Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Hawaii Warns Tourists Of Parasitic Worm That Can Burrow Into Human Brains

Hawaii Warns Tourists Of Parasitic Worm That Can Burrow Into Human Brains

Parasitic Worm, Hawaii

If you have plans to go to Hawaii this summer, take note! The state’s health department has recently released warnings about a parasitic worm capable of infecting humans and affecting the brain and spinal cord. While you might be determined to prevent anything from ruining your island vacation, this squirmy bugger just might!

What’s Happening with the Parasitic Worm in Hawaii?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been three brand new cases of United States mainland adults infected with this brain worm while visiting Hawaii Island. These three cases were completely unrelated, become infected at different times, and all lived in different places. They bring the state’s case total to 5 infections in 2019 and 10 infections in 2018. These numbers don’t represent the 17 confirmed cases that occurred back in the year 2017 or the two recorded cases in the previous decade. According to officials, this new eruption in parasitic worm infections is due to a boom in the population of semi-slugs, a carrier of the worm.

What Is Hawaii’s Parasitic Worm?

Disgust is any reasonable person’s reaction to hearing about any kind of parasitic worm! But it might be worth your while to learn a bit about them. In all of the Hawaii cases, the particular parasite was the rat lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis). As their name suggests, this nasty creature usually makes its home inside the lungs of rats. Females lay eggs there and then young worms abandon their nest soon in order to discover their own home.

Nature takes its somewhat revolting course when the larvae get coughed up the rat’s airway, then swallowed and passed through their digestive system. Snails, slugs, and other feces-eating bugs soon become intermediate hosts until new rodents eat these infested mollusks. Prepubescent parasites make their temporary home in the rat’s brain until they’re mature enough to resettle and reproduce in the lungs.

According to the State of Hawaii Department of Health, “You can get angiostrongyliasis by eating food contaminated by the larval stage of A. cantonensis worms. In Hawaii, these larval worms can be found in raw or undercooked snails or slugs. Sometimes people can become infected by eating raw produce that contains a small infected snail or slug, or part of one.”

How to Prevent a Rat Lungworm Infection

Diagnosing a rat lungworm infection is difficult. Some cases are entirely symptomless and blood tests don’t identify the parasite. Typically patients infected with the worm are left to manage their own symptoms while they wait for the worm to die on its own. This usually happens before the worm is able to infest a human’s lungs.

If you plan to visit Hawaii any time soon, carefully inspect and thoroughly wash all produce purchased in store. Once you purchase it, keep your produce properly sealed in airtight containers. Avoid eating snails or slugs in Hawaii. Wash any food item that might have come into contact with snails or slugs, such as salad fixings that snails or slugs might have used as grazing foods.

Conclusion

It’s important to be careful with what you eat anytime you travel. Be sure you wash all fruits and vegetables, only eat meat that’s fully cooked, and do not drink the tap water. If you’re going to Hawaii this summer, just be extra careful with fruits and vegetables. Rat lungworm isn’t something to scoff at!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

More ‘Flesh-Eating’ Bacteria?

More ‘Flesh-Eating’ Bacteria?

News Picture: Another Climate Change Threat: More 'Flesh-Eating' Bacteria?

A flesh-eating bacteria has migrated into the Delaware Bay between Delaware and New Jersey, drawn north by the warmer waters of climate change, doctors say.

Five cases of infection with Vibrio vulnificusoccurred in 2017 and 2018 along the Delaware Bay, compared to one infection with the devastating bacteria in the eight years prior, researchers said.

The infections resulted in one death and multiple rounds of surgery to save the other patients. One had all his limbs removed at the elbows and knees due to severe bacterial infection, said Dr. Katherine Doktor, an infectious disease specialist at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J.

“In order to stop the infection, the person needs antibiotics and they need to be taken to the OR [operating room] quickly so any infected tissue can be removed, so it doesn’t spread further,” she said.

But Doktor added that the bacteria tends to strike hardest at people with pre-existing health problems like liver disease, diabetes, kidney failure or a compromised immune system.

“Just going to the beach or going to the bay is not going to make you sick,” she said. “These people usually have a cut and the infected water gets into the cut, or they eat raw seafood that’s infected.”

Vibrio bacteria cause an estimated 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths in the United States each year, with most infections in May through October when water temperatures are warm, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One in five people with this type of infection die, sometimes within days of becoming ill, the CDC warns.

Because the bacteria thrive in warmer, salty water, it’s usually found mostly in southern waters, Doktor said.

