Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

What is Impetigo or Infantigo?

impetigo

 

What Is Infantigo (Impetigo)? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments for Infantigo

You may ask “What is infantigo?” but there is a good chance that you may have experienced infantigo symptoms at some point in your life. Infantigo, also called impetigo, is a common bacterial skin infection in children, although it can affect adults too.

 

An infantigo rash typically consists of clusters of sores. While it typically does not cause serious problems, infantigo sores are certainly “eye-sores”. Left untreated, however, the sores can end up causing permanent damage and more serious complications.

 

What Is Infantigo?

Infantigo is a bacterial skin infection. It can be caused by two different types of bacteria: strep (streptococcus) or staph (staphylococcus). Typically, these bacteria infect skin that is broken or damaged by cuts, scratches, bites, eczema, or other skin conditions. However, infantigo can also occur in healthy skin.

 

The condition is highly contagious and easily spreadable through either physical contact or contaminated items (such as shared towels, bed sheets, and clothing). This is one reason why infantigo commonly affects children, as it is easily picked up at daycares and in school. However, adults may also find themselves with the infection if they come in contact with someone else with infantigo.

 

Types of Infantigo

While infantigo can be caused by two different types of bacteria, there are actually two different types of the infection. Infantigo symptoms differ between the two different types:

 

Non-bullous impetigo: The first type of infantigo infection is called non-bullous impetigo. This form of impetigo is more common, making up most cases. In this form of the infection, impetigo symptoms include crusty, rapidly-bursting sores.

Bullous impetigo: The second type of infantigo is called bullous impetigo. With this type, which is rarer, large, fluid-filled blisters occur. Bullous impetigo is usually painless.

Signs and Symptoms of Infantigo (Impetigo)

There are many infantigo symptoms that typically occur with the infection. While infantigo can affect any part of your body, it is common to have infantigo on your face, particularly around the nose or mouth.

 

For both types of infection, there are some common symptoms:

 

Infantigo rash

Sores

Blisters

Swollen glands

Itchy or irritated skin

For the more common non-bullous infantigo, it is common for the infection to start with small red sores that almost look like insect bites. These sores quickly burst and ooze a yellow fluid. The sores will then crust over, before they eventually go away. Although infantigo is typically painless, these sores can be itchy and are sometimes accompanied by a fever.

 

For the rarer bullous infantigo, large pus-filled blisters form, often on your arms, legs, or backside. These blisters will also usually burst and form a yellow crust, before healing. They can also be accompanied by itchiness or a fever.

 

Causes of Infantigo

Infantigo is caused by bacteria infecting the skin. While that is the one and only cause, there are a number of different factors that can increase your chances of developing the infection.

 

Here are some of the common “causes” of infantigo:

 

Cuts, scratches, and broken skin

Rashes (e.g. poison ivy rashes), eczema, and other conditions that irritate the skin

Allergies or anything that causes skin inflammation

Physical contact with someone who has infantigo

Sharing contaminated bedding, clothing, towels, toys, and other items

Insect bites

Infantigo can also occur in seemingly healthy skin with no noticeable cause. It is possible to have picked up the bacteria from many unsuspected sources.

 

How to Treat and Prevent Infantigo

Luckily, there are infantigo treatments that can help you put a quick end to any breakout that occurs.

 

The most important thing is to see a doctor if you have the signs or symptoms of infantigo. If left untreated, infantigo can cause permanent scarring and skin pigmentation. It can also lead to kidney damage in rare instances, so it is better to see your doctor to avoid any risk.

 

Typically, doctors will prescribe a topical antibiotic cream to apply over the infantigo rash or blisters. For more aggressive cases, a doctor may prescribe antibiotic pills.

 

However, there are also natural and at-home treatments that you can use to treat infantigo:

 

  1. Hygiene

Is infantigo contagious? Yes, but there are things we can do to stop it from spreading. Infantigo can affect anyone, but when it has occurred, proper hygiene will help stop the infection from spreading. Gently wash affected areas with warm water and a mild soap. Wash your hands frequently, as well as bed linens, towels, and other material that may spread the bacteria. Avoid touching or scratching your face.

 

  1. Diet

Bacteria infections involve skin inflammation, which is why eating anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial foods can help put a stop to infantigo. Garlic is a potent anti-bacterial—either. Adding some extra garlic to your food or taking a garlic supplement can help treat infantigo. As well, anti-inflammatory foods, such as turmeric, will help stop sores from getting worse.

 

  1. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an anti-bacterial and one of the most effective treatments for bacterial infections of all kinds. You can either buy skincare products that use tea tree oil at your local health food store or apply it on your own, by diluting a small amount of tea tree oil into moisturizing carrier oil. Mixing in a few drops of tea tree oil with argan oil and applying it on infantigo can help stop infections. Remember to research the proper amount of tea tree oil you should be using, as using too much can be dangerous.

