Tag Archives: Health

Why Ebola Is Such A Uniquely Terrible Virus

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This is another article on Ebola. These articles are to educate and not cause unnecessary fear. Being forewarned is being forearmed. Have a blessed day. Shirley

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Physician Thomas Klotzkowski cleans Florian Steiner, a doctor for tropical medicine, in a disinfection chamber at the quarantine station for patients with infectious diseases at the Charite hospital in Berlin.
The Ebola virus is uniquely terrible for many reasons, but it doesn’t actually kill you. Your own immune system does.
In its struggle to beat back the virus, your immune system’s reaction ravages the rest of your body, leaving your blood vessels weak and leaky.
Soon, blood and plasma start pushing through, sometimes coming out of your pores and every orifice.
But long before the body begins to fail — around the time Ebola first enters the blood — the virus starts tripping up our defenses.
Here’s how it kills, how it spreads, and how it can be treated. In every step of the way, this deadly virus is uniquely terrible.

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The Ebola virus. So small. So deadly.
Ebola is a filovirus, a type of virus made from a tiny string of proteins that coat a single strand of genetic material. Particles of the virus live in an infected person’s blood, saliva, mucous, sweat, and vomit.
When someone is at the height of the illness (typically after five or more days), one-fifth of a teaspoon of that person’s blood can carry 10 billion viral Ebola particles, The New York Times reports.
An untreated HIV patient, by comparison, has just 50,000 to 100,000 particles in the same amount of blood; someone with untreated hepatitis C has between 5 million and 20 million.
If those particles find an entry point, like a cut or scrape, or if a person touches his or her nose, mouth, or eyes with fluids that contain them, they get to work quickly.

How It Kills
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Ebola how it kills
Touch is integral to patient care — and the best way to spread Ebola.

Once inside the bloodstream, the virus targets a compound called interferon. Interferon, named for its role in “interfering” with the virus’ survival process, alerts the rest of the immune system to the presence of a foreign invader. Normally, interferon would deliver its warning message straight to the cell’s command center via a special “emergency access lane.”
Ebola is too smart for that old trick.
The virus hijacks the delivery process — preventing the immune system from organizing a coordinated attack — by attaching a bulky protein to the messenger. In its misshapen form, the messenger can’t enter the cell. The immune system remains unaware of the problem, and the virus gets free range to attack and destroy the rest of the body.
This is when Ebola goes on a replication rampage. Once the virus starts growing, few things can stop it.
The virus starts infecting organs, killing the cells inside and causing them to burst. All of their viral content pours into the blood. By this time, the immune system begins responding to the crisis in turbo mode, but it’s far too late. Rather than destroying the virus, our defenses simply rip our own bodies to The World Health Organization has said the virus seems to kill about 70% of people infected, though it’s hard to know the true numbers while the outbreak is still in progress.

How It Spreads
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ebola patient escaped liberia
Ebola doesn’t need to be airborne to cause an epidemic. Anyone who touches a sick patient is at risk.
Although Ebola spreads less easily than a cold, because it isn’t airborne, the Ebola virus is far more persistent.
Like cold germs, Ebola virus particles survive on dry surfaces, like doorknobs and countertops, for several hours. But unlike a cold virus, which primarily infects the respiratory tract, Ebola can also live in bodily fluids like blood and saliva for several days at room temperature.
Doctors have found Ebola in the semen of men who have survived the virus up to three months after they recover.
It’s important to remember that someone with Ebola isn’t contagious until he or she starts showing symptoms. This happens when enough of a person’s cells have been overtaken by the virus, a process that scientists say appears to require a hefty load of viral particles in the body.
There’s also the prospect of Ebola mutating into something more deadly. Peter Jahrling, one of the head scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, thinks the virus could already be changing into something more dangerous, Vox reports.
In recent tests with Ebola patients in Liberia, Jahrling has noticed that the infected seem to have more of the virus in their blood, which could presumably make them more contagious.
And even worse, it preys on our human need to touch and care for the sick, which is why much of its spread is to caregivers and healthcare workers.
“The mechanism Ebola exploits is far more insidious,” as Benjamin Hale wrote in Slate. “This virus preys on care and love, piggybacking on the deepest, most distinctively human virtues.”
That’s why the virus strikes children, their parents, families, and communities. All it takes is one small slipup, one uncalculated act of humanity, and the disease spreads even further.

How It Is Treated
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Bellevue Hospital Workers Ebola Prep
Ebola treatment is dangerous — and expensive.
It’s tough to believe that anyone could survive Ebola, given its quick and violent progression. But two Americans did, and thousands of people in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have as well.
The virus’ quick progression makes comprehensive treatment in a well-equipped facility key for raising one’s chances of survival. If doctors can keep a person strong enough for long enough, that person’s immune system can eventually clear the virus on its own.
In Atlanta, two Americans were nursed back to health with a combination of experimental drugs and traditional treatment. By keeping their patients’ organs working with intravenous fluids (to replenish the body with the fluids it is quickly losing), ventilators (to keep the lungs pumping oxygen throughout the body), and drugs to keep blood pressure from dipping dangerously low, they gave them the best chance of survival.
That sort of treatment is pricey, though.
The bill for the average Ebola patient treated in the US is a lofty $1,000 per hour. In West Africa, where that sort of money isn’t available, most patients simply go home to die.
To date, no federally approved vaccine or medicine for Ebola exists.
by:ERIN BRODWIN

Ebola: Are You Afraid?

