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Chromium

Chromium is an essential trace mineral for the metabolism of carbohydrates. It helps to regulate blood sugar and deter diabetes, control fat and cholesterol levels in the blood and control hypertension. The best source of chromium is brewer’s yeast. It can also be found in grains, cereals, and in large amounts in some beers. Chromium mineral is stored in the liver, spleen and bone. The body can lose chromium due to a diet high in simple sugars. Chromium mineral is lost in the body under some conditions like infection, excessive exercise, pregnancy and stress.


Adequate input levels of about 30 micrograms (mcg) for an adult male and about 20 micrograms for an adult woman per day are required to counter the effects of deficiency. Chromium deficiency results in lowering the body's ability to adequately utilize glucose and may also affect lipid metabolism. Oral absorption of Chromium (Cr) is low and the absorption is improved in the presence of Vitamin C and Niacin. Chromium bio availability is improved when it is in the form of Chromium Picolinate.


Niemann pick

Niemann pick is a type of lysosomal storage disease and is an inherited condition that involves the metabolism of lipids. This leads to a breakdown in the of use and transport of fats and cholesterol in the body. The disease affects the body's ability to mobilize fat within cells. When this fat (cholesterol and lipids) accumulates in large amounts, it causes dysfunction of the cell and untimely death of a person. Harmful levels of lipids accumulate in the spleen, lungs, liver, bone marrow and brain. Niemann pick disease is more common in children. The disease is classified into three major types namely Niemann pick A, B and C. Niemann pick Type A and Type B are caused by the deficiency in an enzyme called acid sphingomyelinase. This enzyme is found within the lysosome cells and is an essential component in metabolizing a lipid called sphingomyelin.

Symptoms are related to the type of disease.

Type A: occurs in children. Children may not survive as the condition affects the nervous system. Symptoms include:

  • Enlarged spleen and liver
  • Progressive deterioration of the nervous system
  • Stunted growth
  • No weight gain.

Type B: occurs in childhood, known as the non-neurological type as the nervous system is not affected. Children survive into adulthood.

  • Growth retardation
  • Splenomegaly
  • High cholesterol and lipid levels in the blood
  • Low platelet levels
  • Lung infection
  • Problems in the functioning of the lungs.

Type C: can occur in children or in adults

  • Severe liver disease
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Seizures
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Developmental delay
  • Eye problem
  • Problems in feeding
  • Lack of coordination.

Other general symptoms include:

  • Seizures
  • Cataplexy (sudden loss of muscle tone)
  • Dystonia (excessive muscle contraction)
  • Accumulation of sphingomyelin in the central nervous system shows symptoms and signs like slurred speech (dysarthria) and abnormal swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Recurrent pneumonia
  • Difficulty in swallowing and eating
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sleep inversion (sleepiness during the day and wakefulness during the night)
  • Bones are affected.

Diagnosis depends on the type of Niemann pick disease

For Type A or B: Blood sample or bone marrow sample is used to measure the level of acid sphingomyelinase in the blood.
For Type C: A small sample is skin is taken to test how the cells move and store cholesterol.

Other tests may include brain MRI, genetic testing and eye test to confirm if there is difficulty in normal eye movement


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Bibliography / Reference

Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 22, 2019