Best-selling novelists, journalists and amateur writers alike gathered on Twitter today to turn a hashtag into a nationwide trending topic.
The hashtag in question? #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter. Writers have been chiming in to vent the everyday frustrations of the profession (or, for some people, the side job.) The most common grievance seems to be the fact that some people refuse to regard writing as actual work. They assume it’s an easy task that anyone could do if they just had time.
If you want to avoid making a writer angry, check out some of the best tweets:
I at least know five people in my life who had trouble with their kidneys; these excluding hundreds of my patient encounters back when I was in the hospital. Whether it is a simple upper or lower urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney stone or chronic kidney failure, there is a common denominator that would signal the problem, which is a simple urine test (urinalysis). This is exactly the reason why it is made part of a simple annual exam to a more complicated executive check up. Now, this article is not meant to diagnose your illness, but to simply give you something to consider and the actions you can take.
Here is a checklist of the symptoms you might be experiencing now, which is telling you, it is time to have your most dreaded visit to your doctor:
Are you experiencing any of the following?
burning sensation on urination
pain or spasm in the area of your bladder
frequent waking up at night to urinate
pressure on the lower abdomen when bladder fills up
pain radiating to the groin or back
incomplete emptying of the bladder or inability to urinate
presence of blood in the urine
cloudy, foul odor urine
stones or sand like in urine
flank pain (refers to a feeling of discomfort or pain from the sides below the rib cage that extends to the back)
fever and chills
in some cases nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea
purulent urethral discharge
Red Blood Cells (RBC) in the urine even without an infection
These are only some of the symptoms you might be experiencing, but have been ignoring for a long time. My advice for you is to visit your healthcare provider for a thorough medical examination. You should know that a simple UTI is easy to treat with the use of specific antibiotics – with the right dosage and frequency, you are good to go. Or better yet, a change in lifestyle like full hydration, healthy eating choices, regular exercise, enough rest and sleep, take potent nutritional supplements and most importantly – get married and have an exclusive sexual partner.
If, however, you are already in an advanced urinary or kidney problem, which I hope is not the case, you may already have the following symptoms:
persistent UTIs of not less than three times a year
frequent and consistent Red Blood Cells found in the urine even without an infection
presence of protein in the urine
pain that can be dull to a sharp stabbing pain from the flank area that may radiate to the groin
increase in blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine
If you have any of these symptoms, do not delay your visit to your healthcare provider as it may save your kidneys. It is the same health advice I give to a relative who has had more than three urine examinations that shows a consistent RBC, a friend who had a history of 20 years of stressful work with no time to go to the bathroom or to drink enough water during her working hours. Sadly, she now has eye, liver and kidney complications, which could have been avoided (except if it is something genetic) had she modified her lifestyle early on.
Now, it is up to you to decide whether you are taking your health in your hands or simply wait for the symptoms to worsen until you seek professional help.
Resource: Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 17th Edition
It’s the rainy season again, which also marks the cold and flu season in the Philippines. There is no better way to beat these viruses than an ounce of prevention, so I chose to re-post an informative article written by Nick Peterson on “Scientifically Speaking: What’s the Cold Got to Do with It?”. I did a few editing to make the article appropriate for a tropical country setting.
Although, there is no winter in the Philippines and the viruses do not reach their gel state, flu spreads fast during the rainy season because of the cooler temperature, and the increased humidity and moisture of the air. Therefore, the air droplets easily carry viruses and transfers them from person to person. Another obvious reason is that the cooler season tends to dry up the mucosal cavities of the mouth and nose, making them a good breeding ground for viruses or bacteria for that matter.
On another note, if you ask me what is my position on whether to stay at home or to go out during the cold and flu season? I’d say, I had better stay at home, as long as, I am sure there is no carrier of the virus in our household.
“People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Rainy Days Are Here
Warning: Flu Season Ahead
An article by Nick Peterson, which was originally posted at What’s Up, Usana?
This month’s edition of Scientifically Speaking goes out to all the moms and dads who’ve warned their children throughout the years about exposure to the cold weather, which will inevitably lead to “catching a cold,” right?
Seriously though, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to wonder if my mom was just duping me the whole time. Both a cold and the flu are caused by viral infections, so what in the heck does cold weather have to do with anything?
It looks like we’ve stumbled across a great topic for Scientifically Speaking. I did a little digging and — as always — got a few leads from our expert scientists. I’d like to say I’ve got a solid answer for you guys, but there seems to be some difference of opinion within the medical community. Let’s break down my findings, shall we?
Cold vs. Flu
Before we dive into all the cold weather talk, let’s discuss what a cold actually is. With more than 200 viruses causing it, the common cold is a viral infectious disease that usually leads to symptoms such as coughing, sore throat, runny nose, and sneezing.
