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Monthly Archives: May 2018

Keep Healthy in Summer

1. Seek shade

From 11am to 3pm the sun is at its strongest. During this period it is recommended for you to stay out of the sun as you are more at risk of burning or developing heatstroke. If you are having lunch in your garden or at the sea-side you may seek shade under a parasol to have maximum protection.

2. Stay hydrated

Spending too much time in the sun without drinking water will get you chronically dehydrated. It is recommended to reduce the consumption of caffeinated drinks or alcoholic beverages during hot days, as this will tend to make you even more dehydrated. You should drink at least eight glasses of water every day and even more on hot days to stay hydrated. Dehydrated skin is more prone to sun damage, so drink plenty of water!

3. Wear sunscreen

When you are exposed to the sun, always make sure that you are wearing a sunscreen that is right for you. It is important to know which sunscreen is suitable for you skin type and blocks both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B radiation. Before applying your sunscreen, always check its expiry date. It should usually last for about 12 months from opening, moreover you can also check the label on the product. Always apply liberally and remember to reapply after swimming even if it says it is a water resistant sunscreen. Remember also that UV rays bounce off sand, snow, concrete, and water.

4. Clothing

Cover up with a hat that shades your face, neck and ears and a good pair of sunglasses. When deciding about which fabric to wear in summer choose cotton to absorb excess sweating or close-weave fabrics which give the best protection. Skin that’s not usually in the sun is most likely to burn. So take extra care with your back, shoulders and tummy.

Pulse Oximetry

Your organs need oxygen to work properly. Without oxygen, your body cells will not be able to function properly and you will die soon. As a matter of fact, cell death may cause a lot of symptoms and the organ may fail before long.

Actually, your body supplies oxygen to your organs once the oxygen has been filtered via the lungs. Then the lungs provide oxygen with your blood through the hemoglobin proteins found in your red blood cells.

What pulse oximetry does is measure how much oxygen is in the hemoglobin proteins. This is known as oxygen saturation, which shows how much oxygen your organs are getting. Normally, it is between 95 and 100 percent. Moreover, if this level falls below 90%, you should get medical assistance as soon as possible.

Actually, these devices can be attached to a foot, wrist, finger or other devices for measuring the oxygen saturation. Oxygen saturation may fall below the minimum level due to many reasons, such as drowning, choking, infections, and suffocation, just to name a few.

These devices shine a light through some transparent area of your skin and then the light shines through to the powerful sensor fitted on the other side of the wrist. Now, the amount of light that your blood absorbs shows the oxygen saturation. Actually, this device doesn’t get the measurement directly. Actually, it makes use of a complex equation for estimating the exact level.

Pulse oximeters are a great choice for those with certain conditions that may reduce the oxygen saturation. If you have such a condition, your doctor may recommend a good device so you can keep an eye on your oxygen saturation levels at all times.

With this device, you can also find out more about how effective your breathing interventions like ventilators and oxygen therapy are. Moreover, some doctors recommend their patients to use this device especially patients that have cardiac or respiratory conditions.

If you are interested in buying one, you can opt for one even if you have no health conditions. As a matter of fact, some companies market these devices to parents with young infants. This gives them peace of mind that their infant is in good health. However, if you use these devices, make sure you don’t rely solely on this device. Subjective experience is still important.

Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell based therapies have the potential to treat numerous disorders, especially blood and immune related disorders. A wide range of these therapies including allogenic cell therapies, autologous therapies, and mesenchymal these therapies has shown a major breakthrough for curing many medical conditions such as sclerosis, spinal cord injury, diabetes and strokes in the clinical trials. More recently, we have the boon of induced pluripotent stem cells, having the same characteristic as adult embryonic stem cells that can be cultured to produce embryonic stem cells. These cells are important for another key reason- tissue engineering.

Over the last few decades, cell therapies have received medical and commercial successes for emerging as a novel therapeutic option for many cellular dysfunctional diseases. If data are to be believed, the global market of stem cell therapy had touched an average of $410 million revenues by 2009, and the market was expected to grow double and reached a total of 100 million people in the US.

And due to its numerous medical benefits, medical companies and research institutes want to bring its clinical applications from bench to bedside.

Although open to many controversies and debate, we have enough evidence to prove that therapy is indeed an effective therapeutic application to address a range of diseases, including cosmetic procedures like hair regrowth, skin redefining and etc.

About Snake Oil

I should say at this point, that I am not a medical practitioner and the opinions I express here are based on a dose of common sense mixed with a dram of scepticism rather than on any expert knowledge or extensive research into medical issues.

When I open one of these emails, the typical pitch goes like this:

1. You can’t trust the medical establishment – they’re in cahoots with Big Pharma to make you ill and keep you ill – type 2 diabetes being the crowning example.

2. Most if not all prescription medicines have dreadful side effects, some of which are worse than the condition you started with.

