As the seasons change, the weather gets cooler and colds and the flu becomes more common.
What is the Flu?
Influenza virus, aka “the flu”, is more serious than the common cold. It is an upper respiratory tract infection that affects the lungs, nose, and throat. Individuals at high risk are young children, elderly adults, pregnant women, and anyone with a weakened immune system.
The flu spreads through three routes, airborne (i.e. coughs and sneezes), skin to skin contact (i.e. handshakes and hugs), and saliva (i.e. kissing or sharing of drinks).
severe muscle or body aches
Serious complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and dehydration. Unlike the common cold, the flu kills thousands of people every year.
Self care – (rest and fluids)
decongestant (relieves nasal congestion and runny nose)
cough medicine (blocks the cough reflex)
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (Tylenol or Motrin) – relieves pain and reduces fever
antiviral medication (Tamiflu) – reduces viruses’ ability to replicate and duration of the virus
Tamiflu is available by prescription only. It is used to treat the flu in children and adults as long as it is taken within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms. However, what is not commonly known to the public are the side effects associated with the use of the medication. The major side effects include abnormal neurological or psychiatric behaviors (38%), delusions/perceptual disturbances (21.7%), hallucinations, convulsions, and even encephalitis (Sang Won et al., 2015). These side effects lead to accidents, injuries, and suicides (Sang et al., 2015).
Yearly vaccine help prevent the flu and limit the complications. Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. Types of vaccines include nasal sprays (live virus), trivalent (grown in eggs), and quadrivalent (grown in cell culture).
Good hygiene, such as washing your hands and covering your cough will help protect you and others against influenza infections. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (i.e.Purell) to clean hands. Viruses commonly live on phones, door knobs, money, so when we use our hands and then rub our eyes or nose, we expose ourselves to possible infections.
Don’t let the flu catch you, know the signs, symptoms, and treatments of the flu. The best ways to prevent the flu is through a yearly flu vaccine and good hand hygiene.
Knowing this could just save your life.
Prevent Flu! Get a Flu Vaccine and Take Preventative Actions. (April, 2017). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvyaE_eXDJU&t=1s
Sang Won, J., & Changsu, H. (2015). Psychiatric Symptoms in a Patient with Influenza A (H1N1) Treated with Oseltamivir (Tamiflu): A Case Report. Clinical Psychopharmacology & Neuroscience, 13(2), 209-211.
Tamiflu. (March, 2015). ABCTVcatalyst. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wiqb9U3hup0
Speaking and writing about the one dimensional beauty industry agenda revolves around the bombardment of images that constantly tell us that we are not good enough until we buy their products. Using a “anti-aging” advertisement, we can even see a clear distinct alteration to the photo that is make it most obviously computer generated and now inherently fake. Yet we continue to buy these snake oil merchandises in the hopes that we will see benefits like the make believe images that portray them.
Taking a look at another anti aging advertisement, we can notice a connection between cultural beauty and obvious physical age. An older look is portrayed with a dull and grayish tone, as seen in the first image posted, while the younger looking image is bright and the color white is used extraordinarily persuasively for the images that mean to be appealing towards the consumer.
This ageism attitude towards beauty gives a fleeting and decaying currency the means to provide women with status in Western culture (Clarke, 2017). For example, one of the most prestigious women featured in monthly magazines is Jennifer Aniston. This actress seemed to have defied aging and therefore, defied the decay of her class status as other actress who’s careers started at the same level at the same time have all but crashed and burned. In fact, women in general are hardly ever held to such a high regard as when they are pretty.
When “famous american women” is put into google, more than 90% of the results are either young and attractive actresses, athletes, or musicians and half the time they aren’t even ranked by their talent. Looking at a timeline of the development of these attitudes, we are living at an all time high of sexist cultural attitudes towards the sexualization of women, which I think is perpetuated by females. This perpetuation does have links, however, to the image bombardment of beauty culture.
