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How Traditional Chinese Health Beliefs and Chinese Culture Influence Health and Illness?

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Traditional Chinese health beliefs adopt a holistic view emphasizing the importance of environmental factors in increasing risk of disease. According to Quah (1985), these factors influence the balance of body’s harmony, yin and yang. These are two opposite but complementary forces and, together with qi (vital energy), they control the universe and explain the relationship between people and their surroundings. Imbalance in these two forces, or in the qi, results in illness.

In order to restore the balance, traditional remedial practices may be needed. For example, excess `hot’ energy can be counterbalanced by cooling herbal teas, and vice versa. These beliefs are deeply ingrained among the Chinese, and have been found to be unchanged following migration to Singapore.

Lee, et. al. (2004), found that patients with specific chronic diseases, namely arthritis, musculoskeletal diseases and stroke, were more likely to use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This was strongly determined by the ‘chronic disease triad’, perceived satisfaction with care and cultural health beliefs.

Hence the use of TCM is not associated with the quality of doctor-patient interaction. Astin (1998) also agreed that it was seen as being more compatible with the patients’ values, spiritual and religious philosophy, or beliefs regarding the nature and meaning of health and illness.

In traditional Chinese culture, taking medication is thought to be aversive, hence medications tend to be taken only until symptoms are relieved and then discontinued; if symptoms are not obvious, medications will probably never be taken.

Apart from parental cultural beliefs, minor side effects of certain antibiotics such as stomach upset may contribute to the poor adherence of medication. The use of “leftover”, “shared” antibiotics and over-the-counter purchase of antibiotics by parents are common situations in the community.

They think that their children suffer from the same illnesses judging by the similar symptoms, so they would give the “leftover” or “shared” antibiotics to their children and only bring them to their doctors if there is no improvement (Chang & Tang, 2006). This may cause their conditions to deteriorate and may necessitate aggressive treatments later which may have unnecessary side effects.

However, there are small groups of Chinese who also blamed ill-health or misfortunes on supernatural forces, or on divine retribution, or on the malevolence of a ‘witch’ or ‘sorcerer’ (Helman, 1994). Such groups will usually seek cures from their religions.

In Singapore, the Ministry of Health has drawn up the TCM Practitioners’ Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines to prevent any unscrupulous practitioners from preying on their patients and taking advantage of their beliefs, for example, molesting ignorant patients.

The degree of acculturation has been evidenced in the following case. An old man was brought into our hospital with a week-long history of malaise, nausea and vomiting, and sudden jaundice. He was diagnosed to have an obstructive mass in the liver.

A biopsy revealed hepatocellular carcinoma. The serological test suggested chronic active hepatitis B. When the news broke to his son that his father had cancer, he requested not to disclose that to his father.

When we discussed end of life issues such as hospice care and “do-not-resuscitate” (DNR) orders, the son tried to divert the discussion to other issues such as when his father could go home.

Cultural Issues that may be involved in this case are:

The Chinese tend to protect the elderly from bad news.

Believing in karma – the older folk believe that discussing illnesses or death/dying is bad luck. They think that talking about something bad will cause it to come true.

There is an increased incidence of liver cancer resulting from Hepatitis B due to delayed treatment in the elderly, as it may take a long time for them to accept the initial diagnosis.

Reference:

Astin JA. (1998). Why patients use alternative medicine. J Am Med Assoc 1998; 279: 1548-1553.

Chan, G. C. & Tang, S. F. (2006) Parental knowledge, attitudes and antibiotic use for acute upper respiratory tract infection in children attending a primary healthcare clinic in Malaysia. Singapore Medical Journal, 47(4):266

Helman, C. G. (1990) Culture, Health and Illness. Wright, London.

Quah, S. R. (1985) The Health Belief Model and preventive health behaviour in Singapore. Social Science and Medicine, 21, 351-363.

Lee GBW, Charn TC, Chew ZH and Ng TP. (2004). Complementary and alternative medicine use in patients with chronic diseases in primary care is associated with perceived quality of care and cultural beliefs. Family Practice, 21(6): 654-660.