But cases of Vibrio infection began showing up in emergency rooms along the Delaware Bay a few years back, Doktor and her colleagues reported June 18 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Four of the cases involved middle-aged or older men who had been crabbing in the bay or eating crabs taken from the bay, the doctors said. The fifth case involved a man who worked at a seafood restaurant in New Jersey.

Wound infections affecting a person’s limbs occur through breaks in the skin, while eating tainted seafood can cause intestinal and bloodstream infections, the researchers said. Large blood blisters start popping up at sites where skin cells are dying off, Doktor explained.

“On average, people need to be taken back to the OR two to four times to remove any tissue that has died,” she said.

It’s not just in the United States that Vibrio is migrating northward, Doktor said. In Europe, infections with the bacteria have extended as far north as Norway.

Dr. Amesh Adalja is a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore. He said, “Vibrio vulnificus infections contracted in the Delaware Bay, an area not known to be endemic for the bacteria, should serve as an important reminder that infectious diseases can expand from their traditional areas so long as the environment is hospitable to them.” Adalja was not involved with the new report.

“If certain bodies of water have had temperature changes that allow Vibrio vulnificus to flourish in a new region, it will be important that clinicians have heightened awareness of this serious, and sometimes fatal, infection in order to diagnose and treat it appropriately,” Adalja added.

Doktor advised that shellfish lovers should exercise caution when having a seafood meal, especially if they have a health condition that compromises their body’s ability to stave off infection.

“Some people, when they shuck the crabs, they use gloves,” she said. “I would protect your skin by wearing gloves.”

You might want to think twice about hitting the raw bar, too.

“As an infectious disease physician, I don’t think people should be eating raw seafood,” Doktor said. “But if you don’t have any of these risk factors, the chance of infection is much, much lower.”

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

The Benefits of Ginger

Ginger: A Natural Anti-Inflammatory Spice For Nausea And Motion Sickness

Ginger: A Natural Anti-Inflammatory Spice For Nausea and Motion Sickness

If minor aches and pains are an issue for you, try ginger, a natural anti-inflammatory agent that is useful for relieving symptoms associated with arthritis, bursitis, motion sickness, nausea and more. Ginger is commonly available in forms ranging from whole fresh root, crystallized ginger and honey-based ginger syrups to capsules containing powdered extracts. Look for products made with only 100 percent pure ginger. For inflammatory conditions, take 1,000 to 2,000mg (or 1 to 2 grams) of powdered ginger a day; for nausea and prevention of motion sickness, take 1,000 mg as a preventive, following that with 500 mg every four hours as needed. (You may also try eating two pieces of crystallized ginger, taking a spoonful of ginger syrup or sipping ginger tea.)

 

To prevent high doses from causing stomach irritation, take ginger with food. Ginger may also act as a blood thinner, so curbing daily use at least two weeks before surgery is advisable. If you are pregnant, use ginger to address morning sickness with some caution – I would not recommend using more 1,000 to 1,500 mg per day divided into two to four doses throughout, particularly during the early stages of pregnancy.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Soy Foods: Possibly for Girls Only

Some people think soy is a great plant-based protein option, but what are the dangers of eating soy? Learn about the risks and benefits, plus some ways to consume soy safely.

soy beans and soy milk

Why do we eat soy?

With the rise in popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets, soy has stepped onto the scene as a source of plant-based protein. Those who don’t eat meat praise the protein content of soy. One cup of boiled soybeans contains about 29 grams of protein which is comparable to a serving of meat. Soy also contains vitamins and minerals such as copper and phosphorus.

However, other people denounce soy as dangerous or, at the least, not optimal for frequent consumption. The Paleo movement in particular, has helped highlight the dangers of eating soy, ranging from the phytoestrogens present in soy to the high levels of antinutrients in soy.

Where are soy and soy products in our food?

In the United States, soy is most commonly consumed as a replacement for animal products, as an emulsifier in processed foods, or in soy sauce. You’ll also find soy in these common products:

  • Soy-based infant formula, as a replacement for breast milk or milk-based formula
  • Chocolate bars, processed foods, and some supplements as soy lecithin used to preserve shelf life and improve texture
  • Tempeh and tofu, as a replacement for meat
  • Soy milk, as a replacement for dairy milk
  • Condiments such as soy sauce or miso paste used to add flavor to traditional Asian dishes
  • Natto and edamame, as snacks or side dishes
  • Soy protein isolate, as plant-based protein powder, either used alone as a powder supplement or used in protein bars/bites/etc.
  • Processed and conventional meat: even though soy is used as a meat alternative, it has also been used as a filler in processed meat and the diets of conventionally-raised animals are often supplemented with GMO soy feed.

What is the controversy surrounding soy?

