ГАОУ СПО НСО «Искитимский медицинский техникум»
Сборник текстов по английскому языку для дополнительного чтения №2
Для студентов 2-4 курса «С\д» и «Л\д»
Составила: Гаврилова Е.Н.,
и латинского языков «ИМТ»
Aspartame Safety Concerns.
Bad Marriages Take Health Toll on Women.
Epilepsy: Mysterious and Sometimes Misunderstood.
Medicines and Health.
New Method to Find Alzheimer’s Disease.
Obesity as a Social Disease?
What is an ultrasound?
When Medicines Become a Risky Mix.
Text 1. Aspartame Safety Concerns
There are few people who can resist the taste of sweet foods. We are born with a preference for sweets, and it remains with us throughout our lives. However, too much of a good thing can lead to problems such as dental cavities, obesity and the health complications related to being overweight and obese (for example, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, and heart disease). Problems such as osteoporosis and vitamin and mineral deficiencies can also occur when high-sugar foods replace more nutritionally balanced foods. The solution for being able to satisfy our sweet tooth, without the disadvantages of sugar, was the invention of nonnutritive sweeteners.
In response to research published by Italian scientists that suggest that the artificial sweetener aspartame can cause cancer, the U.S. consumer organization Center for Science in the Public Interest requested an urgent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review of the product’s safety in June 2007.
Aspartame, which has been on the U.S. market since 1981, is composed primarily of two common amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Each of these is also a building block for conventional foods such as protein and natural flavor molecules. Before its FDA approval, the safety of aspartame was tested in over 100 scientific studies. These studies were carried out in both humans and laboratory animals and included studies of rats that were fed aspartame in doses greater than 100 times the amount that humans would normally consume.
The data that sparked the controversy were from a report by researchers at the European Ramazzini Foundation (ERF) in Bologna, Italy, published in 2005. The scientists carried out tests of over 4,000 rats that regularly consumed high doses of aspartame and were allowed to live until they died naturally. Scientists from ERF concluded from their study that aspartame causes cancer and that current uses and consumption of the sweetener should be reevaluated.
Text 2. Bad Marriages Take Health Toll on Women
Women in tense, strained marriages are more likely than men to suffer from mental problems like depression, but also dangerous physiological conditions, such as high blood pressure and obesity, a new study shows.
Strained marriages also cause depression in men, says study researcher Nancy Henry of the University of Utah.
But she says that men in such relationships, unlike women, aren’t at increased risk of developing the physiological conditions of metabolic syndrome. Aside from having excess belly fat and elevated blood pressure, other characteristics of metabolic syndrome include elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and low levels of HDL «good» cholesterol.
If you have at least three of the five characteristics, you qualify as having metabolic syndrome, which is known to increase risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
For the study, Henry and her colleague’s recruited 276 couples married an average of two decades, in which men and women were between 40 and 70 years old. Participants filled out questionnaires that covered positives, such as emotional warmth and mutual support; and areas of tension, such as frequency of arguments and extent of disagreements over issues like sex, kids, and money.
Participants also had medical screening that included blood tests and measurements of blood pressure and waist circumference.
The researchers found:
Women reporting more marital strain were more likely to report depressive symptoms.
Women with marital strain had more metabolic syndrome symptoms.
Men in bad marriages reported depressive symptoms unrelated to any signs of metabolic syndrome.
Why Bad Marriages May Affect Women’s Health?
«Women seem to be more relationship oriented,» says Henry, a doctoral student at the University of Utah who also works at the Veteran Affairs Salt Lake City Medical Center. «We know by research that women tend to base their self-concept on relationships, how they are doing, how things are going for them. And we think that’s the reason we’ve shown that negative relationship issues seem to take a greater toll on women emotionally and physically.»
Tim Smith, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Utah, tells WebMD that although bad marriages can contribute to depression in men, the physiological problems seem to show up only in women.
«It’s not like men were not troubled in our study. But the results were clear that women in this situation were more likely to gain weight. Stress hormones facilitate depositing of intra-abdominal fat, so the stress might make them heavier, and also raise cholesterol,» he says.
