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7 Body Parts That Show Health Concerns

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Your body can tell a lot about your health. In fact, the appearance or size of certain body parts can give an indication on specific health issues. Based upon the results of several studies, here are some of the possible health issues associated to specific body parts.

  • Earlobes and Cardiac Disease – An earlobe crease or wrinkle on one or both earlobes may indicate cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Medicine found in multiple studies that a crease on one lobe increased your risk of a cardiac event by 33%. Wrinkles on both lobes increased the risk by 77%.
  • Bra Size and Diabetes – Women with a bra size of a D cup or better were 1.5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared with women who wore an A size or smaller.
  • Finger Length and Osteoarthritis – Women whose index fingers were shorter than their ring finger were twice as likely to develop osteoarthritis in their knees.
  • Height and Age – Women 5-foot 2-inches or shorter are more likely to live longer than their taller counterpart.
  • Long Legs and Liver Disease – Though you may live longer being shorter, women with leg lengths between 20 to 29 inches had a higher incident of liver disease.
  • Arm’s Length and Alzheimer’s – Women with shorter arm spans were 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those with longer reaches. Measure the span of your arms from finger tips to fingertip. Measurements of less than 60 inches puts you on the wrong side.
  • Blood Type – People with blood types of A, B or AB were 44% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those with type O.
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Jellyfish Stings

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Unlike what you see on movies and television shows, urinating on jellyfish stings is not the recommend treatment. In fact, urinating upon the site can cause additional stings. Jellyfish stings can cause immediate pain and burning for several hours. Raised, red welts develop along the site of the sting, which may look as if you have been hit with a whip.

Avoid rubbing the affected area with your unprotected hands. The remaining tentacles can attach to your hands and cause additional stings and pain. Don’t flush with fresh water, urine, gasoline or turpentine, this will stimulate the tentacles to release more venom.

It is suggested to use a solution of vinegar and warm water to the site to prevent further stings. If vinegar is not available, flush the effect area with copious amounts of salt water. Pick off the remaining tentacles with a stick or your hand protected by a towel or glove. If it is available, apply a lather of shaving cream or soap, or a paste of baking soda, flour, or talc, to the skin. The stinging cells will stick to the shaving cream or paste and can then be easily scraped off with the edge of a credit card.

Closely observe the victim for any signs of a serious allergic reaction. Any swelling of the neck, face, tongue, developing hives and skin rashes or difficulty in breathing could be the beginning signs of anaphylactic shock and should be treated by a medical professional immediately.

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Summer Lightning

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Did you know the highest number of people being struck by lightning occurs in the summer? A lightning strike has the temperature of 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit which is hotter than the surface of the Sun, but fortunately most people who are hit by lightning survive. Less than 10% die each year from a lightning strike, still approximately 58 people do. Even though most don’t die when struck by lightning, they do deal with severe and long term effects.

Lightning can travel up to 10 miles from a storm. If you can hear thunder you are in an area where you can be hit by lightning. If you feel your hair beginning to stand, this is a bad sign. Seek shelter immediately, but stay away from trees and metal objects such as a shed. Get low and stay low, do not become the highest surface around.

The best shelter is in a house. Realize you can still be in harms way. Lightning can travel through windows, doors and wires. So stay away from the windows or doors and do not use the telephone. Most lightning injuries inside a home come from people talking on the phone where the lightning travels through the wires of the phone.

Best place in your home is the basement or a closet. Bathrooms have a lot of metal piping which the electricity can travel. Lightning doesn’t just come from thunderstorms. Volcanic eruptions, forest fires, hurricanes and nuclear detonations can all produce lightning.

If someone is hit by lightning, realize they are not full of electricity. You can touch them without getting harmed. Check to make sure they are still breathing. If not breathing, moving or coughing, begin CPR.

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The dramatic scenes of the devastation after any large earthquake, should remind us to take preventive actions to make sure that when an earthquake of substantial size strikes us, that we are prepared.

California sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire contains 452 volcano’s and is one of the most seismic active areas in all the world. Approximately 90% of all the world’s earthquakes and 80% of the most powerful earthquakes, happen along this Ring.

Researchers warn that California is due for another powerful earthquake. It would be in our best interest to be prepared. Here are some suggestions for preparing your home and which supplies you should have at hand.

Hazards in the Home

  • Place heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Locate beds away from windows and chimneys.
  • Use straps or strapping to secure your water heater from falling.
  • Store valuable documents and special small keepsakes in a fire-resistant place.
  • Store weed killers, pesticides and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with locked latches.
  • Secure shelves, mirrors, pictures and large cabinets to the wall. Most injuries happen from falling items.


  • Teach all family members how to turn off the water, gas and electricity.
  • Turn off gas if you smell gas or hear a hissing noise.
  • Take a CPR and First Aid training course                                                                                                                                   .
  • During an earthquake duck, cover and hold on. Most injuries from earthquakes come from items falling on to you. You need to protect your head and body by finding a safe haven under a table or doorway and hold-on until the earthquake ends.