A - Z Health Guides

5 Myths About Autism Uncovered

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5 Myths About Autism Uncovered

Autism is a complex condition that impacts the nervous system. The signs and symptoms of this condition include social and communication difficulties, linguistic oddities, sensory processing challenges, and repetitive behaviors. 

Action Behavior Center provides diagnostic tools and resources for parents with children on the spectrum and anyone that wants to learn more about this neuro disorder. 

However, autism is a spectrum disorder; thus, autistic individuals experience different symptoms in different severities. 

Even so, there are a lot of harmful misconceptions out there about this condition, and we’re about to uncover them.

Autistic Individuals Don’t Feel Emotion

This is possibly one of the more hurtful myths about autism. It’s common for neurotypical individuals to assume that autistic children and adults are incapable of feeling emotions

However, the truth is that autistic individuals do feel emotions. In fact, most studies on the topic suggest that autistic individuals feel emotions far more intensely than neurotypicals do. The significant difference is that children and adults on the spectrum express their emotions differently and often lack complementing facial features. 

So, You’re Like Elon Musk?

Another common myth about this condition is that everyone on the spectrum is, in some way, a genius. Contrary to this, those on the spectrum are as different from one another as neurotypical individuals are. 

This prevalent misconception may stem from the fact that people on the spectrum typically have special interests. But that’s not to say that every autistic individual is a genius. And treating children and adults on the spectrum this way is damaging; it’s not okay to expect neurodiverse people to live up to such a ridiculous expectation from society. 

Autistic People Can’t Lie

This misconception is a little closer to the truth than most others about autism, although it’s still not true. Autistic children and adults can lie. However, they don’t see the point of being dishonest.

Even though it’s unlikely for autistic individuals to be deceitful, it’s untrue that the act of lying is impossible. 

Autism Is A Disease

The direct cause of autism is still quite unclear. Although it’s known that autism is primarily genetic, some other factors may cause the differences in the brain. Even so, it’s not a disease, and one can’t get autism at any point in life; one is born with autism. 

Moreover, this condition can improve with occupational therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, although there is no cure. Therapies and treatments aim to enhance the quality of life. 

Vaccines Cause Autism

This is possibly one of the most prominent misconceptions about autism out there. Unfortunately, many ill-informed parents have kept their little ones far away from vaccines in fear the jabs will cause autism. 

Once again, autistic individuals are born autistic and do not become autistic at any point. 

There are tons of harmful and hurtful misconceptions about autism, and we must start uncovering these mistruths. Whether you’re parenting a neurodiverse little one, your spouse is on the spectrum, or you’d like to learn more about your friends with the condition, it’s critical to separate fact from fiction when learning about this complex condition. 

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What You Need to Know About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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Menstrual health is different for each woman. For that reason, it is important to trust your gut and not overlook any concerning symptoms you might have. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a commonly misdiagnosed hormonal condition that affects at least one in ten women. As the name indicates, this hormonal imbalance can lead to changes in the ovaries. Symptoms include cysts in the ovaries, irregular periods, acne, weight gain, etc. These symptoms can be managed, but there isn’t just one approach to take to effectively manage your PCOS. You should always talk to your doctor about the right treatment and the lifestyle changes needed to help your body. 

What You Can Do to Naturally Treat Your PCOS

Healthy lifestyle choices can make a world of difference in the symptoms of PCOS. Most women with PCOS suffer from insulin resistance, which causes their blood sugar levels to be higher than normal. Uncontrolled, this resistance can lead to diabetes. Most doctors recommend adding more anti-inflammatory foods to your meal plans, including fish, leafy greens, nuts, berries, etc. Try to eliminate all processed foods from your diet. Natural and whole foods are the way to go. This doesn’t mean going to extremes and eliminating all sugar from your diet. Instead of low-carb diets, it could be better to focus on adding more protein to your meals. This will improve your insulin sensitivity. 

