The Immune System And Allergic Reactions

Allergic Reactions Blog Health

Allergies can happen to anyone at any stage of life. It happens when the immune system creates antibodies to fight off viruses and bacteria, to prevent you from getting sick. The immune system has a very important job, which is to defend your body from dangerous invaders. Sometimes, it overreacts and starts fighting substances that aren’t harmful to most people (known as allergens), such as peanuts, pollen, dust mites, or medicines. When this happens, it’s called an allergic reaction. 

There are numerous symptoms of an allergic reaction, some people sneeze, others get rashes or vomit. The reaction may affect only a small area of the body (such as itchy eyes), but it can also affect the entire body (such as hives). What you’re allergic to determine the symptoms. Parts of the body that will react are usually the nose, skin, mouth, eye, and digestive system. Allergies have many types, some of the most common ones are:

  • Medicine allergies, such as penicillin, sulfa medicines, vaccines, seizure medicines, and some blood pressure medicines.
  • Food allergies are more common in children than in any other age group. Many people are allergic to shrimp, shellfish, peanut, eggs, milk, and soy.
  • Allergies to insect venom happen when a person is stung by an insect (particularly bees), the poisons and toxins in the insect’s venom enter your system.
  • Allergies to animals usually cause breathing problems. People can be allergic to the cat’s fur or dog’s saliva. 
  • Allergies to cosmetics, such as henna tattoos and hair extensions.
  • Seasonal allergies usually happen at the same time every year and are mostly caused by exposure to pollens from trees and grasses.

An allergic reaction may not occur the first time your body comes into contact with an allergen. First-time exposure usually produces only a mild reaction, while repeated exposures can lead to more serious reactions. Once you have come into contact with an allergen, even a very small amount of that allergen can trigger a severe reaction. An allergic reaction is sometimes unpredictable. It ranges from mild to life-threatening depending on how much of the allergen gets into your system and the way your body responds. The most severe form of allergy is called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock. The reaction occurs only minutes after exposure and can lead to loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest, respiratory distress, and death. 

Mild to moderate allergic reactions can normally be treated with home remedies and over-the-counter medications (OTC). Although the reaction is mild, you need to stay calm because anxiety can make symptoms a lot worse. Try to identify the allergen, and once you find out what it is, stay away and avoid further contact with it. Most symptoms can be reduced by antihistamines, which come in several forms to make it easier to consume. You can have antihistamines in the form of oral pills, nasal sprays, liquid, eye drops, and dissolvable tablets. Other medications such as nasal decongestants and anti-inflammatory medications may also help reduce pain, cramping, and swelling caused by allergies. 

While mild allergic reactions can be treated by OTC, severe allergic reactions need immediate medical attention. If you suspect that you have a severe allergy, you should speak to a professional. A doctor or a specialist is able to prescribe medications that contain much stronger doses than OTC products, and by consulting to a professional, you can have emergency medicine on hand. When you’re with someone who is experiencing anaphylaxis, you should call 911 immediately and help the person lie on their back. If they’re vomiting or bleeding, turn them on their side. If needed, check if they have epinephrine (adrenaline) auto-injector (EpiPen) and help them to use it. 

It is important to identify if you have an allergic reaction or not because when you know what kind of allergy you have, you can always take precautions. The more control you have of being exposed to allergens, the less likely you will have an allergic reaction. If you have a severe allergy, make sure to let your family and friends know and tell them where you keep your EpiPen. 

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I have No Energy And Do I Suffer From Fatigue?

Blog Fatigue Health

People complain about being tired all the time and sometimes, we feel like we have no energy and no motivation. We usually know the reason why we are tired, especially when we have a cold or flu, and with taking a little time to rest and a few good nights’ sleep, we are able to get over it quickly. However, if you’re wondering why you are continually fatigued for a long period of time, do not feel motivated to do anything at all, struggle to do activities that you usually find easy, and you do not see any obvious reason for it, it might be a serious problem. This kind of ongoing fatigue can negatively impact your family life, make it hard for you to be productive at work and keep you from being social, and it can stop you from enjoying your life.

People often mistake sleepiness as fatigue. Although it’s true that poor sleep can cause fatigue, the two are actually very different. Sleepiness happens when you do not have enough good sleep. It can be a sign of medical conditions that interferes with sleep, such as sleep apnea or insomnia. Sleepiness is likely to be short term and generally can be solved by getting regular nighttime sleep. Nevertheless, poor sleep can also cause fatigue.

