Allergy Season 2015: Experts Predict Severe Allergy Symptoms, But A Shorter Season

March 22nd, 2015 by admin

By

There was no short supply of sniffles, sneezing, or stranger side-eye on the subway this winter (sorry about that) — and allergy season may be a similar scene. Experts predict the 2015 season will be more severe than years past.

Dr. John Basso, chief of allergy and immunology at Nyack Hospital in New York, told USA Today “the prolonged moisture in some regions this winter may have laid the groundwork for a bad season.” Basso explained a warm, dry spring following a wet winter is a recipe for high pollen counts. But if we were to have a wet spring, pollen might not be such a problem.

Pollen levels over the past few years have been unusually elevated, the overall season starting earlier and lasting longer. This year, Dr. Tanya Laidlaw, director of Translational Research in Allergy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told Tech Times the classic oak, birch, and maple trees will be late to pollinate — so there’s a chance seasonal allergies will be cut short by at least a few days.

Still, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for experts to predict what exactly is in store for allergy sufferers. Global warming is considered to be partly responsible for the unpredictable shift, the increased carbon dioxide and climate change stimulating pollen growth. This then makes pollen more prevalent and potent.

This is why experts have started recommending sufferers take any medication and otherwise precaution before the onset of spring allergies. Basically, experts find sufferers are better off when they plan a preemptive strike against miserable symptoms.

“It’s a really good idea to start early, because if you have your armamentarium on board protecting you, the medication will be a lot more effective and you’ll feel better,” Dr. Laura Mechanic, chief of allergy at White Plains Hospital, told USA Today. “A lot of people who wait end up suffering longer and on even more medication for a longer period of time.”

If your allergies aren’t bad enough to warrant a prescription, there are other ways to reduce symptoms. Eating healthy foods can reduce symptoms; cleaning air conditioning and furnace filters every three months can minimize pollen and mold in the air; and wearing sunglasses when outside keeps irritants away, reducing itchiness and redness.

Bonus: Several apps are available for smartphones now to help sufferers better manage and even predict the severity of their symptoms. For example, ZYRTEC® AllergyCast delivers a GPS-based allergy forecast for today and tomorrow, as well as the day’s top allergens based on a person’s location. Check out four other options here.

Article reprinted from Medical Daily

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It’s important to have folic acid in your system during early stages of pregnancy when your baby’s brain and spinal cord are developing

February 16th, 2015 by admin

Folic acid is a pregnancy superhero!

Taking a prenatal vitamin with the recommended 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid before and during pregnancy can help prevent birth defects of your baby’s brain and spinal cord. Take it every day and go ahead and have a bowl of fortified cereal, too.

What Is Folic Acid?

Folic acid, which is also called folate, is a B vitamin. The best food sources of folic acid are fortified cereals. Folic acid plays an important role in the production of red blood cells and helps your baby’s neural tube develop into her brain and spinal cord.

When Should I Start Taking Folic Acid?

Birth defects occur within the first 3-4 weeks of pregnancy. So it’s important to have folic acid in your system during those early stages when your baby’s brain and spinal cord are developing.

If you talked to your doctor when you were trying to conceive, she probably told you to start taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid. One study showed that women who took folic acid for at least a year before getting pregnant cut their chances of delivering early by 50% or more.

The CDC recommends that you start taking folic acid every day for at least a month before you become pregnant, and every day while you are pregnant. However, the CDC also recommends that all women of childbearing age take folic acid every day. So you’d be fine to start taking it even earlier.

If you picked out your own prenatal vitamin, take it to your OB once you’re pregnant to make sure it has the recommended amounts of everything you need, including folic acid. All prenatal vitamins are not the same and some may have less or more of the vitamins and minerals you need.

Click here to read the rest of this article and to see how much folic acid you should take

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Posted in General Interest, Practical Medicine, practical health care | No Comments »

How to take a child’s temperature

June 9th, 2014 by admin

Several methods for taking a child’s temperature quickly, accurately, and safely are available.

Devices used to measure body temperature in children include the digital thermometer (for rectal, oral, or underarm readings), the digital ear thermometer (tympanic membrane thermometer), the digital pacifier thermometer, and the forehead (temporal artery) thermometer.

Mercury thermometers are no longer considered safe because the glass can break and release the liquid mercury, which is highly toxic. Digital thermometers, which are safe and measure body temperature in seconds, should be used instead of mercury thermometers.
Never Leave a Child Alone While Taking Temperature

Taking a child’s temperature with a digital device is easy and quick, but the patient should never be left alone while the thermometer is in place. When a child has a fever, healthcare professionals recommend recording the time and temperature readings, along with any medication given to lower the fever. The following are descriptions of the different methods used to measure body temperature in children.

