Each and every year we are hit with daylight savings time. This is done in an attempt to “spring” us forward an hour, pun intended, with the reasoning that we will get extended sunny days. While this really does sound like a great thing, it can be a bit taxing on our systems and internal clocks. The downside to daylight savings time is that people are affected adversely by a lack of sleep oftentimes. This creates perfect conditions for things like auto accidents, missed or forgotten appointments, insomnia, nervousness and even an overall feeling of depression for some.
The feeling people get during this time of year is akin to that of jetlag. The feeling does pass of course, but what do we do in the meantime to help keep ourselves and our families safe? Because the time change leaves some people deprived of sleep as a result of a complete change in their internal clocks, the occurrence for accidents of all types is much higher. Statistics gathered over the years have shown that people tend to make many more mistakes when they are overtired, some of them resulting in severe, even life threatening consequences.
On the gentler side of things people may forget to move their clocks, putting their jobs in jeopardy by arriving late. Of course this could lead to other problems such as fender benders as a result of being on the rush to get somewhere they have only minutes to arrive at. This creates stress which in turn can lead to health issues as well. Many people report their week during the beginning of daylight savings time to be hectic and chaotic.
Many studies have shown a distinct increase in the number of accidents that occur on the roadways during this first week of daylight savings time. There could be many contributing factors there such as the sun being in your face at a time in normally would not, being confused as a result of a lack of sleep and just the overall feeling that something is not normal. Any variation, even the slightest can really throw people off when driving at specific times. Ideally, humans enjoy change that is gradual as a rule, and not change that comes on suddenly. This is why many experts are making suggestions for people this year to try and ward off those issues.
One recommendation is that you go outside and stand in the sun for a few minutes before starting your day, for at least three minutes. This may work with the chemical melatonin in your brain and help you to perk up a bit. Another suggestion is to begin going to bed a bit earlier in the days prior to daylight savings time. Of course for those of us coming in now it is too late for that. However, we can try and hit the sack an hour early tonight if it is possible. In addition to everything mentioned above the risk of heart attack could also be increased during this time of year for reasons that remain unclear as of now. It is probably a safe guess to assume stress is related though.
The time change will occur on Sunday at about 2AM. If you have somewhere to go that day make sure you are prepared for the fact that other drivers may be in a hurry or discombobulated. Leave a bit earlier than you would normally leave and drive slowly. If you become frazzled or feel you need a nap, indulge yourself if it is at all possible. If you can get through the first week unscathed, the rest of the time should go smoothly.
A warning by the FDA has been released indicating that the inhalable caffeine product called AeroShot may be unsafe. They stated in a letter to the manufacturer that they have serious questions and concerns about how minors may utilize the product and the ramifications of misuse.
AeroShot which is about the size of a tube of lipstick became available in New York, France and Massachusetts back in January. Users place one end of the canister in their mouths and then inhale. This discharges a very fine powder which immediately dissolves. The product’s official website has coined the descriptive phrase as “a revolutionary new way to get your energy.”
The Massachusetts based manufacturer of the product may have misinformed users, according to the FDA, by labeling the product safe for ingestion as well as inhalation. Ingesting the product is not safe or even possible, therefore leading the FDA to its current safety concerns. The Food and Drug Administration is worried that users might attempt to inhale the substance into their lungs which could very possibly be hazardous.
The letter also alluded to the fact that the company’s website reports the product as being unsafe for those under 18, while conversely the label on the product states that it is not suggested for those below 12 years of age, an obvious contradiction. In addition, the company is actively targeting both of those age groups for use during the study phase.
Tom Hadfield, the CEO for Breathable Foods stated that the product is most certainly not appropriate for people below the age of 18 and that the company will work with the Food and Drug Administration to be sure those guidelines are complied with.
He stated that AeroShot administers a mix of caffeine and B vitamins by mouth for ingestion and not inhalation, and also stated it should not be breathed into the lungs. The problem seems to be labeling and therefore a fix is necessary. Additionally, the FDA has taken issue with statements made on the company’s website in regards to alcohol consumption and the use of caffeine.
The Food and Drug Administration has been attempting to provide awareness in relation to the hazards of mixing the two substances over the past several years. The main concern for the FDA is the fact that mixing alcohol and caffeine could result in a user becoming drunk yet wide awake, an undesirable combination for a number of reasons. The first concern is alcohol poisoning as a result of the counteraction that can occur as a result of the caffeine.
The FDA came down on the company that makes Four Loko, an energy beverage, back in 2010, requiring the company to discontinue the use of caffeine. AeroShot was not required to gain approval by the FDA prior to being released in the US market because it was being marketed as a dietary supplement and the FDA only requires makers of these products to take responsibility for the safety of their products. However, the FDA will step in if something is brought to their attention indicating a specific product may have safety issues, enforcing the removal of particular products from store shelves.
