3 Steps to a Successful Health Care Program

We all have friends who have been sick or diagnosed with severe health problems. You may be fairly health still (congratulations!) or you might already have some issues. No matter what your particular health is right now, there are three things you can start with immediately to take better care of yourself.

1. Good Nutrition. You have probably heard this dozens of times but do you really adhere to a good diet? How often do you eat fast food? How many sodas do you drink every week? Every day? Do you eat a lot of packaged processed food, even though it is labeled “Healthy Choice” or something similar. This is not good for you! You need to eat natural, unprocessed food. Fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, soy products and the like. Your body will gradually break down if continually fed unhealthy products.

2. Exercise. This does not mean you have to run marathons or spend hours at the gym every day. Do things that you enjoy or you will not be able to sustain a exercise regime. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise. Light weights give you some body strength and muscles are what burn the most fat so you will be able to maintain a healthy weight. Keep moving as much as possible. Gardening, walking the dog, stretching, yoga, these are all wonderful ways to keep yourself fit.

3. Take Some Good Supplements. No matter how well we eat, we are not able to take in the daily amount of vitamins, nutrients, etc. that doctors and nutritionists recommend. Make sure you get on a well recommended program that you can trust. There are some excellent natural vitamin companies out there, you just need to do the research and choose one. Look for a company with longevity and ask around to some of your healthier friends what they use.

Start today as you have no time to lose. Remember, if you have any questions about what you should do or take, check with your doctor.

What Are Centers of Excellence at Hospitals?

When I first began researching information on various hospitals across the United States, I came across many hospitals that offered a variety of Centers of Excellence. I was curious as to what constituted a Center of Excellence as opposed to just listing a program as a specialty service, so I decided to research this as well.

What I found out was that a Center of Excellence essentially means that a hospital specializes in the treatment of a certain illness or specializes in particular treatments. Centers of excellence can be anything from heart or cancer care to neurosurgery or organ transplants. Some hospitals offer a variety of Centers of Excellence whereas other hospitals might just offer one or two.

It was more difficult to find out how a hospital was able to claim the distinction of having a Center of Excellence. From what I could gather, each individual program and treatment has particular criteria that needs to be met in order for the hospital to state that their program is a Center of Excellence. They might require that the treatments be performed by a certain type of doctor or that a certain amount of treatments are performed annually.

I also found that different health care programs and health insurance programs will also designate a program of a hospital as a Center of Excellence based on their own criteria. This might mean that they are more likely to recommend this hospital as opposed to another hospital. They do this as a service to the patients who have their insurance to help them make an informed decision about which program is right for them. If you have a question about a particular hospitals Center of Excellence designation, you should ask them about how they received the designation and who gave it to them.

Healthcare MVNO, Weight Loss or Health Mangement Solution?

Can the MVNO phenomena really extend to healthcare? Qualcomm thinks so, as in May 2007 they announced plans to create LifeComm a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) with a healthcare focus. What’s important in Qualcomm’s plans and what will perhaps be the most important factor in determining the long term success of LifeComm is their plans to integrate some of the core health care monitoring functions in to a range of custom handsets coupled with network based services.

It is not farfetched to imagine a mobile phone (cell phone) based solution that encourages the improvement of ones diet and to encourage weight loss. For example it is suggested that the mobile device could monitor a number of body functions and parameters. A patient’s clinician could remotely monitor such data from the web, setting the patient new targets, send text messages of encouragement or indeed warnings of deviation from the health care program. Such proactive healthcare technology could have a revolutionary effect on diet and weight-loss programs.

Critical to the success of healthcare MVNOs is a range of clever biometric sensors linked to the web via the patients mobile phone (cell phone), all integrated with a proven clinical program.

Whether or not one really needs a MVNO to deliver these services is unclear. Could the airtime service be provided using the patients existing mobile (cellular) provider? Or, are these applications strong enough to force the consumer to switch providers, bringing over their mobile spend? In Piran Partners experience this very much depends on the attitude of consumers in a particular target segment, whether that be by geographic region or interest group.