Click here > to learn more about Rectal, Oral, Axillary, Ear and Forehead Methods and here > to download the Pediatric Thermometry.pdf

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Posted in General Interest | No Comments »

Fixing Healthcare Can Be As Close As Your Neighborhood Pharmacy

April 15th, 2014 by admin

by John Nosta

The clinical emergency is medicine itself

Demand for primary care services is projected to increase through 2020, due to the increasing aging and population as well as the expanded insurance coverage implemented under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In other words, the demand for primary care physicians will grow more rapidly than the supply, resulting in a projected shortage of over 20,00 full-time physicians.

The value of your neighborhood pharmacy

Nearly 70% of Americans are on at least one prescription drug and over 50% of Americans are on at least two prescription drugs. Given the shaky assumption that these folks are actually taking their medicines, it’s fair to say that beyond the physician, the pharmacist plays a key role in the health dynamic. Currently pharmacists can provide many services to their patients–from information to specific medicines.  In fact, the pharmacy is often a first source of medical information for many.  Pharmacy services have evolved from strictly dispensing medications to offering services such as medication therapy management, medication education, improving medication adherence, administering immunizations, and health/wellness. In addition, pharmacists can now be found in specialty areas such as oncology, organ transplant and even psychiatry. RxWiki–an on-line patient information service–now extends the pharmacy experience into the digital landscape, offering patients on demand access to medication information, pharmacy transactions, and medication adherence. RxNetwork is another emerging company with a unique methodology to link the pharmacy and patient–providing real-time support from compliance to education.  RxNetwork’s patient relationship management solution bridges the pharmacy-patient communication gap and provides an efficient, non-disruptive solution for the pharmacies with a convenient, rewarding, motivating solution to their connected patients.

Click here to read the rest of this article by John Nosta in Forbes Magazine

Posted in General Interest, Medical Innovation, practical health care | No Comments »

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston scientists successfully grow human lungs in lab in 3 days

February 14th, 2014 by admin

by 

Growing organs may seem like science fiction, but it’s the goal of medical researchers because so many people need organ transplants and many die waiting for one.

“The most exciting part is to shorten the time people have to wait for an organ transplant,” said UTMB Dr. Joaquin Cortiella.

How did they do it? They started with a damaged lung.

“We removed all the cells all the material in it, and just left the skeleton of the lung, or the scaffold, behind — the pieces of the lungs that are no cells. That’s why it’s so white and pretty and there’s no blood in it, it’s very pretty looking. And then we added back cells from another lung that couldn’t be used for transplant but still had some viable cells in it,” said Dr. Joan Nichols, who leads the UTMB team.

But it took months until a UTMB medical student named Dr. Michael Riddle built a piece of equipment that sped up the process.

“He’s the one who went home and actually built using — I’m not kidding — a fish tank that he went and bought from a pet store, is what he built the first piece of equipment,” Dr. Nichols said.

“Took us about four months to take the cells from the lung to where all you have is a bio-scaffold, and we took that process down to about three days,” Dr. Riddle said.

UTMB scientists grew their first human lungs in the lab last year. Eyewitness News is the first to report it.

“It’s taken us a year to prove to ourselves that we actually did a good job with it. You don’t run out immediately and tell the world you have something wonderful until you’ve proved it to ourselves that we really did something amazing,” Dr. Nichols said.

Dr. Nichols says they hope to transplant the first set of lab-grown lungs in animals this year or next.

How soon could their lab-grown lungs be ready to save human lives? They aren’t sure, but estimate between 5 and 10 years, maybe longer.

Click here for a link to the original articlle and a news video

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Find Christi on Facebook at ABC13-Christi Myers or on Twitter at@ChristiMyers13

(Copyright ©2014 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Posted in Medical Innovation, practical health care | 1 Comment »

Understanding the role of pharmacists

January 23rd, 2014 by admin

Pharmacist Amy Schiveley talks with a customer at Lakeview Pharmacy

If your recent flu vaccine was administered at a pharmacy, you have already sampled the expanded role that pharmacists play in our health care today.

A flu shot, though, is just one of many patient-care services pharmacies across the country offer beyond filling prescriptions. From blood pressure tracking to Medication Therapy Management counseling, today’s pharmacists can be a resource for a wide range of information and advice.

In a Medication Therapy Management session, pharmacists can sit down with a customer and go through all of their medications, find out what is working and what’s not, review the purpose of each medication, explain how they work and more, according to Amy Schiveley, managing pharmacist at Lakeview Pharmacy, 516 Monument Square.

Pharmacists already provide some consultation when a customer picks up a prescription, Schiveley said, but MTM sessions take a more in-depth look at the entire medicine profile — including over-the-counter products and supplements — and help the patient better understand what they are taking, why they are taking it and how to take it.

“We go through all of it with a fine-toothed comb,” Shiveley said.

Pharmacists can also help patients understand the risks versus benefits of each medication; explore ways to reduce costs; and work with physicians and insurance companies to figure out what medication options are best for each person, she said.