Fatigue is a feeling of constant tiredness and lack of energy; it involves a physical and mental state of being exceptionally tired. Although it is described as tiredness, it is not as simple as just feeling drowsy or sleepy. Indeed, it is similar to how you feel when you missed a lot of sleep or when you have flu, but with fatigue, you have unexplained and persistent exhaustion. When you suffer from fatigue, you often wake up feeling drained despite sleeping well. Fatigue is often linked to medical conditions or health problems. It can also be its own chronic condition known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).

There are two types of fatigue: Physical and mental. They are not the same, but they can occur together. Physical fatigue is when a person finds it physically hard to do the things that they normally would find easy, while mental fatigue is when a person finds it harder to concentrate on things and have trouble staying awake at work. Physical exhaustion can lead to mental fatigue and vice versa.

Fatigue can be caused by a combination of factors, particularly unhealthy lifestyle, psychology, and medical conditions.

 

  • Lifestyle: There is a wide range of lifestyle habits that can lead to fatigue. Lack of sleep or too much sleep are all common causes of tiredness. Typically, adults need about seven to eight hours of sleep, but there are many people who try to get by on fewer hours or stay in bed for too long. Having too much caffeine and alcohol can also be the cause as they slow down or stimulate the nervous system, which can disturb your normal sleep patterns. Additionally, other lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise and poor diet can also cause and worsen fatigue.
  • Psychological: Fatigue can result from psychological issues, and this factor is present in at least 50% of fatigue cases. It includes depression, anxiety, stress, grief, eating disorder, boredom, divorce, and drug abuse. Anxiety and stress overstimulate the body with a constant flood of adrenaline that exhausts the body.
  • Medical: A number of diseases and treatments trigger fatigue. Cancer, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, fibromyalgia, obesity, weakened the immune system, and anemia can cause fatigue. It can also be a sign of infection, such as malaria, infectious mononucleosis, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and HIV (to name a few).

 

The main symptom of fatigue is extreme exhaustion. The signs can be physical, emotional, and mental. Most of the time, these symptoms can’t be felt right away. They may appear several hours after any activity. The most common signs are:

  • Lack of motivation and apathy
  • Constant headache, dizziness, or nausea
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as bloating and constipation
  • Irritability and moodiness
  • Sensitivity to colder temperatures
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Unexplained weight loss.

If you’re feeling any of the things stated above, and you’re not sure what caused them, it is best to make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor may run some diagnostic tests that will help diagnose an underlying cause. These tests varied from urine tests, imaging scans, and blood tests.

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Reduce Sugar In Your Diet

Blog Diet Sugar

Sugar is often linked to happy foods such as ice creams and cakes. The truth is, you probably have some kind of sugar in your daily diet, whether it is in your breakfast cereal or in the marinara sauce of your favorite cuisine. Sugar is sneaky, and you can find it nearly everywhere, in fruits, vegetables, grains, milk, cookies, or pastries. It is hidden in numerous foods and goes by a lot of names such as sucrose, glucose, corn syrup, maltose, raw sugar, dextrose, cane sugar, malt extract, molasses, or fruit juice concentrate.

So if sugar can be found in almost every food, what should you do to reduce sugar in your diet?

First, you need to understand that not all sugar is bad. Natural sugar is an important source of carbohydrates. It can be found in fruit and vegetables (known as fructose) as well as in dairy products (known as lactose), and it is said that natural sugar is less of a health issue. A high intake of it has even shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases

The kind of sugar you need to watch for and be extra careful of is added sugar. It comes from processed and pre-packaged foods to enhance the flavors or texture. You can easily find added sugars in almost every product in any supermarket aisle. It is in soft drinks, chocolates, sauces, a glass of lemonade, and even in non-fat yogurt. Like it or not, even the ones that claim to have “No Sugar Added” can contain tons of sugar with no actual beneficial nutrients. Those healthy phrases can possibly be just fancy buzzwords that savvy marketers use to sell their products, which can be very confusing if you are planning to cut down on your sugar intake and optimize your health. 

It is undeniable that for most of us, sugar is delicious and it makes us feel good. While many experts agree that a certain amount of sugar is okay, having too much of it is one of the worst things you can do for your body. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the recommended limit for your daily dose of sugar should be under 10 percent of physical calories which equals a maximum of 10 teaspoons per day for the average adult, but many people consume way more than the recommended level. 

