Heart Disease


What is Heart Disease?

By: Marco Bellucci

Heart disease is also known as cardiovascular disease. This condition has to do with issues involving blood clots that affect the heart, problems with the hearts blood vessels, and structural damage to the heart.

Who Can Get Heart Disease?

Everyone is at risk for heart disease. However, it is generally seen in men, and people ages 65 and older. This does not mean that you can not get diagnosed with heart disease at a younger age.

Many people do not realize that other health conditions can lead them to develop heart disease in the future.

Risk factors:

  • Diabetes,
  • Smoking,
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High cholesterol
  • Poor diet
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stress

Men VS Women

Heart attack symptoms differ from males to females. Males have the “classic” signs which include: chest pain that radiates to their jaw and shoulder, and sweating, nausea, and shortness of breathe.

Females tend to have much different signs which often go unnoticed, or untold until it is too late. Signs such as indigestion, fatigue, dizziness, and arm pain are seen more often in women. Many women associate these symptoms to other things such as their period, and don’t pay attention to them.

FACTS:Death following a heart attack usually occurs within the first 2 hours of associated factors (chest pain, shortness of breath, indigestion). Recognizing symptoms early and getting seen can increase a patients chances of significant damage to their heart. 

By: Rosmarie Voegtli


  • Young people do not have to worry about heart disease: FalseHeart disease can happen to anyone, at any given time. Even if a patient lives a healthy lifestyle, they can still have cardiovascular problems.
  • Heart disease always runs in the family: False. Just because a family member has heart disease do not always mean that another family member will. If heart disease does not run in the family a person can get it from other risks factors.
  • Im not having a heart attack because I am not having chest pain. False. Heart attack symptoms are different for everyone. Often some symptoms can include indigestion, shortness of breathe, and fatigue.

How to Maintain a healthy lifestyle:

By: Qfamily
  • Routine doctors visits
  • 30 minutes of exercise daily
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Quitting smoking
  • Knowing your family history


Cardoso, P.C, Caballero, L.G., Ruschel, K.B., Moraes, M.A.P., Silva, E.R.R. (2019). Profile of the nursing diagnoses in stable heart disease patients. Investigacion & Educacion en Enfermeria. 37(2). 1-11

Koc, S., Durna, Z., Akin, S. (2017). Interpretation of symptoms as a cause of delays in patients with acute myocardial infarction, Istanbul, Turkey. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal. 23(4). 287-294

Mendes, C. (2019). Heart disease: From living to living well. British Journal of Nursing. 28(14). 946

Medical Fact or Fiction: Narcolepsy

The Simpsons, a very well know television show that brought attention to a not so well-known medical condition, narcolepsy. The show provided a mix of accurate and inaccurate information. The video first mentions that narcolepsy is a medical condition involving excessive daytime sleepiness, which is true. However, when the doctor suspects narcolepsy, the first thing he does is a spinal tap (done to evaluate spinal fluid). A spinal tap is not the first step in diagnosis, it may not be done at all. According to Ruoff and Black (2014), spinal taps are rarely done to diagnose narcolepsy. When they are done, doctors look at hypocretin which is responsible for wakefulness, low levels indicate narcolepsy. Although Homer took advantage of the diagnosis, as the doctor mentioned, it is possible to live a normal life with narcolepsy. Medications help control the symptoms. However, often times there is a delay in diagnosis and various types of treatment options need to be tried before finding what works for each person.

Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, a movie released in 1999 which includes a woman who states she has narcolepsy. As with many topics in the media, there is a great deal of exaggeration with the condition. One of the first things the woman mentions is that she cannot fly in a plane or drive a car with narcolepsy, which according to Linley (2014) is not true. Furthermore, the woman appears to lose all muscle control (cataplexy) and fall asleep at the same times, which is not something that occurs. Cataplexy is a symptom that some with narcolepsy experience, but the person is completely conscious, it does not happen simultaneously with sleep (Schub & Pravikoff, 2019).


What television and movies don’t tell you about narcolepsy:

  • Symptoms often appear at an early age, but it can take years for an accurate diagnosis due to narcolepsy presenting like other conditions, including depression (Linley, 2014).
  • Symptoms can include excessive daytime sleepiness, hallucinations, sleep paralysis, disturbed nighttime sleep, and/or cataplexy (Schub & Pravikoff, 2019).
  • Treatment includes daily medication, scheduled naps, decreasing caffeine intake, not smoking, and a regular sleep schedule (Schub & Pravikoff, 2019).
  • You can live a happy, healthy life with narcolepsy, I do it every day. I drive, I fly in planes, I work full times, I go to school, I spend time with friends and family. Narcolepsy does not have to control your life, it just becomes a part of it.


Click here to open a PDF article that discusses a woman’s struggle with narcolepsy and now her life completely turned around once she was finally diagnosed.




Linley, L. (2014). Understanding narcolepsy. Focus Journal, 21–22. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ccm&AN=111953032&site=ehost-live

Ruoff, C., & Black, J. (2014). The psychiatric dimensions of narcolepsy. Psychiatric Times31(1), 1–3. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ccm&AN=104025747&site=ehost-live

Schub, T., & Pravikoff, D. (2019). Narcolepsy. CINAHL Nursing Guide. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ccm&AN=T701486&site=ehost-live

Living Well With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease


By: Ben Taylor


In early chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a person may have chronic cough and phlegm but may not be aware they have reduced lung function.  They sometimes dismiss their symptoms as part of the normal aging process.  A person with severe COPD can get short of breath even while walking slowly or getting out of a chair.  These symptoms are impossible to ignore.

There is no cure for COPD, but there are treatments to improve symptoms. If you take steps to quit smoking, to exercise, and to improve your diet, you can increase your life expectancy and have a better quality of life.

Exacerbations is when symptoms flare up or get worse.  Avoiding exacerbations is a major part of slowing the progression of COPD.  Exacerbations can happen fast, within a matter of hours or days.  Exacerbations are often triggered by respiratory infections (viral or bacterial) and they can also be triggered by increased exposure to pollution or secondhand smoke.

