Monday, November 5, 2012

Food Is My Friend

I began to discover food as the source of life at the age of 12. It was a love/ hate relationship. I hated to eat because I was afraid of becoming fat and yet I had to eat because if I didn't I would get dizzy and get into fights with those who supposedly cared about me.
This struggle continued from the age of 12 until the age of 32.
I decided that the only way to get over it was to do more. I would show everyone that I was strong and that I could do anything. As I continued to do great things for others, I felt good but then that good feeling went away and I was miserable and alone. I had to decide "do I eat or not eat'?
When I didn't eat I felt lighter but I also got dizzy and felt out of it. When I ate -I picked at my food and ended up eating junk later and slept it off. I never knew who was really my friend because there were so many people who treated me badly, teased me, I felt as though my life was a joke.
There were points when I decided that I could kick this -I was determined. I realized how miserable I was and decided that I had to do something to change that -so I discovered that when I did new and adventurous things I got my excitement and life back. After a while though, the misery came back so I found somewhere else to go.
There were many times when I seriously thought I was going crazy. There were times when my friends thought I was suicidal. I decided that it was not safe to share feelings with others because I will get into trouble if I did.
When I sought help I was told that I was "perfect", that it was "all in my head" or that everyone goes through that. Just eat from all the food groups.
Finally at the age of 31 I was living alone -what a blessing -no one to watch over me, I could do what I wanted. This time I would be fine -I promised myself. Yet, after overeating and bingeing on a box of little Debbie's and ice cream or a half a box of cereal I would run to the cupboard for laxatives. I would pray -Dear God, if you get me through this I promise I will never to do it again. How many times did I break that promise?
My ways of gaining control were not working. I would buy entire bags of binge foods, take them home and throw them away. I would attempt to make myself throw up and yet I couldn't. There are so many others that can do this better. I am such a wuss.
If people really knew how much pain I was in they would freak out. That is one of the main reasons I could never go through with killing myself. I was afraid of what other people would think of me. Then on the other hand I would think about everything I wanted to do in my life. And the fact that I am so afraid of dying, death and life. Life would be so much better with out food and feelings and having friends because then they wouldn't worry about me and I wouldn't feel guilty about letting them down. There was no escape now -isolated in my living room dreading my life. I had to do something ...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pediatric Emergency Contact Notifications