Indulging in a small amount of sugar like in a spread of jam or a single donut is absolutely fine. But if you’re likely to binge and stuff yourself as soon as you get a taste of it, then you’re doing something terrible to your precious body. Consuming too much added sugar can mess with your metabolism, which can make you hungry and craving more sugar. Not only it will increase the risk of unhealthy weight gain, obesity, acne, and dental issues, but it will also increase your risk in dying from diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic illness.  

Yes, sugar consumption is a very hard and tricky thing to control, but there are some diet tweaks you can do to stay healthy. The rule is to always stick to real, single-ingredient food and get away from processed foods that are high in sugar. 

  • Ditch sweetened beverages completely, including soft drinks and store-bought fruit juices. We all know how refreshing a can of soda is, but take note that one 12-ounce can of soda contains 9.75 teaspoons of sugar. Store-bought fruit juice is also not as decent as it sounds since it can be loaded with a lot of sugar. Instead, drink water and choose whole fruit. 
  • Limit your consumption of sweets and baked goods. Candies, cookies, and cakes tend to be made with a generous amount of added sugar. No, you don’t have to cut them all together, just limit them to at least once a week. For the rest of the week, if you have a bad case of sweet-tooth, satisfy yourself with dates or fresh fruit.
  • Avoid low-fat or diet foods. Contrary to popular belief, foods that have had the fat removed are actually very high in sugar despite having lower calories.
  • Know that savory food does not equal sugar-free because sugar is a flavor enhancer as well as a preservative. Dressings, mustard, tomato sauce, and chips can possibly have added sugar. 
  • Be a smart shopper. Don’t just buy whatever sounds healthy from the supermarket. Always read the ingredients or nutrition labels. Remember the many names of sugar, avoid packaged foods that contain sugar in the first 3 ingredients, and put down any packaged food that contains more than one type of sugar.
  • Trade your refined sugar with natural sweetener but be aware that those fancy and healthier forms of sweetener are also sugar. Honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar are sugar. While it can be an alternative to refined sugar, don’t be tricked into thinking that having a high intake of something sweetened with honey is okay or good for your health.

 

The bottom line is that reducing sugar in your diet can result in a healthy, active, and happy lifestyle. It is important to figure out the right sugar intake for you since what works for other people might not work for you. At the end of the day, adjusting you’re eating habits can be very hard. So when you have some really bad sugar cravings, just remember that sugar might be sweet, but what it does to your body can be bitter.

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hairline lowering

Hairline Lowering Surgery: Expectations vs. Reality

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Forehead baldness or receded hairlines is a common difficulty that both men and women face. Many factors including genetics, natural hair loss or even the after-effects of any previous surgeries can be potential reasons behind the problem. The hairline starting at a high level above the normal Hairline could make the forehead appear disproportionate to the rest of the face. In fact, this could make the person look less attractive or older.

What actually is the hairline lowering surgery?

Often referred to as forehead reduction, scalp advancement or hairline lowering surgery, this process is gaining importance as an effective surgical way to reposition the hairline up to about 2 inches. However, it all depends on the patient’s preference for hairline height, scalp laxity. You must be in good health to undergo the process and stopped smoking for at least 1 to 2 months before and after the surgical process is started.

How is it performed?

Your surgeon will start with making a small incision along the natural hairline. The hair-bearing tissue is then moved forward and sutured into its new lower position. After the closure of the incision, hair follicles are then removed from the sides or back of the patient’s scalp to be transplanted at the newly lowered hairline where they will then grow back. The use of hair transplants works to normalize the shape of the new hairline and also to minimize the appearance of any scars as hair grows through and over the incision line. In most cases, there is only a very minimal, barely imperceptible scar at the hairline.

In addition, you can also opt for a hair grafting procedure that can possibly change the shape of your hairline. This means extra hair can be neatly transplanted to the side regions of your head to give you a more round appearance.

What can you expect after the surgery?

