February 15, 2017

The Horrible Effects of Soda on your Health

In the United States, the average person drinks 57 gallons of soda per person every year [1]. Sugary drinks have many negative effects on a person’s health. Soda has an extremely high sugar content, which causes frequent changes in blood sugar levels and stress on your pancreas to produce insulin. Drinking soda is pleasing because it causes your body to produce dopamine which “stimulates the pleasure centers of [the] brain… just like a low-grade line of cocaine” [1].

Furthermore, the consumption of sugary drinks like soda has a direct link to obesity. A typical soda bottle contains about 15 to 18 tea spoons of sugar and over 240 calories. The matter is compounded after consumption of a soft drink, as people tend to still be hungry. This is the definition of “empty calories” because people do not feel full from drinking a soda, unlike if they were to consume 240 calories of food. Since these people will likely consume food as well, the extra calories only add to the obesity epidemic. Harvard researchers have found out that for “each additional 12 ounce soda children consumed each day, the odds of becoming obese increased by 60%” [2]. Additionally, they concluded that increased sugar intake in the form of liquids also increases the chances of heart attacks and has a significant impact on an individual’s cardiovascular health.

Most soft drinks also contain corn syrup, which is high in fructose. Intake of this substance causes greater chances of metabolic syndrome, heart attacks, and diabetes. Soda consumption also limits the availability of potassium due to the increased intake of sodium preservatives. Therefore, this may increase the risk of asthma and eczema [1]. With all these risks, an innocent can of sugary soda with dinner may lead to many more problems.
[1] Soft drink Dangers: 8 Ways Soda Negatively Affects Your Health. Olson, Samantha. Medical Daily. Retrieved From: http://www.medicaldaily.com/pulse/soft-drink-dangers-8-ways-soda-negatively-affects-your-health-319054

[2] Sugary drinks and Obesity Fact Sheet. Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health. Retrieved from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/sugary-drinks-fact-sheet/

February 1, 2017

Pregnancy Complications May Indicate Future Health Risks

Filed under: health,pregnancy — Tags: , , , , , , , — nirochabrun @ 5:30 pm

Developing gestational diabetes during a pregnancy can usually be treated with proper care and maintenance. However, new research shows that complications like gestational diabetes, as well as other pregnancy complications, may affect a woman’s health later on in life [1].

The research showed that women who develop high blood pressure or diabetes during a pregnancy are at risk of developing some form of a cardiovascular disease, diabetes or hypertension later in life. The study points out the fact that a woman is under a lot of stress during a pregnancy and showing other conditions indicates that she may be at risk. Complications during a pregnancy can be considered a warning for chronic problems that may develop later on in their lives. To avoid these situations there are a number of things women can do to take preventative measures.

For instance, eating healthy is a perfect place to start. Limiting junk food and using more wholesome ingredients are excellent ways to add nutrition to your diet. Additionally, exercising and maintain a healthy weight contributes well to a healthy lifestyle. Lastly, having routine check-ups and consistently making efforts to maintain your health is an optimal goal that one can set to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

[1] Can Pregnancy Problems Signal Future Health Risks? Dallas, Mary Elizabeth. WebMd. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20160926/can-pregnancy-problems-foretell-future-health-risks

January 19, 2017

COPD: What is the Danger of Breathing Troubles?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a group of progressive lung diseases that cause trouble breathing. According to the COPD foundation, nearly 30 million people are affected with this disease in the United States. Many do not realize that they may suffer from this condition because early symptoms usually include coughing and breathlessness, which is easy to mistake for a normal part of aging.

This disease is better understood when one learns the process in which the human body exchanges oxygen between the lungs and blood. This process begins when the inhaled air travels through the bronchial tubes (airways). Next it makes its way through the bronchioles– branches of the bronchial tubes– into the alveoli, which are sacs surrounded by blood capillaries. When the air reaches the alveoli the capillaries of the pulmonary arteries absorb the oxygen and the excess carbon dioxide and extraneous gasses are exhaled. The alveoli are elastic organs which allows them to inflate and deflate as air is breathed in and out.

One of the most common reasons for why people develop COPD in older age is the loss of elasticity in the alveoli. Additionally, the swelling of airways and excretion of mucus can also indicate developing COPD. A tightness in the chest and frequent colds or infections are symptoms which indicate the development of this disease. It is important that a person over the age of 65 is aware of this disease because many of the symptoms may be mistaken for a less severe illness. The course of treatment will be better optimized if there is an early diagnosis of COPD.

