Keeping Pregnant Mothers Safe From Blood Clots

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS). Please share your thoughts below…..

pregnantThe Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) released a podcast with Lisa Enslow, MSN, RN-BC on keeping pregnant mothers safe from blood clots.

Preventing blood clots in pregnant mothers poses significant healthcare challenges. The risk of blood clots in pregnant mothers is almost ten times more likely than a non-pregnant woman. These patient safety risks increase for pregnant mothers who are obese. In the United States, more than two-thirds of adults are obese.

Because of the increased risk of blood clots in pregnant mothers, the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) released a podcast http://youtu.be/Um2BKewEWRg with Lisa Enslow, MSN, RN-BC. Ms. Enslow is the Nurse Educator for the Women’s Health and Ambulatory Care Services at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut.

“Pregnant women are at a significantly higher risk than the general public for developing a blood clot simply because of the mechanisms that are in place to help them prevent hemorrhaging,” said Ms. Enslow. “So, our pregnant patients really need a lot more risk assessment during their hospitalization and even after discharge. If a blood clot is not detected or treated, it may become dislodged and travel up into the lung and that can create even more problems for the mom.”

In the podcast, Ms. Enslow discussed a case of a super morbidly obese pregnant mother. This mother had a BMI (body mass index) of 67. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal.

Four keys for managing the healthcare risk in obese pregnant mothers were identified during the podcast.

The first key – plan for the delivery.

Ms. Enslow explained the necessity of planning – “Pre-planning and communication between all of the team members is really key to achieving the most optimal clinical outcomes for patients with multiple challenging risk factors or individual characteristics. In specialties, such as obstetrics, we’re often faced with a complex patient that requires us to be really proactive and identifying risk factors early in the course of care. This type of preparedness is necessary to prevent adverse events and to identify individual risk factors that would best guide us in the management or plan for patients possible hospital acquired conditions or in adverse event prevention plans to achieve high quality outcomes.”

The second key – apply blood clot preventative measures.

Ms. Enslow described the measures taken in a case of super morbidly obese pregnant mother – “this patient fell into the high risk category for venous thromboembolism because of her multiple risk factors, including the high BMI, her gestational diabetes, her maternal age, or having a caesarean section. So, because of this, she was provided with sequential compression devices beginning in the operating room … [The sequential compression devices] stayed on throughout the recovery period in our PACU and also when the patient was transferred to the postpartum unit … We started chemical prophylaxis six hours following surgery for her and that was continued throughout her stay.”

The third key – preventing blood clots doesn’t stop when the mother leaves the hospital.

Ms. Enslow emphasized the importance of preventative measures when the mother returns to her home – “it’s important to remember that the commitment to prevent VTE doesn’t end when the patient is discharged. That’s why appropriate patient education is so important to help patients understand why they should comply with their care, with making sure they understand that they really need to continue taking their discharge medications. Our post-partum patients can get the sequential compression devices for use at home and need to keep all their follow-up appointments.”

The fourth key – use the OB VTE Safety Recommendations.

The OB VTE Safety Recommendation s were developed with the advice and counsel of a panel of experts brought together by the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety. They provide four concise steps that:

* Assess patients for VTE risk with an easy-to-use automated scoring system

* Provide the recommended prophylaxis regimen, depending on whether the mother is antepartum or postpartum.

* Reassess the patient every 24 hours or upon the occurrence of a significant event, like surgery.

* Ensure that the mother is provided appropriate VTE prevention education upon hospital discharge.

“Caring for Mrs M. was significantly helped by the guidance from the recently released OB VTE Safety Recommendations, which offers a fine clinical process that covers the entire continuum of care,” said Ms. Enslow.

The OB VTE Safety Recommendations are a free resource available on the PPAHS website – http://www.ppahs.org

The podcast was hosted by Pat Iyer, MSN, RN, LNCC. Ms. Iyer is a legal nurse consultant who provides education to healthcare providers about patient safety at http://www.patiyer.com.

About Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety

Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety is a non-profit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to promote safer clinical practices and standards for patients through collaboration among healthcare experts, professionals, scientific researchers, and others, in order to improve health care delivery. For more information, please go to http://www.ppahs.org

How Much Alcohol Is Safe? It Varies From One Person To The Next

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What is your opinion of this article supplied by PRWeb, from the Harvard Men’s Health Watch? Please supply your opinions below…..

celebrateMany studies link light to moderate drinking (up to two standard alcoholic drinks per day for a man) to better health, but the science remains uncertain. Older men might consider limiting themselves to one drink per day.

A decent body of research has made the phrases “consume alcohol in moderation” and “good for the heart” go together like gin and tonic. But moderate drinking may not be good for everyone, so a personalized approach is best, reports the November 2014 Harvard Men’s Health Watch.

“For some people, depending on what medications you are taking and other factors, even light drinking might not be a good thing,” says Dr. Kenneth Mukamal, associate professor of medicine at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “For other people, moderate drinking could plausibly be beneficial.” “Moderate” when applied to alcohol means no more than two drinks a day for men and no more than one a day for women.

Healthy drinking?

Many studies have found a statistical link between light to moderate drinking and better health. Moderate drinkers appear to suffer fewer heart attacks and strokes, less diabetes, and stronger bones in older age, compared with people who drink lightly or not at all. In addition, some research finds that people who consume between two and six standard drinks per week—an average of less than one drink per day—are less likely to have cardiovascular disease.

But these findings don’t necessarily mean that alcohol itself is responsible for the healthy pattern. Perhaps moderate drinkers also eat healthier foods, exercise more, and control stress better.

Or, it might be that people who don’t drink are generally in poorer health, so they don’t drink alcohol because it interacts badly with their medications. That would tend to make moderate drinkers look healthier in comparison.

Drinking too much spells trouble. In men, the health effects show up as increased heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers—although part of this may be due to the fact that heavy drinkers may also use tobacco.

A personalized medicine approach starts with a conversation with a trusted doctor about whether moderate drinking is safe and prudent for you. “That’s a question well worth asking your physician,” says Dr. Mukamal.

Also in the November 2014 Harvard Men’s Health Watch:

* Sleep apnea solutions

* Preventive health screening tests you don’t need

* Group health activities: What’s in it for you?

* How to get help for hand pain

The Harvard Men’s Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/mens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Maintain Your Health With A Safe Workplace

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workdeskYou can chow down on vitamin supplements like they were going out of style, make calorific meals using a calculator, weighing scales and your own inflated sense of ego, but there’s one health scare you can’t ever prepare for.

If an accident in your workplace hits, those supplements will be as useful as a submarine on the A90.

It can happen at any time, a major slip, trip or fall to put you out of commission for weeks, months or maybe even years. There were over 600,000 cases of injury in the UK last year, and at least a few of those could be put down to bad bosses.

Indeed, while your boss could have a halo for a head, sprinkle rose petals over employees as they enter and send delightful pictures of cats through the company email system, they’re still shirking their responsibility if they don’t adhere to health and safety legislation.

With that in mind, how can you make sure your boss is minimising your risk of an accident?

Contact the professionals

Whether you’ve had an accident or not, your first port of call should be the professionals – injury claim specialists can help you figure out how to protect your workplace from accidents, as well as what to do if you want to file a claim against your employer.

There are few people better suited to spotting the danger zones in a place of work, so pick up the phone and see what they can do for you.

Get your boss on your side

You know that lovely boss we were discussing earlier? The one with the rose petals and cute cat pictures? Well, here’s an unfortunate truth – they aren’t all like that. In fact, some bosses can be downright vindictive.

But that doesn’t mean you have to let their villainous tendencies get in the way of your working relationship. With occasional healthy conversations, it’s much easier to nudge your boss into doing the right thing without legislation having to weigh in.