Whether women, and men, realize it or not, they are constantly being conditioned to foster attitudes that are dependent on the beauty product suppliers. A revenue based, brainwashing war has been waged on American society by people who have doctorates in human sociology and psychology and an almost limitless supply of funding. A resistance in needed in everyone’s mind to fight and destroy these destructive attitudes and images that weasel their way into our thoughts and subconscious.
Clarke, L. H. (2017). Women, Aging, and Beauty Culture: Navigating the Social Perils of Looking Old. Generations, 41(4), 104-108.
In todays world ergonomics can help relieve swollen ankles.
What is Edema?
Edema is swelling in any portion of your body due to a build up of water and protein.
Lower extremity edema is most prevelant
Primary onset symptoms are treated with elevation, compression stockings and proper nutrition coupled with exercise.
Stages are 0, 1, 2, 3 (stages 2 and 3 require aggressive medical interventioon.
March is National World Lymphedema Month
March 6 is National Lymphedema Day
There is no cure for Lymphedema at this time.
Lymphedema is the “Hidden Epidemic”
How to Manage Edema at Early Onset!
Exercise, proper nutrition and footwear are the easiest ways to begin.
Exercise can help prevent a multitude of problems from an accummulation of edema in your legs.
Current research indicates that exercise and proper nutrition coupled with proper footwear and compression stockings can regress the accummulation of fluid your body retains.
Your lymphatic system runs parallel to your circulatory system and acts as a filter for all the toxins we process every day.
2) Educate your self about the types of edema and prevention
The brief video above discusses how fluid originates and transports throughout your body.
For further information you can read several studies by Dr. & Mrs. Etelka Foldi, founders of the first Lymphedema Clinic In Germany.
3) Rest, Elevate, and Drink lots of Water (Simple Fixes)
There are several schools of thought but for simple edema control this is the easiest. Once you have consulted your physician, educate yourself and follow these simple rules.
The suggestions above were just that suggestions. They are simple and free of charge. If you see no change, communicate and advocate for another review of your symptoms with your physician. While there is little known around the world about edema/lymphedema there is a movement of interested practitioners and patients who are advocating for insurance reimbursement, educated physicians and fair treatment in Washington. Be one of those advocates.
Sites to Research
Diabetes Management Fact vs. Fiction by Alyssa Frates
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a medical condition that causes there to be too much sugar in the body. The body lacks the ability to make insulin, which helps break down sugars. There are so many people who have poor control of their blood sugar levels and have complications from it.
Signs and symptoms of Diabetes:
Polydipsia- increased thirst
Polyphagia- excessive hunger/eating
unexplained weight loss, dehydration, lethargy/weakness, confusion, warm, dry, and flushed skin, recurrent infections or delayed wound healing and nausea vomiting, or abdominal
Nerve damage to the hands and/ or feet (Neuropathy)
Skin conditions: more likely to develop bacterial and fungal infections
Myth: As a type 2 diabetic I will only be able to take insulin to manage my blood sugars
Fact: As this is true for Type 1 Diabetics, this is not true for people who have type 2 diabetes.
Complications from diabetes arise from lack of proper glucose control. Each treatment plan is individualized to the patient. Most therapies require medications. Medications work by decreasing the blood glucose levels. Most times oral medications are used. Insulin is used for purposes of maintaining a longer acting agent to keep blood glucose levels decreased. The treatment goals for these medications are to maintain a patients A1c level with one medication. If levels are not maintained, then more than one medication can be used to reach an optimal A1C level. The video above focuses on diabetic treatment. It focused on the medications used to treat and manage diabetes.
Prevention and Management
Following a diabetic diet:
Carbohydrate counting and proper portion sizes. Eat smaller portions throughout the day
Carbs have the most sugars in them, so they have the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels
For portion sizes have a good mixture of starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins and fats.
Limit foods high in fat, sugar and salt
Avoid use of alcohol
Exercise and Weight Management
Exercise at least 30 – 45 minutes a day
Always set a goal when exercising
Make sure you drink plenty of water and always have a snack available (just in case your blood sugar gets to low)
Wear a necklace or bracelet that says you are a diabetic in case of an emergency
Check your blood sugar before you exercise, check it during exercise if you are working out more than 45 minutes, and check it again right after exercise
Weight management is a main goal in treating diabetes
A healthy weight can lead to less complications caused by diabetes and better blood sugar levels, it has also proven to reduce the amount medications needed to control blood sugar levels.
