Treating Head Lice

March 18, 2017

NO parent want to deal with their child having head lice.

Even though it occurs all year, head lice cases seem to increase significantly during the fall when kids return to school and again in January after the Christmas Break.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports between 6 to 12 million cases of head lice occurring each year in the United States in children between the ages of 3 and 11. Preschool children, elementary school children and children around people with lice are especially prone to getting head lice.

Despite the stereotypes, head lice are not a result of improper hygiene habits. They tend to spread by direct head-to-head contact with others who have head lice. Also, you can’t get head lice from pets because they only feed on humans.

Blood-Sucking Bugs

Head lice look like tan, white or gray sesame seed-size bugs that latch on the skin of the head and lay eggs in the hair.

Part your child’s hair to see if your child has lice. A magnifying glass will reveal them—especially the nits. Since the bugs are always on the move, you can spot them by the presence of nits. These nits look a lot like dandruff but are not movable like dandruff is when you pick up a hair strand and run your fingernail across the area.

Head Lice Prevention Strategies

  • Teach your children about preventing heat-to-head contact while playing and interacting and about avoiding sharing headgear with other children (like sharing hats, scarves, towels, combs, brushes, bandannas, hair ties and bows, headphones, helmets and other sports uniform items.
  • Disinfect combs and brushes used by a person with head lice by letting them soak in hot water (at least 130°F) between 5–10 minutes.
  • Do not lie on pillows, carpets, beds, couches or stuffed animals that have been used by a person with head lice.
  • Items infected by people with head lice need to cleaned within 48 hours before treatment has begun. Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items using hot water (130°F) and a high temperature drying heat cycle. Get items that can’t be washed dry-cleaned or sealed in plastic and put away for two weeks.
  • All furniture and floors where the person may have laid down or sat need to be vacuumed. Keep in mind that the lice cannot feed off a scalp, they will die within one to two days.
  • You don’t have to use insecticides to control the spread of lice.

After a week of head lice treatment has passed, check everyone in the house for any remaining lice. If more are found, consult a health care provider for further suggestions.

Most people think soaps and body washes that are labeled as antibacterial are safer to use and decrease their chances of getting infected with germs or sicknesses.  However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that there is no sound evidence to this day that supports the claim that over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial soaps are better at germ spreading and illness prevention than any other soap and body wash products. Also, there is a concern that antibacterial products may not be as beneficial as once thought if used for prolonged periods of time.

In 2013 the FDA had meetings and conducted extensive research on the effectiveness and safety of antibacterial soaps. The ruling from this study requires manufacturers, consumers and others to provide feedback on whether these products should be continued. To date, not much data has been gathered concerning this issue. Now, the FDA proposes a final ruling that OTC cosmetic wash products (i.e., liquid, foam, bar soaps, gel hand soaps and body washes) that have Triclocarban and Triclosan as a primary active ingredient will be discontinued on the market.

The reason behind this ruling deals with the fact that manufacturers haven’t cooperated in proving these ingredients are safe for prolonged daily use. Also, the manufacturers demonstrated how these products prove to be any more effective or beneficial than plain soap and water in being antibacterial. There are some companies that are already taking triclocarban and triclosan out their products.

What Makes Soap ‘Antibacterial’

Antibacterial soaps (also known as antiseptic or antimicrobial soaps) contain certain chemicals that you won’t find in regular soap. These chemicals are supposed to reduce the spread of harmful bacteria and infections when people use these products.

Many scholars and environmentalists are concerned about the safety of several antibacterial liquid soap products that have triclosan. Animal studies suggests that triclosan changes the way the body’s hormones behave, which poses a concern about how this hormonal change may adversely affect humans. Because of limited research in this area, little is known about the extent of influence triclosan has on the human body.

Because of the lack of concrete evidence of the safety and efficacy of these products, manufacturers may be fostering false hope about the purpose of these products to ward off germs and illnesses.  If your choice in these antibacterial products is for the feel, then save your family potential harm by using similar and safer products that feel the same way and don’t have triclocarban and triclosan. If you are using these products for the antibacterial quality, there is no evidence to assure you that you are not wasting your time using them.  Because of these uncertainties, a few manufacturers have revised their products and eliminated antibacterial agents.

