Health and Disease, Uncategorized

HFMD: Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

What is hand, foot, and mouth (HFMD) disease?

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a viral infection characterized by fever and a typical rash most frequently seen on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and inside the mouth. It should not be confused with foot (hoof) and mouth disease that affects cattle, sheep, and swine.

Picture of Verruca Vulgaris After Treatment

What causes hand, foot, and mouth disease?

HFMD is one of several infectious diseases caused by different members of the enterovirus family of viruses. The most common cause is Coxsackievirus A16; less frequently enterovirus 71 is the infectious agent. The clinical manifestations of routine HFMD are the same regardless of the responsible virus. However, patients infected with enterovirus 71 are more likely to experience rare complications (for example, viral meningitis or cardiac muscle involvement).

What are the risk factors for hand, foot and mouth disease?

Risk factors for developing HFMD include

  • summer and fall seasons,
  • toddler age range,
  • high-risk exposure location (such as daycare and preschool) and close contact (for example, family home) locations,
  • ineffective hygiene — infrequent soap and water hand-washing or not wearing disposable gloves when changing stool-containing diapers, and
  • a compromised immune system.

Picture of characteristic rash and blisters of hand, foot, and mouth disease

Is hand, foot, and mouth disease contagious? How does HFMD spread?

HFMD is spread person to person by direct contact with the infecting virus (either Coxsackievirus A16 or less commonly enterovirus 71). These viruses are most commonly found in the nasal and throat regions but also in the blister fluid or stool of infected individuals. The virus can survive on inanimate surfaces such as desktops, faucets, etc. It can then be transferred by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your nose, mouth, or eyes before washing your hands. Likewise, changing diapers from an infected infant without wearing gloves or hand-washing can transmit disease. Water contaminated with the virus can also transmit the infection. Women who are infected shortly prior to delivery may pass on the infection to their infant. The baby will generally have a mild illness but should be monitored closely since in rare cases they could develop a more severe infection or experience complications. Infected individuals are most contagious during the first week of their illness. HFMD cannot be contracted from pets or animals.

The viruses that cause HFMD may remain in the person’s respiratory or intestinal tract for several weeks to months after all symptoms have resolved. It is possible, therefore, to transmit the infection even though the formerly ill individual has completely recovered. Some individuals (most commonly adults) may exhibit no symptoms or signs during their infection but may unwittingly transmit the illness to those (commonly infants and children) who are not immune.

Picture of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease in Mouth (2 of 2)

What is the contagious period for hand, foot, and mouth disease?

Once exposed to the virus, those who develop symptoms and signs will do so within 1-3 days. They are most contagious during the first week of the illness. However, the virus may continue to be shed for one to three weeks in respiratory secretions (saliva and/or nasal mucous) and in the stool for two to eight weeks after the primary infection.

What is the incubation period for hand, foot, and mouth disease?

HFMD is moderately contagious and spreads from person to person. It cannot be spread by animals. Usually, the virus is passed via oral secretions (nasal discharge and saliva, etc.) or via stool. There is a short 1- to 3-day incubation period between exposure and development of initial symptoms (fever and malaise). A person is most contagious during the first week of illness.

Picture of characteristic mouth sores of hand, foot, and mouth disease

Can adults get hand, foot, and mouth disease?

An adult who was never exposed to the viruses that cause HFMD as a child could develop the characteristic symptoms and physical signs (vesicular rash with the characteristic distribution) if infected by the virus. Interestingly, the majority of adults exposed to enteroviruses will remain without symptoms. Unfortunately, an infected person is still contagious even though he lacks objective physical findings.

What are the symptoms and signs of hand, foot, and mouth disease?

HFMD is most commonly an illness of the summer and fall seasons.

  • Initial symptoms of a low-grade fever (101 F-102 F) and malaise are followed within 1 or 2 days by a characteristic skin rash.
  • Small (2 mm-3 mm) red spots that quickly develop into small blisters (vesicles) appear on the palms, soles, and oral cavity.
    • The gums, tongue, and inner cheek are most commonly involved in the mouth.
    • The foot lesions may also involve the lower calf region and rarely may appear on the buttocks.
    • Oral lesions are commonly associated with a sore throat, uncomfortable eating and drinking, and as a result, a diminished appetite. It is very rare for an infected child to become dehydrated due to oral discomfort.
  • It is estimated that approximately 50% of those infected with this enterovirus never develop symptoms. Symptoms are much more common in infants, toddlers, and young children. Older children, teens, and adults are more likely to incur no symptoms.

When does hand, foot, and mouth disease usually occur?

In the temperate northern hemisphere, summer and fall are the most frequent seasons for community epidemics of HFMD. The illness is year-round in the tropics. While anyone exposed to the viral causes of HFMD may develop disease, not everyone infected will develop symptoms and signs

Picture of Verruca Vulgaris

How long does hand, foot, and mouth disease last?

The total duration of illness from HFMD is approximately 5-7 days. One to three days after viral invasion of the patient, the first symptoms become evident. These include fever, reduced appetite, sore throat, and a general sense of feeling ill (malaise). One to two days later, the characteristic painful mouth sores develop. The final stage of the illness is manifested by small, tender red spots which progress to blisters in the mouth, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and less frequently on the arms and legs, as well as the buttock and genital areas.

