Here comes the sun!
Summer is in full swing and the days are long and hot! It seemed like a good time to republish a post from last year about how to prevent and treat heat-related illnesses. Take care! FN
Living in the Pacific Northwest, we rarely have to worry about heat exhaustion—that lousy feeling you get when your body starts to overheat.
But over the next few days the temperatures here are expected to hover around 90°F, which is pretty hot for us. Most of our homes don’t have air condtioning. Why bother when it’s truly hot only one … Continue reading
Heat waves lead to dehydration
Today in Seattle we are in the middle of a heat wave. For the Northwest, that usually means 2 consecutive days over 75°F, but actually we have been experiencing temperatures into the 90s! And most of us don’t bother with air conditioning our homes, so indoor temps can get pretty high, as well.
(Summers are getting hotter all over, aren’t they? A fun interactive website is Climate Central. Type in your city and find out how hot summers will be in the year 2100.)
As I sipped a glass of ice water to cool … Continue reading
This is a reprint from last year’s post. Happy and safe Fourth to everyone! FN
Every year around the Fourth of July, hospital emergency departments and fire departments get ready.
By July 5, most large communities have reported property damage—fires, mostly—and bodily damage—burns, missing fingers, blindness.
As a reminder to everybody to be careful around fireworks—my preference is to avoid them altogether—the San Diego Fire Department put together this great public service video demonstrating the danger of
I would also refer you to some of my relevant first aid posts:
… Continue reading
Consider benefits versus risks
Last spring I went to Florida for spring break and was attacked by sand fleas. I had about a million (okay, about 70) bites over both legs, and I wrote a post about my attempts to find relief.
In short, nothing really worked other than ice packs and cool baths—cool skin decreases blood flow, which deceases the amount of histamine, which decreases the itchiness.
This year I went to Panama and gave much more thought to bug repellents.
I didn’t care about the itchiness, so much, although it’s an awful annoyance. I worried more about … Continue reading
Strike a pose and possibly avoid surgery
I love research that shows conservative treatments—rest, diet and exercise—to be as effective (or more!) than drugs and surgery.
So when I ran across this article, “9 exercises to rehab a torn ACL without surgery,” I wanted to pass it on.
“There are approximately 150,000 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears a year, most of which need to be fixed surgically. However, new research at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City found that about 25 percent of the ACL injured population does not need to undergo surgery because partially— and, … Continue reading
Rest, rest and more rest
Gone are the days of the middle school football coach telling a player to “Shake it off and get back in the game.”
Proper first aid and treatment of concussions has received a lot of attention in recent years, mostly due to the alarming increase in long-term neurological problems—memory loss and behavior changes—suffered by professional athletes and soldiers.
Concerned pediatricians and public health officials are pushing schools, youth sports organizations and parents to be more aware of head injuries in young athletes.
Childrens’ brains are still developing, after all, and are especially vulnerable to … Continue reading
What causes gas and bloating?
In short, gas is caused by what we eat and how we eat it. Most gas is formed in our lower intestines where bacteria are busy breaking down any undigested food. Gas is the normal byproduct of this process. In fact, our bodies produce between 1 and 4 pints of gas a day!
Thankfully, most of the time this gas is passed unnoticed by us or others. At other times, however, excessive gas can be embarrassing or even painful. Anyone who has ever doubled over with colicky gas pain knows what I mean!
Gas … Continue reading
They are drugs, after all
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, How NOT to whiten your teeth, I enjoy Pinterest. What I don’t enjoy is the poor health advice that gets pinned and re-pinned hundreds of times over. Like putting acid (lemon juice) on your teeth and then brushing with an abrasive substance (baking soda). Bad idea if you like your enamel. But I see variations of this “recipe” pop up dozens of times every day.
Essential oils are another frequently-used ingredient on the home remedy boards. There are hundreds of home remedies using essential oils to treat … Continue reading
‘Tis the season
Cold and flu season is peaking.
I came down with a cold a few weeks ago (following a plane trip to a very dry climate—see my related post on Humidity for sinus health!)
And now I’ve had a cough linger for almost three weeks.
But I’m reminded again and again in various doctor blogs that viral coughs take a long, long time to go away, two and a half weeks on average, and patience is the best medicine.
As one family practice physician writes:
[Our waiting room is] a chorus of coughs, high, low, dry,
… Continue reading
Tamiflu makers trolling for money
We are well into flu season, and in another egregious direct-to-consumer advertising campaign, the makers of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu (Roche) are broadcasting a commercial encouraging people to—what else?—“Ask your doctor about Tamiflu.”
The thing about Tamiflu is that to have any chance of being effective, it must be prescribed within, ideally, 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.
And the commercial says this, more or less: “The flu comes on fast. Don’t wait! Call your doctor right away.”
No. Do wait.
When I first saw this commercial, I thought, “Yikes. How many people … Continue reading