Sherry Christiansen

Sherry Christiansen is a Freelance Medical Writer with an extensive clinical background. Sherry has worked directly with patients in a clinical setting and has over a decade of experience writing and researching medical articles on health and wellness (including mental health and substance abuse topics). Sherry also led a small team of writers in the role of Chief Editor for a health and wellness website for seniors. With diverse research, writing and editing skills, Sherry has written & edited hundreds of published articles, backed by the most recent scientific research

Sherry’s articles and website content are published on prestigious websites such as Verywell Health, Medical News Today, Healthline, and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center's Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic (AlzU.org).

Featured Articles

Alzheimer’s Prevention Education: If We Build It, Will They Come? www.AlzU.org

Internet-based educational interventions could reduce the global burden of disability of dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Determining the effects, ideal timing, and costs of behaviors and disease-modifying interventions to prevent AD throughout the lifespan represent important aims of current and future prevention research (1–3). To answer these questions, AD prevention trials will require large cohorts of asymptomatic subjects of various ages, followed over many years, assessed within

Early diagnosis of memory loss may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease has been predicted as the next global public health crisis facing the modern world. In fact, approximately 5.1 million people in the U.S. are said to suffer from Alzheimer’s, and even more are affected worldwide. As we age, the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease continues to rise, and with the growing senior population, these numbers are expected to grow exponentially. But few people are aware that if you catch memory loss issues early enough, there’s a lot you can do to preven

Crouse Health: Leading the Way in Robotic Surgery — Past, Present and Future

Since its inception in 2008, the Crouse Institute for Robotic Surgery has evolved to become the largest multispecialty robotic surgery program in Central New York. Crouse Health has a sizable team of highly skilled, experienced surgeons, each committed to the use of the newest, most advanced surgical technology available today. Surgeons at Crouse Health continually enhance their minimally invasive surgical skills in order to offer their patients the highest level of care possible. Surgeons and

Medical Technology

The Best At-Home Diabetes Tests for 2021

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products, and articles are reviewed by healthcare professionals for medical accuracy. You can learn more about our review process here . We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. According to a 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report, 34.2 million Americans were found to have diabetes. This number represents 10.5% of the population in the United States. Another 88 million people have a condition that is o

What to Expect Before, During and After Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgery (also called robotic-assisted surgery) is perhaps the most cutting-edge medical technology of modern times. The most widely used system today involves a camera and the use of very small surgical tools attached to robotic arms. A specially trained surgeon controls the robotic arms from a viewing screen, which is usually situated in the same room as the operating table. But the viewing screen could be located far away, allowing surgeons to perform telesurgery from remote locations

Glasses for Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition of the eyes involving progressive damage to the macula (an area on the retina responsible for clear central vision). The condition results in low vision. Low vision is defined as visual impairment resulting in visual acuity of 20/70 or worse. Low vision that is due to eye disease cannot be corrected with regular eyeglasses. If you have AMD, you may be happy to learn that there are several options for special glasses designed specifically

Diseases Involving the Immune Sytem

Causes and Risk Factors of Myasthenia Gravis

Here Are the Basics of Myasthenia Gravis Diagnosis Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a chronic neuromuscular autoimmune disease that causes skeletal muscles to weaken, particularly after strenuous activity. The muscles in the eyelids and those attached to the eyeball are commonly the first (and sometimes only) muscles affected in myasthenia gravis. Other muscles that may become weak include jaw, limb, and even breathing muscles. There is no cure for MG, but some treatments are available that can help

How Hodgkin Lymphoma Is Treated

Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that involves the lymphatic system. Treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma is usually based on the stage of this condition. In some instances, a person’s age, overall health, the location of the lymphoma, and other factors play a role in the type of treatment that is most effective. Because some Hodgkin treatment modalities can result in serious side effects that show up much later down the road, physicians may opt for a treatment plan with the lowest incidence

Multiple Myeloma Overview: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Multiple myeloma (also referred to as myeloma) is a type of rare, incurable cancer of the blood—also known as hematologic cancer. It affects cells called plasma cells, which are types of white blood cells. Normal plasma cells function to make antibodies, helping the body to fight infection. Myeloma involves malignant plasma cells that build up in the bone marrow or the soft tissue in the center of bones. The term malignant describes the tendency to progressively worsen, invade, and destroy near

Can Vitamin D Lower the Risk of Respiratory Infections?

