Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Shhhhhh… Dairy Free Cheesecake

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Shhh…This Cheesecake Is Dairy-Free

dairy_free_cheesecake_recipe_HERO

You can use the words indulgent and dairy-free in the same sentence. Like to describe this dairy-free cheesecake recipe with blueberry topping. It’s rich yet virtuous, which is achieved without using cream cheese or butter or even flour. (So, yes, it’s technically vegan.) Dessert, anyone?

 

One 9-inch cake (10 servings)

CRUST

1½ cups pecans

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons coconut oil

 

FILLING

 

3 cups cashews, soaked in water overnight (see note)

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons honey

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

¾ cup coconut milk

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

TOPPING

 

1 pint fresh blueberries

2 tablespoons sugar

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place a springform pan on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

 

  1. MAKE THE CRUST: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the pecans until they are finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl and wipe out the food processor.

 

  1. Add the sugar to the ground pecans and stir to combine. Add the coconut oil and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Pour the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer.

 

  1. Bake the crust for 8 to 9 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. Let the crust cool to room temperature.

 

  1. MAKE THE FILLING: Drain the cashews and transfer to the food processor. Pulse until the cashews are coarsely chopped. Add the sugar, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, coconut milk and vanilla extract, and pulse until very smooth (the mixture should be pretty thick).

 

  1. Pour the cashew mixture over the cooled crust and spread into an even layer. Transfer to the freezer to chill while you make the topping.

 

  1. MAKE THE TOPPING: In a medium pot, combine the blueberries with the sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the blueberries are very soft and begin to burst, 8 to 10 minutes.

 

8.Puree the blueberry mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour the puree on top of the filling and spread into an even layer. Chill the cheesecake in the freezer for at least 45 minutes.

 

  1. Transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator and keep chilled until ready to serve. To serve, unmold and slice the cheesecake.

 

Note: No time to soak the cashews overnight? No problem. Place them in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then boil for 15 minutes. Drain and cool the cashews to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.

 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Loneliness Kills!   Which puts a dent in your sex life!

Health and Wellness Associates

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Loneliness Kills!   Which puts a dent in your sex life!

 

Loneliness is a public health risk in the U.S.

longevity-header.jpg

Research confirms that emotional isolation ranks as high as smoking when it comes to risk factors that can shorten your life.

This does not mean we are a nation of emotionally immature adults who need to be coddled.

On the contrary . . .

According to longevity expert Dr. Gary Small, our need for intimacy and socialization is hardwired into our brain. This makes the quantity and quality of your social connections crucial to your ability to enjoy a long life.DrSmall-brains.png

 

Long-Lasting Loneliness Doesn’t Just Make

You Sick — It Can Actually Kill You

 

John Cacioppo is a leading psychologist specializing in the study of loneliness. He reports that loneliness not only speeds up death in sick people, but also makes healthy people sick by putting them into a stressful fight-or-flight mode.

You might think that being lonely simply means you are depressed. To be clear, while loneliness can be a symptom of depression, they are not the same thing.

So what does “loneliness” really mean?

Well, experts in the field say loneliness is the state of being socially isolated and deprived of intimacy.

And now, researchers have linked chronic loneliness to numerous physical ailments.

 

Loneliness Is a Public Health Risk for Our Nation’s Seniors

As you might imagine, loneliness is a huge problem for America’s older population.

That’s because seniors so often lose connections with relatives, spouses, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

I’m sure you’ve seen this happen in your own life as you grow older.

Statistics tell us women are lonelier than men, and the retired are lonelier than the employed.

An AARP loneliness study surveyed 3,012 Americans age 45 and older. They found that:

35% of adults 45 and up are lonely.

This means over 42.6 million older adult Americans suffer from chronic loneliness.

Those in poor health are more likely to be lonely.

Those with lower incomes are more likely to be lonely.

