What is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis commonly causes sore, red eyelids and results in inflammation of the same. It is also likely that your eyelashes will be crusty if you have blepharitis and they also become red and irritated. You may feel some itchiness. Dandruff-like scales may develop on your eyelashes. This eye disorder is quite common and can be caused by a skin condition or bacteria. While it can affect people of all ages, recent studies have revealed that young people are more likely to be affected. 

However, the condition is not contagious and does not usually result in permanent vision damage. The two types of blepharitis include anterior blepharitis, which affects the outside front of the eyelid in which the eyelashes attach and posterior blepharitis, which occurs at the inner edge of your eyelid adjacent to your eyeball.

Symptoms, Causes and When to See the Doctor

Signs and symptoms of blepharitis include red eyes, watery eyes, itchy eyelids, greasy eyelids, red and swollen eyelids, a gritty and stinging or burning sensation in your eyes, flaky skin around your eyes, loss of eyelashes, increased sensitivity to light, eyelid sticking, abnormal growth of eyelashes, crusty eyelashes after sleep, and more frequent blinking. 

There are numerous causes of blepharitis and some of them include dry eyes, bacterial eyelid infection, Demodex eyelash mites, and similar parasites or Meibomian gland dysfunction among others. 

Blepharitis and dry eyes tend to take place simultaneously, thereby causing a lot of confusion regarding which one causes or comes before the other. This commonly happens and some eye practitioners now believe the two are behind the DEBS (dry eye blepharitis syndrome), which is a chronic eye problem. They also believe that dry eye represents the late manifestation of DEBS and treating blepharitis could help to prevent, minimize or get rid of dry eye symptoms.

It is important to remember that the exact causes of this condition remain unclear, but some of the factors that have been commonly associated with the same include a bacterial infection; rosacea, a form of skin condition that causes facial redness; seborrheic dermatitis, which causes the eyebrows and scalp to show dandruff symptoms; lice or eyelash mites; allergies, such as allergic reactions to contact lens solutions, eye medications, and eye makeup; and malfunctioning or clogged oil glands in the eyelids.

If blepharitis symptoms do not seem to disappear or improve even after taking the steps necessary to improve hygiene and overall cleanliness of the affected area, then it is perhaps time to visit your eye doctor before things get worse. 

Treatment

The typical blepharitis treatment should begin with a trip to the eye doctor’s office to establish what’s causing the eyelid inflammation. A thorough examination will reveal whether you have blepharitis and the doctor will recommend the most appropriate treatment option. Some of the treatment options may include gentle eyelid scrubs, which gets rid of the buildup of biofilm and eliminates excess bacteria accumulated in your lid margins. Daily warm compresses can also effectively reduce the bacteria on your eyelids. 

Other cleaning agents you may use are prescription eyelid cleansers and diluted baby shampoo. Topical medicines may also be prescribed to eliminate blepharitis and microbes that cause it. Sometimes the eye doctor may recommend BlephEx treatment, Thermal pulsation treatment, or Intense pulsed light therapy.

Blepharitis is a chronic condition and may keep coming back if you do not take the steps necessary to prevent its recurrence. Always clean your eyelids daily so that there is no buildup of bacteria on your eyelid margin. However, you should always see your doctor as soon as possible to determine whether you have blepharitis and get started on the right treatment plan.

Eye Discharge and When To See an Eye Doctor

Eye discharge may signify that something is wrong with your eyes. It is often characterized by mucus, skin cells, oil, various forms of debris, and dirt collecting to form a whitish substance in the corner of your eye, especially when you are sleeping. The substance can be dry and crusty or wet and sticky, as this depends on the amount of moisture that has evaporated from the substance. Sometimes referred to as “rheum,” eye doctors Pembroke Pines says it can also perform a protective function, which typically involves removing potentially harmful debris and other waste products from your tear film, including the surface of the eye.

The eye secretes mucus all day long and it is bathed by a thin film of tears when you blink. This flushes out the rheum fast, thereby removing it from the eye before it hardens. However, when asleep, no blinking occurs. This means eye discharge accumulates and forms crusts along the eyelash line and in the corner of the eyes. This is why you are likely to develop crusts when sleeping. A few crusts in the morning after waking up is quite normal, but eye discharge secreted excessively could mean you need an eye checkup to determine whether there is a problem developing. This discharge can be yellow or green and may cause eye pain, light sensitivity or blurry vision. If that happens, you should see your eye doctor as soon as possible because your eyes may have developed an eye infection or a serious disease.

