Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements – How They Affect Your Health

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Vitamins and minerals are as important as oxygen and water. You cannot survive without them. Unfortunately, there are millions of people who fail to get enough of these. Are you sure that you’re getting the right amount of nutrients? Do you know which foods are rich in vitamins and minerals? Read on for a healthier and better existence.

Vitamins

The word “vitamin” comes from the words “vital amine.” Our body cannot manufacture vitamins, yet they are essential for its proper functioning. Vitamins are of two types:

* Fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) – you can get them from dairy products, oils, animal fats, nuts, and a few vegetables. The body stores excess of these vitamins in fatty tissues and liver. This indicates that you need not get them daily.

* Water-soluble vitamins (B, C, and folic acid) – the B group consists of B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, which are known as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantotheinic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, and folic acid, respectively. You can get them from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. They reach the various body parts through the medium of water. The excess amount is passed out through urine. This means that your body does not store them and you need to get them daily. Cooking destroys these vitamins. You must eat steamed or grilled food to retain them.

The best way to get all the vitamins in adequate quantities are to eat a variety of foods particularly, fresh food. This is because processing techniques decrease the nutrient value of foods. Also, cut fruits or vegetables kept for long lose their vitamins. Frozen vegetables are sometimes better than vegetables stored at room temperature, as the freezing temperature helps retain the nutrient value.

Minerals

Minerals assist the vitamins in proper functioning of your body. The important ones are iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, iodine, manganese, selenium, chromium, and zinc.

Vitamins and minerals are vital nutrients with specific functions in the body. For example, vitamin A helps maintain sharp eyesight and promotes healthy bone development. Vitamin E builds immunity and supports DNA repair. Minerals like calcium strengthen the bones and teeth and prevent the onset of osteoporosis in women. Iron is crucial for hemoglobin formation while sodium prevents goiter.

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, moderation is the key. Too little causes deficiency that can lead to various disorders, whereas too much (especially the fat-soluble vitamins) may cause problems too, as the body finds it hard to remove the excess amounts. Deficiency of vitamins and minerals hampers the body’s ability to protect and heal itself. The body’s immune system weakens and it becomes vulnerable to various diseases.

Nutritional Supplements

For millions, popping multivitamin pills has become a daily ritual. Many commercials make nutritional supplements look like “alma mater” without which your body would be incomplete. An article published in the Journal of The American Medical Association states that to prevent chronic diseases, adults must take vitamin supplements. Now, this has sparked a debate because, till now, it was established that supplements are hardly necessary if you take a balanced diet.

The word “supplement” means “something in addition to”. The pills “supplement” your natural intake of vitamins and minerals. This indicates that you ought to take a balanced diet first. Nutritional supplements are not substitutes for nutrients from food. You cannot relinquish fresh fruits and veggies, and whole grains from your diet and expect the supplements to keep your body healthy.

In fact, doctors prescribe nutritional supplements in case of deficiency of vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients. They can be used as a short term guard against nutrient shortfall in the body. Pregnant women and the elderly might need them to fulfill the nutritional needs of their body.

There is a redundancy of information on claims that supplements can cure diseases. The hundreds of supplements available make the situation even more perplexing. According to the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act (DSHEA), dietary supplement is something that supplements your diet, contains vitamins or minerals, amino acids, or other substances or a combination of these. You can get them as tablets, pills, capsules, or in liquid form.

Nutritional supplements are of various types. Vitamin and mineral pills are loaded with micronutrients while herbal tablets are prescribed for medicinal purposes. The latter is meant for specific body areas like bones, skin, or liver. Vitamin supplements usually contain extracts of natural foods. For example, vitamin A pills contain fish liver oil, vitamin B pills have extracts of yeast or liver, vitamin C and vitamin E pills contains extracts of rosehips, and maize or soybeans, respectively. Synthetic supplements are also available, but they may not work as effectively as natural-based ones.

Who Needs Supplements the Most?

