What you need to know about environmental threats

Greek philosophers commenced theorizing about the nature as composed of elements like water, earth, ether etc. This nature or environment has always been a jamboree for the inquisitive souls. This is precisely the reason that man has left no stone unturned to explore it. In talking about nature and environment related issues, the foremost question that comes to my mind is that what is environment? Have you ever pondered over the fact that it is not just the foliage and fauna but also the air you breathe, water you drink, things you touch and perceive and even the food you eat that constitutes your environment! You are encased by environment everywhere and anywhere. This environment has friends as well as foes. In case of opponents, the rational selves inject most of these. For instance factories produce and introduce many toxic compounds in the environment that are hazardous for the entire mankind. This article will shed light on some of the significant environmental enemies that envelope us all round the clock.

1.The harmful pollutants like carbon monoxide, lead, sulphur dioxide etc constantly pollute the air around us. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous compound, excess inhaling of which can be unexpectedly detrimental. Studies have revealed that CO enters into our bloodstream and causes breathing disorders and even cardiac arrest.

2.Lead is another fatal element that attacks the nervous system and is largely responsible for causing evils like anemia and high blood pressure. Lead can be threatening to life. So it is better to keep a check on the release of lead in your surroundings. Reducing the consumption can do this and judicious use of lead based products and like paints, batteries and radiators etc.

Other pollutants too that enter the air and water we consume and destroy the sanctity of environment (like depletion of the ozone layer) are very dreadful. They can result in usual minor problems like common cold to major ones like asthma, bronchitis and conjunctivitis etc.

In order to avert the infection due to these pollutants or germs it is better to built up a strong immune system. Although much of immunity is genetically inherited yet it can be significantly improved by intaking nutritious and balanced diet and exercising regularly.

3.When we talk about pollution, noise pollution is also quite disturbing and annoying. A surge in the noise pollution level due to the escalating traffic, industries and factories leads to hazards like insomnia and lack of concentration.

4.The sun that enlightens the whole world can even be damaging at times. The excess of suns heat and ultraviolet rays that creep into the earths atmosphere due to the exhaustion of protective ozone layer, cause many dermdisorders amongst individuals. To avoid these perils as much possible, wear sunscreen lotion, sunglasses and covered clothes while moving out in the sun.

5.Apart from the pollutants like smoke and other toxic gasses, the pesticides that are sprayed in the fields and on the crops have an injurious outcome. Through the vegetables and fruits we eat these pesticides composed of poisonous chemicals like DDT, Methanol, carbon monoxide etc. enter our body and harm it. Therefore it is advised to wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly prior to eating or cooking.

6.The radiations that are released in the atmosphere due to nuclear reactions, nuclear tests, mobile phones, computers and the like are also a source of danger.

7.The enhancement of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has resulted in global warming which has turned out to be a massive threat to life on earth. Planting more trees and plants that enrich the air with oxygen can prevent global warming.

Safeguarding oneself against the environmental rivals is also a way to cease the damage we do the environment…think about it.

Alzheimers Disease, The Horrific Stealer

Alzheimers disease is a disease that can virtually steal away the memory and the abilities of innocent people. It is tragic when it happens and, unfortunately, it happens to many people each year. Are their cures? Is there hope for individuals who are faced with the challenges of Alzheimers disease? Let us take a closer look at it and see just what it is and why it is such a horrific disease to have.

What Is Alzheimers Disease?

Alzheimers is a disease of dementia. It is the most common form of dementia. Alzheimers disease affects the parts of the brain that control such everyday activities as thoughts, memory and language. Unfortunately, scientists and doctors do not know what is the actual cause of Alzheimers disease. They do not yet understand why it happens or who it will strike. What they believe is that a combination of factors contributes to the onset of Alzheimers disease.

The largest risk of getting Alzheimers disease is in fact age. People who are over the age of 65 double their chances of getting Alzheimers disease every five years. It is thought that Alzheimers disease can be related at least somewhat to genetics. There is actually a type of Alzheimers, familial, that strikes individuals between the ages of 30 and 60 that is inherited. But, in the common form of the disease, there is no direct link that is that obvious.

What Are The Symptoms?

