Do We Really Need a First Aid Kit at Home?

There are a plethora of reasons why you need to have a first aid kit at home and not one reason why you shouldn’t. Minor cuts, scrapes, bee stings and burns happen every second of the day in a home somewhere. Having a kit handy is one of those “stand by” items that you don’t fully appreciate until you need it and it’s not there.

If you have a home with children and do not have a kit then you need to obtain a quality one immediately with every essential possible item including a first aid handbook and a CPR card. Over 14,000 children in the United States alone die every year from choking and drowning at home that could have been prevented with the help of a CPR card. Children are prone to a scrape, fall or injury of some sort, sometimes daily. Additionally a great first aid kit will also have an easy to read thermometer handy which children always seem to need. Having a first aid kit in your home allows you to react to an injury quickly without having to fumble through drawers and cabinets.

Don’t have children in your home? Do you think you aren’t at risk for injury? Do you use a knife? Walk over carpets that you could trip over? Have stairs in your home? Mow the lawn or do any type of gardening? How about just clean your home with any type of household cleaner? You need a first aid kit. 1.5 million eye injuries happen in the home every year from a cleaning product splashing in the eye or debris injuring it from the lawn mower. A well stocked first aid kit will have saline solution to properly clean your eye and an eye patch handy to keep anything from irritating it. You cannot predict when an injury will happen but at some point it probably will.

The highest percentage of minor and fatal injuries happen in the home. 1 out of 17 people will experience an injury at any given minute and a fatal injury occurs every 14 minutes. Additionally, a first aid kit isn’t only for serious injury either. You can easily cut yourself preparing dinner, fall walking down your steps outside, trip over your new rug and scrape your elbow or prick your finger on those beautiful roses that were just delivered to your door.

A properly stocked first aid kit is just one of those things that you need. You need to have access to a first aid booklet if there is an injury. You need to have a CPR card handy to reference and you need to have essential items that will properly treat an injury. A first aid kit is an investment in your health.

Benefits of Installing Hospital Wayfinding

One of the most neglected projects at the hospital is installing hospital wayfinding signs. These signs lead you to the right direction whether you are outside or inside the hospital. For outside wayfinding, you will usually see signs such as ‘hospital ahead’ or ‘ambulance parking’. These signs tell you where to go and where not to go, in case of ‘ambulance parking’ since you do not want to go to the parking area for ambulance and be in their way.

If you are a staff at your local hospital and you think it needs an efficient wayfinding system, you should consider purchasing these signs from professional shops that sell signage for hospitals and other facilities. You can either buy painted signage or digital signs that light up or blink at night. Make sure that you put these wayfindings on locations that can be easily seen by patients and visitors.

Installing wayfinding at the hospital provides a lot of benefits. Some of the main benefits are listed in the paragraphs below.

• The most important benefit of installing wayfinding at the hospital is the reduction of stress and frustration among the patients and visitors. Most people are not familiar with the layout of the hospital even if it is their local hospital, unless of course they work there or is staying there for an indefinite period of time. People who go to the hospital, whether they are patients or visitors, usually feel stressed out not only because of their or their loved one’s illness but also because of the difficulty of finding the right direction, even if this is only subconscious. This can be solved by having an efficient wayfinding system inside and outside the hospital.

• Another important benefit of installing hospital wayfinding is safety to the visitors and patients. If a visitor is pregnant, she is not allowed near an x-ray room which is in use because she will be exposed to x-ray radiation. Pregnant women can be prevented to go near the x-ray room if there is a sign that says ‘caution: x-ray radiation’.

• Wayfinding system makes the rooms more accessible to the visitors. Visitors can easily go to the restrooms, cafeteria, and nurses’ station in case they want to relieve themselves, eat, or have questions about their loved ones’ condition. This makes it easy for the visitors to go about the hospital on their own without getting lost in a maze of rooms and busy people.

• A good wayfinding system also shows that the hospital is organized. Organized hospitals have a more positive impact to their patients and visitors than hospitals that are disorderly. People will feel more comfortable staying in organized hospitals. If they have a good experience during their stay in the hospital, they will surely choose the same hospital in case they need medical attention and might even refer the hospital to their friends and loved ones.

These are some of the benefits of installing an efficient hospital wayfinding system. You should suggest this to your hospital administrators the next time you have a meeting.

Why Men Will not Go To The Doctor

Have you ever wondered why you can not convince your husband or boyfriend to go to the doctor even for a consultation? Have you ever tried tricking him to drive you to see a doctor only to watch him turn the car around and head for home? If you have gone through this rite of passage, then perhaps this article can help you understand some of the reasons why men are so reluctant to go to the doctor.

One of the most common reasons why men will not go to the doctor is the "I'm fine" mentality. In this state of mind, men think that they only have to go to the doctor when they feel extremely sick. If it's just a mild fever or infrequent coughing, they'll just say that they're fine and try to go on with their normal activities. The problem with this approach is that they'll often disregard the tell-tale signs of other health issues because it's not something that could really stop them from working or doing whatever they want. They'll end up getting something worse because they did not get immediate treatment and the symptoms worsened.