9 Tips to Help Slow the Progression of COPD 

  1. If You Smoke, Stop: The most important step in slowing down COPD progression is to quit smoking. 
  2. Avoid Breathing in Pollution or Toxins: There are people whose COPD is caused or worsened by different exposures at work or at home.  If you’re around any kind of fumes or dust, it’s important to know what they are.  It’s really about trying to make sure you’re breathing normal air without any other particles in it.
  3. Enroll in Pulmonary Rehabilitation: The program utilizes exercises that not only make the muscles more conditioned but also help them use oxygen more efficiently, he says. Pulmonary rehab teaches breathing techniques that can be used in response to certain situations, like when a person feels short of breath, and can improve symptoms.
  4. Strengthen Your Core: When that part of the body is weak, the symptoms of COPD, such as shortness of breath, can feel worse.
  5. Eat Nutritious Food: there is thought that plant-based diets may be beneficial and will have favorable effects on lots of conditions in the body.
  6. Maintain a Healthy Weight: People with more severe COPD can be underweight, which can put them at a higher risk for exacerbations and mortality.  Being overweight puts extra weight around the chest wall which can lower lung volumes.
  7. Make Sure You’re Taking Your Medicine as Prescribed: Using inhalers incorrectly is fairly common and can raise the risk of exacerbations.  Proper usage of your inhaler reduces your risk of exacerbation and will help to improve your baseline lung function.
  8. Avoid Germs Whenever Possible: Many exacerbations are due to either viral or bacterial infections. It’s very important to always wash your hands regularly, especially when touching surfaces.  If you’re around anyone who is sick, you may want to wear a mask or avoid any contact.
  9. Get Immunized: Protecting yourself against preventable diseases is vital in slowing the progression of COPD.  The flu shot is recommended every year and you should get the vaccine as soon as it becomes available.  Pneumonia vaccinations are very important for people with COPD because of the high risk that pneumonia poses to people with the disease.



10 Habits That Can Worsen COPD

  1. Never Exercising: regular physical activity among COPD patients results in long-term clinical benefits and healthcare cost savings and can help alleviate the symptoms of depression.
  2. Eating a Lot of Junk Food: junk food is often high in sodium, which can cause you to retain fluids which could lead to congestion and make it harder for you to breathe.  Eating too much high-calorie food can contribute to obesity and worsen people’s ability to breathe and exercise.
  3. Having an Erratic Sleep Schedule: Everyone needs quality shut-eye, but this is especially true for people with COPD, who need to keep their immune systems as healthy as possible.  Staying up late some nights can throw off your body clock and make it difficult for you to get the sleep you need. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can help.
  4. Leaving Your Oxygen at Home When You Go Out: For people with low resting saturations who need oxygen, going without oxygen puts excess strain on the heart.
  5. Over exerting Yourself: Moderate exercise can improve the body’s use of oxygen, muscle strength, energy levels, mood, and sleep patterns.  People with COPD have lower exercise thresholds, going overboard can be dangerous and cause exacerbations.
  6. Never Dusting: Dust is a lung irritant, one that can worsen COPD.  If you are not able to clean your house regularly, you may want to find someone who can help you.
  7. Drinking Soda: Drinking soda can cause you to gain weight, but the beverage itself also contains carbonation, which can cause your stomach to swell up. When your stomach swells, it pushes up against the diaphragm, making it harder to breath.
  8. Consuming Too Much Caffeine: Drinks such as coffee and tea and foods like chocolate all contain caffeine, a stimulant that can prevent you from falling asleep.  There is no correlation between caffeine use and COPD exacerbations.
  9. Letting Yourself Get Dehydrated: Without enough water, your mucus can become thick and stick to your lungs, adding to your breathing problems.
  10. Constantly Being Stressed Out: Dealing with a chronic lung condition can be stressful on its own; add in work duties and family obligations, and you might find that you’re feeling overly stressed out or angry stressed. Consider joining a support group, which can make you feel less lonely, allow you to vent your feelings, and teach you better ways to cope with certain situations.

Lifestyle changes can help you avoid exacerbations so you can

slow down its progression to help

you live longer and better.


Glatter, R. (2018, Nov). How treating the mind can heal the body. Forbes. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertglatter/2018/11/23/how-treating-the-mind-can-heal-the-body/#f1db22a67575

Hart, M. K., Stewardson, E., Jamil, A., Tecson, K., & Millard, M. (2018, Oct). Harmonica playing improves outcomes in patients with COPD. Respiratory Care, 63(Suppl 10).  Retrieved from http://rc.rcjournal.com/content/63/Suppl_10/3024192


Shalit, N., Tierney, A., Holland, A., Miller, B., Norris, N., & King, S. (2016).  Factors that influence dietary intake in adults with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Nutrition & Dietetics, 73(5), 455-462.

What You Can Expect From Menopause

Menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. It’s diagnosed after you’ve gone 12 months without a menstrual period.

Most women reach the menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, although an estimated one in 100 will experience menopausal symptoms below the age of 40, which is generally termed ‘premature menopause. Most signs and symptoms of menopause include, difficulty sleeping, poor concentration, loss of libido, headaches, memory problems, depressed mood and general aches and pains (for example, joint pain). Hot flashes are reported to be one of the common and most distressing symptoms experienced by women. These occur in over 75% of menopausal women and are often described as episodes of recurrent flushing, sweating, and an intense heat that begins on the face and upper chest. These episodes vary widely in frequency and duration, some women experiencing them several times each day, others less frequently. Menopause transition is a progressive process and consists of fluctuating ovarian function, which occurs two to eight years before menopause and up to one year after the final menses, culminating in ovarian failure (Perry, 2019).

Symptoms vary from person to person:

• Irregular menstrual cycles
• Heavy bleeding might occur for a day or two
• Excessive sweating during night
• Hot flashes
• Vaginal dryness, itching and pain during sexual intercourse
• Frequent urinary tract infections
• Mood swings
• Fatigue
• Weight gain due to uneven fat distribution


Collagen as the key protein in the skin and bones; it significantly contributes to the thickness and resilience of the skin, forms the bulk of the dermal tissue, and its depletion results in thinning, laxity and dehydration. The greatest loss of collagen occurs in the early post-menopausal years; it is estimated that as much as 30% of skin collagen is lost within the first 5 years. Peptide-based products can repair the skin and reinforce firmness and tone around the eye area. The application of skin care containing alpha hydroxy and poly hydroxy acids increases epithelial cell turnover and resurfacing the skin. Antioxidants can also prevent damage from free radicals and oxidative stress, in turn delaying premature ageing of the skin (Warren, 2014).