Another healthy habit is to create a regular exercise routine that works for you. As most women with PCOS can struggle with losing weight, it can be difficult to find the motivation to push themselves. Still, it begins with small steps toward becoming more active. You can go on walks to the park, do a cardio routine from YouTube, or head to the gym to try weightlifting. Losing weight equivocates to reducing your insulin, and it allows your estrogen production to regulate itself more efficiently. 

Most people tend to underestimate how much sleep they need. Establishing a habit to sleep eight to ten hours a night will help you lose weight and reduce the chances of interrupting your hormone regulation. 

How to Maintain an Enriched Life with PCOS

Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all for the treatment of PCOS. You can be an active participant in your health by figuring out what methods work for you. Researching the different types of treatments available from credible sources will aid you in your journey of healing and self-fulfillment. 

Keep in mind that even though birth control pills are the most likely recommended method of treatment for PCOS, it is still just an option. Birth control pills, usually given at an abortion clinic Dallas, tend to mask the symptoms of PCOS, but it doesn’t cure it. For some women, it may also lead to stronger insulin resistance. Again, it all depends on the way you track your progress with your doctor, making sure that birth control pills are a good fit for you. 

As you make active efforts to manage your PCOS, you will find yourself with greater confidence as you face your condition head-on. Keeping a journal to track your periods and your goals will help you stay consistent and focused. Please seek mental health counseling if you begin struggling with depression or anxiety. Be kind to yourself. 

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Cell Line Development: The Key to Human Health

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Human Health

Over the past few years, we have all become increasingly aware of the need for vaccines to combat viruses. We have learnt how quickly things can go from normality to worldwide lockdowns. The need for a new vaccine could become humanity’s only way of moving forward. This is where cell line development comes in.

In this article, we’ll look at how stable cell lines are essential in the production of these all-important biotherapeutics, what challenges are involved, and how the future looks in this state-of-the-art scientific field.

The History of Cell Line Development

Let’s start off by looking at the history of cell line development and how it all began.

The history of cell culture dates back to 1948 when the first “L” cell line was established. The cell line was extracted from subcutaneous mouse tissue.

It wasn’t until 1957 that the first Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line was established. To this day, CHO cell lines are the most common mammalian cell line used in the mass production of therapeutic proteins. They are widely used in studies of toxicity screening, nutrition and gene expression, genetics, and particularly to express recombinant proteins. Much is known about their growth characteristics. This growth and adaptability to media and culture conditions make CHO cells a big asset in the pharmaceutical industry.

How the Process of Cell Line Development Works

Stable cell lines are developed by a process that generally starts with transfecting selected host cells, mainly CHO cells, with the desired plasmids. Plasmids are cells that can replicate independently of the chromosomes, hence their wide use in the laboratory manipulation of genes. Once transfecting has taken place, researchers must then manually screen and quantify high-yielding clones. Only after identifying the high producers can the cell lines produced by the cells be validated.

Until very recently, the process was slow and arduous taking anywhere between 6 to 12 months to complete a single cell line. This is because of the manual screening methods traditionally used for cell line development. What is needed is an automated and much more efficient approach to cell line development. This is where cell line development companies come in.

The Future of Cell Line Development

Cell line development companies are critical in bringing cell line development to the next level. Time is of the essence and these companies are the answer to providing automation and efficiency in cell line development.

Using state-of-the-art machinery, these Cell line development companies are dramatically reducing the time it takes to complete the cell line development process.

An example of this machinery is the ClonePix 2. The ClonePix 2 System does two jobs in one. It provides an automated way of screening huge amounts of cells. This increases the chances of finding rare high-producer cells. It also allows for single-cell isolation, dramatically reducing development times.

The consistency and high production of the target therapeutic protein are essential. These must be single-cell derived clones. With microplate readers like the SpectraMax i3x, these clones can be characterized much more quickly. The future of cell line development is already underway thanks to this cutting-edge machinery and the companies dedicated to its growth. Thanks to these advances, there’s no doubt that cell line development will continue to become a faster and more efficient process.

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