Certain people may need to supplement the nutritional requirement of their bodies either because of their lifestyle, medical condition, or other reasons. They include:

* Pregnant and lactating women

* Girls after puberty may need extra iron and calcium

* Elderly people

* Vegans

* Kids and teens with erratic food habits

* Dieters

* People allergic to certain foods

* People with deficiency diseases, lactose tolerance, absorption disorders, eating disorders

* People who eat excess of junk food

Important Tips to Remember

Always take supplements after consulting your doctor. This is not something that you take because your friends are taking it or because someone told you about its benefits. Your doctor will prescribe you the needed supplements after examining your body.

Many times, people complain that supplements don’t work as desired. They will not be effective if you keep them in sunlight, which strips them of their nutrients. A cool, dark place is ideal for storing vitamin pills. You can also put them in an airtight jar and keep them in the refrigerator.

Take vitamin pills after meals and during the day. Taking them on an empty stomach is a big mistake, as they will pass out through urine, especially the water-soluble vitamins.

The first step towards healthy living is eating a balanced diet. Only when you cannot meet the nutritional requirements of your body should you turn to supplements. Remember, nature has bestowed us with abundant varieties of food to fulfill our vitamin and mineral needs.

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Source by Doris Barker

Good Hospitals in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia and it is a major trade, commercial and industrial center. The African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa are headquartered in this large city. It has several tourist attractions, offers many luxury services and is often referred to as ‘the spa capital’ of Africa.

In general, the medical services of Addis Ababa are underdeveloped. Though there are a number of hospitals in the city, most of them lack required facilities and only a select few are able to deliver good medical services.

Leading Hospitals in Addis Ababa

Saint Gabriel General Hospital is a major hospital in Ethiopia. This health care center, with full-fledged outpatient and inpatient departments, is well known for the services of eminent physicians and a dedicated nursing staff. This modern medical center came into existence in 1995 and has introduced many technological innovations to the nation. It has acquired the Century International Quality Award and provides effective clinical and diagnostic services in all main specialties of medicine. The cardiology department has equipment to conduct stress tests, echocardiography and pacemaker implantations. Modern departments for dental care, physiotherapy, and psychiatry are available for patients. The up-to-date surgery department has units in basic specialties and is well known for laparoscopy. With a well-equipped laboratory and radiology department, the hospital offers services to about 21,000 persons annually. Saint Gabriel General Hospital offers healthcare for staff of companies and organizations and has services with English-speaking staff for foreign communities. The emergency center is well equipped with an ambulance and medical evacuation facilities. Warm accommodations are offered in spacious private rooms equipped with modern amenities. Facilities like pharmacy, gift, flower and mother and childcare shops and restaurant are also available. Saint Gabriel General Hospital is a major center for medical training and research in the country. The hospital is currently undergoing an expansion programs. Telephone: 251-1- 62-14-22

Myungsung Christian Medical Center is located at Kebele 11, Addis Ababa is another well-known hospital in the city. The Myungsung Presbyterian Church of Korea founded this modern hospital in 2004. This center is on a 90,000-meter square compound and is better known as the Korean Hospital. It was built in memory of the Ethiopian soldiers who fought in the Korean War. The patient-centered hospital provides some well-known physicians and good health care services in all major areas of medicine at an affordable price. Myungsung Christian Medical Center pioneered neurosurgery and many other surgical procedures in Ethiopia. It provides a 24-hours emergency service unit, laboratories and radiology department. The hospital is an important center for medical training, particularly in surgical procedures. It currently is conducting a $10 million expansion project. Telephone: 629 5421

Swedish Medical Clinic is a notable hospital and is located at W21-k5-House #453 in Addis Ababa. The Swedish government founded this medical facility in 1967 under an agreement with the Ethiopian government. Effective health care services to expatriates and visitors are provided by this clinic at European standards. InDevelop, a Swedish consultancy group, is currently managing this medical facility. The hospital has many experienced foreign physicians who speak various languages, including English. It delivers good care in all major medical areas. The clinic conducts several vaccination programs for children as well as antenatal check-ups. Swedish Medical Clinic cooperates with many well-known hospitals and insurance companies in foreign countries and refers patients, if required, to foreign hospitals. Its pharmacy stocks many quality drugs and vaccines from abroad. The laboratory is well supplied to conduct various tests and the emergency department is suited to attend to critical medical emergencies. If needed, medical evacuation is also available. Telephone: 171 9002

