With vacation time in full swing, it is time to ensure you remain healthy before, during and after your vacation.  You want to make the most out of this time, so it is important you stay healthy through some easy actions.

www.HealthOneLabs.comThe following are some tips and precautions for enjoying a healthy vacation:

  1. Before you go you should ask your physician if you need any immunization boosters – ie. tetanus.
  2. If you are headed for an exotic destination in the tropics or developing countries you may want to research if there are any immunizations (like hepatitis A or yellow fever) or medicines you take as a precaution, or have them with you in case you get sick.  The State Department has ample information on travel vaccines.
  3. You can ease jet lag by going to bed 2 hours later(if you are traveling west) and 2 hours earlier(if you are traveling east) each night
  4. About 30 to 70 percent of people who travel to developing countries get traveler’s diarrhea(TD) so you can ask your doctor for antibiotics in case this happens. Also try to avoid raw foods, street fare, ice and unbottled water
  5. Hotels and motels are the most common places to get bed bugs. Places that look rundown and outdated are less vigilant about treating rooms so you are more like to get bed bugs. However, luxury hotels are also prone to bed bug issues so be aware of what to look for before climbing into the bed.  Do keep clothing and luggage off the floors
  6. Remember to stay hydrated. Being on vacation isn’t like your normal routine so you have to drink more water to stay hydrated. You should aim to drink 9 to 13 cups of fluids
  7. Pack all medications in their original packaging in case so the medication can be quickly identified in an emergency or if necessary.
  8. In case you run out of medications or need medical attention be aware of where the local doctor and pharmacy are located at your destination.
  9. Program your cell phone to have someone listed as an Emergency Contact so medical personnel can contact your designated person to assist if required.
  10. Find ways to add exercise while on your vacation – it can be as easy as walking instead of driving, renting a bike or taking a hike nearby.  Have a sense of adventure.

Safe travels!

 


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Food Intolerance or Allergy?

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Food intolerance is difficulty digesting different foods, or in other words  non-allergic food hypersensitivity. Food intolerance differs from food allergies because it doesn’t trigger the immune system and allergies do. An example would be people who are lactose intolerant. It can often be difficult to determine whether you are suffering from an allergy or if you are intolerant to certain foods. One important difference when deciding which one you have is that food intolerance takes longer to emerge than allergies. Allergy symptoms occur relatively quickly while food intolerance can take up to 48 hours to show. You may experience bloating, migraines, irritable bowel, and hives among many other things. Food intolerance can often be chronic while allergies can be outgrown. One out of five people outgrow their peanut allergy. However, some people with intolerance to certain foods have found that abstaining from these foods for a while and then reintroducing them has built tolerance, so they no longer suffer side effects after consuming it. There are blood tests you may have done in order to determine whether or not you are sensitive to any foods. These tests are called Alcat and they are offered on our website www.HealthOneLabs.com

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Sedimentation Rate

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Sedimentation rate or erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a blood test offered to show the inflammation in your body. Inflammation is your body’s self-protecting response to get rid of harmful stimuli, however chronic inflammation is terrible for your body and can cause many diseases. This test can be done to diagnose or monitor inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. When your blood is drawn it is placed in a tube and your red blood cells slowly settle to the bottom of the tube.  Inflammation often causes the blood cells to clump, thus making them denser causing them to sink to the bottom at a faster rate. The sedimentation rate test measures inflammation by how fast the red blood cells fall in one hour. The farther the blood cells have fallen, the greater the inflammation in your body. Your doctor might request you get a sedimentation rate test in order to monitor your arthritis, to assess unexplained fevers, or to diagnose conditions like Giant cell arteritis. Because this test does not pinpoint the cause of your inflammation, it is often accompanied with other blood tests. The sedimentation rate test is offered at www.HealthOneLabs.com for $34.95, there is no special preparation required for this test.

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Essential Oils Can be Used for Healing?

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Nowadays, essential oils are mainly used for their beautiful scents, but many don’t know they can be used for other purposes. They have properties that can help heal you mentally, physically and emotionally. The following is a list of some essential oils and their use:

  1. Tea Tree Oil: It is distilled from a plant called Melaleuca Alternifolia. This essential oil can be used topically for acne or fungus and has great results.
  2. Lavender: It can be used for relaxation purposes. A few drops of this essential oil can help significantly lower the level of stress hormones produced by your body. You may also use it to reduce the appearance of skin irritation, bruises, and cuts.
  3. Peppermint: This essential oil has many properties and can be taken internally. Studies show simply inhaling peppermint oil can increase mental accuracy by 28%. It also helps to cleanse and stimulate the mind, increase alertness, and can help with indigestion.
  4. Frankincense: Not only can it be used to help you relax, but it also helps fight depression and inflammation, and promotes immunity.
  5. Oregano: Has antibacterial properties that help fight the flu and other illnesses. It can be used topically.
  6. Lemon: This essential oil is great for acne, increasing concentration and even get rid of fleas on your pets.
  7. Eucalyptus: This oil should never be used topically (unless diluted) or ingested. It has antibacterial properties that promote a stronger immune system, helps relieve muscle soreness, and can clear up congested nostrils.

