Health (8)

What is Sickle Cell Disease?


What is sickle cell disease?

Sickle cell disease is a group of disorders that affects hemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells throughout the body. People with this disorder have atypical hemoglobin molecules called hemoglobin S, which can distort red blood cells into a sickle, or crescent, shape.

Signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease usually begin in early childhood. Characteristic features of this disorder include a low number of red blood cells (anemia), repeated infections, and periodic episodes of pain. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person. Some people have mild symptoms, while others are frequently hospitalized for more serious complications.

The signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease are caused by the sickling of red blood cells. When red blood cells sickle, they break down prematurely, which can lead to anemia. Anemia can cause shortness of breath, fatigue, and delayed growth and development in children. The rapid breakdown of red blood cells may also cause yellowing of the eyes and skin, which are signs of jaundice. Painful episodes can occur when sickled red blood cells, which are stiff and inflexible, get stuck in small blood vessels. These episodes deprive tissues and organs of oxygen-rich blood and can lead to organ damage, especially in the lungs, kidneys, spleen, and brain. A particularly serious complication of sickle cell disease is high blood pressure in the blood vessels that supply the lungs (pulmonary hypertension). Pulmonary hypertension occurs in about one-third of adults with sickle cell disease and can lead to heart failure.

How do people inherit sickle cell disease?

This condition is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means both copies of the gene in each cell have mutations. The parents of an individual with an autosomal recessive condition each carry one copy of the mutated gene, but they typically do not show signs and symptoms of the condition.(Genetic Home Reference)

19 June is World Sickle Cell Day. Today - 21 June SCTI  in conjunction with eDundalk celebrated WSCD2014 in Dundalk.

Article contributed by Lora Ruth.


Turn your Food Passion into a €100,000 Prize with Lidl Ireland and RTE!


Do you want to make a living from your food passion?

Imagine winning a prize worth at least €100,000, including an incredible €50,000 in CASH to help launch your new food career? RTÉ and Lidl Ireland have come together to find the next great Irish Food Product.


A new RTÉ One series, The Taste of Success, will see members of the public and local producers compete to get their food product on the shelves of Lidl Ireland's 140 supermarkets.


This competition is open to anyone at all who has a wonderful food product. So it might be your granny's delicious bread recipe, a tasty new jam or sauce combination you've concocted or your special occasion desert. You might have dreamed up an innovative new health food product or it could even be your own home brew! Have a look around your Lidl store and find out if you've got what it takes to discover what they're looking for. The most important thing is that entrants must submit their own unique product.

To apply, just go to (



A Practical Course to Tackle Stress

The HSE Dublin North East is inviting all interested members of the public
to attend a free course on managing stress.

This practical course, which has already been successfully delivered to
almost 600 people in Louth, begins on Monday, 12th May. The course will run
for six Monday mornings (not including Monday 2nd June) from 11am to 1pm in
the Fairways Hotel, Dublin Road, Dundalk, Co. Louth.

The "Stress Control" programme is aimed at anyone who is stressed or anyone
who knows someone who is stressed.  The course will be delivered by HSE
clinical psychologists, Dr Mark Harrold and Dr Ciaran Wynne.


High-protein diet 'bad as smoking'

A high-protein diet could be as dangerous as smoking 20 cigarettes a day, a new study has found.

Research from the University of Southern California shows that high levels of dietary animal protein in those under 65 were associated with a fourfold increase in their risk of death from cancer compared to those on a low protein diet.

This is an increased mortality risk associated with a 20-a-day smoking habit.

The study of 6,318 adults over the age of 50, found that protein-lovers were 74% more susceptible to early death from any cause than their low-protein counterparts. They were also several times more likely to die of diabetes.

A "high-protein" diet was defined in the research as deriving at least 20% of daily calories from protein. The researchers recommend a middle-aged person consume around 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight, per day.

Even small changes that reduced someone's protein intake from moderate to low levels cut the likelihood of an early death by over a fifth. A "low-protein" diet includes less than 10% of your daily calorie intake from protein.

Animal-based proteins such as red meat, milk, and cheese were most harmful, but there is no evidence to suggest that protein from fish has a negative impact on the body, said study author Dr Valter Longo, Professor of Biogerontology at the USC Davis School of Gerontology.

"High levels of protein can be can be as bad for you as smoking. People should understand the distinction and be able to make the decision about what they eat," said Dr Longo.

"Some proteins are better for you than others, for example plant-based proteins like beans. Vegans seem to do better in studies than those who eat animal based proteins. Red meat always comes out top as the worst and that's probably due to its other components."

"But the good news is that there is no evidence that fish is bad for you. So fish plus vegetables is really the best group of proteins," added Dr Longo.

The findings throw doubt over the long-term benefits of popular high-protein diets such as the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet.

Protein levels controls the growth hormone IGF-I, which help bodies grow but high levels of which have been linked to cancer.

Levels of IGF-I drop off dramatically after age 65, leading to potential frailty and muscle loss. The study shows that while high protein intake during middle age is very harmful, it is protective for those over 65 who ate a moderate or high-protein diet.

Dr Longo, who skips lunch, recommends a diet high in complex carbohydrates and low in protein.

"I follow a fish and vegetable based diet which is high in complex carbohydrates. This is a diet that has been found in the most long-lived populations of the world," he said. (Yahoo News) 



Two festive fat burning food


Most people already eat some turkey over the festive period, but did you know it could be the key to setting you on the path to your New Year weight loss? Turkey is the perfect festive meat because it’s high in protein (one serving will provide around 65 per cent of your recommended daily intake), low in saturated fat, and is packed full of vitamins B3 and B6, which lower cholesterol and boost the production of red blood cells.

To get the most of turkey’s fat burning potential, it’s important that you buy an organic turkey for your Christmas meal. A study conducted at the University of Wisconsin found that organically raised turkeys contained higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid – a powerful nutrient that is linked to improved health and weight management.

Recipe idea: For a healthy turkey feast on Christmas day make sure you remove the skin, as it contains twice as much fat as the actual meat. Brussel sprouts - there's a reason they're a traditional Christmas food! (Rex)


Brussels sprouts

We hate to break it to you, we really do, but this most hated of Christmas foods is also one of the best for a fat blasting festive season. If you can manage to get over your dislike for them, then sprouts need to be on your Christmas plate if you’re looking to lose weight this festive season. Sprouts are a dieter’s dream because they’re full to the brim with fibre, calcium, potassium and vitamin A, which means they leave you feeling full without resulting in weight gain. They’re also great for general heart and brain health because of the high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids they contain, which is a bonus we can all get on board with this Christmas.


Recipe idea: Sprouts don’t have to be disgusting. Roast them for around 30-40 minutes and add salt, pepper and a splash of lemon for a tasty twist on this Christmas classic.


(RealBuzz – Mon, Dec 16, 2013 09:00 GMT)



Wirmat Stores

- a family owned Afro-Caribbean business in the heart of Dundalk is run by Chukwudi and Agatha Ochuba. Agatha is a DKIT graduate of business management and administration. Wirmat accepts bulky orders. They are located at Church street.

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