Archive | October 2020

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart.  If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.  Of course wearing your mask!”

CDC

Here are a few ways you can help prevent injuries on Halloween:

Have a Healthy Halloween

Have a Healthy Halloween

halloween-safety-tips   halloween-tips

  • Monitor costume accessories. Make sure swords, knives and other accessories are short, soft and flexible.
  • Avoid trick-or-treating alone. A trusted adult should accompany smaller children, and older children should travel in groups.
  • Remain visible. Trick-or-treating is an evening activity, and it can last until after dark. Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to increase visibility for drivers, and use flashlights to see and be seen.
  • Be cautious with glow sticks. Glow-in-the-dark sticks and accessories should only be used under adult supervision and should never be cut or broken open.
  • Examine treats. Parents should inspect all treats for tampering and/or choking hazards before allowing children to enjoy them.
  • Limit treats. Limit the amount of candy and treats your children eat. Too much candy at one time can cause an upset stomach.
  • Test and remove makeup. If makeup is going to be used as part of a costume, always test the makeup on a small area of skin first to ensure it does not cause irritation. Remove makeup at bedtime to prevent skin or eye irritation.
  • Avoid decorative contact lenses. Decorative contact lenses can cause serious eye injuries.
  • Obey traffic rules. Look both ways before crossing the street, and use crosswalks when available. Walk on the sidewalks, when possible; if there aren’t any sidewalks, walk along the far edge of the road facing traffic.
  • Ensure costumes and accessories fit properly. Masks, costumes and shoes should fit properly to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls.
  • Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid homemade treats made by strangers.
  • Carefully choose which homes you visit. Only visit well-lit houses, and enter homes only if accompanied by a trusted adult.
  • Ensure costumes are flame-resistant. As a precaution, avoid walking near lit candles or luminaries while in costume.
  • Carry a cell phone in case of emergency.Following these simple safety tips will help keep your children safe—without any unplanned scares. St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center wishes everyone a fun and safe Halloween.
  • Parents should also supervise children while carving pumpkins. Be sure children use pumpkin carving kits—or knives specifically designed for carving—to avoid injury. Younger children can even use paint, markers or other decorations that do not have sharp edges.
  • Have a one destination area, a home with all the kids dressed up having a halloween party meet instead of walking around house to house; or what I heard is a group of people all meet in a parking lot with the kids dressed up with their parents having a halloween meet getting there candy for safety.

CDC recommends the following this Halloween:

Moderate Risk Activities:

  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)
    • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.
  • Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
  • Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
    • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.
    • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
  • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
    • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart
    • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
    • Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.

Higher Risk Activities:

Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“Cyber Bullying is a huge problem today, it can have lethal consequences for any age. Even mature and emotionally stable adults can be victims of harassing texts, emails,social media & identity theft.  There’s verbal bullying this type of bully shames and insults with words, often expressing constant criticism or using hostile teasing. Sometimes the language can be sexist, racist or homophobic, and can be threatening. Physical Bullying can range from simulating violence by raising a fist as if to strike, to throwing objects, to violent acts of physical, sexual and domestic abuse.   Most bullies are cowards on the inside.”

CNN Health

October Month Awareness in Bullying!

Unless you were homeschooled in the wild or have some type of supernatural luck, you’ve probably tangled with a mean girl or bully at some point in your life. Unfortunately, bullies grow up and get jobs, so you might just run into them again in the workplace, on social media or even in your close-knit neighborhood community. Bullying is not just succumbed to childhood but it is also very prevalent in adulthood as well. Unfortunately, adult bullying behavior identically reflects childhood bully behavior: it methodically targets a person with the intention to intimidate, undermine, or degrade. The same tactics get used, too: gossip, sabotage, exclusion, public shaming, and many other conscious behaviors. Many adult victims feel as though they cannot take any action against bullying out of fear they may cause trouble, lose their job or be viewed as weak; however, there are many steps adults can take to discourage bullying and stand up to their perpetrator.