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Source by Belle Kay

Medicine Management and Why It Is So Important

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Medicine management looks at and sets out standards regarding the way that medicines are prescribed, stored, transported and used in an attempt to protect both the medical professionals administering drugs and the patients who receive them. The standards set out in the document are the minimum standards of practice and they are expected to be used as the basis of local and national policies. The MHRA in 2004 stated that Medicine Management was ‘The clinical, cost effective and safe use of medicines to ensure that patients get the maximum benefit from the medicines they need, while minimising potential harm.’ The standards cover not only the drugs prescribed for human patients and animals but blood and blood products as well. And this applies to medication that is taken in the home as well as medication that is administered while in hospital or in other healthcare establishments.

Management of medication is also the responsibility of the individual, as medicines are essentially powerful drugs that can be extremely dangerous if they are not used correctly and in the right circumstances. It is important that you know exactly what you are taking, the dose that you need to take, how often you need to take the medicine and for how long. The active ingredient in a medicine may interact badly with other medication that you may be taking, so it is important that your doctor knows exactly what tablets you take each day whether it is vitamins, homeopathic, herbal or other prescription medication. Your doctor or pharmacist will discuss managing medicines that you take in a way to make them more effective in dealing with your problem. It is also vital that you tell the doctor if you have had a reaction to medication you have taken in the past. If you are a woman and there is a chance that you may be pregnant, the doctor needs to know as the medicine may be harmful to the foetus.

Medicine administration depends on the accuracy of the process of prescribing and dispensing. Medicine safety is a responsibility that is held jointly by several organisations, the pharmaceutical companies that develop and produce the medicine, the regulatory agencies that approve the use of the medicine, the medical practitioners who prescribe the medicine, the pharmacists that dispense the medicine and finally the patients that take the medicine or the carers that give the medicine to the patient they care for. Guidelines should be provided to cover administering medications.

Managing medication sets out to minimise the errors or the potential for errors by putting procedures in place to educate people about medicine safety and in that way ensure that medicines are managed safely when they are prescribed, dispensed and administered with minimal errors. Although many medicine errors cause no harm to the patient, it has been estimated that worldwide thousands of deaths can be attributed to medication errors which can be reduced by having a good system of medication management in place. Many of the errors involve taking a larger dose than prescribed for example taking two tablets instead of one, for example taking a second dose as the patient does not recall taking the first one, or suffering side effects from the medication. These do not cause lasting harm and advice can be obtained from the doctor or pharmacist on how to deal with these problems.

Modern technology within The NHS is being developing to help with medicine management by collating patient information, for example holding a list of medication prescribed for that patient and any adverse reactions that may have occurred in the past which can be used when dispensing additional medication for that patient. It can also help to provide information for the patient on the dose to take and how often to take it, how to store the medicine and the possible side effects that may occur and what to do if they occur.

If there are any queries about medication that has been prescribed for you that have not been explained to you or you need something to be clarified speak to the doctor who prescribed the medicine, this could be the ward clinician if you are in hospital or your GP. If you need advice regarding the medicine a pharmacist may be able to help you or advise you on whom you should speak to.

If you would like to read more on this subject leaflets can be obtained online or from The Nursing and Midwifery Council Standards for Medicines Management dated 2010 or The Department of Health document – Building a Safer NHS for Patients – Improving Medication Safety dated 2003.

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Source by Michiel Van Kets

Is Pasta Healthy Or Fattening?

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Many people who are trying to lose weight wonder is pasta healthy or fattening? Pasta, like many foods high in carbohydrates, often gets a bad reputation for being fattening; however, this does not have to be true.

Carbohydrates, though recently made out to be villains, are actually necessary to keep your body and mind running smoothly. When carbohydrates are broken down they provide a major source of glucose. Glucose is the primary source of energy for your body and the only source of energy for your brain. Many people who have tried to stick to very low-carb diets have suffered from low energy and bad moods. I know I would be in a bad mood if I never got to eat my favorite pastas!

