Tag Archives: health

Consumer Info: HIV and Sexuality

When one hears of the term HIV, what does normally come to mind? AIDS? Well yes, obviously, since it is the precursor of the dreaded disease. And now, with the continued rise of such cases in the Philippines as in 1,013 new cases as of June 2017 — where 969 of which comes from sexual contact – maybe it is time to especially check on society’s sexual behavior.

But first, a few facts about HIV.

  • HIV was believed to have originated from SIV-infected monkeys in Congo back in the 1920s. It was transferred to humans through ‘hunting’, like, as a result of monkeys being eaten or their blood getting into cuts or wounds of people hunting them.
  • Symptoms which normally appear between 1-2 months include: fever, fatigue, head ache, swollen lymph nodes, achy muscles, joint pains, skin rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, dry cough, and night sweats. Yes, while these symptoms may sound ordinary, notice that they do appear in many other illnesses as well — since these are signs that one’s immune system is being attacked. Thus, if you are unusually experiencing any such sign, make sure to have yourself checked by a physician.
  • At risk groups include partners of people with AIDS, or those who inject drugs, or hemophiliacs (one with serious disease that causes a person who has been cut or injured to keep bleeding for a very long time) as well as homosexuals.
How HIV/AIDS is spread

Now, sexual behavior. Okay, more than a means to procreate — sex as we may put it is a biological need, thus, even the Bible suggests that one gets married so as not to commit sins of the flesh such as fornication and orgies. However, man would only listen to his urges and those who shares his views. Yet they even pride themselves of having a personal relationship with God?? Worse, ’cause of people’s desire to be appreciated, “in”, or trendy in their styles — they even accuse others of perversion when they are the ones who actually instigate their so-called perversion. Talk of sticking more mud.

Example. If a girl wears kind of revealing clothes (plunging necklines, high slits, short shorts, et cetera) or even doing something that could show more skin than usual, men would generally look at her. Is that being a pervert? No. Why? It’s human nature. Men would always be men. And it is by no means shielding the folly of man. Because you should not have worn such clothing in the first place if you do not want to be stared at. Hey, even the Bible suggests to dress modestly, 1 Timothy 2:9. If you do not follow the Word, you sin. Simple.

Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are. Better be with a few who are righteous.

So see, society’s adamance and misguided beliefs has simply caused even more sexual harassment and rape cases these days.

Still, more than other influences like drugs and alcohol – being with ungodly people (or those who do not really try to follow the Word) only encourages the weaker souls to fall for just about every kind of sin there is, 2 Corinthians 6:14 – my, what with technology being a vehicle of lust and materialism?! And so, powerful, scheming men then just capitalized on this worldliness.

While technology offers convenience and entertainment, it’s also a vehicle of worldliness.

In the end, don’t you think HIV was simply God’s mysterious way of bringing wrath to immorality? And don’t say you use protection or there’s a cure – ’cause God has a million ways to get to offenders.

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Consumer Info: All About Brain Aneurysm

Brain Aneurysm. Heard of it? Understandably so, it must be foreign to many — yet because of the recent showbiz news that shocked many in the country, the ordinary Juan Dela Cruz became even more curious about this.

Aneurysm is the ballooning of a blood vessel particularly in the arteries resulting from the weakening of the vessel wall. Now, if you add “brain” to this then it would be self-explanatory that this is a medical case that pertains to the head. And so, let’s proceed.

Brain aneurysm can be ruptured or unruptured — so, imagine the danger it presents if such a bulge inside one’s head would just burst?! Coma. Brain damage. Even death.

CAUSES

Illnesses such as Marfan’s syndrome, some traumatic brain injuries, serious systemic infections, and autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease contribute to brain aneurysm. Moreover, the chances of rupturing increases through smoking, drug abuse, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.

RISKS 

If any of the risks or symptoms apply, have a check up

While brain aneurysm can develop in anyone at any age — women over 40 years old are at a higher risk for developing this condition especially if she has a family history of it. Yes, not to mention those who are dealing with diabetes, obesity and copper deficiency could be at risk as well.

SYMPTOMS

Signs of a ruptured brain aneurysm includes: Severe headache, stiff neck, blurred or double vision, sensitivity to light, drooping eyelids, numbness, seizures, fainting, confusion, nausea and vomiting.

