General Health and Well Being

Its true many illnesses are unavoidable, yet it is clear that each person has the power to improve his or her own health and well being. Eating well, exercising, resting, sleeping and relaxing, each can have a positive effect on ones health. Another key factor in a persons health and well being is the choice to not abuse alcohol, drugs, or tobacco.

Doctors believe that it is the people who have a positive attitude towards life, who believe that their lives have purpose, are manageable and have meaning, have the best chance of living a healthy and long-lived life.

Before the 20the century there was very little public support for health care. The government rarely got involved and when they did it was only to deal with epidemics or to clean up slums. Much has changed since then.

The problem is staying healthy is both becoming easier and harder these days. We have a constantly advancing health care system along with the advances in technology. On the other hand we are constantly introducing hazers into out lives such as pollution and toxic waste. New and more deadly virus’s and diseases are always developing, yet our life expectancy in north America has almost doubled in the last century. Spite all the health hazards the choice to remain healthy is still in your own hands. Avoiding unhealthy situations, foods, and life-styles along with staying positive are the best ways to have a healthy mind and body.

Sterility in Medicine

We are lucky to live in this century, one where medicines have been developed to combat most ailments, where we can be sure that the medicines we have are safe and sterile when needed and if we need a surgery, that the tools and equipment needed is all safe, clean and germ free.

Throughout history, they didn’t give much thought to keeping things clean and sterile, but luckily today we know that it is used to promote health and to eliminate the risk of contamination. What does being sterile mean though? Well, sterility is defined as the complete absence of any viable microorganism whether on a surgical tool, on equipment or in medicines themselves.

There are a few different ways that sterility is achieved in the medical and pharmaceutical fields. The first is using steam. This technique was actually invented back in the 1880’s by a man called Charles Chamberland. He came up with the autoclave, a steam sterilizer that used water to create steam to clean surgical tools and kill bacteria between patients. Today we still use this technique to clean glassware and surgical instruments.

What about things that can’t withstand high temperatures? In the case of sensitive electronic components, plastics and cardboard that need to be sterilized, the technique is EtO or EO, and it uses Ethylene Oxide gas as the sanitizing agent.

Another way to sanitize things is by the use of dry heat. This is used for things like needles and metal instruments that can get very hot with no worry that they will disintegrate.

But what about medicines themselves? They can’t be steamed, but they can go through the process known as aseptic processing. This takes a sterile medicine and packages it in a sterile container using flash heating. It is a task that also requires the use of clean rooms, bacteria retaining filters and dry heat. By using this technique however, drugs can be imported and exported anywhere in the world without the need for refrigeration and will be sterile when they arrive at the patient.

Sterile medicines, equipment and tools all help to provide the best care possible to us when we are sick. We don’t have to worry about contamination as the risks for it is low if all temperatures, gases, humidity and pressure levels have been accurately monitored throughout the sterilization process to ensure validity and effectiveness. Medicine has come a long way and the results are safer and more reliable than ever before.

How Do Strong Social and Community Ties Impact Your Health?

I called my friend, also named Lisa, who lives in Houston, Texas. Hurricane Harvey’s devastation had not only hit Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, but many communities in the Gulf Coast region. According to my friend, who lives on the north side of Houston where they got no flooding except for those who were near a river or large body of water, the worst of the rain is over. People are leaving shelters scattered thought-out Harris County, where Houston is located.

Out of the 6.5 million people in the greater Houston area only about 1.5 million lost power and most all the water is drinkable. No need for ice, a valuable commodity, for many of us here in Charleston who experienced the wrath of Hurricane Hugo. Unlike Houston, Hurricane Hugo, also a category 4 storm, was a direct hit and as a result we not only got the flooding but also high winds. But no one can deny that the Houston area experienced the worst flooding in its history, with some areas getting as much as 50 inches of rain. And because Hurricane Harvey’s devastation was so widespread, it will take years for the region to recover from this natural disaster.

