Mother and child visiting doctor for medical consultation

Follow These Doctor Recommended Contact Rules

Human warmth. Is it over rated? Have you ever found yourself criticized for being “cold?’ Maybe you didn’t always hold hands with your boyfriend, didn’t like to share food, weren’t much of a hugger. Maybe you were just misread.

Although contact is often signed of human warmth, it is also one of the easiest ways to spread germs. So maybe your best friend doesn’t really have issues with affection, maybe she’s just being smart. Here is some doctor recommend rules for avoiding germs (and contact.)

What are Germs?
Germs are those little microscopic organisms that live all around us, most of which are not harmful, but some of which can cause infectious disease. Even though we have vaccines and medicines to cure these diseases, some of the germs seemed to have outsmarted the medical community. When this happens, we often have to take things into our own hands. That means avoiding these germs before they can get to us.

Germs’ favorite hangouts include dirt, countertops, water, our skin, and our intestines. Some can survive on their own, and others like to take up residence inside people or animals. The thing about germs is, when they find a good place, they generally stay a while.

How Germs Spread?
Getting a disease involves contact with a germ. From there, it gets into your body and does its thing. Even though our bodies are good at fighting infections, sometimes the germ fights harder. Here are some ways you may get exposed.

  • Touch 
    Some germs live in mucus, stool, and pus. That means that drops released when people cough sneeze or talk can carry germs. If you touch a contaminated object or surface and then touch an opening in the body, germs can transfer.
  • Eating and Drinking 
    Germs are often found in untreated water and food. Unwashed vegetables and fruits uncooked foods can all carry disease-causing germs.
  • Breathing 
    Although it is not suggested you stop doing this, germs can spread in the air. Coughing, sneezing, and talking can all release germs, which can cause illness when exhaled.
  • Animal Bites
    Animals can also spread infectious disease. Bites from animals, pets, and even insects can cause illness, even if the animal does not appear sick.

sick woman
Diseases can also be spread during pregnancy, from mother to child, by sharing needles, through sexual contact or through blood transfusion.

Healthy Habits

  • Food Safety. Wash utensils, hands and surfaces when preparing food. Wash all fruits and vegetables. Keep and cook foods at proper temperatures and keep perishable foods refrigerated.
  • Wash Hands.
  • Clean Commonly Used Surface Areas.Although soap and water are usually enough to kill germs on hands, bathrooms and kitchens should be disinfected regularly. Other household areas should be disinfected if someone in the household is ill.
  • Sneeze and Cough into your Sleeve.
  •  Don’t Share Personal Things. Sharing personal items that can’t be disinfected is always a bad idea. Toothbrushes, towels, razors should never be shared. Needles should be used once and discarded immediately after.
  •  Get Vaccinated. Vaccines should be gotten regularly in childhood. Some are also recommended for adults, and in special situations like travel and pregnancy.
  •  Avoid Touching Animals. You and your pets should avoid contact with wild animals which may cause germs. Consult a doctor if you are bitten, and make sure all pet vaccinations are updated.
  •  Stay home when sick.

What are you doing to avoid contact? Are fist pumps and handshakes soon to be a thing of the past? Let us know what you think!

Dehydrated woman with a bottle of water outdoors

Do You Know The Signs of Dehydration?

Every once in a while we all need some detoxification. Whether it be a full on week-long cleanse, or just the occasional good sweat, many of us derive satisfaction out of releasing chemicals from our bodies, bringing us back to the elemental purity our bodies were made in, relaxing and rejuvenating us. Of course, this process also involves losing water, but that’s par for the course. You just drink a little more of it to compensate, right?

While most of the time, our bodies replace water pretty easily, sometimes we can lose a little too much, and that can set our bodies off, because, as we know, our bodies do love their water. Dehydration happens when your body is not getting enough of the water it needs. Here are some ways to recognize and prevent the signs of dehydration.

Causes
We sweat; we breathe; we poop, we cry; we spit; we lose water, and that’s ok. We usually can get it right back by eating foods with water and drinking fluids. But, if you lose too much or don’t eat or drink enough, dehydration can occur. Unusual water loss can be caused by fever, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating, and urinating a lot (diuretics can make you pee more often.)