 

A Healthy Sex Life Increases Life Expectancy

As you’ll see in special reports, researchers have found that sexual activity causes the release of endorphins and other hormones. This results in additional relaxation and more restful sleep, which boosts brain health.

happy-couple.jpg

A healthy sex life not only improves mood — it also raises life expectancy.

 

One 10-year British longitudinal study found significantly lower mortality rates in men who had more frequent sexual relations.

 

Sexual feelings lead to the release of DHEA, a hormone that gradually declines after age 30. This hormone bolsters cardiac health, which could explain why more frequent sexual activity results in a longer lifespan.

 

And for those who are not currently sexually active, Dr. Small shares that simple physical expressions such as hugging can improve your brain and body health, and even reduce blood pressure.

 

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Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

You can loose Your Job/License if You are Taking Xanax

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You can loose Your Job/License if You are Taking Xanax

Yoga-Meditation-Sunset-2

Anxiety affects millions of people every year, and anxiety disorders are considered to be the most prevalent of mental illnesses. Statistics show that in the United States, some 40 million adults grapple with an anxiety disorder every year — over 18 percent of the total adult population. It’s estimated that around 25 percent of children in the U.S. struggle with anxiety, too.

 

For many people, the first line of treatment provided to them by their doctor will be a prescription drug, as usual. But the truth is that there are many natural alternatives, which are just as effective and boast fewer side effects (if any).

 

The Xanax Controversy

Xanax and its generic counterparts are some of the most commonly prescribed prescription drugs and are part of the “benzodiazepine” class of drugs. Benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety — but they come with some serious consequences. Even so, doctors write 44 million prescriptions for Xanax alone every year — and many of those prescription holders will find themselves in rehab, thanks to a budding benzodiazepine addiction.

 

Narconon reports that rehab admission rates for people with a benzodiazepine addiction nearly tripled between 1998 and 2008. This coincides with an increase in prescription rates as well: CDC data shows the number of adults using a benzodiazepine increased 67 percent over 18 years, from 8.1 million prescriptions in 1996 to 13.5 million in 2013.

 

Additionally, the researchers say that the quantity of filled prescriptions increased during the same time frame.

Employers and health insurance carriers are starting to watch employees who are on Xanax and re-evaluating their level of work.  Many states are also looking into licensed personnel and their use of Xanax, since it is an addictive drug.

 

The outlook for Xanax and its pharma cousins is even bleaker today: Studies show that the death toll from these drugs has been increasing over the last several years. Benzodiazepine addiction has been overshadowed by the devastating opioid addiction epidemic — yet, these pharmaceuticals are responsible for over 30 percent of prescription drug overdoses. In either case, Big Pharma is ultimately to blame — especially when it comes to Xanax.

 

Not only has Xanax been glamorized to an alarming extent, it is well-known that tolerance to Xanax builds up quickly. This means people need more of the drug to produce the same “effect” over time — sometimes, in just a matter of weeks.

 

The risk of addiction is so high that the National Institutes of Health has stated that Xanax shouldn’t be used in patients for more than a few months — yet many people end up on the drug long-term.

 

There are so many natural alternatives to help treat anxiety, prescribing addictive, potentially lethal drugs is downright criminal.

 

Natural methods for overcoming anxiety

There are many options for natural anxiety relief. Amino acids, in particular, are believed to be very useful in this regard: By bolstering production of neurotransmitter GABA, amino acids taurine and L-theanine both have the potential to reduce anxiety. Attenuating GABA, the “brain calming chemical,” is actually exactly how Xanax works.  Studies have shown that L-theanine can fight anxiety as well as the drug.

 

A number of vitamins and minerals are known to help reduce anxiety and promote overall mental health. These include B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc.

 

Many herbs are known to help reduce anxiety. Chamomile, passionflower, valerian, and lemon balm all have a place in the plant-based medicine arsenal and are known for promoting relaxation. Recent studies suggest these herbs help support GABA production. But two of the most potent anxiety-relieving herbs are kava and and gotu kola.