Menopause requires no medical treatment. Instead, treatments focus on relieving your signs and symptoms and preventing or managing chronic conditions that may occur with aging.

    • Eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Limit saturated fats, oils and sugars. You may need calcium or vitamin D supplements to help meet daily requirements.
    • Get enough sleep.
    • Avoid caffeine, which can make it hard to get to sleep, and avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can interrupt sleep.
    • Avoid smoking. Smoking increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and cancer.
    • Regular physical activity or exercise to help protect against heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and other conditions associated with aging.
    • Add soy to your diet.

      Estrogen deficiency after menopause promotes weight gain and fat accumulation in the waist region which ultimately leads obesity in some post-menopausal women. Numerous studies have shown beneficial effects of soy isoflavones against the inflammatory associated cardiovascular diseases and accelerates endocrine and metabolism predisposing to obesity in postmenopausal women (Sankar, et al., 2017).

    • Treatments may include:
      • Hormone therapy. Estrogen therapy is the most effective treatment option for relieving menopausal hot flashes. Depending on your personal and family medical history, your doctor may recommend estrogen in the lowest dose and the shortest time frame needed to provide symptom relief for you. If you still have your uterus, you’ll need progestin in addition to estrogen. Estrogen also helps prevent bone loss. Long-term use of hormone therapy may have some cardiovascular and breast cancer risks, but starting hormones around the time of menopause has shown benefits for some women. You and your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of hormone therapy and whether it’s a safe choice for you.
      • Vaginal estrogen. To relieve vaginal dryness, estrogen can be administered directly to the vagina using a vaginal cream, tablet or ring. This treatment releases just a small amount of estrogen, which is absorbed by the vaginal tissues. It can help relieve vaginal dryness, discomfort with intercourse and some urinary symptoms.
      • Low-dose antidepressants. Certain antidepressants related to the class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may decrease menopausal hot flashes. A low-dose antidepressant for management of hot flashes may be useful for women who can’t take estrogen for health reasons or for women who need an antidepressant for a mood disorder.
      • Gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, others). Gabapentin is approved to treat seizures, but it has also been shown to help reduce hot flashes. This drug is useful in women who can’t use estrogen therapy and in those who also have nighttime hot flashes.
      • Clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay, others). Clonidine, a pill or patch typically used to treat high blood pressure, might provide some relief from hot flashes.
      • Medications to prevent or treat osteoporosis. Depending on individual needs, doctors may recommend medication to prevent or treat osteoporosis. Several medications are available that help reduce bone loss and risk of fractures. Your doctor might prescribe vitamin D supplements to help strengthen bones.


Fact or Fiction:

Can Calcium and Vitamin D prevent osteoporosis in post-menopausal women?

Calcium and Vitamin D are the most widely used therapies for Osteoporosis. The Efficacy of use of Calcium and Vitamin D in all post menopausal women in terms of the prevention of fracture is uncertain. Use of calcium and vitamin D supplements is very common, with more than half of postmenopausal women taking them. 

In the video below, Katie Couric discusses if calcium and vitamin D supplements can benefit post-menopausal women with Dr. Rebecca Brightman, MD OB/GYN

Every woman is unique and may not experience the same menopause symptoms.
Talk with your Doctor to Discuss the treatment plan that works best for your individual needs.

Perry, M. (2019). Menopausal symptoms and hormone replacement therapy. Journal of Community Nursing, 33(3):61-66.

Warren, L. (2014). Treating the menopausal patient: the role of hormones and physiological changes. Journal of Aesthetic Nursing, 3(7):322-330.

Sankar, P., Bobby, Z., & Mirza, A.A. (2017). Soy Isoflavones (from Glycine max) in Menopause Health and Diseases. Biochem Physiol 6: 225.

HPV Vaccine – Why Is it Important?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, causing virtually all cases of cervical cancer in women.

There are approximately 79 million Americans infected with HPV and approximately 14 million newly infected each year.

This sexually transmitted infection is so common that almost every person who is sexually-active will get HPV at some time in their life if they have not received the HPV vaccine.

Common Health Problems related to HPV:

Genital Warts (men & women)

Cervical Cancer (women)

Oropharyngeal Cancer (most common in men)

Who Should Get Vaccinated?

All boys and girls ages 11 or 12 years old should get vaccinated.

Catch-up vaccines are recommended for boys and men through age 21 and for girls and women through age 26, if they did not get vaccinated when they were younger.

The vaccine is also recommended for gay and bisexual men (or any man who has sex with a man) through age 26. It is also recommended for men and women with compromised immune systems (including those living with HIV/AIDS) through age 26, if they did not get fully vaccinated when they were younger.

(“CDC”, 2017)

Based on data collected by the CDC:

2010-2014 – 41,000 HPV associated cancers occurred in the U.S. each year (23,700 women & 17,300 men)

2016 – approximately 43% of adolescents were up to date on the vaccine recommendations

(Gostin, 2018)

HPV vaccination coverage in the US remains below the Healthy People 2020 goal of 80% with parental decline being a key contributor.

Healthcare providers report frustration with vaccine-hesitant parents and the importance of providers continuing to advocate, educate and deliver repeated recommendations to convince parents the vaccines benefits far outweigh the risks.

In September 2016, an online survey was conducted of parents with children between the ages of 11 – 17. The results showed that 45% of the parents reported secondary acceptance of the HPV vaccine and an additional 24% intended to have their child vaccinated within the year . The parents reported ongoing education, recommendation and counseling from healthcare providers changed their initial refusal to acceptance.

(Kornides, McRee & Gilkey, 2018)

HPV Myths

Only women can get HPV.

HPV is common among both men and women. About 80% of people will become infected by HPV at some point in their lives. In most cases, HPV goes away on its own. When it remains, it can lead to genital warts and several types of cancer such as: cervical, anal, penile, vaginal, vulvar and oropharyngeal (tonsils and base of tongue).

You must have sexual intercourse to get HPV.