What is the course of hand, foot, and mouth disease?

The illness is characteristically self-limited and is usually resolved within a week, particularly when due to its most common cause, Coxsackievirus A16. In those outbreaks due to enterovirus 71, the illness may be more severe with complications such as infection of the heart muscle and/or viral meningitis and encephalitis and paralytic disease. As a rule, HFMD is generally a mild and self-limited illness.

Picture of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease in Mouth (1 of 2)

Why haven’t we heard more about hand, foot, and mouth disease?

Recognition of hand, foot, and mouth disease is relatively recent (when contrasted with mumps, measles, and chickenpox, for example). HFMD was first reported in 1956 in Australia. By the early 1960s, it had emerged as a common childhood illness around the world.

How do health care professionals diagnose hand, foot, and mouth disease?

Usually, the diagnosis of HFMD is made on a combination of clinical history and characteristic physical findings. Laboratory confirmation is rarely necessary unless severe complications develop.

Picture of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease on Foot

What is the treatment for hand, foot, and mouth disease?

Treatment of HFMD is directed toward symptomatic relief of fever and sore throat. Antibiotics are not indicated in the treatment of this viral disease. Intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) has been tried as a therapy for severely ill patients or immunocompromised older patients with variable success.

Picture of Verruca Plana

What are complications of hand, foot, and mouth disease?

Complications of HFMD are relatively rare. The more common cause of HFMD (Coxsackievirus A16) is less likely to cause complications when compared with enterovirus-71.

Complications include the following:

  1. “Aseptic” (also called “viral”) meningitis (rare): Symptoms of meningitis are moderate-severe headache, discomfort when bending the head forward (classically tested by trying to touch the chin to the chest), and nausea and vomiting. Meningitis is an infection of the tissues and spinal fluid that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord. The diagnosis is confirmed by a lumbar puncture (also known as a “spinal tap”). Depending upon severity of the patient’s symptoms, they may need to be hospitalized.
  2. Encephalitis (brain infection): Encephalitis is much less common but more ominous when compared with meningitis and requires hospitalization for close monitoring. Other rare neurologic complications include paralysis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, transverse myelitis, and cerebellar ataxia. Transient and permanent impairment can both occur.
  3. Occasionally, the virus may infect the heart muscle fibers and thus compromise the heart’s blood-pumping capabilities.
  4. Young infants may very rarely become dehydrated due to refusal to take oral fluids as a consequence of mouth pain.
  5. In very rare circumstances, the skin vesicles may develop a secondary bacterial infection. A short course of antibiotics are used to treat the secondary infection.

How does hand, foot, and mouth disease affect pregnancy and the baby?

Commonly, HFMD is an illness of children less than 10 years of age; adults generally were exposed during childhood and maintain a natural immunity. Information regarding fetal exposure to HFMD during pregnancy is limited. No solid evidence exists that maternal enterovirus infection is associated with complications such as spontaneous abortion or congenital defects. However, should a baby be born to a mother with active HFMD symptoms and signs, the risk of neonatal infection is high. While such newborns often have a mild illness, a newborn infant is highly vulnerable and may develop an overwhelming and potentially fatal infection involving vital organs such as liver, heart, and brain, which could be fatal.

Picture of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease on Hand (1 of 2)

When can children with hand, foot, and mouth disease return to school?

Children may return to school once without fever for 24 hours (usually day three or four of the disease).

What is the prognosis of hand, foot, and mouth disease?

The prognosis for routine HFMD is excellent. A patient’s symptoms are bothersome but not debilitating. Medications designed to reduce fever and/or pain relievers are helpful, such as acetaminophen(Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin). Young children often find that cool/soft foods (ice cream, smoothies, etc.) provide some pain relief and are psychologically helpful as “special treats.” An individual assessment is required for those unique individuals who develop complications (such as meningitis). As would be anticipated, those with an immunocompromised status are more likely to develop either a more serious infection or an illness of a more intense nature than those with a normally functioning immune system.

Picture of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease on Hand (2 of 2)

Is it possible to prevent hand, foot, and mouth disease?

There is no vaccine to prevent HFMD. Routine hygiene (soap and water washing of the hands) is a primary strategy to limit transmission of the virus. Cleaning a child’s toys (especially those which would be placed into the mouth or drooled upon) is important. Avoidance of direct saliva exposure (kissing, sharing eating utensils, etc.) is also very helpful to limit transmission. Since transmission of the virus is also possible via stool, wearing disposable gloves during changing of diapers (especially in a preschool or day care setting) is also beneficial.

 

 

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Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Dont Fight In Front Of the Kids!

What Happens to the Children When Parents Fight?

News Picture: What Happens to the Children When Parents Fight?

“Don’t fight in front of the kids.”

Sounds like familiar advice that’s been passed down from generation to generation. But as it turns out, it’s not always the fighting, but rather the way you fight that can have a negative — or a positive — effect on your children.

Researchers E. Mark Cummings and Patrick Davies have studied this topic for decades. They say hearing parents argue in a positive, constructive way can actually boost a child’s development, from learning better social skills to doing better in school.

On the other hand, whether you go behind closed doors to fight or argue in front of your kids, if you do it in a mean-spirited way, you create a stressful environment that can affect their psychological development. It can also lead to behavioral problems, especially if kids are drawn into the arguments. Kids also get the wrong message when one parent tries to stop fights by giving in, especially if he or she is resentful or simply shuts down communication.