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XXXXX WARNING, PICTURES MAY BE DISTURNING XXXXX

ebolaThis article came out from ABC News and it got me to thinking about if I am afraid of catching the disease but I am afraid for my children and Grandchildren. I don’t think I’m afraid but I do have a chance of being exposed through my husband who flies out of Washington DC frequently. Thousands of people fly out of the airport he uses daily. He returned from a trip a week ago. What if that first case was on his plane flying into Dallas? It gives one a lot to think about.

Are you afraid of being exposed? For me personally I have to leave it in God’s hands and stay vigilant. The article below gives you some info that you need to know.

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ebola2The deadly Ebola virus has arrived in the United States with the first diagnosis on American soil this week, bringing national attention back to the outbreak that has ravaged West Africa.

Health officials confirmed that a patient in Dallas was diagnosed with Ebola about a week after arriving from Liberia to visit family on Sept. 20. The patient was placed in isolation Sept. 28, but may have exposed five school age children in the days between arriving in Texas and being isolated.

“There is no doubt in my mind we will stop it here,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said at a news conference.

ebola3Ebola has killed 3,338 people and infected 3,840 others since the outbreak began in March, making it the worst outbreak since the virus was discovered in 1976. More people have died from Ebola in the last seven months than in every other Ebola outbreak to date combined, according to data from the World Health Organization.

Although those who have received care on American soil have generally fared well, WHO officials have said that the world needs to do more to stop the outbreak in Africa and keep it from expanding.

ebola5The CDC warned that the outbreak could reach 1.4 million cases by the end of January without proper intervention. But with additional resources and intervention, the outbreak could be over by about the same time, the agency said.

Here’s what you need to know about the Ebola virus

What Is Ebola?

The Ebola virus is as a group of viruses that cause a deadly kind of hemorrhagic fever. The term “hemorrhagic fever” means it causes bleeding inside and outside the body. The virus has a long incubation period of approximately eight to 21 days. Early symptoms include fever, muscle weakness, sore throat and headaches.

As the disease progresses, the virus can impair kidney and liver function and lead to external and internal bleeding. It’s one of the most deadly viruses on Earth with a fatality rate that can reach between approximately 50 to 90 percent. There is no cure.
How Is It Transmitted?

The virus is transmitted through contact with blood or secretions from an infected person, either directly or through contaminated surfaces, needles or medical equipment. A patient is not contagious until he or she starts showing signs of the disease.

Thankfully, the virus is not airborne, which means a person cannot get the disease simply by breathing the same air as an infected patient.

Where Did the Virus Come From?

The dangerous virus gets its name from the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which was near the site of one of the first outbreaks. The virus was first reported in 1976 in two almost simultaneous outbreaks in the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They killed 151 and 280 people, respectively.

Certain bats living in tropical African forests are thought to be the natural hosts of the disease. The initial transmission of an outbreak usually results from a wild animal infecting a human, according to the WHO. Once the disease infects a person, it is easily transmissible between people in close contact.

Until this outbreak, approximately 2,361 people had been infected since the disease was identified in 1976. More than 1,548 of those infected died from it.

How Is It Transmitted?

The virus is transmitted through contact with blood or secretions from an infected person, either directly or through contaminated surfaces, needles or medical equipment. A patient is not contagious until he or she starts showing signs of the disease.

Thankfully, the virus is not airborne, which means a person cannot get the disease simply by breathing the same air as an infected patient.

Who Is At Risk?

The virus is not airborne, which means those in close contact can be infected and are most at risk. A person sitting next to an infected person, even if they are contagious, is not extremely likely to be infected.

Health workers and caregivers of the sick are particularly at risk for the disease because they work in close contact with infected patients during the final stages of the disease when the virus can cause internal and external bleeding.

In this outbreak alone, more than 100 health workers have been infected and at least 50 of them have died, according to the WHO.

Football Can Be Harmfull

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This is a repost from DNews on Football and one of my blogs on just how unhealthy football is. The season has started again and I cringe. I’m married to a college football fanatic plus anything else that has to do with a ball of any kind.

I hate football just because of the damage that it does to it’s players and now it seems to the audience also. Why do we humans participate in things that cause others pain for our enjoyment? Remember Rome and the Gladiators. Even after 100’s or thousands of years nothing hasn’t changed. I can visualize the cave man playing dodge ball with rocks and people cheering as the rock bounced off his head. I don’t see the attraction at all.

I’m sure there will be people who can’t understand my side either. They think I just don’t know how great the game is. My son and my husband can talk on the phone for an hour about who’s playing and where they playing,along with spouting numbers who has done this or that. I don’t get the attraction.

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Football has an intellectual attraction that keeps fans interested, according to Almond.

The game requires understanding a vast, complex series of rules (that are amended each year), and players can move in many different and unexpected directions (unlike baseball, for example). There are big swings in momentum, and it’s satisfying to watch.

“What’s happening in football for a fan is that you are combining this primal aggressive buzz (with) this unbelievably strategically dense game. Baseball players are static. Football is carefully controlled chaos.”