For the head of the trauma department at one of America's top pediatric facilities, Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital, having to notifying parents that their children have been the victims of trauma or identify pediatric Jane Does, is an every day occurrence. But just because they look like they're handling it well, doesn't mean that it ever becomes routine.
When a child comes into the ED without a parent, it's usually the result of an accident or traumatic event. Even though their first priority is to tend to the child's medical needs, their next priority is to identify the child. They need to get his parents or guardian down to the hospital, to give consent for his treatment, provide vital medical history and most importantly, to be at their child's side when he needs them most.
You'd be surprised how often a child is brought into Children's Memorial without anything pointing to his or her identity. Many times it's the result of a car accident, where the parents are injured as well as the child, and are taken to another hospital, while the child is brought to Children's for specialized pediatric treatment. Since children don't have driver's licenses or checkbooks, identifying a child can be challenging.
Just the other day, three children ranging from 8 months to 3 years were brought into the ED after a serious automobile accident.
Their parents, who were in bad shape, were taken to another hospital and the paramedics had no clue about their names, ages or medical history. The trauma team began their medical evaluation and as they always do when dealing with an unidentified child, opened a trauma pack for each, using a patient number to identify them. We estimated their ages, did a full physical description including any identifying marks and clothing, then ordered a full set of x-rays, which helps to identify any conditions or injuries that aren't readily apparent.
The team's biggest asset in this situation was the solid relationships that they've built with police, fire department, and other local hospitals - as they work together to get the children identified as quickly as possible. After a major accident like this, the police and fire department were already in the ED coordinating efforts. With their special emergency landline system they're instantly linked by phone with any local hospital they need to reach. As the team began calling to find out where the children's parents were taken, hospitals began to call them, to say, "I know you're looking for the mom and dad of the accident victims. They're not here," saving them precious time. In this case, we found the hospital relatively quickly and found out that even though the children's parents had been seriously injured, the children's caregiver who had also been in the accident, was fine. The hospital sent her over to Children's and she - and later on the parents - were able to give them all the information they needed to identify and treat the children.
In the case of a completely unidentified child, especially babies, they depend on our procedures. Usually the fire department, police or DCFS dropped the child off, so they are already aware of the situation and have already begun going through the child's clothing and personal effects to gather evidence and identify the child. The trauma team will send the police or paramedics right back to the scene to gather additional information, medicine bottles, names, and to canvass the area. There is almost always someone who saw something. Someone from pastoral care automatically comes down and a social worker will get involved if it looks like any abuse was involved. Together, they take care of figuring out where to go from here, while the team takes care of the child medically.
If these steps don't elicit any clues to the child's identity, the hospital will get media affairs involved. Children's will never show the face or reveal the name of any child. Instead, they photograph the child's clothing and personal effects and release it to the media along with the child's estimated age, description and the vicinity in which she was found. They work closely with detectives and DCFS to give them all the details they need to chase down any leads they get from the public. Many times just calling DCFS or the police will locate parents or bring about an identification. In the case of severe trauma, abuse or inflicted injury, Children's always balances treating the child, with carefully gathering as much evidence as possible, to help the eventual police investigation. They had a young girl a few years ago, whose brutal attacker was convicted mainly on the evidence gathered and catalogued in the trauma room.
When it comes to providing emergency contact information, kids aren't always the best source. They have seven or eight year old kids come in everyday, who I'm sure are sophisticated in every other way. But get them in a trauma situation and ask them what their mom's name is and they'll say it's "mom". In this case, the first thing they'll do is look at whatever they brought in with them. School-age kids almost always have a backpack. If they don't find anything there, they'll check our records to see if the child is in the system and begin to gently probe the child for information. They ask them where their house is, what their school looks like, information about their friend's houses, maybe a familiar landmark on the corner like a 7/11 or the name of a park. If you can't find their contact information right away, try to find the name of their school. Their books will probably have the name of their school stamped inside.
Schools are also a great source for emergency contact information. They'll often even list alternate people to call in an emergency if the parents are at work or hard to reach. In an emergency, schools will usually send someone directly down to the hospital with the child's emergency card and emergency consent forms. If the injury occurs at school, most schools will send someone from the school along with the child to the hospital, while someone else is calling the parent. For parents, I would suggest that every parent name someone else on the child's emergency card, who knows the child well and would be able to step in to help out during an emergency if the parents can't get there right away.
So once you identify a child, how do you know if the person who comes to the hospital is really his parent or relative? It's not always easy. Remember that the parents didn't expect to have to come to the hospital today, and probably won't be carrying three forms of ID and their child's birth certificate. For people that come in and say they're related to a child who's been in the media, they get as much ID as they can, be it a driver's license, pictures or other proof. With kids, the biggest test is to watch their response when that person goes in the room. Usually you'll here a resounding "Mom!" or "Daddy!" and you know you've got the right person. If there's no response from the kid, or if they're not sure of the adult, it's probably not the right person. Or worse, the child might recoil from the adult, which could indicate an abusive situation.
Treating kids also means caring for their parents. When Children's has to make a notification call they'll begin by telling the person on the phone who they are and ask them how they are related to the child. If it's the mom or dad, they'll tell them that their child has been brought to Children's Memorial Hospital. Of course the parent will immediately ask how the child is. This is always the hardest part of the call. If the child is clearly fine, they'll say "Don't worry, they're fine, we just need you to come down here."
But if there is a more serious injury, or if the child hasn't survived, they say that the child has been in an accident, that they need to come down, and if necessary, that they need to get their medical history. If they refuse to get off the phone until they find out what's wrong, the trauma coordinator will say that they're very concerned about their child's health and that they need to come down right away. They'll always try to calm the person down as much as they can - tell them to go and get a pencil and paper to take down the address of the hospital, to take down the hospital's name and the nurses' direct number. They tell them to ask for them right away when they get here so they don't have to waste any time at the desk and then try to make sure they have someone to drive them over. And they finish by reminding them that they need to drive carefully and slowly and to make sure that they get there in one piece!
At Children's the top priority is the restoration of the health of every child who comes through our door, no matter who they are and where they come from.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Frequent Fallers" One Disabled Perspective

