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What is a cytokine storm?

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What are Cytokines and Cytokine Storm?

A cytokine storm (cytokine cascade, hypercytokinemia) is an uncontrolled inflammation that damages the body's own tissues. In the fight against the virus, immune cells secrete special substances - cytokines. These are low molecular weight proteins of activated cells of the immune system that provide intercellular interactions. Cytokines, in particular, include interferons, interleukins, chemokines, tumor necrosis factors, etc. Today, scientists know more than a hundred cytokines.

These proteins act according to the relay principle: the effect of a cytokine on a cell causes the formation of other cytokines by it, if the reaction of the immune system is very violent, a so-called cytokine storm occurs: activated immune cells produce more and more portions of these proteins.

Of all infectious diseases, observations of a cytokine storm are especially common in influenza.

What happens as a result of a cytokine storm?

First, the virus massively infects cells that it is able to penetrate, multiplies in them, then leaves the cells and spreads further. In this case, the cells die, and in response to this, a protective reaction of the immune system is activated, which is expressed in the excessive release of cytokines and uncontrolled inflammation.

During a cytokine storm, the tissues of the inflammatory focus are destroyed, the immune system begins to work at its maximum power to fight the infection, and as a result, the inflammation spreads to neighboring tissues. Over time, a cytokine storm engulfs the entire body, and everything can end in the death of the patient.

What are the signs of a cytokine storm?

A condition called a cytokine storm is manifested by fever, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, pain in various parts of the body, and a decrease in oxygen levels in the blood. In the analyzes, you can see cytopenia (a decrease in the number of cells), lymphopenia (a decrease in the number of lymphocytes), an increased level of ferritin.

Patients with COVID-19 in this condition have high levels of interleukin-2 (IL), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). In half of the cases, lung damage occurs, therefore, artificial ventilation of the lungs is necessary, as well as therapy for sepsis and regulation of the release of cytokines.

Can a cytokine storm be stopped?

A cytokine storm can only be stopped in a clinic, but this is not always possible. During the production of a huge amount of cytokines, multiple organ failure can occur and, as a result, the patient's death. Hypercytokinemia is one of the causes of death during influenza; a number of scientists explain the cytokine storm, in particular, the large number of victims among young people during the Spanish flu epidemic - the 1918 flu pandemic.

As the research results show, it is necessary to determine the time of the beginning of such a storm in time, and this can be done only with the help of a blood test. In the current coronavirus pandemic, doctors are using various drugs, in particular, tocilizumab and hydroxychloroquine (immunosuppressants), which tend to muffle the activity of specific cytokines.

History and origins

The most famous legend about the origin of the mineral is associated with the Greek son of the king Hyacinth. He, being a very handsome young man, enjoyed the favor of the god of arts Apollo and the god of the south winds Zephyr. During the discus throwing competition, Zephyr deflected the flying disc with his wind so that Apollo would not win the argument. The disc hit Hyacinth's head, and he died.

Hyacinth

In memory of him, Apollo turned the drops of the young man's blood into luxurious flowers, which, petrified, turned into precious stones. For a long time in Syracuse, in July in honor of Hyacinth, the holiday of Hyacinth was celebrated for 3 days.

According to an ancient Indian legend, this mineral came to our era from the country of Lemuria, which was located on the site of the Indian Ocean and mystically disappeared. The mineral was called "rahuratka" and was used as a magical amulet with which it was possible to appease the dragon causing solar eclipses.

The first mentions date back to the 4th century AD. e. Until the 18th century, there was no correct classification of gems, and all stones differed only in color: red were considered rubies or garnets, blue were considered sapphires, green were emeralds, lilac were amethysts, and all orange were hyacinths. Only in the middle of the 18th century, the scientist A.G. Werner singled out hyacinth as a separate gem as a type of zircon.

In ancient Russian books, he is referred to as Iacinth or Yakint.

In Russia, jewelry made of hyacinths in gold and silver settings was worn not only by rich people and nobles, but also by common people, using becheta beads made of low-quality stones.

In the New Testament, hyacinth is mentioned as number 11 of the 12 stones that adorn the base of the wall of Heavenly Jerusalem, the Christian religion dedicated the pink hyacinth to the Apostle Simeon.

Crystal Hyacinth

Hyacinth is a dual mineral, it can activate the best qualities of a person, strengthen friendship, help get out of the state of melancholy and melancholy, and can provoke aggression, make people quarrel with each other. Since ancient times, it has been treated with extreme caution.

Physicochemical properties

In terms of chemical composition, hyacinth is a type of zircon. Formed, like all zircons, in the form of crystals.