It is important to take any medications that your doctor orders for you.
The treatment plan you doctor creates is individualized to you
Complications from diabetes can occur due to improper blood sugar control
It is important to check your blood sugars while taking any medications. If your sugar remains high or drops to low the medication dosing may not be right for you
Always take your medications at the same time everyday
Myth: I don’t have to follow the regimen the doctors gave me.
Fact: Every patient must follow the treatment plan their doctors have prescribed for them.
In the article: Factors associated with therapy noncompliance in type-2 diabetes patients it focuses on patients that are non compliant with their diabetic regimen. When a person is being non-compliant with their regimen it can mean a variety of things. They may have not started treatment or may not be taking their prescribed medications correctly. In this article s study was done with 79 patients. The study was to determine medication compliance. They observed this in 2 ways; one way was medication and the other lifestyle changes. Some weren’t compliant due to the fact of patients having underlying conditions. The results showed 42% of people studied were non-compliant with their regimens. This last video I found: Motivational Interviewing Diabetes Medication Compliance, interviewed a patient who had been diagnosed with diabetes but has trouble accepting the diagnoses. This patient speaks about the difficulties surrounding why he has trouble accepting the diagnosis and why he has trouble taking the medication the doctor has prescribed the medications. This is what most people deal with on a daily basis and why many people are not compliant with the treatment regimen doctors prescribe.
Hernández-Ronquillo, L., Téllez-Zenteno, J. F., Garduño-Espinosa, J., & González- Aceve (2003). Factors associated with therapy noncompliance in type-2 diabetes patients.Salud Publica De Mexico, 45(3), 191-197.
An infection that is not active prior to healthcare interventions. Often a result of poor infection control compliance.
– Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Why is this important?
Increasing bacterial resistance to traditional antibiotic treatment.
Bacteria are tougher than ever!
Higher acuity of patients living in the community.
Increasing daily exposure to bacteria and other potential pathogens.
“In hospitals, 1 out of 20 patients develops an HAI.”
“Nationwide, 2 million people develop an HAI each year.”
“Nearly 99,000 of these patients die as a result of their infection.”
– Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Healthcare Professional (HCP) Prevention
Adhere to proper hand hygiene
Use of appropriate isolation precautions
Meticulous disinfection/sterilization of medical equipment
Proper use of aseptic technique
Proper disposal of biohazards materials and sharps
Surveillance and monitoring infections
What can I do to protect myself?
(the number on way to reduce the spread of infection!)
Maintain a healthy lifestyle, include exercise and nutritional diet.
Advocate for yourself! Ask your HCPs if they washed their hands!
Know signs and symptoms of infection and seek early treatment
Stay up to date on immunizations/vaccines
Minimize time spent in medical facilities
It’s in your hands!
(2015). Fox News Should I worry about hospital-acquired infections? [mp3]. Available from YouTube https://youtu.be/OKfBUWt4RtQ.
Fox, C., Wavra, T., Drake, D., Mulligan, D., Jones, L., & Bennett, Y. (2015). Use of patient hand hygiene protocol to reduce hospital-acquired infections and improve nurses’ hand washing. American journal of critical care, 24(3), 216-224. http://dx.doi.org/10.4037/ajcc2015898
Garrett Jr, J. H. (2015). A Review of the CDC Recommendations for Prevention of HAIs in Outpatient Setting. AORN Journal, 101(5), 519-528. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aorn.2015.02.007
Loffler, H., Bruckner, T., Diepgen, T., & Effendy, I. (2006). Primary prevention in health care employees: a prospective intervention study with a 3-year training period. Contact Dermatitis, 54, 202-209. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0105-1873.2006.00825
Paulo, L. (2008). Hospital-Acquired Infections can be deadly [mp3]. Available from YouTube https://youtu.be/OejyDFEd-2c.