The most common virus strands that cause a cold are rhinoviruses, and all of those nasty symptoms you experience are actually a result of your body’s immune response to the infection rather than the deterioration of tissue that the actual virus causes. In more extreme cases, the virus causing your cold can lead to viral or bacterial pneumonia.
The flu, or influenza, is also a respiratory infection, but it’s caused specifically by influenza viruses and usually leads to more severe symptoms such as fever, body aches, chills and headaches. There are three different types of flu viruses, all of which humans are susceptible to.
What the Experts Say
The National Institutes of Health uncovered some evidence that might back up your parent’s argument to keep warm during the cold season. These findings are specifically associated with the flu virus and its outer covering, or envelope.
The study showed that colder temperatures (in case of areas with winter – near or below freezing), cause the flu virus to form a rubbery, gel-like covering that shields the virus, allowing for easier transfer from person to person. Once the virus enters the body, usually through mucus membranes in the mouth, nose or eyes, it reaches warmer temperatures in the respiratory tract and causes the covering to melt. The virus’ outer covering then reaches a liquid phase, allowing it to infect the cells of its new host.
On the flip side, during warmer seasons the temperature is too high for the viral membrane to enter its gel state. Because of this, flu viruses often can’t withstand the elements and will dry out and weaken, leading to the end of “flu season.” This led the scientists to wonder whether people might better protect themselves against the flu by remaining indoors at warmer temperatures than usual.
What the Other Experts Say
According to other experts, staying indoors might be the worst thing you can do for yourself throughout the colder season. A leading theory is that confinement breeds infection.
“In winter, we spend more time indoors, in rooms that may not get a lot of circulation, giving us more opportunities to be exposed to respiratory viruses,” says William Schaffner, M.D., chairman of the department of preventive medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, in this Real Simple article.
Additionally, Schaffner adds, the winter air, inside and outside, also tends to be less humid, drying nasal passages and making them more vulnerable to viral invasion.
What You Can Do
These are only two opinions on the subject, but there’s a lot of information out there. Do some investigating yourself to see what the research tells us.
In the meantime, the best thing you can do to fight that cold or flu virus is take preventative measures that support a healthy immune system. Evidence suggests that a healthy dose of both vitamin C and zinc may help. Deficiency in either of these may make individuals more susceptible to impaired immune response. Healthy adults generally need at least 75–90 mg of vitamin C and 8–11 mg of zinc per day to avoid severe deficiency.
Another important way to protect yourself from a virus is to avoid any kind of hand-to-face contact. Typically, a virus enters through hand-to-eye, -nose, or -mouth transmission. And of course, don’t forget to take the obvious precautions: healthy diet and exercise, sufficient amounts of sleep, disinfecting germ-susceptible areas, and regularly washing hands.
My journey with Nutritional Supplements is one for the books, because I was the number one skeptic about it. It’s very unlikely for a nurse like me, but yes, I was a non-believer of this stuff. To me, they were all synthetic and toxic to the liver and kidneys!
Herbal supplements, on the other hand, had no benefit whatsoever; because our gastric juices simply destroy them once it reaches the gut. At least, that was what an eBook about Antioxidants I worked on for a client said.
I was a believer that a healthy lifestyle was enough: healthy diet (My Healthy Eating Plate), regular exercise, enough sleep, minimized stress and continuous hydration were all that was needed. I was not just a believer, but a serious advocate who did all these at the beginning of the year. Until – I was pinned down for more than 3 weeks because of Dengue and Enteric Fever; that was only after 2 months of strict healthy diet and high impact exercises.
Although my Healthy Lifestyle was not in any way the culprit for my hospital admission, I thought it too be so ironic that I would be confined after almost 18 years. The last one, by the way, was when I gave birth to my son – I was not even ill at that time. This event was to be the lowest point in my life: physically, emotionally, mentally, financially and spiritually.
Until, a very good friend thoughtfully gave me some tablets to take while I was on recovery. She gave me a 10-day dose of the Usana Supplements. Skeptic as I was, I told myself there was no effect whatsoever. On the sixth day, I deliberately decided to stop the supplements to observe whether there would be any changes. Then lo and behold, my vertigo and palpitations showed up, so I told myself it must really work!
After that, I did a personal research on Usana and all its products; I even went as far as doing the apple test myself, even though, there were a lot of videos available on YouTube. After I gathered enough information, I thought to myself, Cellular Nutrition is really impressive and is a necessity; something that most people take for granted these days. So from that day forward, I never stopped sharing Usana to everyone I know.