Another reason why men will not go to the doctor is that between playing golf or watching their favorite extreme reality series, they can not find enough time to make an appointment to the doctor. It's quite simple actually, between something you really like to do and something that you feel is just cumbersome and uncomfortable, you'll surely choose the one that you like to do. Men need to realize the importance of going to do doctor even if it means missing a football game on TV. This realization should also involve actually getting off the couch and doing it and not just promising that they will go.

There are many other reasons why men will not go to the doctor but it probably boils down to this: they are afraid. That is correct. The big strong men are scared of having to drop their pants or shots with big needles, etc. However, men need to bite the bullet so to speak and understand that going to the doctor is for their loved ones as much as it is for them.

Step Up the Madness In You – Revel In Organic Colours This Holi

Holi, one of the most joyous festivals in India marks the dawn of spring season, the season that brings love, renewal, and new aura to our lives. Holi is synonymous to joy, gaiety, and feast and it’s the time to celebrate togetherness. Holi being such a pure festival is being commercialized these days by many synthetic colour manufacturing companies. These synthetic colors contain harmful chemicals, which produce negative effects on our health.

Artificial colours are a great threat to environment and human life. But how do we revel in this joyous festival without colours? Well, there is an absolute safe solution- Organic Holi Powder. The aim of this article is to enlighten people about chemical colours. Read on to get detailed information about the negative effects of synthetic Holi colours.

Negative Effects of Harmful Chemical Based Holi Colours

Market is flooded with different types of Holi colours but most of these colours contain oxidized metals or industrial dyes mixed with engine oil. Following is the important information that tells you exactly about the composition of chemical Holi gulal powder and its harmful effects on our health.

Green Colour: Contains Copper Sulphate and causes eye allergy and temporary blindness

Black Colour: Contains Lead Oxide and causes renal failure and learning disability

Purple Colour: Contains Chromium Iodide and causes bronchial asthma and allergies

Silver Colour: Contains Aluminium Bromide and is carcinogenic

Red Colour: Contains Mercury Sulphide and causes skin cancer and minamata

Apart from the harmful chemicals, these Holi colours also contain powdered glass. Being toxic in nature, these colours cause skin irritation, eye allergies, temporary blindness, and so on. The negative effects of these Holi colours do not end here, they affect our environment too. On washing, these colors enter rivers and soil and pollute the environment posing a threat to aquatic and wildlife.

Switch to Organic Holi Colours

Yes, it’s high time we make a shift from chemical colours to herbal colours. These colours add a natural flavour to the festivities and produce soothing and aromatic effect on the skin. Herbal colours are made out of natural skin friendly sources like turmeric, flower extracts, sandalwood, mehndi, natural oils, fragrances, and many more. Use of such natural organic Holi colour was quite prominent in ancient times and people knew about its benefits. In Vrindavan, Holi is still played with herbal gulal and rose petals.

Thus, using these organic Holi colours will help us save our environment and bio-diversity. So this year, play safe and herbal Holi with organic colours and herbal gulal and color up everyone with the true essence of the festival.

How Substance Abuse Destroys Lives

Substance abuse is defined as overindulgence and dependence on a toxic chemical/drug, which directly affects the human nervous system, behaviour and various body functions. These substances or drugs have detrimental effects on the mental and physical health of an individual.

Substances that are abused include tobacco, alcohol, addicting medicines and heroin etc. People may start using drugs or indulge in substance abuse for fun, due to peer pressure, curiosity or any other reason, but due to this act, the society has to pay a significant cost. Abused substances are the psychoactive substances that cause dependence syndrome. If a person indulges in substance abuse, he/she feels a strong desire to use it, cannot control its use and cannot get over the addiction even after harmful consequences. Substance abuse can change the perception, judgment, physical control or attention of an individual.

The negative effect of substance-abuse can be seen at emergency departments and in various rehabilitation centres and hospitals. One can directly see the poor health conditions of substance-abusers and the physical trauma that they are suffering from. The rising number of substance abusers in prisons and jails also shows the connection between substance-abuse and crime.

Drugs and abused substances slow down the thinking ability, and the person is unable to judge between right and wrong. Many professionals, flourishing doctors, scientists or intelligent young students, when indulge in substance-abuse, deviate completely from their mission of life and face failure in life because of their drug habit. Some of them end up committing crimes, getting a dangerous disease, losing close relationships etc. They do not realize their true potential, forget their missions, their personal goals and hence, destroy their lives.

Substance-abuse can destroy lives by causing different diseases, impaired abilities, weak judgement and developing criminal behaviour. Some drug abusers by violating laws kill innocent people and sometimes kill themselves. Common problems due to substance abuse are violent mood swings, marital problems, child abuse, rape, school problems, job problems, domestic violence, loss of friends, divorce, financial problems, suicide and loss of self-esteem and self-confidence.