3. Surgery is a drastic way to make your back/shoulder/knee pain worse.

4. There are various natural remedies for almost every illness known to humanity, but because of pesticides, poor quality control etc you can’t just get your medicine from the supermarket. You need supplements. And ours happen to be the best.

5. If we don’t have a supplement to sell, we’ll sell you a cookery book or a set of DVDs

The same applies to exercise. These health gurus are now telling us that everything we thought was true about exercise is false. Far from keeping you lithe and young, conventional “cardio” and “carb burning” exercise clogs your body with free radicals that accelerate the aging process. Ditch the running, cycling and gym classes and buy our miracle exercise programme: four extremely intense minutes a day and you’ll have a physique to die for…

Some of the promises are clearly overblown and result in fairly swift use of the delete button. But the most effective messages are carefully crafted, with references to rigorously controlled trials published in respected medical journals and “case studies” of people like you and me with “before” and after “photos” to seal the deal.

The most pernicious aspect of these emails, though, is the claim that the medical establishment wants to keep you ill so they can make big bucks from your misfortune. Medical practitioners in the US, where almost all my emails originate, may have incentives – for billing purposes – to tell you you’re really ill and you need a battery of medications, surgery, physio etc. though I doubt it. But the situation in the UK is very different Here, because of NHS funding and resourcing issues, medical practitioners have more incentive to ration treatment. For example, patients with long-term conditions such as diabetes or hypertension can claim free prescriptions, so what’s in it for GPs in keeping patients drug-dependent for life? There is every incentive to minimise the use of surgery and other therapies because of long waiting lists. The NHS even has gate-keeping services to limit demand by offering telephone or online advice. The NHS certainly has no incentive in keeping you ill.

Similarly, because of lower food standards in the US, it might be difficult for many consumers there to access good quality food. That is not the case in the UK at the moment (though post-Brexit things may be different). Here food production and labelling standards mean that consumers can be confident that a pound of carrots will contain reasonable levels of whatever vitamins and minerals are associated with them.

Some gurus are out to sell the benefits of complementary therapies: reiki, reflexology, acupuncture. These may be helpful – or at worst harmless – for minor ailments or for pain relief for osteo-arthritis. However, the danger comes when they are peddled as cures for cancer and heart disease.

Other gurus alert you to the dangers of eating certain foods: “Never eat these five foods!” they scream. Wheat phobia is a fairly common one and seems to stem from the paleo community, who teach that farming is the worst human activity ever. The fear of wheat is now spreading to other grains that were still benign yesterday: oats, rye, barley. Rice and potatoes are also pure poison for the paleos.

Some gurus tell tales of remote Tibetan villages where everyone lives to be 150 because they use some mysterious herb in their tea. It’s true that there are “blue zones” where a significant proportion of people live to a ripe old age and in fine fettle. However, all the research indicates that this is never due to a single factor but to a combination of factors such as genetics, diet and lifestyle. For example, remaining physically active and being part of a close community appear to be crucial. You can’t replicate these factors in a bottle.

Some advice looks innocuous because there doesn’t seem to be any selling going on. For example, drinking warm water, lemon juice and honey every morning. However, to get the “free report” on the miracle that is lemon juice you have to provide your email address, which is then sold to other snake oil sellers, so that like me, you’re soon inundated with pseudo-medical advice.

Remember, most of these gurus have no formal medical training at all, and the minority who do have opted for a comfortable living as medical heretics.

When you see a claim for the benefits of taking magnesium or L-Arginine, check it out on a reputable website like WebMD. You will generally find:

1. The claims are overblown, i.e. there is little or no evidence that the herb, spice or mineral has any appreciable impact on serious conditions such as cancer, heart disease etc.

2. A clinical trial on a small group of patients showed some impact on a minor or rare condition – this is the “kernel of truth” that makes the claim defensible in case of litigation.

3. Overall though, the list of proven uses is much shorter than is claimed.

4. There are risks, for example, for pregnant women, the elderly or people using other medications.

If the sales blurb refers to clinical trials carried out at a university or research institute, check directly on the institution’s website. Did such a trial take place, and if so, what were the results?

Similarly, check with your country’s food and drug regulator. What advice are they giving about this miracle potion?

Always be wary of the snake oil seller’s call to action, which usually rounds off a long and tedious email or video presentation:

1. A stark reminder that your condition is wrecking your life.

2. Orthodox treatments are dangerous or ineffective.

3. You have to take responsibility for your health because your doctors and their mates in Big Pharma don’t give a damn about you.

4. The answer to your problems is available at a massive discount but you need to buy within the next 15 minutes.

5. Get your credit card ready.

Of course, if you don’t buy the miracle cure there and then, you’ll get reminder emails for several days afterwards saying the discount is still available for you alone because “we really care about your glaucoma/rheumatism/varicose veins etc.”