When it comes to a healthy immune system to fight respiratory infections, there are conflicting views about what actually helps and what does not. The research on the efficacy of vitamin D for fighting off an infection is particularly impressive, however, especially when compared to that of other vitamins and supplements. For example, a 2017 study published in BMJ found that taking a vitamin D supplement reduced the risk of acute (sudden and severe) upper respiratory infection in every participa

Pharmaceutical

What Is the Shingrix Vaccine?

Shingrix (recombinant zoster vaccine) is a newer vaccination, approved in 2017 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a Shingrix vaccination is one of the most effective ways to protect against shingles, as well as a serious complication of shingles called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Who Should Get Shingrix? According to the CDC, Shingrix is advised for adults who: • Have ha

Patient-Controlled Anesthesia (PCA)

Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) is a type of pain management system that allows patients to make their own decisions as to when they need to take a dose of pain medication. The medication is administered through a PCA pump and can be used to treat acute (sudden, severe), chronic (long-term), or postoperative (after surgery) pain. It can also be utilized in obstetrics for the management of labor pain. When it comes to pain management, it is helpful to understand your options so you and your h

What To Know About Lisinopril (Prinivil and Zestril)

Lisinopril (brand names Prinivil and Zestril) is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. It used to treat hypertension and heart failure. Lisinopril also improves survival when it is taken after a recent heart attack or stroke. ACE inhibitors cause the blood vessels to dilate (widen), lowering blood pressure. These medications block the activity of ACE, resulting in reduced angiotensin II production in the body. Angiotensin II acts directly on the blood vessels. Lisinopril is availab

What to Know About Indapamide

Indapamide is a medication for hypertension (high blood pressure) and fluid retention (edema) due to congestive heart failure. It is categorized in a class of drugs called thiazide diuretics. Diuretics are sometimes referred to as water pills because they act directly on the kidneys to promote diuresis (urine flow). Indapamide is available as an oral (by mouth) tablet. The brand name for indapamide is Lozol, but Lozol has been discontinued, so only the generic version (indapamide) is availabl

Research Articles

Alzheimer's Universe (): Free Online Course - Join Today!

Welcome to our Clinical Trials Page! Before a new drug or treatment can be used to treat a disease, it must first be carefully tested in a laboratory, then with live people, in what is called a clinical research trial, in order to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the drug or treatment. There is a protocol that is followed for every clinical trial, designed to answer a specific research question, as well as protecting the safety of the participants in the study. A protocol describes exa

What Is The FINGER Study?

The FINGER study is an ongoing landmark clinical research trial, aimed at discovering the effects of several factors, involving seniors with cognitive decline. The acronym FINGER stands for the “Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability.” The initial phase of the study, conducted in Finland, lasted from September of 2009 and was completed in December of 2011. But there are ongoing phases and updates being conducted to further evaluate the baseline inform

Cannabis sativa L. and Nonpsychoactive Cannabinoids: Their Chemistry and Role against Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Cancer

Pellati F, Borgonetti V, Brighenti V, Biagi M, Benvenuti S, Corsi L. Cannabis sativa L. and Nonpsychoactive Cannabinoids: Their Chemistry and Role against Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Cancer. BioMed Research International. 2018;2018:1-15. doi:10.1155/2018/1691428 In the past ten years there has been a lot of interest in the medicinal compounds in the Cannabis sativa L. plant, including cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), are recognized for their therapeutic effect

Quick Alzheimer's Prevention Pearl: Study Shows Diagnostic Testing for Seniors Helps with Early Alzheimer's Diagnosis

Nearly 5 million people in the U.S. are estimated to have Alzheimer’s disease (AD) today, and the Alzheimer’s Association says that number could be as high as 16 million by 2050. This is why early detection is the cornerstone of much of the current Alzheimer’s research being done. Years before AD symptoms are detected, pathology begins in the brain. This includes amyloid plaques and tau tangles (abnormal clusters of sticky protein in the brain). These changes interfere with normal brain functio

Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder

What Is Substance Abuse Disorder (Substance Use Disorder)?