Consuming too many carbohydrates can be fattening, but pasta itself is not fattening; cooked pasta has only about 200 calories per cup. Where you really get into trouble is with your pasta sauce. Pasta sauces that contain high calorie fatty meats, creams, cheese and other fattening ingredients can really make a pasta dish fattening. Tomato pasta sauces are usually not very fattening at all! Americans also have a tendency to eat too much pasta – portion control is important when controlling calories. Italians traditionally serve pasta as a side dish or as one course of a multi-course meal; not in the large mounds that are so common in the United States.

Along with being fattening, pasta has been criticized for being a simple carbohydrates and lumped into the same category as cake, pastries and white bread. The problem with all of these simple carbohydrates is that they spike your blood sugar resulting in excess insulin being secreted which encourages weight gain and a subsequent energy crash. Simple carbohydrates have a high Glycemic Index (GI) which is a number used to measure how quickly the body’s blood sugar level rises after the ingestion of a food. The good news is that Pasta has a GI of 41, which is similar to pears and lower than many types of bread. And one easy way to lower the GI of pasta is to cook it like the Italians – “al dente”.

Most pasta today is made from semolina flour obtained from durum wheat. This creates a firm dough which in turn also lowers the GI, while also providing a good source of nutrition. Homemade and dried pasta contain plenty of B vitamins, folic acid and iron. It’s low in sodium and, despite a prevalent myth, pasta is not high in cholesterol even though it is usually made with eggs. It was once thought that egg consumption needed to be drastically reduced due to their high cholesterol content, but subsequent research has shown eggs are quite healthy in moderation and greatly contribute to the health benefits of pasta. For those on a strict diet, however, pasta can be made without eggs, while the flour and olive oil content still make this pasta healthy.

Another option is to use dried pasta. This pasta usually does not contain eggs or oil but is made from 100% semolina flour and is quite firm when cooked.  The firmness of this pasta helps lower the GI index to less than bread, potatoes and white rice while still providing vitamin B, fiber and iron. Dried pasta can be stored up to 3 years, but be sure not to store your pasta in glass containers as the sunlight depletes the vitamin B.

Is Pasta healthy in other ways too?

Yes, homemade pasta can be quite healthy. It is not difficult to learn how to make pasta and homemade Pasta can be made even more nutritious with the inclusion of whole wheat flour, spinach, garlic and herbs that add to the vitamin, mineral and fiber content of the pasta. Fiber is another nutrient often lost in modern diets, but fiber is necessary for digestive health, hormonal balance and the prevention of certain types of cancers.

There are many easy pasta recipes which make this nutritious food very convenient for modern busy cooks as well. When trying to eat healthier, you don’t have to wonder “is pasta healthy” since there are many ways to prepare pasta that are. So go ahead and enjoy your pasta without guilt, just remember to go easy on the fattening meats and sauces and enjoy your pasta in moderation!

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Source by Joy Harrison

The Origin and Rise of Cosmetology

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Cosmetology involves the upkeep of appearance and infusion of beauty treatments in a person. This can be especially important for women. Cosmetology can be further divided into branches which includes the study of skin care, cosmetics, hairstyles and hair care and beauty therapy. Cosmetology is gaining popularity because there is increasing demand and pressure to look good, regardless of gender or profession.

According to historians, the history of cosmetology could have begun during the days of Egyptians. It is safe to say that Egyptians practiced a unique method of self-beautification, paying special attention to skin and appearance. The Egyptians have tried some of the simplest methods to the more complex beautification processes. For example, the mixture of lead, ash and mercury was used as eyeliner back in those days.

Fast forward to a few hundred years later, the history of cosmetology reveals that the Chinese community used a mixture of natural ingredients to create colorful nail polish. By the Roman times, it was soon discovered that oils, lotions and animal fats have beautification properties. However, some of the extremities include the use of own saliva to prepare cosmetics. This is a highly toxic process, yet continued to be practiced by many. In the later years, hair and smell played an important role in the field of cosmetology. The desire to have smooth, shiny hair is just as common as the need to smell good always. The advancement of technology allows better products to be produced and was made more affordable.