A large body of research shows that divorce is associated with coronary calcification in both men and women, but «in our data, it’s clear that the association of stress and heart health is stronger in women,» Smith says.
Viola Vaccarino, MD, PhD, director of the cardiovascular outcomes program at Emory University in Atlanta, tells WebMD that it’s just as likely that metabolic syndrome difficulties cause depression, rather than the other way around.
«We can clearly say that people with depression are more likely to have a metabolic syndrome, and vice versa,» she says. «People with depression may be more likely to develop metabolic syndrome due to lack of physical activity, or inability to choose a healthy diet. But this is the first time I have seen this gender difference, that depression can affect women more than men.»
Text 3. Cosmetic Quiz
Question 1: Can we cause eye injuries and infections, even blindness using mascara the wrong way?
The most serious risk from mascara is scratching your eye with the mascara wand and then getting an infection from germs on the wand. To use mascara safely, follow these rules:
never apply mascara in a car, bus, plane, or any other moving vehicle. It’s easy to scratch your eye if you hit a bump or come to a sudden stop.
If mascara gets dried up, don’t add water or — even worse — (yuck) spit into it to moisten it. This can add germs that may grow and cause an infection.
As mascara gets old, it is more likely to have germs growing in it. Throw it out after three months.
Don’t share mascara — not even with your best friend. You might be sharing germs that way.
Remove all mascara, and any other make-up, before you go to bed. Bits of mascara can flake into your eyes and cause an infection.
Question 2: Tattoos used to be permanent, but now lasers are an easy, reliable way to erase them.
Lasers have made it easier to lighten tattoos, but it’s not as easy or as reliable as many people think. Lightening a tattoo generally takes several treatments and can be expensive. Many tattoos can be lightened until they are much less noticeable, but usually a trace of the tattoo remains. Also, some tattoo colors are harder to remove than others. Laser treatments can turn some tattoos darker instead of lighter, or change them to a different color. The same goes for «permanent makeup,» which is a kind of tattoo. It depends on what ingredients went into the tattoo ink to produce the color.
More facts about tattoos:
The U.S. FDA has not approved any color additives for injection into your skin.
People who get a tattoo should not give blood for a year afterward because of the chance of infection.
Although it happens only very rarely, some people may have an allergic reaction to the dyes used for tattooing. Imagine being allergic to something that’s been injected into your skin.
Or, the tattooist may make a mistake. Who wants to wear someone else’s mistake forever?
Although many «temporary tattoos» are legal, some — especially some of those imported from other countries — are illegal in the United States because they use color additives that are not approved for use on the skin. The FDA has received reports of people having allergic reactions to temporary tattoos.
Text 4. Epilepsy:
Mysterious and Sometimes Misunderstood
Epilepsy is a disorder where bursts of electrical activity in the brain result in seizures. A seizure can involve part or all of the brain. It can be minor and a few seconds long or severe and last for several minutes. Victims can shake uncontrollably and have brief periods where they do not wake up. Many people misunderstand epilepsy. They may see it as a mental disability or even fear it as a sign of evil. The World Health Organization says more than fifty million people have epilepsy. At least half of all cases develop in children and teenagers.
The Epilepsy Foundation in the United States says ten percent of adults will have a seizure sometime during their life. In most cases the cause is unknown.
On July thirtieth, the chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, had a Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts seizure and fell near his summer home in Maine. A Supreme Court spokeswoman said neurological tests found no cause for concern. She said the fifty-two-year-old chief justice fully recovered from what doctors called a benign idiopathic seizure.
Benign and idiopathic mean there was no evidence of harm and no identifiable cause, like a growth or stroke. But Mister Roberts had a similar event fourteen years ago. Experts say a person who has two or more unexplained seizures is considered to have epilepsy.
The Epilepsy Foundation says more than three million Americans, or one percent, are treated for the condition. Anti-seizure medicines are the most common treatment. But side effects can include sleepiness and difficulty thinking clearly.