Substance abuse disorder—which is referred to as substance use disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5)—is a chronic and complex disorder involving the continued use of drugs or alcohol (substances) despite significant substance-related problems. Quitting is not a matter of willpower, nor is it a simple choice. This is because addiction involves physical and mental changes in the brain that make it difficult to stop using. Whether a pe

What Is Atypical Depression?

Atypical depression is considered a type of depression with a “specifier.” Specifiers are additional symptoms or traits that are included in an umbrella diagnosis under disorders such as clinical depression—also called major depressive disorder. Specifiers help to further clarify the specifics of a diagnosis and may suggest certain therapeutic approaches. Therefore, atypical depression is a specific type of presentation of major depressive disorder. It can also be associated with other mood dis

Signs and Symptoms of Paranoid Schizophrenia

Paranoia is a pattern of thinking in which one feels irrationally suspicious, persecuted, or threatened. It can range from mild feelings of discomfort to an intense, extremely distressing and disabling pattern of thinking. For people with schizophrenia, the experience of paranoia can be persistent, extremely unpleasant, and even dangerous. Up until 2013, schizophrenia was categorized into different subtypes, with paranoid schizophrenia being one of them. It is no longer considered a definitive

What Is Clinical Depression?

Clinical depression, also called major depression or major depressive disorder (MDD), is often confused with having a sad or low mood. Although feeling sad is one symptom of clinical depression, there must be several other signs and symptoms—in addition to sadness—for someone to be formally diagnosed with clinical depression. Clinical depression is considered a potentially chronic and severe disorder with medical comorbidities and high mortality. Understanding the signs and symptoms of clin

Medical Articles

Can Vitamin D Lower the Risk of Respiratory Infections?

When it comes to a healthy immune system to fight respiratory infections, there are conflicting views about what actually helps and what does not. The research on the efficacy of vitamin D for fighting off an infection is particularly impressive, however, especially when compared to that of other vitamins and supplements. For example, a 2017 study published in BMJ found that taking a vitamin D supplement reduced the risk of acute (sudden and severe) upper respiratory infection in every participa

Intercostal muscle strain: Signs, treatments, and remedies

Intercostal muscle strain is an injury affecting the muscles between two or more ribs. The intercostal muscles have different layers that are attached to the ribs to help build the chest wall and assist in breathing. When an intercostal muscle gets twisted, strained, or stretched too far, it can tear, causing intercostal muscle strain. In this article, we examine the signs of an intercostal muscle strain, and how to tell one apart from other upper body pains and injuries. We also look at the cau

How High Blood Pressure Causes Heart Disease

Atherosclerosis (also called atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease) is a specific type of arteriosclerosis. The two terms are often used interchangeably. There are many risk factors that may come into play when a person has atherosclerosis. One such major contributing influence is hypertension (high blood pressure), which can cause damage to the arteries and result in the restriction of blood flow to the heart and other organs and tissues of the body. Hypertensive atherosclerosis could result

How Are Atonic Seizures Different?