Today is a special day because it marks the second month after my dengue incident, and it also happens to be my spiritual birthday. Yes, I do have a spiritual birthday and I celebrate it every year, because it reminds me of God’s love and points me from where I was to where I am right now. What better day than today to embark on a new journey to take back my health!
Like a swing that never made it to the other side my health got stuck where it was four months ago. My weight started from 140 in January then went down to 128 in February as I did my healthy diet and high impact exercises. If there was any consolation I got from being sick, it was the long stopover of my weight. I was happy to read the scale at 128 pounds last night.
Somehow, it inspired me to get back on track again, although I know it will not be easy. I guess I have to muster all my willpower to get the momentum back; this time though, I will have to take a different route. Another knock on the head, would be detrimental to my health. I don’t need to take an ice bucket challenge to have a brain freeze to remind myself that my age is not on my side. So I’ve got to slow it down.
“Your body system could not take the heavy stress: your immune system got compromised and which is why you had dengue,” was my friend’s stern remark. It took a little while before I got past my denial stage after she said that.
So today, I decide to take a slow but steady stride as a commitment to God and to myself – I want to be a better version of me.
My goal for this month and the succeeding months is to modify my diet using “The Healthy Eating Plate” as my guide; then to load up on my Essentials to fill in the nutritional gaps. I will also journal and share my progress in the hope of encouraging someone to take back their own health.
Kraft Foods Group announced Tuesday it is voluntarily recalling about 242,000 cases of select Macaroni & Cheese dinners because of the possibility that small pieces of metal may be inside the boxes.
The Illinois-based company said in a statement that recalled boxes are limited to 7.25-oz. Original flavor boxed dinners with the best-when-used-by dates of Sept. 18, 2015, through Oct. 11, 2015. The recalled products were shipped to customers in the U.S. and “some Caribbean and South American countries — but not to Canada.”
Kraft said the recall was issued following reports by eight consumers, but added that no injuries had been reported.
Additional specifications on recalled products are listed in a statement posted on Kraft’s website. The company advises customers who purchased recalled products to return them to the store where they were purchased for a full refund or exchange.
Getting admitted in the hospital is never easy, and it’s even worse when you’ve never had it in ages. The last time I was confined was when I gave birth to my son who is now turning 18 in a few months. As a nurse, I am very comfortable inside the hospital giving my health instructions, but to be in the receiving end is a whole new story.
Although the experience was devastating, the lessons should be carefully considered to benefit not just myself and my family, but also you who are reading this. I have taken note of all the lessons I learned from this experience and I hope you can pick up something worthwhile for yourself.
Things I Have Learned from my Second Episode of Dengue Fever:
The first time I had Dengue Fever was when I was 3 or 4 years old. Then I had typhoid fever, which is a family of Enteric Fever but from a different strain back when I was a nursing student 2 decades ago. I was admitted in the hospital on both occasions and in both episodes what was vivid in my memory was that I am not allowed to eat any dark colored foods. The reason being was that in both illnesses there is danger of bleeding. Here are my notes:
Healthy living saved me from the worst complications: I was in the pink of health when this happened as I was eating healthy food choices and doing regular exercise. This means that my immune system was also working for me. Had I been in the worst condition, my recovery could have been longer and I could have bled profusely.
Second cases of Dengue Fever can get worse than the first: I was told that I can never have the same strain of Dengue viral infection, which is not good because, a person who succumbs the first time develops antibodies. These antibodies remain dormant until a person gets another exposure to a different strain of Dengue. This means that my second infection could have been severe in terms of tendency to bleed and poor recovery.
Dengue Fever can trigger other illnesses to surface: This explains why my Enteric Fever came in later.
Healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and nutritious balanced diet boosts your immune system and aids your body to get rid of the virus and bacteria in no time. Viruses are self-limiting, meaning there is no cure, but a healthy body generates more antibodies to fight them off. Bacteria, on the other hand, needs antibiotics, but with a healthy immune system, the antibiotics work faster too.
If you’ve had Dengue Fever before, avoid places where there are known cases. Have your insect repellant handy all the time.
Careful handling of food is crucial, especially of eggs and chicken. Both typhoid fever and enteric fever are caused by salmonella infection from different species. A previous infection builds antibodies in your system that’s why exposure to even the smallest amount of the bacteria can trigger a speedy infection process.
Salmonella can be seen in any food products but are commonly found in eggs and chicken. Handling tips: wash the eggs in running water before storing them in your fridge, crack eggs in a separate container, so if one is spoiled it cannot contaminate the others, throw a spoiled egg immediately and get a new container to crack the next ones.
Hand washing as often as necessary can save you and your family from the horrors of having a disease.
Buy chicken, eggs and other food products only from reliable sources.