Kin Support And Elderly Care In The United States Writing Sample

It is important to note that various nations and cultures care differently about their elderly members of society. Some, more individualistic and westernized ones, rely on nursing homes to provide the necessary elderly care for the older groups. Whereas others, more collectivist and conservative ones, consider it as a child’s duty to take care of their parents when they are old. Therefore, it is up to each nation and culture to decide how to provide care for their elders, but nursing homes should always be available for older individuals with an adequate number of health professionals.

Kin or family support for the elderly varies significantly across countries, where cultural and socioeconomic factors play a critical role in determining the magnitude of such a form of care. It is stated that “countries like Italy don’t tend to have as many care homes as other countries. This is because in Italy, caring for the elderly is seen to be the responsibility of the family” (Donnelly, 2021, para. 18). In other words, Italian culture has a strong sense of family unity, where the elderly must be given the care they need by their children, which eliminates the need for nursing homes. Similar trends can be observed in many Asian nations, such as China, South Korea, and Central Asia. It should be noted that the number of older people with ages equal to or higher than 65 is expected to reach almost 100 million by 2060 (Seccombe, 2018). In other words, the larger portion of the American population will be comprised of the elderly, which makes kin support a challenging endeavor. There will not be enough children for every older person to be given the care he or she requires.

Families should be expected or obliged to care for their elderly family members culturally and ethically, but elderly care should not be reliant upon these measures. In other words, it should be encouraged to provide care for older parents or grandparents, but the latter two need to have other alternatives, such as properly maintained and monitored nursing homes. The main reason is that not all elderly individuals have children capable of taking care of them or having children at all.

In the case of a shortage of certified gerontologists in the United States, the disconnect is due to the basics of supply and demand forces of the labor market. Firstly, it is evident that with an increasing population of older individuals, more geriatricians will be needed as a result. It is stated that “30% of adults who are over the age of 65 need a geriatrician,” and considering that this number will reach 100 million by 2060, at least 30 million will need one (Daily Briefing, 2020, para. 3). Secondly, it is reported that “total compensation for geriatricians in 2018 averaged $233,564 … anesthesiologists were paid twice as much, and cardiologists and radiologists had salaries topping $500,000” (Daily Briefing, 2020, para. 14). Thus, the payment or compensation for these positions is not as attractive or appealing as other alternatives

In conclusion, the supply of certified gerontologists in the United States is low, and the overall demand for these health professionals is increasing, resulting in a major disconnect. Nursing homes with a sufficient number of care providers should always be available in any nation, but families should be encouraged to provide care for their elderly members both culturally and socially. The US should put more effort into ensuring that nursing homes are properly equipped and supplied with experts.

References

Daily Briefing. (2020). Why America faces a geriatrician shortage (and what to do about it). Advisory Board. Web.

Donnelly, W. (2021). Which country has the best elderly care? Lottie. Web.

Seccombe, K. (2018). Exploring marriages and families (3rd ed.). Pearson.

Enzymes In The Human Digestive System

Digestive enzymes are compounds that ensure the proper digestion of foods consumed. Among the organs that help produce digestive enzymes are the salivary glands, small intestine, and pancreas. These organs do so by breaking down the significant, complex compounds that create proteins, carbs, and lipids. This permits the micronutrients in the meals to be readily absorbed and transported throughout the body. Enzymes are produced naturally in the human body and aid in a variety of functions, namely muscular growth, toxins elimination, and food component processing.

To delve deeper into the topic, enzymes function by generating an environment that makes the process exceptionally energetically efficient. The active site, which is often a pocket surrounded by amino acids, binds the source, such as glucose, and participates in its reaction process (Sensoy, 2021). As a result, the amino acids that make up the active site offer substrate selectivity as well as the right chemical conditions for the reaction to proceed more quickly than it could.

Every of the several digestive enzymes tackles a particular chemical and breaks it down into a type that may be consumed. Although there are many distinct forms of enzymes, the organ that handles the majority of the work during digestion, the pancreas, produces three primary forms (Hartenstein & Martinez, 2019). For example, one of the forms, amylase, aids in carbohydrate digestion by breaking down starches into glucose (Bolen, 2021). Lipase, in turn, is in charge of breaking down lipids into glycerol and fatty acids. Proteins are broken down into amino acids by proteolytic enzymes (Bolen, 2021). Maltase, which is released by the small intestine, contributes to the breakdown of maltose into glucose and is another crucial form of the enzyme (Bolen, 2021). Lactase is a digestive enzyme that dissolves lactose, a sugar present in dairy foods (Bolen, 2021). Lastly, the small intestine secretes sucrase, which transforms sucrose, which is also known as table sugar, into fructose and glucose.