Some doctors advise a special diet called a ketogenic diet to help control seizures. Experts warn, though, that this high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet requires close medical supervision and is not for everyone.
Doctors may also try to control epilepsy through brain operations.
To help a person during a seizure, stay calm and try to time how long it lasts. Clear the area of any objects that could injure the person and loosen anything around the neck that could restrict breathing.
Turn the person gently onto one side to keep airways open. Put something flat and soft under the person’s head. But do not try to put anything in the person’s mouth.
You may have heard it said that people can swallow their tongue during a seizure. Not true, says the Epilepsy Foundation. In fact, it says trying to hold the tongue down could damage the teeth or jaw.
Text 5. Medicines and Health
Medicines are not meant to live, an English proverb says.
Yes, that’s true and we may add that good health is better than the best medicine. If your health is good, you are always in a good mood. You have a sound mind in a solid body, as an Old Latin saying goes. The English proverb «Sickness in the body brings sickness to the mind”, expresses the similar idea, but from the different point of view.
The profession of a doctor is one of the most noble, respected and needed in the worlds, as we turn to a doctor for advice at the hardest moments of our life, when we fall ill or suffer from pain or some disorder in our body and soul. We complain of low medical treatment, poor equipment of hospitals, difficulties in getting this or that medicine and so on.
What a pity we start to value our health only when it is necessary to take medicine. Taking medicine is an unpleasant thing of course, and if we want to avoid it, we should go in for sport and keeps ourselves fit. Physical exercises to my mind are necessary. Physically inactive people catch cold more often than those who do plenty of exercises. Physical exercises are good pastime. That is true that good health is better than the best medicine. If you do early exercises you feel refreshed you have a good posture and that makes you felled so pay attentions to the way you stand waken sit.
Here some rules for good health.
1. Take long walks in the open air as often as you can.
2. Keep your body clean.
3. Keep your teeth clean.
4. Wear clean clothes.
5. Sleep with your window open.
6. When you are reading or writing let the light come from your left shoulder.
7. Have plenty of fruits and vegetables all the year round «An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Of all things people probably have diseases most. There is nothing more unpleasant than being taking ill. If you are running a temperature, have a splitting headache feel dizzy or cough you go and see a doctor or send for him at once. She or he will come and feel your pulse, take your temperature, listen to your heart, tested your lungs, measure your blood pressure, etc. Certainly, he or she will prescribe some medicine which you can get made up at chemists [drug-store]. At chemist’s shop you can get different kinds of medicines: pulls, tablets, ointments and many other things.
I remember one of my most serious illnesses. It was four years ago. Illness started unexpectedly. Early in the morning I woke up and felt dizzy and feverish. I had a splitting headache and terrible cough. My nose was running, I was sneezing all the time. I could hardly recognize my own voice. Besides I was running a high temperature. The doctor asked me to strip to the waist, then sounded my lungs, felt my pulse, examined the throat. I had phenomena and I was to be taken to the hospital. I had to stay for a month there and obliged to get a lot of penicillin injections. In the long run I recovered of course.
But most of all I’m afraid of visiting a dentist. Toothache can’t be compared with anything else. Extracting a tooth or having a tooth field is quite common things but now painful.
Text 6. New Method to Find Alzheimer’s Disease.
Alzheimer’s disease usually appears late in life. In the United States alone, experts say about four million people have this brain disorder. Over time, it robs people of their memory and ability to think. There are no cures.
Until now, Alzheimer’s could be confirmed only by examining brain tissue after death or by taking brain tissue from a living patient. Now, a new test offers hope that Alzheimer’s may be found earlier.
Experts currently give written and spoken tests to help decide if a person has the disease. They also use a process called magnetic resonance imaging to see the brain changes that may mean Alzheimer’s.
Many patients already have been seriously affected by the time the disease shows up on these M-R-I’s. Most of the materials believed linked to the disease are present on the image. They are called protein clumps.
But the new test makes it possible to see the protein clumps before they could be found by M-R-I. The new test might identify the disease before a person shows signs of Alzheimer’s. Treatment could begin earlier. Doctors could see if the treatment is helping. New or improved drugs may be developed.