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids

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Whenever people think of fats they automatically assume they’re not good for them, but that’s not always the case. There are well known healthy fats and they are called unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are either monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and they help decrease disease risk. Omega-3 fatty acids are an example of the healthy fats. They are a crucial for your health and development, but your body does not produce it so the only way to get it is by consuming foods high in Omega 3s.They can be found in sardines, salmon, anchovies, and herring.

omega 3 imageIt can help reduce risk for cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and depression. Fish also contains proteins, selenium, and vitamin D that are beneficial for the body. It is important to get a good ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 which is another essential fatty acid. You should aim to eat a bit more of Omega-3s because it helps reduce inflammation and Omega-6s promote inflammation. It is recommended you get at least 2 servings of fish and 1 serving of oily (dark meat) fish.

Need to know if you are getting sufficient fatty acids?  Test your levels.

Take Control of your Health!


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What is Glycemic Index?

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Glycemic index(GI) is a scale from 0 to 100 that ranks carbs on how they will affect your glucose levels. Similarly, glycemic load(GL) tells you how much carbs you are eating based on the GI value and quantity of carbs in a meal. A high value of consumed GI carbs is absorbed and digested faster thus, spiking your glucose levels right after eating said food, and then quickly dropping glucose levels. On the other hand, consuming foods with a low GI value increase glucose levels slightly and tend to keep you fuller longer.

glycemic chart

A GI of 0-55 is low, 56-69 is medium, and 70-100 is high. Some examples of low GI foods are wholegrain bread, porridge, and oils. A few foods high in GI are baked goods, pasta, and rice. It is important to know your GI because it is a possible indication of your chances of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Eating a low GI diet is linked with reduced chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, acne, obesity and even certain cancers. The following are a few ways you can lower your GI intake.

  • You should aim to eat fresh fruits and vegetables that aren’t starchy such as broccoli and asparagus
  • Try to consume soluble fibers like oats, barley, and chia seeds
  • Consume whole grains that aren’t processed like whole rolled oats
  • Eat balanced meals that are rich in good carbs, protein, and a little bit of good fat

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Four Cancer Myths

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There are many misconceptions about what causes cancer. Having misconceptions and misinformation causes needless worries that can create anxiety and worry. Nowadays you hear information in the news about all the possibilities that have potential cancer causing qualities.  Here are some common cancer fallacies:

  1. Sugar doesn’t necessarily “feed” cancer. Yes it is true that many cancer cells take up blood sugar more quickly than healthy cells, but all cells in our body require sugar for sustenance. Avoiding sugar completely doesn’t guarantee you that you won’t get cancer. As a matter of fact, blood sugar comes from foods with carbs too. It is important to maintain your blood sugar and insulin at healthy levels to maintain proper health and to avoid diabetes and other diseases that can have negative effects on your health.
  2. Going on a gluten-free diet does not reduce the chances of getting cancer. Gluten can be found in wheat, triticale, and barley and is actually a source of protein. Research shows that avoiding gluten does not reduce risk of cancer whatsoever. Not consuming gluten can actually cause you to miss out on their anti-inflammatory, whole grain, cancer protective fiber.  Of course, if you are gluten intolerant or have celiac, you should avoid all gluten to maintain your health.
  3. You don’t have to eat a ton of fruits and vegetables to reduce cancer risks. Many think that in order for fruit and vegetable consumption to reduce chances of getting cancer you have to eat an impossible amount of it daily. In reality you only have to eat 5 servings a day for it to help reduce risks of getting cancer. You should aim to eat about 2 ½ cups of various fruits and vegetables. Eating a variety of different fruit and vegetables adds different phytochemicals and nutrients which may have cancer protecting qualities.
  4. You don’t have to go vegetarian. Plant rich diets are linked to lower cancer risk, but that doesn’t mean you can only eat plants. You can still eat poultry, fish, dairy, and meat –  like everything, eat those foods in moderation. A good option would be the Mediterranean diet which is plant based, and also includes smaller portions of meats, poultry, dairy, etc.

