Is Whole Wheat Pasta Really Healthier?

Whole-wheat pasta is generally known to be better for you because whole-wheat pasta contains the entire grain seed. Whole-wheat pasta contains vitamins, minerals and fiber, some of which are lost in the refining process when pasta is made from refined and processed flour.

The main reason that so many people prefer processed pasta, to whole-wheat pasta, is that the processed pasta has a slightly different taste and texture than the whole-wheat variety, and many people have become accustomed to processed pasta. It is true that whole grain pasta is better for you, and offers health benefits that you will not find in processed pasta.

Whole-wheat pasta is brown and has a stronger taste than the pasta that most people are accustomed to eating. It comes in many different shapes and sizes. Some people say the differences take some getting used to while others notice very little difference.

Whole-wheat pasta is not only higher in natural nutrients but it also contains more fiber. In addition, whole-wheat pastas tend to have a lower glycemic index. What this means is that it will not raise your insulin level. This is very important if you are a diabetic or trying to lose weight.

Although people have grown accustomed to the mellow taste and texture of refined pasta, whole-wheat pasta is higher in protein, and tends to be more filling, so you eat less. It becomes lighter as it cooks and can be quite delicious when served with flavorful sauces.

It is a common misconception that pasta is a very fattening food. Pasta is not necessarily fattening as it is made from grain, which is a naturally low fat food. It is the sauce that you put on the pasta that adds the calories to the meal. If you want to eat pasta but keep your calorie count low, you could eat whole-wheat pasta topped with a low calorie sauce.

As a result of new technology, today's whole-wheat pasta has improved in the past few years to be even more palatable with better texture. Some of today's whole-wheat pasta is very tasty when cooked correctly and complimented with the right sauces.

Dieticians and doctors will usually tell you that whole-wheat pasta is your best choice for health. You will get far more nutrition and fewer calories that you will with refined pasta.

By choosing whole grain pasta, you can put your favorite Italian dishes back on the menu without sacrificing your health.

H1N1 Flu ("Swine Flu") Prevention Tips

Flu season is upon us again, and we would like to help you protect yourself from getting any type of flu this season, including the H1N1 flu, which is commonly referred to the "Swine flu". First we should define what exactly the H1N1 virus is. The H1N1 virus is an influenza virus that is causing illness in people. It is spread from person-to-person in much the same way that seasonal influenza viruses spread. They can be spread by an individual coughing or sneezing, or simply by touching something, and then you contracting that same surface. Studies have shown that an influenza virus can stay active on a surface and infect another person for 2 to 8 hours from original contact.

The H1N1 affects all people alike, but seems to be most dangerous for the elderly, young children, and pregnant mothers. More than 60% of the deaths that have occurred so far were in the age group of 50 years, or older. This is slightly lower than typical influenza outbreaks, so it seems that all age groups are affected evenly.

The signs of the H1N1 virus include fever, coughing, sore throat, runny nose, and chills. These symptoms are very similar to that of a typical seasonal flu. If you experience these symptoms, please see a physician. To make work places and schools safe from spreading these types of viruses, please remove yourself from these environments until you have been free from these symptoms for at least 24 hours.

The best possible way to help combat the spread of the virus is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer regularly. You should also consistently wash your hands with antimicrobial hand soap for at least 20 seconds at a time, throughout the day. To help prevent the spread of other disease and viruses, always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, because germs are spread this way.

Stroke Recovery – All You Need To Know

I am saddened to think that stroke recovery is sometimes trapped in an outdated and dogmatic approach to help people with their stroke recovery. But the sad truth is unless you are one of the very fortunately ones, either geographically to be located next to a cutting edge stroke rehabilitation facility or the monetary means to afford such treatment, you are stuck with the stock standard cookie cutter approach to stroke treatment . And there is a good chance that it is stuck in the past.

Myths surrounding stroke recovery may be perpetuated by a number of factors. It seems that once something has been printed in a newspaper or magazine it is taken as a gospel. Many of the belief surrounding the brain have been around for a long time and despite new research dispelling the myth, it takes a long time for this to filter into mainstream belief systems. This can clearly be seen with all the out dated beliefs in the exercise and fitness world. This article will discuss three main myths surrounding stroke recovery. Firstly that the brain is set in stone and can not change. Secondly that there is only a small window of opportunity for stroke recovery to happen. And the last myth is that there are not better and more effective ways to perform stroke rehabilitation.

I can not believe that myth number one still gets any credence. Some people still feel that the brain is set in stone and can not change. We see the brain changing all the time and at every age. Every time we learn something new, the brain has changed. For example for you to learn a new skill such as like playing tennis requires your brain to change. As you improve, your co-ordination gets better, your speed improves and your accuracy sharpens all this must be reflected by changes in your brain and nervous system. The brain controls everything, and when changes happen like the previously mentioned tennis ones, the brain must have changed. This myth has been dispelled by science and neurology and as a far as I am concerned is really, pardon the pun, a no brainer to argument against.

