Archive for the ‘General Health & Hygiene’ Category

Buy Nursing Scrubs Online

If you are planning to buy nursing scrubs you should give a thought of buying nursing scrubs online. If you are regular buyer of nursing scrubs from local store, you can give a try in buying nursing scrubs online. But before buying nursing scrubs online you should be aware that there are advantages in buying nursing scrubs (as well as buying anything online) and also there are disadvantages in buying anything online.

The advantages of buying nursing scrubs online are the time it saves for you. Being a busy nursing professional you may not find time for going out and buying nursing scrubs and this can be easily solved by buying nursing scrubs online from the comfort of your home with just click of your mouse. Buying nursing scrubs online can save your valuable time which you can use for relaxing or any other thing you choose to do.

Another advantage of buying online is that online stores are always open, 24 hours a day and 365 day a year. So you can order anytime of the day or any day in a year. You get flexible time for shopping.

There are also some disadvantages in shopping online, which can be overcome easily by acting smartly and logically. The main disadvantage of shopping online is that, you may get cheated if you do not select the online shop carefully. Always try to buy an item including nursing scrubs, from reliable sources only. Never step into the tricks of frauds online and there are numerous fraudulent online stores you may come across. So while choosing online shops always select the trusted shops and you will get the advantages of online shopping and avoid disadvantages of online shopping.

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Good Health with Natural Products

Many people these days prefer natural products over refined and synthetic products. These natural products are becoming very popular over time due to the advantages these natural products has over the other medicinal products. Many products which are natural like herbal supplements, fish oils and probiotic acidophilus are gaining popularity very fast. Another good reason for the popularity of nutritional supplements is the ability of the supplements to better general health as well as health of specific system of the body like cardiovascular system, gastro intestinal system etc. One interesting thing found in a recent study was the correlation between downfall of economy and nutritional supplements. If the economy is down the health conscious people get more health supplements like fish oil (helps cardiovascular system and heart), multivitamins, calcium, glucoseamine etc.

Among the top rated nutritional supplements “puritan’s pride” is the top rated brand in a latest survey on vitamins and supplement users by the consumerLab.com in 2009. The consumerLab.com publishes test reports on supplements. ConsumerLab.com is one of the leading providers of consumer information and also does independent evaluation on products that are related to health and nutrition and which effect health and nutrition of general population. In the survey by the consumerLab.com, it was found that the supplements (especially fish oil) are as popular as that of multivitamins in the popularity and use. Puritan’s pride has excellent supplement and offer promotional package in almost all products with 3 free supplements if you buy 2 and 1 free if you buy 1 product.

Herbal supplements are very popular now because people are turning to natural remedies for improving their health these days with lesser or no side effects as compared to pharmaceutical products. Only problem with herbal supplements is absence of strict regulation in the quality maintenance, in USA as well as in other countries. As a result the herbal supplements may not contain what they claim and here you should try to get the products from a reputed company of your choice.

Probiotic acidophilus is one of the naturally occurring gastrointestinal bacterial floras, which occur naturally in the gut and also in the vagina. But unfortunately it is destroyed if antibiotic is used and if contraceptive cream is applied in the vagina. And in these situations the supplement of probiotic acidophilus is required to make up the lost flora of the gut and vagina. Probiotic acidophilus may also be required in case of generalized illness to improve digestion and also to improve overall health.

Good Qualities of Acodophilus

Probiotics are live microbes that are beneficial for humans (microorganisms that are useful for humans are some bacteria and yeasts a type of fungus) and dietary supplements. But WHO (world health organization) and FAO (food and agriculture organization) definition of probiotic is “Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”. Acidophilus is type of probiotics that are available as capsules and are taken for health benefits like improving digestion (it also increase the number of normal intestinal flora that are helpful and essential for us), reducing acidity of vagina, skin problems etc. to name a few benefits of acidophilus.