There are a number of symptoms that can be the first signs of this paralyzing disease. The first symptoms, though, are not obvious. Mild forgetfulness is often the first symptom to be seen. Then, it becomes more obvious when people begin to have trouble remembering more recent activities and events. Or, they may have more trouble remembering familiar people, places or things. As it progresses, symptoms of Alzheimers worsen to where individuals can no longer solve simple math problems. At this stage, people may not realize that they have anything wrong with them. Stress, over tiredness or just plan old age may be blamed.

Symptoms become more serious though. As simple tasks become harder and harder to do, individuals realize there may be a problem and seek medical advice. Things like not remembering how to brush your teeth or how to tie a shoe become increasingly more difficult. They may not be able to think clearly, may become anxious or even aggressive. Sometimes, individuals will wander. Unfortunately, Alzheimers disease will leave patients needing complete care.

The Outlook For An Alzheimers Disease Patient

Alzheimers disease is a disease that affects each and every person differently. It begins slowly and can take years to worsen in some people. In others, it is much faster. The end result is severe brain damage. The average Alzheimers disease patient will live between eight and ten years from the time they are diagnosed. Others can live up to twenty years.

There is no cure for Alzheimers disease. Some drugs that are used early on in the treatment of patients can slow down the progression of the disease in some patients. Some medications are used to treat the symptoms of the disease which can help to make patients more comfortable. On the horizon are many new drugs and treatment plans, including stem cell research that can benefit individuals who have Alzheimers disease.

Spinal Tapping

Most people recognize something like lower back pain to be a sign of work-related stress. This is not something that most people would dispute, though it isn’t something that a number of them would pay that much attention to either. While stress relief methods like exercise and video gaming can go a long way in helping someone relieve the pain, there are other bits of advice one can listen to that can help out in the long run. Preventing back pain can go a long way in improving one’s overall mood and stress levels, though like many things in life, there are many ways to go about doing that.

Treatment for back pain is a massive industry, eating up around $24 million every year. Practically the entire chiropractic industry is firmly grounded in treating problems such as back pain. Hollywood and the media frequently make references to it, either in the form of comic interpretations of the hazards of it or the occasional public interest segment on news shows. For the most part, these things focus on the triggers and the side effects of such pain, but very little is done to cover the ways to prevent or relieve the symptoms of it. Most people believe that simply maintaining good posture would be enough, but there are other things that need to be kept in mind.

Aside from posture, things like aerobics and stretching are good for lower back pain relief. Things like regularly walking or jogging, swimming, and some exercises involved in weight training programs can all be of great help. The idea behind this is to improve the fitness of the muscles, which in turn can lessen the situations that cause pain. Boosting one’s strength can also help, which is why most doctors would recommend that a person perform exercises that strengthen the entirety of the body, rather than just work on any single area.

A firm mattress is also essential to preventing or relieving back pain. The mattress used should be a comfortable one that will not place undue stress on the back muscles while sleeping. It should also be firm and sturdy, rather than overly soft. Firmer mattresses help in maintaining the natural shape of the spinal column and back muscles, which helps reduce problems. There are also some pillow than can help maintain the natural form of the back, though they often only work for the upper back and shoulder areas. Sleeping position also matters, with lying on one’s side being the most effective position for maintaining proper back posture.

Obesity and poor health clearly have an appreciable effect on the back. As the primary support structure of the body, spinal muscles bear much of the pressure needed to keep the body upright. Poor health practices, excessive weight, and a compromised cardiovascular system can all have damaging effects on the back muscles and cause them to be more prone to weakness and pain. Other things, such as improper lifting technique, neglecting to warm up before engaging in strenuous physical activity, and smoking can all have side effects as well.

The Next Killer Flu — Can We Stop It?

Flu season is just around the corner once again. But this time, it may be coming disguised as a serial killer.

There is deep concern that a new killer flu, nicknamed “Bird Flu,” may mix with ordinary flu and kill millions of people. This is how Robert Webster of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis characterizes this killer flu — and take note that Dr. Webster has been studying influenza for the past 40 years:

“This virus right from scratch is probably the worst influenza virus, in terms of being highly pathogenic, that I’ve ever seen or worked with.”

Public health experts, including those at the World Health Organization, fear a catastrophe.

In preparation, the United States has ordered 2.3 million doses of an antiviral called “Tamiflu.” 2.3 million for a country of 300 million. However, the U.S. has decided to place all of its chips on an experimental vaccine, a vaccine that is based on an early seed of bird flu, which most experts agree has already mutated into something quite different, and that means when bird flu gets here, it may not respond to any vaccine.

