Immunization 101: What You Should Know About Immunizations

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If you think that immunization and vaccination are unsafe, think again. Read how important it is to have your children vaccinated.

The Importance of Vaccination

Everybody very well knows the importance of immunizations.

Yearly, millions of adults and children get vaccines to protect themselves from the different diseases. However, getting immunization is not a breeze. Often, parents get a hard time because most children are afraid of needles. In addition, there are rumors about serious health problems vaccines can cause. The internet, for example, is a convenient source of such wrong information. Numerous websites present convincing yet unproven information about the risks of vaccines. This information overload not only confuses the parents, but the wrong information may prove fatal, as well.

The first step to avoid the risks of vaccines is to gather information on vaccine safety. You must always turn to your physician or pediatrician. He or she, more than anybody, would know your child’s health and medical needs. They are mandated by law to provide you with comprehensive information on immunization. Another source would be your local health center or the websites of your country’s government health organization.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to some of the questions parents ask about their child’s immunization.

Why do I need to immune my child from rare diseases like polio and mumps?

Immunization is still needed for very rare diseases because their germs and viruses still thrive in other parts of the world. Traveling might cause these germs to spread in the country.

Are immunizations safe?

Keep your minds at ease for all vaccines are fully tested by government health agencies before being approved for use. Vaccines have dead or weakened toxins or disease-causing bacteria and viruses that make the body produce antibodies that protect the child from the said diseases.

Will giving multiple vaccines to babies lead to overload or overdose?

Many studies show that that multiple vaccines do not cause harm. Researchers say that the small amount of germs present in vaccines could not cause harm in children.

Will vaccines cause any harmful side effects?

Some children might suffer from side effects like swelling at the injection site and slight fever during vaccination. There are rumors that vaccines could cause sudden infant syndrome, autism, or other diseases although they were NEVER really proven by scientific studies.

Diseases that Can Be Prevented by Vaccinations

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Vaccination started out from an observation that once puzzled medical specialists. People exposed for a certain disease were seen to be resistant to it the second time around, in a process called “variolation”. Edward Jenner, the discoverer of vaccines, actually underwent variolation for cowpox, which left him immune to smallpox, then a scourge for millions.

As vaccines for many diseases were developed, it became customary for children to get their shots in the first years of life. It is important to be vaccinated, in order to get the best protection from dangerous childhood diseases. These are some illnesses that your child could be protected against, with timely vaccination:

Tuberculosis (TB)

TB is one of the leading causes of death in developing countries. This is a disease that attacks the lungs, and can be spread through the air. The BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) is a weakened strain of the TB bacteria, and can confer immunity.

Poliomyelitis (Polio)

Polio is a serious illness caused by a virus. Being infected with polio can be traumatic, as this could cause paralysis, loss of use of a certain limb, and even death. Polio vaccine is commonly taken orally or injected. Due to the widespread distribution of vaccines, cases of polio are very rare.

Pertussis

Commonly known as whooping cough, this disease is highly contagious, and produces spasms of coughing. The DPT vaccine makes control of this disease possible.

Tetanus

Also known as lockjaw, tetanus is caused by a bacterium entering the body through a cut or wound. It causes painful muscle spasms, leading to the characteristic “locking” of the jaw. Vaccination is the best protection against tetanus, and undergoing multiple shots is recommended, as one grows older.

Measles

This is a viral respiratory disease. This causes rashes, fever, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes that last for a week or more. This is a highly contagious disease, and is spread by sneezing and coughing. The vaccine for measles, often coupled with weakened strains of mumps and rubella, protects a child from the disease.

Mumps

This is an infection caused by the inflammation of the parotid glands found near the ears. This is also highly contagious, and is spread by inhalation. This may cause sterility in males if left untreated.

Rubella

This is also called German measles. While not as infectious as measles, it becomes dangerous when contracted by pregnant women. MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine is usually given to children thrice and even as they reach school age.

Hepatitis B

This is a serious disease caused by a virus, and transmitted through bodily fluids. This attacks the liver, and predisposes a person to many other illnesses such as liver cancer, cirrhosis, liver failure, and death. Vaccine for this illness is available for all age groups to prevent infection.

