Addressing the Misconceptions of Psoriasis

PsoriasisAny immunological reaction prompted against healthy cells, tissues and organs of the body are called autoimmune response. And any disease affiliated with this response is called an autoimmune disease. There are a wide range of these illnesses and psoriasis is one of the most prevalent ones.

According to a recent report, more than two percent of the US population is suffering from this autoimmune skin disease. Since many people, particularly the ones not suffering from it, don’t consider it as a serious health concern, several misconceptions have spread about psoriasis.

It is important to address these notions regarding psoriasis because 60 percent of people suffering from this skin disorder do consider it a major everyday nuisance.

Psoriasis is Infectious    

Due to a misconception that psoriasis is contagious and a healthy individual can catch it from an affected person, this skin issue has been transformed into a social stigma. It should be firmly understood that psoriasis is not contagious at all.

This autoimmune system has genetic roots. It can’t be transmitted through air or contact. It is important to spread awareness for dispelling this false fact about psoriasis because many psoriasis patients avoid social situations because of that.  

Psoriasis is Incurable

The majority of psoriasis patients persist with the agony of this condition because of the preconceived notion that it is incurable. Even though the disease is a complicated one due to its genetic roots, that doesn’t mean it’s untreatable. Psoriasis of any degree can be treated through in-home and professional care.

Over-the-counter Psoriasis Treatments

For mild to moderate psoriasis conditions, several OTC topical products can come in handy. Topical corticosteroid, vitamin D ointments, emollients and tazarotene are some of the easily available products used for the treatment of light psoriasis.  

Prescription Drugs for Psoriasis Treatment

If you are suffering from severe skin rashes and inflammation due to psoriasis, then it is better to get a consultation with a skincare specialist. There are several prescription drugs used to treat severe instances of psoriasis including retinoids, acitretin and some other pharmaceutical physiological response modifiers. UV light therapy can also be recommended to the people with severe psoriasis symptoms.

The crux of all this discussion is: psoriasis can be treated and one should not overlook the symptoms of psoriasis just for this reason.

Sunlight Aggravates Skin Condition

This is another unsubstantiated fact widely spread about the disease. But in reality, there is no truth to it, even when it has been observed that exposure of the sun improves the skin. Formation of Vitamin D due to sunlight is the reason behind improved skin condition of psoriasis patients.   

Psoriasis Always Transmits Genetically

There is another widespread misconception that psoriasis is always inherited by the children of affected parents. This is a myth. Even in the people with the affected gene, only two to three percent will actually develop the disease. Therefore, it is important to not get unnecessarily worried if your parents or one of them have ever suffered from this disease.

Bathing Worsen the Skin Condition

There is a widely spread myth that water can amplify the degree of psoriasis, hence affected individuals should avoid bathing as much as possible. This is also complete rubbish because oils and salts present in bathing soaps and lotions might help in reducing the psoriasis-related irritation. However, using very hot water can result in severe irritation.  Moreover, swimming in chlorinated pools is not advised because chlorine is a known skin irritant.

There is More than Only One Type of Psoriasis

Not all psoriasis conditions are the same and hence their treatments and symptoms can vary. Some of the common psoriasis types are:

  • Erythrodermic
  • Guttate
  • Pustular
  • Plaque

The most prevalent psoriasis type is plaque. Symptoms of plaque are red skin patches and flares of dead skin.

Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis are Superficial

It is important to note that psoriasis is not just an aesthetically unpleasing disease. There are several physical and physiological repercussions associated with it. Psoriasis can be painful and severe patches of it can lead to bleeding, making the affected individual more vulnerable to other bodily infections.

Similarly, people suffering from this autoimmune skin condition can develop major depressive orders and anxiety due to the stigma associated with it, so it is important to take care of this disease with the necessary diligence and knowledge available in the medical field.

Leaky Gut Syndrome – What is It?

Man with stomach issue
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Leaky Gut Syndrome is an unproven condition that advocates say can result  in rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, migraines, multiple sclerosis and autism. Even though there are no official statistics available on the prevalence of leaky gut syndrome among the US population, there are some physicians and healthcare specialists suggest around 80% of the population is suffering from this condition to some extent.

One  study reports that two-third of human immune system is represented by the gastrointestinal tract and the associated lymphoid tissues, which means a healthy stomach and associated organs are necessary for an optimally working immune system.

What Leaky Gut actually is?