Take Control of your Health!food pyramid


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hospital sign

The following are some tips and precautions you can take when going to the hospital to prevent infections and stay safe:

  1. Before going to the hospital, if possible, research the risks of infections and mortality rate compared to other hospitals in your area. This data is published and can found via an internet search.
  2. You may want to bring a friend or a family member to help you ask questions you have and/or take notes on directions and explanations the medical staff may be telling you. Research shows if you go to the hospital accompanied you are more likely to be treated better by medical staff. Having someone keep you company can be very helpful when there is reduced staff at the hospital.
  3. Write down notes so that you can recall directions doctors or nurses may give you.
  4. Make sure you and everybody that comes into your room has washed their hands with water and soap, hand sanitizers do not kill all bacteria such as C. diff.
  5. Bring sanitizing wipes to clean rails, controls, phones, etc. You can also ask your room to be cleaned if it is messy when you arrived
  6. If you had surgery your doctor will have to check your incisions to see if they are healing properly, but by opening the bandage you are exposing your wound to various infections. Before going into to surgery you can ask your surgeon if he is able to skin glue as opposed to staples and waterproof dressings(last about 3 weeks without opening) which will reduce chances of infection.
  7. Ask everyday if you still require IVs and urinary catheters, the longer they are in the higher the infection risk is
  8. Delay surgery if you have an infection. You should wait until the infection is resolved before you have surgery because it could cause another infection or even worsen the current infection.
  9. It is often necessary to remove hair from the surgical site, and it is important for the nurse to use electric trimmers as opposed to razors because they provide an opening for bacteria
  10. If possible, before going to the hospital call and ask if you should take precautions such as bathing with a special soap or using antiseptic wipes.

Take control of your health!  Order you own lab tests at www.HealthOneLabs.com


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Why You Should Try to Avoid Antibiotics

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Winter is here which means you might get the flu, a cold or a sinus infection and you will most likely just go to your doctor to prescribe you antibiotics. It is important to know that antibiotics are very powerful medication and shouldn’t be taken unless you have a bacterial infection that does not clear up on its own. The truth is that antibiotics actually don’t work against viral infections such as the cold or flu. Taking antibiotics when you don’t really need them can cause them not to work in the future when you do really need them. Not to mention the fact that antibiotics have many possible deadly allergic reactions and side effects. It is important to try to avoid antibiotics if possible, here are a few ways of doing so:

antibiotics image

  • If you have a cold or the flu ask your doctor for over-the-counter pain relievers, throat soothers, and/or decongestants to ease your symptoms
  • Just because you have an infection caused by bacteria doesn’t necessarily mean you need antibiotics. If your symptoms are mild, ask your physician if you can delay the treatment for a few days because in many cases you may be able to fight off the infection without antibiotics
  • Avoid broad spectrum antibiotics because they kill off all bacteria in your body including the protective kind.
  • You can ask your physician to only prescribe you antibiotics for the shortest amount of time possible. A lot of the time treatments don’t have to be as long.
  • If antibiotics are unavoidable, watch out for any possible side effects.  Be sure to read the informative pamphlet that accompanies your prescription.

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Nutrients Combat Disease

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Everyone knows certain foods are better for you than others but what many don’t know is that certain foods can actually be medicine to fend off various diseases. Eating foods that help prevent disease is very different then taking drugs because foods are not isolated substances. Food contains vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that work together to reduce risks of diseases. Studies have shown diets such as the Mediterranean diet are high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables and actually reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, inflammation and even some cancers. The following are some examples of foods with medicinal benefits:

Berries:

    • Blackberries cause the self destruction of colon, breast, oral, and prostate cancer and has antibacterial action
    • Blueberries are not only antioxidants but are also rich in Omega-3 and help protect the Aorta blood vessel
    • Raspberries may help to prevent the growth of cancer cells

Broccoli:

Triggers cells in the body to produce enzymes that protect against inflammation and oxidative stress which in turn is beneficial for cardiovascular health and cancer prevention

Fish:

Is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which has anti-inflammatory properties.Omega-3 fatty acids also help lower blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, reduce irregular heartbeats, and reduce risks for heart heart failure

Ginger and turmeric:

These have anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. Ginger may also help relieve nausea and vomiting

Nuts:

Full of good fats and fibers which are very good for cardiovascular health. They also promote health blood sugar and weight levels

Food is medicine and you should put the best in your body to improve your health!


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