  • It is common for patients to experience some sort of side effects like pain, slight bulging along the facial features, bruising and numbness of the scalp area and the surgical location of where the procedure was carried out. Prescribed medication, Follow all instructions and ensure you take all prescribed medication and consult your Surgeon or Doctor if you have any issues.
  • Scarring is also expected and a well-qualified surgeon can reduce the visibility greatly. Major incisions that were made during the surgical process can be set slightly behind the future hairline that will later be covered with hair. In addition to this, precise incisions that involve S or V-shaped curves can be also done that help in the hair regrowth in front of the scar and will hide it.
  • Rare complication such as blood collection underneath the scalp can also occur which can be treated with antibiotics.

In general, patients can resume their normal work and other workout activities within 2 weeks from the end of the procedure.

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Weight loss: A Brief Guide to Gastric Bands

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Being overweight doesn’t just weigh down the individual’s confidence but also leads to plenty of other health problems. Losing weight is easy if you understand your body’s nutritional needs and your metabolism levels. This will help you to choose the right type of diet and exercise to solve weight problems. There are plenty of treatment options and surgeries that are known to help those with stubborn weight issue problems. Gastric bypass surgery, gastric band surgery, Biliopancreatic diversion, and sleeve gastrectomy are some of the commonly recommended options. One of the most effective among these is to have a gastric band fitted.

What is a gastric band surgery?

Lack of control over the appetite might be one of the biggest hurdles to losing weight. The weight that is lost from exercises and a good diet can be added back on quickly if junk food craving is not controlled. To help exercise and curb the appetite and to give the individual a feeling of fullness gastric band surgery is performed. A silicone band is inserted close to the upper side of the stomach. The band is fully adjustable and the tightness levels are customized to tailor the narrowness of the opening and the size of the stomach pouch based on the patient’s current weight and food intake requirements. When the stomach pouch is made smaller it makes the individual feel fuller even with smaller portions and this also reduces frequent hunger pangs.

Benefits of a gastric band surgery

  • This type of bariatric surgery is known to help those fighting obesity. As the first step to solving obesity, one must be able to control the intake of food and this surgery will help with that process.
  • It is a minimally invasive procedure which comes with quick recovery time. Hospitalization is not required for this surgery.
  • The size of the incision is very small and there is just a keyhole-sized opening done for the insertion of the band and the adjustment of the band. So there are no big scars to worry about and given the smaller incision size, the risk of infection and the worry of surgery can be minimized.
  • The best part about this type of weight loss surgery is that it is a completely reversible process. Once the patient is seen to respond to the surgery and once the weight correction is attained the band can be removed if required.
  • For all those people suffering from obesity-related health problems, to reduce your weight might be the first step. And this has to be done quickly. Gastric band surgery is known to work quickly and helps prevent weight gain.
  • This is one type of surgery that has no impact on the digestion system or the way your body handles food as the absorption of nutrients happens naturally.
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dental hygiene

Bite Me!

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There is a saying that people do not pay enough attention to their teeth unless they start falling out. This is because dental care is not treated as a priority with many families. Despite having properly aligned sets of teeth, a lot of people end up with cavities and discolored teeth due to unhealthy oral practices. Healthy teeth are gifts for a lifetime and proper care should be taken to ensure that their health remains intact for long as possible.

Here are 10 best practices that will help preserve your beautiful smile forever:

 

  • Brush your teeth every day

 

You have probably heard this many times, but its importance is paramount and it cannot be emphasized enough. A majority of people brush once a day and skip brushing at night. Whatever we eat all day tends to build up in the form of plaque and will sit on your teeth all night. Brushing before bedtime will help prevent damage to your teeth and help to reduce cavities in your teeth.

 

  • Brushing technique

 

As important as brushing your teeth to maintain good oral hygiene, it is as vital to know the proper brushing technique that makes it effective. You should take time to brush and not rush through the whole process. The toothbrush should be moved around in slow and circular motions on the upper as well as the lower set of teeth.

 

  • Flossing is as important

 

Flossing has a whole range of benefits apart from simply helping to get rid of food stuck in between the gaps of teeth. Flossing can help in the stimulation of gums and it can also reduce conditions like gum inflammation, bleeding gums etc. If you are doubtful about the best way to floss your teeth, go and get advice from your dentist.

 

  • Brush with a fluoride toothpaste

 

While choosing the right toothpaste, we are often fascinated by the flavors and the whitening agents. However, there is more to toothpaste than just that. Whichever flavor or color you choose, always ensure that you buy fluoride toothpaste.