Take the issue seriously and present it in an objective manner

Yes, bullying can be a huge hit to your ego and it can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety however you must report this behavior from an objective standpoint. Whether you are reporting this behavior to school officials, your managers at work or to legal authorities; make sure you have all the facts documented in detail and try not to bring your subjective feelings into the matter. If you feel as though your boss or teacher will not take these complaints seriously then go two or three level higher up the ladder; talk to the school principal or your manager’s boss. Keep it straightforward and low on emotion. Rehearsing your story beforehand with friends, family, or your therapist will help you stay calm and collected. Use words such as “harassment”, or “abuse” as these terms have higher connotations in the legal system and oftentimes the term “bullying” may be displayed to others as juvenile.

Take care of your mental health

Bullying can be damaging to your mental health. Bullying can lead many adults to drink excessively, self-medicate, overeat and disengage from friends and family. Other adults will choose to fight back in a negative manner, which can result in self-destruction. Avoid succumbing to bad behaviors and make sure you are leaning on support from family and friends during this time.

Don’t let your bully know you are affected by their behavior

Bullying is a well-thought out manipulative behavior to cause harm or damage to another individual. Bullies want to hurt you. Victims of bullying should not confront their bully and they should completely disengage from the individual. It is important to not fight the bully but instead fight the actions by reporting them to the proper authorities.

Don’t be a bystander

If you see another adult being bullied, stand up for that adult. Help them document what is occurring, offer positive affirmations and provide any help or advice they may need. By allowing bullying to take place around you, you are indirectly supporting this behavior.

Don’t blame yourself

Sometimes, bullying can be so camouflaged and insidious that we start to blame ourselves. You did not ask for this, you do not deserve this and you may never know why the bully decided to target you.

Be prepared to step away

If you have reported this abuse and nothing is getting done, it may be time to step away from your job or find a new school. Bullying can result in severe psychological effects that can carry over into your personal life and no job is worth that kind of abuse.

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body in time.  More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking.”.

Center for disease control and prevention (CDC)

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“Every cell in your body needs oxygen in order to live. The air we breathe contains oxygen and other gases. Once in the lungs, oxygen is moved into the bloodstream and carried through your body. Lung capacity declines as you age. Keep your lungs healthy by taking good care of yourself every day. Eat a balanced diet, exercise and reduce stress to breathe easier.”
 
American Lung Association

Healthy Lung Month

October is a month set aside for lung awareness. It’s National Healthy Lung Month, and Lung Health Day is October 28. National Respiratory Care Week is October 25-30. It may seem arbitrary to set aside a particular month for health awareness, but it’s useful to remind ourselves of the things in our environment that can harm us and to act with compassion toward those who have already been harmed.

Lung disease affects a staggering number of Americans. About 10 million adults are diagnosed with chronic bronchitis each year, and about 4.7 million others have ever been diagnosed with emphysema. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema constitute the diseases that make up Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). About 25 million people live with asthma as well.

Occupational lung diseases, which include asbestosis and mesothelioma, also affect many Americans. Occupational illnesses are estimated to cost $150 billion annually. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), typically caused by long-term exposure to lung irritants that damage the lungs and airways, is attributed to occupational exposure 19.2% of the time.

In support of Healthy Lung Month, let’s raise awareness about the rapid escalation of lung disease in the United States.

The notion that harmful air pollutants exist only outdoors is false. Some pollutants occurring in the home can be more harmful than those commonly encountered outdoors. Modern homes harbor many sources of respiratory irritation, but it’s not terribly difficult to lung-proof your home. Some common lung irritants found indoors are lead, formaldehyde, radon, cleaning agent vapors, and fire-retardants. Natural pollutants also make their way into the home, including pet dander, dust mites, and mold. Here are a few simple ways the people, especially those with lung disease, can avoid these lung damaging agents.

  • Clean the Air:Buy a vacuum with a HEPA filter to reduce lead, chemical build-up, and allergens such as pet dander in the home. Follow this step by mopping with a microfiber mop to soak up any leftover particles.
  • Avoid exposure to indoor pollutants that can damage your lungs.
  • Minimize exposure to outdoor air pollution.
  • Green Your Space:Fill your place with plants! Indoor plants help purify the air, removing toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and xylene. Spider plants and aloe vera plants are good choices for the home.
  • Go Natural: Fragrances in cleaning products, laundry detergents, and air fresheners can all damage the lungs opt for fragrance-free whenever possible.
  • Test for Radon: Make sure your home has a radon detector. This colorless, odorless gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today.
  • Don’t Vape or Smoke

Your entire body depends on your lungs to keep breathing and distributing oxygen-rich blood throughout your body and to get rid of the body’s gaseous waste, carbon dioxide. Our bodies do have a natural defense system designed to protect the lungs, keeping dirt, germs and other irritants at bay. But there are some important things you can do on a regular basis to keep your lungs healthy and reduce the risk of disease.

