Healthier Holiday Meals: Trim the Fat to Stay on Point this Holiday Season!

Usually during the holiday seasons we are bombarded with candy, baked goods, holiday parties laden with fattening comfort foods, and combined with cold weather that makes most people less active, we are in a dieter’s nightmare. Come January 1st everyone is looking to get back on their healthy tracks and get back into shape and work off all of those indulgent foods, but what if we never fell into the Holiday food trap? There are ways to make those comfort foods that you love, but just make them healthier and equally as good (if not tastier!). Get the scoop and the fixes here on Amerikanki.com

Yours in Good Health

B

Organic Veg

AllNurses.com: Thank you, Florence Nightingale!

A Nurses Perspective. Around this time of year, I like think about the previous year: what has changed, what has stayed the same, and what I am truly thankful for. It is easy to have a negative day, or a positive day, and just focus on that, but it’s the big picture that is what is most important.

Read more on AllNurses.com

In Good Health

B

NurseB Hallway

Get Your Kids the Damn Flu shot….

Whether you ‘believe’ in flu vaccinations or not, as long as you are informed to the risks and benefits of using vaccines, as an adult, that is totally your choice to not get them. However, when it comes to your children, really learn the risks of not vaccinating your children…the flu is more serious than most people think, it can be devastating to a child, and you cannot keep them in a bubble of protection forever. You can do whatever you want for yourself, but arm your child with the protection their immune system needs to ward off the flu this season.

Check out the rest of Nurse Bridgid’s post on ScaryMommy.com

Yours in Good Health!

FluShot

Nurses Just Doing their Jobs….

There are some times as a nurse that you are really put under the microscope why you do what you do every day. Sometimes the reasons that we look more closely at our practice is because of questions from unlikely sources, that aren’t in the field. That happened to me recently and it really has made me think about responding to the ‘thank you’ from a patient with the phrase, “I’m just doing my job”…..

Read more on Allnurses.com

Nurse Bridgid talks about Ebola on Amerikanki.com

Get some useful information about Ebola: transmission, what is your actual risk, and why you shouldn’t worry at Amerikanki.com straight from Nurse Bridgid!

credit: npr.org

Yours in Good Health

B

Seasonal Health: Fall Veggies for Better Health!

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For tips on how to improve your diet by eating seasonal vegetables, and improving your nutrition and helping you to stick with your diet! Learn more at: http://food.amerikanki.com/improving-diet-nutrition-fall-veggies/

Yours in Good Health,

B

The Scoop on Birth Control Options

Whether you are thinking about trying for the first time, or wanting to spread out when you have babies, you need to know your birth control options! Check out Nurse Bridgid discussing your options from Natural Family Planning to the Pill at ScaryMommy.com

Yours in Good Health

B

Enterovirus Outbreak: What signs to watch for with your children

There have been quite a few news stories out there about the “mysterious” respiratory virus that has been found in 10 different states and has spread quickly to infect hundreds of children. The virus has caused these children to get very sick very quickly and many have required hospitalization for treatment. This virus has come out of nowhere and is spreading rapidly, considering the time of year (during the winter this kind of outbreak would be more expected due to staying indoors, sharing items in school, etc.) What is the scoop on this virus and how concerned should you be for your children? Let’s not listen to the hype and break it down!

enterovirus- SMChealth.orgThe virus causing this outbreak:

The virus causing these children in 10 different states to have cold like symptoms leading to respiratory distress is known as the enterovirus D68.  Enteroviruses are very common viruses that either have very mild symptoms (runny nose, stuffy nose, foggy head, etc.) or no symptoms at all. This strain of the virus is rare, historically, either because people don’t seek treatment and get diagnosed, or because the symptoms aren’t as severe (so we never hear about it.)

Symptoms to look for:

As I said earlier, an infection can have very mild cold symptoms, but the major difference between the other strains of enterovirus and D68 is that D68 causes respiratory issues. Most often children (as opposed to adults) are infected with D68 and they have may or may not have a fever, but they will have heavy wheezing, cough, and commonly complain of having trouble breathing. Essentially, children who do not have asthma show signs of asthma, and it happens quickly: blue lips, rapid breathing, anxiety, and respiratory distress (when they really aren’t passing air.) Respiratory distress is a medical emergency and is really scary to see happen; call 911 immediately because your child may need assistance breathing quickly, and the faster they are in expert hands, the better.

Prevention and Treatment

The bummer about viruses is there is no treatment, so antibiotics won’t do a thing, only time (and it usually lasts a week.) Teach common cold prevention to your kids. Washing hands after using the bathroom and before eating is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of viruses, as well as limiting touching their mouths/face without washing first (or using hand sanitizer.) Also, teaching them to cough into their elbow, to cover their mouth, and to speak up if other children are coughing to ask them to cover their mouths (I ask adults to cover their mouths in public all the time…or I run away with a horrified look on my face, which you probably shouldn’t tell your kids to do.) At home, you can clean surfaces with a bleach (or alternative) when the kids are sick to prevent the spread of the virus, and keep your kids home when they aren’t feeling well, even if it seems like a light call (no fever or anything you can put your finger on but they seem run down) because a day of rest can help the immune system to recharge and kill of some nasty bacteria.

