Monthly Archives: June 2016

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Antibiotic Resistance

The word antibiotics gives me the utter shudder. I have experienced the undesirable side effects of antibiotics  myself and  would avoid it at all cost, if I can find an alternative to treat myself naturally.

When I was a new mother, I panicked when my eldest daughter (now 13 years old) caught the slightest cold and cough. We would bring our precious baby straight to the pediatrician.  When she started attending play-school at 3 years old, she fell sick every single month.  Our pediatric freely prescribed her with antibiotics without performing any test on her.  We trusted all our doctors as we were still inexperienced parents.  Soon, her body became resistant to antibiotics and her immune system weakened.  Nothing seemed to strengthen her immune system. I tried all kinds of supplements that were supposedly effective in strengthening the immune system but they were not helping at all.  I hadn’t heard about Izumio and Super Lutein yet.   That was in 2006.   Fortunately I got to know about these fantastic products last year and my girls had not gone to the doctor ever since, except for a remote case in November last year when Cass had a bad bout of UTI attack.

When my eldest daughter (then 3 years old) kept catching flu bugs and strep throat with high fever every month on end, we pulled her out from the play-school. She was fine and healthy for the entire time she was out from play-school, which was about  6-9 months of respite. That period of time was a breather for my hubby and me. We need not have to pay hefty fees to different pediatricians.  But when we sent her back to play-school, the whole viscous cycle of falling sick, popping antibiotics, getting well and falling sick again started all over again. Feeding her with medicines was hellish. I was as helpless and hopeless as a feather in the cloud.  We had to endure that until she was about 7 or 8 years old and had developed a stronger immune system.

When Cass, my third daughter was born, she was diagnosed with Grade 3 Kidney Reflux when she was an 8-week old infant.  Several months later, the pediatric nephrologist detected a duplex system on her right kidney via ultrasound scan.  Cass had UTI attacks every single month despite being on prophylactic antibiotic everyday from 8 weeks old until she was about 16 months old.    It was obvious that the bacteria became resistant to the antibiotics.  On many occasions, the urine culture and sensitivity tests showed that the bacteria was not sensitive to any of the safe antibiotics on the report list.  I remember Cass got attacked by Klebsiella several times, a very virulent bacteria that was hard to wipe out.  Our doctors were as tensed as I was. They had to prescribe other antibiotics not on the sensitivity list with the hope of treating Cass’ UTI.   It only worked in ‘weakening’ the bacteria and the next month or so, Cass would have another bout of UTI attack.   On a few occasions, she needed hospitalization with intravenous antibiotics, only to be attacked by another episode of UTI a month later.  The first 16 months of Cass’ life was a sheer nightmare for me.  Again, I was as helpless and hopeless as a floating feather in the clouds, not knowing where to head to and what the prognosis for Cass would be.  No parents should ever go through what I went through with Cass.

These days, should Cass get a UTI attack, I try not to bring her to the doctor for antibiotics unless she develops pain on her flank side with fever as this may mean that her kidneys are affected.   I am aware of the consequences and side effects the antibiotics will cause her.   Instead, I treat her with such home remedies as D-Mannose, Ural, barley water, coconut water, Izumio hydrogen water and making sure that she pees every half hourly during the day and every 3-hourly during the night.

 

What are bacteria and virus?

Bacteria are single-celled organisms found all over the inside and outside of our bodies. Many bacteria are not harmful. In fact, some are actually helpful, including the majority of bacteria that live in our intestines (guts). However, disease-causing bacteria can cause illnesses such as strep throat. Viruses, on the other hand, are microbes that are even smaller than bacteria that cannot survive outside the body’s cells. They cause illness by invading healthy cells.

What is an antibiotic?

Antibiotics, also known as antimicrobial drugs, are drugs that fight infections caused by bacteria in both humans and animals. Antibiotics fight these infections either by killing the bacteria or making it difficult for the bacteria to grow and multiply. Antibiotics do not have any effect on viruses.

Viral infections should not be treated with antibiotics. Common infections caused by viruses include:

  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Most sore throats
  • Most coughs and bronchitis (“chest colds”)
  • Many sinus infections
  • Many ear infections

 

What is antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to resist the effects of an antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections. The bacteria survive and continue to multiply, causing more harm.