Another commonly held myth about stroke recovery is that recovery can only happen in a small time period after the stroke and once that window is closed any further recovery is impossible. As a carry on from the point above, that the brain can change at anytime, this is once again just a myth. I do not discredit that making progress could be easier if stroke rehabilitation is started earlier but to say that it can not be made after a magical window has closed is forbidden. I have heard of some individuals 10 years after their stroke, who have been at a certain level of recovery and were then exposed to advanced stroke recovery methods and made more progress at that stage of their recovery than previously. The brain is capable of change at any time and if you are a stroke survivor and wanting more progress do not ever give up.

The last myth to discuss may not really be a myth as such but has more to do with the outdated and inefficient stroke recovery exercises that patients are given. The last 20 years has seen huge leaps forward in areas of brain research and subsequently stroke rehabilitation. The people at the top of stroke rehabilitation are doing some really ground breaking things. Unfortunately it takes time for this top end information to assimilate down to the masses, so as a consequence many stroke survivors do not get exposed to the best stroke recovery techniques like constraint induced therapy or mirror therapy.

Unfortunately there are many myths surrounding stroke recovery. I hope this article has helped to educate and open your mind up to the truth about your stroke rehabilitation and how you should be approaching it. At times stroke rehab can be a very daunting task, filled with too much science, jargon and technique that may be difficult to understand. I have made it my goal to try and make available the best stroke recovery techniques to stroke survivors, their family members, care givers and health care practitioners.

Cure Ear Infections Using These Natural Remedies

The official medical term for ear infection is otitis media. The word otitis means inflammation and media means middle, as the infection occurs in the middle ear. Children and babies are more likely to suffer from ear infections than adults. More often than not it should clear up on its on in just a few days.

What Are The Causes of Ear Infection?

Ear infections are more common in babies and youngger children because the Eustachian tubes (the narrow passage way that connects the middle ear to the nose) are narrower than an adult or older child's and, therefore, is easily blocked by fluid in the ear. They are also most likely to occur during a cold.

The swelling of the adenoids is another cause. The adenoids are located in the upper throat near the Eustachian tubes. When the adenoids become infected they become enlarged causing blockage of the Eustachian tubes which can cause infection.

Because the immune systems of small children and babies are not fully developed, they are more susceptible to ear infections.

Children exposed to cigarette smoke or other pollutants are at higher risk as well.

It is possible that cold air may also be a factor as ear infections occur more frequently in winter.

A cause for recurrent ear infections that may be overlooked is the medications given to your child for ear infections, colds and flues, such as aspirin, decongestants, Tylenol, antibiotics or other drugs.

Another cause may be airborne and food allergies.

Ear Infection Natural Cures

Colloidal Silver – Colloidal silver is a natural antibiotic and can be used both internally and externally. You can put one drop of colloidal silver in the ear twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. You may notice improvement in just one hour. If you want to use colloidal silver internally, just follow the instructions on the bottle. It is also available as a spray and can be sprayed into the nostrils to clear up the nasal passes.

Tea Tree Oil – You will need to use warm tea tree oil and olive oil. Put five to ten drops of tea tree oil into a tablespoon of olive oil and mix. Using a dropper put 2 to 3 drops in the infected ear twice a day.

Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) – Buy grapefruit seed extract in liquid form. Put 3-5 drops of GSE in 1 oz. of glycerin or alcohol or both and stir well. Put 1-2 drops in the infected ear 1-2 times daily. Absolutely do not use GSE full strength in the ears as it is too strong.

Boosting the immune system will also help in stopping ear infections from recycling.

Helpful Diet and Lifestyle Changes

Avoid processed or packaged foods. Feed your child a healthy diet with lots of whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, eggs, whole grains, meat, etc.

Healthy fats such as flax seed oil, primrose oil, olive oil, borage seed oil, fish oil, coconut oil and organic butter boost the immune system and improve overall health. Absolutely stay away from hydrogenated oils found in deep fried foods, margarine, vegetable oils, peanut oil and soybean oil.

Your child's diet should be as sugar free as possible. Various studies have shown that sugar suppress the immune system significantly.

Find out if your child has any food allergies and remove them from their diet.

Keep your child away from cigarette smoke and other air pollutants such as air fresheners and chemically based perfumes, colognes, cleaning supplies, etc.

Most ear infections will heal by themselves and do not usually need antibiotics, but here are some warning signs you should watch out for: a high fever, stiff neck, listlessness and abnormal mental function. Take your child to a doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.

Knee Replacement and Reversing Muscle Atrophy After Surgery

Once your knee replacement surgery or knee surgery in general is completed and you have gone through your physical rehabilitation program, you are encouraged to continue some sort of exercise program. For many this will consist of everything from strength training at a local gym to walking around the block. To get the most productivity out of your surgery, it is recommended you incorporate weight training as well as other exercises if you wish to keep the muscles around your knee strong to help you improve your quality of life and, to protect the prosthesis that has been implanted.

I recommend my patients and clients to work on an assortment of exercises depending on their age, prior level of function and, expectations. Today, with many younger adults having knees replaced, many of them are expecting to get back into enjoying their prior activities within reason as soon as possible.