 

Infantigo is very common with children, but it is possible to get the skin infection as an adult. Luckily, there are many infantigo treatments that can be used to prevent the skin condition from getting worse or infecting your friends and family. Hygiene, diet, and natural treatments can all be used to clear up a dreaded infantigo rash and keep it from coming back.

 

Please share with family and loved ones.  As always, call us with your questions and concerns.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Foods, Uncategorized

Yellow Rice

yellowrice

Yellow Rice

 

Ingredients

3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch cinnamon

3 cups water

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups long grain or basmati rice

2 tablespoons sliced scallions

 

Directions

In a medium saucepan, heat the turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon over low heat until fragrant, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add the water, salt, and butter and bring to a boil. Add the rice and stir well. Cover and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cook, covered, without stirring until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, without stirring, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, add scallions, and serve.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Another Important Turmeric Article

tumeric0516

Turmeric has been used in India for over 5,000 years, which is likely why still today both rural and urban populations have some of the lowest prevalence rates of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in the world. A recent study on patients with AD found that less than a gram of turmeric daily, taken for three months, resulted in ‘remarkable improvements.’  Yes, we have written about this a lot, and it is important enough to write about it again.

Alzheimer’s Disease: A Disturbingly Common Modern Rite of Passage

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), sadly, has become a rite of passage in so-called developed countries.  AD is considered the most common form of dementia, which is defined as a serious loss of cognitive function in previously unimpaired persons, beyond what is expected from normal aging.

A 2006 study estimated that 26 million people throughout the world suffer from this condition, and that by 2050, the prevalence will quadruple, by which time 1 in 85 persons worldwide will be afflicted with the disease.[1]

Given the global extent of the problem, interest in safe and effective preventive and therapeutic interventions within the conventional medical and alternative professions alike are growing.

Unfortunately, conventional drug-based approaches amount to declaring chemical war upon the problem, a mistake which we have documented elsewhere, and which can result in serious neurological harm, as evidenced by the fact that this drug class carries an alarmingly high risk for seizures, according to World Health Organization post-marketing surveillance statistics.[i][2]

What the general public is therefore growing most responsive to is using time-tested, safe, natural and otherwise more effective therapies that rely on foods, spices and familiar culinary ingredients.

Recovery in Alzheimer’s Patients

Remarkable Recoveries Reported after Administration of Turmeric

Late last year, a remarkable study was published in the journal Ayu titiled “Effects of turmeric on Alzheimer’s disease with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.” [ii]  Researchers described three patients with Alzheimer’s disease whose behavioral symptoms were “improved remarkably” as a result of consuming 764 milligram of turmeric (curcumin100 mg/day) for 12 weeks. According to the study:

“All three patients exhibited irritability, agitation, anxiety, and apathy, two patients suffer from urinary incontinence and wonderings. They were prescribed turmeric powder capsules and started recovering from these symptoms without any adverse reaction in the clinical symptom and laboratory data.”

After only 3 months of treatment, both the patients’ symptoms and the burden on their caregivers were significantly decreased.

The report describes the improvements thusly:

“In one case, the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score was up five points, from 12/30 to 17/30. In the other two cases, no significant change was seen in the MMSE; however, they came to recognize their family within 1 year treatment. All cases have been taking turmeric for more than 1 year, re-exacerbation of BPSD was not seen.”

This study illustrates just how powerful a simple natural intervention using a time-tested culinary herb can be.  Given that turmeric has been used medicinally and as a culinary ingredient for over 5,000 years in Indian culture, even attaining the status of a ‘Golden Goddess,’ we should not be surprised at this result. Indeed, epidemiological studies of Indian populations reveal that they have a remarkably lower prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease relative to Western nations, [3] and this is true for both rural and more “Westernized” urban areas of India.[4]

Could turmeric be a major reason for this?

Turmeric’s Anti-Alzheimer’s Properties.

The GreenMedInfo.com database now contains a broad range of published studies on the value of turmeric, and its primary polyphenol curcumin (which gives it its golden hue), for Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment.*

While there are 114 studies on our Turmeric research page indicating turmeric has a neuroprotective set of physiological actions, [5] 30 of these studies are directly connected to turmeric’s anti-Alzheimer’s disease properties.**

Two of these studies are particularly promising, as they reveal that curcumin is capable of enhancing the clearance of the pathological amyloid–beta plaque in Alzheimer’s disease patients,[6]and that in combination with vitamin D3 the neurorestorative process is further enhanced.[7]Additional preclinical research indicates curcumin (and its analogs) has inhibitory and protective effects against Alzheimer’s disease associated β-amyloid proteins.[8] [9] [10]

Other documented Anti-Alzheimer’s mechanisms include:

