FACTS ABOUT FOOD POISONING

  • Food poisoning is a common infectious condition that affects millions of people in the United States each year.
  • Most commonly, people complain of
    • vomiting,
    • diarrhea, and
    • cramping abdominal pain.
  • People should seek medical care if they have an associated fever, blood in their stool (rectal bleeding), signs and symptoms of dehydration, or if their symptoms do not resolve after a couple of days.
  • Treatment for food poisoning focuses on keeping the affected person well hydrated.
  • Most cases of food poisoning resolve on their own.
  • Prevention is key and depends upon keeping food preparation areas clean, proper hand washing, and cooking foods thoroughly.

What is food poisoning?

Food poisoning is a food borne disease. Ingestion of food that contains a toxin, chemical or infectious agent (like a bacterium, virus, parasite, or prion) may cause adverse symptoms in the body. Those symptoms may be related only to the gastrointestinal tract causing vomiting or diarrhea or they may involve other organs such as the kidney, brain, or muscle.

Typically most foodborne diseases cause vomiting and diarrhea that tend to be short lived and resolve on their own, but dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities may develop. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates approximately 48 million people become ill from food-related diseases each year resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths.

According to the CDC, in 2018, the most common forborne illnesses in the United States each year are caused by: 

  1. Norovirus.
  2. Campylobacter.
  3. Clostridium perfringens.
  4. Staphylococcus aureus.
  5. Salmonella.

How do you know if you have food poisoning or the stomach flu?

Food poisoning

Food poisoning and the stomach flu may or may not be the same thing, depending if the causative agent is transmitted by contaminated food, or if the agent is transmitted by non-food mechanisms such as body secretions. Most health-care professionals equate stomach flu to viral gastroenteritis.

Stomach flu

Stomach flu is a non-specific term that describes an illness that usually resolves within 24 hours and is caused commonly by the adenovirus, Norwalk virus or rotavirus, (rotavirus is most commonly found in children).

Norovirus

If numerous cases of viral gastroenteritis occur in a situation where many people have been eating, it certainly may be considered food poisoning. Norwalk virus is responsible for many cases of food borne illness outbreaks on cruise ships.

What are the signs and symptoms of food poisoning?

Food poisoning most commonly causes:

This can cause significant amounts of fluid loss and diarrhea along with nausea and vomiting may make it difficult to replace lost fluid, leading to dehydration. In developing countries where infectious epidemics cause diarrheal illnesses, thousands of people die because of dehydration.

As noted in the section above, other organ systems may be infected and affected by food poisoning. Symptoms will depend upon what organ system is involved (for example, encephalopathy due to brain infection).

What are the symptoms and incubation time for large and small intestinal food poisoning?

Large intestine and small intestine have an intermediate incubation from about 1 to 3 days.

Large intestine

Infections of the large intestine or colon can cause bloody, mucousy diarrhea associated with crampy abdominal pain.

  • Campylobacter, according to CDC data, is the number one cause of food-borne disease in the United States.
  • Shigella spp contaminate food and water and cause dysentery (severe diarrhea often containing mucus and blood).
  • Salmonella infections often occur because of poorly or undercooked cooked and/or poor handling of the chicken and eggs. In individuals with weakened immune systems, including the elderly, the infection can enter the bloodstream and cause potentially life-threatening infections.
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus can contaminate saltwater shellfish and cause a watery diarrhea.

Small intestine infection

Diarrhea due to small bowel infection tends not to be bloody, but infections may affect both the small and large intestine at the same time.

How To Prevent Cancer?

What is cancer prevention?

Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer.

Cancer is not a single disease but a group of related diseases. Many things in our genes, our lifestyle, and the environment around us may increase or decrease our risk of getting cancer.

Scientists are studying many different ways to help prevent cancer, including the following:

  • Ways to avoid or control things known to cause cancer.
  • Changes in diet and lifestyle.
  • Finding precancerous conditions early. Precancerous conditions are conditions that may become cancer.
  • Chemoprevention (medicines to treat a precancerous condition or to keep cancer from starting).

Carcinogenesis

Carcinogenesis is the process in which normal cells turn into cancer cells.

Carcinogenesis is the series of steps that take place as a normal cell becomes a cancer cell. Cells are the smallest units of the body and they make up the body’s tissues. Each cell contains genes that guide the way the body grows, develops, and repairs itself. There are many genes that control whether a cell lives or dies, divides (multiplies), or takes on special functions, such as becoming a nerve cell or a muscle cell.

Changes (mutations) in genes occur during carcinogenesis.