The exercises to reverse the muscle wasting process I include in the exercise routine are leg presses, leg extensions, hamstring curls and calf raises. These are exercise I use and continue to use to keep my knee replacement running and operating at a high level. Use a weight that you can initially get between 15-20 repetitions to start with. You first want to build endurance in the muscle. Working with weight that is too heavy will cause a considerable amount of muscle soreness and discomfort and swelling if you are not careful. You start slowly and increase your resistance as you get stronger and more confident with the exercises.

What I instruct patients that are pursuing post rehabilitation strengthening is to start by warming up on a stationary bike for 10 to 15 minutes at a slow pace to loosen the muscle and surrounding soft tissue around the knee. Follow the stationary bike with two sets of leg presses for 20 repetitions using slow controlled movements. Do not take your knees past the 90 degree mark at this time. Follow leg presses with seated leg extensions for 15 -20 repetitions. Then you go to hamstring curls which can be done either seated or in the prone position for the same amount of repetitions. These exercises should be done for two sets each to start with.

As you get stronger in the months ahead you can of course increase your workload as tolerated. Avoid using very heavy weights that might stress the prosthesis. Heavy weights will not be needed to rebuild your leg or legs to get them to an ideal level. Remember after joint replacement surgery, your rehabilitation should really never end.

Also to be sure that you are taking in a good quality protein to help in reversing muscle atrophy and after knee surgery. Taking in quality protein such as skinless chicken breasts, salmon, ground turkey breast and egg whites are just some of the ways to help you increase your protein intake during the recovery phase.

Taking a good quality protein powder supplement also is the key in making sure you are getting the fuel your body needs to help in building stronger muscles not only in your legs but also by reversing the atrophy process throughout your entire body.

Safely Administering Your Own Insulin Injections

1. Choose a diabetic syringe and needle of the correct size.

The size of the syringe you need is simply dependent upon the volume of the insulin injections you will be administering. Unless you're overweight, the right size of needle is a short, thin needle. This will give you less pain. However, if you're overweight you may need a longer needle.

2. Choose a location for your diabetic insulin injection.

Insulin injections can go in a variety of areas of the body that have some fat under the skin. Typical areas for giving insulin injections include the thighs, back of arms, and stomach. As often as you'll be giving yourself insulin, you may find it a bit less painful to rotate the sites of insulin injections so that you do not become overly swollen and sore in one location. One side note is that your doctor may want you to give yourself injections exclusively in the stomach area if your doctor is seeking out the steadiest rate of insulin absorption by the body.

3. Make sure everything is clean.

You need to wash your hands and make sure you choose a sanitary syringe and needle. Syringes may be successfully reused by a single person if cleaned with rubbing alcohol between uses, but things can go wrong. In most cases it is recommended that you at least change needles for each injection, if not changing both needles and syringes.

4. Extract some fresh insulin.

Before sticking yourself with the needle, you need to make sure you have unexpired insulin in your syringe. Additionally, keep an eye out for signs that the insulin may be breaking down. If for example the insulin changes color or has debris floating in it, you should get your insulin replaced immediately. In particular, the fast-acting insulins should always be clear. If you use a longer acting insulin it may be a little cloudy. If you pay attention you will learn to recognize what your insulin looks like so that you will be able to tell when it does not look quite right.

Essential Oil of Balsam Fir – A Royal Oil Fit For Kings

This particular balsam fir comes from up on the Canadian border from Christmas tree farms that became overgrown. Idaho Balsam Fir is in the pine family of essential oils.There is some evidence now that the “liquid gold” referred to in the Bible was none other than Balsam, an oil fit for kings and royalty. It was one of the three oils found in King Tutankhamun’s grave in 1922 and it is now thought that balsam was the “Balm of Gilead.” Balsam has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal oil for respiratory and muscular and rheumatic pain. Balsam Fir is mentioned 18 times in the Bible in 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, the Psalms, the Song of Solomon, and in the prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Nahum and Zechariah.

How Did Medieval Healers Use Balsam Fir?

Balsam fir has been used for respiratory and muscular system ailments. In the 12th century, Hildegard of Bingen referred to balsam and said it was of “royal nature” and advised that it ought to be used as a medicine with great caution because it was so powerful. She used it for fevers, for paralysis, and for someone who was insane by making an ointment with it and rubbing it on their temples and around the head to restore their mind and good health.

How Can Balsam Fir Help Us Stay Healthy Today?

Balsam fir has proved to be an anticoagulant and an anti-inflammatory. It is used by many massage therapists because it is a relaxant to the nervous system and to muscle spasms. Balsam can lower cortisol levels. Studies have shown that balsam will inhibit MCF7- (Aggressive Breast Cancer cells). Idaho Balsam Fir and Frankincense work great together inhibiting cancers in seven different cancer lines. Balsam is used for throat, lung, sinus infections, for fatigue, arthritis and rheumatism. It is also good for urinary tract infections, for scoliosis, lumbago and sciatica. The main effects of Idaho Balsam fir is anti-inflammatory.

How Is Balsam Fir Used?

This oil can be inhaled, applied neat (undiluted) on the body or diluted one part Idaho Balsam Fir to one part mixing oil. It can be diffused or taken as a dietary supplement and can be applied on location for muscle spasms. as for safety, Idaho Balsam fir is non-toxic.