  • Anti-inflammatory: Curcumin has been found to play a protective role against β-amyloid protein associated inflammation.[11]
  • Anti-oxidative: Curcumin may reduce damage via antioxidant properties.[12]
  • Anti-cytotoxic: Curcumin appears to protect against the cell-damaging effects of β-amyloid proteins.[13][14]
  • Anti-amyloidogenic: Turmeric contains a variety of compounds (curcumin, tetrahydrocurcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin) which may strike to the root pathological cause of Alzheimer’s disease by preventing β-amyloid protein formation.[15][16][17][18]
  • Neurorestorative: Curcuminoids appear to rescue long-term potentiation (an indication of functional memory) impaired by amyloid peptide, and may reverse physiological damage by restoring distorted neurites and disrupting existing plaques.[19][20]
  • Metal-chelating properties: Curcumin has a higher binding affinity for iron and copper rather than zinc, which may contribute to its protective effect in Alzheimer’s disease, as iron-mediated damage may play a pathological role.[21][22]

Just The Tip of the Medicine Spice Cabinet

The modern kitchen pantry contains a broad range of anti-Alzheimer’s disease items, which plenty of science now confirms. Our Alzheimer’s research page contains research on 97 natural substances of interest. Top on the list, of course, is curcumin. Others include:

  • Coconut Oil: This remarkable substance contains approximately 66%medium chain triglyceridesby weight, and is capable of improving symptoms of cognitive declinein those suffering from dementia by increasing brain-boosing ketone bodies, and perhaps more remarkably, within only one dose, and within only two hours.[23]
  • Cocoa: A 2009 study found that cocoa procyanidins may protect against lipid peroxidation associated with neuronal cell death in a manner relevant to Alzheimer’s disease.[24]
  • Sage: A 2003 study found that sage extract has therapeutic value in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.[25]
  • Folic acid: While most of thepositive research on this B vitaminhas been performed on the semi-synthetic version, which may have unintended, adverse health effects,  the ideal source for this B vitamin is foliage, i.e. green leafy vegetables, as only foods providefolate. Also, the entire B group of vitamins, especially including the homocysteine-modulating B6 and B12,[26] may have the most value in Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment.
  • Resveratrol: this compound is mainly found in the Western diet in grapes, wine, peanuts and chocolate. There are 16 articles on our website indicating it has anti-Alzheimer’s properties.[27]

Other potent natural therapies include:

  • Gingko biloba: is one of the few herbs proven to be at least as effective as the pharmaceutical drugAriceptin treating and improving symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.[28] [29]
  • Melissa offinalis: this herb, also known as Lemon Balm, has been found to have therapeutic effect in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.[30]
  • Saffron: this herb compares favorably to the drug donepezil in the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.[31]

As always, the important thing to remember is that it is our diet and environmental exposures that largely determine our risk of accelerated brain aging and associated dementia. Prevention is an infinitely better strategy, especially considering many of the therapeutic items mentioned above can be used in foods as spices.  Try incorporating small, high-quality culinary doses of spices like turmeric into your dietary pattern, remembering that ‘adding it to taste,’ in a way that is truly enjoyable, may be the ultimate standard for determining what a ‘healthy dose’ is for you.

Please share with family and friends.  If you have any questions please feel free to call.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The Link Between Mosquito Spraying and Autism

spraying

The Link Between Mosquito Spraying and Autism

A new study has found a correlation between the aerial spraying of mosquito killing pesticides and an increased risk of developmental delays and autism among kids. The study was presented at the 2016 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting.

 

For the study, researchers looked at the rates of autism and developmental delays from eight zip codes in a region of New York which is exposed to yearly airplane pesticide spraying (meant to prevent mosquito-borne disease like eastern equine encephalitis virus). They then compared those rates in 16 different zip codes where the spraying doesn’t happen.

For kids living in zip codes where spraying happened each summer, there was about a 25% higher risk of an autism diagnosis or developmental problem, compared to kids who lived where no spraying was done. It seems that the way pesticides are applied might have something to do with the correlation; there are animal studies which show that pesticides can affect certain neurotransmitters in the brain, however, their exact effects on brain development are still being studied.

From the TIME article:

“The study only shows a correlation between the two and does not show that aerial pesticide spraying causes autism. It also does not provide information about whether a child could have been exposed during pregnancy or after birth. Aerial spraying is a common mosquito control tool, and states in the U.S. are ramping up efforts to control mosquito populations amid the ongoing Zika outbreak. The study authors state that the findings are not strong enough to change mosquito control practices.”

It doesn’t come as a surprise that doctors don’t feel like this data is sufficient enough to stop the spraying but there are actually plenty of reasons: damage to other species, environmental effects, and the simple fact that no long term studies have been done to show its safety for humans and animals.

So, while the spraying is going to continue, its best to stay indoors, cover your garden, and cover your kids outside play equipment. Stay safe.