Since 1992, when ADA ~ Americans with Disabilities Act ~ took effect, we have witnessed an astronomical increase in community awareness. Vast numbers of handicapped persons who had rarely ventured out have come into public view. The sick have been assisted. Many broken have been made mobile. Physically unfortunates have been empowered.
As Machiavelli said, "Power corrupts." Some of we disabled have come to expect everyone else to make way for us. I fear, the pendulum has swung from equal access rights ~ to special privilege civil liberties ~ which too many of us have come to expect. Errant expectation undermines appropriate appreciation.
Beneath our somewhat successful surfaces, some of us were tyrants to begin with. We demanded instead of requesting. Rather than even ask, we answered with action! Our arrogance could masquerade as confidence.
Pride comes before the fall if fall hard we must. Some of us "Frequent Fallers" routinely blame others for our shortcomings. But, when we no longer have control over our own bodies, we are frighteningly forced to revisit our selfish realities. After all, it's in our own best interest. Just because I am stubborn, I can ill afford to remain an ass.
We that are blessed to abide in a nation that has mandated heretofore unheralded access to activities and services, making it unlawful to discriminate against us because of our "Special needs," should be grateful for the lack of restrictions we now enjoy. Not that we deserve such liberty. We ought to recognize our acceptance as gifts from the benevolent, able~bodied who pay for our extended benefits.
Please, do not misunderstand, nor find offense at my musings. I am grateful to those "Early swimmers," who recognized the desperation of handicapped individuals and broke new passages through which our citizenship now navigates. Whether motivated by humanity or purely personal gain, I am appreciative of their meeting a noble need for Equal Access. It is better now than it ever was. Access will yet improve. I hope that we who most benefit can develop a "Have-a-little-patience" perspective too.
Often, the goodhearted & charitable only hope that we have paid a price, either through contributing in some fashion within our own lives, or that by our encouraging of others, we will extend like kindness where we can. That we learn to love better, if only because we can :))
With "Equal Access," we can Leap~out, Limp~out, or Lash~out!

Monday, October 8, 2012

The ABC's of Working Out

A healthy body is key to overall success!
I can honestly say that I have never felt better physically than I do right now. I turned 34 last week and I feel better than when I was 24! I owe most of that to a daily routine of exercise. And the best news is that it is a simple routine, one that anyone can do.
Being in better shape helps me in all areas of my life because there is a definite body-mind-spirit connection in us humans! Because of his I wanted to take some time to give you a simple, easy to remember schedule and routine to follow. This is something you can start immediately. You will notice the difference very soon!
But first, a few things:
Always consult a doctor being beginning a diet or exercise program!
To make the most of your exercise, cut back on the bad foods! Don't let your diet undermine your exercise.
This plan assumes that you belong to a health club or have access to weights. If you don't - invest in it - you will be glad you did!
Now, onto the plan.
First, to begin with, you should stretch out and do some sort of aerobic exercise like walking, running or stair climbing. This will get your heart going. Start slow and short and increase as you get into better shape. Most fitness experts say a person should work up to 30 minute sessions three or four time a week. Depending on your health, start with 7-10 minutes.
Day one - A is for Arms. There are a few simple exercises that you can do to get you arms in shape. Basically curls and pushdowns. Curls are for your biceps and pushdowns are for your triceps. Even 3 sets of 8 repetitions of each with a weight appropriate for your strength will be good for you and tone you up!
Day two - B is for Back and legs (I know, but I had to throw legs in there somewhere and this is how I do it myself!). There are a few basic exercises you can do for your back. One is the rowing motion. The other is for the overhead pulldown. Again, three sets of eight will be a good start. Your back is very important in the structure of the body and should be worked out regularly.
For legs you will want to do three basic exercises: The squat for your thighs, toe raises for your calves, and reverse leg extensions for your hamstrings. Yep, three sets of eight.
Day three - C is for Chest. The chest is simple. Just anything that works the bench motion (flat on your back pushing up). You can do this with either a barbell or dumbbells (no, a dumbbell is not your workout partner :)) Again three sets of eight to start.
Day four - S is for Shoulders. Shoulders are important because if you only do the chest, which some people are want to do, you will quickly overwhelm your shoulders and they will get hurt. Working out your shoulders also makes your waist look smaller!
Two exercises here: One is a deltoid exercise (picture your thumbs under your armpits with your elbows out - like a chicken). The weight machine presses downward on your elbows as you lift.
The other is an overhead press, which can be done with either dumbbells or barbell. You sit down and push the weight over head - three sets of eight.
Day five - rest. Everybody needs a rest!
Day six - Just aerobic exercise.
Day seven - Start with day one again - arms.
Let me say that you should probably have someone at your workout facility show you how to do these if you have never done them before. Ask at the front desk and someone should be able to help you.
Remember, the body you have is the only one you will ever get so take the time to keep it in tip top shape and it will make you feel better than ever!
If you do this simple routine you will slowly but surely get your body into great shape (assuming you are watching the food intake!)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Beginner's Guide To Fitness

