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Archive for the ‘Health Insurance Tips’ Category.


by Logan

What is the Children’s Health Insurance Program? Also called CHIP.

CHIP is called the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  It is a program that is given or administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

It is a state and sort of a federally funded program. In essence, the program is matched fund to fund by the federal government  to provide insurance for families of children.

There is little worse than not having insurance when you have children of your own. Stress and anxiety eat at you daily as you try to find a job that has insurance or another way to get it. CHIP is a good source of insurance for children.

It was initially designed to cover children who were uninsured where the parents’ incomes were modest but too high to qualify for Medicaid.  In other words, Medicaid covered insurance for very low income families. But studies were showing that there were a large number of children, whose families made some money, and therefore didn’t qualify for Medicaid, but who still weren’t insured.

History of the CHIP Program

CHIP was started in 1997 and was an expansion of taxpayer-funded insurance. It was the largest of sorts since Medicaid began in the 1960’s.

It was originally seen as a ten year program.  Therefore a reauthorization was required in 2007.

It began under the Social Security Act.  It was supported by Senator Edward Kennedy, Senator Orrin Hatch, and First Lady Hilary Clinton at the time.

It really became hatched after the 1993 Clinton Health Care Plan had failed. This smaller version, and more specific was envisioned. They also wanted something that would gain support from both parties.  It was funded on the thought of increasing tobacco taxes by 75 cents.

 

Partnership of the State and Federal Governments

This program is a partnership and it was passed with the belief that success depended on both parties working well together.   The state would have certain responsibilities, guidelines, and choices.

The first choice for a state was how to use the CHIP program. 3 different possibilities were seen.

1.)     The state could use the CHIP program separate from the Medicaid Program.

2.)     The state could use the CHIP program and the funds, to expand the Medicaid Program.

3.)     The states could make a combination program.

The states would then receive federal funds in addition to the funds for Medicaid match.

In early 1999, less than 2 years after it was passed, 47 states had signed up for the CHIP program.  But, the problem soon became clear. It was difficult to get children enrolled.

Administration of George W. Bush and Barack Obama

There were two attempts under this presidency to expand the funding for the CHIP program. In both times, President Bush vetoed the bills.

The belief was a large concern by President Bush that the government was moving towards federalization of the health care in general.

His belief was also that the government was heading away from providing insurance for poor children and moving toward providing insurance for the middle class families.

In February of 2009, President Obama signed into place a bill expanding the CHIP program to 4 million additional children.  It also included pregnant women and also legal immigrants.

 

The Debate

The cost of the CHIP program over the first 10 years was calculated and came to over 40 billion dollars.  The largest debate is the increasing role of the federal government in health care.

Studies in 2007 showed that children who were once on CHIP and then dropped out, would seek emergency care facilities rather than primary care physicians. In the end, this increased the overall cost for the government.

Another study showed that for every 100 children added to CHIP, there was a loss of between 25 and 50 children from private coverage. This means that some families used the CHIP program not out of necessity and chose it to save themselves some money.  On the flip side, that means that 25 to 50 children who needed the program were unable to use it.

 

Reauthorization

The bill was originally scheduled for 10 years. That means in 2007 it was up for renewal. It passed both houses of the congress and a expansion was approved.

The expansion was considering an annual income cut off of $82,600.  This was vetoed by President Bush.

Three weeks later, another bill was passed with an annual income cut off of $62,000 which was also vetoed by President Bush.

Congress ultimately extended CHIP funding through March of 2009 after the other two bills were vetoed.

It was finally Reauthorized in 2009 by President Obama and the expansion was set into place. A cigarette tax of 62 cents was added.

The CHIP program has great expectations for those children who are uninsured. The goal should be with them alone. Additional programs are being considered to help with overall insurance problems.  The CHIP program is just one battle that is being done for the uninsured.


by Logan

Health Tip – What is Inflammation?

Last week I was playing a pick-up game of basketball. It had been my first game back since injuring my back a few weeks ago. It wasn’t the best game of my life. I was missing my shots and I seemed to run out of breath quickly.  In the last game, things started to click. The baskets were coming better. This was short lived as I was going up for a rebound and came down on the foot of another player.  I felt the pain immediately in my ankle. I was on the floor for several minutes.

While lying on the ground, another player tried to remove my shoe. I told him not to remove it or the inflammation would get worse.

This guy looked up at me and had no clue on what inflammation was.  That was when I got the idea to write a post on what exactly inflammation is.

What is Inflammation?

