Factor V Leiden Thrombophilia

Today I learnt about Factor V Leiden thrombophilia, because I found out my father has it. He suffered a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE) a couple of years after I had my first.  Many people are asymptomatic carriers for Factor V, like Typhoid Mary but as it’s hereditary – Factor V is not contagious.

From the wikipedia page:

  • ~5% of North Americans have Factor V
  • ~30% of people who have a DVT or PE have Factor V
  • Women with Factor V have a substantially increased risk of clotting while pregnant or on estrogen-containing birth control pills (including hormone replacement)

I’ve got a call into my hematologist because I was told that I did not have any of the known hereditary things that they tested for.  That was ~10 years ago, but I’m am anxious to hear if something was missed – maybe someone forgot to run the test?  Whatever the reason, it’d be a comfort to know if I have Factor V.  Without any knowledge, all I can do is treat the symptoms.  Which can be too late.

About That INR Level…

My father beat me for “highest INR level” – his was 5.3 at one point.  I think mine was 4.1?  At first glance it’s funny, but there’s a serious risk of “spontaneous” bleeding.  He learnt what I’ve always said in previous posts about the vitamin K content of various foods: A “low” rating depends on the amount.  The vitamin K content adds up (it’s cumulative) in proportion to the amount of that food you eat.  He loves ginger apparently.  I do too, but I don’t like constant INR testing…

Musing on Medical Alerts

We also discussed means of communicating health issues in the event that we aren’t able to communicate them to strangers.  There’s no standardization for things like medical alert bracelets, which would automatically be removed by hospital staff because of constriction/compression risk.  That’s assuming the bracelet/etc survives whatever happened to require that.  I’d looked into tattoos, and settled on temporary tattoos.  Nothing is perfect – my temp tattoo would list information in English, and could be destroyed (even partially).  But on the upper chest, two at the clavicle (either side of the neck) would be visible when clothing is removed.  You can buy custom temp tattoos online, in bulk…

Skip the Tiny Weights: Weight Lifting Isn’t That Different for Women

So many strength workouts for women stray from actual strength and power development, emphasizing lighter weights. This perpetuates the notion that the workouts men do somehow just aren’t for us. But that isn’t the case. Women can and should weight train just as intensely, and with the same exercises and programs, as men, if they want to.

Source: Skip the Tiny Weights: Weight Lifting Isn’t That Different for Women

It’s all about what works for you.

Body Fat Can Signal the Brain, Affecting Stress Response

The brain’s effect on other parts of the body has been well established. Now, a group that includes two University of Florida Health researchers has found that it’s a two-way street: Body fat can send a signal that affects the way the brain deals with stress and metabolism.

…“The big question is the nature of that signal to the brain. We need to learn how to go in and break that cycle of stress, eating and weight gain,” Herman said.

Source: Researchers: Body fat can send signals to brain, affecting stress response

Fat releases estrogen as well.  Estrogen causes increased body fat which increases estrogen which increases body fat.  They actually found treating middle-aged men with testosterone therapy helped them to reduce their belly fat inches.  Keep in mind, the belly fat was lost from caloric restriction. The body was just not in “STORE FAT” estrogen mode so the fat came off easier and was not automatically restored upon eating.

Original research: Adipocyte glucocorticoid receptors mediate fat-to-brain signaling

How Do Steroids Actually Work?

Steroids seem to have two functions: making people strong and screwing up their lives. We’ll take a look at how steroids accomplish both of these tasks. From bulking muscles to shrinking testicles, this is what happens when you put a steroid in your body.

Source: How Do Steroids Actually Work?

What the article doesn’t mention is that we’re getting more data on those who’ve used steroids, to know that users don’t loose a lot of the gains.  This is why steroid related bans are getting longer.

The other sad reality about profession sport is the reality that the majority of the top are using.  Once in a while someone gets busted…

Yes, There’s A Masculine Side To Estrogen

Male aggression is commonly pinned on testosterone, and estrogen is credited with imparting females with maternal instinct – but the true story of the sex hormones, and their roles in male and female behavior, is a lot more subtle. Here’s why estrogen is an important hormone for males and females alike.

…Using model organisms, biologists have learned some surprising things about the relationship between testosterone, estrogen, and sexually dimorphic behaviors, and wholly debunked the facile notion that testosterone drives male behavior, while estrogen drives female behavior.

Source: Yes, There’s A Masculine Side To Estrogen

Baldness is not a sign of virility, aggression or libido. All it means is that the hair follicles in the scalp are more sensitive to testosterone. It says nothing about overall testosterone levels or how that hormone is being used elsewhere in the body.