Get a union

consultBack in the 70s, trade unions were solid parts of industry, providing support for workers and giving common people a right to stand up against employers. As Margaret Thatcher’s governmentfp wore on, however, the powers of trade unions were slowly but surely diluted until they were essentially impotent against employers.

While their day might be done, you can still create pressure on your employer with a grassroots strategy by teaming up with colleagues to complain about health and safety.

One lone voice means practically nothing in a bosses’ mind, but just imagine the pressure they’ll feel if a gang of you knock on their door.

Submitted by Jessica Piscos

Keeping Kids Safe In The New Year

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kidsSpectrum Health Announces Top 10 Household Dangers for Children

Spectrum Health’s Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is thinking ahead to keep kids safe in the New Year.

Jennifer Hoekstra, Injury Prevention program coordinator with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, has put together a list of the “Top 10” safety concerns that families should consider to keep their children safe.

“These are the most common dangers to children that parents always need to remember – and not just with the start of a new year,” explained Hoekstra. “It’s an important reminder for this time of year, however, because everyone is busier than normal with the holidays, maybe with different routines, visiting friends and family. It’s easy to get lulled into forgetting to check for a safe environment.”

In the favored style of late night television hosts, Hoekstra works her way up the “Top 10” list:

10. TV Tip-Over

Once every three weeks, a child in the United States dies after being hit and hurt by a unsecured television set that tips over. Nearly 13,000 children are injured each year by falling TVs. Parents are urged to strap or bolt all TVs and heavy furniture to the wall to prevent them from tipping and falling.

9. Bicycle Injuries

Bicycles are associated with more childhood injuries than any other consumer product except automobiles. Bicycle injuries jump significantly during the summer; the death rate jumps nearly 45 percent higher than the non-summer monthly average. A helmet is the single most effective safety device for reducing the severity of head injuries and the likelihood of death following a bicycle crash.

8. Distracted Pedestrians

In a recent report done by Safe Kids Worldwide, one in five high school students and one in eight middle school students were observed crossing the street distracted. Students were most often texting on a phone (39 percent) or using headphones (39 percent). Distraction while crossing the street is a serious problem that many parents don’t think about.

7. Water Dangers

The risk of drowning increases more in the summer than any other unintentional injury – 89 percent over the rest of the year – because more children are playing in pools and in open bodies of water. Drowning can happen so quickly. It is critical that parents actively supervise young children and those who do not swim well in every body of water.

6. Unsafe Sleep Practices

The results of placing a baby younger than one year in an unsafe sleeping environment can be deadly. Parents are encouraged to remember the “ABC’s” of safe sleep: babies should sleep alone (A) – no blankets, pillows, or other people – on their back (B) and in a crib (C) with a tight fitting sheet.

5. Medication Safety

Every parent knows to keep medicine up and away from children, but kids are still getting into medicine at an alarming rate with 500,000 calls to poison control centers last year alone. Medications are the leading cause of child poisoning. Every year, more than 67,000 children go to an emergency room for medicine poisoning. That’s one child every eight minutes.

4. Button Batteries

Each year in the United States, more than 2,800 kids are treated in emergency rooms after swallowing button batteries. That’s one child every three hours. The number of serious injuries or deaths as a result of button batteries has increased ninefold in the last decade. Keep coin lithium battery-controlled devices out of sight and reach of children. Remote controls, singing greeting cards, digital scales, watches, hearing aids, thermometers, children’s toys, calculators, key fobs, tealight candles, flashing holiday jewelry and decorations all contain button batteries.

twokidsun3. Protecting Young Athletes

Many coaches and parents don’t understand how much rest young athletes need from sports, how much water kids should drink during sports/play or the signs of a concussion. Sports injuries make up 20 percent of all injury-related emergency department visits for children ages 6-19. Last year, 163,670 children were seen in emergency departments for sports-related concussions – that’s one child every three minutes.