Triclosan and Health Concerns

Triclosan is also found in furniture, toys, clothes, and kitchen utensils with the purpose of preventing bacterial infections. Because of that, there is an even greater concern about human exposure to this chemical.

1. Has the FDA studied Tattoo Inks?

The FDA has limited information about tattoo inks. However, the FDA is examining tattoo inks and pigments to see if they contain heavy metals, contaminants, degradants, toxic chemicals like coating agents, microbicides and pH stabilizers, and other substances that may not be tolerable in the human body. For example, some reports claim tattoo ink has pigments that can be found in car paint and printer toner.

 2. Should I be concerned about a tattoo from a non-sterile needle or the actual ink?

Actually you should be concerned about both of them. It’s no surprised that people can get infections from non-sterile needles, but some people get infections from the ink itself because of contamination from invading mold and bacteria when the ink was made or while the ink was in the tattoo shop. When the ink itself is the culprit, it’s often due to using non-sterile water to dilute the ink (but it’s sometimes due to other reasons).

You can’t tell if ink is safe just by smelling it or looking at it. If the ink was improperly made from the manufacturer, it can be sealed or wrapped up and still be contaminated. So, you can’t just rely on a product label claiming it’s sterile when the ink could have gotten contaminated at any point in the making of it.

 3. What reactions are common (and not so common) after getting a tattoo?

Some people have a fever after getting a tattoo, and some people may get some type of rash that looks like red patches or bumps. If you have anything more serious than that, you may have to get an antibiotic treatment for the infection, or it may require hospitalization or surgery.  A more serious infection will entail shaking, chills, sweats and a high fever. Your doctor will determine if your infection is serious enough to require more extensive medical attention.

4. How should I handle getting a reaction or infection from my tattoo?

As stated in the answer to question three, it is recommended you contact your doctor (or another health care provider) to determine the severity of your reaction.

Also, make sure you let the tattoo artist know about your reaction to the ink. That way, the tattoo artist can remove the contaminated ink and prevent using it again. Also, you may be able to get detailed information about the ink that may shed light on how to treat the reaction to it.

5.  Is it safe to use those do-it-yourself tattoo inks and kits?

Unless you are a licensed tattoo artist, you might not have the right training to apply your own tattoo, which may leave you open to a high risk of contamination and infections. Also, there have been a lot of reports of allergic reactions to the inks and kits commonly found online.

6. Are there any long-term effects of having a tattoo?

The FDA and many other organizations are doing continuing research on the effects of tattoo art. However, many unanswered questions about tattoos are still not being addressed with the ongoing research. For example, most research going on today does not consider the long-term effects of the ingredients (including the contaminants) found in tattoo ink.

Another issue when considering the effect of tattoo pigments concerns what happens when the tattoo is removed via laser treatment. To date, research has shown that there is some scaring that occurs after tattoo removal, but other effects are yet to be verified.

7. What’s the bottom line?

Always consider the previously stated information before getting a tattoo. It does not matter about how advanced technology is because it still hurts and causes scarring to get a tattoo removed should you change your mind about keeping it.

Salt in Your Diet

February 11, 2017

Are you conscious about the amount of salt (aka sodium chloride) you eat? Are you certain the amount of salt you eat is appropriate for your body?

You may be surprised to find out you consume more salt than you think.

You may not use salt at all, and you still may be consuming too much of it if you eat a lot of prepared and processed foods. As a matter of fact, the sodium in most people’s diets in the United States comes from processed and prepared foods found in restaurants and grocery stores.

Now, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is trying to restrict the amount of sodium added to foods. A draft guidance for industry has been released by the FDA with the intent to have industries decrease the amount of sodium added to prepared and processed foods. The restriction concerns the amount of salt added to your foods before by the restaurants and manufacturers before you even get a chance to season them yourself.

The objective of the FDA is to have people decrease their daily salt intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day, which is the equivalent to a teaspoon of salt. Right now, Americans consume about 50% more than what’s recommended for a daily allowance.

The Problem with Excess Sodium Consumption

The terms salt and sodium may be used as synonyms, but they are not identical substances. Salt is the crystal-like substance you sprinkle over your food and is 40% sodium and 60% chloride. Sodium is a mineral found in salt, but salt is the primary form that you consume sodium. Almost 95% of the sodium consumed–whether added by you or added by the manufacturer comes in salt form.

