Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Quiet Place for Healing

A quiet hospital...what a novel idea!

When spending time in the hospital after delivering my children, I used to wonder, “How can anyone ever get any sleep here?” I couldn't wait to get home so I could sleep - even with a newborn baby or babies (after my twins).

It is nearly impossible to recover from whatever malady brought you to the hospital when there are phones ringing, doors slamming, carts rolling, lights glaring, babies crying, the list goes on.
I have heard this complaint many times

Stanford has one good idea here. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_12670944 In this article, “Research shows that noise doesn't merely impair sleep, but boosts stress and exacerbates agitation. In rat experiments, wounds healed more slowly if the room was noisy. Noise also raises the risk of medical errors, according to the Hopkins study.”

I’m all for rest and relaxation but the place where you really need it, doesn't usually offer this all-important component. It is a well-known fact that we repair while we are sleeping and loud noises constantly jolting you out of your sleep can’t be healthy.

Next time you have to visit the hospital be sure and arrive there with your earplugs, night-mask and rainforest sounds CD. Your stay may be shortened and your health may be restored a little bit quicker.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

H1N1 Anyone?

I just arrived back from Las Vegas last night. Being away from the safety and comfort of my Swine Free zone, I didn’t miss an opportunity to slap on the all important “hand sanitizer”.

I have often been gently chided by friends because of my “germ concerns”. While there are no guarantees I still take all the precautions available. I carry a bottle of sanitizer in my purse, suitcase, coat pocket, car and office. I use my shirt sleeve stretched over my hand when opening doors, flush the toilet with my foot, push buttons with my keys, sterilize my utensils with hot water in the restaurants and have a myriad of other ideas just waiting to be implemented should the need arise.

Does this bottle of germ killer really work and will it prevent the spreading of the virus? In a press release put out by Purell, the makers of a popular hand sanitizer, unfortunately there is no guarantee. They recommend that it is important to wash your hands with soap and water for approximately 15-20 seconds. If you have no soap and water near, use enough sanitizer to make your hands wet and then rub them together briskly until they are dry. This will break down the germ cell walls causing them to die. Does using a hand sanitizer lead to resistant bacteria? Apparently there is no proof of this either.

Living a full life doesn’t come without its risks. I’m not about to shut myself up in my house because of a few curiously named viruses. As a matter of fact, I’m just about to head out to do some shopping –mask, gloves and spray all at the ready.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Facts About Obesity

It makes a person pause when you read the headline: “No scars: New obesity surgery goes through mouth”. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hffo5VV4Igi6L-Z71py5Edc93V-QD98JDF582

What a concept. No scars, less pain, quicker healing – like my Dad used to say, “What will they come up with next?”

After reading this article, I had to think: while there are many obese people that have serious physical ailments causing their weighted state, there are no doubt many who are suffering from an avoidable condition.

What has changed in North America? Why is this procedure even required? While the statistics are not quite so alarming in other places, the numbers are quickly moving up in the United States. The main reason is the increased reliance on fast-food today.
· 58 million overweight *
· 40 million obese
· 3 million morbidly obese
· Eight out of 10 over 25's overweight
· 78% of American's not meeting basic activity level recommendations
· 25% completely sedentary
· 76% increase in Type II diabetes in adults 30-40 yrs old since 1990

While shocking, these overweight and obesity statistics bring to light some of the very real problems affecting people today - again making us wonder as to why do people get fat?While the tendency to be overweight is generally inherited, obesity can also occur when a person consumes more calories than they are capable of burning. Some of the other causes of why people get fat are as follows:


As one gets older, the body's ability to metabolize food is lowered, as is the amount of calories required by the body to maintain weight. Therefore, while people continue to have the same diet as they when they were 20-years-old, their body, however, just can’t copy the same way.


It is no great secret that women generally tend to struggle with their weight more men. This is because men have a higher resting metabolic rate than females, and thus they require more calories in order to maintain their body weight. Also note that with the onset of menopause in women, the body's metabolic rate slows down, thus leading to weight gain.

Physical Activity

Until and unless an individual exercises regularly, the fat in the body keeps building up, thus adding to the person's weight. Active individuals require more calories than less active ones to maintain their weight and physical activity also tends to decrease appetite in obese individuals while increasing the body's ability to metabolize fat.


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