Disaster Supplies

Here is a list of items we suggest you have available. Plan on being on your own for at least 3 days. Emergency services will be overloaded and general services may take several days before they are reinstated.

  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Battery powered radio.
  • First Aid Kit and Manual.
  • Food and Water (Plan on at least 3 days of food and  water. For water, plan on 12 liters per person per day. Get food that is easy to prepare, does not need heating of cooling and is easy to preserve or consume).
  • Water purification tablets.
  • Non electrical can opener.
  • Essential medicines.
  • Cash or credit cards.
  • Sturdy shoes.
  • Small fire extinguisher.
  • Water proof matches.
  • Wrench (turn off gas).
  • Toiletry items (soap, toothpaste, bath tissue).
  • Plastic tarp or tent, in case staying inside is not an option.
  • Sleeping Bags or blankets.

Extra items to Consider

  • If water is still running fill bathtub and extra containers.
  • If you turn off your gas a professional must restart it. DO NOT restart it yourself.
  • Designate an out of State contact. Telephone lines within the State maybe overloaded. You may find better success calling a relative out-of-state. Leave messages here for other family members.
  • Confine pets. Being scared they may act aggressive or they may hide making it hard to locate them.

Here is a start for you to begin getting prepared. For more information visit the FEMA, CDC or local government websites.


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Do Diet Sodas Really Cause Weight Gain?

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If you believe most of health related issues you read on the Internet your answer maybe yes, but a lead obesity researcher says, probably not. Dr. Barry Popkin the division head of the nutrition epidemiology at the University of North Carolina says none of the studies using rats and the effects of diet soda; make a convincing case that no-calorie sodas contribute to weight gain. Both Dr. Popkin and Dr. Richard Mattes, a nutrition professor at Purdue University, found little support that no-calorie sweeteners stimulate appetite or obesity.

Two additional researchers at Purdue conducted several health studies using rats, feeding them a diet of liquids containing sugar and another with a liquid containing an artificial sweetener. The results of one of the studies showed that the rats that were feed the artificial sweetener, tended to over eat when fed a diet of chocolate pudding. It was the result of this study that most Internet articles use to pronounce that diet sodas contribute to obesity.

Even the researchers of these Purdue University health studies were surprised by the Internet response. They point out that this was a small health study and additional evidence would be needed to come to such a conclusion. They also point to an adjoining study with rats that were fed chocolate pudding or chocolate milk, the rats being fed chocolate milk also over ate. Leading to a possible conclusion that liquid forms, may play a bigger significance than the type of sweetener.

Until further studies are completed, it may be premature to conclude that artificial sweeteners may be the cause of an overeating response.
Reference: Health, CPRescue – 267

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Death Due to Rip Tides

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With the longer summer days more people are spending time at the beach enjoying the sun and ocean. What most of us don’t know is that the most successful killer in the ocean is not the great white shark or deadly jellyfish. The most dangerous killer is the ocean itself.

Over 100 beach-goers drown each year just in the United States.  Most of these drowning have occurred because of a phenomenon called rip tides or rip currents.

Rip currents occur when waves breaking at different parts of the beach carve out channels in the sand where the water returns towards the ocean. As these channels build the water rushes through canals with greater force. These currents can easily pull a victim, even in waist depth water, out into the ocean. Those who chose to fight and swim against this current end up exhausted and possibly dead.

If you happen to be caught in one of these currents please follow the recommendation of the National Weather Service:

When at the beach:

  • Whenever possible, swim at a lifeguard-protected beach.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Learn how to swim in the surf. It’s not the same as swimming in a pool or lake.
  • Be cautious at all times, especially when swimming at unguarded beaches. If in doubt, don’t go out.
  • Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. Lifeguards are trained to identify potential hazards. Ask a lifeguard about the conditions before entering the water. This is part of their job.
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist alongside these structures.
  • Pay especially close attention to children and elderly when at the beach. Even in shallow water, wave action can cause loss of footing.

If caught in a rip current:

  • Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.
  • Never fight against the current.
  • Think of it like a treadmill that cannot be turned off,  which you need to step to the side of.
  • Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle–away from the current–towards shore.
  • If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
  • If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arm and yelling for help.

If you see someone in trouble, don’t become a victim too:

  • Get help from a lifeguard.
  • If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1.
  • Throw the rip current victim something that floats–a lifejacket, a cooler, an inflatable ball.
  • Yell instructions on how to escape.
  • Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.
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Bad Breath or Possible Disease

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Can your breath detect breast cancer and other diseases? Someday in the near future it just might. Currently doctors use several breath odors in diagnosing certain diseases. A strong fruity odor from your breath may indicate untreated diabetes or other irregular odors can signify either liver or lung disease.

The process of expelling breaths from your lungs is one way the body uses to excrete waste. Gases are filtered out of your blood as they pass through your lungs. As diseases develop in the body, they create certain wastes or bio-markers that are excreted as gases in our blood. These gases are then released out of the body through your expelled breath. The idea is to measure these gases or combination of gases to assist in diagnosing developing illnesses or disease.