Despite the pull football exerted on Almond, a lifelong Oakland Raiders fan, he decided that he couldn’t watch it anymore because of its seamier side: its violence, misogyny and the corrupting influence of big money.

“It’s complicated,” Almond said. “But for me, the darkness was enough to realize that I didn’t want to be a sponsor anymore.”

The skull and crossbones, a common symbol for ...

Image via Wikipedia

According to an article I read today in “The Week“, a losing football team can kill you.  The University of California did a study of the death rate following the Rams Superbowl trips in 1980 and 1984.  The record review revealed some very scary numbers.  After the team lost their bid for the Superbowl, heart attacks deaths went up fifteen percent in men, twenty-seven percent in women, and twenty-two percent in senior citizens.  Four years later when the Rams won the Superbowl the numbers didn’t change at all.

This study shows how much emotion is put into your favorite football team.  The lead researcher felt people reacted due to making the team “a family member.”  A die-hard becomes very emotional, causing stress.  This stress increases the pulse rate, raises blood pressure and can trigger a cardiac event.  Is ranting and raving because your team lost the game worth the possibility of having a heart attack and possibly dying?

Take a look at this video and you can see what it is feels like to experience a heart attack.  This video was made in England and says to call 999, but here we call 911.  Please pay attention, it could save your life.  That’s my two-cents for today.

http://youtu.be/LUt1xXASm_s

What They Don’t Tell You

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What They Don’t Tell you

I am obese, fat, fluffy, heavy, big boned or whatever term you want to call me, a person that weighs to much. I have been heavy all of my life that I can remember. I can also say that I love to eat good tasting food. Being 65 years old (all most) I am now developing or have developed some of the problems that go along with my weight.

I have tried every diet and quick fix under the sun. At one time when I lived in Hawaii I lost 110 pounds. I was walking, dancing, scuba diving and having the time of my life. I came back to the mainland and all that stopped. I was in contrast turmoil over my son being in Iraq during Desert Storm. I am a stress eater and I gained every pound back and more.

Over the years I have considered gastric bypass surgery but could never make myself do it. I think I am afraid of what could happen. I know what being heavy is and I know what it feels like to be healthy and a good weight. The article I am posting today is about a woman who has had bypass surgery and how it has affected her life. It certainly gave me something to think about. Have a blessed day. Shirley

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By Shannon Britton What They Don’t Tell you

At 27 years old, I weighed 486 pounds and decided to have gastric bypass surgery. I know what you might be thinking: “Oh, you took the easy way out.”

Let me tell you, having weight loss surgery is far from easy. It involves a total commitment to a lifestyle change.

Before my surgery nearly three years ago, I met with my surgeon, nutritionists, exercise coaches and a psychologist. I went to classes and learned about meals, exercise and how my body would change. We learned about plastic surgery — how many weight loss patients have their skin tucked because they have all this excess skin hanging from your body in weird places.

Man lost more than 200 pounds in 3 years 12-year-old gets gastric bypass surgery Wife loses 100 lbs., stuns Army hubby

I was prepared, or so I thought.
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On November 23, 2011, the day before Thanksgiving, I went under the knife. Since then, I’ve lost 268 pounds.

But the thing they do not prepare you for is how you change emotionally after losing a large amount of weight. At first, I thought I would just have this newfound confidence. I’d be thinner and want to run around naked. OK, maybe not naked, but I had this fantasy in my head that one day I would wake up with a body that I loved and would feel comfortable putting into a bikini — that I’d have no body shame whatsoever.

People would accept me more because I wasn’t seen as obese and unhealthy. Dating would get easier. Clothes would fit better. I wouldn’t be judgmental toward other extremely obese people because I was once huge.

Boy, was I wrong.

First off, even though I feel amazing and I am starting to like the way I look, there are days in which I hate my body. I hate how certain clothes push against my excess skin, making it bulge out (think muffin top, but worse). I hate the way the skin hangs down on my arms, and thighs, back and stomach. I hate that it will take at least $15,000 (if not more) in plastic surgery to rid these last 30 to 40 pounds off of my body.

I also have stretch marks and surgery scars across my abdomen and stomach, so being intimate with my boyfriend can be intimidating at times. I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for this, but that knowledge doesn’t erase the self-consciousness I feel when I get out of the shower, or when a stranger or child snickers because they don’t understand why my body looks the way it does.

My relationships also changed. When I first had my surgery, the guy I was with had been a best friend of seven years. He found me attractive at 486 pounds, though I’m not sure why. But once I lost my first 68 pounds, he left.

My surgeon explained that this is common among his bariatric patients. For some reason, it can shake the other partner psychologically when one loses weight, gains confidence and starts getting more attention. But the experience taught me that someone who is jealous of something that makes me better, healthier and stronger never had my best interests at heart.

Dating after that was a struggle, until I met my current boyfriend six months ago. Most guys got scared because they were afraid to take me to dinner, afraid they would break my new diet resolve, and when they saw a picture of what I used to look like, they started to wonder what would happen if I gained a few pounds again.

What else has surprised me about losing weight? No one ever told me that it would upset me when severely obese people get special attention because they choose to be heavy — like when TV shows feature people who are happy to weigh 600 pounds, or people who post YouTube videos professing love of their excess weight.