Please share with family and loved ones.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Eat This Carb and You Won’t Gain Weight

rice

Eat This Carb and You Won’t Gain Weight

For years carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap: Americans run from them like they are the plague and dieticians warn their clients about them, like they’re telling ghost stories. However, new research suggests that certain kinds of carbs, “resistant starches”, could help control our weight.

 

When we eat refined carbs, like white bread and cookies, they quickly become simple sugars that our bodies absorb, and are then taken by the hormone insulin and transferred into our cells. The problem is when we eat a lot of them; instead of burning them, our body stores most of them, and we gain weight.

 

But that’s not the case with resistant starches (which are also powerful pre-biotics that resist digestion). These carbs bypass the small intestine (where most food is digested) and head to the large intestine (also known as the colon) to be metabolized. There, they’re fermented and turned into short-chain fatty acids, which the body burns as energy.

 

And this is good news for those with type-2 diabetes. A 2015 study showed that eating resistant starches improved inflammation and lipid profiles in women with the disease. But what kinds of foods have resistant starch? A number of tasty ones: legumes, beans, whole grains, some seeds, uncooked potatoes, and unripe bananas. There are also products made from these foods, like bean flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, and brown rice flour.

And there are leftovers in the fridge that contain resistant starch! When foods like white rice, pasta, or potatoes are cooked and then cooled, the food develops resistant starches; cooking the carbs alters the chemical bonds in the food and even when they are re-heated, the starches are still there.

 

“In a Nutrition Journal study published in October 2015, Arciero and his team cooked a series of four pancake breakfasts for 70 women. The four pancakes were made from ordinary starch, starch plus whey protein, resistant starch (a tapioca-based starch modified to become resistant—much like leftovers are), and resistant starch with whey protein.

Arciero and his team monitored the women after each meal for three hours and used a device to see how many calories they burned, and what type. To Arciero’s surprise, after women ate pancakes containing resistant starch plus protein, they experienced an increase in fat burning, compared to all of the other kinds of pancakes. “

 

While the researchers don’t yet know if resistant starch can help people lose weight this new evidence suggests that they may help us control our weight. But what might be even more profound for us would be to simply concentrate on eating good food- not bad food. If we spend more time preparing good, whole foods instead of worrying about what bad food we shouldn’t put in our mouths, we might find that much needed sweet spot.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article :EE

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Doctors Explain How Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains

hiking

Doctors Explain How Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains

If you’ve gone on a hike, the kind where you lace up your boots and are gone for the day, you know just how good and life giving that time outdoors can be; the fresh air, the peace of mind, how strenuous and strengthening it can be for the body. And finally it seems science is now also in agreement!

 

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that when we spend time in nature, we decrease obsessive, negative thoughts by a significant margin.

Researchers compared the reported obsessive, negative, and anxious thoughts of participants who hiked through either an urban or a natural environment; those who walked for 90 minutes in a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination and also had reduced neural activity in their subgenual prefrontal cortex (an area of the brain that’s related to mental illness) but participants who walked through the urban environment did not report decreased rumination.

What the researchers noted was that increased urbanization seemed to increase instances of depression and other mental illness. But taking time out to escape from urban settings, and spend more time in nature, greatly benefited our physical and psychological well-being.

And this wasn’t the only studies like this. Numerous ones have been done and have found:

  1. Conducted by psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer- creative problem solving is drastically improved by both disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature. “Participants in this study went backpacking through nature for about 4 days, during which time they were not allowed to use any technology whatsoever. They were asked to perform tasks which required creative thinking and complex problem solving, and researchers found that performance on problem solving tasks improved by 50% for those who took part in this tech-free hiking excursion,” reports the Collective Evolution article.
  2. Frances E Kup, PhD, and Andrea Faber Taylor, PhD, found that when exposed to outdoor activities, children with ADHD found their symptoms reduced. It seems nature can benefit anyone who has a difficult time paying attention or has impulsive behavior.
  3. Researchers from the University of British Columbia did a study and found that aerobic exercise increased hippocampal volume  (the part of the brain associated with spatial and episodic memory) in women over the age of 70. More from the Collective Evolution article, “Such exercise not only improves memory loss, but helps prevent it as well. Researchers also found that it can also reduce stress and anxiety, boost self esteem, and release endorphins.”

It seems that technology and urban noise demand much from us and offer little in return in terms of stress management. The constant noise from technology and the urban world add to mental fatigue and make it difficult to pay attention. But, simply stepping into nature and going for a walk can reduce those negative effects, soothe our minds, and boost our creative juices- plus we are getting healthy in the process!

So, if you needed that extra push to get outdoors, you now know its good for your body, well being, AND brain. Grab a pair of sturdy hiking shoes and some water (don’t forget a hat if you burn easily) and go for a hike!

Please share with family and loved ones.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived: EE

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