 

Beyond supplements, there are a host of other tricks for relieving anxiety. Avoiding caffeine is a big one, as lots of people find it worsens anxiety. Getting plenty of sleep, frequent exercise and employing a regular meditation or yoga practice can also help quell feelings of anxiousness.

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Spinach Strawberry Smoothie- Dairy Free

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Spinach Strawberry Smoothie

spinachstrawberrysmoothis

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Instructions

  1. Place ingredients in a blender.
  2. Mix until smooth.

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Cervical Cancer

 

ladyslippergroup.jpg

 

The good news is the number of cervical cancer cases is

falling yearly.  If you have a family history

of cervical cancer, including vulva and labia, then there are things you can do

to prevent it from happening. 

Cutting your risk with grapes and berries

 

Eating one cup of grapes, strawberries or blueberries, or

drinking 4 oz. of pomegranate juice daily cuts your risk of ever getting

cervical cancer. Compounds in these fruits help stop abnormal growth from

spreading making it easier for your immune system to find and destroy them

quickly.
If you have any questions or concerns contact us at:

 

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Picture:  Lady Slippers, taken in Northern Minnesota

 

 

Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Does Ibuprofen Interfere With Male Fertility?

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Does Ibuprofen Interfere With Male Fertility?

Is it true that taking ibuprofen can lead to infertility in men?

 motrin

Ibuprofen is available over-the-counter, and in products like Advil and Motrin used to relieve pain. Some new evidence suggests that taking the maximum recommended dose of these medications daily for as little as two weeks can lead to hormonal changes that are unusual in young men but are more likely to develop – if at all – in midlife. In January 2018, a French and Danish research team published results of a small study showing that taking 1,200 mg of ibuprofen per day in two 600 mg doses can lead indirectly to decreased levels of testosterone and reduced fertility. The researchers noted that doctors often recommend that athletes take as much as twice that much to prevent or relieve pain.

For the study, the investigators recruited 31 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35. They gave 14 of the young men two daily doses of 600 mg of ibuprofen and the others a placebo. Within two weeks, tests showed that a change in pituitary gland function resulted in decreased testosterone levels. This imbalance, known as “compensated hypogonadism,” is a condition linked to impaired fertility, depression and an increased risk for cardiovascular events, including heart failure and stroke. It is reversible in young men who stop taking ibuprofen after a short time, but it is not yet known whether the hormonal effects of taking this amount of ibuprofen long-term are reversible.

 

We know that a number of other drugs are harmful to the male reproductive system. They include opioids, antidepressants, antipsychotics, immune modulators and Tagamet, a non-prescription antacid. We also know from earlier studies that men are responsible for up to 30 percent of the infertility couples experience and that over the four decades between 1973 and 2011 there appears to have been a 52.4 percent drop in sperm concentration among men in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

 

Earlier, the French and Danish team had examined the effects of aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen on the health of pregnant women and found that all 3 of these drugs affected the testicles of male babies born to them, increasing the risk of congenital malformations.

Men probably don’t have to be concerned about the hormonal effects of ibuprofen unless they’re using the maximum recommended doses frequently.

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Your Dentist Can Spot This Problem!

Health and Wellness Associates

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You Dentist can Be the First to Spot This Serious Problem.

 

Lichen Planus

A rare rash that shows up as lacy, white patches or red shiny bumps on the inside of the cheeks or tongue could be lichen planus. There are several possible reasons for this happening.

Generally, mild lichen planus doesn’t need any treatment. If it causes pain or ulcers, it can be treated with oral and topical medication. Oral lichen planus can be chronic and may increase the risk for oral cancer.

Lichen PlanusLichen Planus

Your  dentist will probably be the first person who tells you that you have Lichen planus!

 

This should be taken  very seriously, for it  can also signal skin (Lichen Planus Pigmentosa) (Lichen Nitidus) scalp (Lichen Planopilaris) , extremities ( Lichen Amyloidosis), nails, and genitals ( Lichen Sclerosus)

naillichenplanus Nail Lichen Planus

Lichen does not settle in just one part of your body.  It is a systemic problem that affects every part of your body.