Cold or Flu – Which One Does Your Child Have?

Both the cold and the flu are respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Typically, the cold is milder than the flu and generally doesn’t result in serious health problems.

Sometimes it may be difficult to tell the difference between the two, but according the National Institutes of Health there are some obvious differences in symptoms.

Symptoms the cold and flu may have in common:

General aches & pains – colds sometimes have these, but they are common and often severe with the flu

Fatigue & weakness – colds are sometimes associated with this, but it usually occurs with the flu and can last up to 2-3 weeks

Stuffy nose & sneezing – common with colds and sometimes occurs with the flu

Sore throat – common with colds and sometimes occurs with the flu

Chest discomfort & cough – mild to moderate with a hack for colds, but can be more severe with the flu

Symptoms that are not shared by colds and flu’s:

Fevers – rare in colds, while usually occur with the flu (100°F-102°F, occasionally higher in younger children)

Headache – rare in colds, but common with the flu

Extreme Exhaustion – never occurs with colds, but it usually occurs with the flu, especially at the beginning of the illness

Complications of the cold vs. the flu:

The Cold – sinus congestion, middle ear infection, and asthma

The Flu – Bronchitis, pneumonia, and can be life threatening

If you think your child is suffering from the flu be sure to contact your child’s pediatrician right away.

If you’re still not sure, play it safe and talk to your child’s pediatrician.

This article was brought to you by ReliaDose® – The Easy & Accurate Way to Give Medicine to Your Baby.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, and National Institutes of Allergy & Infectious Diseases – September 2005.

Nail Care for, Men? Of Course!

It is often assumed when people mention nail care, that the recipients of such services would be women. Beautiful day spas continue to spring up all over America. These luxurious retreats offer women an escape from their hectic lives and offer some much deserved pampering. Sure, we may see the occasional advertisement for a “couples” massage or maybe even a “male” day at the spa. But when it comes to feet, many people imagine women with beautiful healthy nails polished in exquisite colors and designs.

So what do we do about the large percentage of men who simply need a safe and comfortable place to have their feet and nails professionally cared for? We can’t ignore the needs of thousands of men who are, in fact, perfect candidates for foot and nail care. Nearly 50% of people over the age of 60 have experienced onychomycosis, or toenail fungus. Once this infection takes hold, it can be very difficult to treat. Nails become yellow, thickened and brittle, often requiring the tools and expertise of a medical professional to treat.

Many men have difficulty maintaining good nail care because they cannot reach their feet. Hip and knee replacements are some common reasons, as are arthritis and back pain. Clipping one’s own nails when vision or balance problems exist could become a safety issue. Safety should always be a priority in cutting one’s nails since the possibility of nicking oneself could result in infection. This is especially important for diabetics, where progressive infection could lead to amputation.

Some men have painful corns and calluses which can interfere with their activity level. Regularly reducing rough areas of the feet, adding cushioning to susceptible areas, and moisturizing the feet daily, will delay the return of calluses. This will enable one to continue enjoying an active lifestyle.

Nail care for men needs to become the norm rather than the exception. Those who maintain healthy feet and nails are able to continue to participate in their favorite activities, and have fewer complaints of foot pain.

Some seniors reach a point where they think it is too late for foot care. Please know it is never too late. If you feel embarrassed by the condition of your feet or nails, please schedule a visit to have them cared for by your health care provider or foot care nurse. It will be the first step in a healthier you!

Antibiotics And The Mode Of Action

Technically, an antibiotic is a substance that is produced by one microorganism and it is capable of killing or inhibiting the growth of another microorganism which can a virus, bacteria, fungi, yeast, protozoan or any other pathogen.