HPV is spread by intimate skin-to-skin contact. While most cases are sexually transmitted, people who haven’t had intercourse can become infected. Using condoms is helpful, but is not completely effective against the virus. Condoms do not cover all of the genital skin.

The HPV vaccine causes teens and preteens to become sexually active.

No research links the HPV vaccine to increases in sexual activity. Children who receive the vaccine do not have sex any earlier than those who haven’t received the vaccine. Also, those who do receive the vaccine do not have a higher number of partners after they become sexually active.

The HPV vaccine may cause medical problems.

The HPV vaccine is a safe drug and doesn’t contribute to any serious health issues. Like any vaccine or medicine, the vaccine may cause mild reactions with the most common being pain or redness iat the vaccine administration site.

(Berkowitz, 2015)


Berkowitz, D. (2015). HPV and cancer: 9 myths busted. Retrieved from https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/FOH-HPV-myths.h14-1589835.html

Genital HPV infection – CDC fact sheet. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/HPV-FS-July-2017.pdf

Gostin, L. O. (2018). HPV Vaccination: A Public Good and a Health Imperative. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 46(2), 511–513. https://doi.org/10.1177/1073110518782958

Kornides, M. L., McRee, A.-L., & Gilkey, M. B. (2018). Parents Who Decline HPV Vaccination: Who Later Accepts and Why? Academic Pediatrics, 18, S37–S43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2017.06.008


Sanofi announces positive CHMP opinion for dengue vaccine

Cabriolet. “Sanofi announces positive CHMP opinion for dengue vaccine.”  22 Oct 2018. Online image. Flickr. 22 Aug 2019.

One interesting and currently relevant medical issue that is being, or has recently been reported in the popular media is the decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate our children.  The importance of this issue is because vaccines are supposed to protect the public against many infectious and potentially lethal diseases.  Aren’t they?

The following are media reports that discuss the topic at hand.  Some of the information provided is factual and some are myths, but they help us to recognize false information in order to consider additional research.

Vaccinations: It’s Not YOUR Choice

Vaccinations: It’s Not YOUR Choice

Solomon, A. (2019, August 22). Vaccinations: It’s Not YOUR Choice [Blog post]. Retrieved from //fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/15/senate-control-in-2014-increasingly-looks-like-a-tossup/

This article is written by a concerned mom who supports vaccinations.  She recognizes that diseases that were wiped out will come back if we don’t.  She explains that to vaccinate or not to vaccinate is NOT a personal choice.  She states that, “A personal choice does not affect hundreds, thousands of people, entire communities.” She gives examples of things that are a choice such as breast feeding, homeschooling and God.  Those are individual decisions that we can make for each unique family dynamic. Vaccinations are NOT a personal choice, and should never be, ever.  She addresses the autism myth and says that shell take her chances, at least her child would be alive.  By choosing not to vaccinate you are exposing children, parents, grandparents and are potentially taking them away from their families. She paints the picture of a frail five-week-old infant with pertussis in the ICU with tubes and machines, fighting for their life over a disease that has a cure.  Finally she asks us to spend the rest of our time and energy finding the solution to disease like cancer, and HIV that we haven’t figured out yet.

I’m A Mom And A Vaccine Researcher. Here’s Why You Should Vaccinate Your Children.


Nixon, K. (2019, August 22).  I’m A Mom And A Vaccine Researcher. Here’s Why You Should Vaccinate Your Children. Retrieved fromhttps://www.huffpost.com/entry/child-vaccinations-risk_n_5cb75091e4b08233dbddae6d

This article is written by a mom who is also a vaccine researcher.  She explains that as a vaccine researcher she has spend nearly a decade learning about the tragic stories of loss that ultimately led people to make vaccines.  She states that, “these stories are real for me, as real as they’d be if I witnessed any living person today hold their baby and watch it die. I have a phrase I use in vaccine arguments: “Until you’ve had to read as many accounts of women holding their babies while they died as I have had to do, you don’t get to say vaccines are the dangerous thing here.”  She goes back in history to the Victorians and their maternal agony over child loss due to these diseases and just how fully infective these diseases were to society.  In culture now, we rarely witnesses tetanus and polio so it is easy not to fear it.  Because of this we live in a world that is privileged and believe that our risk does not exist or if it does, it can be extinguished.  What has been lost from our memory is that there are huge risks to not vaccinating.  She explains that this effects the global community, the very old, the very young and the ill.  These individuals rely on herd immunity for protection.  She states that we have lost any connection to the idea of a grater good, for people outside of our own families.  She asks us to trust doctors and researchers like her.  She asks us to trust moms like her, who understand that you love your baby.

A Message for the Anti-Vaccine Movement


Kimmel, J.  (2019, August 22). A Message for the Anti-Vaccine Movement. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgpfNScEd3M

This video shows the night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, discussing vaccine controversies.  He jokes that parents are more scared of gluten than they are smallpox.  He understands that you might not take your advice about vaccinations from a talk show host like him, but you might take it from almost every doctor in the world.  These doctors he states, have learned how to “magically” prevent deadly diseases.  He makes a good point about “those little shots” of Botox to make lips plump, contain botulism, a toxin that causes paralysis and respiratory failure.  On a serious note he explains that not getting vaccinations effects everyone.  Unvaccinated kids put all kids at risk.  He says that if you think you know more than a doctor knows, then you shouldn’t be able to go to the doctor anymore.  So, if you fall and cut your head open, you will not be admitted to the emergency room.  After all, they can’t possibly know what they are doing.  He invites real doctors to hear them out.  These doctors state that the downside to vaccinations are practically nonexistent and that there is no reason not to vaccinate your children.  The doctor’s joke and ask if anyone has polio?  No, one doctor says, because there are vaccinations for that. One doctor mentions that they went to school for 8 years, and their pretty sure they know what their talking about.  Each physician then complains that this whole thing is stupid and that they had to come in on their day off just to explain this to us.  In the end, they all beg of us to vaccinate.

So – Are vaccines safe?  Why is everyone so afraid?  Is there, or isn’t there, a correlation between immunizations and autism?  Where did this myth come from and why do we question this when we vaccinate our children?  What is the truth about immunizations?