Atonic seizures (also known as drop attacks) are one of several types of seizures that can occur as a result of various underlying causes. “Atonic” means loss of muscle tone. This type of seizure is also known as akinetic or drop seizures. Atonic seizures oftentimes begin during childhood and are most common in children, although they may continue into adulthood. This type of seizure is often present in people who have other types of seizures as well, such as tonic or myoclonic seizures. Atoni

Surgical & Transplant Procedures

What to Expect from a Stem Cell Transplant

Stem cell transplants are used to treat some types of cancer, particularly those of the blood or immune system such as leukemia, multiple myeloma, or lymphoma. The stem cells can be taken from a donor (allogeneic stem cell transplant) or they may be harvested from the person who is receiving the stem cell transplant (autologous stem cell transplant). The procedure involves harvesting (taking) healthy stem cells from bone marrow, blood, or cord blood (from a newborn). During cancer treatment, bo

What to Expect from an Autologous Stem Cell Transplant

An autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) is one that uses healthy hemopoietic stem cells (those that form the blood cells) from a person’s own body—instead of taking stem cells from a donor—to replace diseased bone marrow or bone marrow damaged by cancer treatment. Another method of autologous stem cell transplant is an autologous bone marrow transplant. The stem cells may be harvested either from the blood, using an apheresis procedure, or from the bone marrow, being aspirated using a long ne

Heart Bypass Surgery Overview

Heart bypass surgery, or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, is done when coronary arteries, which supply your heart with oxygenated blood, become blocked or damaged. If these arteries are blocked or blood flow is restricted, the heart doesn’t work properly. This surgery may be recommended for those with obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD), which means that plaque has built up in the arteries to the point that it is blocking the supply of blood to the heart. This blockage is usual

What Is Endovascular Surgery?

Once you compare endovascular surgery and open surgery, you may wonder why open surgery is used at all. There are patient- and procedure-specific differences that drive the decision to perform one or the other. Not all procedures can be safely and effectively approached using an endovascular technique. These include: • The shape and location of the aneurysm • The blockage may be too extensive • Open surgical repair may last longer, which is better for younger people • People may not like the lif

Retinal Detachment Surgery: Overview

Retinal detachment surgery is used to repair a detached retina, which occurs when the retina—a layer of tissue that covers most of the back of the eye—separates from its anchored position. If treatment of a detached retina is not performed immediately (within approximately 24 hours), permanent partial or complete vision loss can result. Retinal detachment surgery is considered an emergency procedure. The goal of surgery is to reattach the retina to the back of the eye as soon as possible so th

Gallbladder Surgery: What to Expect on the Day of Surgery

To thoroughly understand what happens the day of gallbladder surgery, it’s important to know which type of surgery you will be having and why. In most circumstances, when the gallbladder is diseased, it is the result of gallstones. But there are other underlying conditions that may warrant gallbladder surgery, such as cancer of the gallbladder or inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis). Usually, the treatment of choice for various conditions of the gallbladder is a cholecystectomy (remo

Whipple Procedure: What to Expect on the Day of Surgery

A Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy) is a type of surgery that involves several different procedures at once. It’s performed to treat pancreatic tumors and other pancreatic conditions, as well as disorders of the intestines and bile ducts. A Whipple procedure lasts four to six hours and is performed under general anesthesia. It requires a hospital stay of seven to 10 days. Prepare by taking a look at what will happen on the day of surgery. Follow your surgeon’s advice on when to stop

Nutrition, Health & Wellness

Cannabidiol (CBD) Benefits

CBD is one of over 100 compounds found in the Cannabis sativa L. plant. There are different sources of CBD, including the hemp-sourced plant species with less than 0.3% Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the psychoactive component of CBD. Products that are derived from hemp have very low concentrations of THC, thus, they do not cause a person to get high. These various compounds found in the cannabis plant, such as CBD and THC, are commonly referred to as phytocannabinoids. Learn more about the

(CBD) A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users

Cannabidiol (CBD) has a broad therapeutic effect in clinical and preclinical research studies. Today, there is a wide range of available CBD products which can be purchased over-the-counter, and online. Even though the demand for CBD continues to grow at a steady pace, the research data on why there is such a demand is limited. How and Why CBD is Being Used This article is aimed at discovering who uses CBD, and how and why they used the phytocannibinoid. An online questionnaire was sent anonym

Will CBD Oil Result in a Positive Drug Test?