Now, while approximately 40 percent of those with ruptured brain aneurysm results in death, 50 to 80 percent actually do not rupture. Take note though that some unruptured brain aneurysm can cause pressure on the brain and lead to headaches, blurred vision, neck pain and speech changes. Thus, so long as one gets screened sooner than later, more so regularly, then something could still be done.

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT 

Many times, surgery may be risky so listen to your doctor
  • The suspected patient should undergo a CT scan or MRI to verify the condition.
  • Treatment depends on the size, location and severity of the aneurysm.
  • Pain medications are prescribed to treat head and eye pain. Prescribed medication is also used to prevent blood vessel blockages or to relieve cranial pressure.
  • Surgery is also an option and this is to cut off blood flow to where the brain aneurysm is or to make repairs — that is, only if the aneurysm is accessible.

PREVENTION

  • Understand that an unruptured brain aneurysm is hard to detect, thus, especially if there were at least 2 in your family that has had aneurysm — it would be good if you have yourself checked every 5 years once you reach the age of 40.
  • A change in lifestyle would be necessary to minimize the risk of developing brain aneurysm, therefore, quit smoking, eat healthy, exercise regularly, use drugs the right way, have enough rest and if you drink, just drink moderately.
  • Monitor your overall health particularly your weight, cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure levels.
  • Manage stress levels. Don’t push too hard but take time to relax — life should be a blessing not a burden.

TIPS 

Lifestyle change is necessary for managing health

Take a low dose of aspirin daily to prevent the build up of arterial plaque that can weaken blood vessel walls — however, consult your doctor first if this kind of treatment would be right for you.

Recovery After Treatment. If the brain aneurysm was ruptured then at least a 3-week rest would be necessary before one could resume daily activities. Otherwise, if it was not ruptured, a full week of good rest would be sufficient.

Remember, to be healthy — live healthy.

Consumer Info: All About Japanese Encephalitis

UPDATE as of 2017 Sep 30: Since the 9 reported deaths and 149 cases of Japanese Encephalitis in the country, there has been no reported new cases regarding the deadly virus which has been basically isolated in Pampanga, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija.

While it’s good news, wouldn’t it be great if we were better informed about this seemingly strange disease and so, protect ourselves?

FACTS 

  • Japanese Encephalitis or the JE virus is commonly found in South to Southeast Asia, although as the name suggests, it actually started in Japan when it was first spotted in 1871.
  • It generally occurs in agricultural regions where it’s associated with rice production and flood irrigation; however, it could also appear in urban areas. In the Philippines, the last recorded case was back in 1982.
  • The JE virus is a viral disease (and transmitted via mosquitoes, not human to human) that is characterized by the inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and currently has NO CURE but only prevention, else, total care if already infected.
  • The JE virus may not really be able to penetrate one’s body if a person has a strong immune system; otherwise, symptoms would usually appear between 5 to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

SYMPTOMS

  • INITIAL: headache, fever, nausea, vomiting and weakness.
  • SEVERE: stiff neck, seizures, convulsion, confusion, motor paralysis, behavioural changes and swelling around the brain.
  • LATER STAGE: coma or death.

MANAGEMENT 

Salt solution
  • Since Japanese Encephalitis has no specific cure or treatment yet, supportive care and close observation is even more crucial here.
  • Take paracetamol during fever.
  • Hydrate with lots of fluid and salt solution.
  • Have good nutrition.
  • Get proper rest.
  • Intensive care if necessary.

PREVENTION 

  • Have yourself vaccinated. JE vaccines costs less than P2,000 but then, you should get vaccinated twice within 28 days.
  • Be extra watchful during the rainy season — especially between May and October as these are the mosquito’s high activity period.
  • Control mosquito breeding by keeping your surroundings clean and not letting water stagnate.
  • Mechanize the growing of rice if possible.
  • Use insect repellents.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Reduce exposure to mosquitoes during its peak ‘biting hours’ which is actually when it’s cooler.

    Where JE mosquitoes normally breed

REMINDER: If you live within a reported JE area, once you are bitten by an infected mosquito — avoid scratching instead apply hydrocortisone or calamine lotion to reduce itchiness. Then consult your physician. For severe cases, you would have to submit to a CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) — this is getting fluid samples from your spine for testing.

Remember, while Japanese Encephalitis has no cure yet, it is a preventable disease. Thus, take the necessary precautions.

Consumer Info: All About Honey

Yes, we have all heard of how healthy honey is; after all, it is the elixir of life. Not surprisingly, not many knows the exact benefits of honey, much more how to distinguish pure honey from adulterated honey. So, here goes..