Vaccines protect the public against many infectious and potentially lethal diseases.  Tetanus causes lock jaw (Crisp, Jackie, et al., 2017).  Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection that sounds like a high-pitched bark as the patient coughs and struggles to breathe (Crisp, Jackie, et al., 2017).  Most of us are familiar with the flu that causes vomiting, diarrhea and high fevers (Crisp, Jackie, et al., 2017).  Complications with any of these diseases can potentially lead to death.  I can remember getting the chicken pox as a little girl.  I have two brothers who had it at the same time.  The three of us had red spots covering our bodies and fevers of 104 degrees.  Such high fevers can potentially cause seizures.  My mother took care of us for days, around the clock, with cold compresses, Tylenol and oatmeal baths.  Now there is a vaccine for this illness.  I have two children, 5 and 14 who fortunately will never know what it’s like to have the chicken pox because they were vaccinated.

My father is in a wheelchair because he had polio as a child.  My grandmother has told me stories about when he first became sick.  My father was dying and there was no ambulance who would take him to the hospital because they had a feeling, he had polio and they did not want to touch him in fear of “catching” it.  My grandfather had to carry him miles to the nearest hospital.  Most people at that time died of polio, or ended up paralyzed, in an iron lung.  My father, too, was paralyzed from the neck down. However, after a period of time, he regained most of his mobility aside from his left leg, which lays limp by his side.  This has negatively affected his quality of life but, he is lucky to be alive and able to have a family.  Polio has since been eradicated from the United States because of the polio vaccine.  Because of this, thankfully my children will never know the horror of what it is like to have this disease.

Why are we so scared of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccination in particular?  “Measles causes fever, rash, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. Complications can include ear infection, diarrhea, pneumonia, brain damage, and death.  Mumps causes fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen salivary glands. Complications can include swelling of the testicles or ovaries, deafness, inflammation of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (encephalitis/meningitis) and, rarely, death Rubella, causes fever, sore throat, rash, headache, and red, itchy eyes. If a woman gets rubella while she is pregnant, she could have a miscarriage, or her baby could be born with serious birth defects (CDC, 2018).”

Serious side effects are rare. Anaphylaxis can be a concern – hives, rash, swelling in the mouth or throat, tightness of the chest, anxiety, nausea and vomiting.  This would be a true adverse reaction and a major side effect.  However, this does not happen often, and one must recognize that a person could become anaphylactic to anything in the environment such as peanut butter or bee’s etc., not just vaccinations.  Most side effects are mild and include soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site, fever, rash and achiness.  Most are local reactions and clearly outweigh the seriousness of getting the actual diseases.  In none of the vaccination information sheet does it say that a complication or side effect of this is autism.  So, where did autism come into the equation?

In 1998 the autism related controversy started when some concern arose about the safety of the vaccine (Khan Academy 2013).  In Britain a form of the MMR Vaccine produced three cases of associated febrile convulsions (Khan Academy 2013).  Apprehension regarding the vaccine surfaced.  A new strain was introduced in 1988 – the Jeryl Lynn strain (Khan Academy 2013).  Cases of aseptic meningitis were diagnosed with other strains of the vaccine while the Jeryl Lynn vaccine did not (Khan Academy 2013).  The National Health Service withdrew two of the three available MMR vaccines in favor of the Jeryl Lynn’s strain (Khan Academy 2013).  MMR vaccination rates continued to fall despite removal because of the concern of adverse reactions (Khan Academy 2013).  In 1994, Richard Barr pursued a class action suit against manufacturers of MMR vaccine indicating that MMR was a defective product and should not have been used (Khan Academy 2013).  He sought the help of Jeremy Wakefield a gastroenterologist and medical researcher who agreed to participate in this study covertly for his own financial gain (Khan Academy 2013).  The money that Barr paid Wakefield to carry out the study was given directly to Wakefield and was not used for the study itself (Khan Academy 2013).  The Wakefield study falsely concluded that autism was directly caused by the MMR vaccine (Khan Academy 2013).  In 1997, Wakefield created a patent for a new MMR vaccine; one that would have competed with the existing MMR vaccines and did not cause autism (Khan Academy 2013).

Since that time numerous studies have disproven Wakefield’s reports.  “The paper, which suggested a link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism, was eventually retracted in 2010 (Heft, 2014).”  Even before the complete retraction, in 2004, ten of the paper’s 13 authors cosigned a partial retraction of its main interpretation (Heft, 2014).” “What the public didn’t know in 1998 was that the now-retracted study, which involved just 12 children, would turn out to have some serious flaws—and even to contain apparently falsified data. The 12 years between its publication and its retraction, left a lot of time for the unfounded and never-confirmed vaccine-autism link to take hold in the minds of worried parents (Heft, 2014).”

Some people still have concerns despite numerous studies that have shown there is no link between receiving vaccines and developing autism.  In 2011, an Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported on eight vaccines given to children and adults which concluded that with rare exceptions, these vaccines are very safe (CDC, 2018).  The CDC has released extensive evidence indicating that there is no link between vaccines and autism however, the stigma remains, and parents are nonetheless hesitant to vaccinate their children.

The Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization (WHO) did a series of workshops in 2017 (WHO, 2017). The organization discussed the public’s response to false information about vaccines, including media and court cases related to alleged adverse reactions of vaccines (WHO, 2017).  Italy has had outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases in recent years (WHO, 2017).  “Since July 2016, there have been 35 measles deaths in the region: 31 in Romania, two in Italy (along with 4044 measles cases), one death in Germany and one in Portugal (WHO, 2017)”.  Some parents are frightened to vaccinate their children as a result of misleading media reports, court cases of alleged adverse reactions and repetitive, deliberate exaggerations by anti-vaccination campaigners (WHO, 2017).  Polio, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis B, pertussis, Haemophilus influenza type B, measles, mumps, rubella and varicella are now a school-entry requirement across Italy (WHO, 2017).  One of the largest challenges for public health officials has been how to respond to the abundance of misleading information (WHO, 2017). “Studies show that simply correcting myths about vaccines may not be effective and can even backfire (WHO, 2017)”.  The US CDC delivered information of evidence refuting these claims which reduced these misperceptions (WHO, 2017).  “Most hesitant parents do not oppose the scientific evidence, but the appeals and messages of vaccine deniers make them feel afraid and uncertain (WHO, 2017)”.  The public has impractical expectations.  They want 100% certainty that vaccines are safe and effective but of course with any vaccination there are always possible side effects and adverse outcomes (WHO, 2017).   The public has false logic including the belief that all-natural things are good and all unnatural things are bad (WHO, 2017).  A public information campaign aimed to identify false information found that a major source of confusion was the multitude of contradictory media reports (WHO, 2017).  There was also apprehension over babies being too young to tolerate a triple vaccine, “the team devised messages explaining that the MMR vaccine helps to build a baby’s immune system rather than attacking it (WHO, 2017)”.  “Religious beliefs, lack of trust in health authorities and providers, safety concerns and a lack of perceived benefit of vaccines were among the reasons for vaccine hesitancy around the world (WHO, 2017)”.