So you are finally ready to turn from your couch potato ways, and trade your T.V. remote in for a dumbbell! Congratulations, and welcome to the wonderful world of fitness! I commend you on your resolve to lose weight and get into shape! Now where do you begin? These days there sure is a lot of talk about diet and fitness, whether it is a new diet pill or piece of exercise equipment. It is enough to make your head spin, and certainly enough to confuse the beginner. Take a deep breath, and follow these simple tips to go from being a fitness beginner to a pro!
The first thing you need to do, as a fitness beginner, is to start moving! I mean this literally. Get up, and walk out your front door. Now walk down the street. Now turn the corner. Keep going! Do you get the picture? Start introducing your body to fitness by going on walks. These walks will probably start out slow and short, but before you know it they will be brisk and long. Try to work up a sweat as you tour the neighborhood. Make it a habit to wake up early to go on your walk, or consistently go on a walk before you go to bed. These walks will get you to start burning calories each day, and will also begin to build your cardiovascular endurance.
Once you become a pro at walking, you will need to add something new to your routine. Stretch before and after your walks. Start by reaching down to touch your toes and holding it for 30 seconds. You will feel tightness on the backs of your legs, in your hamstrings. Now place your palm against a wall at chest level and turn your body away from it. As you hold this for 30 seconds you will feel a stretch in your chest. Most inactive people have tight hamstring and chest muscles due to prolonged sitting, so it should be your priority to stretch these muscles out. You will be pleasantly surprised at what this will do for your posture!
Fitness professionals like to claim that 80% of what your body looks like is directly related to what you eat. In other words, if you are eating burgers and fries and visiting the gym everyday, you are still going to look like you are eating burgers and fries! It is time to clean up your diet, so you can continue on your fast track to fitness.
· Rule #1: No more fast food. Fast food is cheap, available, and quick, but it is far from healthy. You are better off avoiding it completely.
· Rule #2: Eat 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables everyday. Your body needs the nutrients found in these foods, and they will fill you up without empty calories.
· Rule #3: Eat 4-5 small meals a day, rather than 2 large ones. This will keep your metabolism high all day, and turn you into a calorie-burning machine!
After you have mastered walking, stretching, and have started to clean up your diet, you are ready to join a gym. Don't be intimidated or scared of this concept, the gym is a friendly place where people go to burn calories and build muscle! Find a local gym that has a convenient location near your home or work place. The key to making your gym membership worth its monthly dues is to use it consistently. Go to the gym no less than three times a week. While you are there begin a resistance training program as well as a cardiovascular program.
There is no better motivator to get you to the gym than knowing that someone is there waiting for you. If you find yourself slacking off in your workouts, or skipping the gym, a workout buddy might be just what you need. Find a friend with whom you share similar fitness goals, and become workout buddies. Agree to meet three times a week at the gym, and encourage each other throughout your workout. You will find that this makes workouts motivating and fun.
There you have it, all you need to know to get yourself up off the coach and into a healthy, fit lifestyle! Making the decision to get into shape will be the best one you make in your life, and I wish you all the best. To your health!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Traveling Fitness

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, being on the road usually leads to one thing: weight gain. From missed workouts to large restaurant meals, travel days often become high calorie days. Next time that you go on the road keep the following tips in mind, and come home leaner than when you left!
When you find yourself in a poorly equipped hotel exercise room, make the best of it. You are not going to be able to get in a normal workout like you would at your local health club, so you will have to make do with the available equipment. A great way of doing this is to workout in a circuit. Most hotel exercise rooms will have at least one piece of equipment for each body part, and they are usually as empty as a ghost town, so a circuit will work well. Do one set on each body part, and then hop on a bike or treadmill for 10 minutes. Repeat this two more times, and you will find yourself sweating up a storm.
If your travels keep you too busy for a workout, or if your hotel does not have an exercise room, make a conscious effort to burn calories everyday. There are many different ways to fit some calorie burning into your day. Go on a brisk walk after your day's activities. This is a great way to see a new city, and also a great way to burn off the rich dinner you just ate! Take the stairs instead of elevator in your hotel and any other buildings you visit. Go on a short jog in the mornings or evenings of your stay. If your hotel has a pool, swim a few laps each morning or evening.
Eating out is a must when traveling. Whether you are visiting 5 star restaurants or fast food diners, you are faced with the same problem: large portions. While the easiest thing to do with a large portioned meal is to simply eat it all, that isn't the easiest on your waist! When you order your meal ask the waiter or waitress to bring you a to-go box with your meal. This way you can take half of the meal and place it safely into the box before you even begin to eat. You will have no choice but to eat a healthy portion, and you have your next meal taken care of. If you would rather not carry around a to-go box then ask that your entrée be made into a smaller portion. If it is dinnertime ask for the lunch-sized entrée.
While fast food restaurants are definitely convenient, with their low prices and quick service, this convenience is not worth the inevitable weight gain brought on by the burgers and fries. When you travel, keep this in mind: avoid fried foods. While this is always good advice to follow, it is even more important to abide by while traveling.
While traveling you are most likely to be burning less calories each day than you would normally burn at home, and you are consuming more calories due to your schedule of eating out. You are walking a fine line, and eating fried foods would throw you right over the edge of weight gain. A gram of fat contains 9 calories as compared to the 4 calories that proteins and carbohydrates carry, so you can see that consuming fried foods will drastically increase your calorie intake. If I still haven't convinced you to pass on the French fries, keep in mind that heartburn and indigestion are never fun, but how about experiencing them on an airplane, bus, or train ride!
When your hotel doesn't have an exercise room, and you still want to get in some type of workout, try this body weight routine right in your hotel room:
· 20 Jumping Jacks: you remember these from grade school! Start jumping!
· 20 Push Ups: Get on the floor, keep your back flat, and push!
· 20 Jumping Jacks
· 20 Crunches: Keep your hands behind your head and breathe out as you crunch up.
· 20 Jumping Jacks
· 20 Triceps Dip: Place your palms on the edge of a chair, bend at your elbows and push yourself back up!
· 20 Squats: Stand in place, with your knees shoulder width apart, squat down!
· 20 Jumping Jacks
· 20 Lunges: Keep your hands on your waist, step forward keeping a 90degree bend in your knee, and press yourself back up!
Next time your work or pleasure takes you away from home, keep these tips in mind and be pleasantly surprised with your results! Have a great trip!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Think You Don't Have Bad Breath