Major life destroying effect of substance abuse is serious crimes. Researches and studies have revealed that a substance abuser has eighteen times greater chances of committing a crime. A person who is a poor performer, deprived and socially inactive is less likely to commit a crime than a bright socially active and economically strong substance abuser.

The mind altering effects of drugs are the root cause of violent crimes, committed by the abuser. Many of the substance abusers get into crimes like sexual assault and domestic violence under the influence of drugs. Sometimes, they get life sentence due to their crime or even years of jail. The abilities and talent of a substance abuser remains undiscovered and the person either becomes mentally retarded or commits suicide.

People lose their lives, get punished, suffer from guilt and catch fatal diseases like HIV and AIDS due to substance abuse. It is not only the life of substance abuser that is destroyed but also that of his/her family and loved ones. It is a tragedy for the family, friends and for the abuser. There is nothing positive about the substance abuse as they destroy their lives completely.

Molecularly Distilled Omega 3 Supplements – Your Way to Good Health

Did your doctor suggest buying only Molecularly distilled Omega 3 fish oils? Before I tell you why health experts recommend consuming molecularly distilled Omega 3 supplements, let me give you an insight into Omega 3.

Omega 3 is a name given to a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are crucial for our health. They consist of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

These are polyunsaturated fatty acids and unlike other fats, they are essential for our good health. However, our body can not synthesize these directly and we need to obtain them from our diets.

The richest source of Omega 3 undoubted is Fish Oil extracted from cold-water fishes such as salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel and Hoki. It is safer to consume fish oils regularly rather than fish due to the increasing level of mercury in ocean waters.

This brings us to the Molecularly distilled omega 3 fish oils. Molecular distillation is the process that removes all toxins such as mercury, metals, PCBs and other contaminants from the fish oil making it safe for human consumption.

Fish oils that are not molecularly distilled may contain traces of various toxins that can cause severe health problems. Studies show that consuming un-distilled fish oils can deposit mercury and other toxins in your blood which might even lead to brain hemorrhage.

Why should I purchase Molecularly Distilled Omega 3 supplements?

It is important that you purchase a supplement that can give you your money's worth. Other than looking for molecularly distilled Omega 3 fish oils, there are certain other points that you must keep in mind.

Before buying an omega 3 supplement, ensure that it contains the maximum amount of EPA and DHA fats. Certain fish oils comprise of 18% EPA and 16-18% of DHA fats, the rest of the contents are preservatives and other oils. You need molecularly distilled omega 3 fish oils that have high EPA and DHA content.

Fish oils should be species specific ie your omega 3 supplement should clearly mention the name of the species of fish used. Avoid supplements that are labeled as Mixed lipids or marine lipids.

Fish oils can get spoilt quickly and to prevent this, certain preservatives are added. However, superior quality molecularly distilled omega 3 fish oils contain Vitamin E that not only prevents the oil from going rancid, but is good for health too.

Molecularly distilled fish oils provide the maximum amount of DHA and EPA fats. They lower triglycerides and increase the HDL 'good cholesterol' levels in the blood stream. Regular consumption of fish oils can prevent you against various cardiovascular disorders.

Ultra-refined fish oils improve blood circulation throughout the body. This inhibits the formation of blood platelets and blockage of arteries. The EPA and DHA fats present in fish oils can treat cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and ADD.

Key to : optimal The health is consuming pharmaceutical grade, Molecularly distilled Omega 3 fish oils Regularly.

Pregnancy and Cold Sores

Cold sores during pregnancy  seem to be a common occurrence for women infected by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1).  Pregnancy can weaken a woman’s immune system which will make her more prone to cold sore outbreaks. A cold sore can also be triggered by increased levels of stress.

Many women experience an increased number of cold sores as pregnancy progresses.  This could be caused by the immune suppression that happens so that the body will not reject the fetus. 

Fortunately, the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores is not genetically acquired.  This means that the baby would not automatically acquire the virus. However the timing and location of cold sores during pregnancy is a crucial factor to be considered if the baby’s safety is to be guaranteed.   

The risk of infecting the baby is at the highest when a woman contracts the herpes virus in the last few weeks of pregnancy.  Although this situation is uncommon, it may be the reason for almost half of reported cases of a child being infected while in the womb. 

A baby might contract the virus while inside the womb if the mother has a primary herpes infection at any time during pregnancy.  At this point, the mother’s body has not yet developed anti-bodies to counteract the virus and there is a possibility that the virus might cross the placenta and infect the baby in the uterus.    

Mothers who have been experiencing recurring herpes infections for a long time have a natural protection against the virus.  The anti-bodies from the mother find their way to the fetus through the placenta and these anti-bodies protect the baby from acquiring the virus.  This is why mothers with recurrent cold sore outbreaks hardly ever transmit the virus to their babies during pregnancy.

Women who have genital herpes (Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 or HSV-2) and are experiencing an active outbreak at the time of giving birth, risk infecting the baby with the herpes virus, if a normal delivery is done. Doctors may opt to do a cesarean section delivery in this situation to protect the baby from coming into contact with the virus. 