santopaul79. (2019, August 22). Stop the Anti-vaxers before it’s too late [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/91040523@N05/16228652489/in/photolist-qY6sQn-r4tm4r-25hU8EB-BqXp1k-dXewbi-qJ55Zg-2dQpcnR-294TFoX-BtmBc4-S52fpH-2ft48b1-2dwbTJn-2biJoJx-2fEAFU8-SC7evY-YGPdMr-seDA1Z-2699jzN-22NEXVU-X7Ec8G-2doEJRN-253UbWC-o87nb5-Y9KYMR-ebE2Fm-22eC66E-23JoiNn-2djBjjw-Lor45B-QHMimF-2gpGBPE-2gdpepr-sTU2xw-rSU693-rEHEe3-qt77us

Some find concern with the use of thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative in many vaccines including the MMR vaccine.  Studies have shown that there is no link between the ingredient and autism.  “Since 2003, there have been nine CDC conducted and/or funded studies which have found no link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and ASD, as well as no link between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism in children (Vaccine Safety, 2015).”  As a matter of fact, in the year 2000 “thimerosal was removed or reduced to trace amounts in all childhood vaccines except for some flu vaccines (Vaccine Safety, 2015)”.  This was done as a national effort to minimize if not eliminate exposure to mercury before studies showed the preservative was not harmful.

Many myths have been disproven such as better hygiene and sanitation will make diseases disappear, making vaccines unnecessary (Questions and Answers on Immunizations, 2018).  In fact, the diseases we can vaccinate against will return if we stop vaccination programs (Questions and Answers on Immunizations, 2018).  While better hygiene and clean water do decrease the spread of disease, many infections can spread regardless of how clean we are (Questions and Answers on Immunizations, 2018).  Another myth is that vaccines may have damaging, long-term side-effects that can be fatal that are still unknown (Questions and Answers on Immunizations, 2018).  When the fact of the matter is, vaccines are very safe.  Most reactions are usually minor and temporary, such as a soreness or redness at the site of injection. Serious reactions are rare and are carefully monitored and investigated (Questions and Answers on Immunizations, 2018). An individual is more likely to be seriously injured or even die by a vaccine-preventable disease than by a vaccine (Questions and Answers on Immunizations, 2018).  Some believe that vaccine-preventable diseases are almost extinct, so there is no reason for vaccination.  Even though vaccine preventable diseases have become scarce in many countries, the infectious agents that cause them to continue to “circulate can cross geographical borders and infect anyone who is not protected (Questions and Answers on Immunizations, 2018)”.  Another misconception is that childhood illnesses are just part of life or that it is better to develop antibodies through disease than through vaccines (Questions and Answers on Immunizations, 2018).  Vaccine preventable diseases do not have to be part of growing up and they “interact with the immune system to produce an immune response similar to that produced by the natural infection, but they do not cause the disease or put the immunized person at risk of its potential complications (Questions and Answers on Immunizations, 2018)”.  Some believe that giving a child more than one vaccine at a time can increase the risk of overloading the child’s immune system (Questions and Answers on Immunizations, 2018).  However, “scientific evidence shows that giving several vaccines at the same time has no adverse effect on a child’s immune system (Questions and Answers on Immunizations, 2018)”.

As a result of all of the confusion, Measles, which had been practically non-existent in the United States just a century ago, has since reemerged.  According to the CDC, there have been 107 outbreaks of measles this year alone.  Schools require children to get routine vaccinations to attend.  This has helped control the spread of the disease through herd immunity.  The rationale behind herd immunity is that if enough people are vaccinated against a particular disease, viruses can’t spread from person to person as easily.  The entire community or “herd” is less likely to have an outbreak of the disease.  Through this process, it is possible that the disease can become eradicated all together.  In the past few years, we have been seeing a rise in children not being immunized as a result of “anti-vaxxers,” who choose not to vaccinate their children due to non-medical exemptions.

In combination with all the myths, children with autism and their younger siblings are less likely to be fully vaccinated.  A study showed that more than 3700 children with autism and almost 500,000 children without, “after receiving an autism diagnosis, rates of vaccination were significantly lower (82%) compared with children of the same age who did not have an autism diagnosis (94%) (Community Practitioner, 2018)”.  Siblings not being vaccinated contributes to the spread of the disease.

Due to the resurgence of measles, Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest group to advocate for autism, funded research to help distinguish if there is any link between vaccinations and autism (Bits and pieces, 2015).  The conclusion was that “the results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism (Bits and pieces, 2015).”  Autism Speaks urges all children to be vaccinated.

A bright-eyed little boy with red hair, blue eyes and freckles sits on the edge of a treatment table in a doctor’s office.  He licks a lollypop as the nurse places a ninja turtle band aid on his right upper arm.  He just received his MMR shot.  “You were very brave,” the mother says to him.  The child smiles.  This mother’s decision to vaccinate her child essentially saved his life from a very harmful disease.  The doctor explained to the mother prior to administration that vaccines are safe, effective, and they do not cause autism.  The doctor stated that they protect us from many deadly diseases and the benefits of being vaccinated far outweigh the risk of any negative side effects.


Bits and Pieces. Autism Speaks Alters Position on Vaccines. (2015). Palaestra, 29(1), 55. Retrieved from http://library.neit.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ccm&AN=103805316&site=ehost-live

Cabriolet. “Sanofi announces positive CHMP opinion for dengue vaccine.”  22 Oct 2018. Online image. Flickr. 22 Aug 2019.