2. Improper Car Seat Use and Installation

Properly used, child safety seats decrease the risk of death by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers. It is very important for parents to take time to read both the instructions for their child’s car seat and for their vehicles in order to use the child’s car seat properly. Other issues surrounding children who are in and around the vehicle are also big risks for kids. Parents are reminded to never leave their children alone in the vehicle and never allow kids to play in the trunk of the car.

And, finally, the top concern for parents:

1. Falls

Unintentional falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children in the United States. In 2010, unintentional falls resulted in nearly 3 million injuries requiring treatment in an emergency room. These injuries resulted from activities such as climbing on furniture, playing near an unsecured window, falling down stairs or playing on playgrounds.

– For more information about the Safe Kids program at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, visit www.helendevoschildrens.org/injuryprevention.

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system, based in West Michigan, offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of 11 hospitals including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital; 173 ambulatory and service sites; 960 advanced practice providers and employed physicians including members of the Spectrum Health Medical Group and West Michigan Heart physician groups; and Priority Health, a health plan. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer with 20,800 employees. The organization provided $250 million in community benefit during its 2013 fiscal year.

– Submitted by Angela Zito

How To Make A Safe Mosquito Repellent

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By Sharon Gnatt Epel

mosquitoSummer is finally here, and along with sun-drenched days and romantic balmy nights are pesky little mosquitoes that buzz in your ears, and leave little red bumps that make you scratch ‘til you bleed.

But mosquitoes are more than just an itchy summer nuisance: they carry malaria, West Nile virus, dengue fever and encephalitis – illnesses that can cause serious health issues and result in death. That’s why it is important to take precautions against getting bitten.

Most of the effective commercial insect repellents on the market contain one of two chemicals: DEET or picaridin (a synthetic compound first made in the 1980s). Developed by the U.S. Army in 1946, DEET was given the green light for use by the general public in 1957. The EPA has long insisted that both these ingredients are safe for adults and children when used according to directions. However, a Duke University study done in 2002 concluded otherwise, showing that these ingredients can potentially damage brain cells, cause adverse behavioral changes, and interact badly with certain medications. More serious effects like brain cell toxicity and death were observed in animals exposed to DEET with greater frequency and longer-term use, suggesting that the general public should think twice before using it with any regularity.

The skin is the largest organ in the human body, covering a surface area of 16-22 sq. ft. and averaging somewhere between 0.5 to 4.0 mm in thickness depending upon its location. The outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, keeps external toxins from penetrating the skin and gaining access to internal organs. However, not all toxins can be repelled by the body, and the introduction of nanoparticles in manufacturing (those molecules smaller than 40 nm in diameter) has been a game changer, allowing a variety of chemical preparations to find their way past natural barriers and into the bloodstream.

Research shows that approximately 15 percent of DEET is absorbed through the skin. Insect repellent manufacturers openly acknowledge that the toxic effects of diethyl-meta-toluaminde (DEET) include: reproductive disturbances, genetic material mutations, and central nervous system disorders. The Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University discovered way back in 1997 that, “Everglades National Park employees having extensive DEET exposure were more likely to have insomnia, mood disturbances and impaired cognitive function than were lesser exposed co-workers”.

Feeling like you are caught between a rock and a hard place? No worries: natural alternatives to these synthetic chemicals do exist, and have been proven to be equally effective, without posing long or short-term danger to your health. In fact, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued a statement in May 2008 equally recommending DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535 (an insect repellent developed by Merck) for protection against mosquitos after a study published in 2006 found that a product containing 40% oil of lemon eucalyptus was just as effective as products containing high concentrations of DEET.

