Zareen Thakor


Zareen is a fourth year Biology major at the University of California, Los Angeles. Aside from health and the life sciences, her passions include reading, creative writing, and traveling the world. She is a self-proclaimed fangirl, chocoholic, and master of sass--proceed with caution.

Zareen has written 27 post(s)

Two years ago, I met someone with a condition called dystonia. Even as someone with a science background, I had never heard of the disorder—in fact, I would not have noticed his illness without being told since the symptoms of dystonia are mostly controlled by medication. Because so much about the human brain has yet … Read More

Last August at the 2016 Rio Olympics, many health experts and participants alike had their eyes on the rapidly developing threat of the Zika virus. Prior to the start of the Olympics, the list of countries with active transmission included much of South and Latin America, as well as several Pacific Island nations. Some athletes took precautions; others skipped the … Read More

If you were asked to think of a few adjectives to describe actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “obese” would probably not be one of them. So not surprisingly, when Yahoo! Health released an article early last year stating that Johnson was in fact “technically obese,” it took the world by storm. How could a man … Read More

When it comes to the average case of acne, knowledge of how to subdue these pesky breakouts is fairly common—use a medicated facial cleanser, apply a cream, ask your dermatologist about oral antibiotics, and above all, don’t pick at your face! However, despite being nearly as prevalent, information about back and body acne often escapes discussion, … Read More

Appendicitis. It’s a diagnosis familiar to many, often heard after a loved one becomes hospitalized. Less common, however, is an understanding of what this condition—and the region of the body it affects—truly entails. Appendicitis is fairly common, affecting roughly one in 15 Americans at some point in their lives. It stems from inflammation of the … Read More

Sit up. Stand straight. Don’t slouch. These commands probably sound familiar to you, voiced many times over by a parent, guardian, or perhaps your very own mind. In that moment, you may have obliged only to sink back into your previous position soon after, if you didn’t shrug it off entirely to begin with. After … Read More

While modern society has attributed many social implications to crying, from the perspective of science, it is as natural as any other human bodily function. Tears are most often associated with an emotional response, but consider this: the system that makes you cry while watching a sad movie is the same one that causes your … Read More

Ask any woman—menstrual periods are a literal pain. Nonetheless, though the exact level of discomfort varies, the infamous cycle should never completely disrupt a daily routine. If you or a loved one suffers from extreme, debilitating abdominal pain around that time of the month, endometriosis may be to blame. Endometriosis arises when tissue akin to … Read More

Have you ever found yourself daydreaming about booking a flight to anywhere, almost drowning in the desire to explore the world and have an adventure? If so, you’ve experienced the phenomenon increasingly referred to as wanderlust, and don’t worry—you’re not alone. Wanderlust, originally a German word, is typically defined as “a strong desire or impulse … Read More

It is safe to say that at some point in time, you or someone you know has experienced the frustration of having a blistered lip. These blisters, commonly called cold sores or fever blisters, result in minor pain and irritation that people would certainly rather avoid altogether. But what causes cold sores in the first place? Cold … Read More

While some medical conditions manifest through visible physical effects, many others go entirely unnoticed at first glance. Among these “invisible illnesses” is irritable bowel syndrome, which results in a variety of gastrointestinal problems that, unbeknownst to the average person, make even the simplest daily tasks difficult. Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a digestive disorder … Read More

While donating blood is relatively simple and commonplace, the process of donating bone marrow is not nearly as well known. As a result, the need for bone marrow donors remains very high–someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer roughly every three minutes. Through this article, my goal is to explain the path of bone marrow donation, … Read More

Somewhere along the path to attaining optimal healthiness, we’ve all heard about calories—the importance of “counting calories”, the dangers of “empty calories”, and an overall fixation on this ambiguous unit that seems to have nothing to do with portion size. What is a calorie really, and how should calories be taken into account in your … Read More

Trans fats. You may have seen this term on the news, while surfing the web, or perhaps even on food packaging. Given the current rates of obesity and heart disease plaguing the United States, health professionals are zeroing in on the dangers of trans fats. What are these substances, you may be wondering, and why … Read More

When it comes to contraception, the options are practically limitless: gender-specific methods, invasive or non-invasive, medicinal or natural, one-time or extended use, and so on. In fact, there are so many types that couples often lack the proper knowledge to decide which method is right for them. In general, contraceptive methods typically involve an action taken by … Read More

On June 29, 2006, former Los Angeles Lakers player Lamar Odom’s son passed away. At just six months old, baby Jayden’s cause of death was one that must plague the minds of all parents, new and experienced—sudden infant death syndrome. Sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, involves the abrupt death of an otherwise healthy infant. … Read More

Bipolar disorder is a severe mental illness that is characterized by extreme mood swings. Also referred to as manic depression, bipolar disorder tends to be a chronic illness and requires the attention of a health professional. Exact causes of bipolar disorder have yet to be determined; however, genetics is believed to play a role. In … Read More

Unlike the majority of mental illnesses discussed in this series, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) primarily affects children. Fortunately, ADHD is very manageable with proper treatment and should not adversely impact the progression of a happy and healthy life. The exact causes of ADHD have not yet been pinpointed; however, genetics and environmental factors are believed … Read More

In my last article, I highlighted the general facets of the mental illness schizophrenia, including risk, symptoms, and behaviors. This week, I will delve deeper into potential causes of this disorder as well as the plethora of treatment options available for patients. As mentioned in part one, the direct causes of schizophrenia have yet to be … Read More

It is not uncommon to hear people describe themselves as “OCD”. Perhaps they clean their room often or organize rainbow candy by color before eating it. Although these behaviors are somewhat ritualistic in nature, they drastically downplay the symptoms of the mental illness known as OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Obsessive-compulsive disorder typically involves persistent, irrational … Read More

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