The 20th century proved to be a point to note in the history of cosmetology with the extensive use of make up and various products by women to emulate their favorite Hollywood stars. There is increasing sophistication in the production of cosmetics and beauty products to cater to the increasing demand for quality and function of products. Today, cosmetic surgery is a common practice and is slowly gaining acceptance. The overwhelming response from men and women towards beautification process and products goes to show that beauty plays an important role in a person’s life and well being.

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Source by Francis Murphy

On-Cycle Therapy Tips and Exercises

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If you are new to gymming or exercising, there are chances that you are not aware of cycles. The article will help you understand the term cycle, and its classifications, and several other factors, associated with exercising.

What are cycles?

In the typical dictionary of a health and fitness buff, on-cycle therapy is a period of time, for which he/she takes health and strength boosting steroids. In this period, you take a health supplement for a length of time, say, for a period of 6 or 10 weeks. After the on-cycle muscle and mass gaining cycle has completed, you have to undergo an additional training, which will be completely drug-free or steroid-free. The PCT, post cycle training will be of similar duration as your OCT, on cycle training. It is also known as off cycle training.

Benefits of on cycle –

Since almost every gym trainer suggests, or every bodybuilder undergoes, there certainly are several benefits of exercising according to on and off cycle therapies. Some of the advantages of this system are –

Improved Patience, Resistance or Tolerance Against Steroids – When you undergo on cycle period, you grow your tolerance level against steroids. If you are new to this, your trainer would suggest you not to chase an on-cycle therapy for a prolonged duration of time, since it can cause several side-effects and growths in your body, which, being a newcomer to gymming or bodybuilding, will be daunting for you to control.

Reduced Risk of Steroid Aftermaths – Steroids supply a great energy in your body, which sometimes, when not managed properly, can bring many side effects to you. A high dose of nutrients is supplied into your body system, because of which your body system can work pretty strangely, and you might not feel well, due to this spin-off. Undergoing (small duration) on-cycle therapy helps you control these side effects. This way, your immune system prepares itself in a manner that the risks of side effects likely to be caused by steroid consumption, and the pain arousing due to excess workout, are reduced.

Precise Duration of On Cycle Therapy

According to experienced international bodybuilders and gym trainers, there is no certain duration for a phase. However, they advocate to go on shortest possible steroid cycle, especially when you are new to this bodybuilding and steroid thing. The period is often designated by the weekly dose of the supplements, you take. Additionally, oral steroids should never be taken, continuously, for more than 8 weeks’ duration. Taking AAS, Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, for longer than this, would bring several significant side effects. After this duration, you should follow an off cycle period.

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Source by Luke Harper

The 5 Key Benefits of Eating Healthy

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Most of us know that the biggest benefits of eating healthy are that we will stay physically fit, feel better, and have fewer illnesses. We can lower our risk of illnesses like heart disease and diabetes as well. Another key benefit of eating healthy is being able to maintain a healthy weight. In this age of epidemic obesity, this is one of the simplest weight loss plans.

But how many of us teach these benefits to our children, and insure that the habit of eating healthy becomes a part of their daily lifestyle? If we did, we could see healthier, happier children, and teenage obesity could become a thing of the past. Here are the 5 major benefits of eating healthy every day:

1. Eating healthy is probably the easiest and most important way in which you can keep active and shield yourself from the many diseases that are now common as we grow older, including heart disease and diabetes. By eating healthy you are boosting your energy levels, improving your bodily functions, and helping to improve your immune. By eating a healthy diet and combining this with exercise you could end up leading a longer and more vibrant life.

2. You will meet your daily nutritional needs. Your daily food intake should include some amounts of grain, fruit, vegetables, milk (or other dairy products), beans, oils, and protein. There are vitamins and minerals in healthy foods which can boost your immune system and shield you from many common illnesses. In some cases, by eating a healthy diet you can actually reduce the risks that are often linked with such serious diseases as cancer and diabetes.

3. You will enjoy life more and have more energy to face the tasks before you. Healthy eating can reduce your stress levels. Combine this with daily exercise and you will increase this effect even more.