Taking a positive approach to arguments is better for kids and your relationship. Rather than having the mindset of an adversary prepared for battle, look at the situation from your partner’s point of view to understand his or her perspective. If both of you do this, it will be easier to find solutions. Whether the fight is over a transgression or a difference in opinion, resist being critical and show kindness, an important behavior to model to your children that teaches them how to handle difficult situations in their own lives.

Len Canters

 

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Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Foods, Uncategorized

Chipotle Lime Chicken Thighs With Pineapple Salsa Recipe

Chipotle Lime Chicken Thighs With Pineapple Salsa Recipe

 

chipotle chicken with salsa

 

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are great for quick, flavorful meals. They are easy to prepare with little effort and are almost impossible to dry out. They take on any flavor well and are the perfect vehicle for fresh, healthy ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and herbs. To keep them on the healthier side, trim off visible fat before cooking. They will still stay plenty moist and flavorful!

Chipotle, garlic and lime add so much flavor with almost no effort in this recipe. A fresh pineapple salsa kicks up the flavor even more and makes this meal a fun and exciting change-up to your normal dinner routine.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil or other high-heat oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • Juice from 1/2 lime

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 350F. Trim visible fat from chicken thighs.
  2. In a small bowl, combine chipotle powder, garlic, and cumin.
  3. Squeeze lime over the tops of chicken thighs and sprinkle heavily with the spice blend. Rub to coat the tops of thighs well.
  4. Heat an oven-proof skillet on the stove over high heat. Add oil and swirl skillet to coat.
  5. Sear chicken thighs in the skillet, about 2 minutes per side. Place skillet in the oven to finish cooking, 5 to 10 minutes. Chicken is done when a thermometer inserted in the center reads 165F.
  1. While chicken is cooking, prepare the salsa. Combine red onion, pineapple, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime in a bowl.
  2. Once the chicken is done remove from oven and serve with pineapple salsa.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

You can use chicken breasts in place of thighs, but they will need to be pounded thin to ensure they cook thoroughly but do not dry out.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Use a meat thermometer to be sure chicken is cooked all the way through. You may also grill chicken thighs if you do not have an oven-proof skillet.

Serve these chicken thighs with black beans or brown rice and a green salad or grilled vegetables to round out the meal.

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Ten Foods That Can Kill Your Sex Drive

Ten Foods That Can Kill Your Sex Drive

 

Shrimp cocktail

If you are planning a romantic dinner that will lead to an intimate rendezvous, experts advise to choose your menu wisely.

“Certain foods lower your libido or sex drive,” Dr. Jamie Turndorf, aka Dr. Love, a leading psychotherapist, media personality, and an expert on dialing up desire, tells Newsmax. “For example, if you are planning to go to dinner and a movie, skip the diet soda and popcorn. Diet soda containing aspartame blocks serotonin production and that crushes the sex drive in both men and women. The acid that lines popcorn bags in microwaved popcorn also trashes the sex drive and over time can create prostate issues which causes even more damage.” (Many theaters don’t microwave their popcorn, so apply this knowledge to snacks at home.)

According to The Daily Meal, in both men and women the hormone testosterone drives much of the human libido. Dr. Michael Hirt, founder of the Center for Integrative Medicine in California’s San Fernando Valley says, “Low testosterone means a lower sex drive.”

Here are some foods (and drinks) that lower your libido;

 

  • Alcohol.  Hirt says booze can seriously interfere with a man’s ability to perform. And it also does a double whammy by lowering your testosterone.
  • Shrimp. That sexy shrimp cocktail may be the victim of pesticide spraying that disrupts hormones, says Turndorf. “Elevated estrogen levels destroy a woman’s sex drive and make men estrogen dominant rather than testosterone dominant, which will lower their libido.”
  • Bottled water. According to The Daily Meal, the BPAs found in plastic bottles can seriously affect virility and fertility. BPAs are also present in reusable water bottles and can also cause erectile dysfunction.
  • Canned soup. Most canned soups contain outrageous amounts of sodium, which can lead to elevated blood pressure and diminished blood flow to the organs, including the penis.
  • Deli meats. Sliced meat from your favorite deli may come packaged in PVC, or polyvinyl chloride. The meat may absorb the PVC, which causes undesirable hormonal changes.
  • Weed. Smoke or eat marijuana and say “sayonara” to sex, says Turndorf. Testosterone levels tank for up to 24 hours after marijuana use or consumption.
  • Soy products. Munching on trendy edamame beans or other soy-based products that are genetically modified can lower estrogen levels in women and sperm counts in men.
  • Fried foods. The hydrogenated oils used to fry many foods may lower testosterone levels, says The Daily Meal.
  • Red Meats. According to Cosmopolitan, some red meats contain added hormones or antibiotics which can unbalance a man’s natural hormones levels if eaten in large quantities.
  • Mints. Surprisingly, the menthol in mints tends to lower testosterone, which in turn lowers the sex drive.

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

7 “Healthy” Food that Can Make You Fat

7 “Healthy” Food that Can Make You Fat

 

 

Salads, Granolas and smoothies seem like smart picks for healthy on-the-go foods, but you may be surprised to learn that many times they’re packed with extra calories, sugar, carbohydrates and salt.