Hepatitis A

This is a variant of hepatitis, though less serious. Nevertheless, this causes symptoms such as fever, malaise, nausea, abdominal pain, and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and eyes). Contaminated food and drink can cause this disease. This disease could be prevented by long-term vaccination, commonly given at two years of age and older. Short-term prevention is available in immune globulin form for all ages.

Chicken pox

A viral infection causing rashes all over the skin and mucous membranes, chicken pox can lead to scarring and disfigurement. Symptoms include malaise, abdominal pain, and skin blisters. Often, a person has only one attack of chicken pox in a lifetime, though the virus causing this disease can stay dormant and cause shingles later in life. A vaccine became first available in 1995, and can confer immunity in 90% of people taking it.

First Aid for Your Child’s Convulsions

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Seeing your child suffer from intense high fever and convulsions is just heart breaking. Know what you can do during instances like these.

What Happens during a Convulsion?

More often than not, convulsions are caused by contemporaneous high fevers. They normally last for about a minute or two. During such fit, your child may lose consciousness and start to twitch uncontrollably. You will notice also that the jaws will be clamped shut and breathing becomes haggard. The child’s eyes will roll back into her head and she may froth at the mouth. Usually, after such a fit a child may fall asleep. The picture the convulsion may paint is very alarming therefore, it is essential that as a parent you are aware of what you can do when it happens.

What Do You Need to Do?

When your child convulse do not just go running for help, what matters more is to not leave your child unattended for she may end up inhaling her vomit. To prevent this, place her on her stomach with her head to one side but do not strain her. Isolate her from objects or furniture that may cause her injury. Do not force anything to her mouth.

Before the fit, if by chance that the parent is around, the first thing that such parent should do is to cushion the fall or simply prevent an injury. What he or she can do is to use a hanky or piece of cloth to insert in the mouth when the child cries to prevent the biting of the tongue. NEVER place your fingers in the child’s mouth. Do not put a hard object in the child’s mouth either for it could break his teeth. If the child during convulsion bit his tongue, cheek or lips and it is severe, as soon as the fit is over, he or she should be taken to the nearest hospital for stitching.

The convulsions will stop on its own accord so no need to panic. What you should do though is to keep the child to one said to avoid his inhaling of his vomit. If he or she is wearing tight clothing loosen them so as to aid his breathing.

If his convulsion lasts for more than a few minutes or if his convulsions are very frequent in the same episode then one should have him checked by a doctor immediately.

The parent during the convulsions need to watch carefully all the details for there may be instances that the child will stop breathing for a few seconds or longer, at which time the parent is to shake him or turn him to the other side to stimulate respiratory movements. Also, after the convulsions a doctor would want to know if there were signs or premonitions that the child has related to the parent before the convulsions. There are many signs of the onset of convulsions, for some it may begin as something rising up from the stomach, a bad smell, an auditory or visual hallucination or even frightening or enjoyable psychological feelings.

At the start of the convulsion, the eyes and the head may turn to one side. It is vital that the parent watches this side. The fit may also begin in one limb and would gradually travel throughout the body. It is equally important to note what happens after the convulsions are over. So the parent should constantly be on guard, observant and alert when the child is under convulsion.

Understanding and Preventing Urinary Tract Infection

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You will know that you have urinary tract infection or UTI when you are peeing awfully frequent and sometimes painful in a day. Also, you will notice that your pee smells pretty bad. These effects are mainly caused by bacterial infection in your urinary tract.

How to Determine if You Have Urinary Tract Infection?

When your urinary tract is infected with bad bacteria, you will surely experience any or all of the following symptoms:

  • When there is noticeable pain when you pee;
  • When you have to get up many times at night to pee;
  • When there is blood in your pee or traces of blood in your underwear;
  • When you feel pressure, pain, or tickle in your lower belly;
  • When you pee more frequently than before;
  • When you pee in small amounts every time you do so;
  • When your pee smells bad; and
  • When your pee is cloudy

For some individuals, these symptoms could also be accompanied by fever, pain in the back or belly under your lower ribs, as well as chills.

Testing if You Have UTI

What your doctor will first do is to administer a urine test, and from your urine sample, he will determine if you are indeed experiencing urinary tract infection. Usually, he will also inform you as to what type of bacteria it is that you are dealing with.

Before allowing you to pee, your doctor will give you sterilized special wipes to clean yourself first; this is to contain your urine sample and to cancel out the possibility of an outside bacteria.