The article below on how drug resistance happens appeared in The Star’s Fit For Life Section on 1 May 2016.  The diagram clearly explains how bacteria gets resistance to drugs.   The life cycle of these drug resistance bacteria can begin from the animals that we eat.  So folks, go easy on consuming meat. If you can afford it, get organically bred ones.  I am a flexitarian now and eat very little meat.  I have never felt this good.

 

 

Why should I care about antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotic resistance has been called one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. Antibiotic resistance can cause illnesses that were once easily treatable with antibiotics to become dangerous infections, prolonging suffering for children and adults. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can spread to family members, schoolmates, and co-workers, and may threaten your community. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are often more difficult to kill and more expensive to treat. In some cases, the antibiotic-resistant infections can lead to serious disability or even death.

Although some people think a person becomes resistant to specific drugs, it is the bacteria, not the person, that become resistant to the drugs.

 

Why are bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics?

Overuse and misuse of antibiotics can promote the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Every time a person takes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria (bacteria that antibiotics can still attack) are killed, but resistant bacteria are left to grow and multiply. This is how repeated use of antibiotics can increase the number of drug-resistant bacteria.

Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections like the common cold, flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections. Widespread use of antibiotics for these illnesses is an example of how overuse of antibiotics can promote the spread of antibiotic resistance. Smart use of antibiotics is key to controlling the spread of resistance.

 

How do bacteria become resistant to antibiotics?

Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics through several ways. Some bacteria can “neutralize” an antibiotic by changing it in a way that makes it harmless. Others have learned how to pump an antibiotic back outside of the bacteria before it can do any harm. Some bacteria can change their outer structure so the antibiotic has no way to attach to the bacteria it is designed to kill.

After being exposed to antibiotics, sometimes one of the bacteria can survive because it found a way to resist the antibiotic. If even one bacterium becomes resistant to antibiotics, it can then multiply and replace all the bacteria that were killed off. That means that exposure to antibiotics provides selective pressure making the surviving bacteria more likely to be resistant. Bacteria can also become resistant through mutation of their genetic material.

 

How should I use antibiotics to protect myself and my community from antibiotic resistance?

Here is what you can do to help prevent antibiotic resistance:

  • Tell your healthcare professional you are concerned about antibiotic resistance.
  • Ask your healthcare professional if there are steps you can take to feel better and get symptomatic relief without using antibiotics.
  • Take the prescribed antibiotic exactly as your healthcare professional tells you.
  • Discard any leftover medication.
  • Ask your healthcare professional about vaccines recommended for you and your family to prevent infections that may require an antibiotic.
  • Never skip doses or stop taking an antibiotic early unless your healthcare professional tells you to do so.
  • Never take an antibiotic for a viral infection like a cold or the flu.
  • Never pressure your healthcare professional to prescribe an antibiotic.
  • Never save antibiotics for the next time you get sick.
  • Never take antibiotics prescribed for someone else.

 

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It’s Tee-Ball Season: Protect Your Child’s Head with the Right Helmet

There is no such thing as a concussion-proof helmet, but the appropriate sports gear does provide a level of protection against serious head injury. In an ideal world, your child avoids all hits to the head completely, but in a game like tee-ball where balls are flying, bats are swinging, and children are colliding, anything could happen. Your kids are having fun and getting exercise, but they’re also one false move away from a traumatic brain injury.

Tee-Ball Helmet Basics

No matter what sport your child plays, be it tee-ball, softball, baseball, or otherwise, the batter’s helmet should fulfill several different requirements, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

 

  • Make sure the helmet is well-maintained: While sports equipment can be costly, especially when you have children who grow quickly and need to have uniforms and gear replaced often, don’t settle for a hand-me-down helmet. Purchase a brand new helmet and maintain it by storing it carefully and checking it regularly to ensure that it is in good condition. Look for damage to the helmet after every use to ensure that it is not cracked, broken, or missing any parts or padding. The padding should also be secure in the helmet and not loose so that the head gear continues to provide maximum protection.
  • Choose an age-appropriate helmet: Sure, little kids look awfully cute running around in clothes that are too big for them, but young ball players are at risk for injury when their helmet isn’t fitted precisely to their head. Purchase an age-appropriate helmet that is just right for your child. Helmets fit differently depending on brand and model, and each type of helmet typically has its own set of fit instructions and sizing charts. The best course of action is to take your child along when purchasing the helmet so he or she can try them on for size – you want the helmet to be snug but not so tight that it’s painful.
  • Wear the helmet consistently: A helmet is only helpful when it is worn properly and at the appropriate times. This is the responsibility of the player, parents, coaches, and game officials, but be sure to instruct your child on the absolute importance of protecting themselves while playing their favorite sport.
  • Wear the helmet correct: The batter’s helmet should fit snugly all around your child’s head, with no spaces in between the padding and their head. There should be nothing worn under the helmet, including a baseball cap, that could prevent the helmet from fitting properly. A batter’s helmet should not be too high or low on the player’s head – this positioning can be confirmed if you check that the ear holes are lined up with the player’s ears and that the bill of the helmet is parallel to the ground while your child is looking straight ahead. The bottom of the pad that is located inside the front of the helmet should be situated one inch above your young athlete’s eyebrows. There should be no obstruction of vision in any direction.
  • Confirm that the helmet is appropriate certified for use: A batter’s helmet should be labeled with the date of manufacture (helpful information in case of a recall), and say “NOCSAE 1 certified,” which means the helmet has been tested and meets safety standards.

