial removal of the meniscus and / or arthroscopic suturing of the meniscal tear. These techniques are performed with the same set up and instrumentation. Closure is minimal only requiring a few sutures to close up in most cases only two or three small incisions measuring 4 mm.

How to Treat a Meniscus Tear with Open Knee Surgery:

Open knee surgery is the most extensive and invasive form of meniscus surgery and is used as a last resort. Patients that fail to respond to arthroscopic surgery or have extremely damaged meniscus will require open knee surgery in hopes of achieving a reduction of pain and symptoms associated with meniscal tears. This surgery is usually performed inpatient requiring at least one night in the hospital.

To expose the knee joint an incision from an inch or so above the patella (knee cap) to an inch or so below the patella. The patella is moved to the side with retractors and then the surgeon will flex the knee exposing the interior of the joint. From this approach a significant portion of the meniscus can be visualized and removed. If the entire meniscus needs to be removed a meniscus transplant can be performed. A fresh meniscus is surgically recovered from a cadaveric (deceased) tissue donor. The donor is tested for communicable diseases such HIV, HEP B, HEP C, Syphilis, etc. The transplant graft is pre-sized based on the recipient’s needs. The new meniscus is anchored with metal screws and synthetic monofilament sutures. Infection and biorejection are the leading causes of failure for this surgery. The best results for this surgery have been reported on patients less than 40 years of age.

Lastly, for patients that fail to respond to open meniscus surgery or for elderly patients that have severe meniscal damage due to arthritic changes a total knee arthroplasty (knee joint replacement) is the final step. This surgery is performed with the same exposure technique. The ends of the tibia (shin bone) and the femur (thigh bone) are carefully reshaped with an oscillating and then fitted with metal implants that are cemented on. A synthetic plastic spacer is used to replace the meniscus. Closure of this incision that typically measures 6 inches will take several sutures.

How to Treat a Meniscus Tear Postoperatively:

Once surgery is completed rehabilitative physical therapy is required along with a knee brace. It is important for the knee joint to be rehabilitated with the proper movement so that normal body mechanics can be realigned. Returning to normal body mechanics will ensure that the joint will function in the normal capacity and re-injury is reduced.

For arthroscopic patients the postoperative physical therapy exercises are similar to conservative management physical therapy. Usually only a couple of appointments are needed with the physical therapist for training the patient. The patient is encouraged to perform the daily exercises at home once they have been trained how to perform them. Typically this regiment lasts for 6-9 weeks depending on how the patient responds to the post-operative treatment.

Patients that undergo open knee surgery can expect a more stringent form of postoperative physical therapy. In addition to general flexion and extension exercises, the patient must perform walking and mobility exercises as well. Although some of the exercises are performed at home the patient must go to multiple physical therapy appointments at the physical therapists facility. The physical therapist will closely monitor the progress and communicate the findings to the patient’s physician. This postoperative physical therapy program can last from 12-16 weeks depending on the progress of the patient.

American Health Care Trends

Since 1990, the obesity rate in adults (defined as BMI over 30) has increased from 12% to 29.6%. During the same time diabetes increased from 4.4% to 10% of all adults. Not old adults, all adults. The CDC predicts that by 2050, thirty percent of adults will have diabetes. As a result, obesity is now the leading cause of heart attacks. Physical inactivity is a major reason. Only 21% of adults get the US Department of Health and Human Services recommended 150 minutes of exercise weekly. My observation is that most get no exercise. Many employers now offer wellness programs that give financial rewards for healthy behaviors. This could be a big step in the right direction. Of course, punitive actions denying health insurance to the morbidly obese or uncontrolled diabetics could also be coming, especially if the federal government leaves the health insurance business to private companies.

The AMA reports that primary care doctors are closing their practices and either retiring early or moving to non-clinical areas like insurance, quality management, the pharmaceutical industry or even medical informatics. Since the demand for health services will increase dramatically, an increasing percentage of primary care will be provided by PAs and Nurse Practitioners. I expect they will have increasing independence. This is not necessarily a bad thing, many of these caregivers are excellent and offer compassionate and comprehensive care. A possible byproduct of this trend may be an increase in demand for referrals and subspecialty care, such as sending diabetics to endocrinologists and COPD patients to lung specialists.

Struggling With Antibiotic Resistance

At the onset, the thought never occurred that it might be an infection. I had not had any accident, no cuts, abrasions or scrapes so that did not pop up as the culprit. That is until it persisted and grew into an open sore. The pain level also rose dramatically.

I went to the doctor. He did not think it was serious. He wrote a prescription for a mild antibiotic and a cream. I left the office confident that the problem was in hand. Back home I took a pill, applied the cream and applied a bandage.

By that point sitting at my computer and performing my daily writing ritual was growing into a serious challenge. The pain was so intense that I had to force myself not to move at all. That worked for a while. I took the full antibiotic course and got into the habit of cleaning and dressing the open wound three times a day.