This is a complex reaction of the skin and surrounding tissues that occurs in response to injury, damage, disease, irritants, and other external sources.

Remember, an injury isn’t the only source that causes inflammation. But neither is infection.

Without inflammation the body would never heal.  This is the down and dirty of inflammation. As bad as it looks and as painful as it can get, healing wouldn’t happen.

The body, in a sense, walls of an area of damage or infection. As a result, a larger number of plasma and certain blood cells called leukocytes, head to the area affected. As more plasma, blood cells, and swelling occurs, inflammation occurs.

Inflammation is part of the immune system response.

Symptoms or Signs of Inflammation

1.)     Redness  –  (Rubor)
2.)     Heat     –     (Calor)
3.)     Swelling  –   (Tumor)
4.)     Pain      –      (Dolor)
5.)     Loss of function   –   (Functio laesa)

 

Redness and heat are primarily due to the increased blood flow to that area.  But redness and heat can also be from an infection, when applicable.

Swelling is from the increased plasma to the area.

Pain is from several causes.  One is the increased fluid to an area. Chemicals released during the inflammation process can also cause pain.  Pain let’s you know that something is going on. It prevents further damage to an area.

Loss of function is from many different causes.  This could be a secondary response to some of the other signs, in addition to further problems with inflammation.

Areas of body where inflammation occurs

Inflammation happens on a daily basis in each and every one of our bodies.  Acne, pulled muscle, lungs, allergies, and much more can happen.

When talking about Allergies – this is a sensitivity to a certain molecule such as food or hay fever. The response to the foreign molecule, causes several reactions, including nasal congestion, itchy eyes and especially anaphylaxis shock.

Arthritis –  this is when inflammation occurs in a joint. It could be from damage or a chemical response. Causes of arthritis like age and injury causes an increased fluid and reaction in the joint affected.  There are many overall types of arthritis. The most typical is just called arthritis.

Some Bowel Problems –  Inflammation can occur in the bowel and can be very painful. In some cases, the causes of the inflammation are unknown. But what is seen is the pain, swelling and  redness.  Often further evaluation is needed.

Lung issues – Asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and more are affected in one way or another by inflammation. The causes and severity are different in each of these cases. If the causes are different, treatment is also quite different.

And hundreds of more areas

Treatment of Inflammation

In many cases, treatment is helpful with inflammation. Often it is to help the causative problem with inflammation.  If it is an infection, treatment of the infection is needed.

Other great treatment options are:

1.)     Time
2.)     ICE
3.)     Anti-inflammatory medications
4.)     Elevation
5.)     Compression

Many of these treatment or management options are helpful but time is also an important option. If there is inflammation, then something is causing it. It takes time for inflammation to occur and it takes time to resolve.   This is often overlooked.

My ankle is now improving drastically. I put my foot in an ice bath and saw a huge improvement. But time, medication, and elevation all helped the body to repair itself.  In essence, that’s what I needed. Next week, I hope to get back to another good game of basketball.

 


by Logan

Want to get Healthy, Eat Fish

We’ve all heard this before.  Hopefully this isn’t something knew. And if it is, thanks for tuning into this important fact. Fish and other nutrients are essential for our health.

If you have heard this before, do you know what it is that makes fish so healthy?   It’s certain that fish isn’t the only healthy food out there. The real reason we are looking at fish and other foods in regards to health is – Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fish isn’t the only sources of this essential fatty acid and later we will look into several other sources. But first, let’s get a closer look at this fatty acid.

What is Omega-3 fatty acid?

This name comes from the chemical breakdown of this fatty acid.  Technically this fatty acid is found in plant oils and some marine animals.   It can be described as a polyunsaturated fatty acid.  This means many things.  An unsaturated fat is where there are one or more than one double bonds within the chain of fat.

Monounsaturated means only one double bond.

Polyunsaturated means more than one double bond.

The chemical aspect of this acid tells us that there are two ends to this fatty acid.  On one side you have the acid or a COOH ending.  On the other end is the methyl or CH3 ending.

The end that has the methyl group is also called the Omega end of the chain.  Hence the word Omega.  The double bond is as C=C bonding on a carbon chain. Therefore, the double bond is seen at the 3rd carbon.  Hence – Omega-3 fatty acid.

It is an Essential Fatty Acid

Here are two groups of words that are put together to mean something.  Essential and fatty acid.  Omega-3 are not the only fatty acids.  They can be essential or nonessential.