 

Soups

Soups are hearty and delicious go-to’s on colder days, but not all soups are created equal. The base of your soup can make or break its healthiness. “A cream-based soup is going to be much higher in calories and fat,” says Allen. In fact, one cup of chicken noodle is about 100 calories, while one cup of broccoli cheddar is almost 250.

When you eat soup, opt for broth-based soups like vegetable or chicken noodle or cream-free tomato soups and stews instead. And steer clear of cream-heavy bisques and chowders when you can. If you have to reach for canned soups, choose low-fat, reduced-sodium soup options.

 

Salads

 

Salads, depending on what they’re made of, can be fresh and healthy picks to throw together or order in a pinch. But dieters beware: they can also sabotage your weight loss goals if they’re covered in fatty toppings like cheese, bacon, creamy dressings and croutons.

“Salads at some fast food restaurants can have almost 30 grams of fat and 500 calories, while a cheeseburger and an order of medium fries has 28 grams of fat and 630 calories, so there’s not much difference between the two,” says Allen.

Make sure your salad is actually healthy by asking for your dressing on the side, choosing the grilled version of your protein rather than the fried, and asking for little or no bacon or cheese. For a crunchy topping without all the calories, try sliced almonds or crushed bean “tortilla” chips instead. And whole grains like quinoa, bulgur or barley will help fill you up.

When it comes to dressings, choose oil and vinegar-based dressings rather than cream and mayonnaise-based options; fresh salsa can be a guilt-free salad topper, too. If you can’t bear a salad without your favorite creamy dressing, divide your salad into two. Use your favorite fatty dressing on one portion, and the healthier dressing option on the other half.

 

Smoothies

 

Sugary syrups and processed protein powders can add up to 1,000 calories at fast food chain smoothies, says Allen.

It’s better to make your own smoothies at home, or hand pick the ingredients that go into you smoothies if you order them out. If you’re new to smoothie making, here’s how much of each ingredient to include: one to two cups of liquid base, up to two cups of greens, up to three cups of fruit, plus a tablespoon of nut butter or protein powder.

Keep your smoothie healthy by using milk—like unsweetened coconut, almond or skim milk—as your base instead of juice. Then add fruits like strawberries, bananas or blueberries and a protein such as Greek yogurt, nut butter, seeds like hemp or chia or protein power (whey, soy and plant-based options are best). For added vitamins, try throwing in some spinach, kale or celery. Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla extract can pack an extra, low-cal flavor punch, too.

 

Granola

 

Depending on what it’s made out of, granola can be super high in calories, fat and sugar, says Allen. Most granola is made of oats, nut, seeds and dried fruit—all nutrient rich ingredients—but chocolate chips and sugary syrups can add serious calories to store-bought options.

Look for granola options with raw oats, unsalted nuts and unsweetened fruit, and mix your granola into something rather than snacking on it by the handful. Add it to something like low-fat Greek yogurt, then top it with some fruit such as berries, says Allen. Hooked on granola bars? Try options that are nut or fruit based rather those that are grains-based. Homemade granola bars are easy to make, too: ingredients like unsweetened cranberries, old-fashioned oats, unsalted almonds, all-natural maple syrup, flax seeds and peanut butter can be combined and baked for a nice treat.

 

Dried Fruit

 

You may think anything made of fruit is good for you, but that’s not always the case. Certain dried fruits like apricots and dates are concentrated with calories, especially from sugar, says Allen. While they still have antioxidant and fiber components, they may actually be stripped of some vitamins during the dehydration process.

Sprinkle dried fruit like apples or cranberries in your salads rather than snacking on them straight out of the bag. And when you do eat dried fruit by itself, pair it with a low-fat cheese stick or a handful of nuts so you’ll stay fuller, longer. When selecting picks from the grocery store, aim for options without added sugar or other ingredients (the only ingredient should be the fruit itself).

 

Fruit juices

 

All-natural fruit juice can provide some of the vitamins and minerals that you find in whole fruits, as long as you control your portions. “The biggest problem with fruit juices is that most people pour more than the recommended serving size,” says Allen.

Craving apple juice? Eat an actual apple instead of reaching for juice. “You’ll get a lot more fiber eating the whole fruit than you would in fruit juice,” says Allen. When you do choose juice, opt for all-natural, 100 percent, no-sugar added juice options or the low-cal versions of your favorites. Do limit the amount you drink—the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends no more than one cup per day.

***  Never give your children Apple Juice!

 

Pretzels

 

Pretzels may have been your go-to snack food years ago, but you may want to be careful when it comes to the salty snack nowadays.

“People are starting to look at carbohydrate intake much more now than they did in the past,” says Allen. “10 or 15 years ago there was a push to reduce fat intake so we turned to things like pretzels and baked potato chips.”

But reduced-fat doesn’t give you license to eat as much as you want. With low-fat foods, people think they can eat as much as they want because it’s low fat, but they still have to watch portion sizes, says Allen.

While pretzels are a much healthier pick than greasy potato chips, pay attention to serving size: only about 16 small waffle-shaped pretzels equals one serving. And don’t eat too many flavored pretzels like honey mustard and barbeque as they likely have a lot of sugar and sodium. Your best bet: unsalted mini pretzels to keep your sodium and hunger levels in check.

