Environment (9)

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS: Physical distancing is nothing new. Historically, it was the reason for Leper colonies. From our point of view, it’s a pathology prevention method that’s been used to control our external environment from almost the beginning of time. We’ve found that some common drawbacks of social distancing can include loneliness, stress, the development of poor habits, and loss of personal drive linked to mental and social wellness. During short periods of time, physical distancing can slow the spread of certain pathogens, but care must be made in avoiding other diseases due to bad personal hygiene, while maintaining physical distances from others. The objective is to maintain and even improve your wellness, not to isolate yourself, or diminish wellness due to other unhealthy habits. By keeping our eye on the big picture of increased wellness, physical distancing can become a good thing while avoiding its drawbacks.

   Water Purity means “not harmful.” Scientists and technologists cannot impose solutions on citizens which guarantee water purity. Water policies need to be based on sound science and evidence to be successful. Consumers, citizens, politicians, scientists, and the Health Guardian must all work together to achieve success.

   Air-quality becomes a health factor as soon as it’s inhaled. Think of breathing as just another form of eating. Our lungs, like our stomach, are the principle organs used to ‘digest’ the air we breathe and feed our bloodstream. Air-quality, like nutrition, directly impacts our health status, acute and chronic decease severity, and successful pathology prevention efforts. An estimated 4.2 million premature deaths globally are linked to ambient air pollution, mainly from heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections in children. Pollutants with the strongest evidence for public health concern, include particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and Sulfur dioxide (SO2).

   A cell is a system as well as a functional unit of life. Some organisms made up of just one cell are called unicellular (e.g. bacteria and protozoans), but animals, including human beings, are multi-cellular. An adult human body is composed of about 100,000,000,000,000 cells! Each cell has basic requirements to sustain it, and the body's organ systems are largely built around providing the many trillions of cells with those basic needs (such as oxygen, food, and waste removal).

    Calcium serves as an extracellular cation that regulates nerve transmission, muscle contraction, bone metabolism, and blood pressure regulation and is necessary for blood clotting. Calcium is regulated by parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcitonin, vitamin D, and phosphorus. Through a complex system of regulation among multiple organs, including the kidney, GI tract, and bone, calcium absorption can be enhanced to increase calcium reabsorption to maintain homeostasis. When serum calcium levels are low, PTH causes release of calcium from the bones and stimulates increased absorption from the GI tract. Calcitonin works in the opposite direction, while phosphorus inhibits calcium absorption in the GI tract. Oral calcium supplements are most often the first-line therapy in the absence of symptoms. Because other hormones, electrolytes, and vitamins are involved in calcium regulation, these are assessed in the setting of true hypocalcemia. Low phosphorus and magnesium levels must be restored before calcium levels can be corrected.

   Acid-base disorders can be differentiated based on whether they have metabolic or respiratory causes. There are four main acid-base abnormalities: metabolic acidosis, metabolic alkalosis, respiratory acidosis and respiratory alkalosis. It is important to characterize the type of acid-base disorder because this will dictate the treatment and response, or “compensation” mechanism enacted by the body. When an acid-base imbalance occurs, the body attempts to restore the normal pH by developing an opposite acid-base imbalance to offset the effects of the primary disorder, a response known as compensation.

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS: Health agencies worldwide recognize that, for threats such as new influenza strains, Coronavirus, SARS and Ebola, hygiene is the first line of defense during the early critical period before measures such as new vaccination can become available for the masses. This includes physical distancing and hygiene.

   Mammals’ experiences – our experiences – can cause hormones to be released in our bodies, and these molecules can then move into the vicinity of DNA, where they can produce epigenetic effects. Our environments also influence our internal states by stimulating our sensory organs; seeing and hearing, for example, both produce changes in our bodies that can have epigenetic consequences.

   Hierarchical systems are partially decomposable. They can be taken apart and the subsystems with their especially dense information links can function, at least partially, as systems in their own right. When hierarchies break down, they usually split along their subsystem boundaries. Much can be learned by taking apart systems at different hierarchical levels—cells or organs, for example—and studying them separately. Hence, systems thinkers would say, the reductionist dissection of regular science teaches us lots. However, one should not lose sight of the important relationships that each subsystem to the others and to the higher levels of the hierarchy, or one will be in for surprises.