4. You will sleep better and be more rested when you wake up.

5. If you are currently overweight, you will be able to lose that weight more easily – and maintain it long term! Most people who lose weight with fad diets gain it right back again when they go back to their normal eating patterns. With a healthy diet that you maintain for life, you will lose that weight once and maintain it long term.

Once you implement a healthy diet, you will be surprised at how fast you will start reaping these rewards. The benefits of eating healthy will continue to reward you for the rest of your life.

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Source by Linda J Bruton

Weight Loss In Horses

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Weight loss is a condition that many horse owners have had to deal with at one time or another. A horse that appears thin may be suffering from weight loss due to a number of causes. However there are three common causes of weight loss in horses: malnutrition, parasitism and dental disease.

If a horse is suffering from malnutrition then the number of calories it is consuming is less than the number it is using, it may also suffer from an incorrectly balanced diet. Causes of this include feeding poor quality feed, supplying inadequate amounts of feed or the horse maybe missing out on feed due to competition at feeding time.

Parasites can rob your horse of much needed nutrition as the parasites consume the nutrients or cause inflammation of the horse’s gut leading to poor absorption of nutrients across the gut wall. A targeted parasite management program involving the use of appropriate dewormers given at the correct dose, combined with pasture management and fecal egg counts should minimise the impact parasites are having on your horses.

Dental problems can decrease your horses FCR or Food Conversion Ratio this is a measure of how efficient your horse is at converting feed into energy. The first two steps in digestion are prehension or picking up the feed and mastication or chewing. Any change in the efficiency of these two steps has a direct effect on the efficiency of the rest of the digestive process, as the rest of the digestive tract is only as efficient as these two steps. In severe cases loose, fractured or infected teeth can cause a horse to stop eating all together.

There are many other causes of weight loss in the horse, however the three covered above are the most common and should always be addressed when assessing a horse for weight loss. Other causes of weight loss can include but are not limited to tumours, disease of major organs such as the kidneys or liver, issues affecting hormone levels, inflammation of the intestine, chronic infection and stomach ulcers.

A useful tool in evaluating and reassessing weight loss in horses in to use a body condition scoring system. There are two main systems used one system grades horses from 1 – 5 with 1 being very poor condition and 5 being obese the other system grades horses from 1-9. The key difference between the two systems is the greater degree of accuracy of the 1-9 system.

Another tool that can help is the use of weight tapes although bear in mind that these are not always very accurate, alternatively if you are lucky you may live in an area where you vet or racetrack have digital scales you can use to weigh your horse more accurately.

While we are discussing weight loss in horses we should also talk about the dangers of a horse being too heavy. The same risks posed to people by being obese apply to our horses as well as a few of their own. Overweight horses have increased pressure on their joints and vital organs and are at risk of metabolic syndrome, which has been identified as a cause of laminitis (inflammation of the sensitive structures connecting the hoof wall to the pedal bone).

Overweight horses need a decreased calorie intake often combined with an increase in exercise.

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Source by Shannon Lee

Backpacking: First Aid Tips

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Today’s focal point will be on a few first aid tips. This is by no means a complete list of the possible emergency situations you may face. This is why bringing a first aid kit and handbook are vital part of your backpacking gear.

Two possible difficulties that are very serious are hyperthermia and hypothermia. When your core temperature drops below normal this is known as hypothermia. Symptoms that you may observe are shivering, chills, and lack of coordination. The other adversity you may face is hyperthermia which is when you overheat because your internal body heat cannot be released fast enough. Hyperthermia occurs mainly in the summer time and signs consist of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, muscle cramps, fatigue, headaches, and weakness. Some other circumstances that can cause you misery are blisters. Deterring blisters actually begins with the purchasing of the correct footwear. One more thing to remember when choosing your footwear is making sure you try them on with the same socks you will be hiking in.