The FDA has given Breathable Foods, the makers of AeroShot, fifteen days to respond to the correspondence asking them to make corrections to the FDA violations brought forth, as well as to submit any and all research related to the safety of the product.
An officer stood guard outside the home of Jean-Claude Mas while police searched the premises with Mas still inside. Apparently, French law requires that a policeman remain outside of any building being searched. Upon concluding the investigation the French implant inventor was arrested and taken into custody.
The 72 year old founder of PIP (Poly Implant Prothese) had been detained at his place of residency located in Six-Fours-les-Plages, according to police sources. France had previously banned PIP implants which were created using low-grade industrial silicone. This was prompted as a result of the fear that the implants could burst or leak, causing serious illness or even death to victims.
There have been as many as 400,000 women given these particular implants in over 65 different countries over the years. Mas’ attorney told the AFP news station that his client is not feeling well and is awaiting the arrival of his doctor.
It seems investigators have been looking into Mas since last year when he told police during an interview that the PIP factory workers had been under strict orders to hide the silicone should inspectors show up. One attorney who has been representing a woman who had been given the implants announced he was pleased that Mas had been arrested but only wished it had happened much sooner.
Mas has been placed in what is called “preventative detention.” In the hours to come it will become more evident as to what will happen, according to the interrogation and decision made by the magistrate. A spokesperson stated they are hopeful Mas will go under formal investigation to be certain he does not leave France until the investigation has been concluded.
Apparently, last year 72 year old Mas had told police that he had willingly deceived the European safety inspectors for a period of more than 13 years. However, he has continuously insisted that the implants pose absolutely no threat or harm to individuals and made a verbal attack on French authorities for being so bold as to offer payment for those wanting the implants removed. He claimed the attack was made due to the unnecessary risk of surgery the removal would put on women.
The risk of these implants has not been shown to heighten the occurrence of breast cancer but should one rupture, toxicity could occur. In one case recently a rare type of cancer, anaplastic large cell lymphoma was reported. Of course more studies will have to be done before that can be definitively blamed on the implants.
While many European countries are advising all women who have had the implants inserted have them removed, other countries are only suggesting this if there is a specific reason. The UK for example is only recommending that women who are experience pain, soreness or tenderness have them removed; siting the risk of a surgical procedure outweighs the risk of perfectly good and intact implants.
The company officially closed back in march 2010 but investigators believe women have been having them implanted since. The allegation is that Mas did not cease operations as ordered at the time the ruling to do so was made.
Research on a much more deadly strain of the bird flu was forced to come to a halt as a group of scientists who wanted to try and study the virus in depth were pressured to stop. This came after major controversial objection to the research. It seems some people in the medical community feared contamination and spread could result from such a study.
The scientists who are in question took a strain of the H5N1 Bird Flu and altered it in order to create an even deadlier form of the virus. This was apparently done in an effort come to some sort of definitive conclusion, and of course to determine something concise on the development and evolution of pandemics, according to spokespeople. The Bird Flu virus has already claimed the lives of 300 people in 600 cases which were reported since the virus was found in 1997.
The group of scientists has stated that they will wait two months and halt their studies in order to enable the global scientific community to vent and state the problems they have with the research. These scientists are making an unusual concession by agreeing to stop their studies as this is not something that is commonly seen. Suspensions on any type of scientific studies that occur voluntarily are almost unheard of. This shows a very good act of faith on the part of these researchers. Perhaps they recognize the value of reassessing their decision to alter the strain.
There are several key points of the study which are being called dangerous. For one a deadlier strain of the virus, should it somehow get released into the population could result in a world-wide pandemic that could lead to millions of deaths. In addition, some accusations have been set forth that scientists performing these types of studies could eventually use this information to actually assist future pandemics in spreading. While that may be unlikely it is certainly a valid concern.
The research has been receiving its funding from the National Institutes of Health and is being performed in collaboration with Erasmus MC located in the Netherlands, as well as with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In a letter published by the group of scientists participating in the study, they stated something to effect of understanding and recognizing that the entire scientific community does have the right to go over the study and the possible benefits and risks. In addition, the group seems to be willing to make sure that the whole scientific community is on the same page where safety is concerned.
It is believed we will learn more about this situation once the period of 60 says has passed. At this time the scientists will either resume the research or put an end to the entire study, the latter being less likely. The good news is that a time period of rest and thought will most certainly help everyone act in a much more responsible way on this matter, taking as many precautions as needed.