A normal vaginal delivery is done if the patient does not have and active outbreak at the time of delivery.  The risk of infection of the baby is not entirely eliminated, but it is extremely low.   

Although rare, it is possible for a baby to be infected by the herpes virus while inside the womb, or during delivery. This occurs infrequently, however if the baby is infected it can be life-threatening.

This infection is called “neonatal herpes” and its effects can be tragic. The results can be serious neurological damage, skin, eye or mouth infection, mental retardation and, in the worse case, death. Treatment with antiviral medications can prevent permanent damage in about fifty percent of cases.

Even after birth, the risk of the child acquiring the herpes virus is possible.  Therefore, every precaution should be taken to prevent infection of the baby. In most cases, the baby gets infected by a person who has an active cold sore. It helps to inform family members and persons close to the baby about cold sores, and how dangerous they can be for the child, who has an immature immune system.

If you are pregnant and experience either cold sores or genital herpes, definitely consult your doctor to prevent infecting your baby. 

18 Little Known Facts About Liver Disease

Did you know that 10% of Americans are, or have been affected by a liver, biliary or gallbladder disease? A vast number of the millions of people suffering from liver disease are unaware of the extent to which it truly affects our society. The disease can remain undetected for years without pronounced symptoms. When symptoms do present themselves, they typically include nausea, jaundice, fatigue, depression, reduced libido, muscle aches, and more.

There are numerous misconceptions about the liver. Unbeknownst to some, the liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself, and is responsible for removing toxins from our bodies. Another largely unknown fact is that, even though they may not be alcoholics, social drinkers also run the risk developing alcoholic hepatitis.

Also cause for some confusion is chronic Hepatitis C infection, one of the leading causes of cirrhosis in the United States. Hepatitis C can be a deadly disease but is not necessarily fatal to all of its carriers, due in large part to the multitude of variables affecting the virus's path.

Incorporating liver wellness into our daily routines can help prevent liver disease and lead to longer, healthier lives. For example, getting enough sleep and reducing stress can both be instrumental in the healthy upkeep of your liver, as these two factors help strengthen your immune system. Eliminating the consumption of foods that are fried or processed can also impact liver wellness, because both types of food create excessive strain to the liver. Additionally, the antioxidant by milk thistle has been Clinically proven to Dramatically Affect to the protection of liver cells.

Here the Click to . Read this following article in its entirety and learn about the magnitude of liver DISEASE, color : as color : as well : many more interesting facts about your liver, Hepatitis C, and additional suggestions to help Maintain your BODY's most vital organ.

Let's Talk Omega Health

Despite what you may have heard in the media or from friends who are talking nutrition and health, fats are good for you – if you eat the right ones. That is the key. You have to eat the right fats and avoid the wrong ones. Let's talk about some of the most important fats you will ever eat. These are the Omegas, otherwise known as Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs).

EFAs are called essential because the human body can not make these fats on its own. It relies on outside sources for these miracle fats. Now here is the thing about the Omegas. We actually get a lot of Omega 6 and not nearly enough Omega 3. That's right! Omega 6 is easy to get and people are getting a lot of it, in many cases too much, and very little Omega 3.

What does this mean for our health? Our bodies are designed to function with a delicate balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6. Omega 3 acts as an anti-inflammatory and when it is absent or in short supply and Omega 6 is abundant, chronic inflammatory conditions take over the body. Just think about your aches and pains. Think about your allergies and your arthritis. Think about heart disease and cancer. These are all inflammatory diseases!

Why do we have so much Omega 6? Well, Omega 6 is found in all the common oils used in our food today. You can find it in canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn, and soy. How much of that food do you eat? Now think about flax seed oil, which is the most abundant plant-based source of Omega 3 on earth. Also abundant are walnut oil and fish oil. How much of that do you eat? That's why we get so much Omega 6 and not enough much Omega 3?

What is the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 that we need to be healthy? A ratio of 1: 1 is the best. According to Dr. Mercola, we are getting a ratio of 20: 1 to 50: 1! That's an incredible difference! Of course, this leaves us with the obvious question. How do we get enough Omega 3?

There are different schools of thought on Omega 3 sources. Some say that oily fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines are the best source and it is true that they contain two forms of Omega 3, DHA and EPA, in abundance. But it's not easy to just go out and try to find uncontaminated wild fish. And farmed fish are much lower in Omega 3 than their wild counterparts. Krill has been found to be very high in Omega 3, but there are people who argue that if we start catching krill, we will be depleting the food supply of many animals, including whales.

Fortunately, we have flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil does not contain DHA or EPA, but it does contain ALA, which the body can convert into DHA and EPA. Supporters of flaxseed oil as the main source of Omega 3 believe that this is the best way to get it. It is sustainable, healthier and better for the planet.

What is the real answer? Well, you'll have to decide for yourself. If you are a vegetarian, then flaxseed oil is the best way to go. If you eat fish, then you can find a good source of Omega 3 there, Nordic Naturals and Carlsons are the better brands easily available. Either way, we all need more Omega 3 and you might just be surprised at how much your health improves when you bring it in into your diet.