The gastrointestinal tract  inherently has a high permeability to allow the absorbance of healthy molecules of vital nutrients into the bloodstream.  This activity plays an important role for maintaining the wellbeing of humans and animals. Cells covering the intestinal wall need to remain permeability so that a person can get all the healthy constituents of ingested food.

Things can  go wrong when the cells in this area start to produce a regulatory protein called zonulin by the reaction of gluten. Zonulin affects the permeability of the digestive tract by cutting up tight junctions of the intestinal lining.

When junctions in the wall of the digestive tract get loose, you actually get a leaky gastrointestinal tract,   which allow even unhealthy and toxic substances, bacteria and undigested food particles to escape into the bloodstream and subsequently, travel throughout the body.

White blood cells mark all these leaked molecules and substance as foreign bodies and prompts an immune response. Symptoms of leaky gut syndrome are basically the consequences of those immune system reactions.

Why One Gets Leaky Gut Syndrome?

As mentioned earlier, gluten is the leading cause of leaky gut syndrome. Most people face complications due to the excessive consumption of gluten rich foods. Use of refined sugar and alcoholism also leads to this condition.

Other than excessive gluten consumption and consequent zonulin reaction, overgrowth of intestinal parasites, fungus and bacteria also loses the junction of the gastrointestinal tract. This abnormal production of microorganisms in the gut is prompted by toxins coming from different substances.

Antibiotics, steroids, other medications and environmental pollutants such as pesticides, mercury, arsenic etc., are also responsible for the growth of these dangerous microorganisms. Aging and higher levels of stress also catalyzes the problem in the stomach and associated organs.

Identifying Leaky Gut

The majority of the population suffering from the problem of leaky guts are not even aware that they are facing a digestive health issue. Therefore it is necessary to know the signs and symptoms of a leaky gut syndrome so you can have it addressed in time.

  • Gas, irritable bowel syndrome, food allergies and bloating are the most common symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.
  • Due to increased activity of immune system, people suffering from leaky syndrome might acquire more seasonal allergies.
  • Hormonal imbalance in the form of premenstrual syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome also affects women having leaky gut syndrome.
  • Leaky gut also leads to the development of autoimmune diseases.
  • Mood disorder and mental ailments such as anxiety, depression and hyperactivity can also be the unwanted consequences of leaky gut syndrome.

Dealing With Leaky Gut

After the diagnosis of leaky gut, one must try to address the problem with the help of healthy healing diets and other supplements. The goal of doing this is to reinstate the gut junctions of the intestinal wall into their original shape and to restore the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut.

Raw Dairy Products

Raw cheese, unprocessed milk and yogurt contain healthy bacteria and short chain fatty acids which help in restoring the original shape of gut lining.

Bone Broth

To repair the damaged cell wall of the digestive tract, consuming bone broth is considered beneficial because it contains amino acids and collagen essential for the repair works of the gut.

Fermented Vegetables

Fermented soybeans, cabbage and a variety of pickles are also helpful in treating irritable bowel syndrome. They help in maintaining the acidic environment of the gut in healthy levels, which facilitates the growth of probiotics.


Supplements in the form of digestive enzymes and probiotics also help in the speedy recovery, but it is advisable to consult your physician before administering any of these supplements.

To prevent the onset of leaky gut syndrome, a healthy diet and healthy environmental conditions are the key. It is also important to note leaky gut syndrome doesn’t only affect the digestive system, a whole lot of health complications can be acquired from it.

Energy Drinks – Are They Good for You?

energy cans
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A wise man once said “Too much of anything is not good for you!” and energy drinks are a prime example of this, as they are loaded with an abundance of sugar and caffeine.  According to some reports, although rare, these caffeine-high drinks can even cause death, so if you are looking to lose weight and/or have cardiac issues, stay away! For the others, read on.

Energy drinks have become the current trend for young adults. Several statistical reports and surveys suggest that a significant amount of our young population consumes these drinks on a regular basis. According to one survey, roughly 20 percent of the adult US population, aged below 40 consumes energy drinks on a daily basis.

In 2016, energy drinks worth $2.8 billion were sold, five percent more than the previous year. These figures clearly show the growing popularity of these beverages which are also sold as shots, sport drinks and energy mixes. This trend is based can be dangerous for some individuals, as it is not indicative of a healthy lifestyle, although many manufacturers of energy drinks would tend to differ. Here, we will discuss the detrimental effects that these ‘energy boosting’ beverages can have on your body.