FormulaZr [SiO4]
ColorRed-brown, yellow, yellow-red
ShineStrong glass or diamond
TransparencyTransparent
Hardness7—7,5
CleavageImperfect
BreakCancer, very fragile
Density3.9-4.8 g / cm³

Place of extraction

The mineral forms under various conditions and its shape depends on the conformity of other rocks. In a tight space, crystals stretch out, and where there is free territory, twin crystals or whole druses grow.

The largest crystals can be seen in pegmatite veins. Depending on the deposit, the stones have different colors and sizes.

Deposits in different countries

ColorThe country
Transparent, red, orange, pink, yellowSri Lanka, Thailand
Opaque crystals with transparent areas for processingCanada
RedFrance
Red, mined with sapphireMadagascar
BrownMozambique
Red brown, yellow brown, deep red, orange
Australia
Orange brownBrazil
RedGermany
Orange brown
USA

Deposits in Russia

ColorField area
Yellow-brown, goldenTransbaikalia
Brown, pinkish yellowYakutia
TransparentMiddle Urals, Kornilov Log mine
Yellowish orange, red brown, redSouthern Urals, Cherry and Ilmen mountains
Orange yellow, red brownPrimorye
Yellowish orange, reddish brownOmsk region
Honey yellowKola Peninsula
Processed hyacinth

Deposits of this stone have also been found in Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine.

Varieties and colors

The color palette of the stone is quite diverse. He might be:

  • brown,
  • yellow,
  • Orange,
  • red,
  • blood red
  • blue.

The most valuable are the red-orange and blue minerals.

In such a science as color science and coloristics, one of the shades of red is called "hyacinth".

The color of the stone is determined by impurities and additives. If there are impurities of iron oxides, a yellow color is formed, manganese gives all shades of red and pink, iron stains the stone brown, thanks to chromium, dark blood-red shades appear.

Characteristics of stones by color

  1. Red hyacinth. Transparent, deep red with deep shine. It is believed that it is he who has a therapeutic effect on the heart system. Marriage strengthens married couples. When heat treated, red hyacinths become transparent like diamonds. Such samples were called "imperfect diamond" - "Diamant brut". This was often used by fraudsters, passing off such crystals as diamonds.

Red hyacinth Blood red hyacinth. It has a dense dark red color, has a lower degree of transparency, relieves of causeless anxiety and fear.

Blood red hyacinth Yellow hyacinth. The crystal is transparent, light, with a honey tint, has the ability to soothe, relieve irritation, immerse you in a contemplative state, can awaken sympathy in other people, and also stimulates the liver.

Yellow hyacinth Orange hyacinth. Transparent, saturated sunny color, gives strength, promotes creativity, gives rise to dreams and hopes for the best.

Orange hyacinths Blue and cornflower blue hyacinths are very rare, one in several thousand. However, with the help of firing, the natural brown color changes and becomes blue and blue. The stone helps with diseases of the pancreas.

Blue hyacinth

Some unscrupulous jewelers take advantage of the mineral's ability to radically change color and pass off ordinary hyacinth as a rare species. Roughly speaking, this is not considered a fake, but the price rises sharply.

In the past, it was no less valuable than diamonds and emeralds.

The healing properties of hyacinth

In ancient times, hyacinth was endowed with a large number of medicinal properties.

It was believed that the stone can protect against poisoning and save during epidemics of plague, cholera, protect from evil spirits and terrible dreams. The healing properties were manifested in the event that an amulet is created from a mineral.

Each pharmacy sold a hyacinth mixture made from medicinal plants and crushed hyacinth. It was prescribed for almost all diseases.

  1. For the overflow of luster inside the stone, it was compared with the eyes of a lynx and was considered a stone that helps with blindness and the development of cataracts. With its help, people hoped to return the same visual acuity as the lynx, which perfectly orientates itself in complete darkness and can, according to the hunters, see the tiniest stars in the sky. In ancient recipes from monastic books of the 12th century, it is written that "if the hyacinth is heated in the sun, then, moistened with saliva, applied to the eyes, then it will help those whose eyes are darkened, cloudy or heavily swollen."
  2. Hyacinth has been used as a remedy for emotional balance, treatment of melancholy, melancholy, stress and nervous tension. For patients suffering from hallucinations and mental illnesses, there was another medieval recipe: "you need to hold a hyacinth on warm wheat bread, eat that bread, and the patient will be cured."
  3. He was credited with hypnotic properties, it was enough to put it under the pillow or near the bed. He banished insomnia and nightmares.
  4. With the help of hyacinth, wounds were healed. In magical treatises, it is described that hyacinth can stop blood if the wound was not inflicted by stone or iron.
Amulet with hyacinth

Hyacinth is considered a universal healing stone for the body:

  • improves the functioning of the heart and circulatory system,
  • heals the liver,
  • facilitates digestion,
  • helps with skin diseases,
  • cleanses the body of toxins,
  • normalizes the thyroid gland.