If your doctor diagnoses you with urinary tract infection after all the necessary tests, he will prescribe suitable medications for your particular case and for your particular condition.

What You Should Remember

Apart from knowing all these, it is all important to know the ways by which urinary tract infection can be avoided.

Stay away from products containing caffeine for this can cause further irritation.

Keep clean and wash your private parts regularly and thoroughly.

For women, remember to wipe from front to back and not the other way around.

If you need to go already, do so and don’t hold it.

When thirsty, make the time to drink. It is most advisable to ingest water or cranberry juice because they are great at washing away and preventing bacteria.

For women, avoid taking bubble baths because they can irritate your urethra.

As much as possible, wear cotton underwear, in this way, you will avoid moisture and heat that the bacteria love most.

The key to preventing urinary tract infection is basically cleanliness complimented by constant and appropriate fluid ingestion.

The Weighty Truth about Child Obesity

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Children with rosy, sagging cheeks and bulging tummies are oft-construed as utterly cute. Little do we know that we are cuddling one ugly reality – cases of child obesity have risen dramatically around the world in recent years.

Moreover, aside from the setbacks that obesity brings to a child’s body, cardiac problems, and skin disorders among others, more intangible effects are there. Among these consequences are depression and poor self-esteem, more often entailing a sense of withdrawal from the outside world.

What Constitutes Child Obesity

The study Evaluation and Treatment of Childhood Obesity explains the problem. Conducted by Michael Johnson, MD, the study weighs the amount of input and output of children, which are food and exercise, respectively. The result showed that obese children are not actually gluttonous; they are just plain inactive.

The disease usually occurs between the ages of five to six and recurs during adolescence. Experts say that if a child’s weight is at least 10% higher than his or her recommended body and height type, obesity may be present.

Be more wary! Your television set is another reason for this “growing” problem. TV viewing, much more if alternated with playing addictive computer games, could keep the physical inactivity to an unbelievable high. This habit heightens chances of obesity, especially if excessive calories from junk foods and fast food treats complete the picture.

On the other hand, the genes are also a factor. If there is at least one obese parent in the family, the chance of having an obese child rises up to 72%.

How to Prevent Child Obesity

The problem of overeating, first and foremost, should be rooted when dealing with prevention and cure of obesity. What could possibly induce overeating, depression, or sheer boredom? The Johnson report recommends activities, such as journal-keeping and exercise. The child’s thoughts should also be examined and changed into positive ones, so as to help build esteem. The list goes on, which boils down to the need for cooperation within the family and the opening of communication between parent and child.

And oh, encourage smaller bites of food. Tell your child to chew food longer, taking time to put his or her fork between bites. Good and healthy habits, even the most mundane, helps counter very early childhood obesity.

5 Steps to a Healthier and Leaner You

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Controlling weight and achieving a healthy body should never be difficult. This article will discuss 5 simple steps you need to follow everyday to be able to get that healthy and lean body you’ve always wanted.

Aiming to Be Healthy

Each of us would love to have a healthy, slim body that we could show off to anybody. The following are 5 steps on how to become a healthier and leaner you:

Take in at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber everyday. Enough intake of fiber helps eliminate constipation, rid the colon and intestines of toxins and wastes, minimize cholesterol, absorb fat, control blood sugar, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Fiber intake also reduces appetite because fiber takes a lot of room in the stomach, helping you control weight. Fiber-rich foods include long-fibered vegetables, whole grains, and raw fruits.

Eat six to eleven servings of grains everyday. Because they are important sources of energy, grains should constitute the largest percentage of your calorie intake. They provide vitamin B complex, vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, and fiber. They also have the ability to satisfy appetite with fewer calories.

Opt for unsaturated fats. The recommended fat intake is 20 to 35 percent of total calories. So instead of saturated and trans-fat found in crispy and fried foods, butter, and margarine, opt for the healthier fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Drink at least two liters of water daily. Water serves as the carrier of nutrients and oxygen to all parts of the body. It regulates body temperature. And since our body loses water through perspiration, urination, and respiration, it is advisable to drink two liters of water or eight eight-ounce glasses of water daily. If you drink alcohol or coffee, drink an equal amount of water. When exercising, drink another glass for every 20 minutes of physical exertion.