Scientist are currently developing a technique that can measure these gases or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your expelled breath. There are approximately over 3000 of these compounds in every breath. They currently have machines that are so sensitive, that they can detect a single molecule amid several billion air molecules. This process will be initially used to study breaths of patients with renal disease and to study children with respiratory problems such as asthma or cystic fibrosis.

The next goal in this evolving technology would be, to detect one molecule in a trillion. This would broaden the applications and it is theorized that scientist and doctors would then be able to identify the beginnings of breast cancer, colon cancer, heart disease as well as several other life threatening conditions. The earlier they can detect these diseases and begin treatment, the higher the chance of a patients survival.

The existing machines are very expensive and the type that will eventually be needed to detect even smaller samples, no doubt will be pricey, but with all technology, as you are able to mass produce, the cost would invariably decrease. So it is not to hard to imagine, sometime in the near future, that when you visit your doctor, he/she can possibly do a fast, low cost, easy to preform, non-invasive breath test to diagnose a broad range of medical conditions and irregularities.

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Infections during pregnancy can harm both you and your growing baby.  It is important during this sensitive time to avoid opportunities of acquiring an infection. Adhering to the following infection prevention tips will help keep you and your unborn baby safe.

  1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water especially after using the restroom, handling pets, preparing food, touching raw meats or eggs and when around people who are sick.
  2. Avoid sharing forks, spoons, cups, or food with other people.
  3. Cook all meats until they are well-done. Juices from cooked meats should run clear and there should be no pink inside.
  4. Avoid unpasteurized foods such as milk and cheeses.  Unpasteurized products can contain harmful bacteria.
  5. Don’t touch or change dirty cat litter. Have someone else do it. If you must change the litter yourself, be sure to wear gloves and wash your hands afterwards. Dirty cat litter may contain harmful parasites.
  6. Stay away from rodents and their droppings. Have a pest control professional get rid of pests in or around your home. If you have a pet like a hamster or a guinea pig, have someone else care for it until your baby arrives.
  7. Ask your doctor about vaccinations. Some are recommended before, during pregnancy and right after delivery. Having the right vaccinations can keep your baby from getting sick or having life-long health problems.
  8. Avoid people who are sick or have any infections.
  9. Consult your doctor about group B strep. About 1 in 4 women carry this type of bacteria, but don’t feel sick. An easy swab test towards the end of your pregnancy will show if you have this type of bacteria. Your doctor can recommend options to protect your baby during labor and after delivery.

These are just a few helpful safety tips for you to follow during your pregnancy to help protect your cherished cargo.  Consult your doctor for more information and tips to protect your health during a pregnancy.  Reference: Health – 341


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Does Beer Cause Psoriasis?

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A Harvard Medical School study published by the Archives of Dermatology indicates that drinking beer may increase the risk for woman to develop psoriasis, a painful skin disease which afflicts more than 7 million Americans.

Over 82,000 women participated in this study. Each woman described the amounts and types of alcohol they consumed and if they had been previously diagnosed with psoriasis.

  • Among the findings:
    1,150 cases of psoriasis developed, of which 1,069 were used for analysis.
  • Light beer, red and white wine, and liquor were not associated with psoriasis risk.
  • The risk of psoriasis was 72% greater among women who had an average of 2.3 drinks per week or more, compared to those who abstained from alcohol.
  • The risk of psoriasis was 2.3 times higher for women who drank five or more beers per week.

This study only showed that only non-light beers were the only alcoholic beverage that increased the risk for psoriasis, suggesting that certain non-alcoholic components of beer, which are not found in wine or liquor, may play an important role in new-onset psoriasis.

Barley may be to culprit. Barley and other starches contain gluten, a substance that some people with psoriasis are very sensitive to, the researchers say. Women with a high risk of psoriasis may consider avoiding higher intake of non-light beer.

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Cancer From Swimming?

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Researchers have found in a recent study high levels of haloacetic acids (HAAs) in the urine of test subjects after just 20 minutes of swimming in heavily chlorinated pools. Chlorine is used in swimming pools to kill harmful bacteria. HAA is a by-product of when the chlorine reacts with impurities in the water. The environmental Protection Agency has linked high levels of HAA to birth defects and cancer.

In this study, children were more likely to have higher concentration levels of HAA than adults due to the fact that children are more inclined to inadvertently drink pool water than adults. It also found the higher levels to be associated with outdoor pools when compared to indoor pools.

Researchers caution that the health of swimmers is still unclear and this research is still in its infancy. HAA levels did return to normal in swimmers within 2 to 3 hours. They do suggest to teach children not to drink the pool water and try and keep their mouths closed while in the water. Also caution should be taken for pregnant women, they may want to consider skipping swimming pool activities while pregnant. It is highly recommended to keep pool water within the established guidelines for proper pool chlorination, since over chlorination may play a part in the higher levels of HAA.

Swimming is a valuable exercise regime and should not be completely avoided, but taking cautionary steps is always advisable.

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