Children with Autism at Increased Risk of Vaccine-Preventable Disease. (2018). Community Practitioner, 91(4), 12. Retrieved from http://library.neit.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ccm&AN=130613578&site=ehost-live

Crisp, Jackie, et al. Potter & Perry’s Fundamentals of Nursing. Elsevier Australia (a Division of Reed International Books Australia Pty Ltd.), 2017.

Helft, Emily Willingham and Laura. “The Autism-Vaccine Myth.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 5 Sept. 2014, www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/autism-vaccine-myth.html.

Khan Academy.92013, January 27. Retrieved October 15, 2018 from http://www.youtube.com/atch?v=HGb91dbNdM

Kimmel, J.  (2019, August 22). A Message for the Anti-Vaccine Movement. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgpfNScEd3M

Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine Safety. (2019, August 21). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/mmr-vaccine.html

Nixon, K. (2019, August 22).  I’m A Mom And A Vaccine Researcher. Here’s Why You Should Vaccinate Your Children. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/child-vaccinations-risk_n_5cb75091e4b08233dbddae6d

santopaul79. (2019, August 22). Stop the Anti-vaxers before it’s too late [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/91040523@N05/16228652489/in/photolist-qY6sQn-r4tm4r-25hU8EB-BqXp1k-dXewbi-qJ55Zg-2dQpcnR-294TFoX-BtmBc4-S52fpH-2ft48b1-2dwbTJn-2biJoJx-2fEAFU8-SC7evY-YGPdMr-seDA1Z-2699jzN-22NEXVU-X7Ec8G-2doEJRN-253UbWC-o87nb5-Y9KYMR-ebE2Fm-22eC66E-23JoiNn-2djBjjw-Lor45B-QHMimF-2gpGBPE-2gdpepr-sTU2xw-rSU693-rEHEe3-qt77us

Solomon, A. (2019, August 22). Vaccinations: It’s Not YOUR Choice [Blog post]. Retrieved from //fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/15/senate-control-in-2014-increasingly-looks-like-a-tossup/

Vaccine Safety. (2015, November 23). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/autism.html

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2006, October 11).  Vaccines Protect Your Community.  Retrieved October 27,2018, fromhttps://www.vaccines.gov/basics/work/protection/index.html

How to Recognize and Reduce the Risk of a Surgical Site Infection.

By: Adam, inc.

A surgical site infection is an infection that occurs after surgery in the area that the surgery was performed. Health care professionals need to educate the patient with accurate information about the signs and symptoms to be aware of. Early recognition of these signs and symptoms will prevent the infection from spreading and becoming worse. and easier to manage with antibiotics.

Reducing the risk of a surgical site infection is important for the best surgical outcomes. Before your surgery if you have any infections such as a urinary tract infections, chest cold, cellulitis or fungus, you should let your health care provider know. They want to cancel or postpone the surgery until you are healthy. These infections could decrease the healing of your surgical incision. Do not shave your body on around the area where the surgery will be performed. Shaving increases the risk of infection, a nurse will use an clipper the day of surgery if nessacary. Shower the night before with an antimicrobial soap provided by your healthcare provider. Keep your hands clean at all times, keep the incision clean and dry and do not touch the wound with your bare hands.

Call your health care provider if you think that you have any of these infections or have any questions or concerns.


This video discusses the signs and symptoms of an infection and what you should look out for. As the patient you should be aware of these signs and symptoms of infection such as, pain, increased skin temperature, redness, swelling, discharge such as pus and a high fever in and around the incision/wound.

If you have any of these signs and symptoms you should contact your health care provider immediately.


Stryja, J. (2018). Ten top tips: prevention of surgical site infections.   Wounds International9(2), 16–20. 

Brettmann, E. A., & de Guzman Strong, C. (2018). Recent evolution of the human skin barrier. Experimental Dermatology27(8), 859–866. 

Siaw-Sakyi, V. (2017). Early wound infection identification using the WIRE tool in community health care settings: An audit report. British Journal of Community Nursing22, S20–S27.

Tartari, E., Weterings, V., Gastmeier, P., Rodriguez-Bano, J., Widmer, A., Kluytmans, J., Voss, A. (2017). Patient engagement with surgical site infection: an expert panel perspective. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, 6(45).  p. 1-9  

Medical Fact or Fiction: Stroke Ed

Stroke Education


Do you know what a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) is? A CVA is commonly referred to as a stroke. On the Internet and TV this condition maybe referred to as a brain attack. All these terms relate to the same concept, your brain goes with out oxygen for a certain amount of time. Without oxygen your brain cells can die, leading to further disability. 15 million people world wide have had strokes, and it is important that treatment starts early. At this point, you might be asking yourself am I at a risk for a stroke or a “brain attack” and the answer is YES. Everyone is at risk, brain attacks can occur at anytime, at age. This is something not fear, there are factors that can out individuals at higher risks than other. You are at a greater risk of experience a brain attack or stroke if:

  • You are age 65 years and older; but can occur at any age, after the age of 55 your risk doubles every 10 years, or with each passing decade
  • You are a male
  • You are from an African American decent. African Americans are at a 2x higher risk than Caucasians
  • You have a past medical history of a previous stroke, or a transient ischemic attack (TIA) commonly called a “mini stroke”. TIAs present as stroke, but the symptoms resolve within 24 hours. With strokes the symptoms do not go away that quickly.
  • You have high blood pressure, or certain heart diseases
  • You have migraine headaches, with warning signs called an aura
  • You smoke
  • You make poor dietary choices and live a non-active sedentary lifestyle
  • You have long term alcohol usage, or abuse alcohol
  • You use illicit substances such as street drugs
  • You have diabetes, and your diabetes is not well controlled
  • You are on hormonal contraception such as birth control pills

If you have any of these risk factors DO NOT automatically assume you are going to have a stroke or brain attack. Talk with your doctor, and look at what options are available to lower your risk. You can lower your risk by:

  • Managing your blood pressure
  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Exercises 30 minutes a day most days of the week
  • Managing your diabetes, getting those blood sugars under control
  • Quit smoking
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Seeking help for substance abuse

It is important to be well educated about the risks of having a brain attack or stroke. Now that the risk factors have been explained you may be asking yourself: How do I know if I am having a stroke or a loved one is? You have to think FAST:

  • FAST stands for face, arm, speech, and time
  • Is there a facial droop, or the face appears to be not symmetrical 
  • Does the arm fall when it is picked up, has control of the arm been lost on the affected side
  • Is the person hard to understand, is their speech no longer clear, and garbled up, it may be incomphrensible 
  • Time is essential, call 911, if this person is brought to a certified stroke center within 30 minutes, a treatment to reverse the stroke may be provided

At any onset of stroke like symptoms even if they appear to go away seek medical attention, call 911. Do not take the risk, or wait to see if this will resolve on its own. Time is important, and so are you. 

