Sunday, August 19, 2012

The atmosphere and asthma

If you are one of may folks who insists that changes in the weather affect your health, this may be of interest to you.  I was interviewed as part of an article for the Mother Nature Network, called:

Lots of good information here, take a look and feel free to post comments!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summer Survival Tips

On the topic of Summer Survival, did an interview for All You magazine a few months ago.  Here are some of the topics we covered.  Who know, you might learn something!

What are some places on the body to check for ticks? Any surprising locations people should look? 

Ticks like warm, dark places. Check in your armpits, in and around your ears, inside your belly button, the back of the knees, under breasts or skin folds, around the waist, between the legs and around the genitals, and in and around any hair.

Do electrolyte solutions work better than water if you already have dehydration symptoms? If so, why? Do they repair the body faster in a dehydration crisis? How fast do they work?

For dehydration from exercist and heat, cool water is still the best. Taking salt tablets can lead to hypernatremia - too much salt in the body. In the case of dehydration from body fluid loss, vomiting and diarrhea, an electrolyte solution can be helpful, used according to package guidelines. Nonetheless, adults can usually do well with water alone.

Can wearing flip flops cause tendinitis since gripping your toes to keep the shoe on makes your muscles and tendons work overtime? How would you know you have tendinitis? Any signs?

The flat construction of flip flops provides no arch support, and walking in them can certainly lead to tendinitis. As the foot tries to grip and balance, unnatural stresses are put on the tendons of the foot, which can result in inflammation and pain. Localized pain in the foot, with standing or walking, would be signs of concern.

What’s the remedy for tendinitis? Ice and ibuprofen? Would it help to do stretching exercises after the pain is gone? Any recommendations for types of stretches? 

Certainly removing the source of the stress, the flip flops or whatever, first. Icing the area and using OTC anti-inflammatory medication, and rest would be first maneuvers.  Wearing well fitting shoes and gentle walking would be helpful as well.  Of course, should the pain persist, seeing professional care from your primary care provider, or a podiatrist or sports medicine specialist, would be appropriate.

Does water provide the perfect environment for bacteria and viruses to grow in backyard pools, even small wading pools for kids? Could this lead to crypto, giardia, E. Coli, etc? 

The first consideration for standing water is mosquitos.  Even a small puddle in a child's pool not totally drained can harbor these carriers of a variety of diseases.  Other bacteria from the environment can be in standing water, the one which might cause issues would be E. Coli, from fecal contamination, which can lead to GI diseases in exposed individuals.

Any prevention advice? Drain after use and wash the pool with soap (like dish detergent)? 

Sure, drain the water and let it dry out completely.  Eliminate areas of standing water around the house, such as the tops of grills, furniture, and the like.  Put a small hole on patio chairs seats at the low point to allow rainwater to drain out.  If you are worried, any disinfectant spray that is safe for the material can certainly be used.

Can lead paint on backyard patios be hazardous to children? 

Lead paint anywhere is hazardout to anyone.  But the hazard is with ingestion, such as when children eat chips of paint, which are said to taste sweet.  So if the paint is intact, not chipping, not coming off, the hazard is less serious.  You can use a paint which encapsulates the lead to prevent it leaching out, use plastic pads to cover the floor, wallpaper, carpet, or anything else to prevent contact.  Removing lead paint is NOT a do-it-yourself job, as the removal will generate lots of chips and dust, all of which is hazardous.  There are kits that you can use to test your paint for lead, and there are professional companies that specialize in its removal.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Distracted living

So I had a call from the Catholic Review, yes, the Catholic Review, about the problems folks have with distracted living because of all that technology out there.  Like blogs, I guess.  Anyway, it was an interesting conversation, and it resulted in this article being published on 25 July, 2012:

I told the reporter about the need to unplug, like with Shabbat, which I thought was fitting for a religious tome.  She picked up that theme, even if watered down a bit, and included it.  You never know ...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

How dry are you?

It's been a hot summer, so when the Baltimore Sunpapers approached me about doing an article about dehydration, I was happy to pen some information for them.  This article was published in the newspaper, and posted to their website on July 25, 2012.,0,5911886.story

After it was published in the Baltimore Sun, it was picked up in scores of outlets all over the country.  I am absolutely floored at the spread this article received.  Gotta go take a drink of water!

Freekeh - try it, you'll like it!

It's been quite a while since I have posted anything.  Not that I haven't been busy, maybe because I have been busy!  So, here are a few items that have involved me recently, hope you get some information from them.

First up, a look at Freekeh, a new old grain from the Middle East that is taking haute cuisine by storm.  Freekeh is young, green wheat which is roasted, giving it a tasty, nutty flavor, with high fiber and loads of vitamins.  I was introduced to the grain when I was asked to do an interview about it on our local NBC affiliate television station.