Composition of Energy Drinks

Most of the energy drinks marketed (about 500 different brands) are sold  have some common ingredients. As per one database, these five common ingredients are found in almost every energy drink brand:

  • Caffeine
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B12
  • Taurine

Sugar and other permissible psychoactive substances are also used in the making of energy drinks. All of the energy drinks ingredients are not prohibited by the FDA, but collectively, they can become dangerous when consumed regularly.

Common Reason Given to Consume Energy Drinks

In their ads, brands boast about the energy-boosting ability of their drinks. The regular consumers of these beverages also mention some similar reasons to drink them.

  • It helps in staying awake longer.
  • Some people think energy drinks enhance their cognitive performance and improve their mental abilities.
  • Some energy drink aficionados are of the belief that their concentration spans stretched by consuming these beverages.
  • Peer pressure also plays important role in directing more people towards this unhealthy habit. When four out of five friends are drinking the same drink, it becomes difficult for the remaining one to keep his or her hands off it.
  • Many people also consume these drinks to survive tight schedules (e.g. cramming for a college final) in this competitive environment of our time.

Reasons to Stop Consuming Energy Drinks

Various substantial reasons can be given to the unhealthy consumption of energy drinks.

Sugar and More Sugar

Sugar on SpoonA regular 8.4 Oz can of an energy drink contains approximately about 12 teaspoons of sugar per can. Now that is a lot of sugar! Not only that, this sugar is highly processed and leads the body to store more adipose tissues.

Some energy drinks contain artificial or fake sugar known to have no caloric value and this fake sugar can increase the appetite of an individual. Regular consumers of energy drinks say that they feel hungrier more often, which leads to eating food more often, which then leads to weight gain.

Caffeine Booster – Maybe Too Much?

Chart of man and caffeine side effects
Some of these drinks contain well over the 400mg of caffeine that is considered the safe limit for most adults to consume. According to this chart, some of these are sky high in caffeine, while others come close to the 400mg limit or near it.

People with heart disease and even those who don’t have heart problems should be careful, as drinking anything in the 400mg level of caffeine or above can cause arrhythmia problems or worse.

Detrimental to Dental Health

It has been found that energy drinks have adverse effects on dental health. Besides sugar, there are other ingredients in energy drinks that increase its acidic content to exceedingly high levels, which is dangerous for the teeth enamel. Damaged teeth enamel can lead to a number of oral health complications.

Not a Good Tradeoff

Energy drinks are known to give an adrenaline rush for a couple of hours. It might help people with a slight increment in cognitive ability but this temporary uplift can result in increased levels of anxiety that could culminate in panic attacks. So having a momentary brain boost is not a good exchange to make.

Disrupts Your Sleep Cycle

Did you know that lack of sleep can be as dangerous as driving drunk? By staying awake for long hours from energy drinks, you can definitely fall into this category. Bad sleep patterns and insufficient sleep hours will counterbalance all the supposed positive impacts of energy drinks on your mental health.

Overabundance of Vitamins and Minerals is not Always Healthy

There is a reason vitamin and minerals are called micronutrients. For healthy functioning, the body needs them in very small amounts. So all the excess vitamin energy drinks that brands brag about are counterproductive for the body. For instance, an excess of Vitamin B complex, a part of nearly every energy drink can cause nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, numbness and hypertension. Several skin allergies can also be acquired with an excess consumption of vitamins.

If you want to have a wakeful mind, improved cognition and fell well, then adopt a lifestyle underlined with healthy eating habits, meditation and physical exercise, instead of utilizing energy drinks as your major form brain food.

An Overview of Liver Transplantation

Anatomy_of_liver_and_gall_bladderLiver transplantation is a life-saving treatment that is part of the standard healthcare practices to treat many end-stage liver diseases. It is the surgical process of removing the malfunctioning liver and replacing it with a healthy liver from a deceased or living donor.

In case of regular liver infections and diseases, the liver can heal itself with a unique process of regeneration.

What is liver regeneration?

Liver regeneration is a complex process of liver homeostasis which activates when part of the  liver is surgically removed or chemically damaged. Studies have proven that 25% of the original liver volume can regenerate itself.

Liver regeneration starts with cell proliferation, which begins with the replication of hepatocytes (the main cells of the liver). The proliferation then completes with the replication of endothelial and epithelial cells.