CBD (cannabidiol) oil is a popular product for everything from pain control and anxiety to promoting sleep. However, with the rise of CBD use comes a concern about failing a drug test. News stories are emerging across the country involving famous people who have gotten positive drug screening results for the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the component of marijuana that can cause people to feel high. This is happening even though CBD oil is said to be THC-free. What are the od

How Cannabidiol (CBD) Effects Sleep

Insomnia is a condition that involves a lack of satisfactory sleep. A person with insomnia has trouble falling asleep, difficulty sleeping through the entire night, and/or early waking while being unable to fall back asleep. To be considered insomnia, sleep problems must cause an impairment in functioning or severe distress.1 In the U.S., the incidence of insomnia is on the rise; so too is the use of natural treatment modalities, such as cannabinoids or CBD for sleep.1 Sleep is an essential fun

How many carbs should you eat each day to lose weight?

In this article, we take a look at how many carbs someone needs to eat to lose weight, and whether or not a low-carb diet is healthful? We also examine the best and worst sources of carbohydrates to eat. Carbohydrates are broken down into a simple form of energy called glucose. The body uses insulin to carry the glucose into the cells. When too many carbohydrates are consumed, the blood sugar level spikes, insulin rises, and the result of this is often weight gain. Carbohydrates are the body’s

What is Involved in an Obesity Diagnosis?

Diagnosing obesity involves much more than simply stepping onto a scale. In fact, a thorough evaluation of a person's weight status is a complex procedure that involves taking into consideration many factors and the use of various tools and diagnostic tests, including body mass index (BMI), waist circumference measurement, physical exams, and lab tests to check for comorbidities. In the last 40 years, obesity has become a major worldwide health issue. “Obesity is a serious concern because it is

Diabetes and Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a type of eating plan that involves a limited time period when caloric intake is restricted. This can vary from fasting (not eating at all) all day long for several days per week, to simply limiting the number of calories that are ingested during the fasting period. There are specific intermittent fasting diets, such as those that restrict food intake after a specific time of day (usually during the evening hours), to those that rotate between eating normally and restrict

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Treatment Options

Gluten sensitivity is a common problem involving an adverse reaction to gluten—a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. The primary treatment for gluten sensitivity from any cause is a change in diet. Several dietary recommendations have been used for gluten sensitivity treatment, including the gluten-free diet, FODMAPs, or a restricted α-amylase/trypsin inhibitors (ATI diet). Gluten sensitivity can be severe (as in celiac disease) or mild, as in non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). The latt

What to Eat When You Have Cystic Fibrosis

A healthy diet for cystic fibrosis (CF) addresses the primary challenge of the disease—to provide ample macronutrients (such as fats, proteins, and carbohydrates) for normal weight maintenance, growth, and development. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that results in the body making thick mucus. This mucus accumulation can prevent the small intestine from absorbing vital nutrients, including fats and vitamins. The disease may also interfere with the normal function of the pancreas, inhibit

What Are Adaptogen Herbs?

In the modern-day world of health and wellness, “adaptogens” are beginning to gain quite a bit of attention. Adaptogenic herbs are being offered in everything from supplements and tonics, to coffee, hot chocolate, and juice bars. But what are adaptogens, where can they be found and perhaps most importantly, do they really work? Adaptogens are components of herbal medicines that are said to help the body's resilience in dealing with physical and emotional stresses. Adaptogens are also said to ha

Women's Health

How Progesterone Promotes Brain Health

Progesterone is well known as a primary female sex hormone. It is required to regulate the menstrual cycle, vital for a woman to get pregnant (and maintain pregnancy), and needed for the early development of a human embryo. Progesterone is also considered an “endogenous steroid,” belonging to a group of steroid hormones called progestogens. The hormonal influence on the body is very complex. Hormones are molecules made up of chemical substances. They act as messengers of sorts. They are made in

What Is Back Labor?