The process began last November. As I came to the end of the bottle of pills I was hit by a wave of disappointment and confusion. I had to face the fact that the infection had gotten worse, not better. Had the doctor misdiagnosed it? Had he given me the wrong antibiotic? Worse, did I have some rare new infection?

I went back to his office in a far more worried state than I was during my first visit. He admitted he was puzzled but brushed that aside. I got a new prescription for a stronger antibiotic that was going to require four consecutive injections.

Once again I returned home feeling a bit numb but optimistic that this stronger injectible antibiotic would do the trick. I got the injections and waited for the medication to build up in my system and wipe out the infection. I waited and waited. The situation did not get better it got even worse.

By then I could not sit and also had a hard time walking. The pain was constant even when I was trying to write while lying down. This time when I returned to the doctor’s office he told me to go to the emergency room. He would not try another antibiotic. In fact, he seemed at a loss.

Instead, I went to a clinic. The doctor there did prescribe another antibiotic, took a culture for the lab and had nurses scrub the wound. It just kept growing as if the antibiotic cream was a placebo and the injections had been nothing but water.

At that point, I had added symptoms including chronic fatigue and the first signs of depression. These two are features of a diabetic’s life and I knew what they were as soon as they arose. My immune system was beaten down and using whatever energy it could get from whatever source was available.

I did not get my hopes up during the third two-week course of the latest antibiotic. In fact, I was on pins and needles the whole time. When I finished I was not surprised that it too had failed at its job. Still, it never occurred to me that I might be antibiotic resistant.

By that point, I began to consider the possibility that my 71-year old body was running out of gas. My energy level was so low, and pain level so high that I could not write. I could only walk the short distance to the corner store to ship and my mood was buried in the pits.

When I returned to the doctor’s office he did not seem too surprised by the fact his prescription had failed. He put the lab report up on the lightbox and pointed to it. “I am afraid the results show you are resistant to every type of antibiotic we have.”

I simply could not wrap my mind around his statement. I had never thought that I had overused antibiotics to the point my immune system built up a total tolerance. Then again, nobody ever tells you where that line is.

In fact, I had taken at least one course each of the 3 previous years to cure sinus infections. I left the office completely confused and with no idea of what to do next. The doctor suggested that I schedule an operation to remove the infected area. My thought was that hospitals are great places to contract infections. I was not eager to take that option especially when it would mean I could not sit at the computer and work for a much longer period of time.

Believe it or not, that whole process went on for four months and I still had the infection. I decided to tough it out and see if my body would mobilize and get rid of it. Then I had an impulse to try one more doctor, a female who I had seen before and was impressed by.

She gave me a spray that the other doctors never mentioned, Microdacyn. This spray is a biologically active treatment for the treatment of acute and chronic wounds that are difficult to heal. I applied and applied it every day and started seeing improvement much to my relief.

My status now is guarded and uncertain. I do now I cannot afford one more sinus infection. I did discover one effective treatment, Phage Therapy. However, that is only available in Eastern Europe. I advise a very conservative approach when it comes to taking antibiotics, only do so when it is truly necessary.

Medical Translation

Benefits of medical translation

The translation of the medical records is beneficial to both the patients and staff working in the hospitals. To the patients, the translation ensures that the patients have a less stressful experience when they visit your facility. Have you ever visited a place that you don’t understand? It’s usually scaring and frustrating, right? That is the feeling that most people have when they visit your facility and they don’t understand what the charts are saying. When you translate the documents you give the patients an easy time as they know what to do.

When foreigners visit your hospital, chances are that they are going to speak in their language. This means that the documents are saved in the foreign language. In the event that the patients don’t meet a doctor who can understand their language, it can be frustrating to both parties. The doctor won’t be able to tell the history the patient and the patient won’t know where to start. In short, there will be a communication breakdown. When you translate the documents you make the work easy for both doctors and patients and as a result, you have a system that runs flawlessly.

Medical translation ensures that the patients get the best medical services that they deserve. Since the medical practitioners can understand the conditions that the patients are suffering from, they are able to properly diagnose and treat a condition. This ensures that the patients have a perfect result.

Guide to getting medical translation services

You should hire a person who is a good translator to translate the documents or if you have the skills go ahead and do it yourself. If you have a person who can do the work from your facility you should hire him/her but if there is none, you should hire a professional from a medical translation agency.

As you know, there are many medical terms that would give the wrong meaning if misspelled. To avoid this you should ensure that the professional that you hire is experienced and conversant with the medical lingo. There are many institutions that offer the medical translation certifications. To increase your chances of getting excellent translation services you should work with certified professionals.

Medicus Global

The technology for Telemedicine has been available for many years but even more so now with the availability of cell phones and faster internet connections. Why is Telemedicine taking off now? With just about everyone owning a cell phone, people can consult a doctor from just about anywhere. The use of electronic health records can make it much easier for doctors to access patient records Patients are comfortable with not having to visit a doctor’s office, which is more time-efficient for doctors.

