Archive for  February 2016

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7

Smoking kills. That is a fact.

And we get information on the harmful effects of smoking everywhere – from television to wall posters to cigarette packages. But non-smokers should also be forewarned because they may be inhaling as much nicotine and tar as a smoker does.

Secondhand smoke, also called environmental tobacco smoke or ETS, is the tobacco smoke inhaled by a non-smoker. Secondhand smoke is very harmful because it contains almost 40 carcinogenic substances in addition to numerous toxins that go directly to a non-smoker’s lungs.

Secondhand smoke has a string of adverse effects for both the young and old. Young children are especially vulnerable because they breathe more air relative to body weight. They are also less able to complain because of their age when they feel limited and ignored. Their immune systems are also relatively less protective.

For children under 18, the following are just few of the adverse health effects that secondhand smoke brings:

  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Additional episodes of asthma
  • Decreased lung function
  • Meningococcal infections
  • More fluid in the middle ear
  • Upper respiratory tract irritation
  • Lower respiratory tract infections
  • Severe asthmatic symptoms
  • Minimized flow of oxygen to tissues
  • Tonsillectomy
  • Cancers and leukemia
  • Slower growth
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Adverse neurobehavioral effects
  • Higher cholesterol levels and heart disease

Pregnant women should not only quit smoking, but also avoid inhaling secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke has different adverse effects on pregnant women, especially to the fetus. It deprives the fetus of vital nutrients and oxygen, which could lead to the following conditions:

  • Intrauterine growth retardation or low birth weight
  • Behavioral problems
  • Deficient intellectual ability
  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • Reduced lung function
  • Pregnancy complications

So, the next time the person next to you lights a cigarette, always politely assert your right to clean and fresh air. Stay away from smoking areas. Keep in mind that you have every right to protect your health in as much as they have their right to destroy their health.

6

The problem on air pollution is starting to seriously affect the lives of many people in the world. Let us all work together to be able to prevent air pollution from totally ruining our lives.

Understanding the Current Situation

A recent United Nations report confirms our worst fears. Pollution of our air and water is rising to alarming levels, and with rising human activity, it is bound to get even worse. Smog in highly urbanized areas pose a threat to children and the elderly, and airborne substances have been shown time and again to possess cancer-causing agents.

Air pollution also causes a rise in respiratory illnesses that claim many lives each year. Moreover, this impairs the immune system of the rest of the population, causing more frequent bouts with diseases and leading to less productivity.

Air Pollutants

Common air pollutants include nitrogen dioxide and particulates. Emitted mainly by vehicles, nitrogen dioxide is associated with respiratory infections in children, especially asthmatics, and causes substantial damage to the respiratory system over time. It also sensitizes people, making them prone to asthma. Moreover, it is associated with an increased risk for heart disease.

Particulates, on the other hand, increase the risk of dying from heart and lung-related diseases. They also cause increased hospitalizations for chronic obstructive diseases. They reduce lung function in children and increase the risk for respiratory symptoms.

How to Minimize Air Pollution

While legislative measures are important in regulating pollution, individuals can contribute immensely in improving the quality of the air they breathe. Adjustments in one’s lifestyle, when multiplied among hundreds and thousands of individuals, can make a dent in improving air quality. An important adjustment could be made by lessening the use of cars, or by cycling or walking instead, in order to accomplish simple tasks like going to the corner store. Carpools could be arranged among neighbors in bringing and fetching children to school and in traveling to the workplace. The use of mass transport, like the train system, is also encouraged in going from one place to another. You can use your car, and park it near the office, and use the mass transport when dining out.

Little sacrifices are expected of individuals in order to have better air to breathe. As someone says, quality air begets a quality life.

5

Having allergies is not easy. It can be irritating, troublesome, and very inconvenient, especially if they attack at the wrong time.

One would have to always watch out for things to which he is allergic so that he can avoid taking them in and hence avoid triggering the allergic reaction. Sometimes, because of the annoyance that these allergic reactions bring, one gets attracted to taking drugs or medication which addresses their allergies. Note, however, that there are many alternative ways of alleviating allergic conditions the naturally and without resorting to artificially and commercially made drugs.

Ways to Ease Allergic Reactions

The basic answer to the problem is to heal the problem at its root. Hiding or masking the problem through taking with drugs will only make matters worse. Moreover, one should not take or accept having allergies as a way of life and merely tolerate it. Steps must be taken in order to heal the problem in the first place so that no further irritation could arise.

The available options for one who has allergies typically depend on the source of the allergy. For example, if one is allergic to certain foods, there are only two options: either he heals the problem at the root cause or he takes the easy way out by taking pharmaceutical drugs. As stated above, merely taking drugs is not dealing with the problem at all, because drugs merely mask the problem. The allergy remains. It is not addressed. One would most probably only become dependent on the drug, to the extent that without it there might be an increased sensitivity to the allergic reaction.

On the other hand, the first option would be the better one in terms of long-term solutions. This solution simply involves getting information about the source of the allergy, or what triggers it. From there, it is easy to consult a doctor so that he can address the digestive or immune system malfunction that results after the ingestion of such trigger.

It is important that the immune system of the person be restored to its properly functioning state, so that he can easily fend off his allergies without the dependence on artificial drugs. A lot of anecdotal evidence also supports the supposition that this option leads to an array of health benefits which follow from proper digestion and functioning of the body.

4

Do you have food allergies? Can you not enjoy your favorite foods because they cause irritating reactions? Here are some ways on how you can treat and cope with food allergies.