Conditions when liver transplantation becomes necessary

Human beings are gifted with this innate ability of the liver to regenerate. However, there are instances where the liver is damaged beyond its capacity to self-heal. When this happens, you need help through medical means which provide you the option of a liver transplant.

The disability of liver cells to function normally, the loss of liver cells and the scarring of liver is referred to as cirrhosis. When a significant part of liver is affected by cirrhosis, then there are no other viable options other than going for a liver transplant.  

There are several medical conditions that can lead to dangerous levels of cirrhosis.

Hepatitis B

When hepatitis B becomes chronic and can’t be treated with conventional treatments, patients are recommended liver transplants.

Substance abuse of alcohol

Long term and excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis. The disease jaundice is one of these can can be attributed to a defective liver. In addition, overdose of certain pain medications that contain acetaminophen can be damaging to the liver.

Autoimmune hepatitis

Unlike other classes of hepatitis which are caused by different viruses, autoimmune hepatitis is the condition in which a person’s immune system mistakes its own liver cells as harmful foreign invaders. Autoimmune hepatitis is chronic in nature and can lead to liver failure and cirrhosis.

Liver cancer

Liver cancer is mostly diagnosed in old people. In its advances stages, it can only be treated with a liver transplant.

Acute liver failure

Overdose of certain drugs can lead to sudden liver failure. Liver transplant is recommended in fast-acting acute liver failure.

Types of Liver Transplant

There are different types of liver transplants that are offered to a person fighting of dangerous liver diseases.

Orthotopic transplant

An orthotopic transplant is the most common type of liver transplant surgery in which the person undergoing surgery gets the replacement of the whole liver organ from a deceased donor. Orthotopic transplants are done with the help of people who pledge to donate their healthy organs prior to their death.

Living donor transplant

There has always been a big difference between the number of deceased donors and the people who await liver transplantation and it is nearly impossible to facilitate every patient with orthotopic transplant.

With technical advancements in surgical procedure, it has become now feasible to transplant a part of liver in the person which is donated by a willing liver donor.

The success of living donor transplant is based on the concept of liver regeneration. If body does not reject the transplant, then the transplanted part of the liver can regenerate itself to the original size within week or two and the donor’s removed portion of the liver also grows back to its actual size.

Since this type of transplant is complex in nature, there are certain criteria that need to be met.

    • The donor must be in between 18-60 years of age, with good mental and physical health
    • The donor must have a BMI of less than 35
    • The donor and recipient must have a compatible blood type
    • The donor must be free from significant organ diseases and transmissible diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis
    • The donor must not be an active substance abuser

Prevention of liver diseases

It is an old cliché, but there is no doubt that prevention is better than cure. Therefore make sure that your liver remains healthy by keeping in mind the following guidelines.

    • Keep your consumption of alcohol low or moderate
    • Get regular vaccinations for hepatitis if you are more susceptible to the hepatitis virus
    • Take medications cautiously – don’t mix medications with alcohol and non prescribed supplements
    • Practice safe sex
    • Obesity is the major reason behind non alcoholic fatty liver disease, so adopt healthy eating habits

Remember that a liver transplant is the last resort to treat a faulty liver and it is better that you make a conscious effort to maintain a healthy liver first. A standard lifestyle should be sufficient in maintaining a healthy liver. Doing things like heavy drinking or overdosing on OTC or prescription drugs are some of the causes that would cause your liver to acquire a disease.

Most importantly, nothing beats getting regular check ups with your doctor! You get your car maintained. Make sure you do it with your body as well!

Nicotine Craving and Withdrawals: The Main Reason Behind Failed Attempts to Quit Smoking

Smoking Inhibitor
What keeps you from quitting?

Currently, over one-billion people around over the world smoke cigarettes. It is killing machine that sends seven million people to their deaths each year. As we know, there are many serious physical and mental problems are associated with frequent smoking.

Many people pledge to quit smoking, but most of them fail to keep this pledge because they can’t beat the cigarette or nicotine craving. Many fail to quit smoking because they don’t understand the underlying reasons associated with nicotine withdrawals and they don’t learn how to outsmart those carvings.

There are many ‘remedies’ out there to help people who are hooked on nicotine. For some, they work. For others, they don’t. Remember that quitting smoking is all about resisting those cravings and having the willpower to deal with your withdrawals.