 

Lichen Amyloidosis is a chronic intensely itchy skin rash caused by the abnormal deposit of amyloids (proteins) in the skin. The lesions mostly appear in the lower leg, particularly over the shin; however, in few instances, there can be lesions on thighs, lower limbs, forearms, and back. It is more prominent in males than in females aging fifty to sixty years.

Lichen AmyloidosisLichen Amyloidosis

Lichen Planopilaris  is the specific name given to lichen planus on the scalp that causes permanent scarring alopecia with inflammation around affected hair follicles. It mostly affects middle-aged adults as distinct patches of hair loss.

Lichen PlanopilarisLichen Planopilaris

Lichen Planus Pigmentosa is an uncommon skin disorder. This presents with oval grayish (turning blackish) brown marks on the face and neck or trunk and limbs without an inflammatory phase.

 

Lichen Nitidus is a rare, chronic skin eruption that is characterized by round skin-colored papules, which are flattened on top. They are described as micro-papules. Papules mean small solid bumps rising from the skin that is usually less than 10 mm in diameter. They do not contain any fluid. However, they are caused by an underlying inflammatory condition.

Lichen Nitidus

Lichen Sclerosus

This is one of the most serious for it is an extremely advances stage. Patches of the genital skin which should be treated, even if they aren’t painful or itchy. This condition should have been caught years earlier, before it gets to this stage.  These patches will scar, causing problems of muscular atrophy, muscular disfigurement and thus problems with urination or sex. Since this is the last stage, there is also a greater chance that skin cancer may develop in the patches. You should see your doctor every six to 12 months in order to follow and treat any skin changes. Woman need to be post-menopausal for at least 5 years to detect this problem.  This is the stage that this can be spread through kissing, skin lesion, nail manicures, skin papules, and contact with scalp.   Partners to women who carry this disease will notice an increase in canker sores, cold sores (which are not cold sores), jock itch, increase auto-immune response. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the genital patches in men.

 

Lichen and Hepatitis:

Some of the latest studies have shown a co-association of Lichen Planus with a rare variety of Hepatitis-C. It may be noted that the exact connection and causative link has not been established between the two entities. It may be noted that patients with Hepatitis C have some proneness to develop Lichen Planus

 

Possible treatments for the disease include:

Ointments and creams can be the conventual advise you will receive. This is a topical approach that does not cure the problem, and this type of health condition will continue to spread and increase.

The most common approach are Cortisone type creams, but this causes immune suppression, and doesn’t treat the cause.

Cortisone may help initially for a short time

02 Cortisone leads to relapse of LP in most cases

03 Cortisone treated relapse is more severe, more complex

04 Cortisone treated LP is more difficult to treat

05 It is wise to avoid cortisone during all stages of Lichen Planus (the only exception is most severe cases of oral or genital Lichen Planus.)

06 Cortisone puts you to the vicious cycle of dependency

07 Cortisone dependents have to come out of the vicious cycle

 

Cortisone creams are not the answer!  Sometimes they make the progression worse!

 

 

 

So what do you do?    You need to get ahold of healthcare professionals that deal with preventative and restorative medicine.

 

YOU DONT WANT TO TREAT IT, YOU WANT TO BEAT IT!

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

6 Watermelon Facts That Might Surprise You

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6 Watermelon Facts That Might Surprise You

watermelon

1.Watermelon Has More Lycopene Than Raw Tomatoes

Lycopene is a powerful carotenoid antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables a pink or red color. It’s most often associated with tomatoes, but watermelon is actually a more concentrated source.

Compared to a large fresh tomato, one cup of watermelon has 1.5 times the lycopene (6 milligrams (mg) in watermelon compared to 4 mg in a tomato). More on why lycopene is so important shortly…

2.Watermelon Juice May Relieve Muscle Soreness

If you have a juicer, try juicing about one-third of a fresh watermelon and drinking its juice prior to your next workout. This contains a little over one gram of l-citrulline, an amino acid that seems to protect against muscle pain.