Causes

You don’t have to be worried that your eyes are producing some discharge unless it is excessive and yellowish or greenish. Inconsistency in discharge may also mean you have an eye infection or a serious eye disease. Some eye conditions can cause abnormal eye discharge, including blepharitis, conjunctivitis, dry eyes, corneal ulcer, and more. Conjunctivitis is characterized by eye discharge. The white, green, or yellow eye mucus is often accompanied by eye irritation, redness, or itchiness. Other eye infections associated with eye discharge include eye herpes, a viral eye infection that seems to recur; fungal keratitis, which is rare but a more serious form of inflammation of the eye’s cornea; blepharitis, inflammation of the lash line along the eyelash hair follicle; and dry eyes, which is the insufficient production of tears that causes the eyes to be irritated.

When to See Your Doctor

If you’ve experienced moderate eye discharge for a few days then there is no need to worry about it because it may be due to dirt and debris. The eye has a mechanism of cleaning itself. However, if the discharge is green or yellow and seems to persist, you may have to seek medical attention. Eye pain and blurred vision accompanying eye discharge may also require medical attention.

Treatment

While minor eye discharge is generally harmless and does not require any medical attention, excessive yellow or green discharge may signal a serious eye disease or infection and you should consult your eye doctor immediately. Your eye doctor may prescribe antiviral or antibiotic eye drops to help get rid of an eye infection that causes the eye to produce mucus. Some ointments can perform the same function. There are also over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops that you can use to treat eye allergies that make your eyes watery. For itchy eyes, you may try placing warm compresses over the eyes may also help you relieve some symptoms of eye discomfort and itching.

Eye discharge can be a sign of eye irritation or infection. If the symptoms do not disappear after a few days and over-the-counter eye drops do not work, it is best to consult your eye doctor because your eyes may be infected.

The Fundamentals of Physical Fitness

Fitness—hearing this word makes people think of huge guys with bulging muscles and it carries the image of the Incredible Hulk. However, it also adds up to the fire in the hearts and minds of those endeavoring to achieve physical fitness. Although a Hulk-looking physique may be an indication of a fit person, it is just the icing on the cake. In this article, we are going to break down the basics of physical fitness: what it is, its components, why it is important, and how to achieve a physically fit body. Without further ado, let’s get down to business. 

What is physical fitness? The very essence of it is when your body systems work efficiently, thus allowing you to perform daily tasks without tiring out easily. Hence, you can do schoolwork, household chores, and still, have enough energy for sports and other recreational activities. It also allows a person to meet the demands needed in an emergency, such as when a friend runs into an accident or if immediate help is needed at home. 

What are its components? The five components commonly taught in school curriculums, gyms, as well as health clubs are cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. The first one, cardiovascular endurance, refers to the ability of the heart and lungs to work together, fueling the whole body to sustain loads for long periods. 

Activities in this category include swimming, jogging, and cycling. Muscular strength or simply called ‘strength’ refers to the amount of force the muscles can produce. Activities include bench press, bicep curls, and deadlifts. Usually, this component can be measured by a push-up test to see how much weight an individual can lift or how much resistance a person can withstand. 

On the other hand, muscular endurance, as the name itself tells us, uses certain muscles that are forced to perform repeatedly and continuously without fatigue. Stationary bikes, elliptical machines, and cycling are all activities that fall under muscular endurance. Next, flexibility refers to the joints and their ability to move through a wide range of motion without getting injured. Gymnasts and ballet dancers are excellent examples of people with flexibility. This aspect is often measured using the sit-and-reach test. 

Finally, body composition, as the name stands for, refers to tissues such as fat, muscle, organ, and bone that make up the entire human body. Body composition is usually shown as your body fat percentage versus your lean body mass. Hydrostatic weighing, skin calipers, bioelectrical impedance, are examples of the most common ways to measure body composition.

Why is being physically fit considered as important? As you might expect, there are countless benefits in being fit—both immediate and long term. In the US alone, 86% of healthcare costs and 7 out of 10 deaths are due to chronic diseases, and basically, people who ignore the significance of physical fitness. Although conditions such as stroke, diabetes, and heart disease cannot be prevented, the risks of getting these can be greatly reduced by staying physically active. 