Back labor is a common occurrence. As many as one in four pregnant people reportedly experience intense back pain during the birthing process. Back labor is a term that describes the discomfort that a person in labor experiences in the region of the lower back. The pain of back labor typically is felt in the lower back, but it may also occur in the hips, and it sometimes radiates (spreads) to the thigh area. Usually, a person in labor will feel pain from contractions in the abdomen and pelvis.

Defining Premenopause, Perimenopause, and Menopause

Women experience a wide range of fluctuations in hormones during various life stages that influence fertility. As a young adolescent, for example, hormones will influence when she is able to reproduce—by initiation of the first menstrual cycle (monthly period). Around her mid-20s, a woman's fertility peaks, after which it starts to gradually decline. As a woman ages, she will eventually no longer be able to conceive a child. The period when a female is no longer fertile is commonly known as men

Important Facts About Low Estrogen

Estrogen, a hormone produced in the ovaries, plays a major role in the female reproductive system. Estrogen is considered a sex hormone because it regulates sexual development in females. It is also present in small amounts in males. Depending on the cause and effects of low estrogen, females who have low levels are sometimes prescribed synthetic estrogen. Estrogen is the hormone that is primarily responsible for the sexual development in girls as they reach puberty. • Initiates changes in bre

What Is Anovolation?

Ovulation is when an egg is released from the ovary and positions itself for fertilization. Anovulation is a condition in which a person does not ovulate. The condition is a common cause of infertility. Anovulation can occur secondary to various underlying causes, including hormone imbalances, being overweight or underweight, and other medical conditions affecting the reproductive system. Treatment for anovulation varies depending on the cause but may include lifestyle changes, medication, and

What Is a Non-Stress Test?

A prenatal non-stress test (NST) is a common test done before birth (prenatal). It is used to ensure the health of the fetus before labor. The test assesses fetal heart rate and movement at around 26 to 28 weeks of gestation, but can also be done later in the pregnancy as needed. A non-stress test is noninvasive and does not pose any type of risk to the pregnant person or the fetus. If the test is failed, it usually indicates that more tests, further monitoring, or special care orders will be n

Does Chadwick's Sign Definitely Mean You're Pregnant?

Chadwick's sign is one of several physical changes that occur during pregnancy. It is an early sign that a person is probably pregnant. It appears as a dark bluish or purplish discoloration of the vaginal tissue, vulva, or cervix, which is caused by an increase in venous (from the veins) blood flow to the area. Other early signs of pregnancy include Goodell’s sign (a softening of the cervix at around six to eight weeks of gestation) and Hegar’s sign (softening of the lower segment of the uterus

What Is ECV? (External Cephalic Version)

External cephalic version (ECV) is a positioning procedure to turn a fetus that is in the breech position (with their bottom facing down the birth canal) or side-lying position into a head-down (vertex) position before labor starts. There are several types of breech positions, including: • Frank breech (the fetus is positioned to be born buttocks-first with their legs stretched up toward their head) • Footling breech (one or both legs are positioned to be delivered first) An ECV procedure is u

Insurance & Miscellaneous Topics

Best Medicare Advantage Plan Providers of 2021

We publish unbiased reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payments from advertisers. Learn about our independent review process and partners in our advertiser disclosure. Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes referred to as “Part C” or “MA Plans,” are considered an all-inclusive alternative to Original Medicare. Coverage in Medicare Advantage Plans includes Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance). Most Medicare Advantage Plans also include

7 Dementia Support Groups of 2021

Studies have shown that participating in a dementia support group can have a positive outcome on a person’s mental health while improving the quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers. Support groups offer a great opportunity to share with others, and a good place to ask questions, get information about local resources, and learn new ways to manage the challenges of living with dementia. Whether you are newly diagnosed, are in the early stages of the disease that causes demen

The 6 Best Medicare Supplement Insurance Companies of 2021

As the cost of healthcare continues to increase, so do the out-of-pocket costs for services that are not covered by Original Medicare. On average, Medicare only pays approximately 80% of your overall medical costs. In fact, in 2016, the average person with Medicare spent $5,460 in out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare. Moreover, during the same year, 50% of Medicare beneficiaries spent at least 12% of their income on out-of-pocket expenses, and 25% spent at least 23% of their income on such expe