Spruce, L. (2013). Back to basics: hand hygiene and surgical hand antisepsis. AORN, 98(50), 449-460. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aorn.2013.08.017
Walsh, M.D., E., & McCoy, N. (2008). PBS Second Opion Hospital Acquired Infection (Peter Seigal, M.D., Interviewer) [mp3]. Available from YouTube https://youtu.be/eHjWPkOtAaw.
*** If while in the hospital you begin to experience any of these symptoms, you must alert a health care provider at once. If you are at home when you notice an indication you should call your primary care physician and go straight to the Emergency Department. ***
Which blood clots are the most dangerous?
All blood clots are dangerous to your health and should be immediately followed up with by a medical professional but those in the lungs and in the legs can be life threatening.
A blood clot that forms deep inside the veins of your legs are called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
A DVT sometimes may break off and travel through our bloodstream and up into your lungs. This loose, free-flowing clot, called a Pulmonary Embolus (PE) sometimes finds itself in the lungs. This is a serious condition as it can cause damage to the body and even death.
Watch for these signs as a serious indication:
Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
Shortness of breath
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Swelling in thighs or calves
Discoloration below blockage site
How can you prevent them from happening all together?
When you arrive to the hospital your risk of developing a blood clot will be assessed and a number of preventative measures will be put in place.
Use Sequential Compression Devices when in bed for at least 12 hours a day, more if bed-bound.
Wear anti-embolic hose, or TED hose when out of bed.
Take all blood thinning medications prescribed to you.
Exercise your feet and legs while resting in bed or up in a chair by doing foot pumps and ankle rotations.
When possible get out of bed and walk often.
What is a blood clot?
A blood clot is made of blood cells, platelets (small sticky cells that aid in the clotting process), and fibrin (a protein that traps cells), all normally inside of the blood stream. Sometimes due to health problems and lack of motion (like after surgery) they clog of veins and cause a lack of blood flow to certain parts of your body.
What is a blood thinner?
A blood thinner is a medicine that acts to stop blood clotting processes in the body and prevent DVT’s and PE’s. They are sometimes given by injection and other times given by pill form. Bleeding is a complication of this medicine and you must take extra precautions to be safe.
FENG-FEI, L., CHAO-HUI, L., BIN, C., & KE, Z. (2016). COMBINATION PROPHYLAXIS VERSUS PHARMACOLOGIC PROPHYLAXIS ALONE FOR PREVENTING DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS IN HIP SURGERY. HIP INTERNATIONAL, 26(6), 561-566.
BLOOD CLOTS IN THE LUNGS. (2012). MAYO CLINIC HEALTH LETTER, 30(9), 1-3.
BLOOD CLOTS: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE DEADLY. (2012). HARVARD HEART LETTER, 22(8), 4-5.
Heart disease is alsknown as coronary heart disease (CHD) and is the number 1 cause of death in women in the United States. Is a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to a heart attack. According to the American heart association, one in three U.S. women eventually succumbs to heart disease. And while the rates for men are declining, the rates for women are rising steadily (Cheek, Jensen, & Smith, 2004). Women have a higher risk than men in developing CHD but why is this : Age becomes a risk factor at 55. and after menopause, women are more prone to get heart disease. This is because their body’s production of estrogen drops. Women who have gone through early menopause are twice as likely to develop heart disease as women of the same age who have not yet gone through menopause.
Other Risk Factors:
High Blood Pressure
Lack of exercise
Ethnic Group (African American and Hispanics)
The video clip above shows Dr. Tara Narula talking about the difference between men and women regarding heart disease. She explains the difference in biology between men and women on how heart attacks develops. During this clip video, she talks about an important point on how doctors can be blame for not testing women earlier for heart disease and how women and heart diseas has been “understudy”, “underdiagnosed and “undertreated”, which contributes to the higher numbers of heart diases in women. Awareness of the disease is also being ignore by women and ONLY 55% of women recognize the seriousness of the disease. Women are also ignoring and misinterpreting symptoms, it seems that women seem to put off medical attention when they are experiencing symptoms.