For more information on how this ancient oil has modern day applications, you may wish to attend an aromatherapy program that discusses the Biblical oils. The Institute of Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy offers courses across the United States and it discusses the biblical oils including balsam fir.

Tips to Buy And Take Care of Display Cabinet

Display cabinets can be a great addition to your home as they are used for a number of purposes. Since there is a large variety of them, making a choice is not easy. However, you don’t have to make this decision in a hurry. You can follow a few common best practices in order to get started. If you want to get the most out of your purchase, make sure you read through this guide.

Materials

Nowadays, display cabinets are made of different types of material. Based on the look you like, you can opt for the right material, which will add to the beauty of the environment you want to place the cabinet in. What you need to do is find out what works. In addition, you need to find out about the features of each material.

Wood is the most common material and is of different kinds, such as elm, rosewood, oak, beech, and mahogany, to name a few.

Types

Display cabinets are of different types. The traditional ones feature solid doors and a glass front. If you have a collection of figurines, you want to opt for a cabinet that has enough space.

Another common type is a good choice for room corners. They are used to display trinkets and other small elements of decoration. If you want to save space in your room, this type can be a great choice.

Hanging wall type is also common. As the name suggests, this type requires a special installation technique.

Factors to Consider When Buying

When purchasing a cabinet, make sure you consider a few factors. This will help you get the most out of your investment. Style and appearance matter a lot. Choosing a product that doesn’t look good is not a good idea. Finally, you should take a look at your budget as well. Spending too much on this product is not a good idea.

As a matter of fact, appearance is the most important factor. Choosing one that doesn’t match the environment of your house is not worth it. It will make your room look sort of ugly, which will defeat the purpose of buying one.

Taking Caring of Your Display Cabinets

Make sure you take good care of your cabinets, especially if you want them to stand the test of time. You may think quality products don’t require a lot of care. But it’s not true. You still need to take care of them.

A good maintenance tip is to clean them on a regular basis. All you need to do is wipe them down using a clean, dry piece of clothing. Also, there should be no spills or stains on the surface. For better shine, you can use beeswax. Also, it’s important to keep the product away from direct sunlight if you don’t want the color to fade away.

Conclusion

Long story short, with the help of this short guide, we hope that you can easily opt for the right display cabinets. Following the above tips can protect your investment for several years, which is what we all want.

What Are Allied Health Professionals?

An anesthesiologist, a bioengineer, a nutritionist, a massage and occupational therapist all have something in common. While these professions are engaged within the vast realm of the medical field, they share the fact that they serve as complementary procedures to conventional medicine. Collectively, they are referred to as the allied health professions.

From the name itself, allied health professions are practices that have the main aim of helping out the health care system to ensure that medical services are given to the patients with utmost importance. Under the allied health field are categorical jobs like diagnostic tests, direct patient care and support services.

Allied health professionals are taken when a certain condition that has to be given treatment beyond the realm of specialization of yet another doctor. A great example of this is the physical therapy profession. Medical doctors suggest that a patient undergo physical therapy if after surgery or treatment, there still is a need for rehabilitation. This is most common cases of physical injuries or muscle damages.

Allied health professionals is what you call people engage in these practices. It is a holistic career as it does not simply focus on one discipline only. They also specialize in a field relative to medicine, except that the treatment courses that they know and do are not the same as in the conventional approach. But the aim to be of help to further success of conventional medicine treatments still stands.

There are different types of allied health professionals. They are categorized based on the approach that they have specialized in. There are the podiatrists, who specialize in feet-related conditions. Dietitians are also considered as allied health professionals. They focus on nutrition as a way to prevent food-related diseases. Orthoptists and optometrists on the other hand are engaged in the diagnosis and treatment of problems in the eyes.

While allied health professionals may not be regarded as doctors in their own right, it is important that they are given enough emphasis by the clinics and hospitals they work with. This is so that they are able to practice whatever they have learned in school to the work towards a healthier society. They know just what you need as a patient and what the doctor would be doing. In a way, you become the liaison between the conventional medicine approach and the treatment needs of the body. To be an allied health professionals is not easy. It takes lots of courage and perseverance.

What To Do About That Pain In Your Back

It seems like all we do is work. We work to earn money to pay for all the things we need and want in life. We work so much we can sometimes forget about the stresses and strains on our bodies.

How many times has your back started hurting and you can not figure out why? Or what about that sudden stabbing pain that occurs if we move the wrong way?

The sad truth is, back pain can have many sources: nerves, muscles, bones, or other structures in the column column. Lower back pain (lumbago) is very common in adults. Lumbago can be just a dull ache or a pain severe enough to make us cry out.

Back pain comes in two different categories. Acute back pain normally lasts less than three months. Chronic back pain last more than three week and normally gives people many more problems.

Many symptoms are noticeable when suffering from lower back pain. It is not just a pain that can center anywhere from the bottom of the mountains to the tops of the legs. Other symptoms may occur, as well.

  • Fever
  • Swelling on the back
  • Persistent pain
  • Pain in the chest or high on the back
  • Pain that is down legs and below the knees
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Difficulty in passing urine
  • Numbness

If any of these symptoms occurs, it is best to consult your doctor immediately.