Sometimes we take our health for granted. Lungs keep us alive and well and for the most part, we don’t need to think about them.  Remember without lungs we couldn’t survive.  Love your lungs this October and work to make any necessary changes to keep yours healthy!

*Prevention of Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)*

There are 2 types of strokes:

1-Hemmoragic-a blood vessel that bursts in the brain causing lack of oxygen to be supplied to the area of the brain (a lobe) where the vessel ruptured.  Lack of oxygen to any area of the body tissue=starvation to the tissue; where in this case is the brain=a stroke.

2-Blockages-These blockages caused by the following: blood clots, athero-sclerosis, a common disorder, it happens due to fat, cholesterol, with even tar from smoking, or other substances that build up in the walls of the arteries forming hard structures called plaque and in time creating a blockage in the vessel interfering with blood supply providing oxygen to tissue and if blocked in the brain=high probability of a stroke occurring if not taken care of.   “Recommended related to Heart Disease” by Web MD which states that atherosclerosis is the key cause of heart attacks & strokes including it’s the number one killer in the United States.  Risk Factors for atherosclerosis include high blood pressure (b/p)=arteriosclerosis, blood level of high bad cholesterol (LDL), blood level of low good cholesterol (HDL), smoking, diabetes, and history of heart attacks in your nuclear family.  Definitely a healthy diet, having exercise in your life, and your weight within the therapeutic body mass index level will help prevent, if not treat, atherosclerosis.

The Risk Factors of this disease, especially diet & sedentary lifestyle:

  1. High Blood Pressure (b/p)-This is also known as the diagnosis hypertension.  In understanding how hypertension works let’s use a metaphor:  Think of a blood vessel as a long thin balloon and if we stand on it the pressure will increase inside the balloon causing the diameter of the balloon to swell up.  If you continue to step on the balloon adding additional pressure this causes it to finally reach it’s total amount of pressure or when you exceed the total level of pressure this results in popping the balloon.  Similar concept with high b/p, that’s if the pressure keeps rising in our blood vessels due to blockage or vasoconstriction (which is making the vessels diameter more narrow=increased pressure in the vessels) sooner or later a vessel bursts somewhere in the body due to the b/p passing it’s total level in the amount of pressure that it can handle in the circulatory system which can result into a burst of an artery, like in the brain causing a stroke or in a vessel near the heart causing a myocardial infarction (but this is another topic some other day).  Think of food,  a human being not eating leads into starvation, well for blood cells lack of oxygen=starvation to the cells.  This causes in both situations or cases a lack of nutrition (the tissue is lacking oxygen).  With a stroke, not enough oxygen is getting to the brain resulting from either a hemorrhage (loosing too much blood=loosing to many cells=oxygen (food for tissue) or a blockage preventing 02 getting to the area.  Though many people have increased b/p due to only 2 things diet leading them to obesity, and lack of exercise due to a sedentary lifestyle, which could be changed and resolve the problem in most cases.  Increased b/p can also be due noncompliance- like continuing to smoke, or not following the healthy regimen the M.D. ordered for you as a patient.  The overall healthy regimen for a person with hypertension would be a low sodium diet (preventing further vasoconstriction), even low in cholesterol/fat/1800-2000 calories a day (preventing obesity or further weight gain), balancing rest with exercise and the b/p medications taken as prescribed, by their M.D.    So for many Americans hypertension can be controlled just by diet with balancing exercise with rest.  For others it might take a little more like doing which is what I just mentioned with following your medication regimen as ordered and going to your doctor having your b/p monitored, as your M.D. prescribes.