Sources:

COPD vs. Emphysema: What’s the difference? Fletcher, Judith. Medical News Today. Retrieved from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314803.php

What is COPD? COPD Foundation. Retrieved from: http://www.copdfoundation.org/What-is-COPD/Understanding-COPD/What-is-COPD.aspx

COPD Overview. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/copd/home/ovc-20204882

December 21, 2016

Things You Need to Know About Acupuncture

Filed under: health — Tags: , , , , , , , , — jpestano @ 5:35 pm

acupuncture-1211182_960_720Typical treatments for pain can include a variety of medications or alternative therapies such as massage or physiotherapy. Acupuncture, which is a traditional Chinese therapy, has gained popularity in North America over the past few years. This therapy is based off of traditional Chinese philosophy and uses a unique approach – needles – to cure conditions related to the digestive, endocrine, immune and cardiovascular systems [1].

The core of this philosophy is based on energy being stimulated in the human body. Traditional Chinese medicine specialists believed that there is a continuous flow of energy in the body and if it was stopped it would result in complications in the above mentioned body systems. They intended to treat this by stimulating certain parts of the body with very fine sterile needles. The more specific procedure of what occurs during a typical session of acupuncture therapy is as follows:

  • The session should begin by the therapist examining the patient’s health history. Similar to any other type of treatment, it is vital that the professional knows about any conditions or interactions that may complicate the process.
  • Next the therapist may examine different attributes of the tongue for shape, color, and coating. This is due to the fact that traditional Chinese medication outlines certain parts of the body as acupoints, which are the best points to stimulate with needles.
  • Next the therapist evaluates the primal acupoints and notifies the patient when each point will be stimulated.

It is important to remember that the results of this treatment are highly relative and may vary person to person [2]. This is due to the variance in relief each person feels. Since it is hard to definitively determine the results of the treatment, it is a wise idea to consult people or read testimonials.

[1] How acupuncture can relieve pain and improve sleep, digestion and emotional well-being. UC San Diego: Center for Integrative Medicine. Retrieved from: http://cim.ucsd.edu/clinical-care/acupuncture.shtml

[2] Acupuncture. Medicine Net. Retrieved from: http://www.medicinenet.com/acupuncture/article.htm

December 7, 2016

What You Need To Know About Multiple Sclerosis

Orange Multiple Sclerosis ribbon painted on face

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease in the central nervous system of the human body. The disease causes an inflammation in the protective covering of the nerves, called myelin, and often causes permanent damage to this covering. The myelin sheath is what transmits nerve impulses through nerve fibers. If damaged, the ability for nerves to signal to each other may be compromised and cause irreversible disability.

Although researchers have spent many decades researching this condition, they have not been able to discover a concrete cause for this disease. As of now, there is still research that is being done in order to determine the lifestyle, environmental, genetic and biological factors that contribute to this complication. Studies have shown that MS is more common in women (3 times more likely) and of people with a northern European background. It is usually diagnosed between the ages of 15-40.

Furthermore, this disease can be classified into different types divided by patient experience. For instance, relapsing remitting MS, is the type of MS where patients face the inflammation in episodes of varied length (usually from a few days to a few months) followed by periods of recovery, where many symptoms return. This is the most common form of MS, affecting 85% of patients. Progressive MS is when the symptoms continually increase in magnitude and result in permanent loss of functions.

There is no proven cure for MS. However, there are many forms of treatment that are being researched and deliberated each day. Research is concentrated on the viability of potential therapies, improving imaging technology to understand the brain better, and learning more about cause and risk factors.

Sources:

What is MS? Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. Retrieved from: https://mssociety.ca/about-ms/what-is-ms

September 27, 2016

6 Things to Know About Prescription Medication

young pharmacist suggesting medical drug to buyer in pharmacy drugstorePrescription medications are usually required when one cannot treat an illness with over the counter medication. Prescription medications are prescribed by a patient’s doctor and their use is highly specific according to the patient. A prescription contains precise details in regards to dosage and instructions due to the danger of misusing the drugs. Here are some tips for you when going to the pharmacy to get your prescriptions filled:

  • Mornings are the best time to get prescriptions filled.

You will save time if you get your prescription filled in the morning because pharmacies are generally less busy earlier in the day. Pharmacists will have more time to counsel you on how to properly take medication during less hectic hours.

  • Ensure you know your medical history and it is accurate.

This is a vital step because both your pharmacist and your family physician should have access to accurate medical information to provide you with medication that is safe for you.

  • Double check that the medication you receive corresponds to the original prescription.

It may be hard to read a doctor’s handwritten prescription, so it is advisable to make sure that the medication you are receiving matches the original prescription your doctor wrote.

  • Take safety precautions if there are children in your household.

Keep medication out of reach of your children at all times. Pharmacies also offer child-resistant lids to fend off curious children.

  • Make sure you are getting the right dosage.

Ensure that you receive the appropriate measuring equipment, especially when receiving a liquid medication. It is not advisable that you rely on the volume of your teaspoon at home or estimating the amount of medication you need.

  • Ask about how to store your medication safely.

Find out how your medication is to be stored. Leaving it in a bathroom cabinet is a common habit, but unsafe in most cases. This is due to the increased humidity and heat in the bathroom, which has a tendency to break down the ingredients in medication.