What They Don’t Tell you

Don’t get me wrong, I think it is great that people are comfortable in their own skin, because many times I’m not always comfortable in my own skin. But for me, being heavy wasn’t a choice. So I guess I have a hard time identifying with them.

Obesity is debilitating to your health. I used gastric bypass surgery as a tool to save my life so that I wouldn’t develop diabetes, have a heart attack at age 35, have a stroke, and to hopefully lower my risk of cancer. Now I have no tolerance for excuses about not being able to eat healthy and exercise.

See, here’s the bottom line: The biggest thing that no one ever tells you about losing weight is that eventually, the number on the scale no longer matters.

What matters is how you feel, how you look and how happy you are. I know at my current weight I am still medically obese, but I have a clean bill of health. Through my bad days and my good days, I am happier now than I have ever been. When I struggle or feel myself about to slip into old habits, I pull out a picture of what I used to look like.

And I remind myself that nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.

Joy Can Be Yours In 7 Steps

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joy3This is an article by Chris Widener that I found very inspirational. It is seven steps you can take to feel joy in your life.

7 Keys for Joyful Living

Here are some thoughts for finding and experiencing joy in your life. If there were one thing I could wish upon my family, friends and the readers of this article, it would be joy in everything they do!
1. Know your purpose. Nothing will bring you joy more than knowing what it is that you are about on this earth. Not knowing brings sadness, wondering, fear and lack of fulfillment. Above all, find out what your unique purpose is here on this earth—then fulfill it. As you do, you will experience joy.

2. Live purposefully. This is a follow up to number one. It is one thing to know your purpose, but then you need to live according to that purpose. This is a matter of priorities. Let your actions and schedule reflect your purpose. Don’t react to circumstances and let them cause you to live without your purpose fully in sight. Living without your purpose will cause frustration. Living purposefully will bring you deep satisfaction and joy.

3. Stretch yourself. Don’t settle into the status quo. That will leave you unfulfilled. Always look to stretch yourself. Whatever you are doing, stretch yourself to do more. Stretching yourself will break the limits you have set for yourself and will cause you to find joy in your expanded horizons.
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4. Give more than you take. It brings happiness to accumulate. It brings joy to give away. Sure, getting the car you worked hard for will bring you a sense of satisfaction and even happiness. But it won’t bring you joy. Giving something away to the less fortunate will bring you deep, abiding joy.

5. Surprise yourself and others too. The words here are spontaneity and surprise. Every once in a while, do the unexpected. It will cause everybody to sit back and say, “Wow, where did that come from?” It will put a little joy in your life, and theirs.

6. Indulge yourself sometimes. Too much indulgence and you are caught in the happiness trap—looking for the next purchase, celebration, etc., to bring you a little “happiness high.” But if you will allow yourself an infrequent indulgence as a reward for a job well done and a life well lived, you will appreciate the indulgence and experience the joy of it.joy

7. Laugh a little—no, a lot! Most people are just too serious. Learn to laugh daily, even if you have to learn to laugh in bad situations. This life is to be enjoyed. The next time you go to the movie rental store, get a comedy and let loose. Let yourself laugh!

Joy can be yours. Look for it, pursue it and enjoy it!

How to Blow Your Top

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How to Blow Your Top

  Today I’m a nurse and want to do a little teaching.  What did you think when you read my title? Did you think about getting so mad you wanted to blow up?  Well today we are going to chat about when you actually blow your top because you have ignored your blood pressure.

We all have a blood pressure. If we didn’t we wouldn’t be walking around.  If any of you have ever had low blood pressure you know it sometimes makes you feel as if your legs weigh 500 pounds apiece and you can barely drag along. When your blood pressure is high in the first stages, it also makes you barely drag around.  Your head can feel light as if it’s not on your body, or you could have a non-ending headache.  Sometimes they are really bad but most of the time they’re aggravation  to you. I venture to guess that a majority of time these little things are ignored until bigger problems begin.  This seems to happen more with men than woman since they don’t like going to the doctor’s office.

I know a young man now that is in his mid 20′s, smokes, and his blood pressure is consistently above 140 systolic (top number) and 100 for the diastolic (low number).  He has been told many times what is happening to his body but he chooses to ignore it since he doesn’t feel any different. The sad thing is I know this handsome young man is a walking time bomb.

For you who may not know about what the blood pressure actually is, I will explain it the best I can.  The top number of the blood pressure is the Systolic pressure.  What it represents is the amount of pressure that is put against the vessels when the heart pumps it out.  The Diastolic pressure is the amount of pressure that remains in the vessels when the heart is resting  between beats.

Because his pressures are high all the time his vessels throughout his body, but especially in the brain, are under constant pressure which stretches and thins them.  At some point in the future without the hand of God touching him he will rupture a vessel.  All it will take is a pressure higher than normal and he will literally blow his top.  It can happen anywhere in the brain. I’m sure all of you have seen people who have had strokes.  There are those that are so severe that they can no longer walk or speak and most of the time end up with a g-tube into the stomach for feeding. There are others who are paralyzed on one side or blind. All depending where the vessel ruptured. It’s not a pretty picture, but it happens to far to many of us, both male and female.