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  1. Smoking-For starters, this unhealthy habit puts you at risk for high blood pressure since it causes vasoconstriction (narrowing) of the vessels in our body due to the nicotine.  The answer to this risk factor is simply quit this unhealthy habit. I have a dear friend doing great in quitting this habit now. Smoking adds to the plaque building up in the vessels.  Centers for Disease state that in 2010 the leading cause of death was heart disease followed by cancer than to chronic respiratory disease and lastly stroke.  Over time a healthy diet balanced with exercise daily or every 2 days for 30minutes would help decrease the cardiac disease and stroke.  The American Lung Association states that smoking is directly responsible for approximately 90 percent of lung cancer deaths and approximately 80-90 percent of COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis) deaths.
  • Among adults who have ever smoked, 70% started smoking regularly at age 18 or younger, and 86% at age 21 or younger.
  • Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, and is a main cause of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema). It is also a cause of coronary heart disease (CAD), stroke and a host of other cancers and diseases.       _______________________________________________                                                                                                                             3. Cholesterol is also found in some foods, such as seafood, eggs, meats and dairy products.LDL can cause plaque build-up. Plaque is a thick, hard substance that can clog arteries. Recent studies show that high levels of LDL and triglycerides (blood fats) raise the risk of ischemic stroke. Plaque can also increase risk of a transient ischemic attack (TIA) where stroke symptoms go away within 24 hours.
  • The second main type of cholesterol is high-density lipoprotein (HDL), often called the “goodcholesterol. High levels of HDL may reduce stroke risk.
  • Because cholesterol does not dissolve in the blood on its own, it must be carried to and from cells by particles called lipoproteins. There are two main types of lipoproteins: low-density lipoproteins (LDL)=the bad cholesterol and high-density lipoproteins=the good cholesterol (HDL).
  • The National Stroke Association states the following about cholesterol: Cholesterol is a soft, waxy fat (lipid) that is made by the body. It is found in the bloodstream and in all of your body’s cells. The body needs cholesterol to form cell membranes, some hormones and vitamin D.
  • So let’s take a car for instance, if the transmission is bad and not repaired by a mechanic the engine will be affected and soon fail completely.  Now let’s take the lungs, if they are bad and you don’t go to a doctor to help treat the problem the heart will be affected at some point to failure in function. This is the same with a heart (the engine of the body), that when it is bad with no repair or Rx it will soon affect the lungs (the transmission of the body). When one of these organs works at its fullest potential without the other organ properly functioning, in time, it will affect the other organ.  If a smoker doesn’t quit it causes COPD=Emphysema (this does take over years) and it will affect the heart in time to not function as effectively with someone who has healthy lungs.  Worse, if you don’t quit smoking you increase the risk of getting CAD (coronary artery disease) and add to the problem atherosclerosis, if you already have the diagnosis which is caused by fatty materials (lipids), fibrous tissue with tar (from the smoking) causing blockages in the vessels or even better cause arteriosclerosis (narrowing of the vessels). You also have a risk at lung cancer.
  • Stroke verses TIA=Nonreversible verses Reversible. Stroke is scarring to the brain where TIA doesn’t.  Like Heart Attack verses Angina, Heart Attack is scarring to the heart verses no scarring to the heart with Angina. Both Angina and TIA are just lack of oxygen to the heart and the brain, causing the symptoms due to lack of oxygen=ischemia.  Both heart attack and stroke are both a lot worse than just ischemia.  They both get to the point where there in no oxygen causing actual permanent damage to the organ since the problem never reversed=scarring to the heart and brain.High cholesterol levels or plaque build-up in the arteries can block normal blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke. High cholesterol may also increase the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis, which are both risk factors for stroke.                                                               
  • I have a dear friend who I’ve known almost 35 years that survived coronary artery bypass surgery over 55 y/o, with 5 blockages (2 arteries 100% blocked and 3 arteries at least 80% blocked=5 vessels blocked).  That was a set up for a silent heart attack if he didn’t have the surgery but he was lucky in getting symptoms of chest pain and fatigue/lethargy due to these blockages.  This made him go the doctor.  He stopped smoking the day before the surgery.   His life had taken a 360 turn and stopped in his daily routine and life schedule.  It had begun all over again at almost 60.   Without controlling your blood pressure therapeutically or without ending your smoking or without eating healthy with living healthy habits the heart at first will be able to compensate with living unhealthy habits but over time the heart may find it so hard to function or work that the heart starts to fail in doing its job effectively (it decompensates causing to go into failure if no changes are made).  Again let’s take a car, you do maintenance to the vehicle for it will operate and last longer, well the exact principle with the human body.  Pretty simple isn’t it.
  • Good Diet, Good Exercise balanced with rest, and no smoking with B/P well controlled. _______________________________________________