The most astonishing fact about this new bird flu virus is how much science doesn’t know about it. The mystery remains of how people get infected. Is it by breathing the air near feces? By eating duck meat? By touching? Nobody really knows.

Meanwhile, health authorities continue to slaughter infected fowl, experiment with genetic variations, and run computer simulations on panic control. It’s clear that hospitals and first responders will be completely overwhelmed, as will mortuaries.

If you aren’t afraid at this point, then take a moment to read the cover essay of the October 2005 issue of National Geographic. Study those photos. Analyze those tables and charts. Then ask yourself, what are the odds that a killer virus will hit my home town, my family this flu season? Right now, WHO says the odds are 10% the killer will pick you.

Preventing Medication Errors In Radiological Services

With over 300 million radiological procedures performed in the U.S. each year and “X-ray” and “MRI” now household terms, a trip to radiological services may seem trivial to many people. However, don’t take these visits lightly. There is a high percentage of harmful medication errors associated with visiting such diagnostic and treatment centers.

In fact, the percentage of harmful medication errors reported in radiological services is seven times higher than many other types of medication errors, according to the 2004 MEDMARX Data Report of medication errors published by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP).

Are You At Risk?

So, how does a simple X-ray put you at risk? First, radiological services are not just about performing X-rays anymore. These services have grown to include the cardiac catheterization laboratory and nuclear medicine as well as diagnostic tests such as lung scans and MRIs. Radiology staff also drain abscesses, insert gastric feeding tubes and open blood vessels (angioplasties). These are all complicated procedures and 20 percent involve the use of a radiological pharmaceutical, a drug used to create contrast in the body that is detectable by imaging devices.

In addition, there can be a breakdown in the “continuity of care” when a patient goes to radiology.

Patients often circulate through this area without adequate communication between radiology staff and the providers who have been caring for them.

The Good News

Fortunately, consumers can take steps to help prevent harmful medication errors during visits to radiological services.

1. Always keep an up-to-date list of all your medications and dietary supplements in your wallet.

2. Inform radiological services staff and your health care providers of all your allergies.

3. When you are moved within the hospital, ask where you’re going and why.

4. When you go to radiological services, make sure your medical chart goes with you.

5. For outpatients, make sure you understand the home preparation instructions for your procedure. If you don’t understand, call your health care provider.

6. Have a family member or friend in the hospital with you to be your advocate for quality care.

Inform radiological services staff of all your allergies.

Arthritis Treatment: Clinical Trials In The US

Improvements in arthritis treatment come from clinical trials. Clinical trials allow researchers to see which arthritis treatments work, which dont work, and how different arthritis treatments compare to each other.

There are currently several clinical trials going on in the United States. They are being conducted by the National Databank (NDB), which is a research databank for the purpose of studying arthritis and rheumatic conditions.

The National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases is a world-renowned, non-profit, independent research group. Its mission is to improve rheumatic disorder outcomes and care by providing research information to doctors and to people with arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, or other related problems. The NDB has published numerous articles in reputable medical journals.

Every six months more than 10,000 people contribute to this important research by volunteering approximately an hour of their time to answer questions about their condition and how it affects their lives. This is done online or by completing paper questionnaires that they send in the mail.

If you decide to participate in the NDB you’ll be making an important contribution to the future of arthritis treatment.

What to Do If You Wish to Participate in the NDB Study

1.Visit the NDB enrollment page: . You’ll be asked to provide consent to participate in the research.
2.After consenting, you’ll begin the enrollment forms. They will ask for your contact information, your doctor’s contact information, and other ways they can reach you if necessary. They may need to contact your doctor to confirm your diagnosis.
3.Then you’ll move on to four pages of questions about your condition, which medications you are taking and have taken in the past, and your general state of health.
4.That’s it. You’re almost done. Look in your email for confirmation of your enrollment.
5.Once you have completed the enrollment form, you are now ready to join in the on-going research. They will contact you every 6 months in January and July with an email link to an online questionnaire. Depending on when you signed up, it may be a few months before you receive your first email with the online questionnaire link.

BENEFITS
The NDB project provides an easy-to-use format which allows you to share your experience, giving researchers information intended to help improve treatments for rheumatic diseases and improve the quality of life for people living with rheumatic disease.

Your participation could help change arthritis treatment for the better. New and more effective arthritis treatment may results from this study.