Bad breath can rule your life and what others think about
you. We've all spoken to someone with bad breath. Chances
are you looked away, smiled politely and tried to get away
as quickly as possible from the offensive odor. More than
likely you were embarrassed for that person, who seemed to
be clueless about their bad breath. Even the most stunning,
funny, charming person in the world can develop bad breath
(halitosis) and make people within range cringe and look
away. You could be delivering a speech on how to cure some
of the most wide-spread and growing diseases, but if your
breath smells, people will focus on that offense and not
the achievement you're speaking of. This is a sad, but
true, reality of bad breath.
Don't Have Bad Breath? How Sure Are You?
Do you have bad breath? If you answered no, how do you know
this? Did you cup your hands, blow into them and take a big
whiff? Blowing in your hands will keep them warm, but it is
a myth that it predicts bad or clean breath. So many
factors can lead to bad breath that just because you didn't
have bad breath last week doesn't mean you haven't
developed it this week. For example, perhaps you have a
cold this week. Did you know that post nasal drip and
excess mucous, as well as allergy/sinus medications, can
all lead to bad breath?
Breath Mints Aren't That Mighty
Most people are accustomed to adding "fresheners" to
anything foul smelling. If a room smells bad, we spray air
freshener. To keep bathrooms smelling good all day, we use
plug in fresheners. To keep old clothes smelling nice, we
use fabric softeners with strong fragrances. Sometimes the
freshener can be more offensive than the foul smell, or the
combination of the two makes the matter even worse. This is
true with breath fresheners. People think that a "mint"
will dissolve their bad breath, which is completely false.
Just because you have a strong "medicated" taste in your
mouth doesn't mean your bad breath is gone. You can't
"taste" good or bad breath. Makes sense, right?
Bad Breath Can Strike Anyone at Anytime
If you don't suffer from this today, it can plague you
tomorrow. A great way to tell if you have bad breath is to
wipe a piece of gauze on your tongue and smell it. You may
even find a yellowish color on the gauze. Did you know you
can't smell your own bad breath? The fact is, you can't
smell your own bad breath, but others can.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Addictive Are Cigarettes

People commonly use the word addiction with regard to their smoking habits, as if to throw up their hands and say "See I'm addicted, I'm helpless to resist, there is nothing that I can do."
However, depite the common belief that nicotine is a highly addictive substance no official laboratory study has been able to definitively state that Nicotine is highly physically addictive.
Not highly addictive? Really?
When people are truly addicted to substances like Heroin or Cocaine you see a common factor. When these addicts are deprived of these substances the body malfunctions. Now, no one's body malfunctions when they stop smoking. Thousands of people quit every day and their body doesn't experience any of the physical withdrawal symptoms that you might see from a real addiction. It simply does not happen.
For example, no one wakes up in the night needing a cigarette. Yet Heroin and Cocaine addicts will wake in the night for a hit just to be able to get back to sleep.
What about a movie? Everyone can easily watch a good movie in a movie theater and sit through the entire show without a cigarette yet maybe a smoker would claim that they find it difficult to go 2 hours without smoking!
Ah, you may say...."So - why then does everyone think that cigarettes are addictive?"
Now...I'm not into conspiracy theories here but lets think for a short moment about whose interest it's in for you to think that cigarettes are addictive...There's only one. The Tobacco Companies!
Just think what a great marketing tool this is for ANY product!
Convince the purchaser that they cannot live without it
But the main point is this...
If you were addicted to cigarettes your body would malfunction without them.
You know that your body does not malfunction without cigarettes
...therefore there is no physical addiction.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Inviting Antioxidants to Dinner

