Medications

Evolution of approval, regulation processes for drugs explored

(HealthDay)—The U.S. approval and regulation processes for pharmaceutical agents have evolved during the last four decades, according to a study published in the Jan. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Surgery

Mentholated popsicle can help reduce preoperative thirst

(HealthDay)—Use of mentholated popsicles can reduce the intensity and discomfort from thirst during preoperative fasting, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Health

Intermittent fasting: live 'fast,' live longer?

For many people, the New Year is a time to adopt new habits as a renewed commitment to personal health. Newly enthusiastic fitness buffs pack into gyms and grocery stores are filled with shoppers eager to try out new diets.

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Fasting

Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day (24 hours), or several days. Other fasts may be only partially restrictive, limiting particular foods or substance. The fast may also be intermittent in nature. Fasting practices may preclude sexual intercourse and other activities as well as food.

In a physiological context, fasting may refer to (1) the metabolic status of a person who has not eaten overnight, and (2) to the metabolic state achieved after complete digestion and absorption of a meal. Several metabolic adjustments occur during fasting, and some diagnostic tests are used to determine a fasting state. For example, a person is assumed to be fasting after 8–12 hours. Metabolic changes toward the fasting state begin after absorption of a meal (typically 3–5 hours after a meal); "post-absorptive state" is synonymous with this usage, in contrast to the "post-prandial" state of ongoing digestion. A diagnostic fast refers to prolonged fasting (from 8–72 hours depending on age) conducted under observation for investigation of a problem, usually hypoglycemia. Finally, extended fasting has been recommended as therapy for various conditions by health professionals of most cultures, throughout history, from ancient to modern.

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