Eat enough servings of vegetables and fruits after every meal. Daily, eat three to five servings of vegetables and two to four servings of fruits. They provide necessary nutrients for the body such as vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, iron, potassium, and calcium. They are also naturally low in calorie and high in fiber that’s why you don’t have to worry about eating more than a little serving.

Achieving a healthy body should not be difficult. All you need is discipline and, of course, the right set of food to eat.

The Risks of Having Diabetes and the Role of Chiropractic

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Diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is a very common ailment, even though such ailment is not cannot be passed on from one person to another but merely developed. Moreover, diabetes is a difficult ailment to have because it often results in complications among the other organs of the body. The most common complications involve problems in the optical system, cardiovascular system and the kidneys. In view of these dangers, it is important for one to understand what exactly this ailment is and whether he is at risk of having such ailment so that he may take necessary precautions to avoid such an occurrence.

Common Cause of Diabetes

Diabetes is caused by the deficiency of the hormone called insulin, which affects the body’s metabolism. Insulin is produced by the pancreas. If the pancreas does not function properly and therefore does not produce enough or any insulin, then sugar is not utilized by the body, making the level of sugar in the blood very high.

Understanding the Different Types of Diabetes

There are basically three types of diabetes. These are Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and the least common type, Gestational Diabetes.

The first type of diabetes usually occurs among children and young adults. People who have this type of diabetes need injections of insulin administered daily since their pancreas either produces very little amounts of insulin or nothing at all. This happens because the beta cells in the body which produce the hormone insulin are destroyed by the immune system, causing the organ to break down. One who constantly experiences increased thirst and urination, hunger, extreme weight loss, blurred vision, and constant and extreme tiredness should immediately consult a doctor so that he may be examined for Type 1 diabetes.

On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common type of diabetes, occurs mostly among adults over the age of forty. As distinguished from the first type, people who have Type 2 diabetes are not dependent on insulin. The symptoms of Type 2 diabetes are almost the same as those of Type 1, although they manifest themselves rather slowly and unnoticeably. These symptoms include regularly feeling tired or ill, frequent urination and unusual thirst, extreme or unusual weight loss and blurred vision. In addition, people who have Type 2 will usually have infections and they will notice that their sores or wounds are unusually slow to heal.

The last type of diabetes is called gestational diabetes which, as its term suggests, only occurs among women. This type of diabetes usually occurs only during pregnancy and disappears afterwards. However, a woman who has had this type of diabetes stands in great risk of getting or developing Type 2 diabetes when they grow older so attention must be given to this condition.

Knowing these types of diabetes and their symptoms could be helpful, especially for those who already notice manifestations of these symptoms in them or in their friends and family. As in all other diseases, early detection is key to better treatment and cure.

The Role of Chiropractic Care in Preventing Diabetes

Chiropractic care, in general, aims to restore the overall function and health of the body by removing sublaxations or damages in the nervous system. Thus, even though there isn’t any case study that proves chiropractic treatment can directly cure diabetes patients, it can be concluded that such practice can improve the body’s function and prevent the onset of diabetes, especially when coupled with regular exercise and right nutrition.

According to medical doctors, chiropractic care, as support to medication and lifestyle changes, can help normalize glucose urine and blood levels of patients that are likely to develop diabetes.

Understanding Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms, and Care

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Do you always have to say ‘no’ to sweet and sugary treats even if you have been wanting to eat them badly because you have – or almost having – diabetes? We know how difficult life becomes when a person gets diabetes.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus (DM) includes all disorders of metabolism that result in an increased blood glucose or hyperglycemia. These metabolic disorders have different causes, such as genetics, environmental factors and even lifestyle, but the central problem that results to hyperglycemia is linked to short term and long term complications in different organ systems of the body.

Diabetes is known to have been the most common cause of severe kidney disease states (chronic kidney disease), leg amputation due to gangrene, and loss of vision.

Major Categories of Diabetes

There are two major categories of DM and they are designated as type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 DM, is a consequence of an immune system mediated destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas, which frequently direct to insulin deficiency. Common symptoms of type1 DM are frequent urination, increased frequency of thirst, and apparent loss of weight. This category consists of about 10% of all DM cases and exogenous insulin administration is necessary to control blood glucose levels. Severe states of uncontrolled blood glucose leads to medical emergency called, diabetic acidosis.