 

Playing tee-ball is a great introduction to athleticism, teamwork, and a love of sports for a young child. But every sport comes with risks, and head injuries can easily occur in tee-ball, especially when young athletes who are still mastering their athletic skills are playing together. Helmets offer an extra level of protection when it is needed most.

About: David Christensen is a brain injury attorney at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He helps victims with traumatic brain injuries receive compensation and benefits after an accident.

 

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Getting Rid of Age Spots Naturally

The other day, I noticed a few brownish age spots on my upper cheeks. I freaked out. After all, I am only 43 this year and  I think this age is still too early to be getting age spots!

As a strong proponent of using all things natural (and cheap), I  did a search today to find out how I can get rid of the age spots naturally.

After reading a few articles, I settled with using lemon juice, extra virgin coconut oil and essential oils.

My method worked like a charm and those brown spots were removed almost completely on the first try!

My method (successful!):
1. First dab fresh lemon juice all over my skin with dark spots, which were on my cheeks and neck.
2. Let the juice soak through my skin for a few hours. I waited for 5 hours.
3. After my shower, I poured a mixture of extra virgin coconut oil, melaleuca oil, peppermint oil and lavender oil in a bowl.  Then dipped facial cotton squares into the mixed essential oils.
4. Using the facial cotton squares soaked with essential oils, I rubbed  the affected parts of my skin.  Brown stains were immediately seen on the cotton squares!  The more I rubbed my skin with the cotton, the more brown stains were seen on the cotton.  After rubbing my cheeks and neck with a handful of cotton squares, the affected areas are now sparkling clean and fair again!  I could not believe how effective this method is!!

 

What Are Age Spots?

Age spots, also known as liver spots and sun spots, typically appear on the face, hands, shoulders, forearms and other areas of skin regularly exposed to the sun.  According to the Mayo Clinic, age spots appear most frequently in adults over the age of 40, though they can also affect younger people. Despite their name, age spots are not caused by aging alone, but occur from long-term exposure to the sun or other sources of UV light. Considered harmless, age spots require no medical treatment. Bleaching with over-the-counter products or natural remedies may reduce their appearance.

But I am not keen on using over-the-counter products, which may contain harsh chemicals.

If you’re a pro of using all things natural just like myself, you’ll be delighted to know that age spots can be removed naturally and inexpensively!

1 .  Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been considered to be useful not just for your health but it is also a beauty oil too.  It is one of those oils which has tremendous benefits for your skin as well as hair. The world over it is regarded as one of the most popular oils for beauty care.

Coconut oil comes packed with various antioxidants which help in fighting against these age spots.

Use Coconut Oil to Get Rid of Age Spots Naturally

If you want to use coconut oil for getting rid of age spots, it’s best to use virgin coconut oil since it is rich in antioxidants.

How to use coconut oil?

Clean your face and then pat dry with a soft towel. Now take a few drops of coconut oil and apply it on the age spots. Gently massage the spots with this oil. It is supposedly more effective it you go for upward strokes on the face. Coconut oil should be applied for age spots not just on face but on other parts of your body as well.

In order to prevent age spots from occurring it is best if you apply coconut oil immediately after you have come back from outside and have been exposed to sun rays. Continue applying coconut till the age spots disappear completely from your skin

 

2. Lemon Juice

Lemon is a natural bleaching agent and can go a long way in reducing age spots. Owing to its bleaching properties lemon juice is considered to be a dark spot corrector too.  Apply the juice from a fresh lemon to age spots at least twice a day to naturally reduce their appearance.  Allow the juice to remain for 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Lemon juice contains mild acidic agents that may slough away dead cells from the skin’s outer layer and lighten dark spots on the skin.