The bacteria that are helpful to us and are commonly known as probiotics are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, etc. Only the Lactobacillus acidophilus belongs to the true Lactobacillus group. Others are related group but are marketed as Lactobacillus in the US and many more countries. Acidophilus bacteria convert sugars into lactic acid along with many other substances. This lactic acid lower the pH of food and also pH of liquor and help in preserving the food and liquor by making the food unfriendly to other bacteria (because the bacteria can not grow in acidic medium or acidic pH). The foods that are preserved by acidophilus have distinct taste and odor and this is due to the lactic acid that is produced by the bacteria. The most commonly preserved food that uses the acidophilus bacteria is yoghurt.

Acidophilus helps us in protecting our body against certain harmful bacteria, parasites, and other organisms. Acidophilus also helps us by boosting our immune system, by helping in food digestion (this is done by producing many chemical compounds that aid our digestion of foods), improving diarrhea etc.

Many products are available in the market these days like ‘Acidophilus Complex 1 Billion’ and ‘Probiotic Acidophilus With Pectin’ are very good and they are also available as promotional pack like if you buy 1 you get 1 free and if you buy 2 you get 3 free.

Alcoholic Liver Disease: An Understanding

Excessive and regular alcohol consumption is the most important cause of major liver disease. Alcoholic liver disease comprises three major lesions, but purely only one form is very rare, they are (1) fatty liver, (2) alcoholic hepatitis, and (3) cirrhosis. Fatty liver is present in more than 90% of heavy drinkers. A small percentage of heavy and regular drinkers progress to alcoholic hepatitis, which is the precursor to cirrhosis of liver. The prognosis of severe alcoholic liver disease is very poor and by 4 years more than 60% die if there is alcoholic hepatitis with cirrhosis. Alcohol is a hepatotoxin but only 10 to 20 % of chronic alcoholics develop liver disease like hepatitis. This is not clear, and may be due to complex interaction of factors such as gender, heredity, and immunity.

Quantity and duration of alcohol intake are the most important risk factors in the development of alcoholic liver disease. The type of alcohol is less important than quantity and duration of alcohol consumption. Women are more susceptible to alcoholic liver injury compared to men. They develop liver disease with much less alcohol intake. Progress of the liver disease beyond the fatty liver stage requires additional risk factors that are not very clear. In general, the time taken to develop liver disease is directly related to the amount of alcohol consumed. The threshold for developing alcoholic liver disease in men is an intake of more than 60 to 80 g/d of alcohol for 10 years, while for women similar degrees of liver injury occurs by consuming 20 to 40 g/d for 10 years. So it is useful in estimating alcohol consumption to understand that one beer, four ounces of wine, or one ounce of 80% spirits all contains approximately 12 g of alcohol. Consumption of 160 g/d is associated with 25–fold increased risk of developing alcoholic cirrhosis. Higher toxicity of alcohol in women may be due to effects of estrogen and alcohol metabolism.

The following are the risk factors of development of Alcoholic Liver Disease:

Quantity: In men, 40–80 g/d of ethanol for 10 years produces fatty liver; 160 g/d for 10–20 years causes hepatitis or cirrhosis. But only 15% of alcoholics develop alcoholic liver disease.

Gender: liver injury occurs by consuming 20 to 40 g/d for 10 year in women.

Malnutrition: Alcohol injury does not require malnutrition, but obesity and fatty liver from the effect of carbohydrate metabolism and lipid synthesis and transport may be factors.

Hepatitis C: hepatitis C virus infection along with alcoholic liver disease is associated with younger age for severity, more advanced histology, decreased survival.

Genetics: Twin studies suggest that gene polymorphisms may include alcohol dehydrogenase (enzyme that metabolize alcohol), cytochrome P4502E1, and those associated with alcoholism.

Our understanding of the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver injury is incomplete. Alcohol is a direct hepatotoxin, but all the alcoholics do not develop alcoholic liver disease. Ingestion of alcohol also initiates a variety of metabolic responses that influence the final hepatotoxic response. Chronic infection with hepatitis C is important co morbidity in the progression of alcoholic liver disease to cirrhosis in chronic and excessive drinkers. Even moderate alcohol intake of 20 to 50 g/d increases the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer in HCV infected individuals.