 

Just be aware of what you’re eating

 

You don’t have to do away with these foods completely, but reading labels and educating yourself on serving size, calorie count, fat content and how they fit into your diet is key, says Allen. “For example, many people are leaning towards almond milk these days, but the calories per serving can range from 30 to 100.”

One of the easiest ways you can monitor what you’re eating is to track it or look it up before you indulge.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Foods, Uncategorized

Frozen Chocolate Bananas!

Frozen Chocolate Bananas!

The flavors in this simple dessert remind me of classic beach fare – frozen bananas on a stick coated with chocolate. This is a healthier version that you can whip up in no time. It contains no added sugar or dairy and is very versatile. Improvise by adding different flavors like organic peppermint oil or almond extract. Make this a few hours before you plan to serve – it’s best when just frozen. Any leftovers will keep for a couple of weeks in the freezer.
Bananas are rich in potassium – one banana contains 450 mg, one-fifth of the adult daily requirement – and offer a fair share of magnesium (33 mg), too.

Ingredients

4 very ripe bananas
2 tablespoons pure unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons real maple syrup

Instructions

1. Peel the bananas and place in a blender or food processor along with the cocoa powder.

2. Add the vanilla extract and the maple syrup.

3. Blend till very smooth. Pour into individual custard cups or small bowls and freeze until just frozen.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Wake Up Early and Reduce Cancer Risk

Early Risers May Be a Little Less Likely to Get Breast Cancer

News Picture: Early Risers May Be a Little Less Likely to Get Breast Cancer

If you’re a woman who greets the early morning with a smile, new research delivers good news — you have a slightly reduced risk of developing breast cancer.

For night owls and people who tend to sleep more than the usual seven to eight hours nightly, the analysis suggested a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.

“Sleep does impact health,” said study co-author Caroline Relton, a professor at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

“The study found evidence for a protective effect of morning preference on breast cancer risk,” she said.

What the study team couldn’t tease out from the data was exactly why your sleep type — early bird or night owl — could affect your risk of breast cancer.

Eva Schernhammer, author of an editorial accompanying the study, said “one possible mechanism could relate to the misalignment between internal and external clocks.” She is chair of epidemiology at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria.

The disruption of a normal circadian rhythm can impact how the body functions. An example is the normal variation of melatonin levels, Schernhammer said in her editorial. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone.

Dr. Daniel Barone, a sleep specialist at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, said that melatonin is a powerful antioxidant.

“If you’re reducing melatonin, that could potentially lead to an inflammatory response in the body,” he said. (Inflammation has been linked to cancer and other health conditions.)

Both Barone and Schernhammer pointed out that night-shift work has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Diet may be one reason why. He said it’s harder to find nutritious food options at night, and night-shift workers may get food from places like vending machines. Diet can impact heart disease and breast cancer risk.

The new analysis looked at two large groups of data, which included about 400,000 women altogether.

Previous studies had asked women about their sleep type — whether they preferred morning or evening, how long they slept, and whether or not they had insomnia.

But these researchers controlled the data to account for other factors that can affect breast cancer risk, including obesity, family history of breast cancer, alcohol use and smoking.

Women who said they were “morning people” were slightly less likely to develop breast cancer. The researchers said that early birds had about one less case of breast cancer per 100 women than did night owls.

So, should night owls be worried?

Maybe not just yet, said breast cancer surgeon Dr. Alice Police.

“This study suggests that there may be a lower incidence of breast cancer in ‘morning people,'” she said, but noted that the data in the study is “vague.”

“Until we understand other correlations, such as obesity rates and exercise rates in morning people versus night owls, I do not think definitive conclusions can be drawn,” Police added. She’s the Westchester regional director of breast surgery at Northwell Health Cancer Institute in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

Relton agreed that more research is needed, particularly to figure out the underlying reason why morning people seem to have a reduced risk of breast cancer.

In the meantime, she said it’s possible that changing your sleep times to become more of a morning person might change your risk, though more research is necessary before doctors could make a specific recommendation.

If you’d like to try to get some shuteye earlier in the night, sleep expert Barone said the best change you could make is to limit “blue light” at night.

“Any screen you can look at without an additional light on is blue light, and blue light tells our brains that the sun is out and we should shut off melatonin production. Shut off blue light a good hour or so before bed to help keep the body more in tune with what it’s designed to do,” he said.

If you have trouble sleeping, taking a melatonin supplement a half-hour or so before bed can help, Barone noted.

If you’re wondering what else you might do to reduce the risk of breast cancer, editorial author Schernhammer said, “A woman should be more concerned about other, more established, breast cancer risk factors.”