Best Acne Spot Treatment

There are lots of acne treatments out there in the market and how do we know which is the best acne spot treatment? I had tried most of the treatments and products out there in the market but I have yet to find one that really works for me until I stumbled upon using holistic treatments to get rid of acne.

Acne is a form of skin disease that most people will suffer from it at some point in their life. There are a few factors when combined together will cause acne to occur. Some of these causes are hormonal imbalance, clogged pores and the huge backlog of toxins in our body.

When there is hormonal imbalance in our body such as excess presence of androgens, it can cause our skin to be more oily. There may also be excess pro inflammatory hormones such as Progstaglandin E1 in our body that can cause inflammation to occur much more easily in cellular level. These 2 factors can lead to more acne breakouts.

Usual products and treatments that are found in the market do not treat or get rid of these causes of acne. Instead they try to deal with the surface problems such as killing the bacteria or dry out your skin. However the real issue lies in your body and your skin will still become oily even though you had used acne creams to dry it out.

The best acne spot treatment includes going down to these causes and get rid of them once and for all. Most people fail to treat their acne because they ignore the root causes and went on to deal with their acne, which are just the symptom and not the cause. To achieve this, you will have to embrace holistic treatments that aim to improve your overall health.

To regulate your hormones, you have to ensure that you are eating the right diet. There are studies that shows people who lives in tribes who hunts and gather their food, rarely have any cases of acne. However our modern day western diet causes most people to suffer from acne even after their puberty years.

The tribes that hunts and gather food feeds mainly on natural food. These are foods that are filled with nutrients that are important for our body to function properly. It is much better as compared to the processed foods we are eating now that is filled with chemicals such as preservatives.

Replacing your diet with more natural food is just the first step to curing your acne. The best acne spot treatment includes other methods such as detoxing your body and taking essential supplements to get it back to the healthy state that it was before. By doing so, you can get rid of all the causes of acne and hence get back your acne free skin once again.

E-Procurement Services

E-procurement helps companies cut costs and increase productivity by implementing automation in purchase process. This automation reduces overheads and wastages that usually occur in traditional purchases. In spite of the slowing global economy, more and more companies are awakening to the benefits of automation. Numerous software companies cater to the procurement needs by providing quality e-procurement services. A good software managing online purchasing handles all aspects of the purchase process, ranging from the requisition to the arrival of goods. Standard e-procurement software features RFQ (Request For Quotation), automatic bidding and automated negotiation tools.

There are many e-procurement service providers. The service provider generally takes care of the implementation and management of the e-procurement system. It needs great expertise and a sound knowledge of the company’s requirements to implement purchase automation effectively. E-procurement services are offered for either a monthly or yearly service charge. The software handle tasks ranging from preparation of the inventory to the delivery of the goods. The makers of the software also provide onsite training for handling the system. Most e-procurement services providers design their system to execute continuously in the 24 hour x 7 day model. The system handles the whole process with fewer human interventions. Most e-procurement software is flexible enough to adjust according to the company’s business nature.

The overall benefits reaped from e-procurement services far outweigh the investments made into the system. E-procurement services enable a company to save time, money and large amounts of paperwork. In large organizations, this savings may amount to millions of dollars.

Generic Cialis – Let Relations Flourish

Any thing natural is exciting and sex is one of them. Sex is one of the chief ingredients in the recipe called "Married life". It has the power to make two people intimate without even saying a word. But at times trivial condition can shatter sexual lives, one such problem is erectile dysfunction.

Popularly termed as Impotence, Erectile Dysfunction ( ED) was long considered as a bane for the healthy relationships. ED used to play havoc with men's health. The healthy sexual relationship that had been a cause of joy for so long suddenly seemed a distant dream. Slowly but surely the couple drifted away from the long blissful relationship they once enjoyed.

The worst part was that people suffering from this problem were embarrassed to disclose it, taking it on their self esteem. Believe me one can overcome impotence easily and that to through a pill.

Sounds surprising but that's true Generic Cialis , the generic version of the much popular drug Cialis can do wonders for you. The effectuality, safety and the active ingredients of the pill are similar to Cialis. Generic Cialis is cheaper in comparison to Cialis because the manufacturers need not spend much on manufacturing and advertisement. Being cheap and equally effective as the branded the branded version makes Generic Cialis a mass choice.

Do not let impotence threaten your healthy relationship. The pain of not being able to consummate the relationship can lead the couple to serious medical conditions. It can lead to depression which can even prove fatal for the sufferer.

Generic Cialis is available only from healthcare providers and should always be used in accordance with its approved labeling. If patients experience pain, nausea, or any other discomfort during sex they should seek medical help. The most common side effects of Generic Cialis are headache, facial flushing and upset stomach.

The conclusion of this information is to boost enough confidence in men that their sex problems are easily curable lest they show some guts to talk to a physician or even their partner. Simply stating that an open and supportive mind is all that is required in such cases.