I know everyone has heard that salt is one of the biggest contributors to hypertension, and so is smoking. Having constant stress in your life is another big factor.  Then there are those that it doesn’t matter what they do and how good their lifestyle is their blood pressure is out of site.  Even children are having problems with their blood pressure and that has to do with the food we are feeding them.

I for one  do not want to be one of those people who have a stroke.  I have all the risk factors, I’m overweight, I eat too much processed food, and the list could go on forever.  Do yourself a favor and go to webmd.com or any other medical program on the web and read about the symptoms of hypertension and how you can control it. Have your blood pressure checked often and if it is above 140 for the top number and higher than 85 for the bottom number, talk to your doctor. It could save you and your family a lot of sorrow.

Mind Boggling

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The BrainHave you ever given any  thought to how amazing the mind is.  The more I read and watch what happens in this world, the more I realize what an amazing creation God gave to us.

Even as slow as I can be at times, it’s the other times that totally blows me away.  I ask myself “how is this possible, because I know me very well and this is not my norm.”  I’m not the brightest bulb in this vast closet we all live in, but I’m not the dimmest either. Why my brain can do what it does I will never figure out.  Some people may think they know, but there is always an area of doubt when it comes to our minds.  Science is making headway into figuring it out, but still has a long way to go.

I have struggled with my mind since I was a child. Over my life time, the majority of the disease processes which has affected me, involved my brain. Two of the main areas were Clinical Depression and Encephalitis. According to the Mayo Clinic

Clinical depression symptoms may include:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most activities
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Sleeping too much or not being able to sleep nearly every day
  • Slowed thinking or movement that others can see
  • Fatigue or low energy nearly every day
  • Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
  • Loss of concentration or indecisiveness
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

The only symptom I don’t have is the recurring thoughts of suicide. I think of death, but not suicide. I deal with it every day. Please don’t think I’m whining because I’m not. It”s just a part of being me.

Encephalitis (en-sef-uh-LI-tis) is inflammation of the brain. Viral infections are the most common cause of the condition.

Encephalitis can cause flu-like symptoms, such as a fever or severe headache, as well as confused thinking, seizures, or problems with senses or movement. Many cases of encephalitis may go unnoticed because they result in only mild flu-like symptoms or even no symptoms. Severe cases of encephalitis, while relatively rare, can be life-threatening.

Because the course of any single case of encephalitis is relatively unpredictable, it’s important to get a timely diagnosis and treatment.

Of course, I had to be one of the rare exceptions. I acquired equine encephalitis from mosquitoes at the same time my Uncle had two horses die from the disease and also a boy in Atoka, Oklahoma did.  He died,  but God decided it wasn’t my time to join him yet and kept me in this world.  I think I was around 12 or 13 when it happened. I’m still dealing with the side effects from the disease.  That’s another one of the “it’s just me” area’s of my life.

Mind BogglingThis reflection of my life  is all due to finding a movie on YouTube this morning called “The Mole People.” I saw that movie in 1956 in Marysville California at a movie theater with my cousins. I was six years old. That is the first time I can remember being in a movie theater.  I never forgot that movie. I told many people about the scenes from that movie over the years.  I ‘m almost 65 years old and I can barely remember my name at times, but I never forgot an old campy horror film. That takes me full circle back to how amazing the brain is.  Of all of the life events I could remember, why is it “The Mole People?”  I guess only God knows that answer and I’ll have to wait to get my answer. Mind boggling, isn’t it?

Here is that wonderful old horror film.  See if you can forget it easier than I could.

The Mole People

Tips to Avoid Hypothermia

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bigstock-man-in-winter-storm-50910587Right now in the USA a large portion of the country s experiencing extreme cold.  I’m in Oklahoma and at the present time we are having the longest cold stretch (freezing) with wind chills in the single digits that we’ve experienced in many years.  I am lucky that I can stay inside and keep warm by my wood stove and watch the beautiful snow falling outside.  Not everyone is as lucky as I am.  Many, many people have to work in this weather.

Here are some tips to help you avoid hypothermia. I don’t want anyone to experience the problems and possible death that can occur.

The simple way to avoid hypothermia is to dress warmly and stay out of the cold. But things don’t always work out and there may come a time when you don’t dress warmly enough and you’re so cold you can’t remember your name.

Dazed and Confused

No, really. When your body temperature drops below 95 degrees F, you’re hypothermic and one of the symptoms is that you’re dazed and confused, not to mention shivering violently. You also get pale, and your lips, ears, fingers and toes turn blue.

Then things could get really serious. If your temperature should drop as low as 90 degrees F, your organs begin to fail and without immediate medical attention, you’ll likely die.

Forget the Whiskey

Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce your chance of freezing to death. If you think you could be caught outside in very cold temperatures, dress in layers, preferably wool or other fabrics that can dry quickly. Keep your head covered. Drink plenty of warm fluids, but not alcohol or any caffeinated liquid, both of which hinder the body’s heat-producing mechanisms. So forget about that shot of whiskey getting you through the cold night.

Also, do whatever you can to stay dry. Obviously, you’re not going to go around flopping into streams when it’s freezing outside. But if you should get wet, keep in mind that wet clothing can lose up to 90 percent of its insulating effect, so your risk of hypothermia could rise dramatically.