A multitude of health issues can prevent adequate digestive enzymes from being secreted to digest meals thoroughly. Some genetic diseases are hereditary, while others change and evolve (Roland, 2022). For example, lactose intolerance develops when the small intestine produces inadequate lactase, preventing the body from digesting lactose (Roland, 2022). Cramping, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, and gas are common side effects of dairy consumption (Roland, 2022). Furthermore, the pancreas generates essential digesting enzymes such as amylase, protease, and lipase, which are deficient in persons with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (Roland, 2022). Consequently, such individuals are unable to digest meals, particularly lipids, effectively. Additionally, inhibitors are compounds that impede an enzyme’s capacity to initiate a chemical process. Inhibitors can be found in nature and can also be synthesized and supplied as pharmaceuticals (Roland, 2022). Antibiotics, for instance, hinder or block some enzymes from aiding the progression of bacterial diseases.

Thus, enzymes are important for a range of functions, notably digestion, since they cause biochemical responses in the body, implying that the body cannot function properly without them. Digestive enzymes are generated primarily in the pancreas and aid in the digestion of meals and the extraction of micronutrients. Many individuals can assist in preserving their digestive enzymes at maximum potential by consuming a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet and exercising regularly. Others, on the other hand, suffer from a variety of ailments that prevent enzymes from working correctly, causing discomfort.

References

Bolen, B. (2021). Types and functions of digestive enzymes. Verywell Health.

Hartenstein, V., & Martinez, P. (2019). Structure, development and evolution of the digestive system. Cell and Tissue Research, 377(3), 289-292.

Roland, J. (2022). Understanding digestive enzymes: Why are they important? Healthline.

Sensoy, I. (2021). A review on food digestion in the digestive tract and the used in vitro models. Current Research in Food Science, 4, 308-319.

Hepatitis C: Description, Diagnosis, And Treatment

Overview

Someone can get infected through contact with an infected individual’s blood. Nowadays, majority of the people get it after sharing needles used to inject or prepare drugs. For some, the condition is short-term whereas for others, it is long-term to the extent it is referred to as chronic. At its chronic stage, it can lead to severe and life-threatening medical issues such as liver cancer and cirrhosis. Patients can usually lack symptoms and not feel sick. When indicators appear, they occur as a sign of advanced liver illness. It is important to understand that there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. The most ideal way of preventing this condition is avoiding actions that can help in spreading the illness, particular through injections.

It is estimated that one hundred and seventy million individuals globally are impacted by the HCV which is about 3% of the world populace (Bradshaw et al., 2019).

HCV is categorized by the World Health Organization as the most common chronic bloodborne infection in the United States (Bradshaw et al., 2019). Initially, it was obtained from serum of someone with non-A, non-B hepatitis in 1989 (Bradshaw et al., 2019). Shortly after its cloning, the novel virus was found to be responsible of ninety percent of non-A, non-B hepatitis in the country (Bradshaw et al., 2019). This shows that the government, through health agencies, needs to invest more resources into its study and prevention.

Persistent infection depends on quick production of virus and continuous cell-to-cell spread, as seen in figure 1 (Dustin et al., 2016). The turnover rate of the virus can be high with replication from 1010 to 1012 virions on a daily basis. The fast reproduction and absence of error proofreading by the viral RNA polymerase consist of major reasons behind the frequent mutation of HCV RNA genome which in turn makes it difficult to produce a vaccine. There is much proof illustrating the relationship between chronic hepatitis C, hepatocellular carcinoma as well as cirrhosis. The virus has increasingly become a world health challenge causing a major segment of chronic liver illness worldwide

Lab Diagnosis

One of the tests is anti-HCV antibodies test, as suggested by Bradshaw et al. (2019). To perform this, a physician performs an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) screen test to check for the presence of antibodies released by the body to fight against the virus. The test can either yield positive results which means that the patient has been infected with HCV or negative results indicating that the blood sample shows no signs of HCV. Identification is done serologically by detecting anti-HCV immunoglobulin G.

Anti-HCV Antibodies Test

An example of immunoblot assays includes Recombinant Immunoblot Assays such as RIBA-3 and strip immunoblot assays (Hofmeister et al., 2019). They are more specific tests used for detection of anti-HCV IgG in the plasma or serum samples which have been found to be reactive anti-HCV screening assays. Detection of anti-HCV using these assays is based on immobilization of HCV recombinant antigens and synthetic peptides from the core, NS3, and NS5 proteins as single bands onto a membrane.

This may result from an infection in the past with spontaneous clearance. Additionally, there are rapid assays which have basis on the recombinant antigens obtained from the core, NS3, NS4, and NS5 proteins in an immunochromatographic format (Hofmeister et al., 2019). Although they are efficient in giving fastidious results they can only be used for a small quantity of samples. Rapid anti-HCV positive test indicates the presence of anti-HCV with absence of active infection.