This media clip from the popular medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, is not the most accurate description of a healthcare professionals assessment, but it does do a good job considering it is from a drama-fiction show. 


Cabrera, G., & Woten, M. (2018, June 29). Transient ischemic attack. Retrieved August 27, 2019, from Nursing Reference Center.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2015, October 26). Recognize the Signs and Symptoms of Stroke. Retrieved August 11, 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkpbbWZvYmw

Clare, C. S. (2017). The role of community nurses in stroke prevention. Journal of Community Nursing,31(1), 54-58. Retrieved August 15, 2019.

HealthSketch. (2015, May 15). What is a Stroke? Animated Explanation Video. Retrieved August 11, 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryIGnzodxDs

Ignatavicius, D. D., Workman, M. L., & Blair, M. (2016). Medical-surgical nursing: Patient-centered collaborative care, eight edition(8th ed.). St. Louis: Elsevier.

Ignatavicius, D. D., Winkelman, C., & Workman, M. (2016). Clinical companion for Medical-surgical nursing: patient-centered collaborative care (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Science.

Mennella, H., & Avital, O. (2018, September 28). Stroke: An overview. Retrieved August 28, 2019, from Nursing Reference Center.

Moreno, D. (2015, December 08). Greys Anatomy golden hour stroke. Retrieved August 11, 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0uT2Iicao8

Nettina, S. M. (2010). Lippincott manual of nursing practice (9th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health.

Patel, A. A., Lennert, B., Macomson, B., Nelson, W., Owens, G. M., Mody, S. H., & Schein, J. (2012). Anticoagulant use for prevention of stroke in a commercial population with atrial fibrillation. American Health & Drug Benifits,5(5), just/august 2012, 291-297. Retrieved August 15, 2019.

Rodgers, S. G. (2008). Thomson Delmar learning’s medical-surgical nursing care plans. Clifton Park, NY: Thomas Delmar Learning.

Stroke: Seconds count when the brain loses blood supply. (2018). Mayo Clinic Health Letter,august 2018, 1-8. Retrieved August 15, 2019.


Why we need to vaccinate

When you skip vaccines you leave yourself more vulnerable to disease. Vaccines are safe, and just like eating healthy and exercising they play a vital role in your well being.

Vaccinations don’t just help individuals they help everyone in society. If more and more people decide not to vaccinate, people will become sick. Vaccinations teach the body to recognize disease and stimulate body to fight antigens and pathogens. After receiving a vaccine your body builds an adaptive immune response.


*getting the vaccines with complications outweigh the risk of contracting the disease
  • low-grade fever
  • soreness
  • fever. headache
  • pain, swelling, redness
  • fatigue
  • seizures
  • People have been vaccinating their children since the 18th century, why are people trying to change that now?
  • childhood vaccines are 85%-95& effective, 0% effective if you don’t receive the vaccine.


Vaccines cause autism- false

Truth- there is no relationship between autism and vaccines, autism is already developed before the child is born. 

Mythvaccine schedule is too aggressive / Truth- Vaccination schedule determined by decades of medical evidence

Myth- vaccinations cause diseases they are made to prevent/ Truth- vaccinations stimulate the immune system and produce antibodies to protect us from the disease.


Steyn, L. (2019). Understanding flu vaccination. Professional Nursing Today, 23(1), 21-26

Sandroff, R. (2009). Flu vaccine myths. Consumer Reports on Health, 21 (1), 2.

Raymond, M.K. (2008). From the editors. Blowing Away Flu Vaccine Myths, 71 (10), 9.M

Human Growth Hormone: Myths and truths


Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is produced in the brain.  It’s function is to stimulate bone and muscle growth in children.  This allows children to grow into adults.  In children with illness such as cancer, where growth has been slowed, HGH can be administered to promote growth and development.

By: MattysFlicks

There are many myths associated with HGH.  These myths have been popularized on mainstream media, social media, and various sports teams. One myth is that HGH will slow the aging process.  The thought is taking this hormone will improve skin quality and reduce wrinkles giving the appearance of youth.  Another myth is that it improves athletic performance.  Athletes can perform better, or heal quickly to get back on the playing field.    As these myths seem enticing to people wanting to look better and improve their physical performance, the drug is being readily available on the street.  While the smoke and mirrors of HGH permeates society, teenagers are gaining more interest on the medication.  As a result, there have been an increasing number of teenagers experimenting with this drug.

HGH is produced naturally in the body.  It aids in growth and development in children.  There are times where HGH is prescribed by a doctor.   This is done for a few reasons including stunted growth, brain injury (pituitary gland), and muscle wasting associated with AIDS.  All of the above are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved.  When people start using this medication on their own for enhancement purposes,  they run the risk for developing short term side effects including joint and muscle tingling and swelling.  The problem with taking HGH for long periods of time are the increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.  People who take this medication on their own, without the guidance of a doctor, are often not monitored.  Allergic reaction or other side effects are not detected and there remains a possibility of long-term side effects and/or death.   HGH is available on the street, and teenagers looking to improve their looks or athletic stature can face dire consequences.  People need to be educated about the reality of HGH.  While it provides miracles for those in need: those who cannot produce the hormone, it can remain a health hazard if too much of this hormone exists in the body.

With any medication, it is important and necessary to follow the direction of a physician.  This ensures safety and allows for greater benefits.  Reading and learning about HGH prior to taking the hormone offers a safer way.  It is not a fountain of youth in capsule form, and it should not be used to become a superhero.  It is a necessary treatment for those lacking this hormone.