Knowing your numbers is a short video clip that explains the importance about knowing the numbers in your blood that can contribute to the irsk of heart diseas. Toral cholesterol <200, LDL cholesterol known as the BAD CHOLESTEROL, which we would want to be low: <100, HDL known as the GOOD CHOLESTEROL: >or equal to 50, triglyceride < 150 is a type of fat which if is high can put you at a higher risk of stroke, Blood Presure (BP) 120/80, fasting glucose <100, Body mass index (BMI) <25 a high BMI can be consider obesity. If these numbers are above rangem changes can be made to lower them and lower the irsk of heart disease.
The healthy habits videos gives examples on how to improve your lifestyle. Heart disease can be preventable when lifestyle changes are made. Diet is an important change, reducing the intake of foods high in cholesterol, fat, sugar, salt can decrease the probability of having a heart attack or stroke. Instead add vegetables, fruits, fish, whole grain and lean meat. Exercise is key to keep you active and reduce weight gain, therefoe have a lower BMI, you can do 30 minutes of jogging, lifiting weights, playing sports and walking. A third lifestyle change is QUIT SMOKING, by doing so the risk of having a strokr or heart attack drops by HALF. Consume alcohol responsible, never is excess to reduce your risk for heart disease.
Heart disease is a serious disease that can lead to to death if not taking seriously. Women as we have learned have a higher risk of developing heart disease, and we should take the necessary precautions. If is known that there is a family history of heart disease your chances are higher, and precautions such as lifestyle changes can help to reduce the risks. It is important to know that men and women experience symptoms of heart attack different. If these symptoms present it is important to seek medical help by calling your primary care doctor or going to an Emergency Department. It is also important to educate ourselves, you can do this by asking your doctor for education or use other resources such as www.heart.org, www.goredforwomen.org.
Cheek, D., Jensen, L., & Smith, H. (2004). Preventing and treating heart disease in women. Nursing, 344-8.
De Vito, K. M., Baer, H. J., Dart, H., Chiuve, S. E., Rimm, E. B., & Colditz, G. A. (2015). Validation of a risk prediction tool for coronary heart disease in middle-aged women. BMC Women’s Health, 151-9. doi:10.1186/s12905-015-0250-x
Dementia is associated with a decrease in brain function that impacts memory and performance of daily tasks. It is not the same as memory loss associated with aging. Dementia is a general term used for conditions that result from changes to the brain such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and dementia with lewy bodies (2018).
Myth: All people with dementia don’t recognize their family members
Hollywood’s portrayal of dementia is often of a person who is able to speak, eat, and dress themselves with no difficulty. The only deficit is that they have no idea who their loved one’s are when they walk into a room. Dementia impacts everyone differently and there is a wide array of symptoms associated with the disease. Many people with dementia maintain fulfilling relationships with the people closest to them (2018).
Common dementia symptoms include:
Visual and perceptual difficulty
Problems with communicating verbally and/or in writing
Trouble performing tasks such as bathing and dressing
Changes in mood or personality
Confusion and disorientation
Myth: You should correct someone who has dementia when they say something that isn’t accurate
You may feel compelled to correct someone who has dementia when they talk about something that isn’t in the “here and now”. However, this can lead to increased confusion and feelings of depression. The most effective way to communicate with a person who has dementia is to join their reality and validate what they are saying (2018).
Myth: There is nothing you can do to lower your risk of dementia
Recent studies have found that people with hypertension, and other conditions of the heart are at risk for Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. The heart supplies blood to the brain, which provides nourishment. These conditions impact the flow of blood to the brain which can damage brain cells. Improving your diet, exercising, and avoiding habits such as smoking may decrease your risk of dementia (Singh, 2016).
Alzheimer’s.org (2018) Retrieved February 21. 2018 https:// www.alz.org
Dementia.org (2018) Retrieved February 21. 2018 https://dementia.org
Singh, M et al. (2016) Using Multistate Observational Studies to Determine Role of Hypertension and Diabetes as Risk Factors for Dementia Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice Retrieved from http://library.neit.edu:2215/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=27&sid=94062bcd-c58b-4ea6-9534-106adb609f9e%40sessionmgr120