3. Yoghurt

Yoghurt is known to whiten your skin naturally. Just apply some plain and unsweetened yoghurt on your brown spots and massage gently. This will not just fade away the spots but also make your skin brighter and even out the skin tone too.

Use Yoghurt for Age Spots removal naturally

 

4.  Pineapple

Rub a piece of fresh pineapple over age spots to gently lighten their appearance.    Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is a mild bleaching agent suitable for reducing age spots.  Do this at least once a day for best results.

pineapple facial mask

 

 

5. Papaya

In order to naturally get rid of age spots, you can apply papaya too. This is so because papaya contains an enzyme called  ‘Papain’ which helps in evening out the skin tone, removes freckles, age spots as well as dark spots caused by acne. Just rub the papaya peel on your spots regularly.

Get Rid of Age Spots with Papaya

 

6.  Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Oil)

Tea tree oil helps to get rid of dark spots from acne but also reduces age spots too. Apply tea tree oil with a cotton pad on the spots daily.

 

7. Onion Juice

If you do not mind the pungent odor of onion juice, you can squeeze the juice of onion and apply it on the affected spots. Do this at least 2-3 times a day.

 

8.  Aloe Vera

Apply aloe vera gel directly on age spots to help reduce their appearance. The Reader’s Digest book, “1,801 Home Remedies: Trustworthy Treatments for Everyday Health Problems,”  recommends using gel fresh from the living plant, if possible. Aloe vera contains chemicals that gently remove dead skin cells and encourage the growth of new, healthy cells. Apply once or twice per day until you achieve the desired results.

 

9.  Buttermilk

Apply plain buttermilk, an old folk remedy for age spots, directly to the spots several times in a day to get rid of age spots. Buttermilk contains lactic acid, which gently exfoliates pigmented and sun-damaged skin while mildly bleaching.

 

10.  Witch Hazel

Use witch hazel to reduce age spots naturally. This is also effective in treating skin discoloration. Apply it in the same way as you would with tea tree oil.

Tips

While getting rid of age spots naturally is possible, it takes commitment, patience and time to see results.  Many natural remedies work slowly, over time, so stick with it patiently and you should notice improvement over time, depending on the severity of the condition.

Avoid excess sunlight and always use sunscreen to prevent age spots from becoming dark again. Bleaching them with natural materials won’t last permanently if you expose your skin to the elements that caused the damage in the first place.

You may also try applying vitamin E oil to the skin after spending time in the sun to prevent the formation of age spots.

 

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Why We Take Medicines Under Our Tongue

Did you know that medicines are absorbed by the body faster if you place them under the tongue?   I never knew until one of our team members’ customers who was critically ill and hospitalized was fed with our products under his tongue.  He eventually recovered from the coma and has since been consuming our products.  We also have customers with young kids who have not mastered the art of swallowing capsules who chew on our lutien capsules and then recover at a remarkably fast rate from ailments.

When you swallow a pill, it must go through your entire gastrointestinal tract. This means the stomach (with acid and bile), the intestines (where most absorption takes place) and then off to the liver, for some more filtering. And THEN it’s delivered to where it’s needed. This long route takes a lot of time. However, going under the tongue bypasses this entire route, and delivers the medication right to the bloodstream and off to do its job!   In cases of emergency where you need the medication to work right away, for example during a heart attack, medication is best administered sublingually.

 

colorful medication pills

 

In addition to the speed, the medicine delivered sublingually is usually more potent, and (in general terms) needs less medication to do the job it’s intended to do (you may have heard stories about people cutting pills in half, then taking them under the tongue, to produce the same effect as swallowing one pill).   The reason for this increased effect is the digestive tract is incredible harsh with acids.  And it’s meant to be this way for food to be broken down and the nutrients get stripped out.

Some drugs that are administered sublingually include:

  • cardiovascular drugs (nitroglycerin, verapamil)
  • steroids
  • certain barbiturates
  • enzymes
  • vitamins
  • some medications for mental health conditions

Placing the drug under the tongue or in the cheek for absorption can be easier on patients who have problems following a medication regime or for unconscious patients. According to research, sublingual medication administration is faster and more effective than  taking oral medication

It is  important that you consult your doctor before taking anything sublingually. Do let your doctor know if you have any open mouth sores.  And never reduce your medication dosage until you consult your doctor.

 

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