Minimizing Your Prescription Drug Costs With a Health Savings Account

Starting in 2006, no plans that are qualified to work with a health savings account may cover prescription drugs as an insured benefit until after the deductible is met. So for HSA owners, one of your biggest health expenses could be for prescription drugs. Here are some ways to reduce those costs.

Generics

A report was published this week by Express Scripts Inc., a pharmacy benefit manager, indicating that increased use of generic drugs would save consumers $ 24 billion in 2005. Generic drugs cost an average of $ 60 less per month, than brand name drugs.

A report was published this week by Express Scripts Inc., a pharmacy benefit manager, indicating that increased use of generic drugs would save consumers $ 24 billion in 2005. Generic drugs cost an average of $ 60 less per month, than brand name drugs.

It is important to understand that brand name drugs often have little or no benefit over older generic versions. A prime example is Prilosec, a heartburn medication whose patent was scheduled to expire in April of 2001. Prilosec consists of two "isomers", a right-hand version and a left hand version. Studies showed an 87% success rate for this drug. AstraZeneca, the manufacturer, decided to offer a newly patented single isomer version called Nexium, which showed only fractionally better results with a 90% success rate.

A $ 500 million marketing campaign ensued, aimed at both physicians and consumers, to convince them that Nexium is "state-of-the-art". AstraZeneca now sells over $ 3 billion worth of pills annually, at $ 120 per box. This is a drug that is essentially only a repackaged version Prilosec, which sells for about $ 20 per box.

When your doctor is prescribing a drug, make sure to ask him if there is any benefit to taking a brand name over a generic, and let it be known that you'll be paying for the prescription out of your own pocket.

Drug Discount Programs

Pharmaceutical prices are a lot like hospital prices – very few people actually pay the listed retail price. There are numerous drug discount cards available on the market, which provide savings that average 15% to 40% below retail at participating pharmacies. Typically, most of the chain pharmacies (CVS, Eckerd, Walmart, Kroger, Costco, etc.) participate in these plans.

Many insurance companies include discount cards as an additional benefit that comes with their coverage. Because these cards are not considered to be insurance, they can be offered with an HSA-qualified plan. Insurance companies that provide Rx discount cards with their HSA plans include American Medical Security, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Assurant, Golden Rule, Imerica, Unicare, and World. We also know of one HSA administrator – – that provides a drug discount program to people who use them.

Stand-alone drug discount plans are also available to anyone with access to the internet. We've found the average cost of these discount plans to be around $ 7 or $ 8 a month.

Mail Order

If the need for a prescription is not urgent, or if you are on long-term medication, mail order is almost always a less expensive way to buy prescription drugs. It is generally cheaper to get a 90-day supply because of a volume discount. I recommend asking your physician to write the prescription for a 3-monthly supply plus three refills. This will get you a year's worth of drugs, with only one shipping fee.

Importing Prescription Drugs

The city of Boston, the city of San Francisco, the state of Wisconsin, and the State of Minnesota all use a company called Total Pharmacy Care to give their citizens access to international mail-order pharmaceuticals.

Officially, re-importation of prescription drugs by anyone other than the drug's manufacturer is a violation of federal law. But FDA enforcement guidelines allow agents to exercise discretion for drugs imported for personal use. According to the guidelines, "FDA personnel may consider a more permissive policy" in cases where an individual seeks to import no more than a three month supply of a product that does not appear to pose an unreasonable risk, if the individual affirms in writing that it is for personal use and provides the name and address of the US doctor supervising their treatment.

Advocacy groups cite these guidelines as proof that re-importation is legal. But in a February 2003 letter, the FDA's Associate Commissioner, Thomas Hubbard, said the guidelines have been misinterpreted. They were meant to allow FDA agents discretion in allowing US citizens access to medicines for serious conditions that were unavailable or hard to find in the states, not to allow international comparison price shopping.

Nevertheless, thousands of US citizens have found they can save money by buying their drugs from outside the country. Keep in mind that since this importation is technically illegal (though rarely enforced), it may not be proper to use your HSA to pay for prescriptions purchased this way. Talk to your accountant if you decide to go this route.

Avoiding Prescription Drugs

The people who spend the least on prescription drugs are those who rarely take them. The need to take an antibiotic for an acute infection may seem fairly expensive, but it is nothing compared to the cost of taking a medication for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, by age 45 over half of all Americans are on a regular prescription medication, and by age 65 nearly half are on three or more prescriptions during any given month. Most of this is entirely preventable.

Some of the biggest selling drugs are to treat elevated cholesterol, hypertension, and acid reflux. A paper published this year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition entitled Origins and evolution of the western diet: Health implications for the 21st century, explains how these and other common health issues did not exist for our hunter-gatherer ancestors, and how diet is the root cause of so many of the health problems people in our culture experience.

The author is Dr. Loren Cordain, one of my professors at Colorado State University. In a nutshell, he shows why the healthiest diet is one based on fruits, vegetables, fish, and lean meat. Foods to be avoided or limited include added sugars, shortening and other processed vegetable oils, grains, and legumes. These are all foods that did not exist in our diet prior to about 10,000 years ago, and are thus foods that we are not genetically adapted to eat.