The causes of back pain are many:

  • Slouching in chairs
  • Bending and twisting at the same time
  • Lifting heavy object improperly
  • Standing too long
  • Bending over too long
  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Over-stretching
  • Driving for long hours
  • Arthritis
  • Pregnancy
  • Viral infections
  • Trip and fall
  • Obesity
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Injury
  • Lack of exercise

If you have back pain, it is recommended that you visit a doctor or chiropractor as soon as possible or you may inadvertently aggravate the problem. Your doctor may prescribe proven methods of exercise to ease that aching back.

You can also help alleviate back pain by staying cool and comfortable. The ClimaCushion is designed to help you maintain your level of comfort while sitting for longer periods of time by keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Vaccines – A Parent's Guide For Children

Vaccines contribute to significant reduction of childhood diseases such as Diptheria, Tetanus, Whooping Cough, Polio, Haemophilus Influenzae type-b and Hepatitis B to name a few. Parents should take the time to learn the facts about the benefits and risks of vaccination.

Also, learn about the potential consequences of not vaccinating against certain diseases. As a service provider, plain language should be used in communicating information about vaccines and their use to an individual. Printed information should also be available to compliment any verbal explanations.

Parents should know that the risk of having a reaction to a vaccine is much smaller than the risk of serious illness that comes with infectious diseases. Some parents are surprised to learn that children can die of measles, chicken pox, whooping cough and other vaccine-preventable diseases. The bacteria or virus that causes vaccine-preventable diseases and death still exists and can be passed on to people who are not protected by vaccines.

In Australia and the United States of America, vaccine coverage rate is high as a result of successful vaccination programs. Infant deaths caused by childhood diseases have almost disappeared.

Vaccination not only protects individuals, but also others in the community, by increasing the general level of immunity and minimizing the spread of infection. Vaccines may contain live, (attenuated) or killed (inactivated) forms of disease causing bacteria or viruses. They trigger a response by the body's immune system when injected or given by mouth. Vaccines stimulate the body to make antibodies – proteins that specifically recognize and target the disease causing bacteria and viruses, and help eliminate them from the body. It is important that the public be made aware of the proven effectiveness of immunization to save lives and prevent serious illness.

Occupational Health and Safety have put in place strict guidelines for the development of vaccines. The vaccines are developed with the highest safety standards. Every Service Provider should have an anaphylaxis response kit ready at all times. Vaccine storage is strictly monitored in purpose-built refrigerators with a 24hour temperature monitoring gauge. Vaccines being transported from main storage facility to external clinics, use the cold chain transport system.

Diphtheria – Can infect the throat, causing a thick covering that can lead to problems with breathing, paralysis, or heart failure.

Tetanus (Lockjaw) – Caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. The bacteria are spread from the environment to open wounds where they can enter the blood stream. Toxins can cause muscle spasms, lockjaw, difficulty speaking / breathing, stiffness and pain in the shoulders, back and neck.

Whooping Cough – Is caused by a highly infectious bacterial spread by droplet and causing upper respiratory and lung infections. Symptoms include coughing and 'whooping'. Complications of the disease is lack of oxygen to the brain leading to brain damage and possible death.

Polio -Is caused by a virus, and symptoms of the disease include headache, nausea and vomiting, tiredness, neck and back stiffness and severe muscle pain. Polio can cause meningitis and paralysis.

Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib) – Commonly found in the upper respiratory tract (lungs and windpipe), Hib can cause infection in children under 2 years, because they do not have the necessary antibodies to fight this infection. Hib infection can cause meningitis (an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord), epiglottitis (severe swelling of the throat), arthritis and pneumonia.

Hepatitis B – Hepatitis B can cause liver infections and damage, liver cancer and death. Symptoms include, weakness, tiredness, poor appetite, nausea and vomiting, abdominal discomfort, pain, muscle and joint pain, skin rashes, jaundice.

Pneumococcal Infections – The bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae can cause meningitis (inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord), pneumonia, septiacaemia (blood infection), and middle ear and sinus infections. Symptoms can include vomiting, sensitivity to light, neck stiffness, poor appetite, confusion, irritability and drowsiness. May include fever, coughing and difficulty in breathing.

Varicella (Chickenpox) – chickenpox is a highly contagious infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is a member of the herpes group of viruses. Symptoms can include a rash that turns into open itchy, lesions which will crust over. Complications can include skin infection of the lesions, scarring, pneumonia, difficulty walking and balancing, meningitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord), encephalitis (brain infection).

Measles – A highly infectious disease, measles is caused by the Morbillivirus. It is spread from person to person through droplets in the air. Measles is a respiratory infection that causes skin rash and flu-like symptoms. Also fever, cough, runny nose, and, inflammation of the eye are common symptoms. Complications of measles include ear, brain and lung infections, which can lead to brain damage and death.

Mumps – Caused by a virus, mumps is a salivary gland infection. the mumps virus is passed through air droplets and contact with the saliva of an infected person. Common symptoms include fever, headache and swollen glands, especially salivary glands. It can effect other glands such as the testicles. ovaries, pancreas, liver and brain. It can also cause sterility in some men, and lead to deafness in some people.