So, being physically fit will not only save you money, but it will also save your life. Life expectancy and reduced risk of getting injured are also some of the benefits of being fit. A stronger muscle means you’re less prone to fall and good bone health minimizes the risk of getting a fracture or the like should you tumble.

Therefore, how do you get a physically fit body? There’s no secret, no shortcut, no easy way to achieve this. But, to spare you the effort, here’s the equation: proper nutrition + regular exercise + adequate rest = physical fitness.

The Telltale Signs of Drug Addiction

If you ask someone as to whether they want to live a happy life, what do you think would be their answer? Needless to mention, we all want a satisfying and enjoyable life as much as possible. However, we are aware that not everyone has the same circumstances. We come from different walks of life and some struggle with drug use. It can be very difficult to quit once it has been started, but let’s dig deep into the details.

How It Begins

Many people who have been into drug addiction before, but were able to quit, pointed out that they did so because their friends were doing it, that they were depressed, that they wanted to have a good time, and that they were overly stressed and anxious with family and/or personal problems. Some, however, tried it just by curiosity alone. When we talk about drug addiction, it can be both caused by illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and the like; or by prescription drugs like tranquilizers, painkillers, and sleeping pills. How serious of a problem is drug addiction in the US alone? Statistics show that every day, more people die in drug addiction than from traffic accidents and guns. So, how can you save yourself or a friend from this?

Signs of Addiction

Just as a doctor would not perform surgery without knowing what happened to the patient, let us first identify the symptoms of drug addiction. The most common drugs are alcohol, stimulants, opioids, and marijuana. These are the specifics since the word “drug” is a very broad term. You might be surprised, but alcohol is a drug. Signs of alcohol addiction include blackout, or the inability to remember what has previously happened over and over again. The influence of alcohol drives the person to do illegal acts such as stealing and physical and verbal harassment. 

If there is “stress eating”, then there’s also “stress drinking”, pun intended, and it is already a sign of drug addiction. Neglecting family, work, and school responsibilities due to alcohol overconsumption is also a very obvious sign that alcohol use has gone out of control. 

Aside from alcohol, many are addicted to stimulants like methamphetamine or cocaine. Symptoms, in this case, are more similar to that of alcohol. But in addition to those, there may be changes in appetite, facial tics or jerky movements, dilated pupils, and rapid blinking or eye movement. There can also be mood swings, anger management issues, disrupted sleeping patterns, and tooth decay. “Crash phase” as they call it, is also a symptom of meth use. This is caused by the lack of dopamine previously supplied by the use of such drugs and is shown by unusually long sleeping hours, drug cravings, and even depression.

Opioids like oxycodone, methadone, and codeine may sound unfamiliar but are also addictive. The use of these substances stimulates the release of dopamine from the brain, one of what we call the ‘happy hormones’. This experience, if left untreated and taken for high amounts, causes addiction. Symptoms include needle marks from a syringe on legs and arms. Constricted pupils, impulsive actions, withdrawal from social activities, and visiting several doctors to get more supplies can be all signs of opiate addiction.

One of the drugs we don’t even have to describe for people to know is marijuana or cannabis. Addiction to this can be spotted by difficulty in concentrating, red eyes, and uncontrollable laughing and talking. It can make users feel that they’re starving which makes them binge on unhealthy foods. They also have a noticeable smell different from that of a cigarette, just slightly sweeter. Now that you have an idea of some of the signs of drug addiction, go ahead and save a friend, or even a life.

Top 5 Most Popular Types of Diet for Weight Loss

Good health is an invaluable asset. It’s not just because a healthy weight is aesthetically appealing, but also because it indicates self-control, discipline, and dedication. Unfortunately, misleading information, insufficient knowledge, and people purposely lying to their fellow humans have confused us which road to take to achieve the body we’ve always dreamt about. 

Aside from exercise, proper diet is also one of the essential steps to see the figure that you have always wanted to see when you step on the scale. One thing, however, that people always think when they hear the word “diet” is to eat less when it is not. You can eat all the favorite foods you want, sate your hunger, satisfy your cravings, but still, stay on track. It’s not about eating less; it’s about eating right. That’s what diet is.