My friend, Lisa, who is originally from Charleston, knows about hurricanes and the emotional roller coaster they bring; the anxiety before the storm of not knowing exactly what is going to happen, the storm itself, the flooding and aftermath once the storm has passed. No doubt, you too, no matter where you call home, are aware of the horrific situation the residents of the Gulf Coast region, north of Brownsville, Texas, are now experiencing. Lives have been lost, people displaced and the uncertainty of what’s ahead. It is one thing to watch the news again and again and be reminded of the destruction and the anguish. But to just absorb the information without acting when we can help can be paralyzing and emotionally harmful.

Animals as well need help and assistance. Donate to the Houston Humane Society, which is helping animals affected by the storm. The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation, is another charity. You may also want to check out Charity Navigator to further ensure your donations are helping those in need.

By helping those in need, you too can benefit. Studies have shown that people with strong social and community ties tend to live longer, are less likely to report being depressed, and have a stronger a sense of belonging, purpose and self worth.

Healthy Heart Wisdom

Finally, the heart health experts agree with grandma’s adage. Her wisdom no longer goes against the medical code. Well known for her common sense wisdom, grandma would often say that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Anyone who has experienced an avoidable life altering event such as hospitalization due to a drinking binge, a severed toe from a whizzing lawn mower blade or a car crash while reading a text message will quickly tell you that “grandma” was right.

After much observation, investigation, and thousands of case studies the researchers believe that grandma’s philosophy holds the key to many of our current health care woes. They have proven that it is easier to prevent certain diseases than it is to cure them. Prevention has also proven to be the most effective way to reduce rising health care costs. It has become the preferred option for clinicians and patients alike. The new paradigm of preventative medicine has virtually replaced the old paradigm of disease state medicine as a first choice approach. The older approach focused primarily on the disease state,its management, and treatment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now claim that more than 75% of our diseases are preventable or reversible. Although many of us are seeking ways to take charge of our health profiles and improve our health status, the majority still fail miserably when it comes to reducing our risk for certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. In our quest for a preventative lifestyle change we often find ourselves imprisoned by the shackles of habit and ignorance.

In the Ancient text, Proverbs tells us that desire without knowledge is not good. Behavioral science has demonstrated that inspiration without information leads to frustration, and ultimately failure. Because most of us don’t understand why, we often choose behaviors that are counter- preventative, and become victims who can only react to a health crisis.

To achieve a lasting preventative life style change requires a clear understanding of the urgency for change. This is means more than “knowing your numbers”. It means knowing what your uncontrollable and controllable risk factors for heart disease are. Ask your health care professional what your numbers are and what they mean. Then follow your health care professional’s advice.Let this insight into your health status(risks vs outcomes) become the motivation to make for change that is necessary and lasting.

Low Cost Dental Health Insurance

Dental plans are not included in basic health insurance plans as most of the dental treatments are elective and to a degree, cosmetic. Some medical plans take account of dental coverage as an added feature. Dental disease is often preventable; with the exclusion of injury or damage due to an accident. Only the initial diagnostic procedures such as exams and x-rays in dental treatment are relatively low-cost. Otherwise the treatments are considered to be expensive.

Low cost dental insurance is necessary for anyone who cares about their teeth and also doesn’t like paying the full price for dental work. You will have peace of mind with a low cost dental health insurance as you can be safe in the knowledge that you and your family are covered for any eventuality and will obtain the best dental care, whenever you need it for a relatively small monthly or annual payment. Low cost dental health insurance is available from top rated companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield, PacifiCare, MetLife Dental, HealthNet and Kaiser. You should identify how your plan is designed, since this can considerably affect the plan’s coverage and your out-of-pocket expenses.