William Klunk of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania helped invent the test. It calls for patients to receive a small amount of a radioactive molecule called Pittsburgh Compound B. It is administered through the blood.
Doctor Klunk says it connects itself to proteins called amyloid plaques. These plaques exist in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Doctors can see them with an examination called a PET scan. Proteins affected by Alzheimer’s show as yellow and red.
For years, Doctor Klunk and his team searched for a substance that could connect with the amyloid. Finally they found a material that can reach the brain through the blood. This Pittsburgh Compound B can color the amyloid.
The finding led to a test of sixteen suspected Alzheimer’s patients. The researchers say the test found amyloid in those patients. It also found small amounts in one of nine healthy people tested for comparison. Testing on more people is needed. The United States Food and Drug Administration currently is considering approval of the process.
Text 7. Obesity as a Social Disease?
When one person gains weight, close friends often do, too. Researchers say they have found that fatness can spread from person to person in social groups. When one person gains weight, close friends often gain weight, too. The study was published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The researchers looked at records from the Framingham Heart Study. It gathered health information about more than twelve thousand people from nineteen seventy-one to two thousand three. The information was very detailed. It listed changes in the body-mass index for each individual. The body mass index measures a person’s body fat.
The Framingham study also provided information about changes in family and events like marriages and deaths. There was also contact information for close friends of the subjects in the study. As a result, the researchers were able to examine more than forty thousand social ties.
The study showed that when a person becomes severely overweight, there is a fifty-seven percent increased chance that one of their friends will be, too. A sister or brother of the overweight person has a forty percent increased chance of becoming fat. The increased risk for a wife or husband is a little less than that.
Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School was a lead investigator in the study. He says his research showed that fat people are not choosing fat friends. He says there is a direct causal relationship between a person getting fat and being followed in weight gain by a friend.
The study found that the sex of the friends is also an influence. In same-sex friendships, a person has a seventy-one percent increased risk of getting fat. The same was true for brothers and sisters separately. A man has a forty-four percent increased risk of becoming obese after a weight gain in his brother. In sisters, the increased risk is sixty-seven percent.
The study also showed that physical closeness of family members and friends did little to increase a person’s risk. The other lead investigator was James Fowler of the University of California at San Diego. Mister Fowler says a friend who lives a few hundred kilometers away has as much influence as one in your neighborhood. He says the study demonstrates the need to consider that a major part of a person`s health is tied to his or her social connections.
Text 8. What is an ultrasound?
Ultrasound produces sound waves that are beamed into the body causing return echoes that are recorded to «visualize» structures beneath the skin. The ability to measure different echoes reflected from a variety of tissues allows a shadow picture to be constructed. The technology is especially accurate at seeing the interface between solid and fluid filled spaces. These are actually the same principles that allow SONAR on boats to see the bottom of the ocean.
What is ultrasonography?
Ultrasonography is body imaging using ultrasound in medical diagnosis. A skilled ultrasound technician is able to see inside the body using ultrasonography to answer questions that may be asked by the medical practitioner caring for the patient. Usually, a radiologist will oversee the ultrasound test and report on the results, but other types of physicians may use ultrasound as a diagnostic tool. For example, obstetricians use ultrasound to assess the fetus during pregnancy. Surgeons and emergency physicians use ultrasound at the bedside to assess abdominal pain or other concerns.
A transducer, or probe, is used to project and receive the sound waves and the return signals. A gel is wiped onto the patient’s skin so that the sound waves are not distorted as they cross through the skin. Using their understanding of human anatomy and the machine, the technician can evaluate specific structures and try to answer the question asked by the patient’s physician. This may take a fair amount of time and require the probe to be repositioned and pointed in different directions. As well, the technician may need to vary the amount of pressure used to push the probe into the skin. The goal will be to «paint» a shadow picture of the inner organ that the health care practitioner has asked to be visualized.
The physics of sound can place limits on the test. The quality of the picture depends on many factors.
Sound waves cannot penetrate deeply, and an obese patient may be imaged poorly.