This article was originally published in the November 2004 issue of Zone Net
Supplementing your diet with extra antioxidants is crucial to our bodies and our immune systems during times when we are more likely to come into contact with cold or flu viruses in packed shopping malls or other public places . Just what exactly are antioxidants? Well, antioxidants are essentially natural compounds that protect our bodies from free radical damage to our cells. This destructive process is called oxidation. Just like many metals oxidize and then rust, our own bodies tend to do the same over time. The oxidation then results in specific chemical changes that impair the healthy process that should be happening.
It should be considered that free radicals are produced within the body every single day from the different chemical reactions which happen in each individual part of our bodies.
You should understand that free radicals are produced outside of the body as well, reaching us through sun-rays, toxic chemicals in our drinking water, second-hand as well as first-hand smoke, and pollution in general. It is believed by certain researchers that free radicals are a major reason for the aging process and a cause of some illnesses. Antioxidants are there to basically absorb the free radicals but due to the sheer numbers of free radicals it is critical to incorporate antioxidants through certain foods plus dietary supplements so you can support your natural defenses.
Antioxidants are usually abundant in foods that are rich in colors.
Therefore foods that feature reds, lush greens, and strong blues are generally antioxidant rich. Top foods in terms of antioxidant power include such foods as cranberries, blueberries, spinach, black beans, strawberries, grapes and sweet potatoes(the deeper the orange the better), among numerous others.
Both red wine and grape juice are known to have have a relatively high antioxidant value. It is also worth noting that many spices are antioxidant rich as well.

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Research Reveals True Cause

What Causes Bad Breath:
Three Leading Factors Did you know:
1. Medications (including allergy medications) cause bad
2. Alcoholic beverages cause bad breath
3. Mouthwash with alcohol causes bad breath
4. Smoking causes bad breath
5. Dry mouth causes bad breath
The fact is that everyday common over-the-counter hygiene
products, beverages an medications can be the "mysterious"
cause of your bad breath! Medications and alcohol dry out
the mouth, creating less saliva which leads to less oxygen
in the mouth. This combination creates the perfect breeding
ground for the Anaerobic Sulfur-Producing Bacteria that
cause bad breath. In short simple terms, oral bacteria
cause bad breath. Think of your breath in the morning,
probably not top-notch. At night your mouth is at rest and
drier than in waking hours, so bacteria grow. Upon waking
you're greeted with "morning breath." Likewise, when you
are sick and congested, possibly breathing out of your
mouth, you probably noticed your breath smells. This is
caused by dry mouth which creates bacteria which causes bad
How do I Avoid the Bacteria That Causes Bad Breath?
Bad breath is caused by excessive bacteria in the mouth.
Scientific study and clinical research on bacteria has
helped experts discover why bacteria causes bad breath and
how to best eliminate it. Surprisingly, those commercials
and ads that tell us to pop a mint or use a mouth wash to
deal with bad breath are always accurate. In fact many of
the mints and washes people use to combat bad breath,
actually cause bad breath or make it worse. How so? The
bacteria that cause bad breath live and breed beneath the
tongue's surface, on the tonsils and in the throat, not on
the surface where it can be scraped or brushed off or
dissolved with a wash or mint. Instead of getting rid of
bad breath, many of these products contain alcohol which
dries out the mouth creating a more favorable environment
for these odorous bacteria to grow.
Does Food Cause Bad Breath?
You bet your garlic breadsticks they do. Certain foods like
garlic and onions can cause bad breath because they contain
the same compounds, previously discussed, that create bad
breath. If you regularly consume these foods, it can create
higher amounts of bacteria and lead to halitosis. The catch
is that the Anaerobic Sulfur-Producing Bacteria that can
cause bad breath are in everyone's mouth, because they are
needed to assist in breaking down proteins in certain
foods. Researchers are still searching for a reason why
some people are prone to develop more of the beneficial
bacteria, which in bulk are no longer beneficial because
they cause bad breath.
The Secret to Getting Rid of Bad Breath (halitosis) is....
To truly eliminate the cause of bad breath you must eliminate the odorous bacteria by converting them to non-odorous volatile sulfur compounds. Okay, sounds complicated, right? In other words, make sure you are using the right type of bad breath eliminator to do the job for you. This cannot be done with mouthwashes or mints. These give your mouth a strong taste, which then leads you to believe if your mouth tastes "medicated" or minty, then your breath must smell good.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dental Coverage Now Saves Big Money Later