The first antibiotic that was developed was Penicillin, a biological compound that is produced by fungi in the genus Penicillium. It was discovered by Alexander Fleming in the year 1928. After that, several other types of antibiotics produced by different species of bacteria and fungi were isolated. Some of these include cephalosporins; aminoglycosides such as streptomycin, gentamicin and kanamycin; ansamycins such as geldanamycin and carabecephems; glycopeptides like vancomycin; macrolides like erythromycin and azithromycin, penicillin, quinolone, polypeptide and sulfonamide.

All these antibiotics have different mode of action by which they act as therapeutic agents. Some of the modes of action by different antibiotics are mentioned below:

Cell Wall Synthesis Inhibitors:

Bacteria contain murein or peptidoglycan that is highly essential in maintaining the cell wall structure. Cell wall synthesis inhibitors such as beta-lactams, cephalosporins and glycopeptides block the ability of microorganisms to synthesize their cell wall by inhibiting the synthesis of peptidoglycan.

Interfering with Protein Synthesis:

These classes of antibiotics inhibit the protein synthesis machinery in the cell. Some examples include tetracyclines, chloramphenicol, aminoglycosides and macrolides.

Cell Membrane Inhibitors:

Antibiotics such as polymyxins disrupt the integrity and structure of cell membranes, thereby killing them. These set of antibiotics are mostly effective on gram negative bacteria because these are the bacteria that contain a definite cell membrane.

Effect on Nucleic Acids:

DNA and RNA are extremely essential nucleic acids present in every living cell. Antibiotics such as quinolones and rifamycins bind to the proteins that are required for the processing of DNA and RNA, thus blocking their synthesis and thereby affecting the growth of the cells.

Competitive Inhibitors:

Also referred to as anti-metabolites or growth factor analogs, these are antibiotics that competitively inhibit the important metabolic pathways occurring inside the bacterial cell. Important ones in this class are sulfonamides such as Gantrisin and Trimethoprim.

How Neurotechnology Is Helping Blindness

Integration of technology and neuroscience has now made it possible to impart vision to individuals suffering from blindness. Scientists around the world are trying to use the principles of neurotechnology and other fields of sciences in order to develop devices that can mimic the human eye so that blind people can be benefited.

Described below are some important innovations that have been made in this area and how neurotechnology is helping blindness.

1. Eye-pod: This is a device that has been developed by Neurotech, a Rhode Island based biotech firm. Using their proprietary Encapsulated Cell Technology, scientists and engineers at this institute have come out with a porous membrane that is filled with genetically modified human retinal cells capable of secreting a protein called as ciliary neurotrophic factor. This protein is known to protect the eye. This device has to be surgically implanted into the eye.

2. Another major innovation developed by engineers and scientists at Optobionics, Illinois, is a sensory device or a chip that can be surgically implanted into the eye. This device is based on the thought of integrating electronic devices directly into the human body. Known as Artificial Silicon Retina (ASR), this device is actually a 2mm wide silicon chip containing thousand of photovoltaic solar cells. These cells are capable of converting external light into electric currents that are capable of stimulating retinal cells in the eye.

3. Second Sight is another biotech firm based in California. Scientists at this organization have developed an electrode array that when implanted in the eye captures images by means of its small camera. These images are then processed and transferred to the electronic implant device present in the eye. This device then electronically stimulates the retina.

Health Starters

When the thought of a working out comes up in the attempt to create a perfect body, beginners jump right into it but do not hold the correct information to achieve those results.

A lot people go about building muscle absolutely the wrong way. Because of this, they end up giving up even after one week. Some end up hurting themselves because they do not hold the correct knowledge at hand. In return, you see people training with absolutely no results and that is why they fail at building muscles correctly and end up with no results.

If you are going to get in to muscle building, you have to know what it entails. I think the number one thing that people over look is dieting. What I am referring to is what you eat and when you eat. Most people don’t understand that building muscle and achieving that perfect body is just one big science project. What I mean is successful people monitor what they eat and how much they eat. Also, 75% of getting results relies on proper dieting.

