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People over the age of 65 consume more than a third of all prescription medications in the United States... almost a quarter of older Americans are sent to hospitals or nursing homes because of problems with medications. According to the California Pharmacists Association, more than 100,000 Americans die each year of adverse drug reactions. The annual bill for treating medication misuse is a stunning $177 billion. [MSNBC, January 2002]
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AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. An immune system deficiency disorder that suddenly alters the body's ability to defend itself. The AIDS virus invades the T4 helper/inducer lymphocytes and multiplies, causing a breakdown in the body's immune system, eventually leading to overwhelming infection and/or cancer, with ultimate death.
Amantadine: (Amantadine hydrochloride) Antiviral agent used to prevent or treat influenza; also used to treat Parkinson's disease.
Calcium: The body's most abundant mineral. Its primary function is to help build and maintain bones and teeth. Calcium is also important to heart health, nerves, muscles and skin. Calcium helps control blood acid-alkaline balance, plays a role in cell division, muscle growth and iron utilization, activates certain enzymes, and helps transport nutrients through cell membranes. Calcium also forms a cellular cement called ground substance that helps hold cells and tissues together.
Enzymes: Specific protein catalysts produced by the cells that are crucial in chemical reactions and in building up or synthesizing most compounds in the body. Each enzyme performs a specific function without itself being consumed. For example, the digestive enzyme amylase acts on carbohydrates in foods to break them down.
Fatty Liver: Accumulation of triglycerides in the liver.
Hallucination: A false or distorted perception of objects or events, including sensations of sight, sound, taste, smell or touch, typically accompanied by a powerful belief in their reality.
Herbs: Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with one teaspoon herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Tinctures may be used singly or in combination as noted. The high doses of single herbs suggested may be best taken as dried extracts (in capsules), although tinctures (60 drops four times per day) and teas (4 to 6 cups per day) may also be used.
Interferon: A protein formed by the cells of the immune system in the presence of a virus, etc. It prevents viral reproduction, and is capable of protecting noninfected cells from viral infection. Several kinds of interferon exist including alpha, beta, and gamma.
Over-The-Counter: A drug or medication that can legally be bought without a doctor's prescription being required.
Serum: The cell-free fluid of the bloodstream. It appears in a test tube after the blood clots and is often used in expressions relating to the levels of certain compounds in the blood stream.