A low cost dental health insurance has many different levels of cover. You can opt for basic dental health maintenance which will cover a portion or in certain cases the whole cost incurred of dental procedures such as fillings, root canal work and general maintenance. Other affordable extensive policies that cover periodontics, orthodontics, all sorts of filling, tooth and bridge work, as well as check-ups and cleaning are also available. Each low cost dental plan is different. Accordingly it is advisable to check the terms, conditions and coverage of each prospective insurer before taking a decision. With several options available, you can choose a low cost dental health insurance that is right for you and your family.

Evaluating Physician’s Services

Have you ever wondered if you were receiving the best health care you could be? Doctors aren’t infallible and their diagnoses aren’t always the final word. It’s important know as much as you can about your health and what options are available to you depending your situation.

Not all doctors are equally qualified. Some have more experience that others. Following are some tips on how to ensure you are receiving the best treatment to stay your healthiest.

Do some research before selecting a physician. Ask about his education and areas of expertise. If you have a specific illness, look for a specialist in that field. It’s OK to ask for a second opinion and seek out the best care. Your good health is worth making the effort.

Don’t worry about hurting your physician’s feelings if you go ahead and get a second opinion. It may help set your mind at ease and know that you’ve done all you can for your health and your future.

You should also feel free to ask to see any test results that you may have received. Ask the doctor questions about the tests and/or his diagnosis until you feel satisfied. You may want to inquire if additional tests would be useful.

It’s important to understand your particular health concerns as well as you can. If you’re not an MD you may not know that much about your diagnosis. So, take the time to learn what you can about it. Think of you and your doctor as partners in your health care journey.

Find a doctor that you are comfortable with and rely on them to help you maintain your good health.

Strive to develop a relationship with them so that you feel comfortable asking questions and exploring your options as they pertain to your health.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions About Your Health

If we fail to ask questions when we have an appointment with a medical professional, we may not be getting the full value from the visit. Asking direct, relevant questions of a doctor is not an imposition. It is our right and is also in the best interests of the doctor to provide all of the information we need.

Forgetting to ask questions during an office visit is a common occurrence. This can be a stressful and hectic time and being distracted is normal, especially if we are not feeling well. It is helpful to write down any questions that you may have before your appointment so that you do not forget to ask. You may also want to discuss these questions with a friend or family member. Another person may be able to add insight by seeing things more clearly than we can at the time.

Don’t assume that you are causing a problem by asking questions. Most doctors appreciate patients who ask good questions. Feelings of fear, embarrassment or inadequacy are not good reasons for failing to ask the about things you really want to know. If you don’t ask, your doctor may assume that you understand, or that you do not care to know more. He or she cannot guess what your concerns are.

As you know, television and magazines are saturated with advertising for various medications. Such conditions as high blood pressure, depression, arthritis, high cholesterol and even erectile dysfunction are being targeted by pharmaceutical companies with new medications. The information supporting these products encourages viewers and readers to “ask your doctor about (name of product).”

Essentially, these companies are putting pressure on doctors to prescribe their medications. But, in a way, the pharmaceutical companies have made it much easier to initiate a dialogue with your doctor. It is no longer unusual for patients to ask doctors about something they have read or heard about. Consequently, the dynamic between patient and doctor is changing. Doctors are becoming conditioned to hearing questions from patients and they are obliged to respond.

Finally, if you forget to ask a question or think of one later, call back and ask! Your doctor should prefer, if you do have health questions, that you get the proper answer rather that guess. Guessing could be hazardous to your health.

Read This Article if You Want Health Care

Are you one of the 180 million Americans who wants Health Care? Did you know that a recent study showed that the number one concern of those seeking employment was; Health Care Benefits? Health Care benefits are a big concern, especially for families and the costs have skyrocketed for employers. In fact General Motors had considered filing bankruptcy due to the increasing health care costs dragging down its auto manufacturing division. Instead the Union and GM management made a deal to reduce some of the benefits but keep operating as usual and instead shed its under performing finance arm GMAC.