Essential tells us that the human body, on its own, can not produce Omega-3 fatty acids.  The body can produce many fatty acids.  But when it can’t produce something and that molecule is then required from your food sources, it is called Essential.   Other examples would be Essential amino acids and more.

Sources of Omega-3 fatty acids

Fish is a great source, because it is found in fish oils.

Other sources include:

1.)    Algal oil
2.)    Squid oil
3.)    Echium oil
4.)    Flaxseed oil
5.)    Eggs
6.)    Meats
7.)    Seal oils
8.)    Krill
9.)    And others

Potential Health Benefits

This is where things get interesting. Before this, this blog post was more to describe and to define Omega-3 fatty acids.  Now we get to the good part… the health benefits.

Cardiovascular benefits – this is the largest and most important of the benefits.    Stimulation of blood circulation is the basic reasoning.  This indicates that it may reduce clot formation within arteries and cholesterol.  In essence, a potential heart attack could be reduce by eating or consuming omega-3 fatty acids.

Also, Triglyceride levels have been shown to be reduced by consumption of Omega-3.

Other benefits may include helping cardiac arrhythmia, rheumatoid arthritis, varicose veins, stroke, cancer, and others.

There are others who will argue that Omega-3 supplements will also show some benefit in Depression. To my knowledge a large study supporting this has not been done. But, some articles have been written indicating a possible benefit and also include a study that incorporated a single depression medication Sertraline and Fish Oils have shown improvement with Depression.

There also has been increasing discussion about Fish oil improving overall health immune system.

As a supplement, Fish oils often contain an adequate dosing of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are not only seen in fish. But fish is a great source. As discussed, several other sources are available as well.  Eggs have a small amount as does Meat.  Flax seed oil is a great option. Keep this in mind if you don’t like fish.

There are many heath benefits from Omega-3 fatty oils. Don’t forget to keep it in mind the next time you are shopping. It might just prevent a heart attack in the future.


by Logan

Want a Healthy Morning, Choose Orange Juice

If it is early in the morning and you are searching through your fridge, what is the most likely drink that you will pull out. Many drink chocolate milk, a soda, milk.  But the most common fruit juice that will be consumed in the morning is Orange Juice.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. The chance are that within the last week, you’ve had a few servings of orange juice. I know that I have.   On average, a consumer, drink 3 times more orange juice than the next closest juice – apple juice.

But, you might be asking yourself, besides the great taste, is their any health value to orange juice.

Compared to soda this is an easy yes. But you’d be surprised on how much of a health benefit there really is.  Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits that can be seen.

Improved Blood Pressure

A study that was published last year, indicated that a daily glass of orange juice could have improved effects in diastolic blood pressure.   The exact method is very scientific. In essences it illustrates that orange juices has many vitamins and minerals. One such, affects the small blood vessels and could improve the blood pressure.

Orange juice has also been linked to decreasing the risk of a patient in having a cardiovascular event.

Decrease of Bad Cholesterol

Bad cholesterol can be overproduced by the body or consumed through our eating habits. Orange juice is believed to help combat high cholesterol.

By doing so, the bad cholesterol can not subsequently attach to our arteries. In essence, we are helping to protect our heart from excess cholesterol.

Prevention of Neural Tube Defects

This condition is a serious condition where problems in the spinal cord and brain are seen in a new born. Folate or Folic Acid is the vitamin that when missing, causes Neural Tube Defect also refereed to as  a congenital defect because it happens before birth.  A daily dose of orange juice can provide a portion of the necessary daily dose of Folate.

Great Source of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important a vitamin to prevent and protect against sickness, aging tissue, early aging, and tissue damage, among others.  Vitamin C can not be produced in the body. Therefore, it must be added to the body through external means. Consumption of Orange juice is a great source of this essential vitamin.

Protection against excess Inflammation

Additional studies have looked at the results of inflammatory responses within the body. This doesn’t look at or mean from injury, like a twisted ankle. But inflammatory responses means injury and in certain cases, inflammation can cause ill effects in the body.

Orange juice can prevent or control a measure of the inflammation. This again points to some of the minerals and vitamins inside orange juice.

Protection against Kidney Stones

It has been looked at as a prevention method, though not completely, against reforming certain kidney stones. This appears to be a preventative measure and it can not help current kidney stones. Those who drink orange juice, more than any other citrus juices are at less of a risk for kidney stones.

Remember to Drink in Moderation

More isn’t always better, especially when it come to orange juice.  Drinking 5 cups of orange juice or more, won’t necessarily mean better health. Moderation is the key. 1-2 cups of orange juice a day is quite satisfactory for maximal health benefit.