Side effects of nicotine consumption

nicotine cigarettes in ashtray
Do you really want this kind of nicotine in your body?

Nicotine is a potent psychoactive alkaloid that stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system by inducing various effects on the brain. However, there are several side effects that are associated with regular consumption of nicotine. 

Since cigarettes are the most common type of nicotine administration that uses tobacco as the main source and is thought to have more than 70 carcinogens, nicotine consumption is more dangerous for health than you think. Take a look at the picture above. This is what goes into your lungs and due to this, there are several side effects that are associated with cigarette consumption:

  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Coughing
  • Constipation
  • Soreness in mouth and throat and change in taste
  • Upset stomach

People who have serious medical problems can get some severe side effects from the regular use of nicotine.

  • Rashes and swelling
  • Irregular heartbeat for long time period
  • Chest pains

If someone experiences these side effects, it is better to get immediate medical help.

Cigarette and nicotine withdrawals

Since nicotine can be as addictive as alcohol, cocaine and other addictive drugs, it results in various withdrawal symptoms when you stop using.

The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal depend on the level of your addiction i.e. how long you have been using nicotine and the quantity of your daily nicotine consumption.

Some of the common nicotine withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Loss of concentration
  • Severe headaches
  • Gastrointestinal cramping

The psychological symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are underlined with irritability, bouts of anxiety and depression. In some cases, people also gain weight temporarily when they stop smoking

The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are more severe in the following days of quitting but for some people they can persist for weeks or even months.

How to cope with nicotine cravings

While you experience the symptoms of nicotine withdrawals, you are simultaneously craving for it. Therefore if you are planning to quit smoking, prepare yourself for extreme cigarette craving.

Fill up your lungs with fresh air

Nicotine cravings often induce anxiety which urges you to smoke. To relax your mind in this situation, take up deep breathing exercises. Go outside and instead of filling your lungs with harmful carcinogenic smoke, fill them up with some fresh air. Take 5-10 deep breaths at a time. Lowering the level of your withdrawal anxiety will help you to stay on the course.

A healthy snack for each cigarette

Make a list of healthy snacks that are low in sugar and carbs, and treat yourself to them whenever you feel the strong urge to smoke. Citrus fruits and nuts are good options for these types of snacks. Engaging yourself in eating instead of smoking will also help distract the mind. Healthy food plays a role in improving the deteriorated state of your body due to excessive smoking as well.

Social support is vital

Having social support around you significantly helps in fighting nicotine or cigarette cravings. Being alone when your body is craving for nicotine will make you more susceptible to smoking again. When you quit smoking, make sure that you spend most of the time with friends and family.

Avoid smoker’s company

Many times people fail to quit smoking because people around them continue to smoke. Explain to your smoker friends about your quit plan so that they can understand why you are avoiding them. It has been noticed that people who successfully quit smoking once and overcome all the withdrawals and cravings, don’t get tempted by smokers around them again. So, you can rejoin your smoker friends once you are sure that you have got rid of the vice for good.

Apart from all these techniques, keep yourself busy in activities where your mind can be distracted. Start exercising, immerse yourself in reading, and listen to some calming music.

Controlled nicotine consumption

To treat the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal in heavy smokers, controlled nicotine is recommended where you gradually decrease the quantity of nicotine consumption by getting small amounts of nicotine from sources other than cigarettes. Nicotine gums, inhalers, sprays and nicotine patches are used for this purpose. Remember, use these products under the supervision of a professional physician.

Norovirus – A Leading Cause of Gastrointestinal Illnesses in the United States

A 3D graphical representation of a number of Norovirus virions

Norovirus is an infectious disease that disturbs the digestive system of humans. It is the leading gastrointestinal disease and is caused by the consumption of contaminated food. According to the statistical study of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on the subject of food borne illnesses, nearly 20 million people fall ill due to norovirus each year just in the US alone. The virus can also turn deadly as statistics have shown that it is fatal for at least 800 affected people each year, but in general, most people do recover within two to three days.

Origin of the Virus’s Name

Norovirus is named after Norwalk, Ohio, where the first outbreak was reported in a school in 1968. People also called the infection caused by norovirus ‘stomach flu’ or ‘stomach virus’, also it is common to label it as food poisoning. 

How Norovirus Spreads and Works?