Ultrasound does poorly when gas is present between the probe and the target organ. Should the intestine be distended with bowel gas, organs behind it may not be easily seen. Similarly, ultrasound works poorly in the chest, where the lungs are filled with air.
Ultrasound does not penetrate bone easily.
The accuracy of the test is very much operator dependent. This means that the key to a good test is the ultrasound technician.
Ultrasound can be enhanced by using Doppler technology which can measure whether an object is moving towards or away from the probe. This can allow the technician to measure blood flow in organs such as the heart or liver, or within specific blood vessels.
Text 9. When Medicines Become a Risky Mix.
Many people take several medicines to treat different conditions at the same time. Each medicine may be safe to use by itself, yet together there could be dangerous or even deadly drug interactions. One example happened last year. Rhythm-and-blues singer and songwriter Gerald Levert died at his home in Ohio. A medical examiner found that the death was accidental, caused by a mixture of medicines. He was forty years old. The drugs in his blood included the painkillers Vicodin, Percocet and Darvocet as well as the anxiety drug Xanax. These all require a doctor’s approval. Other medications that are sold without the need for a prescription from a doctor were also found in his blood.
Earlier this year there was a government report on drug interactions. Researchers said deaths from accidental drug combinations in the United States increased almost seventy percent. That was between nineteen ninety-nine and two thousand four. In two thousand four, nearly twenty thousand people died from accidental drug poisonings. The problem is now the second most common cause of accidental death in the United States, after motor vehicle accidents.
Harmful drug interactions are a growing problem throughout the world. The increase is partly a result of patients being given more drugs and more combinations of drugs than ever before. For example, people infected with the AIDS virus often develop tuberculosis. These conditions should be treated together. In some countries, aging populations mean more sickness, which means more need for medicine.
Experts say patients should talk with their doctor and pharmacist before taking new medications. These include drugs that do not require a doctor’s approval as well as herbal treatments. Even some foods can interact with medicines in ways that may be helpful or harmful.
Alcohol may be unsafe with medicines including common painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. The combination can raise the risk of liver damage or stomach bleeding.
There are many resources on the Internet about drug interactions. However, it is always a good idea to confirm health information from the Internet with a medical professional.
Text 10. An allergy.
An allergy is an unusually strong reaction to a substance. Many things can cause allergies. The most common cause is pollen. Trees usually produce pollen in the spring as part of their reproductive process. Pollen also comes in grasses in the summer and weeds in the fall.
Other causes include organisms such as dust mites and molds. Chemicals, plants and dead skin particles from dogs and cats can also cause allergic reactions. So can insect bites and some foods.
The most common kind of allergic reaction is itchy, watery eyes and a blocked or watery nose. Allergies can also cause red, itchy skin. Some reactions can be life-threatening — for example, when breathing passages become blocked.
Avoiding whatever causes an allergy may not always be easy. Antihistamine drugs may offer an effective treatment. Another treatment is called immunotherapy. A patient is injected with small amounts of the allergy-causing substance. The idea is that larger and larger amounts are given over time until the patient develops a resistance to the allergen.
In the United States, experts estimate that up to four percent of adults and up to eight percent of young children have food allergies. Every year these allergies cause about thirty thousand cases of anaphylaxis, a severe reaction that requires immediate treatment. It can result in trouble breathing and in some cases death.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says one hundred to two hundred people die. It says most of the reactions resulted from peanuts and tree nuts such as walnuts.
People can also be allergic to medicines. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology says about five to ten percent of bad reactions to commonly used medicines are allergic. So, a person’s natural defense system overreacts and produces an allergic reaction. The most common reactions include skin rashes, itching, breathing problems and temporary enlargement of areas such as the face.
But the academy estimates that allergic reactions to drugs cause one hundred six thousand deaths each year in the United States alone. It says antibiotics such as penicillin are among the drugs more likely than others to produce allergic reactions. So are anticonvulsants and hormones such as insulin. Other kinds include some anesthesia medicines, vaccines and biotechnology-produced proteins.