Rubella (German Measles) – Caused by a virus. this virus is spread from person to person through droplets in the air. It is an infection of the skin and lymph nodes. Symptoms can include rash, lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph glands), and joint pain which sometimes leads to arthritis. Rubella infection during pregnancy can lead to birth defects.

Meningococcal Infections – Caused by a number of different strains of the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis, it is a serious disease. It is a leading cause of bacgterial meningitis in children 2 – 18 years old in the United States. Meningitis is an infection of fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It can also cause septicaemia, pneumonia, arthritis and conjunctivitis. Symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, confusion, irritability and drowsiness.

Rotavirus – Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and young children, causing around half of all hospitalized causes of gastroenteritis in children less than 5 years of age. This viral infection of the stomach and intestines can cause sever diarrhoea and vomiting, and fever, which may lead to serious dehydration. The illness can begin abruptly and up to one third of affected children have a temperature of higher than 390 C in the first few days of the illness.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection – Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the name for a group of viruses that cause skin warts, genital warts and some cancers. Many different types of HPV can affect different parts of the body. HPV types that can cause genital warts or cervical cancer can be spread by direct skin-to-skin contact during all types of sexual activity with a person who has the virus. Symptoms of cervical cancer, including abnormal and precancerous vaginal and vulvar lesions, and genital warts in females ages 9 to 26. Gardasil is licensed for the prevention of cervical cancer.

All of the above are preventable childhood diseases. Common possible side effects from the vaccinations include soreness, redness, warmth and swelling at the injection site, fever, irritability, drowsiness, mild rash, loss of appetite, muscle aches, diarrhoea or vomiting.

You as the parent must tell your Health Care Provider beforehand if:

  • Your child has a known or weakened immune system,
  • is allergic to any of the ingredients of the vaccine, or
  • has ever had an allergic reaction after getting a dose of the vaccine.
  • Or if your child is moderately or severely ill or had a reaction to the antibotics neomycin, streptomycin, polymyxin B, gelatin, or eggs.

Vaccination recommended for routine childhood immunization is listed on the National Immunization Program (NIP) Schedule and funded for children under the Immunise Australia and USA Program.

Vaccination is an important step in getting children off to a healthy start and has contributed to a significant reduction in many childhood diseases. Children or adults can be re-vaccinated (with some, but not all vaccinations) if their immunity from the vaccines falls to a low level or if previous research has shown that a booster vaccination is required for long-term protection.

It's important to remember that vaccinations are many times safer than the diseases they prevent !!

Cold And Flu

The common cold and flu (influenza) are very common infections of the upper respiratory tract (nose, throat, ears and sinuses).

What causes them?

Colds and flu are caused by viruses. The infections are contagious, passed on by tiny droplets and hand contact.

There are hundreds of different types of virus that can cause a cold, which explains why children get repeated colds.

The flu virus is constantly changing its structure, so new strains appear each year

Flu is caused by the influenza virus. There are three major types: A (often the cause of flu epidemics), B and C. The flu virus is

constantly changing its structure, so new strains appear each year.

We don’t have immunity to the new strains, which is why we can catch flu repeatedly.

Symptoms of Common Cold

Following are the major common cold symptoms:

1. Frequent sneezing

2. Blocked or runny nose

3. Reduced sense of taste and smell

4. Sore throat

5. Dry cough

6. Headache and mild fever

Complications:

* Acute ear infection (otitis media). A frequent complication of common colds in children, ear infection occurs when bacteria

or viruses infiltrate the space behind the eardrum. Typical signs and symptoms include earaches and, in some cases, a green or

yellow discharge from the nose or the return of a fever following a common cold. Children who are too young to verbalize their

distress may simply cry or sleep restlessly. Ear pulling is not a reliable sign.

* Wheezing. A cold can trigger wheezing in children with asthma.

* Sinusitis. In adults or children, a common cold that doesn’t resolve may lead to sinusitis – inflammation and infection of the sinuses.

* Other secondary infections. These include strep throat (streptococcal pharyngitis), pneumonia, bronchitis in adults and croup in children. These infections need to be treated by a doctor.

Danger signs

* Colds associated with very high temperature, severe pain or shortness of breath. Contact GP.

Causes of Common Cold

Following are the major common cold causes:

1. Viral infection

2. Person to person through sneezing

3. Menstrual cycles

4. Allergic disorders

5. Low immunity power

6. Change in weather

Common Cold Treatment: An Introduction

It seems like every day a new common cold treatment is being marketed to prevent, cure, or shorten the length of the common cold

(see Common Cold Myths). Despite these marketing claims, there is only one cure for the common cold — time. Therefore, common cold

treatment goals are focused on providing relief from common cold symptoms as the body fights the cold virus.

Common cold treatment options include:

* Resting in bed

* Drinking plenty of fluids

* Gargling with warm salt water (or using throat sprays or lozenges)

* Using a cool-mist humidifier

* Taking common cold medicine.

Common cold Prevention

No effective vaccine has been developed for the common cold, which can be caused by many different viruses. But you can take some

common-sense precautions to slow the spread of cold viruses:

* Wash your hands.

* Scrub your stuff.

* Use tissues.

* Don’t share.

* Steer clear of colds.

* Choose your child care center wisely.

* Consider the alternatives.