With hundreds of diet fads being promoted, people striving to be fit, if they don’t end up getting the opposite results, get confused and discouraged. Currently, five of the most popular diets right now are ketogenic, paleo, whole30, vegan and vegetarian, and the MIND diet. Let’s break them down one-by-one.

The ketogenic diet is probably one of the most popular diets out there. The idea behind this diet is to induce the kidneys into producing ketones (where this form of diet got its name from), by the state of ketosis. Simply put, you go into a low-carb, high-fat diet. Since insulin level is directly related to carb intake, lower carbohydrate intake equates to lower insulin levels. The body then uses the water stored within the fat cells to be burned as fuels for there is very little to no carbs to burn. One reason why most people fail at this diet is that they cannot keep it up. Results can vary depending on the individual. Someone may concentrate, sleep, and lose weight better, while the other, also consuming the same diet may experience the exact opposite. 

The next one is the paleo diet, with the idea coming from the Paleolithic era where people used to eat vegetables, meat, fruits, and healthy oils. This eliminates grains, sugars, dairy, sugars, and all processed foods—the culprits of weight gain. People did this by going back to the old way humans eat to achieve better nutrition and health, which is the essence of any diet in the first place. This promotes better hydration levels, lowers body fat percentage, increases bone density, and promotes muscle growth.

In our bucket list also comes the Whole30 diet. The “30” at the end of what they call this diet stands for 30 days. But 30 days of what? Eliminate foods that cause inflammation, and instead, eating foods from their sources or “whole” foods. The catch about this is to “reset” the body and rid it of any toxicity. 

Also comes the vegan and vegetarian diet. To simplify things, both the vegan and vegetarian diet abstain from “all animal protein,” but vegetarians eat anything except meat and seafood, while vegans only stick to plant-based sources so they avoid milk since milk comes from cows. The main purpose of this type of diet is health; such as reducing the risk of diabetes and heart diseases. But who wouldn’t love its other objectives such as maintaining ideal body weight and a fit body? Additionally, this diet promotes the proper treatment of animals. 

And the last but not the least is the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay or MIND diet. The key here is eating similar to the Mediterranean: fruits, whole grains, low-fat and high in protein. Paired with reducing sugar intake, this is one of the best diets for weight loss. Fans of this diet dub this as “brain-healthy” that’s why it suits its acronym. This kind of diet also reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Acid Reflux: What It Is, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Good health isn’t something money can buy. It is also something no one can take away or ask from us. It is earned and when you have it, there’s no better feeling like it. Life isn’t always sunshine, though. There may be days when you feel better, but there may also be times when you feel worse. This is especially true when your gut is affected. Research says that gut health is directly related to emotional health. Thus, your mood swings are truly inevitable if you’re suffering from digestive problems such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as acid reflux.

The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a ring of muscle located between the lower part of the esophagus and the stomach. Its normal function is to open to allow food to pass through then close afterward. However, if the LES doesn’t fully close, or if it opens unnecessarily, the acid and other digestive juices from the stomach rise all the way up into the upper part of the esophagus, thus causing what is known as acid reflux. 

Symptoms

The symptoms can vary from person to person. Some of the most common symptoms are heartburn, the burning feeling moving from your abdomen, chest or throat. Heartburn can last for long hours and most often occurs after a meal. Another notable symptom most of us may have experienced is regurgitation. It the sour-tasting liquid (but is acid) taste we feel rising from the throat into the mouth. Other symptoms include bloating, dysphagia (the discomfort that something is in your throat), sore throat, black stools, burping, nausea, and even weight loss.

Causes and Treatment

Treatment of acid reflux or GERD usually includes over-the-counter medicines or herbal remedies, and without visiting the physician. Having a healthy lifestyle by exercising which will aid in losing weight, quitting smoking, and eating smaller meals usually help to avoid this disease from recurring. Practical suggestions such as avoiding tight clothing, not lying down right away after eating, avoiding foods that trigger acid reflux can do greater good than treatment. Also, slippery elm, chamomile, and licorice root are the most commonly used herbs to treat acid reflux.

But, in the worst-case scenarios and you feel like you need medical attention, do not hesitate to do so. You can expect the doctor to let you swallow a barium solution, and afterward, you will undergo an x-ray imaging for examination. Other diagnostic procedures include esophageal pH monitoring, upper endoscopy, and esophageal manometry. These procedures may vary slightly differently depending on the information that the doctor wants to know about your current condition and the severity of your case.