The body needs sodium to assist in doing its daily functions, and sodium can be found naturally in a lot of foods (including milk, beets and celery). Regardless of which form it’s in, sodium is also used to improve flavor, thicken foods and preserve foods.

The downside of sodium is the potential for it to cause high blood pressure, which is a precursor to heart disease and stroke. Therefore, a lot of deaths and sickness can be eliminated just by decreasing sodium intake.  

What Foods Are Typically High in Sodium?

Prepared and processed foods like soups, cheese, pizza, pasta dishes, snacks, sandwiches and salad dressings are rich in sodium.

You can’t assume a food has little sodium just because you can’t hardly taste any salt in it. That’s because most foods high in sodium won’t taste salty like pickles do. For example, pastries and sweet cereals are high in sodium but don’t taste salty. Also, some foods are low in sodium but may be consumed in quantities that make them a risky source of sodium (like a slice of bread).

Aren’t they the equivalent of an online ‘big group hug’?  All touchy, feely?  Full of love, acceptance and moral support?

They can be, but online hair loss forums are also one of the best places on the net to get open and honest advice about what’s worked for real people … and what hasn’t.

There are a number of factors to keep in mind when browsing, joining or contributing to a discussion forum. I’ve filtered over 50 hair loss related forums and discussion groups using certain criteria to arrive at a best of list.

The Top 3 Best Hair Loss Forums

#1 Hair Loss

Hair Loss Forum is the online community of the site.  Whilst its focus is on hair loss treatment pills, it does provide good coverage of other hair loss issues and causes. A good reference for those trying to navigate the pros and cons of the numerous hair loss treatment pills and supplements available.

#2 ForHair

A focus on surgical hair restoration, but includes some interesting discussion on other treatment options.

#3 Hair

A particularly good resource for educating yourself on both the causes and variety of solutions for hair loss.

Whether you’re training for a marathon or chasing a toddler around the house, there are plenty of reasons to want more stamina.

Endurance gives you the ability to power through physical activities at your peak level. Athletes build up stamina, or endurance, over time through a healthy lifestyle, a regular exercise or training routine and a balanced diet, but there may be times when you need to build up your stamina even more in just a few days. Whether it’s in preparation for a sporting event or other physically demanding activity, there are some additional things you can focus on to achieve this.

To build muscle endurance, limit your recovery time between sets to 30 to 90 seconds. Want to kick things up a notch? Take the recovery time — and the weight — down a notch. Less resistance, more repetitions and resting for 30 seconds or less between exercises is optimal for building stamina, a 2006 article in the Journal of Strength Conditioning and Research concluded. In other words, embrace those circuit workouts!

More info: How to Increase Muscle Endurance?

Memory Loss Prevention

January 19, 2017

It is normal for it to become more difficult to recall certain types of information (like people’s names) as people age.

Mild cognitive impairment is memory loss that goes beyond the normal expectancy for a person’s age, but a person still can do daily functions while having this condition.

Dementia is a more serious type of memory loss that is characterized by a progression of memory impairment, which eventually hinders other parts of one’s thinking abilities. Alzheimer’s disease (a condition in which brain abnormalities are formed by a rapid brain cell loss) is a primary cause of dementia even though other conditions can cause it.

Can We Prevent Memory Loss?

There are several ongoing clinical studies aimed at discovering intervention strategies for memory loss. Current research data indicates that shifting progestin and estrogen levels caused the risk of dementia in women older than 65 to increase. To date, claims that ginkgo biloba prevents memory loss are unsupported by concrete evidence.

However, there are some strategies you can try to help reduce the potential for memory loss:

  • Get your blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Research has proven that prolonged high cholesterol and high blood pressure increases the risk for vascular conditions (stroke and heart disease) that may lead to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease or the development of vascular dementia (also known as multi-infarct dementia.
  • Don’t smoke or abuse alcohol.
  • Exercise regularly to keep your blood flowing properly to the brain, which will decrease your chances of dementia.
  • Maintain healthy eating habits. A diet of less saturated fats and more leaf green vegetables is just what the doctor ordered for decreasing memory loss.  Beneficial fats like a omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon and tuna are also great for brain health.
  • Keep an active social life, which will help you relieve stress.

Researcher claim people need to stay mentally active via writing, reading, learning new things, playing games, and gardening stimulates brain cells and the connections between them for better cognitive function and less risk for dementia.