One study found that men who drank natural unpasteurized watermelon juice prior to their workouts had reduced muscle soreness 24 hours later compared to those who drank a placebo.

You do need to be careful with drinking watermelon juice, though, as it contains a significant amount of fructose. It may be better to eat the entire fruit, or opt for these other tips to prevent muscle soreness.

3.Watermelon Is a Fruit and a Vegetable

Remember how watermelon is related to cucumbers, pumpkin, and squash? That’s because it’s part vegetable and part fruit (it’s a sweet, seed-producing plant, after all). The other clue that watermelon is both fruit and vegetable? The rind is entirely edible…

4.You Can Eat Watermelon Rind and Seeds

Most people throw away the watermelon rind, but try putting it in a blender with some lime for a healthy, refreshing treat. Not only does the rind contain plenty of health-promoting and blood-building chlorophyll, but the rind actually contains more of the amino acid citrulline than the pink flesh.

Citrulline is converted to arginine in your kidneys, and not only is this amino acid important for heart health and maintaining your immune system, but it has been researched to have potential therapeutic value in over 100 health conditions.

While many people prefer seedless watermelon varieties, black watermelon seeds are edible and actually quite healthy. They contain iron, zinc, protein, and fiber. (In case you were wondering, seedless watermelons aren’t genetically modified, as they’re the result of hybridization.)

5.It’s Mostly Water

This might not be surprising, but it’s still a fun fact; watermelon is more than 91 percent water. This means that eating watermelon with you on a hot summer day is a tasty way to help you stay hydrated and avoid dehydration (it’s not a substitute for drinking plenty of fresh water, however).

6.Some Watermelon Are Yellow

The Yellow Crimson watermelon has yellow flesh with a sweeter, honey flavor than the more popular pink-fleshed Crimson Sweet. It’s likely that yellow watermelon offers its own unique set of nutritional benefits, but most research to date has focused on the pink-fleshed varieties.

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

3 Ways Collagen Supplements Can Change Your Life

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3 Ways Collagen Supplements Can Change Your Life

collagenfoods

If you’ve heard about celebrities touting the benefits of taking collagen supplements, then you’ve probably heard of some of the many boosts to wellness and beauty collagen is said to offer: more youthful, elastic skin; less joint pain; healthier hair and nails: stronger bones; and even better gastrointestinal health. This raft of benefits might sound too good to be true. But it turns out there’s solid scientific research to back up some of these claims. There really are three ways collagen supplements can change your life.

 

 

 

What is Collagen?

Before taking a look at the research, let’s start with what exactly collagen is, and how your body uses it. Collagen is a collection of amino acids that form the most abundant protein in your body. In fact, collagen represents 30% of the body’s protein. It’s the one needed for all your connective tissues and is in your bones, muscles, skin, blood vessels, tendons and digestive system.

 

The body produces less and less collagen over time, which is why we develop joint pain and wrinkles later in life. There are other factors, in addition to aging, that can decrease your collagen levels, like getting too much sun, eating too much sugar, and smoking.

 

 

 

Collagen Supplements Can Change Your Life

A recent double-blind, placebo controlled trial, published on the National Institute of Health’s website, resulted in higher skin elasticity and measurably smaller facial wrinkles in the women who took daily collagen supplements.  Furthermore, there are several studies that indicate taking collagen supplements daily will result in reduced pain in your joints. In this one, cited by Prevention magazine, people who took collagen supplements experienced a reduction in osteoarthritis related knee pain.

 

Collagen supplements might also aid your digestive system. The research studies on this are fewer, but there is a tremendous amount of anecdotal evidence. Individuals state that after they started taking collagen they experienced healing properties on their gut. This reporter for Prevention had a first-hand experience with collagen supplements helping boost her gut health. The Healthy Gut Institute calls collagen The Powerful Supplement You Need to Heal a Leaky Gut.