A new study has shown that the rate of women having abortions seems to be significantly higher in countries that do not allow the procedure. It also seems that at least 50% of abortions taking place globally are unsanitary and unsafe. Most of these are happening in countries which are just developing.
Experts were unable to pinpoint the exact reason for the lower number of abortions in developed countries but believe it could be a result of wide-spread access to a variety of birth control methods. This of course results in a lower amount of unwelcomed pregnancies.
Worldwide the rate of abortion remained quite the same during the years 2003 and 2008, at approximately 28 abortions per one thousand females between the ages of 15 and 44. The total number of abortions during this time frame was recorded and about 43.8 million. This information was released in the study which also shows the number of abortions has diminished since 1995.
There were about 47,000 abortion related deaths as a result of unsafe procedures in 2008. Additional 8.5 million women experienced severe medical problems as a result of abortions gone badly. Just about all the unsafe procedures were performed in underdeveloped countries which had very few resources in the way of contraception and family planning programs.
A senior researcher at The Guttmacher Institute, based out of the US stated that a typical abortion is actually, and should be a very safe and simply procedure. Additionally, the researcher, Gilda Sedgh claimed that the deaths and other complications could be easily avoided with proper medical care.
Sedgh’s colleagues surmised that the number of unsafe abortions went up from 44% in the year 1995 to forty nine percent in the year 2008, this being the last year statistics were made available during the study. Sedgh also made it very clear that to date it is very challenging to get a concise number for the amount of unsafe abortions being performed. For this reason the numbers are being estimated modestly.
Sources which were used included national surveys, official statistics and of course records from hospitals. In order to get the approximate number of unreported abortions, other less reliable sources were used. These sources included surveys given to women and assessments by experts in the field.
The study also concluded that abortion rates were the lowest in West European countries, recorded at about twelve in one thousand women, and highest in the East European counties, at about forty three in one thousand women. In North America the rate was recorded at approximately 19 in 1000 women. The study showed a distinct link between a higher rate of abortions in countries which had less liberal laws concerning them.
The authors of the study have defined the practice of unsafe abortion as any procedure being performed by unskilled and/or unlicensed physicians. Unfortunately, the study also concluded that many women in Africa were going to extreme measures to abort their unwanted babies, including using strong doses of medications, herbal remedies, and even using broken bottles.
New studies suggest that it may be prudent for people who walk around outside, or drive while wearing headphones to stop this dangerous practice. This comes as a result of the number of accidents occurring involving pedestrians wearing headphones. In fact, the study shows that the number of accidents has actually tripled in the past few years.
Many different sources were combed by researcher to come up with the statistics of US accidents involving people wearing headphones. These studies were looked at through a period of 7 years beginning in 2004-2011. The areas looked at were the US Consumer Safety Product Commission, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, Google News archives and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. However, the cases in which drivers or pedestrians were making use of mobile phones were not included in the study.
Over the past several years cases have soared, going from only 16 between the years of 2004 to 2005 to a whopping 47 between 2010 and 2011. The average age for the victims involved in these statistics was about 21 with nearly 68% being male. Most of the people, at least 67% of the people involved were reported to be below the age of 30. 55% of these were reported to have been hit by trains and about 70% of those wound up resulting in fatalities.
In about 74% of the reported situations, eyewitnesses or law enforcement officers stated that the victims were wearing headphones with the accidents occurred. 29% of the cases seemed to have involved horns blowing or sirens sounding just before the incident. The research indicates two very likely factors that may have contributed to some of these incidents. The first factor is distraction as a result of the sound coming through the headphones and the second is sensory deprivation. Electronic gadgets are being blamed more and more for what is known as intentional blindness because they seem to take focus on things which are important such as safety.
Many experts believe that being able to hear what is going on around you may be even more important than being able to see surroundings. However, this study is not conclusive at this time and much more studies will be conducted over the next several years. There are also other factors such as intoxication and so forth that could play a role in some of the accidents associated with this study.
Much more comprehensive studies will need to be performed in order to know for sure what the results of these preliminary findings are. However, there is no doubt that there is definitely some truth to the matter and that people should be extra cautious when being out in public wearing headphones. Some experts suggest using only one side and leaving the other ear open to hear things that are happening around you. Over the next decade or so there may be additional laws regarding headphone use in public for both pedestrians and drivers.
It seems a few tokes on a joint from time to time may not only be harmless but may even contribute to improved lung function. Researchers have discovered that a multitude of facets involving the function of lungs actually became slightly better as younger individuals reported partaking in higher amounts of marijuana, at a minimum of 2000 joints in a lifetime.