Remember that all qualified expenses, including prescription drugs, can be paid for tax-free, from your HSA. If you've still got a traditional health insurance policy and would like to investigate a health savings account, please visit us at HSA for America and we'll be happy to help you.

A Free Natural Medicine Which is also Your Strongest, Most Abundant, and Easiest to Use

We've all heard, have not we, that a 40-year-old was considered elderly in the past? With America's aging population, why would not we take advantage of reasons to count ourselves lucky to live beyond 40? After all, as little as 200 years ago the average life span in North America was 37 years. But the idea that anyone over 40 back then is a misinterpretation of statistical data. I'll explain why in a moment …

Natural medicine is a hot topic. There are more than enough websites, newsletters, and products offering solutions to your ailments to keep you busy for a year investigating them. The advent of the Internet has made it easier than ever to research and try alternative or adjunctive treatments. You no longer need to an entire afternoon waiting in a doctor's office to remedy many of your symptoms because reliable, reputable purveyors of proven natural medicines are all around you.

Luckily for you, you already possess the most powerful natural medicine on earth. You carry this medicine around in your own chemistry and its benefits are unparalleled. While I would never recommend that you discard traditional medicine (I am a medical doctor, for goodness sake!), I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt that maximizing the amazing, free natural medicine of humor can solve a wide array of medical and personal problems.

No other doctor in the world has the credentials I have to teach you about this particular application of the free natural medicine of humor. Having discovered the power of humor twenty-five years ago while working with a terminally-ill cancer patient, I have spent more than two decades researching, fine-tuning, and prescribing humor in an amazingly diverse array of personal and medical applications. You will soon discover that you can use the free natural medicine of humor to skyrocket your relationships, your career, your stress management, your weight loss, your mental health, your fitness program, your parenting, your sexual health and more, because humor is powerful, abundant, free, and always accessible to you.

After decades of research, I can teach you how to turn on humor's amazing power as easily as flicking on a light switch. From working as a performing comedian on the national Comedy Caravan tour to developing intimate, working relationships with great humor / practitioners like famous comedian Jerry Lewis, I have learned how you can infuse your personal and professional life with such an amazing level of resilience and energy that you will feel reborn – no matter how successful you are now!

In this article I will outline the three main reasons that the free natural medicine of humor is far superior to any other medicine, natural or otherwise.

Humor Is Powerful

Humor is a staggeringly powerful free natural medicine. This vibrant, endless resource packs a wallop in at least ten proven, documented areas of health and wellness. You will never find such a comprehensive list of benefits from any other medicine and keep in mind, with this medicine, you will experience no side effects, nor will you ever have to purchase refills – you'll only need to be reminded to use it .

I have researched and documented the following ten effects of using the free natural medicine of humor (if you'd like to read the research, contact me throughmy website). Can you imagine how much money the pharmaceutical companies would pay for the rights to a drug with these effects – and no side effects? The free natural medicine of humor:

Reduces your stress,

stimulates your immune system,

relieves your pain,

rests your brain,

stabilizes your mood,

decreases your anxiety,

enhances your communication,

inspires your creativity,

maintains your hope, and

bolsters your morale.

I have watched my patients use the free natural medicine of humor to:

Overcome fatal cancer diagnoses,

enhance the pleasure of their life by learning to paint and draw,

lose their depression,

form lasting relationships with mentors that open doors of employment and promotion,

get back to exercising regularly,

experience a very fulfilling sex life,

lose the spare tire around their midsection,

lower their blood pressure,

fall in love with their spouse all over again,

land their dream job,

bound out of bed with an energy and enthusiasm they thought was lost with childhood,

overcome shyness and attract positive social attention at parties,

and so much more!

Not using your humor to its fullest potential is like owning a Porsche that you only drive to the corner grocery once a week! Humor has so much more value than a recreational tool! And the good news for all of us is, no matter how well you are using your sense of humor for health, success, vitality, and wellness, you can always learn use it more effectively! The free natural medicine of humor is so powerful because it never runs out!

Humor Is Abundant And Free

Humor, as you will learn, is everywhere you look and as abundant as trees or water. We can never run out of humor, or use it up, because humor perpetuates itself as we engage it; when we look for humor, we find it and vice versa. In other words, when you use the natural medicine of humor you will not find that your reservoir of humor is merely quickly refilled, you will find that you always have more than you started with.

Humor is also always free; this natural medicine has no co-pays and no deductibles. Yes, it takes practice and some discipline to maximize its amazing power, but humor's natural medicine will remain at your beck and call, regardless of your financial circumstances. Unlike other things that are free, however, humor's value to your health, wellness, and success is incalculable.

How exciting it is to know that the most impactful medicine in the world is also the one most readily available and accessible to you. Once you are familiar with my Fun Commandments, which you can learn for free on my website, you are set for life – especially after I reveal the last reason that humor is far superior to any known medicine.