Fluoride is significantly responsible for preventing cavities and tooth decay. Brushing twice with fluoride toothpaste can help to reduce your gum problems.

 

  • Regular dental check up

 

There is no better way to maintain dental health than to visit your dentist regularly. A lot of health problems could arise if your dental issues remain unresolved. If you have tooth alignment issues and food particles keep getting stuck in the gaps, you could consider getting dental veneers to resolve the issue. Dental veneers could also help if you have a chipped tooth or stained teeth.

 

  • Use mouthwash

 

Mouthwash helps maintain oral hygiene in 3 different ways. First, it lowers the amount of acid formation inside your oral cavity. Second, it cleans the crooks and crevices that toothbrushes find hard to reach. Third, Mouthwash will remove bad breath and will give your mouth a fresh feel.

  1. Reduce the intake of sugary and acidic food

Sugary food breaks down to form an acid that in turn erodes your tooth enamel. This is why it is important to cut down the intake of sugary and acidic food items that include tea, coffee, acidic fruits etc.

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Medical Tourism, United States and Criticisms

Blog Medical Tourism Professional Development

Medical tourism is billion dollar industry. Millions of people seek out for cross-border medical options. From plastic surgery to heart surgery to dental work, there is specific medical destination for everything. People can enjoy medical services at fraction of the costs back home. The ever-increasing healthcare costs since last few decades have popularized medical tourism. Let’s look into detail on how it impacts U.S as a consumer and service provider. We will also look at the downsides of this new section of the travel industry.

Why most medical tourists are Americans?

Americans seek out for medical options across the border, due to inflated domestic healthcare costs. Drug pricing, administrative costs and work rules are major issues faced by the nation. It doesn’t allow for free market conditions. Prices are bound to be on the incline. Even ambulances could cost in the range of few thousand dollars. Exaggerated insurance billings are an often overlooked issue as well.

A procedure like heart transplant in Asia could cost 20 times less than in the U.S. Americans favorite medical destinations since the turn of the century are Cuba, India, Mexico and Thailand. Countries like Thailand, Singapore, Dubai and South Korea have state of art medical facilities. For developing countries, medical tourism generates a sizeable income. Countries like Japan are relaxing visa entry and admittance to domestic hospitals, for foreigners.

U.S.A as modern medical destination…

It was not long ago, U.S was the preferred medical destination for everyone and it still is. Conditions like Parkinson’s are better treated here than say, China, Middle-East or India. U.S has the advanced cardiovascular or neurological treatments. Top physicians from other countries study and train here. The nation retains its reputation in health care, even now. The outgoing traffic consists mostly of patients who are uninsured or underinsured.

Half the medical travelers, who don’t worry about costs and proximity, travel to the U.S. When you consider Europe, they are not always open to up to date tech. Around 60,000 – 80,000 medical travelers visit the U.S annually, according to McKinsey & Co, an American consulting firm. One in three medical travelers simply prefers better care. One in six medical travelers seeks quicker access to medical procedures. The U.S delivers in both these parameters.

Criticisms of medical tourism

There are downsides to medical tourism as well. The U.S Center for disease control reported several safety concerns. Most of it has to do with bacterial infections and diseases from tourists. It involves both the outgoing as well as incoming medical tourists. It’s strong criticism, owing to a lack of strict sanitary guidelines in some parts of the world. Presence of contagious diseases that are rare in the home country is a serious red flag.

In 2014, 19 returning medical tourists, who visited the Dominican Republic for plastic surgery contracted bacterial infections. Organ transplants have raised ethical questions. Medical tourists can obtain transplants in a fast-tracked route. W.H.O confirms that the organs come from vulnerable people. The Philippines has banned kidney transplant tourism altogether. Moreover, the locals face more competition for healthcare in their homeland. That’s as far as the criticisms go.

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Thailand Beach

6 Reasons to Be Addicted to Medical Tourism

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Definition: A person / tourist who travels to another country for their medical / cosmetic requirements.

There are many reasons why someone may become ‘addicted’ or particularly enjoy Medical Tourism, but here are our top 6:

  1. Cheaper than at home
  2. Combined with great holiday destination
  3. Low cost travel and accommodation 
  4. No waiting times
  5. High quality healthcare, bench marked against international standards
  6. A greater variety of procedures available, particularly in the Cosmetic sector.
Thailand is the third biggest destination for medical tourists as of 2018.

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