Some of the natural oils that repel mosquitoes are:

• Nepetalactone, also known as “catnip oil”

• Citronella oil (requires reapplication after 30 to 60 minutes)

• Neem oil (has both repellent and insecticidal properties and repels mosquitoes for up to 12 hours)

• Bog Myrtle from Scotland also known as sweet gale

• Essential oil of Eucalyptus (citriodora, globulus and radiata)

• Essential oil of Basil

• Essential oil of Geranium

• Essential oil of Thyme

• Essential oil of Blue Cypress

• Essential oil of Peppermint

While these oils are extremely effective, please remember that natural remedies do require more frequent application than synthetic preparations containing DEET, and should be applied every one to two hours, depending upon a number of factors that include whether or not you are wearing sunscreen, how heavily you are sweating (and thereby diluting the repellent), whether you’ve been swimming, and how quickly the oils are evaporating on your body (when exposed to high winds and temperatures).

It is very easy to make your own mosquito repellent. All you need is:

1. A small spray bottle that holds about 4 oz. (120 ml)

2. Your choice of 4-5 essential oils (combinations are more effective than single oils)

3. A carrier (non-essential) oil for dilution like jojoba, almond or any vegetable oil

4. Aloe Vera gel (optional)

Directions:

Add 30-40 drops total of a combination of the aforementioned essential oils, to about 3 oz. of water. Do not exceed 40 drops of essential oils.

My favorite combination includes geranium, basil, thyme, eucalyptus and peppermint. I also like to add 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel, 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil, and 1 teaspoon of neem oil, so I reduce the total amount of water to about 2.5 oz. to allow for these additional ingredients.

Shake well to combine the ingredients and apply to the body.

2 Notes of caution:

1. Be sure to check for skin sensitivity before applying these oils. Just because an essential oil recipe is all-natural does not mean that a person can’t be sensitive to plant oils.

2. Do not use citrus oils directly on the skin if you plan on being in direct sunlight, as they can cause photosensitivity. They can however, be safely used to spray on clothing during the day or night.

Using an insect repellent made from natural ingredients is a little extra work, but a small price to pay for protecting our health, and reducing the amount of toxins in our bodies and our fragile environment.

– Sharon Gnatt Epel is the CEO/Founder, La Isha Natural & Organic Skincare.

The Importance Of Feeling Safe – Part 2

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By Bob Livingstone

Continued from part 1 of this article…..

familywalkSteps to Feeling Safe:

• The very first step is to recognize that safety does indeed exist and that you are deserving of it.

• Think about the moments when you have felt safe and write about them. When you are feeling frightened, turn to your journal and focus on it. For example, if you remember feeling relaxed and warm laying on the beach, bring up a memory of that and allow it to flow into your fears.

• Be aware that we all have different parts of us inside. Some parts may be identified as children, punitive adults, loving women, caring men and those that carry wisdom. These parts become fragmented and don’t connect when you are not feeling safe. When you are feeling scared, look inside and find which part is being triggered. Once you find your place of wisdom and caring parts; have them communicate reassuring, loving messages.

• It is important to get enough sleep, eat well, exercise regularly and hang out with those who really have your best interest at heart.

• Terminate relationships with those who belittle you and are not trustworthy.

• Discover what unconditional love really means and apply it to yourself-accepting that you are not perfect and that is OK.

• Seek out psychotherapy to help face, work through and heal from not feeling safe. EMDR(Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and Sandtray Therapy are two modalities that can help you learn to feel safe.

Bob Livingstone is the author the critically acclaimed Unchain the Pain: How to be Your Own Therapist, Norlights Press 2011, The Body Mind Soul Solution: Healing Emotional Pain through Exercise, Pegasus Books, 2007 and Redemption of the Shattered: A Teenager’s Healing Journey through Sandtray Therapy, Booklocker 2002. He is a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker in private practice in The San Francisco Bay Area and has nearly twenty five years experience working with adults, adolescents and children.

The Importance Of Feeling Safe – Part 1

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By Bob Livingstone

womanMany of us have that anxious feeling running through our bodies on a regular basis. That feeling comes in a variety of states; from intense five alarm bells loudly ringing to fear running in the background of our thoughts. When this happens, folks can withdraw socially, rely on substances or get caught up in drama to escape this feeling of impending doom.