Women used hyacinth as a unique means of preserving youth, especially if the hyacinth was inserted into earrings. It helps fight fine wrinkles and dry skin, removes excess water from the body and reduces weight.

In addition, the stone prevents unwanted pregnancy, so those who are expecting a baby should not wear it in order to avoid a miscarriage.

The magical properties of hyacinth

The magical properties were attributed to hyacinth primarily due to the double refraction of rays inside the stone. Powerful energy can be good or bad. Moroccan sorcerers still use stone to make amulets, amulets, and as a means for spells.

Red geacinth

It was considered the stone of unhappy love, and unmarried girls are still afraid to wear it as jewelry so as not to lose their fiancé or beloved.

He was credited with the ability not to burn in fire and even extinguish the flame, and fabrics acquired fireproof properties if they were wrapped in hyacinth.

It was believed that he patronized merchants and travelers, protecting them from trouble along the way, making them prudent and careful. The red crystal attracted money and good luck in business.

The best amulet, which even protected from lightning, was considered an uncut hyacinth, which was worn on a simple cord in a small pouch around the neck.

Eastern magicians believed that hyacinth promotes the development of intelligence and intuition and is recommended to philosophers and poets.

For those who have everything in life well, it is better not to wear this stone, it is suitable for people in times of failure and loss. When the life situation returns to normal, you can remove and hide these jewelry.

Hyacinth and zodiac signs

The stone has a dual reputation, and for some signs of the zodiac it will be an assistant and support, while others are categorically contraindicated. The stone should not be worn constantly, it is quickly saturated with the energy of the owner. Therefore, it must be immersed in a crystal glass with clean water for several days for cleansing, the water must be poured out.

Zodiac signCompatibility
Aries+
calf+
Twins+
Cancer+
a lion+
Virgo+
Libra+
Scorpio+
Sagittarius+
Capricorn+++
Aquarius+
Fish+

("+++" - fits perfectly, "+" - can be worn, "-" - absolutely contraindicated)

Compatibility with other stones

Compatibility with other stonesStones
Combines wellWhite pearls, beryl, agate, turquoise, emerald, sapphire, coral, carnelian, amethyst
Neutral combinationCarnelian, golden topaz
Doubtful combinationRock crystal, jasper, moonstone, garnet, opal, aquamarine
Prohibited combinationOnyx, obsidian, malachite, sardonyx, marcasite

Hyacinth cannot be combined with any of the alexandrite stones. It is desirable that the decoration contains an odd number of stones, this attracts happiness and good luck.

Jewelers select gems for jewelry and according to the rules of stone color combinations.

  • cassettes are combined only with transparent stones, for example, diamonds,
  • yellow stones are not combined with blue and purple,
  • blue gems cannot be combined with orange and yellow gems.

It is better to frame this mineral in gold or silver.

Copper and its alloys neutralize the protective and medicinal properties of hyacinth. Yellow and brown stones look best in gold, while red and blue stones look better in silver.

Application area

Hyacinth is used to make a variety of jewelry. The stone is strong enough and not sensitive to heat, so there are no particular difficulties in processing it.

Hyacinth jewelry

It is cut with a brilliant cut, but most often they are cut in the form of a cabochon or beads that have no facets.

This makes it possible to effectively show the double refraction of the rays in the gem.

The surface of the stone can be damaged from daily wear, so it is set in a blind frame. To protect against damage, it is better to use hyacinth in earrings and pendants. In pendants, it can be framed and as an independent decoration.

Rings and signet rings are a fairly common adornment with hyacinth. Depending on the color of the stone and its size, you can choose an interesting option for both men and women.

The options in the form of a necklace or bracelet are especially interesting. As a rule, these are works of authorship.

All products with hyacinths look very impressive and expensive.

How to distinguish a fake

When purchasing a product with hyacinth, you need to know some subtleties that will help you not to buy a fake. Take a 10x magnifier with you to the store.

  1. Real stone has flawless clarity and diamond shine. Blotches, streaks, cracks and other defects are not allowed.
  2. The cut should be smooth without roughness, scratches and chips.
  3. The color of the stone is even and saturated, the crystal is evenly colored, it is completely impossible to imitate the color of a natural stone.
  4. Natural stone is always cold to the touch, unlike glass, which reaches room temperature.
Ring with hyacinth

Artificial synthetic crystal cubic zirconia, despite its external resemblance, has nothing to do with hyacinth and is not a precious stone. Confusion arises when the English name for cubic zirconia is used - "zirconium cube".

You need to buy such expensive jewelry only in specialized stores, where they can submit a certificate for the product.

How to wear and care

All gemstones need proper care and storage. This is especially important for the hyacinth.