No Massages, Please

If you’re lucky enough to be with someone when your body starts shutting down, what should they do to save you? First, they should call 911. You’re going to need medical help. They also should get you into shelter, if possible. If they can’t get you indoors, they at least should move you out of the wind. Wherever you are, they should wrap you, including your head, in blankets, towels or even newspapers. Ideally, they should put hot water bottles under your armpits and between your legs, making sure that they don’t put anything on bare skin. Finally, they should keep you flat and move you as little as possible. Movement could cause a severely hypothermic person to have a heart attack.

A few things they shouldn’t do. They shouldn’t rub or massage you. That could cause more damage if you also have frostbite. They shouldn’t get you anything to eat. And they shouldn’t give you anything to drink, especially alcohol, no matter how much you think that’s just what you need.bigstock-Snow-Shoveling-In-Winter-Blizz-4294190

Oxygenated water nonsense Part 2

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Oxygenated water nonsense

Junk science in the marketplace

 Unless you have gills, it’s just an expensive burp!

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This is part two of an article posted by a retired chemistry college professor concerning the fallacy of Oxygenated Water and other hypes.

Not just for drinking!

Oxygen in your bath

The MicroSilk™ Hydrotherapy site hypes baths and spas featuring a recirculating aeration spout which “saturates the water with billions of oxygen-rich microbubbles, increasing oxygen levels up to 70% higher than common tap water.” Well, so probably can any aerating faucet, but to describe the bubbles as “oxygen rich” is a bit much, given that air is only 20% oxygen. They go on to make the ridiculous claims that

“This luxurious cloud of oxygen blankets your body, energizing skin cells, stimulating the immune system, killing bacteria and promoting healing, reaching where mere water and soaps can’t, entering your pores, bonding to impurities and gently lifting them away, leaving your skin soft and clean in a way you’ve never experienced. MicroSilk™ also creates therapeutic levels of anions, which are known to improve serotonin levels, helping to relax the mind and body, promoting deep sleep, and enhancing recovery from physical exhaustion.”

“Eloptic” water hype

This thankfully now-departed site promoted “Electrically engineered eloptic energized stabilized oxygenated water” (sounds impressive!) which was described as

…an industrial-strength, multi-purpose cleanser that will meet all your personal care and household needs. This God-given, concentrated formula is made from all natural ingredients that will clean, degrease and deodorize anything, from your glass and mirrors, carpet and upholstery and even heavy cleaning such as grease traps and oil spots on the concrete garage floor to your baby’s bottom.

Well, I don’t think I would want to apply something strong enough to remove grease from the garage floor to my bottom, which is admittedly far less soft and supple than that of a baby! Among the ingredients are “ash of dedecyl solution (foaming agent), sea grass (for color) and the anointing of God.”

“Nobody has Enough Hydrogen or 02, Not on this Planet”

This is one of many lies offered up by an outfit that flogs a worthless “oxygen-plus” supplement to the scientifically challenged at $22 per bottle.

The air we breathe formerly contained 50 percent oxygen. But today, we only have about 20 percent in our air and there is even less in large cities. The medical profession has confirmed that most viruses, parasites, bacteria, fungus and pathogens are anaerobic—they CANNOT live in oxygen. If we are not getting enough oxygen, our bodies become fertile breeding grounds for disease.

The “50% oxygen” is of course pure fiction. And yes, many bacteria are anaerobic, but few viruses, parasites and fungi are. And these hucksters fail to mention that O2 is a cellular poison in the wrong locations and the source of those nasty free radicals that are supposed to accelerate aging. But if oxygen supplements can hook the suckers, so can hydrogen, so the fibbing continues:

The purpose of hydrogen is to give structure to the body. What do you get when you bubble hydrogen through vegetable oil? You get margarine! Now, imagine hydrogen without oxygen. Your cells could become like margarine. [link] remember that it is the smallest Critical Element and is capable of passing through the cell wall. In order for our cells to function they m”ust communicate with each other through electrons but electrons can not move in the body without hydrogen. Cells must have oxygen but oxygen does not work without hydrogen. Cells cannot multiply or grow without hydrogen. The very fabric of our being, our DNA, is held together by Hydrogen bonds. Hydrogen is literally the fuel of life. [link]

When we are born we have plenty of Hydrogen but as we age our Hydrogen pool becomes depleted. When this occurs, free radicals steel it from essential areas thus accelerating aging and disease. [link]

The Big Pitcher

The Big Pitcher is a water-oxygenator which is misleadingly claimed to remove chlorine, radon and sulfur, neutralize harmful bacteria, and increase ones energy and metabolism, improve sleep patterns, etc. etc.

…and deuterium too!

In my humble opinion, there are few health-quackery Web sites that contain a higher proportion of false and deceptive statements than those promoting Cellfood:

Cellfood is created by a proprietary nine month process in which these all-natural nutrient-rich plant substances are held in a negatively-charged suspension of deuterium (an isotope of hydrogen).

Deuterium? Well, this stuff is present in water in trace amounts (1 out of every 6500 hydrogen atoms), but the above statement can easily fool the majority of people who don’t know this. And the “negatively-charged” stuff is similar nonsense.