Soy is controversial for a few different reasons, the most common being the isoflavones present in soy (see below for more information). Soy is also one of the top 8 allergens in the United States–such a highly allergenic food invites controversy, whether founded or not, unto itself.

Other controversial characteristics of soy include GMOs, antinutrients, and goitrogens. Here is some more in-depth information about each controversial characteristic of soy.

1. Isoflavones (phytoestrogens)

Isoflavones, also known as phytoestrogens, are particularly concentrated in soy. These natural compounds have a chemical structure similar to the human hormone known as estrogen; thus, they can attach to estrogen receptor sites in the human body and affect natural estrogen production and metabolism.

Having excess estrogen in the body can have an array of health consequences. These include, but are not limited to: breast cancer (though some research indicates a lower risk of breast cancer in women who consume soy), estrogen dominance, acne due to imbalanced hormones, endometriosis, male infertility(though more research is needed), and–in rare cases–gynecomastia (male breast growth).

The possible manipulation of estrogen as a result of eating soy or soy products is a big potential danger of eating soy. The harmful effects may be exacerbated with non-organic, highly processed forms of soy.

2. GMOs

As much as 80% of soybean production in the United States comes from genetically modified soybeans. GMOs were only introduced to the public food supply in 1994 and there has been no opportunity to conduct long-lasting studies of the effects of GMO-containing diets. We do not have credible information on the safety of GMOs, which has led many people to forgo consuming GMO foods completely.

3. Antinutrients

Soy, like other legumes, is high in phytic acid. Phytic acid is an antinutrient, meaning it is the plant’s natural protective system that impedes the absorption of nutrients when consumed.

If you’re eating soy for the high levels of nutrients, some of them are bound to antinutrients and are therefore unavailable to your body. Antinutrients can even bind to other minerals and vitamins present in your body, leaching them from you. Soy also contains protease inhibitors, which inhibit the metabolism of certain types of proteins.

4. Goitrogens

Soy contains naturally higher levels of goitrogens, which can interfere with proper thyroid function when consumed in excess.

What are the possible benefits of eating soy foods?

tofu veggie soup bowl

Some health experts encourage the consumption of soy for its health benefits. Like most foods, there are both downsides and upsides to consuming soy. Keep in mind that when consuming soy, you’ll get the most nutrient density from organic, non-GMO soy in its whole form.

Here are some commonly perceived benefits of eating soy and the associated research.

1. Possible Lower Risk of Breast Cancer

Some research has shown that females who consume soy prior to and during pre-adolescent breast development have a lower risk for breast cancer later in life.

2. Lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol)

Though soy has been touted as beneficial for lowering high levels of Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the amount is indirect and not significant. The FDA has revoked the claim that soy is beneficial for lowering LDL levels.

3. High in nutrients

Soy is particularly high in iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and copper.

4. Lowers blood pressure

There is data to suggest that soy is hypotensive, meaning it helps lower blood pressure, and therefore can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Safer soy consumption recommendations

If you have digestive issues such as leaky gut or gut dysbiosis or autoimmune disorder, consider avoiding all soy altogether.

If you choose to incorporate soy into your diet, it’s best to be sure you’re consuming it in moderation and that you’re getting high quality, properly prepared soy. Ideally, the soy you consume should be:

  • Organic: at least 80% of soy in the United States is genetically modified, but you can avoid both GMOs and heavy pesticide use by choosing certified organic soy
  • Soaked/sprouted: like all legumes and beans, the digestibility of soy can be improved through soaking and/or sprouting. This traditional method of preparation lowers antinutrients and makes it easier to digest (though a significant amount of the antinutrients still remain.)
  • Fermented: fermented soy products like tempeh and natto offer an impressive nutrient profile, probiotics, and increased digestibility.
  • Whole: avoid soy protein isolates, which contain all of the isoflavones and antinutrients with none of the vitamins and minerals. Soy protein isolate is notoriously difficult to digest.

The moderate benefits of properly prepared, well-sourced soy do not outweigh the potential risks of digestive distress, hormonal imbalance, and nutrient depletion for those with compromised health. Avoiding soy in your diet can free you to include more nutrient-dense foods and help you avoid the risks associated with eating soy.

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Popular Asthma Rx May Not Work

Popular Asthma Rx May Not Work

News Picture: For Many With Mild Asthma, Popular Rx May Not Work: Study

A widely used type of asthma medication may not work in more than half of patients who are prescribed it, new research shows.

Inhaled corticosteroids, which are designed to reduce airway inflammation, are recommended for all patients with persistent asthma.

But this medication’s effectiveness may be limited to a type of inflammation that occurs in far fewer patients than once thought, according to the researchers.