The best treatment for food allergies is to avoid the food itself or those containing it. Make it a habit therefore to read food labels before ingesting or eating them. Make the necessary inquiry with your doctor or with allergy organizations on the lists of safe and unsafe foods for your allergic reaction type. Furthermore, there may also be times that you are not only to avoid the food itself, but would also avoid food processed in the same factory or such food that may have had contact with the ingredient or food that you are allergic to. In this you would have to do additional research or may simply give attention to those little warnings in some packaged food as to what other products the company is manufacturing.

If you are highly susceptible to allergic reactions, whether it be the mild on or the sever one, be sure to have an emergency plan. If you experience an allergic reaction, remain calm and keep focused on your plan. A good plan will provide for you the immediate steps that you would do to contain your reaction. It will give you instructions on whom to tell, where to go and which medications to take. This kind of plan is most needed in cases of severe allergic reactions that may involve anaphylaxis or simultaneous physical problems, in which case a shot of epinephrine may be needed. Have a plan as to who would be handling this shot for you and who would be administering it in case of an allergic attack.

Remember however, and be sure that the person who would administer your epinephrine knows it as well, that after the epinephrine you need to be taken to the hospital for your reaction to be observed and monitored. Aside from your epinephrine shot you might also want to keep an antihistamine handy.

Even though having allergies may be a drag, there are now ways of coping better to its demands. By being more aware on ingredients and food product contents you can steer clear of foods or related ingredients that may trigger your allergic reactions. Aside from this, this modern age has also shown its adaptability by lending a helping hand to consumers like you. Nowadays, food companies are more aware and sensitive to their consumers varying tastes; fortunately, even with their susceptibility to allergic reactions this will explain their noticeable efforts at creating good substitute ingredients and food products for the most common causes of food allergies.

3

When you have food allergies, your immune system that usually protects you from the various diseases will somehow falter and an allergic reaction will ensue. The most common occurrences of allergic reaction in the United States involves ingestion of the some of the following; peanuts and other nuts, soy, eggs, wheat, milk and seafood.

Common Allergic Reactions

The range of the allergic reactions manifestation could be from a very mild one to the most severe. It can happen right away, immediately after eating or several hours after. Some clues that could alert you to possible allergic reactions are the presence of itchy skin rashes, runny nose, cough, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, hoarseness of voice, tingling sensation of the tongue or lips, pains in the stomach and tightness of throat. In the most severe instances, it can cause anaphylaxis or an allergic reaction characterized by the commencement of several problems simultaneously with one another, in which case, it can affect breathing, the heart, digestion process, the skin and even the blood vessels. In this case also the blood pressure can drop alarmingly, the tongue may swell and the breathing tubes will become narrow. Persons susceptible to this kind of reaction would need to be very cautious and extra careful in ingesting food or medications. They need to have specific emergency plans and handy special medications for potential occurrence of allergies.

Studies have shown that there are some allergies that can be outgrown. However, there are those, like in peanuts and some types of seafood, which will be permanent.

Determining Allergies

How will you know if you have allergies? There may be instances that you will discover your allergies easily, like if after eating a particular food, rashes soon appear. But in reality, it is not always as easy, since most food have many ingredients it could be quite tricky to figure out which one caused the allergic reaction.

Dealing with Allergies

If you start experiencing any of the symptoms, seek the help of a doctor. You may go straight to an allergy specialist or your personal doctor may direct you to one. The allergy specialist will inquire about your past reactions to certain foods, about how long it took for the rashes to appear from your taking in of the food, and he or she may also inquire as to your family allergy history. He may also do a skin test to see how your body reacts to small amounts of those foods that causes your reactions. Some allergy specialist may also take some blood samples from you to be mixed with some substance or food that you may be allergic to. Remember that you should not imitate these tests at home; the allergy test is only for the doctor to administer and should only be done in the doctor’s office.

10

Do you want to be ready when your child gets chickenpox? Do you want to be able to treat him or her properly so his condition may not worsen? Here are some facts you need to know and remember about chickenpox.

What Happens on the Onset of Chickenpox?

Chickenpox may start as a cold. You might experience runny or stuffy nose coupled with sneezing and coughing. Only after two days will the rash begin its development, first as bunches on your chest and face. From these places it can spread quickly over the whole body. Remember that the number of pox that will appear is different for every person; some may just get a few bumps, while some may be entirely covered from head to toe. Aside from these rashes, some individuals could also experience stomachaches and fever.

Initially the rash will look like pinkish dots; eventually, it will become a small blister that fills up with fluid. These blisters will show up in waves, that as soon as some begin to crust over, the next group will immerse. Usually, by the end of the seventh day these new chickenpox will stop appearing, but there may be cases when it come stop as early as the day three. In a week’s time basically all the blisters will start to heal.

The Spread of Chickenpox on the Body

The fact that chickenpox is contagious is undeniable. Its ability to spread to others is at its peak during the first two to five days from the day the person started to feel sick. In other words, it is about a day or two before the commencement of the rashes. Hence, it may be that you are already spreading chickenpox without knowing it. Chickenpox may be spread by coughing or sneezing. Even mere talking can pass chickenpox to others. Since when one opens his or her mouth to talk, tiny drops come out of the mouth and nose, and these drops are laden with the chickenpox virus. In the process anyone may easily breathe in these drops or get them in their hands and this is how the infection starts and spreads.

How to Deal with Chickenpox

It is a fact that the chickenpox blisters can be so itchy that it could drive you to scratching it. Keep cool and be strong, remember that by scratching them you can get yourself infected and could open your immune system to germs. But most of all, it will only cause your blisters to become permanent scars.

Here are some things you can do to help you control yourself from scratching. Keep cool because heat and sweat greatly contributes to the itch. Trim your nails so that if you scratch it will tear the blister. While soaking in a lukewarm bath put in some oatmeal, it will decrease the itching. Finally, apply calamine lotion it will also relieve the itch.