First. We understand that you already know that honey could even come in many varieties, right? Like floral, fruity, smokey, woody, spicy or earthy — all depending on the source of its nectar. Also, that honey could be clear to as dark as molasses in its appearance — yet with all these, don’t be surprised if some of them smells fresh while others are even pungent! Bottom line is, you could only get the full benefits of honey if it’s pure. Thus, if the supermarket is your only access to honey, at least make sure to examine its physical qualities before buying them. How?

  1. Real honey has some small particles suspended within it while the fake ones do not.
  2. Real honey is thick and dense while fake honey is thin and runny.
  3. Check the label. Real honey contains only one ingredient — honey.
Especially if no ingredient is listed on the label then think twice before buying the honey

NUTRIENTS. Raw honey contains 22 amino acids, 27 minerals and 5,000 enzymes. Minerals include iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium while the vitamins in honey include vitamin B6, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin.

BENEFITS. Boosts energy. Reduces muscle fatigue. Regulates blood sugar. Treats cough and sore throat. Heals (surgical) wounds, cuts, minor burns and ulcers. Protects from infection, odor and pus. Reduces acid production in the mouth for better oral health. Helps with insomnia. Good moisturizer and treats skin fungus. Reduces and controls weight. Improves appetite and digestion. Relieves constipation, diarrhea and dysentery. Helps kidneys function better. Aids in blood cleansing as well as in its regulation and circulation.

DOSAGE: 1 tbsp a day if only  for maintenance purposes

STORAGE. Not in cans but glass jars or plastic containers. Do not expose to sunlight, near heat or inside the fridge but in a cool, dry place where temperature is stable.

EXPIRY. Because of its unique composition and chemical properties, honey could be preserved long term — like, decades or even centuries. The key to preservation is limiting its access to humidity; if honey is exposed to moist air, fermentation could begin and eventually ‘damage’ the honey.

Store and carefully seal honey in glass jars or plastic containers

AUTHENTICITY. It is but common sense that if we really want pure honey, it would be best if we just get it straight from a bee farm — then again, how many actually has the time and proximity to do that? And so, this would leave us with almost no choice but to buy from the sidewalk or just blindly trust supermarket displays wherein most are not really concerned about our health but only our money.

TESTING. Now while we could physically examine honey in supermarkets, such scrutiny only gives us a clue to its purity — nothing else. Especially in cases like this, facts could only be verified through actual testing. Unfortunately, many times that testing would not be possible in supermarkets since honey here is sealed or totally wrapped — and determining prices does not mean anything to its purity! Therefore, you would only know about its authenticity once you have bought the honey and tested it at home.

Prices does not really have anything to do with the purity of honey
  • Water Test. Fill a glass with water. Add a tablespoon of honey. Pure honey settles at the bottom of your glass while adulterated honey will dissolve in water because of its sugar content.
  • Flame Test. Dab some honey on a piece of cotton. Light it up with a matchstick. Pure honey would burn while adulterated honey would not light up because of its water content.
  • Finger Test. Put a small drop of honey on your fingernail. Pure honey stays put longer while adulterated honey would easily drip down your finger.
  • Bread Test. Apply some honey on a slice of bread. Pure honey hardens the bread in minutes while adulterated honey would make the bread ‘soggy’ because of its moisture content.
  • Stickiness Test. Rub some honey between your fingers. Pure honey is not sticky while adulterated honey would be sticky because of its added sweeteners.
  • Absorption Test. Pour a few drops of honey on blotting paper. Pure honey does not get absorbed in blotting paper which has the opposite effect on adulterated honey. Also, if you pour pure honey on a white cloth, it would not leave stains — unlike adulterated honey.
  • Egg Yolk Test. When poured into a container with yolk alone and then mixed, the yolk would appear cooked if the honey is pure — while it does not have any effect if the honey is adulterated.
BEWARE: Honey can give botulism to children under 1-year-old  (Photo: Getty)

REMINDER: Honey should never be given to pregnant women or children under 1 year old. Heating honey at high temperatures would not only reduce its potency but could even produce carcinogenic effects.

Consumer Info: The Confirmed Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

From honey to lemon to green tea to baking soda.. Another one of ’em vital health drinks is the Apple Cider Vinegar.

Of course, even apple by-products are healthy; so, then let’s check out ACV’s proven facts..