Therapy

* Analgesics.

* Antipyretics

* Oral or topical sympathomimetics (short term use only) decongestants

* Antihistamines. (Care – can cause drowsiness).

* Vitamin C – is harmless and many claim benefit from it.

To remove these types of diseases Boost Your Immune System

How Long Does Lower Back Pain And Spasms Last

As you grow older, you tend to develop lower back pain or lumbago. Seven out of ten people will experience it at some time in their lives The risk increases if you inflict strains and sprains through incorrect lifting or awkward movement. Exercises can also injure your lower back. If your work regularly involves lifting, twisting, bending, and reaching, you can injure your back.

Studies show that people between 19 and 45 years old suffer from disability due to back ache. After the age of 45, the condition can become severe.

Usually when you impose injury on the muscles, bones, ligaments, and joints in your back , you jeopardize your back. The painful back also shows that the tendons or discs are damaged. You can feel the discomfort anywhere on your back, in between the bottom of the ribs and the top of the legs. You may find it difficult to move around and stand upright.

Usually, the pain will last from a couple of days to a few weeks. Most of the times, it will go away after six weeks. If you endure the pain in less than three months, you then have an acute condition. Once the condition extends to over 12 weeks, the condition becomes chronic.

Most of the acute cases happen because of a trauma to the lower back or a disorder such as arthritis. Sometimes, a sports injury or a damage on the spinal bones and tissues due to accident can result in acute back pain.

When the disc is damaged, the muscles on either side of the spine are in spasm. Straining of back muscles can lead to spasm. The discomfort usually go away in one to two weeks.

If a specific disorder contribute to your lower back pain, by applying treatment on that disorder may solve the problem.

To relieve pain, you can rest in bed for a few days. But don’t rest for more than two days. When in bed, lie on the back with a pillow behind the knees with your head and shoulders elevated.

You can also buy over-the-counter or prescription non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to minimize inflammation. Muscle relaxants can also soothe muscles spasms. During the period of recuperating, wear a back pain support if you continue with any back-stressing tasks.

If you sit for a long period or lift heavy object in a job, consult an occupational therapist to suggest upper limb exercises and safer revisions on performance of such job.

Back pain can interfere your life and work. Fortunately, in most cases, it will go away on its own. If the pain persist too long, then you need to consult your doctor to diagnose your condition. You will then be given an appropriate treatment based on the underlying cause.

Stephen King – The Stand

If he never wrote another word, Stephen King describes to be remembered for this, his contribution to the "Disaster Novel" genre. (Note: This review applies to the ORIGINAL release of the novel, not the "Special Edition")

It begins innocently enough, with an army officer running away from his base. But he has left it too late, and he carries a new disease into the world. Over the next months people begin to die, in small numbers at first, then in their hundreds, thousands and finally millions.

The survivors, a disparate band drawn from all walks of life, find they have to make a choice; to join with the forces of evil, personified in Flagg (one of the best fictional villains in living memory) or to take a "Stand" for good, personified by Aunt Abigail, an old wizened black woman with a fundamentalist approach to her faith.

Soon all the survivors are lined up on one side or the other, and the final battle for their future destiny is set up when the main characters must take their own "Stand"

The questions of faith posed by this, and how each of the protagonists make their choices, form the moral core of this book, and the rigors of basic survival when civilization has fallen forms the backbone of the plot, but it is the characters who stick in your mind long after you've finished reading.

King has always been good at "country" types, but here he shows a sure hand with such disparate people as a deaf-mute, a rock star, a garage worker, a pregnant teenager and her admirer-from-afar neighbor Harold (a gentleman so slimy you'll feel like taking a shower after just reading about him)

You feel rapport with these characters, and are soon cheering them on, and King has managed to reel in his propensity for "bloat", and does not let any one character take over.

The book carries a strong moral tone throughout, and at times seems almost biblical in its "fire-and-brimstone" intensity. In typical King fashion there are some terrifying set pieces, the pick of which takes place in a tunnel which is full of dead and decomposing bodies that must be navigated without a light. Not for the squamish.

A lot of people have been daunted by the sheer size of this book. At over 1000 pages, it is not a quick read, and in the early chapters it is sometimes difficult to keep track of its large list of characters. Also, King seems to take delight in slowing things down and looking in great detail at some pretty unpleasant deaths as a result of the disease – a super-flu which results in particular messy fluid expulsion.

However once Flagg appears and starts insinuating him into the survivors' dreams. the tension starts to crank up and King knows how to keep you hooked, cheering the good guys along to the denoument.

I will not spoil it by giving away the ending, but the final "Stand" does not come quite as expected, and has some really shocking consequences for the protagonists.

For a jaded horror fan brought up on John Wyndham and John Christopher, this book revitalized my interest back in the late 70's. This was the book that bought me back to horror, and made me want to write it myself.

For that alone it's got a lot to answer for.

Probiotics: Hype or Healthy

Probiotics has been getting a lot of media attention these days. A health standard, feel better, have more energy, as part of treatments for chronic diseases. How much of this is hype and how much is real?