Relton agreed, explaining that risk factors such as alcohol intake and obesity increase the risk of breast cancer much more than your sleeping pattern might.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Bad Breath? Natural Ways to Address The Issue

Bad Breath?  Natural Ways to Address The Issue

Cucumber slices for bad breadth

Bad breath can be caused by bacteria from decaying food particles or debris in the mouth or can occur as the result of poor oral hygiene. To freshen your breath naturally, consider:

 

  • Eating hydrating foods. Oranges and organic celery – along with other water-rich produce – can help prevent dry mouth, which can contribute to halitosis. Also be sure to drink water throughout the day to maintain good hydration.
  • Ask your healthcare provider is magnesium is right for you, and what other supplements you must take with it.  If he or she does not know then contact us.
  • Trying natural mouth fresheners. Chew on parsley after meals, sip on peppermint tea or fresh peppermint leaves, or chew (but don’t swallow) cardamom seeds. There are a number of probiotic-based toothpastes now that are worth considering for oral and breath health as well.
  • Dont take laxatives
  • Stay away from all carbonated beverages
  • Stay away from fast food restaurants

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

 

 

 

Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Eco-friendly Foods Are a Sham

Impossible fools at Impossible Burger

 

Grass Fed – Not Lab Bred

impossible burger

Are genetically engineered food and lab-grown meat the most sustainably regenerative choices available? Impossible Foods, creator of the meatless bleeding Impossible Burger, made with GMO soy, would like you to think so. After the release of its 2019 Impact Report,5 senior manager of impact strategy, Rebekah Moses, told FoodNavigator-USA:6

“We have done a tremendous amount of diligence and we’re confident that in using GMO soy, we are not taking a step backward in terms of sustainability.

Soy is really high yielding, it’s a good source of protein and it’s more efficient than wheat. You get so much more protein in a given harvest vs the amounts of water, energy and inputs needed to grow it.

Everything is very field-based, but at a high level, there is very little difference if any difference in the environmental impact of conventional vs herbicide tolerant soy and in some cases using herbicide tolerant soy enables you to adopt more sustainable practices such as the ability to reduce tillage, which is a win for the soil.

Similarly, the chemicals you spray to manage pests — that includes insects and weeds — in herbicide tolerant crops are lower toxicity than the alternatives [used to grow conventional soy].”

Impossible Foods takes aim at regenerative farming

Impossible Foods also points out that since meat from cows require about 30 pounds of corn and soy for every pound produced, GMO soy burgers reduce the net use of herbicides.

However, while this is true for livestock raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), it’s absolutely not the case for organic grass fed beef production, as pastured cattle eat grasses and never lay a nose to GMO grains of any kind.

So, while GMO soy burgers may have an environmentally competitive advantage over CAFO beef, it cannot compete with regenerative grazing as far as herbicide usage (or toxicity thereof) is concerned.

Despite such well-established facts, Impossible Foods takes aim directly at regenerative ranching in its report, claiming grass fed cattle ranching generates higher amounts of greenhouse gas emissions than cows raised in CAFOs.7,8 What it fails to include is evidence9 showing grass fed ranching actually has net negative emissions after all relevant factors are taken into account.

Is fake food really the answer we’re looking for?

Impossible Foods’ impact report is hard to reconcile with other established data showing GMO soybean and corn farms are a primary source of water10 and air pollution.11 GMO soybeans and corn have also been identified as primary destroyers of grasslands and forests.12,13

Regenerative grazing is also a key activity required for the optimal sequestering of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into our rangelands and pasturelands, while GMO soy production is associated with resistant super weeds14 and super pests and uncontrollable cross contamination.

Impossible Burger also skirts the issue of nutrition by focusing solely on the intake of protein in general, ignoring the fact that grass fed beef contains a complex mix of nutrients (including healthy fats) and cofactors you simply cannot recreate by mixing together an assortment of plant-based components.

GMO soy linked to ecological devastation

To learn more about the ecological impact of soy, check out the Greenpeace documentary “Soy: In the name of progress.” Also take a look at Dan Charles’ 2013 NPR article,15 “Pictures don’t lie: Corn and soybeans are conquering U.S. grasslands.” He writes, in part:

“Grasslands are disappearing … They’re being replaced by fields of corn and soybeans … A study16 published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows actual pictures — derived from satellite data — of that changing landscape.

The images show that farmers in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska converted 1.3 million acres of grassland into soybean and corn production between 2006 and 2011.

‘This is kind of the worst-kept secret in the Northern Plains. We just put some numbers on it,’ says Christopher Wright, from South Dakota State University, who got funding from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy to take a close look at this phenomenon …

Wright’s images are striking, and these changes are having profound effects on the environment of this region. For instance, it’s bad news for wildlife, because corn fields are much less inviting habitat for a wide range of wild creatures, from ground-nesting birds to insects, including bees.

Corn and soybean fields are increasingly encroaching into the Prairie Pothole region of the Dakotas and Minnesota, the most important breeding habitat for waterfowl in North America.

In southern Iowa, Wright says, much of the land conversion is taking place on hillsides. The soil of those fields, without permanent grass to hold it in place, is now much more likely to wash into streams and ponds.”

Modern agriculture largely responsible for death of our oceans

Chemical runoff is indeed among the most significant threats posed by these gigantic monocrop fields. As noted by National Resources Defense Council:17

Nutrient pollution, caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in water or air, is the number-one threat to water quality worldwide and can cause algal blooms, a toxic soup of blue-green algae that can be harmful to people and wildlife.”

Similarly, a June 11, 2019 PBS News Hour article18 warns that “A ‘dead zone’ the size of Massachusetts could hit the Gulf this summer,” based on the latest forecast19 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“If this prediction holds true, this event would be the second largest on the list of Gulf dead zones in more than three decades,” PBS reports, noting this dead zone “would be 50% larger than the average seen in the last five years.”