Skin. Digestion. Nutrient absorption. Well, even without science, you’d already have an idea about ’em. Like since it’s made of apple, a lovelier skin would be a given in its consumption. And with its sourness, better digestion and nutrient absorption would be like common sense.

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Not all ACV's are the same. Choose organic.

As for weight loss, personally, I never really felt that ‘fullness’. Fact is, I became ‘hungrier’, after all, it did aid my digestion. Right? But ‘clean energy’, hmm, probably. Not sure if it’s really Apple Cider Vinegar or regular exercise that made me tire out even longer. Perhaps both.

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The supposed benefits and uses of ACV

Finally, like what the video rather the research revealed, ACV can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Hey, that’s like a ‘wow’! Seriously? If so then that’s an extra line of defense for us..

Just don’t abuse your body!

Consumer Info: The Health Benefits of Drinking Baking Soda

Many would have thought that ‘baking soda’ is just for, well, cooking; altho some may have heard of its cleaning properties. Then again, did you know that it could actually be drunk plain with water? And for health benefits that is.

Yes, you heard us right. Baking soda is another ‘miracle’ drink that you can count on.

Hmm… It’s important to take note, however, that while baking soda could restore our kidneys’ functions while normalizing blood pH levels among others — baking soda is not really good for those with high blood pressure since it’s got an ample amount of sodium.

So, don’t just take in something just because you heard ‘health benefits’. Check it out.. And Follow Us too.

Hey, t’is actually good news! I mean, the water! It’s not hot water as in coffee or tea, so there’s no need to boil water just to drink baking soda! Lesser hassle, right?!

NOTABLE AND RELATED FACTS ON BAKING SODA

One. With its cleaning properties, baking soda is a good ‘substitute’ and an ’emergency’ option when you run out of toothpaste.

Two. One reason for ‘arthritis’ is the kidneys’ failure to manufacture sodium bicarbonate — this happens when you eat fatty foods.

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Preventing cramps and fatigue? Not only bananas but baking soda

Three. Note that the lactic acid released during physical activity results in stiffness and fatigue — and that the consumption of baking soda can be used to increase and maintain physical performance.

In all, key here is self-discipline towards a healthy lifestyle; yet when the worst just gets crossed, remember the dosage to your ‘baking soda therapy’.

Food Review: Pongko Pongko (Visayas)

Pongko Pongko is actually not a food but a kind of eatery, one that is setup just about anywhere especially on sidewalks where you sit on stools and dine at low tables. And yeah, the Visayan region is the one who most probably started it.

Why do we say so? Because of the ‘hanging rice’, or puso in the vernacular. Thus with puso being a Visayan creation, it’s the Visayans who sort of came up with ‘pongko pongko’. Makes sense.

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Eating at sidewalks is sometimes like a picnic
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Puso, or 'hanging rice'

See, puso is very convenient to bring just about anywhere you go and so, you could also have your meal just about anywhere you want to. Hehe.

And since it’s ‘just about anywhere’ then those who are in this kind of business normally serves ‘fried food’ to go along with the puso. Yep, from different cuts of chicken to thin slices of pork; to barbeque to hotdogs and lumpia, and even to fried eggs and meat loaves.

Hey, they’re even much, much more affordable than the ‘Chicken Joy’ — without really much difference in taste except for the sauces! Seriously!

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Some of the fried food that goes well with 'puso'

Chicken Joy uses gravy while the ‘pongko pongko’ fried chicken generally uses a mixture of: vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and chili. Now obviously, because of it’s affordability — and ‘addicting’ blend, what with also the cold soda giving that extra kick — the ‘pongko pongko’ market has seen a huge surge!

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Even saucers or little bowls for sauces are wrapped in cellophanes

Still, if ever there’s a negative side to this kind of eatery — it’s not really ’em dishwashing issues. Ey, plates are wrapped in cellophanes! Same goes with spoons and forks, I mean, they’re not used here; instead, you use your hands to eat — which is also covered with cellophane, of course!

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Notice the cooking oil? It's already dark!

So first, negativity here could be the ‘use of cooking oil’ as they use such until it’s real dark already. That’ll be unhealthy. But so is gravy and the saturated oil in Chicken Joy! Second would be the question of food ‘cleanliness’. You know, you’re eating at sidewalks — where air pollution abound! Smoke. Dust. And what have you.

Then again, how many actually got sick?? Hardly anyone. Unless there was something else that was cooked. There you go!

Till next time.. Enjoy!