  1. It should not be exposed to the sun for a long time, it should not be brought close to the fire, otherwise it will lose its transparency and shine and become dull. It is possible to restore the shine by strongly heating the stone in an acidic environment, although jewelers claim that it is impossible to restore the original color.
  2. Contact with water and humid environment is undesirable.
  3. The stone is cleaned with a soft cloth made from natural materials; cleaning agents are not allowed.
  4. It is necessary to carefully care for the frame in accordance with the recommendations for this metal (care for gold and silver is different).
  5. It is better to store these jewelry in a separate box.

Good time to buy

It is recommended to purchase hyacinth on the sixth day of the lunar month after the new moon. The sixth lunar day is a day of calmness and absence of danger, one of the most favorable days of the lunar calendar.

When buying jewelry, you need to pay attention to your intuition and choose a stone to which you are "drawn".

Start

In the early period of pneumonia associated with coronavirus, there is a local pulmonary inflammation, which increases thrombosis of small vessels and small hemorrhages in organ tissue. The patient has:

  • temperature rise (see temperature features with covid),
  • chest congestion, discomfort in it,
  • dry cough or with a small amount of sputum (transparent or purulent when bacteria attach, see what a cough can be with covid),
  • shortness of breath (with covid).

All these signs fit into the clinic of viral or viral-bacterial pneumonia with respiratory failure (respiratory rate> 22, saturation Acute takes from 2 to 5 days and can be safely resolved on oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation.

  • With an unfavorable course, a subacute phase of inflammation may develop. It delays respiratory support or leads to poor outcomes.
  • The chronic variant is fibrosing alveolitis - the cause of scarring in the lungs and the shutdown of part of them from work. This leads to chronic respiratory failure (shortness of breath on exertion or at rest, see pulmonary fibrosis after covid).
  • In the final stage, the lungs no longer function and cannot even master the oxygen supplied by the apparatus (a respirator mask from a balloon or a ventilator). Additionally, thrombosis can lead to infarction of internal organs (myocardium, spleen). The patient may die without the addition of a bacterial infection (see. Real statistics of mortality from covid according to Rosstat).

    Symptoms

    How does a cytokine storm manifest? In fact, this is a clinic for acute respiratory failure. On what day it will develop from the onset of covid pneumonia and whether it will develop at all depends on the individual characteristics of the organism, concomitant pathologies, and medications taken.

    More often it 8-14 days from the beginning of the clinic. In patients with bronchial asthma on maintenance therapy with inhaled glucocorticoids, this variant of covid is statistically less common. Young healthy men suffer from it more often.

    • increased breathing> 30-40,
    • feeling of lack of air, impossibility of full inhalation,
    • noisy breathing with the participation of the accessory muscles of the chest,
    • forced sitting position with support on hands,
    • cyanosis of the skin,
    • excitement, followed by lethargy or loss of consciousness.

    In children, the analogue of the cytokine storm of adults is multisystem inflammatory syndrome (see symptoms of covid in a child).

    Laboratory indicators

    • leukocytes below 3 * 10 9 g / l,
    • lymphocytes 40 pg / ml,
    • C-reactive protein> 75 mg / ml,
    • increase in D-dimer by 4 or more times,
    • increase in ferritin> 500 ng / ml,
    • shortening of APTT,
    • a significant increase in fibrinogen,
    • increase in AlAT, AsAT, LDH.

    How long such a failure lasts depends on the success of the therapy. With the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome every 2-3 days until stable stable levels are obtained, it is necessary to control D-dimer, ferritin, fibrinogen, CRP, LDH.

    Therapy

    • Treatment with hydroxychloroquine is not justified in severe and extremely severe forms of covid (including a cytokine storm), since its harm to the heart in high doses will negate all the benefits of suppressing excessive immunity.
    • It is possible to use anticovid plasma in the first week from the development of symptoms of respiratory distress syndrome.
    • The drug of choice for suppressing the high reactivity of the immune system is glucocorticoid. Methylprednisolone or intravenous dexamethasone can be used to treat cytokine storms. In the future, they switch to maintenance doses in tablets. Glucocorticoids are combined with indirect anticoagulants.
    • Prevention of multiple organ failure against the background of a cytokine storm is carried out with interleukin inhibitors (tocilizumab, sarilumab or canakinumab).
    • For rapid relief of the cytokine storm, tocilzumab is administered intravenously in conjunction with a glucocorticoid.
    • Infusion therapy (10-15 ml / kg per day) in the ICU, oxygen therapy in the prone position (lying on the stomach) for 12-16 hours a day, mechanical ventilation according to indications (any two of three signs: impaired consciousness, saturation 35 per minute ).

    How to avoid a cytokine storm? Do not self-medicate at home, if you suspect covid or its symptoms, seek qualified medical help, follow the recommendations of your doctor (see the consequences of covid for the body after illness and rehabilitation after covid).

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