Autism: A Broad Understanding

Autism can be defined as “a severe disorder of communication and behavior, usually beginning at birth, invariably presented by the age of 3 years. It is characterized by self absorption, profound withdrawal from social contacts, including mother, a desire for sameness, preoccupation with inanimate objects and disorder of developmental language”. Repetitive behavior is one of autism’s core trait and some parents are sick of trying to disengage the child from the repetitive acts and engage in other activities.

Autism is neurodevelopmental disorder and is rapidly becoming a public health issue. In the US health officials have estimated that autism affects about 1 in 150 children. Our school systems lack in infrastructure and in manpower training to deal with autism and other psychosocial disorders in children.

In one side there is increasing social concern and on the other side scientists are trying to find solution for autism. Recently a New York researcher Dr. Keith Shafritz, an assistant professor o psychology at Hofstra University found a brain region in children with autism with reduced neural activity. He compared brain images of children with autism to those with normal youngsters, in a series of high tech mapping involving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). He found deficit in specific regions of cerebral cortex, the outer layer of grey matter linked to all higher human functions, including repetitive behavior of autism.

Repetitive behavior is called self stimulatory behavior. One of the common forms is body rocking. A child will do it for hours. Another type of repetitive behavior in children with autism is that a child may wave his/her hands back and forth in front of the eyes. This is called hand flapping. Some kids take things like hundreds of crayons and line them up over and again. If you move one of them they get very upset and might lead to tantrums, which is a major outburst behavior. Sometime the child repeatedly slams their head against the wall.

Dr. Shafratz found a relationship between the newly identified area and nearby areas linked to schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Both these disorders are related to problem with social interaction.

Treatment of autism is not very encouraging. Children should be trained to do routine things by themselves. Teachers also should be trained to help and handle the autistic children. Behavioral therapy is the only management available.

Facts About Infant Mortality Rate (IMR)

Infant mortality rate (IMR) is defined as “the ratio of registered death of children below 1 year of age in a given year to total number of live birth registered in the same year; usually expressed as rate per thousand live birth”.

It is one of the most universally accepted indicators of health status not only of infants, but also of whole population and of socioeconomic condition in which they live. In addition, IMR is a sensitive indicator of the availability, utilization, and effectiveness of health care, particularly peri-natal care. IMR is affected quickly and directly by specific health programmes.

There are wide variations between countries and regions in the level of infant mortality, due to various level of development. The world average IMR is about 50 per thousand live births. But it varies from 3 per thousand live births in some developed countries like Japan and Sweden to more than 100 per thousand live births in least developed countries like Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. Any further reduction in IMR in developed countries will depend upon preventing one of the principle causes of IMR namely congenital abnormalities.

In general IMR reflects the socioeconomic development of a country. Death in first four weeks is preventable by good health care. About half of all pregnant women in least developed countries do not get any antenatal care and 7 out of 10 babies are born without help from trained personnel’s, contributes to high mortality. Other major causes of IMR include malnutrition and high parity, low birth weight of the baby and congenital anomalies, diseases like diarrhea and infectious diseases. In the industrial world, the dominant factor in the decline of IMR is economic and social progress (quality of life), with medical services playing a secondary role. In the developing countries this is reversed. That is medical services (e.g. mass control of disease, immunization, antibiotics and insecticides) have made major impact and social development taking supporting role. That is the reason; infant mortality rates are reluctant to fall below present level, or falling very slowly in many developing countries.

Medical causes of IMR:

Neonatal mortality (0-4 weeks):

Low birth weight & prematurity.

Birth injury.

Sepsis.

Congenital anomalies.

Diarrheal diseases.

Acute respiratory infections.

Hemolytic disease of newborn.

Post-neonatal mortality (1-12 months):

Diarrheal diseases.

Malnutrition.

Acute respiratory diseases.

Accidents.

Other communicable diseases.

Factors affecting infant mortality:

Biological Factors: Birth weight, age of the mother, birth order (first born has highest chance of death & second born has least chance), birth spacing, multiple births, family size and high fertility.