Simply put, if you don't go to the dentist regularly now, you will later, and it will cost you thousands of dollars more.
Many families end up forking out over $8,000 for dental procedures and repairs in later years.
This is because they couldn't afford regular, twice a year dental check-ups in the early years
of their marriages and families.
I have always known going to the dentist mattered more than whether I had dental coverage
or not. Yet if ever there was a person with a good excuse not go to the dentist regularly, it
was me.
At the age of 8, my dentist was having trouble freezing my mouth. After 45 minutes without
success, he drilled into my cheek.
Later that week, my mother sat me down and told me that this particular dentist had snapped,
killing his ex wife, her boyfriend and himself.
No kidding, I thought at the time. That memory still sends shivers down my back, even nearly
30 years later.
Yet despite this, I have always made myself go to the dentist. That has been particularly true
for the last 12 years as a parent of two girls.
Dental Associations recommend that you have a dental cleaning and check-up every six
months. Without dental coverage, regular dental visits will cost about $100 to $140 a year
for two visits. Brushing is vital, as is flossing. Children are supposed to floss daily.
Earlier on, I waited too long to go to the dentist about two problem teeth. By the time they
were looked at, I was facing a $1,000 bill for root canals if I wanted them saved. There was
no way I could afford that, so I had the teeth pulled.
For that same amount of money, $100 per month, I could have provided my family nine years
of dental coverage.
Dental coverage options today include dental insurance, offered as part of company benefits
packages through employers.
For many, many people though, this is not an available option due to growing unemployment, downsizing, or reduced company benefits.
As a result, people have started looking online to explore their dental benefit options.
The most popular question being asked is what is the difference between Dental Insurance
and Discount Dental Plans.
Dental insurance is utilized by large groups and businesses to cover their employee's dental
care. Monthly premiums are paid for defined coverage. Premiums for dental insurance may be
as much as $30 per month for individuals and over $100 per month for family plans.
Dental insurance is not readily accessible to individuals and families. There are annual spending maximums, deductibles, waiting periods for certain procedures, and limitations and exclusions
on care. Dental coverage will include the cost of preventive services (such as cleanings and
exams) at 100% after deductibles are met.
For millions of North Americans, discount dental plans are an ideal form of dental coverage
when benefits are not available through their work. The plans are designed to provide
consumers access to dental networks at reduced rates.
The big plus is the plans are affordable to join and are the most widely available dental programs
for individuals and families.
The plans work differently than insurance but offer real and substantive cost savings on
dental procedures. Dental coverage includes secured discounts on most dental services, such
as dental exams, routine cleanings, fillings, extractions, root canals, dentures, crowns, and
Most discount dental plans provide a fee schedule with the discounted fees listed out in the
membership materials.
In some cases, dental insurance and discount dental plans can be used together in certain
situations to maximize savings.
For years, my wife and I used dental plans. In recent years, we now both have dental
insurance through our employers.
While the type and level of our dental coverage has varied through the years, we have always
made ongoing dental health a priority.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hows of ADD/ADHD in Children