 

 

 

Ways to Take Collagen

There are three main ways people try to boost their body’s collagen:

 

Injections

Creams

Dietary Supplements

Collagen injections serve two purposes. Sometimes doctors will prescribe them for joint injuries and sometimes people receive them as less invasive alternatives to plastic surgery. In both cases the injection affords only temporary relief. The collagen eventually breaks down and leaves the body.

 

Collagen creams are used for cosmetic purposes. Since there’s evidence that increasing the body’s collagen can result in more elastic, youthful looking skin, some think that applying collagen directly to the skin can bring about those benefits. However, most dermatologists think the creams do not penetrate the dermis, the thick layer on the bottom of the skin, rendering any potential benefits nil.

 

Collagen supplements added to food in powdered form are the most promising form of additional collagen. The study cited above, on the NIH’s website, where the participants experienced a reduction in wrinkles and greater skin elasticity, used a powdered form of collagen that is added to food or drinks. This powder is tasteless and can be mixed with hot or cold foods.

 

If you decide to give collagen supplements a try, do a little research first before choosing which one. Since nutritional supplements are not regulated by the FDA, you want to try to find one that’s as safe as possible. A good place to start is by checking for contaminants at the NSF, The Public Health and Safety Organization.

 

Another way to get more collagen is to make lifestyle changes that help your body produce its own supply. Use sunscreen and avoid sunbathing, stop smoking, and increase the pro-collagen foods in your diet.

 

According to Livestrong.com foods you can eat that will boost your body’s production of collagen include:

 

Lean meats

Egg whites

Wheat germ

Cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries

Foods rich in Vitamin C

 

 

Whether you choose to make lifestyle changes to boost your body’s production of collagen or give dietary collagen supplements a try, there’s a good chance adding this protein will have a beneficial effect on your health.

As with any supplement, please talk to a healthcare provider who can advise you correctly.  If they say “oh, anyone will work”  RUN! Out of there!

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Teething Medication Causes Serious Health Risk

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Teething Medication Causes Serious Health Risk

 

The boy was crying and biting your fingers

Consumers should stop using over-the-counter teething products that contain benzocaine because they pose a serious health threat to infants and young children, U.S. health officials warned Wednesday.

 

Benzocaine can cause a serious health threat called methemoglobinemia, which greatly reduces the level of oxygen carried through the blood. The condition is potentially fatal, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a news release.

 

Benzocaine is marketed as a way to ease the pain of a variety of oral health problems, including teething, sore throat, canker sores, and irritation of the mouth and gums. Products containing benzocaine are sold as gels, sprays, ointments, solutions and lozenges under such over-the-counter brand names Anbesol, Baby Orajel, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, Hurricane, Orabase, Orajel and Topex, the FDA said. There are also store brands and generics containing the compound.

 

The FDA said parents and caregivers should stop using the products and companies should stop selling them. If the manufacturers don’t comply with the order, the agency said it would take the necessary steps to remove the products from the market.

 

“Given the accumulating evidence regarding benzocaine’s association with methemoglobinemia, we are taking necessary action to work with industry to discontinue the distribution and sale of over-the-counter benzocaine oral health products intended for teething pain,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

 

Signs and symptoms of methemoglobinemia may set in after using benzocaine for the first time, and could appear within minutes to 1 to 2 hours. Symptoms include pale, gray- or blue-colored skin, lips and nail beds; shortness of breath; fatigue; headache; lightheadedness; and rapid heart rate. If any of these symptoms occur, the child should receive immediate medical care, the FDA said.

 

And, as always, store all drug products where children can’t reach them, the agency said.

 

To treat teething pain, the FDA suggests following recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The recommendations include using a teething ring made of firm rubber (but not frozen), or to gently rub or massage the child’s gums with a finger.

 

Pain relievers and medications that are rubbed on the gums for teething don’t work because they wash out of a baby’s mouth within minutes and may present safety concerns, the FDA said.

 

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