Prevention is Always Better than Cure

But, of course, the cure will never be better than preventing this condition at all. This can be done if you avoid lying down right away after eating, or simply avoid overeating. If you are really tired and want to rest after a meal, try sleeping on your right instead of lying on your back, especially if you just ate a heavy meal. This will go in favor of the position of the stomach and allow your digestive system to break down food efficiently. Eating early in the evening and not close to bedtime will also help you not to keep yourself awake when you have just finished eating. 

There are cases where alcohol triggers acid reflux. Thus, it can be avoided by drinking only small amounts or taking it in moderation. In the case of pregnant women, the change in the production of hormones coupled with the growing fetus inside the womb causes the esophageal muscles to relax, increasing the risk of acid reflux.

Diabetes Symptoms and Risk Factors

Glucose is a lifegiving sugar, as it is a source of energy for cells that compose our tissues and muscles. Glucose is also the brain’s source of power. But sometimes our bodies mismanage how blood sugar is used. This condition is referred to as diabetes.

There are at least three known types of diabetes, but they all mean there is an excess of sugar in the blood. Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are persistent and serious issues. Gestational diabetes is fortunately reversible since it seems limited to the period of pregnancy.

Here are the warning signs shared by diabetes 1 and 2: extreme hunger, frequent urination, Increased thirst, traces of ketones in the urine (signifying there is insufficient insulin in the body), blurred vision, fatigue, irritability, slow-healing sores, unexplained weight loss, and frequent infections, such as in the gums or skin.

People have observed that for those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, symptoms are sporadic and seem to be no cause for concern. It is the opposite of type 1 diabetes, where symptoms tend to be frequent and more intense.

Both types can occur at any age, but what differentiates the two is that Type 1 diabetes could be present already during adolescence. Type 2 diabetes tends to be more common in people past 40.

Diabetes risk factors depend on the type. The following would influence the chances for type 1: Family history (increased risk if a family member has type 1 ); Environmental factors (increased risk in case patient was exposed to a viral illness); damaging immune system cells (a slightly increased risk for those who have these autoantibodies); Geography (higher rates of type 1 occurrence for those who originate from Finland and Sweden).

On the other hand, these are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes: Weight, Inactivity (increased risk for those with more fatty cells and sedentary lifestyles); Family history (increase risk if there’s a family member with type 2); Race (increased risk for black people, American Indians, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans); Age (increased risk as one gets older); Polycystic ovary syndrome (increased risk for those with this condition); High blood pressure (increased risk for those with a BP over 140/90 ); Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels (low levels of good cholesterol will increase risk of type 2).

How does one know if it’s time to call the doctor? Again, based on the common diabetes symptoms, for those 45 or older, getting tested is important. Go to the doctor right away if you are feeling very thirsty, peeing a lot, experiencing acute belly aches, breathing more deeply and faster than the usual, and a breath that smells less like mints and more like solvent (a giveaway for very high ketones, which in turn signal a lack of insulin).

When it comes to prevention, healthy lifestyle choices can help. Go for foods low in fat and calories but higher in fiber. Have more physical activity; 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day is recommended. Lastly, try to do away with excess pounds. In the case of pregnant women, it is best to check with your doctor on how to achieve a healthy weight. It is important to keep your weight in a good range through exercise and good eating habits. By doing so, you will reap amazing benefits such as more energy and a lower risk of diseases like diabetes.

The Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are one awesome way to level up your overall look. Dental veneers are a high-end way to remedy chipped, worn, discolored, rotated or fractured teeth. Since veneers are quite an investment, it is good to consider some factors before buying (more on this ahead). Also, the state of your back teeth determines the health of your front teeth; this has long-term consequences on your veneer project. Your dentist would also check your bite (literally, how your teeth mesh) first before recommending veneers at my Plantation Dentist. Lastly, you would want to ask questions to get the best possible results, see before and after photos, and a preview of the look you will have.

Veneers come at a pretty penny and are permanent too. These are the reasons why extra research is needed before one goes into veneers. Here are six pros and cons to iron out with your dentist.

Pro #1: Solve Minor Cosmetic Issues

The veneers’ procedures do not just focus on the custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials, but also make quick fixes for slightly crooked or gapped teeth. These are usually addressed with orthodontic treatments such as braces. Please note that veneers are not a replacement for orthodontic treatment; in some cases, an orthodontist will take over and the veneers will have to be canceled.