We walk through life fearful of looking at what causes this overwhelming worry. We believe that we are just anxious because one or both of our parents is a worrier. We accept as true that we are in fear because we have been traumatized at one or more points in our lives. We think there is no relief for this state, so we do our best to grind it out and survive. We also have the mindset that actually facing this agony will create more pain making it more difficult to survive.

In reality, we don’t feel safe much of the time and that lack of safety is the major trigger for all the fear that washes through us. Many of us have no real concept of what being safe means.

Many of us have not received reassurance from our parents that no matter how horrible your life was going, you would eventually not just be ok, but thrive. That sense of hope and faith was never instilled.

When I look at how lovingly my friends/neighbors look at their children as they hold them, I realize that my parents never gazed into my eyes in such a passionate way. I imagine feeling loved that fiercely provides a child with warmth, self-confidence and security.

Feeling wanted leads to feeling safe. Being safe is the absence of beating yourself up or feeling that all that is good in your life is a moment away from vanishing forever.

Feeling safe is not having that soon to be falling off a cliff feeling and not worried about being criticized by those surrounding you.

Feeling safe is not having that soon to be falling off a cliff feeling and not worried about being criticized by those surrounding you. It is the ability to find the safe space inside yourself that was pushed away when you were a child. That safe space is naturally there when we are born, but we learn to lose our path to this place through the abuse and neglect of adults who are supposed to care for us.

Feeling safe means being self-assured and ditching the self-doubt. It means waking up in the morning and deeply knowing that you deserve to live in a safe space and have the happiness that it brings.

Feeling safe is the ultimate goal of psychotherapy or any other means of self-exploration.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article…..

Bob Livingstone is the author the critically acclaimed Unchain the Pain: How to be Your Own Therapist, Norlights Press 2011, The Body Mind Soul Solution: Healing Emotional Pain through Exercise, Pegasus Books, 2007 and Redemption of the Shattered: A Teenager’s Healing Journey through Sandtray Therapy, Booklocker 2002. He is a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker in private practice in The San Francisco Bay Area and has nearly twenty five years experience working with adults, adolescents and children.

Are Your Cosmetics Safe?

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by Paul J. Rosen, J.D., L.Ac., EAMP

cosmeticsThe more you look the more you see. Have you ever noticed that when you buy a new car you see more of them on the road? This goes for a blouse or a pair of shoes as well? Well, what I’ve been noticing a lot more of lately is deception in advertising.

While I was researching for my latest book, Be Healthy Now ~ for Women, I came across the title Toxic Beauty, a book written by Dr. Samuel Epstein, who is a well-known expert in the field of cancer causing agents. Wow, this book is an eye opener. What jumped out at me?

There are over 10,500 personal beauty and cosmetic products available in North America. Ninety-nine percent of them have at least one ingredient that has never been tested for safety.

Now get this: The phrase “For professional use only” that we find on so-called higher quality beauty products allows manufacturers to keep any harmful chemicals off the labels. They may still be in the products ~ but just not on the labels.

Finally, the terms “hypoallergenic,” “allergy-free” and “safe for sensitive skin” can be placed on products without actual testing and neither the FDA nor any other regulating body even requires the companies to prove their claims.

Now that we’ve established that we are left almost completely in the dark about product safety and their effects on your health, here is why you should care.

womanarmupYour skin is the largest organ of your body. And your skin’s health is a reflection of the health of your kidneys. This means that if you are having skin problems like psoriasis, acne or eczema you should look to your kidneys as part of the strategy to clean things up.

And speaking of skin, deodorants often contain aluminum to stop perspiration and propylene glycol as a drying agent. Aluminum has been associated with chronic health conditions including chronic bladder problems like interstitial cystitis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Propylene glycol is the main ingredient of anti-freeze ~ the colored liquid you pour into your car’s radiator to prevent engine freeze-up. Safety warnings associate propylene glycol with liver abnormalities and kidney damage.