In addition, excess drinking can lead to diarrhea, weight gain, and other problems.

Teeth or dental issues can result. Acidity in the orange juice can cause cavities and teeth decay.

With or Without Pulp

This is an interesting question that relates more to a heartburn issues. There are many people who can not drink pulp due to burning in stomach. IT is also being debated whether pulp is better for your health. So far, nothing indicates one is better than the other, outside of prevention of heartburn.

Overall, remember Orange Juice appears to be a healthy choice.


by Logan

Is it a belly button, a naval, or something else entirely?

I bet that when you were a kid, you played with your belly button and you had no idea what it was. Of course, you may be thinking that it only serves as a reservoir for lint and hiding place for  other objects, or maybe when it is shown, it signifies a rebellion.  But ask yourself if you really know what a belly button is for?

Half of all the people asked, are clueless about the real meaning behind the belly button. Even, some of those asked had children of their own. Often it was just another annoying body part.  Some viewed it as a sense of liberation.

A belly button is a naval or in medical terms is called an umbilicus.  Plain and simple it is a scar on the abdomen where the umbilical cord attached.

It can be found in most mammals, but in humans, it seems that it is more pronounced, it has more character. In most mammals it is a small thin line that can be seen, but  it is usually covered by hair or fur.

In humans, and as you should know, it is just above the waist line.  This area of the skin receives message input from the T10 dermatome.   The level of the spine that physically correlates with the naval is somewhere around L3, L4, or L5 vertebrae.

By using the umbilicus, you can separate the abdomen into quadrants.

 

Innies and Outies

The position of the naval scar can be inside or a depression and either are referred to as an Innie.   90% of all humans have Innies.  This is where the extra skin from the umbilical cord is cut, just after birth.

Therefore an Outie is when there is a significant amount of extra skin left over after cutting the umbilical. Over time, as the scar sets, a lack of depression in the skin causes the Outie.

Often some of those ask believed that am Innie or Outie is defined by genetics. This is not the case. It is usually just your body’s way of reacting, forming a scar, to the extra skin from the umbilical cord.

 

Missing a Navel entirely

In some cases, previous surgery has eliminated the scar tissue that once served as your umbilical.   Umbilical hernia’s, skin grafts, stomach surgeries and more, may be the surgical reason that a lack of naval is seen.

But there are cases where a lotus birth may happen. The seal that is done around the umbilical cord is done to prevent infection. If no seal or clamp is done, the extra skin may fall off naturally. This may take more time, but a traditional naval may be missing.

 

Social Acceptance of the Naval

For many years, it was deemed inappropriate to show your naval in public or on television.  Within television there was a Hays Code that governed the production of most movies. It was held in placed in the early 1930’s and continued almost until 1970. During some shows in the 50’s, women were prohibited on showing off their naval. Even in the 60’s, this was prevented on some television shows.  It wasn’t until the 70’s that this practice was changed.

Now, it seems the naval is a very accepted with additional shirts, clothing, and bathing suits that easily show the naval and most of the abdomen.

Belly Dancing has increased tremendously in popularity.  Disney first showed a character’s belly button in The Little Mermaid in 1989.

 

Other Countries and the Naval

Indian women and several sculptures show women showing their navels.  Clothing such as a saris in India were well tolerated.

Japanese culture has felt the naval to be particularly special. They would show the naval on many hand crafted displays.  And symbolized the naval as where life begins.

Indonesian culture, at least in some circles, felt that showing a naval was too provocative. A statement was released to avoid showing too much skin.

Malaysia tires to cover the naval even if some parts of the abdomen are still shown.

 

Difference of opinion

As in many things in life, many people, cultures, and even age groups see parts of their own body differently. It is hard to say who is right in the end. But, at least from a medical point of view, the use of the naval is well known.


by Logan

It’s Spring, time to go for a run. You will feel healthier.

Exercise has been studied and the jury is not out on its importance to our health. Running is a great way to improve our overall body’s health, emotional and physical.  Are you a runner?   What pushes you to Run?  If you aren’t a runner, what stops you from running?

How to run?

This is a basic question that is lost in the shuffle.  The key to this is to start slow.  Start by walking for a few weeks and work your way into a more consistent running process.

Don’t try to hit a home run with a toothpick. 

This simply means that you don’t try to do too much too quickly.  If you have run for a few months or a few years, don’t try to go run a marathon.  Two thing will happen.  One – you won’t finish.  And Two – you may never run again, not because you got injured. But because you will hate it.