According to one sales site for this classic snake-oil:

[Our product] has the unique ability to disassociate the water molecule into nascent hydrogen and nascent oxygen. This water “splitting” technology enables the release of hydrogen and oxygen gases simultaneously in a chain reaction that involves one five-hundred thousandths of the available moisture at one time. Water “splitting” is achieved by means of shifting and weakening the bonding electrons (ionic transfers) of the water molecule towards oxygen and away from hydrogen. [It] allows the bonds in the electron distribution to be unsymmetrical (polar). [link]

Anyone who has taken even an elementary chemistry course will recognize this as erroneous nonsense. There are the usual unsubstantiated and ridiculous health claims (“aids clear thinking”, “helps to reduce and/or eliminates menopausal hot flashes and night sweats”). The product itself is described as a

“super energized colloidal mineral concentrate. … Di-base, Di-pole Deuterium Sulfate provides an incredible oxygen source and delivery system to the body at the cellular level.”

Deuterium sulfate? Deuterium is the isotope H2 (often given the symbol D) which makes up about 1 out of 10,000 of the hydrogen atoms found in nature. Although extensive research has shown that organisms are unable to survive on heavy water (D2O is well-known to thoroughly gum up most enzymatic reactions), the same sites go on about its supposed benefits, spinning a tale about an inventor/con-artist/imaginary (take your pick!) Everett M. Storey and a ficticious “Deuterium Freedom Act” purportedly passed by the U.S. 99th Congress that confirms deuterium’s ability to “speed up the digestive process”. However, the extensive list of chemicals in CellFood does not mention deuterium, although the list does include such falsely-claimed-to-be-beneficial elements as actinium, gadolinium, neon, technetium (!) and xenon. Another sad case of selling snake-oil to the suckers.

Stable fables: oxidants are actually good for you!

FTC Attacks “Stabilized Oxygen” Claims

‘Various products referred to as “stabilized” or “aerobic” oxygen are being marketed with claims that they can cure disease by increasing oxygen delivery to the cells. Some claim that “oxygen deficiency” or “oxygen starvation” is an underlying cause of disease and has been increasing because the oxygen content of the earth’s atmosphere has been decreasing and junk food does not contain enough oxygen…’ See the entire article here.

See also this cease-and-desist letter that the U.S. FDA has sent to Aerobic Oxygen USA.

A huge part of the alternative-health-quackery industry is devoted to supplying those free-radical fighters known as antioxidants (Whose benefits as dietary supplements are entirely unproven— but that’s another subject.) But pseudoscience knows no bounds and can be twisted in any direction, so here’s an Idaho company (where else?) that flogs a nostrum they call stabilized oxygen. A thankfully-now-disappeared Web site goes on at great length about the importance of protecting our cells from oxygen deprivation:

Oxygen plays another important role in the body acting as a guardian and protector against unfriendly bacteria and disease organisms. One of oxygen’s major functions is disintegration. Rubble, garbage, toxins, refuse, debris, and anything useless are destroyed by oxygen and carried out of the system. Just as a clean house holds little interest to passing flies, likewise, an oxygen rich body is a difficult fortress to assail.

… all errant nonsense, of course! Anyway, they go on about how their product helps you to enjoy the tremendous benefits of oxygen to the body other than through the breathing process. Oxygen is very difficult to stabilize and until a recent scientific breakthrough, oxygen has not been stabilized in a beneficial non-toxic form.

This flapdoodle overlooks the fact that oxygen is not present in the blood as O2, but is complexed to hemoglobin which controls the amount of oxygen delivered to cells through an exquisitely-evolved feedback mechanism. What these hucksters mean by “stabilizing” the oxygen is not entirely clear. We are told that

Stabilized oxygen is an oxide of chlorides compound stabilized with the richest known source of nascent oxygen with several atoms per molecule. Whatever they mean by “oxide of chlorides compound” could be any number of substances from chlorine dioxide (ClO2) to perchloric acid (HClO4). The first is a poison and the second is explosive, so I presume they have come up with something in between. The term “nascent oxgyen” (see below) usually means free oxygen atoms as opposed to the stable molecule O2 which make up 20% of the air we breathe. But it gets more complicated:

[This product] is a safe, non toxic, stabilized liquid concentrate of electrolytes of oxygen, which are made available to your body, in molecular form, when ingested. … The genius of it is the formulating of the two most abundant and important electrolytes of body fluid, sodium and chlorine, to act as the oxygen carriers. The molecular oxygen is released through the digestive process, and is absorbed into the bloodstream. … In an ordinary glass of tap water there is on the average, 7-12 ppm of oxygen molecules. In Stabilized Oxygen the amount of available oxygen increased to about 12,000 ppm or 1,000 times.

Wow! This appears to be a good description of sodium hypochlorite NaOCl, otherwise known as laundry bleach. Thanks, but I think I’ll pass on this one!

“Nascent” oxygen dietary supplement nonsense

The ordinary oxygen that we breathe is really the molecule”dioxygen”, O2. “Nascent” oxygen (a term not used much by contemporary chemists) refers to plain oxygen atoms. These species normally have only a transient existence before they react with themselves (to produce O2), with water to produce hydrogen peroxide H2O2 (a cellular poison), or with just about any carbon-containing substance around them— such as your body! Any claims that this stuff can posssibly be good for you or that it can somehow “stabilized” are plain lies. Also, any agent capable of generating atomic oxygen (as chemists call it) would do even more damage to the body, so I think claims that any dietary supplements can even produce it are untrue.

