Archive for March, 2012


Natural Way to Treat a Cold or Flu

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Unfortunately there isn’t a cure for the common cold or flu.  The best we can do is treat to relief or help shorten the duration of the symptoms.  If the symptoms are severe it is best to contact your physician.  If medications are prescribed, make sure to complete the full regiment of medications, even if you begin to feel better.  For those less severe symptoms you may want to take a more natural approach.   Here are some suggestion:

Blow Your Nose Often. It’s important to blow your nose regularly when you have a cold rather than sniffling mucus back into your head. But when you blow hard, pressure can cause an earache. The best way to blow your nose: Press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other. Wash your hands after blowing your nose.

Get a Lot of Rest. Resting when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps your body direct its energy toward the immune battle. This battle taxes the body. So give it a little help by lying down under a blanket.

Gargle Several Times a Day.  Gargling can moisten sore throats and bring temporary relief. Try a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water, four times daily. Or steep one tablespoon of lemon juice in two cups of hot water; mix with one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling. Honey should never be given to children less than 1 year old.

Drink Plenty of Liquids.  Liquids helps prevent dehydration and helps the body flush out impurities.  Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion and can soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat.

Take a Shower.  Hot steamy showers moisturize your nasal passages, open up your pores and relax stiff and achy muscles.  Refrain from taking a shower if you are dizzy.

Hot or Cold Packs for Congested Sinuses.  Either temperature may help you feel more comfortable.  A damp washcloth heated in a microwave for 55 seconds (test the temperature first before placing on your face). Or take a small bag of frozen peas to use as a cold pack.

Use an Extra Pillow.  Elevating your head more will help with the drainage of nasal passages and help easycoughing.

Do Not Fly.  Flying with cold or flu congestion can hurt your eardrums as a result of pressure changes during takeoff and landing. If you must fly, use a decongestant and carry a nasal spray with you to use just before takeoff and landing. Chewing gum and swallowing frequently can also help relieve pressure.

Remember, serious conditions can masquerade as the common cold and a mild infection can evolve into something more serious. If you have severe symptoms or are feeling sicker with each passing day, see a doctor.

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No Antibiotics for Sinus Infections

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A new study published in the Journal of American Medical Association suggests that antibiotics such as amoxicillin, do no better on improving symptoms for sinusitis when compared to a placebo.   In this trial, one group was treated with an antibiotics while the other controlled group were given a placebo.  Each were given a 10 day course, after the third day both groups showed the same amount of recovery.

Most sinus infections are caused by a virus and antibiotics can’t cure or are not beneficial in the recovery of a sinus infection due to a virus.  Some sinus infection are caused by  bacteria where antibiotics can have an impact on the recuperation of the patient.  Unfortunately it is hard to differentiate between a sinus infection due to a virus or if it is bacterial.

With the continuing growth of drug resistant germs, physicians will need to become more diligent in the distribution of antibiotics.  Which will be an issue with some side effects since most ill patients expect to receive antibiotics as part of their treatment when visiting a physician.  Education and reforms need to be taken before a new phase of germs that can devastate the population, develop and are resistant to the current drugs we have now.

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Spider Bites

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As the weather begins to warm and we begin more activities outside, the potential of getting bitten by a spider increases.  Not all spiders are dangerous, in fact only two that are dangerous to humans are present in the contiguous United States, the black widow and brown recluse.

Both of these spiders prefer warm and dark places and often live in woodpiles, closets, under sinks and in undisturbed areas.  Most bites occur when moving rocks or pieces of wood that haven’t been moved in a long period of time.  Grasping the underside of these objects, where a spider might be living can increase the opportunity for a potential spider bite.

Black Widow

Though rarely lethal a black widow bite can be serious.  You can identify the black widow spider by the red hourglass marking on its belly.  The black widow spider bite is not painful at
first.  In fact, you may not even feel the bite.  Soon you will notice a bit of swelling and red marks developing.  If not treated immediately, intense pain will develop stiffness, chills, fever,
severe abdominal pain and vomiting will occur.

Brown Recluse

The brown recluse is identifiable by the violin shaped marking on its back and it can produce a mild sting when it bites.  Within a few hours local redness will develop at the bite site along with intense pain.  A fluid filled blister will develop and pop leaving a gaping ulcer in the skin.

If Bitten:

  • Clean the wound site with plain soap and water.
  • Tie a snug bandage just above the bite site and towards the heart to slow the progression of the venom.  DO NOT tie the bandage so tight that it cuts off circulation.
  • Apply a cold cloth or a bag of water and ice combined to the injured site.
  • Seek immediate medical attention.

The venom can cause a severe allergic reaction in some people.  Also child and the elderly may also have severe reactions to these bites which could lead to death.  Many other insect bites may look like a spider bite, but will not have the same severe reactions.  Play it safe, treat all insect bites seriously especially in the elderly and the very young and if the victims condition worsen, call 911 immediately.

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What Color Are Your Baby’s Eyes?

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Color of Baby eyes

Without even looking at your baby, I can guess the color of their eyes – they are blue. Most babies are born with blue eyes. You inherit the color of your eyes from your parents. Melanin is a
protein that produces the brown pigmentation for your hair, skin and eyes. This coloring protein has not been fully deposited into the babies eyes at birth and may take a while for it to fully develop, which then will change the color of their eyes. The more melanin the darker the eye color. So people with dark brown eyes have a lot of melanin in the iris and those with blue or green eyes will have less.

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