A large part of the population can be infected by the norovirus at any given time, because the disease can spread very easily. Consuming foods or drinks that have been contaminated with the virus is a common way of acquiring it and the virus can easily spread if you’re not careful – if you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your mouth and nose, you can easily get infected. That is why the CDC and all other major health organizations recommend to wash your hands frequently, especially when in public environments. In addition, washing your counter tops with chlorine-based disinfectants will help to eliminate the virus. The transmittable ability of the virus is also known to be aerosolized i.e. it can be sprayed into the air by infected people. Indeed, even with the best precautions, the virus can still be acquired, as noted by a recent Princes Cruise in the South Pacific, where 91 people were infected. It should be pointed out though, that with the scores of cruise ships that leave port every day, an outbreak like this is considered rare among these vessels.

An adult can be affected by norovirus from as few as 18 virus units. According to the CDC, a number of norovirus that can fit on a pinhead would be sufficient enough to infect more than 1000 people. Outbreaks of norovirus mostly begin from food outlets. The CDC points out that 70% of norovirus outbreaks are caused by infected food workers.  When food infected service workers prepare food, they easily transmit the virus to customers.

Sign and Symptoms of Norovirus

The symptoms of norovirus generally start to appear 12 to 48 hours after a person first comes into contact with it. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Malaise
  • Weakness and body pain

These symptoms are usually coupled with low grade fever. In most of the cases, symptoms vanish quickly, however viral shedding might last for several weeks through excretion. This viral shedding also adds up to the contagious nature of the norovirus and makes it difficult to control the outbreak of the virus.

Treatment Options for Norovirus

Norovirus is not a bacterial infection, therefore antibiotics can’t help the affected person. However, there are some self-help tips that can be useful for an affected person that will alleviate the pain and effects of the disease.

Hydrate your Body

Diarrhea and excessive vomiting can cause dehydration. Pedialyte is a good option to hydrate affected people of all ages. Drinks containing sugar, caffeine and alcohol should be avoided since they can worsen the condition of diarrhea. The best drink you should have – water. The most natural substance on earth and one that is recommended to all whether you are ill or not.

Take Care of your Diet

In many cases, appetite picks up in affected people. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain a proper diet during the course of illness. Adding fresh and light fruits that are rich in nutrients will help you to not feel weak. Soup, fresh fruits, lean protein (fish and poultry) and yogurt are some suitable food options to introduce in your diet during the illness.

It is also better to provide your body with complete rest during this time to ensure a quick and full recovery.

Always Consult a Physician!

By acting upon the above tips and by using over counter anti-diarrhea medications, you should start to feel better in few days; however, you should seek the advise of a medical professional when you first start to feel these symptoms, but if you wait (NOT RECOMMENDED) and your symptoms worsen, it is imperative that you contact your physician immediately. With that said, some of the more serious symptoms you may encounter if you do not seek professional medical help right away could result in:

  • A high-grade fever
  • Your diarrhea is not going away even with over the counter medication
  • You can’t tolerate liquids and solid food items
  • There is blood in your stool

Of course prevention is better than the cure. Try to avoid eating from unhygienic food places. Don’t eat under-cooked meals. Also, don’t eat food prepared by a sick individual or one that appears to be ill. If you have caught the norovirus, try to avoid public places and restrooms to prevent further spread of the disease.


Mantras for You to Develop a Strong Connection with Self

Words can change our lives for better or for worse. People have always used mantras, chants and prayers and other forms of meditation techniques to put themselves on a more focused path. But, does it really work?

Yes it does. One of the simplest forms of meditating is to just lay back and clear you mind; subsequently, relaxing your mind and body. A little soft music is also recommended, but some people may want just plain quiet.

Constantly reminding yourself of one thing everyday conditions your brain into believing in it, just like if you listen to one type of music for long, it can start altering the neurological path of your brain cells. We need to be our own constant reminder that life is good. It is important for our inner peace and mental health that we train our minds to feel good about ourselves and keep holding on.

To attain internal peace

“I breathe, therefore I am at peace.”

All our lives, we are taught how to eat, how to walk, how to talk and how to sit straight with our heads up. However, the most important aspect is often ignored. Breathing! One thing that keeps us alive, we ignore it as if it is barely there. Being aware of your breathing is important so you can acknowledge your existence. Sometimes, we forget that we exist just by getting lost in the quest of making things right; we forget that we are breathing. Stop and breathe deeply and slowly. Knowing that you exist and feeling what keeps you alive is enough to bring you at peace, physically and mentally.

