Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness

  • Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your action level. Don't wait until you’re thirsty to drink
  • Don’t drink liquids that include alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay inside and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health section to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the high temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much improved way to cool off.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked automobile.
  • Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:
  1. Infants and young kids
  2. People aged 65 or older
  3. People who have a mind illness
  4. Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and directly watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more regular watching.

If you must be out in the heat:
  • Limit your outdoor action to morning and evening hours.
  • Cut down on work out. If you must work out, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
  • Try to rest often in shady areas.
  • Protect manually from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.
Stem Cells in India

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Do you have swine flu ?

The most common symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of seasonal flu, including fever, weakness and fatigue and aching muscles and joints, although, these could be more severe. Certain people are most at risk, including pregnant women, the elderly and young children and people with underlying health conditions.

What is swine flu?

A new strain of Influenza A (H1N1), also known as swine flu, was confirmed in the UK in April and has spread to nearly 200 countries around the world.

Although symptoms have generally proved mild, a small number of patients will develop more serious illness. Many of these people have other underlying health conditions, such as heart or lung disease, that put them at increased risk.


The symptoms of swine flu are similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal flu and include:

  • fever
  • lack of energy
  • lack of appetite
  • coughing
Some people with swine flu also have reported:
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
As with any sort of influenza, how bad and how long the symptoms last will depend on treatment and the patient’s individual circumstances.

Most cases reported in the UK have been relatively mild, with those affected starting to recover within a week.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Strengthening Activities and Older Adults

No matter your age, regular physical movement is one of the most important things you can do for your health. And if you're an older adult, regular physical activity is essential for strong aging. To get the strength benefits of physical activity, not only do you need to do aerobic actions that make you breathe harder and your heart beat faster, but you also need to do strengthening behavior to make your muscles stronger.

According to the 2008 Physical Activity rule for Americans, older adults gain considerable health benefits from 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) a week of reasonable-strength aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking), in combination with muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all seven major muscle groups - your legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.

Benefits of Muscle-Strengthening Activities

As people age, they lose muscle. Muscle-strengthening activities can build muscle tissue and help slow the rate of age-related muscle loss. In addition, strengthening activities can maintain the strength of your bones and improve your balance, coordination, and mobility. Older adults who participate in moderate-intensity muscle-strengthening and balance activities are less likely to have falls.

When to Check with Your Doctor

Doing activity that requires moderate effort is safe for most people, regardless of age. However, if you have a health condition such as heart disease, arthritis, or diabetes be sure to talk with your doctor about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you.

Tips for Getting Started

  • Choose behavior that work all seven major muscle groups of your body (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms), such as lifting weights, effective with resistance bands, doing exercises that use your body weight for resistance, or yoga.
  • Try to do 8–12 repetitions per strengthening activity. A repetition is one complete movement of an activity, like lifting a weight or doing one sit-up. To develop muscle strength and endurance, the number of strengthening activities needs to be done to the point where it's hard for you to do another repetition without help.
  • Strive to increase the weight that you currently lift when it becomes too easy. Muscles are strengthened by progressively increasing the weight you lift over time. When you can lift the weight 8–12 times easily, it may be time to increase the amount of weight at your next session.
  • You can do muscle-strengthening behavior in a number of settings, including your home or a gym. For examples of activities you may want to try, visit Growing Stronger – Strength Training for Older Adults: Exercises, Muscle Strengthening at Home, and Muscle Strengthening at the Gym

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Learn more about vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 is one of several B vitamins. It is needed to make new red blood cells and help your nervous system work well. Vitamin B12 is found naturally in meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. It is not found naturally in plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and cereal grains. Some people need to take vitamin supplements or vitamin B12 shots to get enough.

What are the signs and symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency?

Vitamin B12 deficiency develops slowly, and symptoms appear so gradually that they can be missed. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anemia over time. The symptoms of anemia include feeling weak, tired, and faint; heart palpitations; looking pale; and shortness of breath. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause tingling of hands and feet, changes in ability to walk, loss of vision, memory problems, seeing things that aren't there, sadness, and changes in personality. Infants and young children who are vitamin B12 deficient might have problems growing, weak muscle tone, delays in development, and general weakness.

What should I do if I think I might have vitamin B12 deficiency?

If you have those symptoms, set up a time to visit your doctor.

Who is at risk for a vitamin B12 deficiency?

The chances for developing vitamin B12 deficiency increase with age, untreated pernicious anemia, gastric (stomach) surgery, or long-term use of strict vegetarian (vegan) diet. Infants and young children born to and breastfed by women who are vegans are also more likely to develop this deficiency.