There are also many other factors including intake of protein, rest, etc. So if one thinks he or she can just go the gym and work out for 2 hours a day and expect results without proper dieting, forget it!

Also, there has to be some motivation in store. Sure going to the gym can be dreadful and be long hours, but what if you had goals? Setting goals for yourself in whatever it is that you want to accomplish is very important! without goals, you will have no point that you are trying to reach and thus working out will get very boring really quick.

If you are considering going to a gym rather than working out at home, make sure you choose one that fits you. There are plenty of gyms out there and many gyms offer activities that some don’t. For instance there could be a gym that has a kick boxing class and another one that simply has a swimming pool.

Whatever aerobic activities excites you, make sure you pick a gym that has those accessible.

Muscle building can be very exciting once you have the knowledge of how to achieve the body you want. You might train for looks or for performance.

Whatever it may be just remember, information is the biggest commodity in the world!

Non-Human Primates in Medical Research

Animals continue to be extensively used as research specimen in almost every major medical breakthrough. Utility of animals in medical research has been widely acknowledged. A wide variety of animal species are used for research that range from fruit flies to non-human primates. Research using non-human primates is required for testing drugs, clinical trials, neurology studies, evolution, genetics, behavioral aspects, reproductive biology, cognitive science and even in Xenotransplantation. An estimated 65,000 non-human primates are used annually for research purpose in UK and USA alone.

Use of non-human primates is significant as their brains share structural and functional similarity with the human brain. Most commonly used non-human primates for research purpose include apes, gorilla, chimpanzee, macaques, marmosets, baboons and orangutans. However, the use of non-human primates has always been controversial as it is related with ethical issues.

As per the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human interests are protected by the law as they are considered legal persons. Non-human primates do not enjoy any such privilege. However, this status has always been a continuous topic of debate. Considering research on primates as unethical, various countries including Australia, Sweden, New Zealand and Netherlands have prohibited doing any kind of experimental using great apes, a biological family that comprises of gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans and humans. Considering the fact that animals do have a similar sense of pain and trauma as like humans, several organizations, animal rights groups, philanthropists, animal lovers, researchers, philosophers and primatologists are advocating for a world wide prohibition over the use of primates in research.

The Best Health Benefits of Aloe Vera

There are many health benefits of aloe Vera:

  • Treating skin disorders
  • Promoting wound healing
  • Fighting allergies
  • Maintaining healthy hair and scalp
  • Treating teeth and gum disorders
  • Reducing inflammation and pain
  • Promoting healthy immune system

Elaborating further, aloe acts as a deep skin moisturizer, increasing collagen and reducing pigment formation. It cleans the skin by removing bacteria and also nourishes it. By eliminating dead skin cells, scars, wrinkles and blemishes are eliminated.

The aloe plant is very effective for cuts, boils, abscesses, cold sores and skin ulcers. The impurities are drained out and the natural healing process of the skin is sped up.

Because of allergies, pain and itching occur and aloe Vera acts as an anti-allergenic substance, allowing the body to deal the harmful substances.

Deep penetrating actions by aloe allows nutrients to access the scalp. It soothes scalp itching and the dead skin cells are discarded allowing new growth which combats dandruff and seborrhea infections.

The active aloe ingredients reduces inflammation of the gum and rids the mouth of pain. Mouth sores and surgical wounds heal better with the application of aloe gel.

Pure aloe also reduces body inflammation and pain by externally and internally attaching the symptom. As a juice it treats symptoms of IBS, indigestion colitis, peptic ulcers and even excessive stomach acid.

Because of its wide range of vitamins and minerals, aloe Vera is the best immune system stimulant. It creates in the body a better defense against viruses and bacteria and allows the body’s own healing abilities to tackle foreign substances.

A word of caution, Aloe Vera is not to be used as a substitute for genuine medical emergencies. A doctor should always be consulted prior to using aloe Vera especially if you are pregnant or have been diagnosed with diabetes or gall bladder problems.