None of this appears to stop various outfits from hawking oxygenated snake oils such as the one making claims that their product

is unique in its ability to create nascent (meaning newly-born) oxygen. In biochemical terms ‘nascent’ oxygen refers to the newly born singlet oxygen (O-) that has not yet entered the biochemical reaction. Free radicals (which many biochemists believe are a primary cause of aging and degenerative disease) are positively charged ions of oxygen (O+). Since nascent oxygen molecules are negatively charged, they actually seek out and attract these dangerous free radicals, combining with them to form simple pure stabilized oxygen (O2).

Well, ionized atomic oxygen (O– or O+) does exist in the upper atomosphere, but it would be instant death to any body tissues. And far from being a free radical fighter, any form of the “singlet” oxygen they refer to is either itself a free radical or capable of producing them when it reacts with water or virtually any other cellular component. If you feel comfortable consuming a product from an outfit that exhibits this level of chemical incompetence, be my guest!

Of course they don’t stop there, but go on to evoke even weirder pseudoscience, claiming that the product

will tend to normalize the body’s acid-base balance by delivering its 78 essential minerals as enzymatic cofactors— assisting critical enymatic reactions to proceed optimally.

… which is biochemical hokum, and

Scientists Simeonton, Likhovsky and Bovis estimated that the average human body radiates a life force frequency of 6,500 angstroms— with cancer patients radiating at 1,875 angstroms (the same measurement as for refined white bread). Just one drop of [the product’s] powerful ‘electromagnetic equation’ in 6-8 ounces of water emanates 77,000 units of radiant life energy— bringing a dramatic increase in life force to every cell of the body.

… pure nonsensical fantasy.

But if this is not enough, a product formerly hyped as “Seven-Sided Oxygenated Water” “penetrates into dehydrated structures of the body and breaks apart the ionic bonds of substance or structure that are atypical to the bodies normal function.” This site is a fount of misinformation (for example, that the atmospheric concentration of oxygen has been rapidly decreasing over the last millenium, and that this, and anaerobic conditions in general, promote cancer.) They make the highly dubious claim that their bottled water contains 400-600 ppm of oxygen. And of course it protects the body from infection, helps reduce pain levels, and enhances carbohydrate metabolism, etc. etc. The current product site is not quite as goofy.

Ozonated water and ozone therapy

Ozone, O3, is a gas that it widely used to disinfect municipal water supplies. Being highly unstable, it decomposes into ordinary oxygen by the time the water reaches the consumer. Which is just as well, since ozone is toxic to both plant and animal cells.

But some hucksters don’t seem to know this. One of them tells us that

Ozone is used extensively in medicine in Germany and Cuba by either infusing it or injecting it directly into the blood stream. In medical applications: “It is the aim of ozone-oxygen therapy to stimulate or reactivate oxygen metabolism, without damage to the protecting oxidative enzymes…

Don’t believe this crap! Ozone attacks mucous membranes, destroys enzymes, and gobbles up DNA. Far from preventing cancer, it acts as a carcinogen. The guy behind this is apparently one Robert C. Beck, “D.Sc.”, described here as an “acclaimed physicist” (who, as far as I can see, has no record of scientific publication). This site seems to be associated with a variety of goofy quack treatment methods.

Another site is full of “testimonials” attesting to the miraculous effects of ozone in curing cancer, and yet another promotes a variety of ozone-quackery.

See this QuackWatch page for more about oxygen- and ozone therapy.

Oxygen skin-care

Will these “oxygen-infused skin serums bring life and health to the skin”? It’s true that the living tissue beneath the dead epidermal layer requires oxygen which is supplied by diffusion from the blood, and a 2010 article shows that “topical dissolved oxygen” can penetrate skin and may be useful aid to wound healing.  But if there is any clinical support for the idea that highly oxygenated waters can benefit ordinary skin, the developers of this “Gas infusion Technology” for supersaturating water with oxygen make no mention of it.

Oxygenating colon cleanser

This misinformation-filled site promotes a magnesium oxide preparation, which they claim will liquify all that solid gunge that is supposed to be clogging your intestines. Well, by the time magnesium oxide has passed through the stomach, it becomes magnesium chloride which acts as a mild laxative. To add to the hype, they claim that the product releases “monatomic oxygen” into the intestinal tract. It is just as well that this claim is almost certainly false, since atomic oxygen is a known carcinogen.

By using Oxy-Powder, you can melt away or oxidize the compaction from the small intestine, large intestine and colon safe and effectively. Organic Germanium-132 has demonstrated in multiple scientific studies to be a powerful oxygen facilitator and immune system stimulant. Oxy-Powder is also harmless to the good bacteria in the intestinal tract.

The stuff about Germanium-132 introduces another favorite food-fad that the FDA is beginning to crack down on because of fears of Germanium poisoning; there is no credible scientific evidence that it has any benefit.


 

 Article posted by Stephen Lower, Retired faculty member of Simon Fraiser University, Vancouver Canada.