The reason for the massive increase in algal blooms that kill marine life by sucking up all the oxygen is blamed on heavy rainfall increasing chemical runoff from fertilizer-enriched farmland — in the case of the Gulf, farmland surrounding the Mississippi River. As reported by The Washington Post:20

“Analyses from U.S. Geological Survey monitors in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya watersheds showed that discharge from these rivers was 67 percent greater than the 1980-2018 average. The amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus spilling into the Gulf were 18 percent and 49 percent above average, respectively.”

What’s more, “Even if nitrogen runoff was eliminated today from the Mississippi River, a 2018 study in the journal Science found, it would take at least 30 years for the Gulf dead zone to recover,” The Washington Post notes.21

Savory Institute responds to Impossible Foods’ attack

Impossible Foods specifically mentions the Savory Institute in its report, boldly claiming that Savory’s regenerative grazing theories have been “thoroughly debunked.” In response, the Savory Institute issued a statement saying:22

“This is not the first, nor will it be the last, attempt to discredit Holistic Management as a sleight-of-hand for promoting and profiting off of large scale industrial agriculture …

Claims that our work has been ‘debunked’ disregard not just the millions of acres that have been regenerated globally and the tens of thousands of farmers, ranchers, and pastoralist communities who have stewarded this land transformation and witnessed it firsthand …

[T]hey also overlook the growing body of peer-reviewed evidence documenting that properly-managed livestock can be a net positive for grassland ecosystems,23 carbon drawdown,24 wildlife habitat,25 and rural communities.26

Savory also highlights a third-party lifecycle analysis27 (LCA) of a holistic ranch, showing properly grazing livestock “when taking a full accounting of all greenhouse gases in and out of their farming operation,” is a net carbon sink. As noted in the analysis, “Carbon footprint evaluation of regenerative grazing at White Oak Pastures”:28

“Traditional LCAs don’t account for soil carbon sequestration and therefore don’t take into account the full carbon story for regenerative agriculture systems … Soil samples were taken and evaluated to quantify soil carbon sequestration and allow a highly credible inclusion of this information into the LCA …

As there is little information published on this topic and the outcomes challenge much conventional thinking on beef’s carbon footprint, careful consideration should be given to the conclusions and messaging.”

According to this analysis — notably performed by the very same company that conducted Impossible Burger’s LCA — the carbon footprint of beef from White Oak Pastures is 111% lower than conventional CAFO beef, as the “system effectively captures soil carbon, offsetting a majority of the emissions related to beef production.”

Regenerative grazing creates net carbon sink

All things considered, including enteric emissions, manure emissions, soil carbon capture, vegetation carbon, miscellaneous farm activities, slaughter and transport, the total net carbon emissions from the beef production on White Oak Pastures was found to be a negative 3.5 kilos of carbon emissions per kilo of fresh meat, making this integrated, holistic system six times more carbon efficient than the average CAFO production model. Importantly, as noted by Savory:29

“What Impossible Burger seems to have conveniently omitted is that their GMO soy-based product is still a net carbon emitter in comparison to White Oak’s properly-managed livestock that create a net carbon sink.

Could it be that GMO soy-based Impossible Burger feels threatened by the regenerative movement? In a world where current agricultural practices have eroded soils to the point of having less than 60 harvests left (according to the UN FAO30), the solution is not to maximize efficiencies in the broken, extractive, industrial model …

Rather, as environmentally-conscious businesses and individuals, we must address the root cause and adopt land management practices that honor the symbiotic relationships of plants and animals. One cannot exist without the other, so we must reevaluate our preconceived notions and return to farming in nature’s image.”

White Oaks Pastures invites Impossible Foods for a visit

Will Harris, owner of White Oaks Pastures and president of the American Grassfed Association, has taken matters a step further, issuing an open invitation to Impossible Foods’ officials to visit his farm to get a thorough understanding of how regenerative grazing actually works. In a statement, Harris writes:31

“As an independent professional rancher, who has practiced regenerative land management on our family farm for more than 20 years, I can state unequivocally that Impossible Burger’s claims about regenerative grazing are incorrect.

Not only is our business financially successful on a large scale, but we are accumulating data showing that our practices are enhancing the carbon sequestration potential of the soil on the lands we manage.

Today I am publicly inviting Impossible Foods representatives to visit my farm and see for themselves the many social, economic and environmental benefits of regenerative grazing.

I would be grateful to share our recent Life Cycle Assessment that clearly demonstrates that the carbon footprint of our farm results in a positive impact on the environment — a claim that imitation meat companies cannot make.”

Meat replacement companies need to demonstrate superiority

On his website, Harris also highlights some of the other benefits of regenerative farming and why we need it:32

“Land is meant to be a living thing. It contains the natural order of all living things: Life, Growth, Death, Decay, Life, Growth, Death, Decay. The land is our teacher. Looking back to the evolution of our ecosystem informs the way we manage land today.

The energy cycle, carbon cycle, mineral cycle, microbe cycle, water cycle have all co-evolved with plants, microbes, and animals since our planet’s creation. Our passion is to create an environment that allows these cycles to flow freely: microbes feed plants which feed the animals which spread urine and feces to microbes which feeds the plants which feed the animals.”

Just how exactly does cultivating fake meat in an industrial facility improve the ecology of our environment? Again, we’re not just talking about which strategy is the least destructive, we’re talking about which one actually improves the environment the most.