Mix running with walking until you can run what your goal is.  If you choose to go 3 miles during your exercise.  You could start running, then walk, then return to running. This could go on and on until you finish.

Or, you could run a mile and then walk the next two.  The next time, try running a little further.

Some days are Better than Others

You will be amazed at how different your body feels some days rather than others. There will be times that you could run all day.  Then others, where you’ll struggle during the entire run.  Don’t give up, but don’t hurt yourself.  There is always tomorrow.

Cardiac and Health Benefits from running

As you run, your blood is being pumped. This will improve your cholesterol level and your hearts ability. As the heart beats, it gets stronger and more oxygen is given to your body.  You will loose weight and feel better by running.  Add in a good diet and good sleep, you may be feeling better than you have in a long time.

It has been shown that depression and anxiety decrease greatly when you are running constantly.  This is a lost treatment for depression and anxiety.

Running is About Time

Fortunately or Unfortunately, running is about time. You can’t skip it, change it or even dream it differently. If you want  to become more healthy and feel better, you have to put in the time. And time, is usually the thing that we don’t have.

This is where you need to become creative. Run during lunch or on the way home after work, before the kids get up for school or late at night. I’m sure there are better times to run than others, at least you will probably read about it being better to run in the morning than late at night. But really, who cares. Unless you are a professional runner, just go get it done.

Get the Good Stuff

Nothing worse than getting into shape and something gets injured. This may happen, be aware of it. But if it is happening because you don’t have good socks, a good treadmill, and especially good shoes. Than shame on you. Get good stuff.  This is important and will really shine and improve your workouts. In this case, you really get what you pay for.

Running is Boring

Sometimes this is true.  It is bad but good too. If there aren’t other times in your life that are equally as boring, you must be a rockstar. For me, driving home is extremely boring. So, I got a better radio station and went to the library and got some books to read.

Running is no different. Go to the gym and watch a TV show. Find some music to run to and especially create a play list of your favorite running music. You will be surprised that your normal car music, just doesn’t hold a candle to your running music.

In running, you may need to switch between outside running and gym running. You may need to change from sprints to long distances. You may even need to throw in a bike race or swimming.

The End

Running is exactly what you make of it. And that goes for your health too.


by Logan

A Colonoscopy isn’t on your Bucket list…..and why not??

It may be time for a Colonoscopy – It could save your life. If you are getting older or having certain symptoms, you may need to consider a camera form of evaluation.

A colonoscopy is an important procedure and one that every person should have done.  Usually it isn’t needed until the age of fifty. But this isn’t always the case.

A colonoscopy is a part of the endoscopic group of examination tools. This particular aspect is when a camera that is flexible passes through the anus into the small and large bowels.

The camera is an amazing technique because it is capable of many things. Initially it is done as a evaluation process. This could be a preventative measure to ensure that you don’t have something serious like cancer or something. But in some cases, biopsies and removal of tissue is necessary. The colonoscopy allows for this as well.

A Flex sigmoidoscopy is similar to a colonoscopy but it doesn’t go as far into the colon and it doesn’t allow a biopsy or tissue sample to be extracted.

The Prep

It is essential for a successful procedure to ensure that the preparation is as close to perfect as possible. The colon must be free of food, solid waste, or other items.  Typically the patient is required to fast before the procedure. This is done for an entire day.

In some cases, clear fluids are approved. Those would consist of lemonade,  apple juice, chicken or beef broth, sports drinks and water.   Keeping hydrated is helpful for the procedure.

Milk, dark soda, orange juice, grape juice, prune juice, and similar types of liquids should be avoided.  Coffee is discouraged as is tea, but in some cases can be allowed.

A laxative is given.  Usually this is mixed with water and consumed relatively quickly. In some cases a combination of pills and fluid is given. Often the procedure is the worst part of the entire process. You should plan on not being far from a toilet.

Medication to make you Sleepy

The day of the procedure, for a colonoscopy, you may be required to receive sedation. This will ensure that you don’t remember the procedure and you aren’t usually awake for the procedure. Pain isn’t always a concern, but excess movement and being uncomfortable is always an issues. Pain does occasionally occur.  Some patients choose to be awake for the entire procedure and most of them have done really well.

Risks with a Colonoscopy

There are relatively few risks. If a biopsy is performed, some bleeding may occur.  The worse problem is usually gas. Since oxygen is pushed into the bowel, to ensure the camera moves easily, gas can be present after the procedure is done.