To overcome anxiety

“There is nothing wrong with what I don’t know”

Often we are so lost in the act of controlling everything around us that we forget that a completely wide world of options and opportunities exist out beyond our thinking. The need to control everything emerges from our fear of uncertainty. However, there is really no cure for what’s unknown, because it is not a disease. It is important to remind yourself that the situations are always better than you think. It starts a pattern of thoughts that works on the law of attraction. Negative thoughts and hopelessness attracts negative outcomes because it diminishes our ability to think rationally and perform well.

To attract fulfillment

“I have what it takes to get things done”

Losing self confidence means losing all your chances of succeeding in life. When we do not trust ourselves with whatever we are facing, we lose the motivation to look for ways we can actually handle the situation. Remind yourself that what you have to do is not going to be done by anyone else. Nobody is given outwardly resources. Sit down, list the situation, and list the resources you need to deal with it. From that, count what you have in your hands to get the work started. Always start with what you have because that will remove the initial hesitance of starting something you intend to work at.

To find meaning in your work

“I have what I have and it is important”

It is not happiness that we are seeking, for it is too fleeting to be sought. Instead, we are looking for peace and confidence. Remind yourself to stop running after something that is too fleeting in nature. It will make you restless. Prioritize your choices, your responsibilities, relocate your focus on things that matter and be confident about them. You are given more than just flesh and bone. Instead of focusing on what you do not have, try to understand why you have what you have and why it is important to you. Acknowledgement is the key to peace and fulfillment.  


Health Risks of Compression Tights

Compression tights seem to be all the rage in the US today. The latest clothing trend has been embraced by both men and women. From Reebok CrossFit compression tops to Spanx Power Panties shoes, people are fostering the trend of wearing clothes that squeeze, squish and sculpt their figure.

While the compression tights can help tone the figure, there are various potential health risks associated with the clothing that we will discuss in this article.

Infertility in Men

A scientific study conducted in the 1970s found that Swedish men had relatively higher infertility rates as compared to men in nearby European nations. The researchers came up with the ‘Swedish Tight Pants Theory’ that holds tight clothing directly responsible for lower sperm counts.

Men who wear tight clothes such as compression tights can damage their testicles. Doctors describe the heat produced in the scrotum when wearing tight pants as heat castration. The clothing overheats the testicles. This results in reduced quality of the sperm, eventually resulting in infertility.

 Genital Infections

Another health risk associated with compression tights is genital infections. Compression clothing rubs against the skin. This disrupts the skin barrier that prevents infections, according to a dermatologist at the Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, Josh Zeichner, M.D.  

In addition, tight pants restrict air access to the genitals. This results in increased heat and humidity, which creates the perfect environment for fungal, viral, and bacterial infections in the genital area.

 Negative Affect on the Spine

Compression tights limit the mobility of the joints. They cause the joint capsules to stretch. This negatively affects a person’s spine. It can result in painful back pain that is hard to treat.

Compresses the Abdominal Area

Compression clothing tightens the abdominal area causing various health complications. The abdomen area contains vital organs.  Pressure on the abdomen area creates problems such as reduced lymph flow to the pelvis and poor blood circulation. It can also push acid from the stomach into the esophagus resulting in gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Painful Burning Sensation in the Thighs

Wearing clothes that are too tight for long periods of time can result in a painful condition that neurologists call ‘meralgia paresthetica’. The condition is associated with painful tingling or burning sensation in the thighs. It is caused by pressure on the nerves that supply blood to the upper thighs. If left unaddressed, the condition can become severe resulting in excruciating pain.


Compression clothing can result in serious health complications. That’s why it’s important that you avoid wearing them. You should consider wearing loose clothing at all times, even during workouts. However, if you are bent on wearing compression clothing, make sure that you buy the right size based on your leg and hip measurement. You should buy a clothing that is not too difficult to put on or take off.  This will help prevent the serious health complications mentioned in the article.

Encouraging the Love for Charity and Humanity in Your Kids – Where to Begin?

The world is in a state of turmoil. The hatred, intolerance and violence that have us all in their grip need not affect the future generations. This makes it extremely important that we raise our kids to be kind, considerate and generous individuals who understand and appreciate their own worth.