Type 2 DM consists of the 90% reported cases of diabetes. This is typified by varying levels of insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. Most people with type 2 DM are adults of at least 40 years of age, are obese, and may even show normal insulin secretion. As compared to type 1 DM, type 2 DM does not usually present with weight loss. However, frequent urination and thirst may be present.

Symptoms of Diabetes

How can one be diagnosed of diabetes mellitus? One can be diagnosed with DM by note of symptoms and by blood glucose determination. Common symptoms include:
increased frequency of urination
increased frequency of thirst
unexplained weight loss

Blood glucose tests are the Random Plasma Glucose, the Fasting Plasma Glucose, and the Two-Hour Post-load Glucose.

Care for Patients with Diabetes

Once diagnosed with DM, it is of utmost importance to stress to a person with diabetes that this involves long term management and lifestyle modification. The goals in treating people with DM are: To lessen if not eliminate the symptoms to control of blood sugar levels and to prevent the short and long term effects of DM. With these goals, a comprehensive plan must be addressed and should cater to each individual. Regular monitoring of blood sugar must be accomplished.

Education on DM and its long term complications must be reinforced by physicians and health staff. Lifestyle modification includes restriction of calories in the diet and regular exercise.

Lastly, compliance to medications for treating DM (which includes insulin and oral medications) is vital especially if properly integrated to the comprehensive treatment plan.

Proper Nutrition for Healthy Nervous System

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A healthy nervous system is vital in the proper function of your body. It is through the nervous system that all your body functions and the actions that you perform are communicated and coordinated within the different parts of your body. Without a properly functioning nervous system, all the other systems in your body may breakdown and go haywire.  This is describing the worst-case scenario that can happen with a seriously weakened nervous system. Minor conditions or diseases that are just developing in your nervous system can bring about irritation and discomfort that can hamper your normal activities. This may include pain, numbness, muscle cramps or nervous twitches. The least and simplest thing you can do to take good care of your nervous system is to eat the right foods that promote nervous system health.

 

Important Nutrients for a Healthy Nervous System

 

A few nutrients are vital in your nervous system’s efficient functions:

 

  • Thiamin or Vitamin B1 – Sufficient vitamin B1 can prevent “pins-and-needles” sensation especially in your toes. Good sources of vitamin B1 are seafood, beef liver, beans, eggs, brewer’s yeast and sunflower seeds.
  • Vitamin B6 – Lack or absence of this vitamin can lead to nerve cell communication problems. Dopamine and serotonin, two important neurotransmitters, need vitamin B6 for their production. Potatoes, bananas and chick peas are good sources of vitamin B6.
  • Vitamin B12 – Not enough Vitamin B12 in your body can result in numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. Good sources of this vitamin are clams, fish, meat, eggs and dairy products.
  • Copper – This mineral is vital in the production of neurotransmitters, just like vitamin B6. Lack of copper especially when severe, can result to the degeneration of the spinal cord and a gradual failure of nerve function. Oyster and liver are good sources of copper. So are spinach, kale, and other dark and leafy green vegetables, prunes and nuts.

 

Foods for a Healthy Nervous System

 

Aside from some of the foods mentioned earlier as good sources of vital nutrients for a healthy nervous system, the following are healthy foods for normal nervous system functions:

 

  • Spinach – This highly nutritious vegetable contains lots of antioxidants that boost health and delay the aging of the brain and the nervous system.
  • Whole grains – Brown rice has very high levels of vitamin B6. This vitamin neutralizes the harmful effects of homocysteines by helping protect against deterioration of the brain. Whole grains also contain magnesium, an important nutrient for the nervous system.
  • Whey – It provides natural calming effect. Whey is rich in L-tryptoplan, an amino acid the body is not capable to produce. L-tryptoplan is vital in producing serotonin, a key neurotransmitter that counters depression.
  • Cocoa – This food has powerful antioxidants, which prevent oxidative stress, a known cause for Alzheimer’s disease, among other neurological disorders. Cocoa is also rich in magnesium.
  • Garlic – A known natural antibiotic, garlic has antioxidants that can help in preventing the aging of the brain.

By being conscious of the foods essential in the healthy functioning of your nervous system and actually including them in your regular diet, you are doing yourself a big favor.