Health Not

What Is Red Light Therapy?

red light therapyDifferent types of light therapy are now used for the treatment of various conditions. One of the most popular is red light therapy. There is evidence that using this regularly can help to stimulate the body’s immune system and help reduce the symptoms of various maladies. There is also the claim that this type of therapy can help reduce wrinkles due to aging. This type of treatment is available from a qualified therapist or some people even buy their own light therapy devices.

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

It might seem odd to those who have never considered it that different color lights would have an impact on our health. Most of us will appreciate that a bit of sunlight is good for health, but light therapy might sound a bit odd. In fact there is a lot of evidence that this type of therapy is effective. In fact, people have been using it since ancient Greece. In modern times there have been some impressive improvements in technology and it has become an accepted part of western medicine. For instance, babies who are born with jaundice will be routinely put under a special lamp because this will resolve the problem.

Red light therapy works by activating adenosine triphospate (ATP) in the muscle tissues. ATP is a unit of energy that the body needs to keep functioning. Red light therapy frees up more of this energy and so the body can put it to good use. This light also has the effect of loosening up blood vessels and other types of tissue. It is usual to point the red light at the part of the body that is experiencing a problem. So if you have a headache the red light will be directed towards your forehead. It is believed that the treatment makes blood move smoother which can help to reduce the stress in the area and thus the headache.

Red light therapy is commonly used for a number of different conditions including:

  • Depression
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Skin problems such as acne
  • Facial ticks
  • Headaches
  • Symptoms of stress
  • Wound healing
  • Wrinkle removal

Red Light Therapy Treatments

Most people who use this type of therapy will attend a clinic. The number of sessions required will very much depend on the nature of the ailment. In most instances the sessions won’t last very long; usually less than 5 minutes. Sometimes there may be multiple sessions with the red light therapy within a single visit to the clinic; there will be a rest period between each period under the light. There are some people who buy their own red light therapy system but caution is a must. Any system should be FDA approved and the instructions followed exactly.

Red light therapy can be a useful treatment that has a proven track record. We have been benefiting from light therapy for thousands of years and we are sure to continue to do so well into the future.

Health Not

What is Gamma Globulin?

Gamma globulin is found in the blood. It is also called immunoglobulin and it is a type of protein. It is also a type of antibody that helps the body fight disease. Gamma globulin can even be taken from one individual and given to another in order to help them boost their own immune system. This can then be used to prevent disease or combat a disease already present in the body. Immunoglobulin is not only to be found in humans; it is also present in most mammals.

How Gamma Globulin Works

This type of antibody is usually administered by injection. It is effective in those situations where the individual’s immune system does not have the necessary antibodies to combat a disease. When we get a disease the body will develop antibodies to fight against it. This means that should the same disease attack in the future the body will have resistance in the form of these proteins. Of course if the individual has not had the disease then they will not have the resistance. Gamma globulin offers temporary resistance because it contains the proteins to fight the disease.

The way it all works can be better understood with the aid of an example. If an individual has had measles their body will have produced gamma globulin which will provide resistance if they come in further contact with the disease. This protein could be passed onto another individual by way of injection and this would temporarily pass on immunity to them. Nowadays we have a lot more vaccines than in the past so there is less need to use other people’s antibodies to fight individual diseases. Instead gamma globulin is mostly used to help people who have problems with their immune system.

Another way that this antibody is used is to treat immunological diseases. Sometimes the immune system can malfunction and this leads to a situation where it is attacking itself. A good example of this is Thrombocytopenic purpura. Here the immune system can attack platelets and this is dangerous because these are needed for blood clotting. By using immunoglobulin though, this immune system attack on the body is stopped.

Dangers of Gamma Globulin

If the body has too much immunoglobulin then this can also be problematic. It is often the sigh of damaged immune system. This could be caused by a disease such as HIV or cancer. When gamma globulin is too high in the body it is referred to as hypergammaglobulinemia. Another possible danger with these injections is that it could possible lead to heart problems. This is why those who are undergoing this treatment will be monitored and told to inform the doctor of any strange reactions right away. Most of those who have these injections won’t have to deal with any adverse reactions.

Gamma globulin is an important part of our immune defenses. Sometimes our own immunity is not enough to fight off disease but luckily we can benefit from the immunoglobulin of other people.

Health Not

What are Neutrophils?

Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell. They are produced by bone marrow and are the most common of all white blood cells (also known as leukocytes).  They can be found in the blood stream and like other types of leukocytes they are part of the immune system. This means that they help humans battle against any type of infection. If our body is ever attacked by bacteria or other unwanted guest it will be the neutrophils that act as the first line of defense. For that reason they are very important cells.

How Neutrophils Defend the Body

Neutrophils are a type of phagocytic cell and this means that they are able to eat other cells. This destruction of other cells by ingesting them kills the neutrophils but this is why our bone marrow produces so many of them. If an intruder invades our body, these white blood cells will arrive on the scene within an hour. The neutrophils don’t actually stay alive that long; in fact if we don’t use them within 10 hours they will just self-destruct.

If you look at pus the bulk of what you are looking at will be neutrophils; it is these that give the pus its white color. They might not look very attractive but he job they do keeps us alive. They know when to defend the body because they are alerted by chemical signals within the body.  Not only can the combat infections inside the cell but also outside them and on our skin. They manage to do this by producing a net of fibers called the neutrophil extracellular trap (NET). As they kill invaders the neutrophils produce a toxic chemical that can also kill other undesirables.

What Happens If We Don’t Have Enough Neutrophils?

Some people don’t have enough neutrophils and this can make life difficult.  It means that their immune system is compromised and so unable to do its job properly. This situation is referred to as neutropenia. Some people may be born with this type of problem or it can also be something that is acquired by a disease process such as leukemia or anemia. Those who are undergoing chemotherapy are at increased risk of neutropenia. The fact that these people have a weak immune system means that they are more susceptible to any opportunistic infection.

As well as not having enough neutrophils it can also occur that people have such cells that aren’t working properly. If this is the case then it could lead to the situation where these white blood cells actually start to attack the body. The immune system can overreact and cause damage to itself in the process.

Some Final Thoughts on Neutrophils

Neutrophils are a vital element of our immune system. Without them we would be open to every passing infection and would struggle to stay alive. The next time you see some pus escaping a wound you may want to be grateful that these cells have being doing such a superb job.