Kids need to know that they can grow up to make a difference, simply by being kind to others. Teaching these values to children doesn’t always involve lectures. Instead, show them how kindness works by making it a part of day-to-day life.

Best Practices for Raising Kind Children

Howard Fensterman isn’t just an accomplished NY lawyer, but also a proud family man who has tried his best to instill a love for humanity and charity in his children. Here’s what he suggests:

Show Them Kindness Every day

Take them along when you perform an act of kindness. Make this a weekly thing where together with the kids, you go to the local hospital to volunteer and cheer up the patients, or just pay for the next person’s coffee at your local cafe. Encourage your kids to give away a toy every month.

Encourage Sharing

Sharing is an awesome way to be kind to others. Your kids should learn that sharing their toys and other items is a fun way of making new friends and plain feels good.

Teach Them to Be Thankful

Thankfulness is one value rapidly vanishing from our homes. Teaching your kids to be grateful for the smallest things makes them understand that even if it’s not a lot, the person gave all they could afford to give at the time. They need to learn that saying thank you to people who do nice things is an important part of being kind.

Don’t Stop Them from Giving A Helping Hand

Kids are often excited about helping their parents around the home. However, they are never encouraged because of the torrential messes and potential clean ups that might be required. Don’t be afraid. Let them help out by loading up the dishwasher or putting clothes in the washing machine. Let them know that it’s okay to lend a helping hand.

Take the time to understand the unique personalities and learning needs of your children, then give them the opportunity to learn more about life, as well as the small things that truly makes it worth living.

Finally, visit Howard Fensterman Charities to learn more about some of the leading charities that are actually making a difference in this world.


Dry Drowning: What Every Parent Should Know


Girl drowning in pool
Some warning signs of drowning: hair over the forehead or eyes, vertical position in the water, arms moving under water and possible gasping. But they should see medical attention soon after recuperating so as to confirm there is no dry drowning.

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Just recently, in May 2017, a child in New Jersey was saved from drowning by an off-duty policeman during a back-yard pool party. This is not uncommon and is indicative of the many water accidents that occur throughout the county, especially during the summer months.

Lindsay Kujawa, a blog writer in Southern California had described a harrowing incident about her family’s brush with dry drowning.

Her son had slipped into the pool and was being sucked to the other side by the pool jets. Kujawa, who noticed his fall almost immediately ran to pull him out. Initially, he showed no sign of distress. However, hours later, he had to be rushed to the hospital as his mother hopelessly saw her son’s oxygen level drop.

While her son had recovered, the mother wrote that it was one of the worst things that could happen to a mother, and that other parents should learn from her experience.

If you, like many others, have never heard of the term ‘dry drowning’, you should consider reading the article right till the end.

What is Dry Drowning?

The term dry drowning seems to be confusing to most people. The first thing that you should keep in mind regarding dry drowning is that it has nothing to do with hot and dry climatic condition. It happens when a small child inhales water after being submerged in water for a few minutes. The drowning is called ‘dry’ since it happens outside the water.  

Unlike adults, small children’s lungs have lower capacity to handle fluids. A child who slips and falls in the pool for even a few minutes will face life threatening situation later on. The  signs of distress show up to 24 hours after being submerged in water.

Signs of Dry Drowning

  • Submerged in Water — A child less than 5 years old who has been pulled from water after drowning. It’s important that the child should receive immediate medical help even if submerged in water for a few minutes.
  • Vomiting — Inflammation, lack of oxygen, and intense coughing causes vomiting. It shows that the child is in distress.
  • Feeling Tired — While it’s normal for a child to feel sleepy after some time at the pool, it may also be due to loss of oxygen. If a child has been submerged in water and looks extra fatigued, it’s recommended to call a pediatrician.
  • Difficulty in Breathing — Shallow and rapid breathing is another sign of dry drowning. Seek immediate medical help if the child displays labored breathing after being submerged in water.
  • Changed Behavior — If a child seem sick or woozy, it may be due to lack of oxygen. Again, it’s recommended to get medical help.

    Get Immediate Medical Help

If a child has been pulled out of water after slipping, it’s important to seek immediate medical help. Even though the child may be acting fine, the fluid that has accumulated inside the lungs can cause a life threatening situation.

The medical professional will obtain an X-ray of the lungs and mentor signs of respiratory distress. In case any anomaly is detected, the doctor will take immediate steps to address the issue. Timely professional help may well save the life of the child.