Humor Is An Attitude, Not An Action

The best part of using the free natural medicine of humor, for many people, is that you can do it whether or not you're a funny person capable of telling jokes and making others laugh. Do not worry if you're "not funny" or are not the "life of the party"; you do not need to be funny to use the natural medicine of humor because humor is an attitude, not an action.

As you internalize my Fun Commandments, you will see that the benefits come almost entirely from your own shifting paradigms and not your outward actions. You will encounter many situations where everyone else is (literally) "deathly serious" and jokes would be inappropriate, but you will still be infused with an amazing, private energy because you will be smiling on the inside! You may never become good at making other people laugh; yet you will be laughing with yourself everyday because your spirit has been transformed by the free natural medicine of humor.

I'm sure you're realizing the implications of humor as an attitude rather than an action. First, you are always in control of your attitudes; simply by intently focusing on my Fun Commandments you will find yourself brimming with opportunities to capitalize on humor's natural power. Second, although jokes and laughter are sometimes not appropriate, having a light attitude always is – regardless of your circumstances. After some practice you will be filled with energy, creativity, zest, and vitality during circumstances that would've ordinarily drained and defeated you!

My unique prescription, The Fun Factor, unlocks the free natural medicine of humor and is one prescription that refills itself daily, especially when you are receiving my newsletter, The Fun Times. The Fun Times has the largest circulation of any newsletter in its industry and serves as a strong weekly reminder to use humor's power throughout your personal and professional life.

By the way, two thousand years ago our average North American life span was only 23 years! But that can not mean that people who exceeded the average life span were considered old. The average life span is determined by the ages of all those who die, and that figure is drastically impacted by the rate of infant mortality.

Thus, as infant mortality rates have dropped (which they have steadily for hundreds of years), the average life span has increased. Most deaths, after all, have always clustered around two age groups: under one year of age and over 75 years of age.

Do not just increase the length of your life, increase the quality of it too! Start using my Fun Factor prescription to infuse your life with the free natural medicine of humor today!

Approaches to Vitamin B5 Acne Treatment

By now most online acne sufferers have probably heard of vitamin B5 acne treatment, but in case you have not, B5 is known as one of the most effective natural acne solutions available. Unlike typical treatments, vitamin B5 (also known as Pantothenic Acid) has gained its popularity almost totally by word of mouth, spreading via internet forums following the discovery of a clinical study performed by Dr. Lit-Hung Leung in Singapore. In the study, high doses of vitamin B5 (ranging from 10 to 20 grams per day) were shown to increase the rate of sebum metabolism, leading to a total remission of acne for almost 100% of participants.

Now that B5 has become more popular, there is some debate over just what is the best way to take the vitamin in order to maximize effectiveness and decrease the chances of side effects. The possible side effects for B5 are mild compared to other acne treatments, but include stomach irritation and diarrhea.

The most common solution is to take standard vitamin B5 supplements in the form of capsules or tablets. The usual pill size is 500mg, meaning you would have to take 20 pills per day in order to get 10 grams (the average recommended dose to stop acne). For best results, pills should be taken at four intervals per day, since your body can only absorb so much at once. This solution works, but is certainly an inconvenient one for people who do not like to frequently take pills. Also, it can get expensive quickly. Another potential problem is simply the limitations of standard pills, in that your body can only absorb a fraction of the contents.

Another method is the use of pure B5 powder, taken with water. Powder has the advantage of being more easily absorbed by the body, meaning the B5 you take will be that much more potent. Also, vitamin B5 powder may be easier to take for people who dislike pills, and it almost always costs less. The main disadvantage is that it takes a bit more effort to prepare, as it does not easily dissolve in water, and also tastes quite horrible. Thankfully, due to its high absorbance, you may require less powder. However, you will still need to take it 3-4 times per day when starting out.

The last method is the use of time-release pills, and this is the one I most recommend. Time-release B5 has the advantage of a higher rate of absorbance, along with the convenience of taking pills rather than preparing the powder. Time-release pills are usually a bit more expensive than standard capsules or tablets, but this is generally offset by the fact that you need to take less due to the higher rate of absorbance. Unfortunately, even with time-release, in order to get enough B5 to stop acne you will still need to take doses at multiple times per day.

In order to minimize the chances of side effects, some vitamin B5 acne treatments include other vitamins in their formula as well. These may help to a small degree, but with the high levels of B5 most users require, additional supplements are really the best way to avoid any deficiencies. For best results, a daily multivitamin and B-complex (with Biotin) should be taken.

Biotin is important in that it woks with B5 to improve the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins; and can be reduced by high amounts of vitamin B5. This is due to the fact that both vitamins are absorbed by the same receptor molecule, and thus are in competition (along with other B vitamins). In order to get the best level of absorbance, it's best to avoid competing with B5 and instead take your other supplements at a different time.

Vitamin B5 is both a highly effective and an extremely safe means to clearing up acne. It has worked for thousands, including myself. Whichever approach you choose, make sure you stick with a steady regimen, and you're almost certain to see results.