There is a small risk or complication of tearing the bowel.  This almost never happens but it is a risk. This tear is also called a gastrointestinal perforation.  Surgery is usually the only form of treatment for this occurrence.  It happens in less than 0.2% of all procedures.

Why do you need a Colonoscopy?

The main reason the a colonoscopy is performed is to prevent colon cancer.  This cancer can be seen in both men and women. The typical age that a screening colonoscopy is performed is the age of fifty.  There can be symptoms of this cancer including: abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, fatigue, and others. Therefore if excess rectal bleeding occurs before the age of 50, then a colonoscopy might be suggested.

Other reasons of a colonscopy are:

1.)     Inflammatory bowel disease concerns  (Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)
2.)    Internal hemorrhoids – bleeding is still the concern here
3.)    Diverticulosis – pockets in the intestines where infection can occur.
4.)    Inflammatory bowel disease
5.)    Unresolved abdominal pain
6.)    History of excess polyps
7.)    Other

When most people think about a colonoscopy, it isn’t a highlight or even something that they’ve placed on their bucket list. But it is as important as many things in life. It may not sound fun or exciting, but you will regret if you don’t get one.  Don’t wait too long, March is the month to remember colon cancer and to be reminded of the importance of a colonoscopy.


by Logan

The only Super Thing I don’t want is a Super Bug!

Have you ever heard how bad it is if you got a super bug.  And no…this isn’t a hidden super power.  No you can’t call Batman and ask to borrow his.

A super bug can be a bad thing, especially if you are prone to infections, have other illness, are old or really young.  Oh by the way, you can find one of these super bugs at your local hospital, your clinic, or your own bathroom.

A super bug refers to a bacterium that is on steroids.  Or in other words, is resistant to certain antibiotics.  There are several bacteria that have become super bugs because they have found a resistance to antibiotics.

How do bacteria become resistant?

1.)    Genetic Mutations

–       Gene mutation is in the coding of the bacteria.
–       At a basic level, somehow the coding changes, allowing an antibiotic that was once effective, to suddenly become ineffective.

2.)    Over prescribing

–       Prescription for antibiotics is on the rise.
–       When a prescription is given for a viral infection, it doesn’t help. But the bacteria in the body can then become resistant.
–       When antibiotics saturate the community, they also become less effective. Over time, bacteria can adapt and soon become resistant.

3.)    Not finishing a course of antibiotics

–       A single day on a prescribed antibiotic can begin to kill the bacteria.
–       Five days, can mostly kill the bacteria, but usually not all the way.
–       Hundreds of bacteria still live, but you start to feel better or the redness goes away.
–       Stopping the antibiotic will allow the current bacteria to live and potentially a resistance could emerge.
–       Around 20% of people who get antibiotics, don’t finish them

 

Which bacteria are the most susceptible?

Remember that there are literally hundreds of bacteria types. Staph or strep and many many others. If a strep becomes resistant, it doesn’t mean that all strep are now resistant.  Only that group that initially emerged with the resistance would have a small change over the other Streps.

The problem is that group, is now much harder to kill.  And over time, the resistant bacteria could outnumber the non-resistant.

Examples:

1.)    MRSA – Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

–         This is a Staph infection
–         Resistant to several antibiotics
–         Often the bacteria affects the skin
–         Can cause serious infections like sepsis and flesh eating bacteria
–         Is considered a Super Bug

2.)    Clostridium difficile

–         Is a bacteria that is found in the intestines
–         It can cause serious digestive problems
–         One of the leading causes of bacterial induced diarrhea
–         Can be resistant to Fluoroquinolone antibiotics

3.)    E.coli

–         Is considered a fluroal bacteria
–         No harm occurs when it remains in the intestines
–         Problems occur when it reaches and contaminates water and food.
–         Serious health issues can arise.
–         Can be resistant to Fluoroquinolone antibiotics

4.)    Salmonella

–         Is found in raw foods like chicken, eggs, meats, and some vegetables
–         Problems occur when consumed from contaminated water or foods
–         Can cause serious health conditions

5.)    Sulfa resistant bacteria

–         Sulfa is a type of antibiotic that has wide spread uses
–         They are commonly used
–         They typically prevent a bacteria from properly gaining nutrients
–         For many years, sulfa antibiotics was the most prescribed medication
–         When overly prescribed, resistance became apparent

6.)    Streptoccus pyogenes

–         This is a Strept infection
–         Can affect the skin, tonsillitis, meninigitis, vaginitis, and others
–         Can be resistant to Macrolides
–         Can be treated with Penicillin

7.)    Pseudomonas aeruginosa

–         Bacteria that affects the lungs, kidneys, and urinary tract
–         Can be found on medical equipment, in hospitals and clinics.
–         Often, several antibiotics are needed for treatment

Options

Typically the medications mentioned are those that are taken orally.  IV antibiotics are often required in cases where resistant bacteria are found.  In moderate to severe cases, IV antibiotics may be prescribed of a week or so.  They may switch to oral medication after the infection has been controlled.