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or ADHD) is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood and unfortunately most of its causes are unknown. It can persist through adolescence and into adulthood. According to the estimation of American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV (DSM-IV-TR) 3%-7% of children suffer from ADHD. Some studies have estimated higher rates in community samples. Surprisingly, this dis-ease is diagnosed approximately three times more often in boys than in girls.
ADHD is a diagnosis applied to children and adults who consistently display certain characteristic behaviors over a period of time. The most common core features include:
· Distractibility (less concentration and poor sustained attention to tasks)
· Impulsivity (impaired impulse control and delay of gratification)
· Hyperactivity (excessive activity and physical restlessness)
ADHD does not often come alone and there are many other conditions that are commonly associated with ADHD like depression, bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorders and learning disabilities. These are just some of the conditions that can appear with ADHD. Some studies have indicated that between 50% and 70% of individuals with ADHD also have some other conditions.
Early diagnosis and treatment can often times prevent problems later. According to studies, anywhere from 24% to 30% of patients with ADHD also suffer from depression. In the past it was thought that depression might have been the result of constant failures due to ADHD symptoms. Therefore, if ADHD was successfully treated, the depression should disappear. Based on this assumption, ADHD was considered to be the primary diagnosis and the depression was ignored. However, a study by the Pediatric Pharmacology Department at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston indicated that depression and ADHD are separate and both should be treated one after the other or sometimes simultaneously (depending upon the individual case).
Clinical experience has shown that the most effective treatment for ADHD is a combination of medication (when necessary), therapy or counseling to learn coping skills and adaptive behaviors, and ADD coaching for adults.
Indeed, diagnosis can be very difficult. Stimulant medications, commonly used to treat ADHD, can sometimes cause side effects that mimic depressive symptoms. These medications can also increase symptoms of depression and bipolar disorders, making it hard to distinquish what are the true symptoms and which are caused from medication. Many physicians will, therefore, treat the depression first, and, once that has been controlled will begin to treat ADHD.
So in that case pepression becomes the “primary” diagnosis and ADHD becomes the “secondary” diagnosis. Other physicians will argue that treatment must be simultaneous, with treatment occurring at the same time. Arguments for this method of treatment say that in order to have either condition under control, both must be under control.
We should also understand that medication is often used to help normalize brain activity, as prescribed by a physician. Stimulant medications, like Ritalin, Dexedrine and Adderall are commonly used because they have been shown to be most effective for most people with ADHD. However, many other medications may also be used at the discretion of the physician.
Not just the medication, but behavior therapy and cognitive therapy are also often helpful to modify certain behaviors and to deal with the emotional effects of ADHD. Many adults also benefit from working with an ADHD coach to help manage problem behaviors and develop coping skills, such as improving organizational skills and improving productivity. Moreover, the role of parents cannot be underestimated in either case.
As it is one of the most common and deadly diseases, so it is recognized as a disability under federal legislation (the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Americans With Disabilities Act; and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act). Appropriate and reasonable accommodations are sometimes made at school for children with ADHD, and in the workplace for adults with ADHD, which help the individual to work more efficiently and productively. The idea is to make them feel comfortable as they are already challenged as a human being we should help and respect them.
It is also believed that psychology does nothing to treat or even to address the real ADHD symptoms. Usually psychologist and counselor help you and your child live with and accept the condition. So everybody, including the doctors, agree that the current state-of-the-art treatment for ADHD does nothing really to treat the actual disorder. Some experts recommend that all individuals receiving a diagnosis of ADHD should also have a complete and thorough psychological evaluation to determine the presence (or absence) of any co-existing disorders. Once this has been completed, a treatment team, sometimes consisting of family physician, psychologist and psychiatrist, can work together to create a treatment plan geared specifically for that individual.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Five Ways to Fit Fitness Into Your Life

Everyone is pressed for time these days. It does not have to mean that
fitness can't be a part of your life. In as little as 10 minutes a day, you can
begin to make positive changes to your body.
People often have an all or nothing idea about exercise. They feel that if
they can't fit in an hour of exercise that they will do nothing instead.
Successful exercisers make fitness an important part of their lives. Try
scheduling your time to exercise like you would any other appointment.
If you are struggling to fit exercise into your day, try these fitness tips:
1. Tackle one body part per day and perform as many reps as it takes to
reach failure. Or set a rep goal for yourself and do as many sets as it
takes to reach your goal.
2. Exercise while you watch TV. (Don't just sit there, DO something.)
Why not do some crunches, or leg extensions while watching the tube?
How about some lunges? Anything yo can do in a gym sitting down, you
can do at home sitting down in front of the tube.
3. Superset your workouts. Put two exercises together and perform them
one after another with no rest in between. You can either do a mixed
superset of an upper and lower move combined, or you can choose two
opposing muscle groups like chest and back.
4. Combine 2 moves into 1. Any time you perform a lower body exercise
and your arms are not involved you miss out on a time-saving
Try performing a lunge with a curl, or lateral raise. Or a squat with on
overhead press.
You could create an entire workout around this concept and divide up
your body parts and exercises so that you keeps things fresh.
5. Circuit training. Select a number of exercises for your entire body and
perform them as a circuit with little or no rest in between. Repeat as time
allows for 2-3 circuits.
People will always find excuses to not exercise. These tips show you
how to fit exercise into the busiest of schedules and get the benefits of
regular exercise.
It's not about finding the time to exercise, it's about MAKING the time to
exercise. No matter how busy you are. It's always better to do something
than nothing.
The information contained in this article is strictly for informational
purposes and is not intended to provide medical advice. If you are
sedentary or over 40 please get clearance from a doctor before starting
an exercise program.
You have permission to publish this article electronically, without
changes of any kind, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included,
and remain working hyperlinks. Please send a copy of the URL where
you have posted this article.