While you are hiking it is essential to keep the right posture because it will help in reducing strain to your muscles. Your walk should be with your head up, shoulders back, relaxed, and swinging your arms. One more meaningful tip is to set yourself up with a good walking pace. Just begin your walk with what feels natural to you. Setting your pace is easy when you are by yourself, but becomes much more challenging when hiking with a partner or a group. The reason for this difficulty is because with a partner or group your pace must be that of the person who has the slowest pace. Trying to set a faster pace could result in an injury of the person who is trying to keep up. Also you may find those hikers becoming annoyed and distressed. This is not how you have fun when you are backpacking. Remember that safety should always come first. Keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings and where you are walking. Trails will not always be smooth, but there will be ruts, holes, and other hazards that can trip you up.

Other basic first aid suggestions consists of protecting yourself from sunburn. To do this wear sunblock and a hat with a wide brim to protect your face. For your neck and ears I would suggest you wearing some type of veil which will cover these two areas. Next have insect repellant available at all times because there is no way of escaping those annoying mosquitoes and other insects. One more option you can choose for defending off the insects is to invest in bug clothing. You can find this clothing for just your head or to cover your whole body. Make sure that while you are on this backpacking adventure that you keep yourself well fed, hydrated, and rested. Finally, make sure that those items like clothing, bug spray, or anything else you will need to use for the next day’s hike is readily available. This will save time and aggravation from having to dig around in your pack try to find something.

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Source by Louis J Comeau

Hospital Facility Fee

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Patients visiting some doctors’ offices and urgent-care clinics are increasingly running into unexpected fees, bills as though they had gone to a hospital. They are becoming victims of the little understood facility fee.

Facility fees are normally generated when a patient visits a hospital or a hospital owned building for medical services. The fees, which can amount to hundreds of dollars, and are billed by hospitals in addition to the physician practices, urgent-care centers and other operations.

Health plans may require consumers to pay emergency-room co-payments even if they didn’t understand that an urgent-care visit could count as a trip to the ER because the urgent-care clinic operates in a hospital owned building.

The facility fees are “not about driving revenue,” says Sara Larch, a vice president at Inova Health System, a not-for-profit hospital chain based in Fairfax, Va. “It’s really just about getting paid for the cost of what we’ve provided.”

Let’s examine this fee in a non-medical situation.

It’s income tax time. Your appointment with you account is on the 16th floor of Gotham Towers just down the hall from the office of Bruce Wayne.

Two weeks later you get a bill from your accountant for $500 and you pay it.

Three weeks later you get a bill from Gotham Towers and Development LLC for $85.00. Why? You pick up the phone and when you ask why the bill, you are told that you are a client of Mr. Accountant and that the $85 is the facility fee for meeting with your accountant.

It’s the same issue. Your accountant pays rent. He pays rent if he has one client or no clients. Why should you be charged anything for providing revenue to your accountant so he can pay the rent.

If you get hit by an unexpected fee, you should first carefully check the bill and your explanation of benefits. If you’re still confused, call the provider and your insurer to make sure you understand the charge and confirm that it is allowed by the health plan. If you feel the out-of-pocket amount you’re being billed is unfair, you can try to appeal the provider’s bill or your insurer’s decision. But if the health plan’s contract with the provider allows for facility charges, you will likely run into stiff resistance.

When Jim’s doctor told him to have an ultrasound, the 34-year-old customer service rep selected what he believed was an independently owned imaging center. The reason, scans at independent centers cost him nothing under his health plan, while hospital charges counted against his deductible. That is there would not be a facility fee.

A month later, Jim got a $773 bill from hospital operator Seton Health, which co-owned the imaging center. “I just feel like I was duped,” he says, because there was “absolutely zero” way for him to know he’d be billed as if he’d visited a hospital. Jim says he appealed twice, but was turned down both times by his insurer, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Jim, who had a $1,000 deductible in his plan, ended up paying the full bill.

A Seton Health spokeswoman says the imaging center’s signs include the Seton name along with the co-owner. She says Seton Health’s rates are consistent with its competitors’ and it hasn’t seen other complaints similar to Mr. Thomson’s. Anthem parent WellPoint says it urges members to check on charges and coverage in advance.

There is no OMFS or Official Medical Fee Schedule for facility fees. No CPT codes or CMS guidelines. As the patient who used services, you are left on your own to do battle.

Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do about these fees other then be vigilant about the bills you get from medical providers and question the services provided.

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Source by Rich Davis