July 12, 2016

The Definitive Guide to Using Online Pharmacies

medical factory  supplies storage indoor with workers peopleIt is a common misconception that online pharmacies are not deserving of the same level of trust and confidence as your local neighborhood pharmacy. These legitimate businesses are quickly becoming a convenient and private way to purchase medications. There are many tools that one can use to verify that the pharmacy they are ordering their medications from is a legitimate business.
Among them, PharmacyChecker.com is a very comprehensive and fool-proof method you can use to ensure that the medication you order comes at a bargain rate and the pharmacy you end up ordering from is a legitimate enterprise.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to purchase your medication from an online pharmacy and how to use Pharmacy Checker to ensure that the medication you get is safe to use:
1. Search your medication on PharmacyChecker.com

When you type in the name of your medication on Pharmacy Checker, you go through the process of narrowing your search. You begin with either choosing the brand name or generic medication. Next, you are led to a page that asks you the specific strength you wish to purchase.

2. Compare Prices

After selecting your strength, Pharmacy Checker uses web crawling technology to show the prices across a list of their approved pharmacies for your specific drug. The webpage will further specify the price per unit and quantity for the brand name or generic drug.

3. Select a Pharmacy

After looking through the general price range of your drug, take some time to educate yourself on the array of approved pharmacies on this website. You are able to access a profile for each pharmacy. This outlines their policies, procedures, contact information, and other specific information.

Your results will only include pharmacies that have all been given a seal of approval by Pharmacy Checker. In order to receive this seal each pharmacy meets a set of standards:

–  Uses licensed practitioners who achieved a license from a local licensing body

–  Will keep medical information private

–  Will keep financial information secure

–  Will require a prescription achieved by a consultation with your family physician

–  Discloses their contact information to their customers

Always make sure that the online pharmacy is legitimate before purchasing, as there are many fraudulent websites that may offer low quality prescription medication that can jeopardize your health.

August 26, 2010

Man Discovers a Bullet in His Head after 5 Years

Filed under: health — Tags: , , , , , , — patt @ 8:41 pm

After recurring pain in his head, the man decided to finally go and see a doctor to discover what the root of the problem was. He went in expecting the doctor to tell him he had a cyst, but discovered he had a .22 caliber bullet lodged in the back of his head.

The man said that he remembered being hit in the head during a 2004 or 2005 New Year’s party, but quickly dismissed the blow as anything serious, as he was intoxicated at the time. The wound from the bullet would eventually heal, covering the bullet and leaving a bump in the man’s head. Only recently did the man decide to finally get this bump examined.

Police are not treating this incident as anything suspicious as they say the bullet most likely came from celebratory gun shot into the air as people welcomed in the New Year. The bullet has been successfully removed and from the man’s head and he should be able to leave the hospital later this week.

August 23, 2010

Chalk River Nuclear Reactor Is Once Again Producing Medical Isotopes

Filed under: health — Tags: , , , , , , — patt @ 9:25 pm

The Chalk River nuclear reactor, in Ontario, Canada, is finally up and running once again. The reactor, which will turn 53 years old later this year, was shut down May 15, 2009, originally for a month of maintenance. However, the reactor would stay inactive for 15 months as several repairs were made, including a heavy water leak.

The lengthy closure of this facility sent much of the medical world scrambling. The nuclear reactor is responsible for producing a third of the world’s medical isotopes. By closing the production for over a year, the world experienced a global shortage of the important isotopes.

The isotopes produced from the reactor are used in many tests, including those to diagnose cancer and heart ailments. During the 15 months where the isotopes were in short supply, doctors were forced to reschedule procedures and push back treatments. Thankfully now, the reactor is running smoothly and is once again producing the very important medical isotopes.

Increased Risk of Asthma in Teens Linked to Tylenol

Filed under: Asthma — Tags: , , , , , , , , — patt @ 9:24 pm

Recently, a study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine discovered something rather alarming. The results of the study suggest that teenagers who take acetaminophen, better known as Tylenol, have a much higher risk of developing asthma, allergic nasal conditions, and eczema.

If you are thinking “I’ll be fine because I only take Tylenol once and a while,” then you are very wrong. The study showed that teens that used acetaminophen at least once per year were up to 43% more likely to have asthma. If you take acetaminophen every month than your risk increased 2 ½ times. Teens who took acetaminophen at least once a month were 99% more likely to have eczema. Nasal congestion was also linked to acetaminophen use.

I’m sure that further testing will have to occur in order to determine if there are any other risks, especially if Tylenol is still safe for teenagers. While I believe that Tylenol will still be considered safe, it is important to monitor these kinds of events in order to protect the public, especially those that may be more affected by the risks of commonly used medicines. Teens are greatly affected by many interactions during their growing and developmental stages. Because there are so many important changes during the teenage years, the safety of medications for this age group must be thoroughly tested, as any internal reactions, especially with drugs, can cause serious damage.

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