“Talk is cheap” they say, and in the case of Impossible Burger’s claims that certainly rings true. They (and other meat replacement companies) really need to tangibly demonstrate how their system is better, overall, and not just on some minor point, than the regenerative system.

Grazing livestock is integral to ending ecological destruction

In the podcast above, Sustainable Dish interviews Ronnie Cummins, executive director and co-founder of the Organic Consumers Association, about the importance of grass fed livestock farming for climate stability, environmental health, sustainability and regeneration.

As explained in many previous articles, livestock are important components that make farming truly regenerative, as they help build healthy soils. Lab-derived meat substitutes do not actually contribute anything to this healthy ecological cycle.

When animals are raised according to regenerative agriculture, a healthy ecosystem is produced and then more or less effortlessly maintained. So, eating meat is not synonymous with environmental harm; it’s industrial farming practices — CAFOs — that inflict the damage.

Some also believe eating meat means ripping out more forests so animals can graze, but I’m certainly not advocating for that. U.S. cropland is currently dominated by a two-crop planting cycle of corn and soybeans, largely for animal feed. Like CAFOs, these monocrops are devastating the environment, and even though they’re plant foods, they are part of the problem, not the solution.

Getting rid of these large swaths of corn and soy fields — which are laden with chemicals and largely devoid of life — is key, as is reverting them back to what they were before, namely grasslands for grazing animals.

Grasslands are key to fixing many environmental problems, and herbivores are a necessary part of this ecosystem. By mimicking the natural behavior of migratory herds of wild grazing animals — meaning allowing livestock to graze freely, and moving the herd around in specific patterns — farmers can support nature’s efforts to regenerate and thrive.

Long-term health effects of fake meat are still unknown

Aside from the fact that fake meat production doesn’t have any regenerative capabilities that would benefit the ecosystem, there’s also the issue of health effects. A number of studies have highlighted the risks of ultraprocessed foods, showing they raise your risk of cancer, and the more ultraprocessed foods you eat, the greater your risk.

In one,33,34,35,36 which included 104,980 participants followed for an average of five years, 18.74% of the men’s diet and 18.71% of women’s was ultraprocessed, and each 10% increase in ultraprocessed food raised the cancer rate by 12%, which worked out to nine additional cancer cases per 10,000 people per year.

The risk of breast cancer specifically went up by 11% for every 10% increase in ultraprocessed food. While sugar and unhealthy fats are key staple ingredients suspected of causing these effects, there’s reason to believe fake meat might have a similar impact, for a number of reasons.

For starters, the Impossible Burger meat substitute is the epitome of a highly-processed food — seeing how it’s manufactured from start to finish, and involves the use of man-made ingredients — placing it squarely in the higher-risk category.

Secondly, GMO soy has been shown to have a number of health risks all by itself. Third, the human body is not designed to process fake meat and there’s no telling what the long-term health ramifications might be. Even the liberal U.S. Food and Drug Administration has raised concerns over the soy leghemoglobin in the Impossible Burger being a possible human allergen.37,38,39

Fourth, GMO soy is loaded with glyphosate, the health risks of which are of increasing concern as it’s now being found in most processed foods, including non-GMO foods. Recent testing by Moms Across America (MMA) revealed concerning levels of glyphosate in the Impossible Burger.40

Fake meat isn’t about humanitarianism; it’s about profit

You really need to question the rationale for creating expensive fake meat alternatives when a far less expensive and more reasonable answer is readily available. What’s worse, fake meats may ultimately create more problems than they solve, as laboratory derived meat substitutes are not part of the ecological cycle and health hazards are as yet entirely unknown.

This basic lack of understanding affects safety regulations pertaining to processing and manufacturing as well. Commenting on the open questions pertaining to fake chicken production, Al Almanza, former acting deputy undersecretary for food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, noted that we still do not know “what’s normal or abnormal, and thus potentially unsafe, in a cultured-chicken plant.”41

Without this knowledge, food inspectors have no idea what to look for, companies cannot devise and implement proper safety protocols and regulators cannot make regulations to ensure safety. The same applies to fake beef,

In its report “From Lab to Fork: Critical Questions on Laboratory-Created Animal Product Alternatives,”42 released in June 2018, Friends of the Earth calls for more stringent safety assessments, regulations and labeling requirements.

The report highlights a number of health and safety concerns and environmental impacts hidden beneath “climate-friendly” claims. It also points out the lack of substantiation for “clean meat,” “animal-free,” “plant-based” and “sustainable” claims.43

All in all, it seems that, contrary to the PR being churned out, the creation of fake meat products is not about feeding the world or eliminating animal suffering. It’s about dominating billionaires looking to put patents on the food system.

Go grass fed, not lab bred

 

While many view lab-created meat substitutes as the lesser of two evils when comparing it to the CAFO meat that currently dominates the market, taking nature out of the equation altogether is not the answer, especially since holistic herd management is an integral part of the regenerative agriculture equation.

Ultimately, creating fake food is not the answer to solving the problems associated with conventional meat. For health reasons as well as ecological reasons, I recommend skipping the meat alternatives and opting for real beef raised the right way instead.

When you do shop for meat, go to a local organic farmer or look for Demeter (biodynamic) and American Grassfed Association (AGA) certifications. Both indicate high-quality, sustainable and environmentally sound food.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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