Changes (mutations) in genes can cause normal controls in cells to break down. When this happens, cells do not die when they should and new cells are produced when the body does not need them. The buildup of extra cells may cause a mass (tumor) to form.

Tumors can be benign or malignant (cancerous). Malignant tumor cells invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body. Benign tumor cells do not invade nearby tissues or spread.

Cancer Risk factors

Scientists study risk factors and protective factors to find ways to prevent new cancers from starting. Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor; anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective factor.

Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, both smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for some types of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Risk factors that a person can control are called modifiable risk factors.

Many other factors in our environment, diet, and lifestyle may cause or prevent cancer. This summary reviews only the major cancer risk factors and protective factors that can be controlled or changed to reduce the risk of cancer. Risk factors that are not described in the summary include certain sexual behaviors, the use of estrogen, and being exposed to certain substances at work or to certain chemicals. Read More

Osteoporosis Treatments

  1. Osteoporosis is a condition in which your bones break down faster than they rebuild.
  2. Treatment usually includes a combination of medications and lifestyle changes.
  3. The most aggressive way to prevent additional bone loss is to take prescription medications

Osteoporosis

Bones in your body are living tissues that constantly break down and replace themselves with new material. With osteoporosis, your bones break down faster than they regrow. This causes them to become less dense, more porous, and more brittle.

This weakens your bones and can lead to more fractures and breaks.

There’s no cure for osteoporosis, but there are treatments to help prevent and treat it once it’s diagnosed. The goal of treatment is to protect and strengthen your bones.

Treatment usually includes a combination of medications and lifestyle changes to help slow the rate of bone breakdown by your body, and in some cases, to rebuild bone.

Causes and risk factors

Most people have their highest bone mass and density when they’re in their early 20s. As you age, you lose old bone at a faster rate than your body can replace it. Because of this, older people are at a higher risk of osteoporosis.

Women also have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis because they typically have thinner bones than men. Estrogen, a hormone that occurs in higher levels in women than in men, helps protect bones.

Women who are going through menopause experience a decrease in estrogen levels, which leads to more rapid bone breakdown and can result in brittle bones.

Other risks factors include:

Osteoporosis medications

The most aggressive way to prevent additional bone loss is to take prescription medications, such as the drugs listed below.

Bisphosphonates

Bisphosphonates are the most common osteoporosis drug treatments. They’re typically the first treatments recommended for women who are postmenopausal.

Examples of bisphosphonates include:

  • alendronate (Fosamax), an oral medication people take daily or once per week
  • ibandronate (Boniva), available as a monthly oral tablet or as an intravenous injection that you get four times per year
  • risedronate (Actonel), available in daily, weekly, or monthly doses in an oral tablet
  • zoledronic acid (Reclast), available as an intravenous infusion that you get once every one or two years

Antibody

There are two antibody drugs on the market.

Denosumab

Denosumab (Prolia) links to a protein in your body that’s involved in bone breakdown. It slows the process of bone breakdown. It also helps maintain bone density.

Denosumab comes as an injection you get every six months.

Romosozumab

The new antibody romosozumab (Evenity) helps to increase bone formation. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April of 2019. It’s intended for postmenopausal women with a high risk of fracture. This includes women who:

  • have risk factors for fracture
  • have a history of fracture
  • haven’t responded to or can’t take other osteoporosis drugs

Romosozumab comes as two injections. You get them once a month for up to 12 months.

Romosozumab does come with boxed warnings, which are the FDA’s most serious warnings. It may increase your risk of heart attackstroke, and cardiovascular disease. You shouldn’t take romosozumab if you’ve had a heart attack or stroke within the past year. Read More

What you should know about rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a progressive autoimmune disease that initially causes signs and symptoms like joint pain and swelling in the feet and hands. Chronic inflammation of RA can cause permanent joint destruction and deformity. Periods of disease flares and remissions characterize RA.

Rheumatoid arthritis signs and symptoms include

  • NSAIDs, DMARDs, TNF alpha inhibitors, IL-6 inhibitors, T-cell activation inhibitors, B-cell depleters, JAK inhibitors, immunosuppressants, and steroids treat RA.
  • Researchers have developed medicines that are biosimilar to biologic drugs, and many others are currently under study.

What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

Rheumatoid arthritis definition

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses that occur when the body’s tissues are mistakenly attacked by their own immune system. The immune system contains a complex organization of cells and antibodies designed normally to “seek and destroy” invaders of the body, particularly infections. Patients with autoimmune diseases have antibodies and immune cells in their blood that target their own body tissues, where they can be associated with inflammation. While joint tissue inflammation and inflammatory arthritis are classic RA features, the disease can also cause extra-articular inflammation and injury in other organs.

Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease.

Symptoms Of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

  • Diabetes is a chronic condition associated with abnormally high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Insulin produced by the pancreas lowers blood glucose. Absence or insufficient production of insulin, or an inability of the body to properly use insulin causes diabetes.
  • The two types of diabetes are referred to as type 1 and type 2. Former names for these conditions were insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetes, or juvenile onset and adult-onset diabetes.
  • Some of the risk factors for getting diabetes include being overweight or obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle, a family history of diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and low levels of the “good” cholesterol (HDL) and elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood.
  • If you think you may have prediabetes or diabetes contact a health-care professional

How does diabetes make you feel?

  • hunger,
  • fatigue,
  • skin problems
  • slow healing wounds,
  • yeast infections, and
  • tingling or numbness in the feet or toes.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels that result from defects in insulin secretion, or its action, or both. Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes (as it will be in this article) was first identified as a disease associated with “sweet urine,” and excessive muscle loss in the ancient world. Elevated levels of blood glucose (hyperglycemia) lead to spillage of glucose into the urine, hence the term sweet urine.

Normally, blood glucose levels are tightly controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin lowers the blood glucose level. When the blood glucose elevates (for example, after eating food), insulin is released from the pancreas to normalize the glucose level by promoting the uptake of glucose into body cells. In patients with diabetes, the absence of insufficient production of or lack of response to insulin causes hyperglycemia. Diabetes is a chronic medical condition, meaning that although it can be controlled, it lasts a lifetime.

How many people in the US have diabetes?

  • Diabetes affects approximately 30.3 million people (9.4% of the population) in the United States, while another estimated 84.1 million people have prediabetes and don’t know it.
  • An estimated 7.2 million people in the United States have diabetes and don’t even know it.
  • Over time, diabetes can lead to blindnesskidney failure, and nerve damage. These types of damage are the result of damage to small vessels, referred to as microvascular disease.
  • Diabetes also is an important factor in accelerating the hardening and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), leading to strokes, coronary heart disease, and other large blood vessel diseases. This is referred to as macrovascular disease.
  • From an economic perspective, the total annual cost of diabetes in 2012 was estimated to be 245 billion dollars in the United States. This included 116 billion in direct medical costs (healthcare costs) for people with diabetes and another 69 billion in other costs due to disability, premature death, or work loss.
  • Medical expenses for people with diabetes are over two times higher than those for people who do not have diabetes. Remember, these numbers reflect only the population in the United States. Globally, the statistics are staggering.
  • Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States listed on death certificates in recent years. Read More

Early Warning Signs Of Psychosis

Psychosis is a condition that affects the mind and alters a person’s perception of reality. Early psychosis symptoms include change in thinking, feeling, perception and behavior along with hallucinations and delusions.

Psychosis happens over a period of time and describes when someone starts to lose contact with reality. It is a condition that affects the mind and alters a person’s perception of reality. If you are experiencing a psychotic episode, it means that you have lost your attachment to reality and may find it difficult to know what’s real and what isn’t. 

Psychosis is a symptom of a mental health condition like bipolar disorderdepression, or schizophrenia. It develops over time and can worsen as you experience more episodes. 

It may not always be easy to identify the early warning signs of psychosis. However, if you know what to look for, you may be able to treat it before it worsens. 

Psychosis can happen in children and adults. Sometimes, it may develop during teenage years, and there are different signs to look for in children and young adults. Some symptoms can last less than an hour and some may persist for months. 

It’s important to monitor yourself or someone you suspect is developing psychosis so you can get the proper mental health treatment.

Signs and symptoms of early psychosis

Early psychosis symptoms can be gradual or have a sudden onset. Psychosis is a symptom of a greater mental health condition. Monitoring your symptoms and understanding the signs of psychosis may help you be more aware of oncoming episodes and get the treatment you need. 

Early psychosis symptoms include: 

Changes in thinking

Before you are aware you are experiencing psychosis, your thoughts might race through your mind or come very slowly. You may get confused and your thoughts might get jumbled in your mind. If someone you know has psychosis, you may notice their sentences not being coherent or that they are sharing strange ideas. 

Changes in behavior

As psychosis develops, you may start to feel suspicious or like everyone is watching you. You may be paranoid and feel anxious or worried. These feelings may cause you increased stress and can affect your eating and sleeping habits.

Changes in feeling and perception

Changed perceptions may make you confused about what’s real and what’s imaginary. You may start to have strange or intense beliefs about people and the world. You could start perceiving people’s intentions differently than they are, which could also lead to paranoia about them. Read More

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