Lastly, there is the RNA test refers to a blood test which involves a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) that checks for the viral load by measuring the number of viral RNA particles in a blood sample.

Transmission and Symptoms

Majority of the people today get infected with the condition by utilizing same syringes, needles, or any equipment that can be used in the preparation and injection of drugs. Users of heroine have been found to be at higher risks than non-users since they share same apparatus to inject the substance into their veins. Apart from that, a child can contract the disease from an infected mother during birth. The process involves exchange of fluids which puts the infant in danger of acquiring the virus. It is estimated that at least 6% of births result in infection of hepatitis C (Morozov & Lagaye, 2018).

When drawing on the skin of an individual, a needle is used. If it is not sterilized properly, used on another customer while the first one was infected, it is possible for the second person to acquire the HCV. Before 1992 when screening of donated blood came to action, the disease was spread via blood transfusion or organ transplant (Morozov & Lagaye, 2018). Regarding symptoms, majority of the patients do not exhibit symptoms. Those who develop them may experience nausea, fatigue, appetite loss as well as yellow appearance on the skin and eyes. It is possible for one to have pain in the abdomen area, and bleed and produce fluid in that section.

Treatment

In the event the illness is diagnosed early, treatment may not require to start immediately. Rather, a patient may have a second blood test after some months to check whether their body can fight the virus (Morozov & Lagaye, 2018). In case, the disease continues for an extended period, a treatment plan will often be suggested. When the condition is chronic, the treatment involves a test to check whether the liver has been damaged, tablets to battle the virus, and lifestyle change. Despite the effectiveness, many people have complained that the antiviral medication is expensive. For instance, a whole twelve-week treatment course costs more than $80,000.

It is important to note that the length of treatment is dependent on the hepatitis C one has. Some of the medicines approved by the NHS include the sofosbuvir, ribavirin, combination of sofosbuvir and ledipasvir as well as that of sofosbuvir and velpatasvir. In case the treatment plan does not work, one may be advised to attempt a different medicine. This will only impact a small number of individuals (Morozov & Lagaye, 2018). The doctor as well examines the liver for scarring through blood test or scanning. When completing the procedure, patients undergo another blood test to check whether the virus is cleared and a second test 3 or 6 months after stopping of the treatment. Some of the side effects of treatment include anxiety, depression, hair loss, and skin irritation.

Case Study

  • Mary, a 52-year-old female works in a medical laboratory.
  • She has been married for 25 years and has two teenage kids.
  • She has been experiencing fatigue for a while.

In addition to that, her older child, John (19 years old), noticed yellowing of her eyes. She has complained of pain in her abdomen and feeling nauseous. Anyone who has known her for an extended period can identify that she has lost weight. She was advised by her friends to seek medical attention. She was medically diagnosed with hepatitis C after a positive HCV antibody testing and a PCR test. Treatment was administered for Hepatitis C and associated comorbidities using vitamin D supplements of Hepatitis C, Ribavirin, Sofosbuvir and insulin. It started with pegylated interferon administered once every week after diagnosis for 24 to 48 weeks. Later, the treatment was replaced with sofosbuvir and ribavirin which normally takes 12 to 16 weeks. It is three years now and Mary states that she has been cured, something uncommon in the past.

Summary

This is due to the number of individuals living with the condition, especially in the United States. It is estimated that more than 2 million people have been infected and experts claim that the figure could be as high as five million. While many other illnesses result in physical and visible symptoms on the body of a human, a patient with this condition can fail to exhibit any. The physician can thus only discover it through subjecting a person to blood tests. In the event, the diagnosis happens early, the treatment plan can delay for a while. However, if the condition becomes worse, a treatment plan is recommended which mainly consists of antiviral medication. The government needs to find a way to lower the costs of the medicines to guarantee an increased quality of life of the citizens.

References

Bradshaw, D., Mbisa, J. L., Geretti, A. M., Healy, B. J., Cooke, G. S., Foster, G. R., & The Hepatitis C Trust, U. K. (2019). Consensus recommendations for resistance testing in the management of chronic hepatitis C virus infection: Public Health England HCV Resistance Group. Journal of Infection, 79(6), 503-512.

Dustin, L. B., Bartolini, B., Capobianchi, M. R., & Pistello, M. (2016). Hepatitis C virus: life cycle in cells, infection and host response, and analysis of molecular markers influencing the outcome of infection and response to therapy. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 22(10), 826–832.

Hofmeister, M. G., Rosenthal, E. M., Barker, L. K., Rosenberg, E. S., Barranco, M. A., Hall, E. W., & Ryerson, A. B. (2019). Estimating prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection in the United States, 2013‐2016. Hepatology, 69(3), 1020-1031.

Morozov, V. A., & Lagaye, S. (2018). Hepatitis C virus: Morphogenesis, infection and therapy. World journal of hepatology, 10(2), 186.

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