For the study, which was funded by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, investigators compared the use of an inhaled steroid called mometasone (Nasonex) to a placebo in 295 patients over 12 years of age with mild persistent asthma.

The patients were grouped according to the level of eosinophils (Eos), a type of white blood cell, in their phlegm. In all, 73% were “Eos low” — about 50% more than the researchers expected. The remaining 27% were “Eos high.”

Among those who were Eos low, there was no significant difference in response to mometasone versus the placebo. And about 66% did as well or better on the placebo, the findings showed.

Eos-high patients were nearly three times more likely to respond to the inhaled steroid than to the placebo (74% versus 26%), according to the study published May 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

One lung expert noted inhaled steroids have been used to treat asthma for decades.

“Aerosolized steroids revolutionized the treatment of asthma in the 1990s, and so it is curious to come upon a study wherein more than half of asthmatics studied responded to aerosolized steroid no better than placebo,” said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. But he noted that accurately measuring Eos levels in the phlegm can be difficult.

The researchers also looked at use of a medication called tiotropium (Spiriva), which is prescribed along with inhaled steroids. Tiotropium relaxes the muscles that tighten around the airways in asthma.

Though there was not enough evidence to conclude that patients prescribed tiotropium are likely to do better, the results suggested that alternatives to inhaled steroids should be studied further, the researchers said.

“The take-home message is that many patients have a pattern of inflammation that makes them less likely to respond to inhaled steroids,” explained study first author Dr. Stephen Lazarus. He’s a professor in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

“Doctors should consider this if patients are not responding, rather than just increasing the dose,” he suggested in a university news release.

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Foods, Uncategorized

Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Colored Polka-Dot Rotini Recipe

Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Colored Polka-Dot Rotini Recipe

Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Colored Polka-Dot Rotini Recipe - Genius Kitchen

Ingredients

 

  • 8 oz tri-color spiral pasta, uncooked (about 3 cups dry )
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed or 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup dried currant

 

Directions

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine broth, coconut milk, sugar and spices.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add rotini.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for six minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add peas, red pepper and currants.
  6. Simmer for 6 to 7 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed and pasta is tender.
  7. Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes before serving.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Foods, Uncategorized

NAME-THAT-TUNA CASSEROLE

NAME-THAT-TUNA CASSEROLE

 

Name-That-Tuna Casserole

 

Ingredients

4 cup uncooked high-fibre rotini pasta

1 cup frozen green peas

1 Tbsp butter

¾ cup diced yellow onions

½ cup diced celery

1 tsp minced garlic

½ tsp dried tarragon

1 can reduced-sodium chicken broth, undiluted (10 oz/284 mL)

1 can 2% evaporated milk (13 oz/370 mL)

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Grated zest of 1 lemon

¼ tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)

¾ cup packed shredded light Monterey Jack cheese (3 oz/85 g)

½ cup packed shredded Parmesan cheese (2 oz/56 g)

1 Tbsp minced fresh dill

1 can wild salmon, well drained (6 oz/170 g)

1 can tuna, well drained (6 oz/170 g)

 

 

Directions

 

  1. It is best to have all ingredients ready to go before starting. Chop the onions and celery, grate the cheeses, drain the canned fish, etc.

2. In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions, adding frozen green peas to pot during last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain and keep warm.

3. Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Melt butter over medium heat in a large non-stick pot. Add onions, celery, and garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in tarragon and cook 30 more seconds. Add broth. Whisk together evaporated milk and flour until smooth. Add to pot. Cook and stir until sauce bubbles and begins to thicken.

4. Stir in mustard, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Cook 1 more minute. Remove sauce from heat and stir in both cheeses until melted. Add drained tuna and salmon and mix well. Add drained noodles and peas and mix well. Serve hot with freshly ground black pepper on top. Enjoy!

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Foods, Uncategorized

Put Up Your Cukes

Put Up Your Cukes

 

There is a lot of punch packed into this simple cucumber salad, so expect to duke, or should I say Cuke,  it out with your friends.

Image result for Put Up Your Cukes

1 cup of low fat sour cream or plain yogurt
¼ cup of chopped green onions
1 tbsp. Each of lemon juice, and sugar
1 tbsp. Minced fresh dill
¼ tsp. salt
6 cups peeled seeded and diced English cucumbers *

To make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients except for
the cucumbers in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30
Minutes.

Add dressing to diced cucumbers in a medium bowl. Mix well.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Best if eaten with in 24 hours.

Makes 6 servings

Hint* When a recipe calls for seeded cucumbers, split the cucumber lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and the watery membrane with a spoon. Salads made from seeded cucumbers stay fresh longer.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/