Oral medications, different that the ones that have resistance, can be used. A close monitoring of the infection should be the number one priority.

New medications are being looked at and tested that can help fight against resistance. But remember, whenever there is a bacteria and antibiotics, there will be some resistance.

Take home thoughts

When seeing a licensed medical provider, consider that demanding an antibiotic may not always be the right choice. I know, that we want treatment and we want a cure, but sometimes our sickness may be from a virus and not a bacteria.

If we are prescribed an antibiotic, we need to take the entire amount. Take all the pills. Don’t keep some in your medicine cabinet and don’t throw them away.  Take them as prescribed.  If we do these two things, we may just help slow this fight against drug resistant bacteria.


by Logan

Part One – Do you or someone you know suffer from ADHD?

There are mental health issues and then there is ADHD.  This condition is named Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder because of a combination of issues that attempt to compete at the same time. The two main issues is Hyperactivity and Attention Problems.  There are times when each and every one of us suffers from this, but when it is constant, further evaluation may be necessary.

This is part One of ADHD. We will look into the 3 types of ADHD, the symptoms associated and even take a peek into ADD – or when ADHD is seen in Adults.

Part Two will look into causes of ADHD, the diagnosis, and the management of ADHD.  Tune in for Part Two.

ADHD is often studied in school age children. This is when it is first seen or when parents complain about the symptoms.  ADHD, in fifty percent of the cases, continues to be an issue into adulthood.  Boys are affected more than twice the occurrence than girls. There are still many who think that the reason for this is screening error. It may be easier to see that ADHD symptoms in boys than girls and many people suggest that girls may be under diagnosed.

Types of ADHD

There are 3 main classification or subtypes. ADHD is seen as a developmental disorder where difficulty in some areas are seen.

Such areas may be impulse control, hyper activity, disruptive behavior, conduct behavior, antisocial behavior, and more.

Most of the symptoms can be divided into two categories. Depending on where the symptoms are found, this tells us what classification a child falls under.

Symptoms can be divided into Hyperactive-Impulsive or Inattentive

Let’s look at the 3 classifications

1.)     Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive

–          Most of the symptoms would fall under the Hyperactive-Impulsive
–          Very few symptoms in Impulsive

2.)     Predominantly Inattentive

–          Most of the symptoms would fall under the Impulsive
–          Very few symptoms in Hyperactive-Impulsive
–          This classification finds children who are less likely to act out.
–          They may be sitting quietly, but not paying attention
–          These children are often overlooked.

3.)    Hyperactive-Impulsive and Inattentive

–           Has many symptoms in both areas
–          Most children with this diagnosis are found in this classification.

 

Symptoms are the most difficult part of this diagnosis. As you will read, many children, if not all children will have a symptom or two or three, depending on the day, the time, or that activity. One or two symptoms should be viewed as nothing more than a normal childhood. It’s when many symptoms are present on a daily basis.

Symptoms of Inattentive

–          Easily distracted
–          Misses details
–          Forget things
–          Quickly switch activities
–          Becomes easily bored
–          Difficulty focusing attention
–          Difficulty Organizing a task
–          Difficulty finishing a task
–          Often loses things
–          Doesn’t listen when spoken too
–          Daydreams
–          Easily becomes confused
–          Struggles to follow instructions

 

Symptoms for Hyperactive-Impulsive

–          Squirms in seats
–          Fidgets constantly
–          Talks nonstop
–          Runs around
–          Plays with everything possible
–          Difficulty sitting during meals, school and/or other times
–          Constantly in motion
–          Difficulty doing things/activities that require quietness or soft voices
–          Very impatient
–          Difficulty waiting for their turn
–          Say out loud inappropriate comments
–         Act without an understanding of consequences
–          Act without an understanding of consequences

Adults

ADHD when moves into adults turns into ADD or Adult Attention-Deficit Disorder.  Adults typically exhibit symptoms when they were children. Symptoms may have improved slightly or changed as they became older. Some symptoms may remain the same, it just depends on the case and person.

Often, in Adults, ADHD is not treated or not well treated. The problem here is that a large number of adults who have attention-deficit disorder, turn to alcohol or drugs to control their minds, activities, and symptoms.