Chemicals and foods called estrogenic are capable of altering your hormone balance and they find their way into beauty products. For those who choose natural products, soy is a common ingredient. Soy is also associated with altering hormone balance and not always in a positive way. But don’t tell the soy lobbyists.

So, if you’re struggling with menstrual irregularities, stubborn menopausal symptoms, irritability, blue moods, dry skin, thinning hair and fatigue, look no further than your lipstick, face and body creams, soaps and detergents as potential parts of the problem.

Fortunately, there are many safe options. Coconut oil and olive oil for skin care, mineral make up for color and soy-free biodegradable soaps and detergents for house cleaning and laundry are good places to start.

Deception is a marketing norm. We see it every day. And as responsible consumers, we must become knowledgeable about the products we use.

– Paul J. Rosen, JD, LAc, EAMP is the clinic director of AcuNatural Family Healthcare and a licensed acupuncturist in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. His expertise extends to nutrition as a certified master of Nutrition Response Testing. After 20 years of practice his chosen specialty is designing nutritional healing programs for folks suffering with chronic and degenerative illness. He is the author of three books: The Great Health Heist, Be Healthy Now ~ Your Passport To Wellness and Be Healthy Now ~ for Women. Paul is also a local radio personality and host of “Health Matters”. His show can be heard each Sunday from 8- 10 AM PST on AM860 KPAM. Paul is available for public appearances and speaking engagements. Contact him at 360-750-7375 or via his website at www.acunatural.com

Poorer Neighborhoods Often Have Less Safe Playgrounds

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From Your Health Journal…..”A great article today from US News & World Report via HealthDay from Serena Gordon called, Poorer Neighborhoods Often Have Less Safe Playgrounds. The headlines recently have discussed how obesity is on the rise all over the world, especially in the United States. Childhood obesity is also on the rise. Last week, I posted an article discussing how children in the poorer neighborhoods are unfortunately, eating poorly. Now, more reports come out stating how some playgrounds in the poor neighborhood are not safe. Is this another contributor to childhood obesity, as some parents may not want their children to play in an ‘unsafe’ park? Playgrounds are more than just some equipment and mulch. Playgrounds and green spaces can pull neighborhoods together, but need to be safe so kids do not get hurt, and parents can be comfortable with their playtime. A study was performed in Chicago on playground safety in poor neighborhoods. Playground surfacing was the biggest problem. Almost one in four of these playgrounds in the study didn’t have proper surfacing, which should be either a uniform surface made from rubber or other energy-absorbing material or loose-fill wood chips. Please take the time to visit the US News web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

Most playgrounds are safe for children, but many of them — particularly those in poorer neighborhoods — need improvement, a Chicago-area survey found.

The good news is that many of the safety issues, such as increasing the depth of wood chips covering playground surfaces, are easily correctable. And a softer landing can mean the difference between a harmless fall and one that causes serious injury, an expert said.

When researchers later followed up on the less-than-safe playgrounds, many of the problems had been fixed.

“We gave our information to the park district, and they were able to improve the quality of playgrounds pretty dramatically,” said senior study author Dr. Karen Sheehan, medical director of the Injury Prevention and Research Center at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

“We’re also making this data available to the communities so they know what’s going on. It’s often about mobilizing political will. We need to recognize that access to safe playgrounds is part of the obesity epidemic solution. If we can get kids outside with a nice place to play, they’ll be more active,” Sheehan said.

The study appeared online Jan. 21 and will be published in the February print issue of Pediatrics, along with an editorial by Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

“Playgrounds are more than just some equipment and mulch. Playgrounds and green spaces can pull neighborhoods together,” Smith said. “They can help keep kids active and prevent childhood obesity. Play helps decrease unwanted behaviors and helps improve performance in the classroom. Play is a child’s occupation. And, playgrounds are a place where they can challenge and push themselves to grow physically and socially.”

To read the full article…..Click here