If you don’t eat a healthy diet, keep your weight in a therapeutic range, properly exercise than expect to be at high odds you will be leaning more towards shortening your life span.  You can control your diet, weight and your exercise the right way with a little direction.  There is many places for just that direction in helping you maintain a good diet including weight and giving you guidance whether it be at a clinic, work out facility or a weight loss food place via the community or internet with or by yourself but recommended to use simply a book.

It is recommended to go to your M.D. first before making any changes for the doctor will know all your medical history and can give you the right direction in what’s the best route for you in reaching your goals.

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

“October marks National Liver Awareness month. Estimates for the global burden of chronic liver disease range from 50 million to over 100 million affected individuals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2000 — 2018 there was a 31% increase in deaths from chronic liver disease. Numerous diseases ranging from liver cancer to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) to hepatitis pose an increasing concern. Almost 33,000 Americans die annually from liver cancer every year, according to the American Liver Foundation.”
Hunterdon Gastroenterology Associates

The Liver and NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease).

  

The liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the belly. Weighing about 3 pounds, the liver is reddish-brown in color and feels rubbery to the touch. Normally you can’t feel the liver, because it’s protected by the rib cage.

The liver has two large sections, called the right and the left lobes. The gallbladder sits under the liver, along with parts of the pancreas and intestines. The liver and these organs work together to digest, absorb, and process food.

The liver’s main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines. The liver also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions.

The liver is a vital organ of vertebrates and in some other animals. In the human it is located in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, below the diaphragm. The liver has a wide range of functions, including detoxification of various metabolites, protein synthesis, and the production of biochemicals necessary for digestion.

The liver is a gland and plays a major role in metabolism with numerous functions in the human body, including regulation of glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells, plasma protein synthesis, hormone production, and detoxification.[3] It is an accessory digestive gland and produces bile, an alkaline compound which aids in digestion via the emulsification of lipids. The gallbladder, a small pouch that sits just under the liver, stores bile produced by the liver. The liver’s highly specialized tissue consisting of mostly hepatocytes regulates a wide variety of high-volume biochemical reactions, including the synthesis and breakdown of small and complex molecules, many of which are necessary for normal vital functions Estimates regarding the organ’s total number of functions vary, but textbooks generally cite it being around 500.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a term used to describe the accumulation of fat in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is common and, for most people, causes no signs and symptoms and no complications.

But in some people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, the fat that accumulates can cause inflammation and scarring in the liver. This more serious form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is sometimes called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

At its most severe, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease can progress to liver failure.

Much of the American Liver Foundation’s emphasis during October continues to point to the cause and treatment for liver diseases like hepatitis A, B and C; cirrhosis, biliary atresia and liver cancer.

Much of the Foundation’s emphasis during October continues to point to the cause and treatment for liver diseases like hepatitis A, B and C; cirrhosis, biliary atresia and liver cancer.

But the Foundation is also tapping into the heightened awareness during Liver Awareness Month to draw attention to the alarming increase in the incidence of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), which, staggeringly, affects up to 25 percent of people in the United States.

As its name suggests, NAFLD is the buildup of extra fat in the liver that isn’t caused by alcohol. It’s normal for the liver to contain some fat. But if more than 5 to 10 percent of the liver’s weight is fat, then it is called a “fatty liver.”

Most often, NAFLD tends to develop in people who are overweight or obese or have diabetes, high cholesterol or high triglycerides. Sedentary behavior is another major contributing factor to the onset of NAFLD.

For these reasons, concern continues to grow as one in 10 children—that’s seven million children in the United States—is estimated to have fatty livers.

NALFD can become even more serious. It can progress to Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), which means that along with the fat, there is inflammation and damage to the liver. A swollen liver may cause scarring (cirrhosis) over time and may even lead to liver cancer or liver failure.