Pro #2: Whiter Smiles

Bland shades of yellow or brown teeth are caused by months worth of layers of smoking cigarettes or drinking coffee, and-or eating highly pigmented foods. A dentist could always help bleach teeth enamel, but stains can return in a matter of months. The plus point for veneers is that these are a longer-lasting way to whiten one’s smile. Veneers are mainly stain-proof too so there is no need to have veneers whitened.

Pro #3: Do Away with Damaged Enamel

Enamel is a tough material, but not necessarily indestructible. Enamels are under threat from other mundane challenges such as being worn away by highly acidic food or drink and vigorous tooth brushing. Stomach acids related to acid reflux disease also may take a swipe at your enamel. Lastly, enamel does not grow back. But the good thing is that it can be replaced. Veneers are a good remedy for teeth that underwent enamel erosion or abrasion.

Dental veneers may seem like the perfect option. But, if you want to know what you are signing up for, it is also important to know the cons of this procedure.

Con #1: High Cost

The price tag for veneers will vary based on the client’s location, the clinic of the dentist and how many teeth need attention, but there is one clear thing: They are investments, in the real sense. But if an investment works for you, then why not?

Con #2: Increased Sensitivity

Something for would-be veneer clients: some people report an increase in tooth sensitivity after the veneer procedure. Specifically, it is possible to feel sensitivity to high or low temperatures for the next few days soon after the procedure, but which may eventually go away. Sensitive teeth can be too annoying at times, but any inconvenience could be handled with the right response and remedy.

Con #3: Procedures with no returns nor exchange

Veneers are deemed permanent since a dentist essentially alters the structure of natural teeth to able to fit them well. The outer layer of one’s enamel (the “skin” of one’s teeth) may be overhauled to make room for the artificial enhancement.

To end, dental veneers are a popular and impressive method to completely disguise off-color or disfigured teeth, but it pays when you consult your dentist if dental veneers are indeed the fitting solution for you.

Top 5 Most Common Childhood Diseases

Children are more vulnerable to illnesses compared to adults since the former’s immune system are still works in progress. Knowledge of the symptoms and signs can help show the right treatment.

Among the most important steps to take is a balanced diet for healthy youngsters for protection against diseases and infections. Diet fads come and go but fresh fruits and vegetables are trusty staples, including whole grains and lean proteins.

Here is a list of diseases that your children will need to face and handle well. If properly planned, together with careful followups, the kids are more than ready:

1.Gastroenteritis: Commonly known as the stomach bug, this problem causes vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Most viruses that are the main culprits relent in a matter of days or a week and get resolved through plenty of rest. Nevertheless, children need to have enough fluids to ward off dehydration. Many anxious parents sometimes try to give too much fluid, so here are some tips on how to ensure the child takes it well. Begin with just a tablespoon of an electrolyte solution in a corresponding ratio of water every 15 minutes; your family physician would know what amount is appropriate based on the child’s weight. In case your child is partial to Gatorade or juice, add more water down to around to dilute the high sugar. If the child is fine to eat, the most helpful would be the BRAT diet, or bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Soon he or she would be able to retain these, and it means it is fine to resume regular meals. You might also consider giving Greek yogurt, which is rich in probiotics (promoting a healthier gut) and has less sugar compared to most snacks.

2. Common cold: On average, most kids will get a cold once every 2 or 3 months and end up skipping school. Symptoms are sore throat, mild fever, headache, and a runny nose, among others. While drinking plenty of water and bed rest will help a lot, it is possible to hasten the healing with supplements with Echinacea, added zinc and vitamin C.  

3. Hand, foot and mouth disease: the source of this is enteroviruses. Symptoms come in the form of low-grade fever, accompanied by blisters in the mouth, on the extremities, and the buttocks. More bad news: it is contagious and requires pain management. Some studies have drawn a link between a lack of vitamin A and the worsening of the disease. So take action against HFMD and encourage your children to have more veggies and squashes.

4. Chickenpox: an infectious illness that produces red spots all over together with an itchy rash. Some 14 or 16 days after exposure to the virus, symptoms like a fever, cough and sore throat start to appear. Vitamins that may help alleviate the pox include vitamin A with beta carotene, Vitamin B12 and vitamins D, E.