You might not compensate for the loss because you don’t know you’re thirsty, you’re busy and forget to drink, or you don’t feel like drinking because you don’t feel good.

Symptoms
Dehydration symptoms usually include a dry mouth, thirst, muscle cramps, headaches, decreased urination, dark yellow urine, and cool, dry skin.

Symptoms of more severe dehydration include lack of urination or very dark yellow urine, dizziness, overly dry skin, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, sleepiness, confusion, irritability, sunken eyes and fainting.

Symptoms for young babies and children may be slightly different than those of adults. For example, dry diapers for three hours may be a sign, as might lack of tears when crying, sleepiness, irritability, and lack of energy, sunken cheeks and eyes, a soft spot on the top of the skull, and a dry tongue and mouth.

woman drinking water

High-Risk Groups
While anyone can be affected by dehydration, the odds are higher for some.

  • Babies and children
    Since this group is the most likely to have severe vomiting and diarrhea, they are most likely to lose water from a high fever.
  • Older Adults
    More mature adults have less water in their bodies and often are not as sensitive to thirst.
  • Sick People
    People with sore throats and colds may not feel like drinking or eating.
  • People With a Chronic Disease
    Individuals with uncontrolled diseases like type 2 diabetes can pee a lot. They may also take medicines such as water pills, which increase urination.
  • Active People
    Those who are active outdoors in humid and hot weather sometimes can’t cool down properly because their sweat fails to evaporate, leading to a higher body temperature and not enough water.

What are you doing to prevent dehydration this summer? Let us know how you’re keeping up and cooling off. We love to know!

Business woman campaigning for equality

Women Campaigning for Equality

Picture for a moment a world without a gender gap. Though it may seem an impossibility, women have continuously proved throughout history that campaigning for equality is not only necessary, but effective. Women have made impressive strides towards equality in our world, though there is still a long way to go. Just two weeks ago Satya Nadella, CEO of the Microsoft Corporation, spoke to women at a technology conference. His message to these brilliant and hardworking women was that they ought not ask for raises, and rather let a raise come to them if they deserve it. According to the website Global InvestHER, women currently comprise 24 to 29% of the tech sector workforce. Clearly, there is much more campaigning and awareness raising that we must do.

The comment made by Nadella received immediate backlash, causing him to publicly retract his statement. The problem is that his words have not been forgotten and they echo the sentiments of many men who are leading corporations and businesses. One of the most discussed gender equality issues is that of the salaries women are offered. The National Women’s Law Center states that “American women who work full-time, year-round are paid only 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts – which means it’s important to keep pushing for new legislation that would make the workplace fair for women.”

It’s not all about money, women’s accomplishments are often slighted by focusing on more feminine details. Every award season, host after host of red carpet fashion shows ask women what designer they are wearing and from whom did they borrow their fabulous jewelry. The male attendees are asked about the projects they have been working on, how they felt about roles they have taken on and then are subsequently praised for their contribution to the industry, rather than being told that they look pretty. This year, Reese Witherspoon along with a host of female and male supporters, launched a campaign at the Oscars titled “Ask Her More.” The campaign was intended to point out the treatment of men versus women, and to encourage reporters to ask questions that matter.

The promising news is that there are a many organizations, both in the United States and internationally, that focus on the rights of women and the closing of the gender gap. The National Organization for Women (NOW)  was founded in 1966 after measures such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 failed to protect women against discrimination and unequal wages. The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, commonly referred to as UN Women, became operational in 2011 in order to help empower women on a global scale and to hold the United Nations system accountable for its commitments to gender equality.

Women campaigning for equality is a huge part of our history, and remains a part of our present. A recent campaign, HeForShe, urges men to stand in solidarity with women on the issue of gender equality. The HeForShe mission is beautifully stated saying that the campaign  “brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the benefit of all.” The campaign to end the gender gap has been taken up by not only women, but all people. With constant diligence and tenacity, perhaps we can stop the gender gap from being a part of our future.