Click here to read the rest of this article

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Posted in Practical Medicine, practical health care | No Comments »

Dosage forms: introduction to pharmaceuticals

December 21st, 2013 by admin

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This article is a sufficient beginning to know everything about pharmaceuticals. If you are just starting to know about this amazing field, this is a good guide for you.

Drug is the substance used to cure, treat, restore the health state, or optimize a malfunction. Fundamentally, this substance is brought from plants or animals. Rarely, the drug is administered in its primary or crude form. In other words, the drug can be natural, synthetic, or semi-synthetic. The drug’s crude form passes by different processes to give rise to what is called dosage forms.

During manufacturing, the crude drug is called a pharmaceutical preparation. Dosage form is the crude drug in its final form after adding particular characteristics to it. The drug manufacture includes addition of additives; pharmaceutical ingredients.

The additives are mainly non-medicinal substances used for many purposes. They are added to enhance the drug form, quality, and efficacy.

They are used:

As solubilizing agents

For dissolving the drug in a solvent as in the formation of solutions

For dilution

To decrease or optimize concentration

As suspending agents

To suspend solid particles in a solution and form a suspension

As emulsifying agents

To dissolve water in oil or oil in water and produce an emulsion

As thickeners

To harden/thicken creams and ointments

As stabilizers

To maintain the stability of a pharmaceutical preparation

As preservatives

To protect the pharmaceutical preparations from contamination by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi

As coloring agents

To give the drug a perfect appearance and attractiveness.

As flavoring agents

To hide a bad taste like the bitter taste. Moreover, flavoring agents are used to add a reasonably good taste to the drug and increase its palatability.

Click here to read the entire article

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Posted in Dependable Information, practical health care | No Comments »

Congressman and Medical Doctor Phil Roe Presents An Outstanding Obamacare Alternative

November 13th, 2013 by admin

Family Research Council discussion of the Republican Study Committee’s alternative to the Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare.”

Dr. Phil Roe, the Congressman representing Tennessee’s First Congressional District, will present an overview and answer questions about the RSC’s patient-centered and free market alternative, the American Health Care Reform Act. More information about RSC’s bill can be found here. Because of the federal government’s expansive role in structuring health care’s cost and coverage, this important discussion is relevant to all Americans. Dr. Roe has a valuable perspective as a medical doctor who understands the challenges facing America’s health system today.

Congressman Phil Roe represents the First Congressional District of Tennessee. A native of Tennessee, Phil was born on July 21, 1945 in Clarksville. He earned a degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Austin Peay State University in 1967 and went on and to earn his Medical Degree from the University of Tennessee in 1970. Upon graduation, he served two years in the United States Army Medical Corps. Congressman Roe serves on two Committees, Education and the Workforce, and Veterans’ Affairs, that allow him to address and influence the many issues that are important to the First District students, teachers, veterans and workers.

Click here to watch this presentation on YouTube >>> Congressman Phil Roe: An Obamacare Alternative

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Posted in General Interest, Practical Medicine, practical health care | No Comments »

Children and sports: Choices for all ages

August 21st, 2013 by admin

by Mayo Clinic Staff

Children’s sports promote fitness, but not all children thrive in formal leagues. Help your child find the right sport and venue — school, recreation center or backyard.

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Want to give your child a head start on lifelong fitness? Consider children’s sports and other kid-friendly physical activities.

With your encouragement and support, chances are a few sports will spark your child’s interest. Fan the flame by taking your child to local sporting events and sharing your own sports interests with your child.

Consider age-appropriate activities

Your child is likely to show natural preferences for certain sports or activities. Start there, being careful to keep your child’s age, maturity and abilities in mind.

Ages 2 to 5


Toddlers and preschoolers are beginning to master many basic movements, but they’re too young for most organized sports. Keep in mind that toddlers who participate in organized sports also typically don’t gain any long-term advantage in terms of future sports performance.

At this age, unstructured free play is usually best. Try:

  • Running
  • Tumbling
  • Throwing
  • Catching
  • Swimming
Ages 6 to 9
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Click here to read the rest of this article from the Mayo Clinic

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Posted in Dependable Information, practical health care | No Comments »

A photo essay: Is it Melanoma?

July 16th, 2013 by admin

A 47-year-old woman with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer presented for a total body skin check. During the examination, a 5 × 3-mm pigmented macule was noted on the anteromedial aspect of the right foreleg. Most important, the asymptomatic lesion had a small spot of eccentric darker pigmentation. The patient was unaware of the questionable growth. This type of eccentric pigmentation strongly suggests malignant melanoma. Since the lesion was so small, it was excised with 5-mm margins. Histology demonstrated malignant melanoma in situ.

Click on the picture above to see a ConsultantLive slide show with a total of 6 photos of potential melanomas.

Posted in General Interest, Practical Medicine, practical health care | No Comments »

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