Let's examine exactly what are probiotics. Our gastrointestinal (GI) tracts are full of bacteria that play a critical role in our immunity and overall health. Just how critically important these bacteria are, is coming to light with more focussed research being done. Changing the microbiotic flora in the gut can have a significant impact on a variety of body systems, including immunity response and brain function. What we eat, the medicines we take, the illnesses we endure all impact the gut bacteria. Recent research confirms a strong link between gut health, immunity and brain function. (1,2)

Gut bacteria are our police force, destroying the bad bacteria and pathogens that enter our body. It is estimated that over 80% of the body's anti-body producing cells are located in the GI tract. Obviously maintaining a healthy gut is very important to our overall health and brain function. (3) Some bacteria have been specifically studied as aids in treatment to a number of diseases and conditions. Not as cures, but as part of the healing processes. For more reading on this, visit USBiotics (4)

So, probiotics are good for us, but with so many products on the shelves, how do we know what to buy? Well, there's the hype. As commercial producers jump on the bandwagon, how do we know what is really useful and what is hype. First, it is important understand what's on the label.

  • According to ProbioticsNow.com, look for a "National Yogurt Association" seal which requires yogurt to contain at least 100 million cultures per gram or 20 billion per 8oz serving.
  • The most commonly used bacteria in probiotic products are Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria , and can be found in consumer products as powders, tablets, drinks and fermented dairy products. Other bacteria you may see on labels include Leuconostoc, Lactococcus, and others. Many of the strains used to produce commercial products are now mass produced from strains developed in the labs from naturally occurring strains. (4,5) There are many foods, however that are cultured naturally and are rich in probiotics.
  • Stick to plain, unflavoured products as much as possible. Some sweetened yogurt products can have as much sugar as a soft drink.
  • Look for added fiber such as pectin, inulin, fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS) or polydextrose.
  • Watch out for pasteurized products as they will have gone through a heat cycle to kill active bacteria. Many milk products will be pasteurized first then have the active cultures added after.

Now, what about Prebiotics? What's the difference?

Pro biotics are the beneficial bacterial. Think of pre biotics as their superfood. By ingesting prebiotics you are directly feeding the bacteria. Prebiotics are foods rich in plant fiber, ones that our bodies do not actually digest but that the bacteria thrive on. It is found naturally in apple skins, bananas, onions, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, beans, oatmeal, red wine, honey, and maple syrup to name a few. (5,7)

A short list of foods with live culture probiotics to consider trying:

  1. Yogurt – this is the most overwhelming category of food in the probiotic movement. The good folks at the BeneficialBacteria.net have written up a terrific primer on understanding yogurt and labels.
  2. Sauerkraut & kimchi – sour cage with kimchi being the spicy version. Look for product that has not been pasteurized as most of the products on grocery shelves have been. Try local farmer's markets to get a more traditional version of these.
  3. Kefir – a very old fermented milk product that apparently has its origins in the north Caucasus Mountains. It is made of lactic acid bacteria and yeast in a grain that resembles cauliflower. The grains are added to milk and left to ferment. The result is a thick, tart milk product that is easy to digest. The fermentation process uses up the lactose so even those with lactose intolerance can often enjoy this beverage.
  4. Buttermilk – another fermented milk product that may be an imported taste but if you love it, it is good stuff. Watch the labels to make sure it has active cultures (unpasteurized). Cooking with it destroys the active culture.
  5. Kombucha – is a fermented tea that is lightly effervescent and reasonably has its origins in north China or Manchuria. While it has plenty of probiotics there are some caveats for people who have candida issues.
  6. Miso soup – a popular traditional Japanese soup that has many variations. Caution to those avoiding soy products, this is oftentimes made with fermented soy beans.
  7. Cheeses – any cheese that has been aged but not treated with heat (pasteurized) will have active culture bacteria, some more than others. Examples are provolone, gouda, edam, cheddar, emmental, and gruyere.
  8. Sourdough breads – made from a true starter of yeast and bacteria culture can be another good source of food to standardize on. If you buy from a bakery be sure to ask if its a real starter as many make it from a powered version that generates the flavor without the culture.
  9. Sour pickles – look for ones made from a naturally fermented process with salt. If it has vinegar it does not have any active cultures.

It is worthwhile to search out and try different probiotic rich foods and see what you can include into your regular diet. The more basic the food (minimal additives), the better it will be. See if it makes a difference in your life.

References

1: Gareau MG. Microbiota-gut-brain axis and cognitive function. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014; 817: 357-71. doi: 10.1007 / 978-1-4939-0897-4_16. PubMed PMID: 24997042.
2. newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/changing-gut-bacteria-through-245617
3: Ried K. Gastrointestinal health. The role of pro- and pre-biotics in standard foods. Aust Fam Physician. 2004 Apr; 33 (4): 253-5. Review. PubMed PMID: 15129471.
4: cdrf.org/home/checkoff-investments/usprobiotics/
5: Nielsen B, Gürakan GC, Unlü G. Kefir: A Multifaceted Fermented Dairy Product. Probiotics Antimicrob Proteins. 2014 Sep 27. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25261107.
6. webmd.com/digestive-disorders/probiotics-10/slideshow-probiotics
7. eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Grocery-Shopping/How-to-choose-the-best-yogurt.aspx#.VCmRGhYfNlk