In addition to ADD, adults with this condition may also have worsening depression, learning problems, and the drug or alcohol abuse. These can compound the problems, cause legal problems, alienate from family and friends.

Not everyone believes ADHD continues into adulthood. They may be miss diagnosed or brushed off as someone who needs better self control.

 

Remember to look at Part Two as we will discuss management and treatment of ADHD.


by Logan

Is Tuberculosis a Healthcare Nightmare?

Tuberculosis or TB is something that you hear about a lot, maybe in school or at your work. You may have questions and get a yearly TB test. But really, how many people do you know that has experienced this condition?  What is it really?  Is TB a health care nightmare?  The answer is yes!!

TB is a lung infection that is caused by a strain of mycobacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.   The mycobacteria part means a fungus like bacteria. In other words, it is a cross between a bacteria and a fungus organism. It is rather unique.

It affects the lungs and symptoms may be minimal to severe depending on an active or latent phase.  Most bacteria infections are self limiting. They come and go depending on the history, severity, and treatment. But TB is different.  It can lay dominant in your lungs for months or years and this is referred to as Latent Infection.  In this case, you’ve already been affected, but it isn’t actually hurting you.  Active Infection and you are experiencing serious symptoms.

TB is transmitted via cough, sputum, or saliva. Getting sneezed on by someone else can also cause this infection to be passed.  About 10% of patients get an active disease, where the symptoms are serious and the risk of death, without treatment, is equally as serious.

The main symptoms with someone with active disease is as follows:

–          Chronic and Severe Cough
–          Night Sweats
–          Fever
–          Weight loss
–          Pink or blood-tinged sputum
–          Others

Diagnosis of Tuberculosis

A tuberculin skin test also called a Mantoux test checks the skin for a reaction to the antibodies. The problem is that those having received a vaccine to TB also will show positive. There are false positives, which means that your arm will show a positive mark, yet, you don’t have the disease. The worse scenario would be to have a  negative  skin test and still be positive with TB.

X-ray testing is essential with TB.  It isn’t always definitative, but in most cases, it can say that you don’t have it.

Culturing the bacteria is definitive for a positive test. This is a more difficult part of the testing. Sputum testing must be done and the sputum then tested. The mycobacterium is slow growing in laboratories.

Additional diagnosis products are being tested to get an accurate and faster finding.

Who gets Tuberculosis?

TB is much less common in the United States, France and Australia.  It is a more common condition in places like Africa, Latin America, China, Russia, and other third world countries of the world.  On average, over 1/3 of the world’s population has been infected with TB.  Many of these have no symptoms and nothing to worry about.

In 2010 – it was estimated that almost 9 million new cases were seen worldwide. But more alarming is that almost 1.5 million deaths were attributed to TB.  Most of these cases were found in developing countries.

China though is working hard to improve their TB rates and treatment.

Vaccination for TB

There is currently one vaccine to protect and prevent TB. Immunity does not last forever and decreases dramatically after 10 years.   This vaccine is not given regularly in countries like England, Canada, and the United States, except in high risk areas or because of other diseases.

Treatment

Treatment is essential in active cases. ½ of all cases that aren’t treated have a risk of death. Antibiotics are used to kill the bacteria, but the length of time is different than typical infections.

Treatment is different for active infection and latent infection. The duration and type of antibiotic may be different.  Latent requires a single antibiotic while active requires a combination therapy.

Treatment is anywhere from 4 months to 9 months depending on treatment onptions and symptoms.  Initial treatment is usually for six months. But if you are having a recurrent disease, treatment may be required for over 2 years.

Resistance to treatment is on the rise. This means that the normal antibiotic used, no longer works in some patients. This occurs when a patient takes the prescribed course of antibiotics for a shorter duration than prescribed. They start feeling better and believe that they can stop treatment. This is often a bad idea.

 History and Overview

Tuberculosis is a condition that has been around for hundreds and thousands of years. TB has been found in dried tissues from Egyptian mummies. Hippocrates talked about it and folklore stores associated TB wth vampires hundreds of years ago.

The disease is difficult but treatable. It can be found closer to you than you think. Outpockets of outbreaks pop up throughout the Untied States.  Prisons, schools, and even small towns can be affected and the outbreak can spread quickly. Just because that the risk may be lower in the areas where you live, doesn’t mean that you should ignore the symptoms in a situation where blood tinged sputum, chronic cough and fever. Tuberculosis should be researched in these cases.