One other thing that you can do, and I know this is controversial to many people, is get your kids vaccinated for the flu. If you can help ward off that big virus, you can help to keep their immune system strong all fall, winter, spring, and most healthcare practitioners will have the vaccine available in the end of September.

Most at risk:

Children with asthma or other chronic respiratory diseases and autoimmune disorders really need to be watched closely, and any signs of respiratory decline should be seen ASAP.

How worried should I be?

I don’t like to be an alarmist, and you know your child better than anyone else. If this virus is found at your school or in your town, be a little more wary of looking for symptoms and keeping an ear peeled for someone who may be infected on your kid’s team, in their class, or in their group of friends. If you know it is around, you will pay more attention to the symptoms…because not every cold or runny nose will lead to a hospital visit. Knowledge, and being protective momma bear, can go a long way!

Yours in Good Health

B

Infertility Survival Guide

You decide to take the plunge and make a baby….it goes from excitement to a chore, and still no baby?!? Once you see an infertility specialist, the real fun begins (insert sarcastic face here!) Going through infertility treatment can be a long and emotionally charged journey, so there are a few things to be prepared for: – See more at:  ScaryMommy.com

infertility blog SM

Yours in Good Health

B

 

Ebola: Is the threat real? What you need to know

Talks of Ebola are all over the news, especially since a couple of U.S. health workers in Africa have been transferred back to the U.S. for treatment, and these are the first known cases of Ebola on U.S. soil ever, it’s understandable that people are concerned. Here’s the straight scoop, on what Ebola is, how it is transferred, and what you should be concerned about: no hype added!

Ebola viron credit: npr.org

What is Ebola?

Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF) is a virus that is very severe and many times is fatal in humans and primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimps), and it is caused by the Ebola virus, which not too much is known about. There are many presumptions, that the virus was somehow transferred from a primate to human, but the true source of the virus is unknown; it started showing up in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and has shown up on and off ever since in Sudan, Gabon, The Ivory Coast, Uganda, and the Republic of the Congo.

What are the symptoms?

The EHF virus can incubate from anywhere from 2 to 21 days, which means that an infected person might not know that they are infecting others because they have mild symptoms at first, and then very acute (sudden) symptoms:

Sore muscles

Fever

Headache 

Sore throat

Weakness

Which can then be followed by:

Diarrhea

Vomiting

Stomach pains

And some patients will have acute onset hiccups, skin rash, red eyes, and bleeding (both internal seen through your poop, and external like nose bleeds or bruising.) It is difficult, based on current case studies, to understand why some patients die from EHF quickly, and others are able to recover, but it may be related to when they are seen for their symptoms. And while there is no cure, patients with EHF that get supportive treatment (treatments for their symptoms, like fluids for fever and loss during vomiting and diarrhea) early, may be better off in their fight against the virus.

How is it transmitted and prevented?

Since it is truly unknown how the first cases appeared, it is only assumed how it occurred, some routes of transmission have been studied and shown in labs, and clinically, but others we are still learning about. It is thought to be transmitted by exposure to blood, mucus, vomitus, stool, or saliva from an infected person. Many times in African settings, these patients are cared for my family members when they first become ill, and without knowing the virus, the family members then become infected and when they get to a healthcare setting, there is often no option for gloves, gowns, etc. that are used in most modern-day healthcare settings to prevent the spread of disease.

I have seen articles that are saying EHF is spread through breathing the same air as an infected person; in one research setting, one type of EHF was presumed to have been spread this way through primates, but it has never been seen in clinical setting in humans to spread this way. I am not saying this will never be the case, but at this time, it has not been shown as a source of transmission, so there is no need to walk around with a mask on and HEPA filter!

Am I at risk?

In every day life, you are at minimal risk for exposure to EHF, and you should just wash your hands frequently, especially when around people with colds or other illness, just as you normally would. If you go to a hospital, healthcare practitioners have been well versed in looking for signs and symptoms, early diagnosis of patients, and ensuring that the patients will not infect other patients, or healthcare workers, by wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. Also, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is tracking all patients being screened and sending updates to all hospitals within the U.S. frequently; if there are other infections, the CDC will quickly trace the trends and increase protective measures.

Should I be worried?

The short and long of it? No. You should not be worried about the movie ‘Outbreak’ or ‘Contagion’ essentially happening on U.S. soil. There are two cases of people who have been brought to Atlanta, where CDC staff are assisting in treatment and studying reactions, which will only benefit all of us, and they are overly protective to prevent any spread of the virus. Also, they have used an experimental drug on the two patients that were flown to the U.S. (prior to their departure from Liberia) that appears to have killed off the virus already, which is amazing in the fight against EHF!

People travel all over the world for business, to visit family, etc. and we cannot prevent world travel, but making people aware of the signs and symptoms, and how it is transmitted can help the spread. There may be a moratorium of travel for people who live in areas with increased rates of EHF in the future, but for now, knowledge is power, and if you are worried or concerned, go see your Healthcare Practitioner (HCP) so they can also put your mind at ease. If you have travelled to the areas with current outbreaks (updated by the CDC) be aware of the symptoms noted above, and see your HCP for screening, if you have any of the symptoms.

Short of that, don’t put your life on hold because of an Ebola outbreak, but pay attention to any updates by the CDC for outbreaks and new prevention tips!

Yours in Good Health

B