One of the important benefits of telehealth is to help reduce the cost of health care by reducing travel time, fewer or shorter hospital visits and less staffing. What’s so amazing about telemedicine is that studies have consistently proven that health care services given through telemedicine are just as good as in-person appointments. Further in some specific areas of health care such has mental health and ICU care telemedicine provides many benefits with greater patient satisfaction.

What Telemedicine is not is a replacement for the family physician, but it is a useful tool that can be used to augment in-person treatment. People want telemedicine because it reduces travel time while reducing stress and can greatly impact their families. Studies over the past 15 years have documented patient satisfaction for telehealth.

Along with telemedicine and cell phones, doctors can now offer their patients services that may not have been available otherwise. What if you are sick and it’s the middle of the night? What if you need a prescription when you are on vacation or traveling for business? Thanks to telemedicine your cell phone may just be your best friend.

Rotavirus

Is rotavirus really a big problem?

Rotavirus infects intestinal tracts of under-fives. Children who are under the age of five can get the infection more than once, but the first time is usually the worst. When talking globally, the virus is responsible for two million hospitalizations as well as 500,000 deaths of under-fives on a yearly basis. The figures are abysmal and depressing. Adults as well as older children can also be infected by the virus, but the condition will be too mild.

How does rotavirus spread, anyway?

The disease, sadly, is highly contagious. The stool of an infected child has germs that are livable for a long duration. The germs can remain for a long duration upon contaminated surfaces, such as hands. A child can catch the disease by touching a contaminated object and putting it in mouth. The spread of the virus is a primary problem in daycare and hospitals as well. The disease can spread from child to child like wildfire.

Daycare workers also help in spreading of the disease. The childcare workers, sometimes, do not wash their hands after changing diapers, I.e. the germs remain in the hands of the workers. And the workers feed other infants from the same unwashed hands. That is, by far, one of the most common causes of the disease.

What are the different symptoms of the disease?

  • The intestinal infection in infants is characterized by watery diarrhea, vomiting, low-grade fever and abdominal pain as well.
  • In most cases, bowel movements can occur close to 20 times per day. Such highly frequent bowel movements last up to nine days. That is a lot of water wastage from an infant’s body, and it is dangerous.
  • The chances of having dehydration through a rotavirus infection are thick. Having 20 bowel movements for nine days can cause severe dehydration in infants. The common signs of dehydration are deep breathing, tiredness, coldness of hands as well as feet, lack of tears and weakness.

The subsequent rotavirus infection in an infant may not have dehydration as a symptom.

How to diagnose the disease?

The infant has to get admitted to a hospital. Most of the times, doctors and pediatrists test young children for Rotavirus A. The test involves examination of the diseased child’s stool. Such type of examination, by and large, is carried out with the help of immunoassay. The immunoassay helps measure the presence of a substance (proteins or virus) in the stool.

Rotavirus vaccine has arrived to help in combating from this malady. Each child should get a dose of the vaccine. The dosage value depends upon the brand of the vaccine. The vaccination program should be started when the child is two months old. The vaccine is available in liquid form only. A rotavirus vaccine is as important as a conjugate vaccine, and it should be included within a child’s immunization schedule.

Regenerative Medicine

Thymus proteins are produced naturally by the thymus gland early in life, with most production ceasing before the onset of puberty. Also referred to as Tβ4, they exhibit a myriad of cellular functions that assist the repair and recovery of wounded tissue. These include the enhancement of new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis), cell migration, stem cell differentiation, and gene expression. When the body suffers a physical injury (for example, a torn quadriceps), these proteins are found in greater concentrations near the wounded area, where they facilitate healing through the aforementioned mechanisms. Clinical studies have shown them to consistently facilitate the healing and recovery of damaged bodily tissue.

For instance, a 1999 study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that the thymus gland accelerates wound healing through the process of angiogenesis. Researchers observed that treated subjects’ wounds contracted by a minimum of 11% more than control subjects’ wounds by the one week mark. Though the study was conducted on rats, the researchers concluded that the thymus gland was a wound healing factor with multiple activities.

Further, a study in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research showed that the thymus gland was able to enhance bone fracture healing in mice test subjects. The study found that treated mice had a 41% increase in peak force to failure and had up to 26% more new mineralized tissue than the control group. Importantly, researchers noted that the findings of their study indicated that thymus proteins played a key role in the healing of bone fractures.

Moreover, additional studies have demonstrated that thymus proteins have potent anti-inflammatory effects as well. A 1999 study published in Nature Medicine sought to explore the action mechanisms of Tβ4 as anti-inflammatory agents. After the study’s conclusion, researchers noted that the thymus may have far-reaching effects on the body’s inflammatory processes.