5. Roseola: Roseola has some unusual characteristics. By age 2, it is no cause for concern anymore. Just the same, it is good to be aware that it could be contagious, and could infect adults too. Symptoms include high fever (and it remains contagious until one or two days after the fever subsides), coughing, congestion, and a rash that breaks out on the chest and spreads from there. Roseola would abate within a week, but if the child’s fever lasts beyond three days, you may need to have a pediatrician check your child. Any discomfort may be addressed with ibuprofen and the kid would need to stay home well until the rash disappears.    

At times, no matter how parents try to protect their kids, these diseases seem unavoidable. Still, it helps to have knowledge on how to prevent these common childhood diseases from taking its toll on your kids.  Most of these diseases can be prevented through vaccination and some will experience mild symptoms only. However, if more severe symptoms such as Dehydration, High fever, Breathing difficulty, Not eating, and weakness appear, it’s best to take the child to the doctor.

Common Factors that May Heighten Risk of Cancer

The “Big C” is a hot topic usually best approached with delicacy. Fortunately, advances in medicine have enabled us to have some big wins here and there in our fight against this devastating disease. But what exactly are the latest scoop on factors that raise the risk of cancer? Here is a list of quite surprising sources of risk, to help you live more and live smart.     

Drinking very hot tea

Don’t get us wrong: drinking green tea indeed has cancer-fighting properties. But believe it or not, some researchers insist the real issue is to not let your cup get rid of most of its heat. A 2018 Chinese study drinking tea that is way too hot could cause a spike in cancer risk. Experts think that the heat of the tea adversely affects the esophagus’ lining, which leads to higher damage if the tea drinker also happens to be a regular smoker and alcohol drinker.

Sedentary lifestyle

Exercise is a surefire way to lower any risk of cancer. Statistics show that exercise brings down the risk of lung, breast and colon cancer by 7 percent. A downside to this is that researchers have yet to pinpoint how exactly exercise brings down people’s risk of cancer. With that, the next major challenge for the public health sector is how to get more people to have more healthy exercise to reduce cancer risk.

Being tall

Did you know that taller people have a higher cancer risk than shorter people? There is evidence to argue that for every extra 5 cm in height the increased risk for some type of cancers is as follows: Kidney (10% increased risk); Pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer (9% and 11% increased risk respectively); Ovarian (8% increased risk).

When it comes to this unusual risk factor, it doesn’t end there. The enigma deepens as a 2016 study associated longer legs and the chance of colon cancer. Again, according to experts, growth factors in the body may be a major culprit in the link.

Smoke and fumes

We know the cliche about the kingly role of controlling the barbecue grill; get to know the risks too. People who spend way too much time searing the steak slabs risk getting chemicals known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) through their skin. These PAHs are certified as carcinogens or cancerous agents.

But there is a workaround, grill fans: experts think that people got higher levels of PAHs through absorption in the skin than they did by breathing in the smoke. Covering up while doing the barbecue grilling may look weird, but you can be sure you catch lesser carcinogens through the skin over the short term.

Breast enhancements

Despite advances in reconstructive plastic surgery, some breast implants are still major carcinogens that may spiral into cancer. What makes it more complicated is that lymphoma does not mean breast cancer, but instead are cancers that originate from the immune system.

Alcohol

As in everything, moderation is key, and this applies to alcohol. Research has found a link between drinking alcohol and cancer deaths. Alcohol is associated with a sobering range of cancers such as colorectal, breast, liver and esophageal cancers, as well as cancers of the throat and mouth. An interesting 2018 study conducted in mice has shown that the breakdown of alcohol in the mice’s body may release a chemical that adversely affects the DNA among stem cells in the blood, and which further on, may lead to cancer.

Obesity

Finally, overweight or obese people need to take action. Excess weight leads the way to more than a dozen types of cancer, recent studies have found.

As in most of the cases above, there is more work to be done to get to the bottom of obesity leading to cancer. Some scientists think there is promise in finding a link between higher levels of hormones and abnormal cell growth, which in turn can heighten cancer’s risks.

This article on cancer risk factors is not complete without a discussion on what it takes to win the fight against the big C: a healthy lifestyle, starting with lower body weight. It goes without saying that while the best time to start being healthy was months ago, the next best time is now!