Economic Factors

Cultural and social factors: Breast feeding, religion, early marriage, sex of child, quality of mothering (nursing), maternal education, quality of health care, broken families, illegitimacy, brutal habits and customs, bad environmental sanitation.

To prevent infant mortality prenatal and postnatal nutrition has to be improved. Breast feeding specially in developing countries has to be encouraged. Family planning methods has to be adapted to space births. Improvement of sanitation of community has to be done. Education of the mother (female literacy) has to be improved. General socioeconomic status of a country has to improve to reduce infant mortality.

 

Oral Rehydration & Its Advantages

The advent oral re-hydration therapy (ORT) is considered a major advance of recent times. If fluid loss is mild (5%-7% of body weight) or moderate (7%-10% of body weight) ORT can be instituted from the very beginning. ORT is done by using oral re-hydration solution (ORS). More than 300 million litres of ORS is being used annually, and estimated to be preventing half a million deaths annually worldwide, much more than any other drug. No other drug has saved as many lives as ORS, & most likely no other drug will be in future. Advent of ORS has been a boon to the humankind, and one of the most precious, like discovery fire & invention of wheel.

Rationale of ORS Composition:

World Health Organization (WHO) has formulated composition of ORS. First ORS was formulated for cholera, which was found to have some side effects if used for non cholera diarrhea. Older formula was supertonic to plasma, having a total osmolarity of 310 mOsm/litre. Because of higher osmolarity of ORS it used to cause retention of glucose & secretion of electrolytes into intestinal lumen, and caused osmotic diarrhea. But the latest ORS formula is slight hypotonic to plasma, so it does not have problem of absorption or osmotic diarrhea. Older formulation of WHO-ORS occasionally produces periorbital edema (swelling around eye) due to excess absorption of sodium.

 

To overcome those above problems WHO formulated a new ORS in 2002 which contain low sodium and low glucose. New formula WHO-ORS contain (1) Sodium chloride- 2.6 grams (common salt). (2) Potassium chloride- 1.5 grams. (3) Tri-sodium citrate- 2.9 grams and (4) glucose- 13.5 grams. (5) Water one liter. Older formula contained 3.5 g common salt & 20 g glucose, other two same as new.

The general principles of WHO-ORS are:

It should be isotonic (same as blood/plasma osmolarity) or somewhat hypotonic (less than plasma osmolarity) i.e. total osmolarity 200-310 mOsm/L (diarrhea fluids are approximately isotonic with plasma).

The molar ratio of glucose should be equal to or little higher than sodium. Extra glucose will be utilized in absorbing sodium which is present in intestinal secretion in addition to presence in ORS.

Enough potassium and citrate should be provided to compensate losses in stool.

New formula is found to be as effective as old one & also reduced the side effects. With the new formula the need for intravenous therapy was reduced by 33%, reduced vomiting by 30% and stool volume by 20%.

Administration of ORT:

Patients are encouraged to drink ORS at ½ -1 hour interval, initially 5-7% of body weight volume equivalent is given in 2-4 hours. Thirst due to volume depletion provides the driving force. Subsequently it should be left to demand, but should at least cover the rate of loss in stool. Babies should be given ORS with tea spoon, after washing with boiling water & allowing cooling it down by itself. ORS should be given every few minutes. If child refuses to drink- it can be given by intragastric drip.

Non Diarrheal Uses of ORT:

Post surgical, post burn and post trauma maintenance.

Heat stroke/sun stroke.

Super ORS:

This solution which in addition to normal ORS contents, contains certain actively transported amino acids like- alanine, glycine, which co-transport sodium. Their efficacy is marginal,& not extended to non cholera diarrhea. It is costly also. These amino acids can be substituted by adding boiled rice powder 40-50 grams/L. which makes it very cheap & easily available.

Homemade ORS:

ORS can be made at home. Add one half of common salt, one tablespoon of sugar and few drops of lemon juice/lime in one liter of water and mix well. It can be prepared and taken when WHO-ORS is not available. It is as effective as WHO-ORS.