The 7 Best EMT Certification Programs of 2021

We publish unbiased reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payments from advertisers. Learn about our independent review process and partners in our advertiser disclosure. The health care industry is one of the fastest-growing fields today. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 2.4 million new health care jobs are anticipated by the year 2029. This number represents more new jobs than any other occupational group. The job explosion is not limited to pr

Anatomy & Physiology

The Heart: Anatomy, Function, and Conditions

The heart—the primary organ of the cardiovascular system—is a muscle that contracts regularly, via a natural pacemaker that produces electrical impulses. The heartbeat drives the transport of blood throughout the body, which provides oxygen and nutrients to all the body’s cells, tissues, and organs. Although the heart is a complicated organ, in essence, it is a pump that continuously works to circulate blood throughout the body. The heart is an organ that weighs approximately 350 grams (less th

The Anatomy of the Biliary System

The biliary system, also called the biliary tract or biliary tree, is a system of ducts (narrow tubular structures), organs (including the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas), and associated structures that function to produce, store, secrete, and transport bile. Bile is a greenish-brown, thick substance produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile’s function is to be released into the small intestine when a fatty meal is ingested to help break down fats for absorption. Once food ha

The Integumentary System: Your Skin, Hair, Nails, and Glands

The integumentary system is made up of several organs and structures including the skin, hair, nails, glands, and nerves. The primary function of the integumentary system is to protect the inside of the body from elements in the environment—like bacteria, pollution, and UV rays from the sun. The skin and its associated structures also retain bodily fluids, eliminate waste products, and regulate the body’s temperature. The integumentary system works with all other bodily systems—such as the nerv

The Anatomy of the Coronary Sinus

The coronary sinus is a large vein that that returns deoxygenated blood from the heart muscle to the right side of the heart so that it can be replenished with oxygen. The coronary sinus is located on the heart’s posterior (behind) surface and is positioned between the left ventricle and the left atrium. All mammals, including humans, are known to have a coronary sinus. The length of the coronary sinus is from 15 to 65 millimeters (0.59 to 2.5 inches). It is wider than most of the coronary vei

The Anatomy of the Subclavian Artery

Arteries are large blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the cells, tissues, and organs throughout the body. They can be found in every part of the body (except the hairs, nails, upper layer of the skin, cartilage, and cornea of the eye). The subclavian artery is a major blood vessel located in the thorax (chest area) that functions to carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to parts of the upper body, including the: • Segment of the brain with oxygenated blood The left an

The Anatomy of the Duodenum

The duodenum, the first and shortest section of the small intestine, is a key organ in the digestive system. The small intestine’s most important function is to digest nutrients and pass them into the blood vessels—located in the intestinal wall—for absorption of the nutrients into the bloodstream. Together, the duodenum and other organs of the alimentary canal (the pathway by which food enters the body and solid wastes are expelled) form the digestive system of the body. The duodenum has been

The Anatomy of the Small Intestine

The small intestine—commonly referred to as the small bowel—is a tubular structure/organ that is part of the digestive system. In fact, it is the longest portion of the digestive system, approximately 20 to 25 feet in length. It is referred to as the “small” intestine because its lumen (opening) is smaller in diameter (at approximately 2.5 centimeters or 0.98 inches) than the large intestine (colon). The primary function of the small intestine is to break down and absorb ingested nutrients whi

The Anatomy of the Superior Vena Cava

Veins are tubular, hollow structures that form part of the circulatory system of the body; in most instances, veins carry deoxygenated blood toward the heart. The superior vena cava (SVC) is one of the two largest veins in the body and is considered one of the many systemic veins. Systemic veins are those carrying deoxygenated blood from various areas of the body to the heart and are vital to the function of the cardiovascular system. The importance of the superior vena cava is its function in

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