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General Health

What is a beta blocker? - Fullbacks of Modern Therapy

A bunch of pills shaped like a heart
What is a beta blocker? No, they’re not called beta blockers because they’re being tested. That’s in the computer world. Instead, these are medications, so-called because they actually block things called beta receptors in the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys (and other flavors of them can affect the lungs and intestines, too). Besides blocking the beta-1 receptors being discussed here, there are two other types of beta receptors, beta-2 and beta-3—in the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, smooth muscles, and even in fat; but for our purposes we’ll be talking about blocking the effect of the beta-1 receptors. How do beta blockers work? The beta-1 blockers not only “block”—that is, compete—with the things that turn the receptors on, but occupy them to render them inactive. Since these receptors, when otherwise properly filled, raise blood pressure by constricting arterial walls and stimulate the heart, blocking them is an excelle ...

Topical Antifungals - War of the Worlds

Multi-colored mushrooms
What does fungi and fungus mean and what are they? Fungi (plural of fungus), together with bacteria, break down the Earth’s organic matter and release carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorus into the soil and airi. With the fungi (over 99,000 species strong) being such a player in our planet’s ecology, it is not surprising that they are everywhere in our human lives, from our shower curtains to under our sinks. Fungi like dark, moist areas, so if they’re everywhere—which they are—then they’re certainly between your toes, in your genital area, under your breasts, and—except for plumbers—even between the cheeks of our rear ends. Obesity increases risk of infection Obesity raises your risk, due to an increase in the overlap of skin folds, which can break down with irritation, called intertrigoii. What are the most common fungal infections? Most of the fungal infections on people are yeasts, like Candida or Malassezia furfur, or der ...

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