Recently The Boeing Company Aerospace workers went on strike, not over pay so much as the benefits package and a better health care program. If you are concerned about Health Care you are not alone. Small Businesses across America now know that to attract and retain the best workers they need to provide health care benefits and if they don’t many of the top potential employees simply are not interested in working there. It is an extremely important issue to Americans one which employers must address to the satisfaction of the work force, a work force, which demands health care benefits.

One trip to the doctor for a kid’s broken arm could put a family in the poor house and they know this. Drugs are not cheap either for those who have medical conditions. Health Care is something that is on everyone’s minds these days but the costs are going through the roof and many companies and families are nearing a breaking point. Think on this.

An Appreciation of Henry Lindlair, Early 20th Century Naturopath

In my search for answers to use alternative medicine in place of modern drugs and pharmacy I ran across the story of colorful naturopath Henry Lindlair (1862-1924). As a young man Lindlair accumulated a fortune. Although rich he was sick at 35. Diagnosed with diabetes and given just a few months to live he changed his lifestyle to nature cure. Ten years later he owned a successful drug free nature cure clinic in Chicago. Over the next 20 years became the leading scientific naturopath in America.

Lindlair’s story is common in the annals of nature cure. His cure was not found in drugs, but located in nature. His first touch was reading Louis Kuhne’s The New Science of Healing which introduced him to the concept that disease is caused by violating nature’s laws. After applying the Kuhns suggestion he eventually became cured of diabetes. The experience gave him the drive to embark on a lifelong journey into natural cures.

Before that Lindlair had believed that life, death, and disease were largely a matter of being in the wrong place and disease was caught by chance. He felt betrayed by a medical community that should have explained that as simple a thing as diet and that he was cured by what medical doctors called a “Quack.”

Lindlair believed that if he became a medical doctor he could correct the wrong thinking conveyed by the medical profession. He learned osteopathy and nutrition, then later received his medical license and started his Chicago practice. He consistently railed against the rich American diet and felt good blood did not need large quantities of fats, proteins, meats, and dairy products. He felt that vegetable salts were taxed with heavy foods that nutritional deficiencies would occur. He never became a fanatic about food but was careful about quantity, making vegetables the biggest portions on his plate.

Four core solutions were used in his sanatorium
o Rest and Relaxation
o Water, air, light, electricity
o Hydrotherapy of all sorts, cold, warm, hot
o Controlled diet

Besides those he used homeopathy and occasional herbs. Lindlair was an accomplished naturopath whose light went out too early when he paid no attention to himself. An infection in his toe led to blood poisoning killed him.

Improving Technology Facilitates Patient Care

More independent physicians are partnering with their local hospitals to deliver efficient care to patients. These doctors and hospitals are employing a range of new information sharing technologies in order to facilitate access to patient information.

Without the aid of information sharing technology, hospitals and doctors often need to contact one another to ensure they have all the necessary information to prescribe treatment. This can lead to delays in treatment due to the waiting time for the transfer of patient information.

Information sharing networks eliminate this downtime by allowing physicians in private practice and those in community hospitals to access all records pertaining to a specific patient instantly.

This also diminishes the risk of valuable information being forgotten or omitted. Patient allergies to medications and previous treatment information are particularly relevant to physicians when trying to prescribe treatment. With new information sharing systems, doctors have a more reliable source to turn to for these types of information.

Integrated technology systems also facilitate physician workflow efficiency. Care providers can electronically submit laboratory and radiology orders to be viewed instantly by physicians either at their practices or at the community hospital.

York Hospital in Maine and San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in California are just a few of the hospitals that have found the use of information sharing technology helpful, enabling them to offer safer, more efficient care to their patients. These programs generally work with the hospital’s existing electronic infrastructure and are therefore easy to implement and use.

The ready sharing of information can also help to strengthen bonds among medical professionals. New technologies are reducing the barriers to information between physician practices and hospitals and creating a larger sense of community among those involved with patient care.