It is true that watching someone smoke marijuana may be a bit disconcerting as the person smoking may cough profusely after inhaling the smoke. However, there does not seem to be any sort of long term effects as a result of smoking the herb. For years people have been questioning the longer term dangers of smoking marijuana in relation to lung damage. These newer studies suggest the theory that marijuana will contribute to lung disease or conditions may hold no water.
Some studies done earlier have had mixed or conflicting results. Some of them have suggested that marijuana smoking increased the rate of oxygen flow to the lungs while others have not seen that evidence. Some studies have shown hints that possible harm could be eminent. The new studies seem to lean toward the studies that show favor in smoking marijuana where the lungs are concerned.
Even though marijuana does contain many of the same toxins that are found in tobacco smoke, people have a tendency to inhale fewer marijuana cigarettes each day. In addition, the practice of inhaling marijuana differs greatly than the method of smoking cigarettes, possibly offering a bit of protection to the lungs. These findings do not necessarily negate that there are other possible longer term effects on health but overall the findings were very optimistic for medical marijuana patients and recreational pot smokers.
One substance abuse researcher from Yale stated that a lot more would have to be done in the form of studies on marijuana effects before the medical community could release a blanket statement. This person was not a part of the studies in any way. The opinion was based on the fact that the study only covered a couple of pulmonary functions.
In studies conducted in several major US cities over a course of 21 years involving over 5,000 people under the age of 25, doctors looked at the way marijuana as opposed to cigarettes affected them. The participants lungs were also tested to see the maximum rate that air flow could emerge from the lungs and how much oxygen their lungs could actually hold.
The study showed that the lungs did actually improve slightly with marijuana smoked and declined significantly with cigarettes. Marijuana activists have been saying these things for years. Perhaps this study will serve to reassure people that marijuana is not quite as bad as originally believed in terms of the effects of the smoke. We seem to be years away from a total opinion on marijuana use but we have come a long way in the past couple of decades.
According to a recent study conducted by a prominent University in Sweden, exercise during leisure and while at work significantly reduces the chance of having a myocardial infarction (heart attack). The research indicated that any type of regular exercise is capable of improving cardiovascular health, and therefore reducing the likelihood of cardiovascular events like strokes and heart attacks. This is not the first study prove the correlation between exercise and decreased cardiovascular disease, as a similar study showed that consistent exercise reduces the risk of heart attack by at least 14%.
The research included a total of more than 10,000 individuals, with data collected from more than 262 centers in 50+ countries on all continents. Aside from making exercise a hobby, researchers stated that simply having a more active occupation may lower your risk of a heart attack. Individuals that have an inactive occupation/lifestyle are encouraged to increase their daily amount of physical activity.
In an editorial review of the study, one of the doctors stated that staying in shape through regular exercise is one of the “easiest and cheapest ways” to avoid expensive medical bills later in life. A sedentary lifestyle not only puts you at risk for heart attacks and strokes, but also nearly every other type of degenerative disease. While the recent Swedish study did have some limitations, it has become a consensus in the scientific community that exercising regularly can only be beneficial.
If the body is not actively moving for at least a small portion of the day, organs simply cannot function optimally because blood flow is decreased throughout the body. Exercise promotes the strengthening of the heart, and subsequently the cleansing of the blood. As your blood is pumped throughout your bodily systems at an increased rate, it becomes easier for your liver and kidneys to filter impurities and produce essential enzymes and hormones.
Aside from combating chronic and acute disease, studies have shown that people who exercise at least three times per week have a higher quality of life and higher self-confidence. Even people that have physical disabilities can participate in some type of therapeutic and beneficial exercise. As always, it is important to consult with your physician before beginning any dietary or exercise regimen.
In addition to confirming the link between active living and good overall health, The study also showed that individuals that own a car and/or a television were more likely to have an acute myocardial infarction. This is not surprising, since owning these items would likely lead to a less active lifestyle overall. Of course, one could still own a vehicle and choose to ride a bike or walk to nearby destinations.
The general consensus seems to be that walking more often than driving to and from close destinations is a good way to get you activity in for the day. Because of the millions of people who suffer from obesity a number of studies are being conducted to help offset the condition and help people with their overall health.
A recent prospective cohort study showed that smokers do not stand any higher of a chance to quit smoking by using replacement products than if they stopped cold turkey. The chance of taking up smoking again did not seem to be any lower in those using cigarette replacement products than in people who had quit using nothing. Patches and gum seem to lend no assistance to smokers who were trying to quit. In addition, those who also received counseling by a health professional in conjunction with the stop smoking aids were also unaffected by the products.
The biggest problem for people who have quit smoking is eventual relapse and the study showed that the stop smoking aids offered no help in that area. People who relapsed after quitting smoking on their own and people who had used these products were about the same in number. This has raised major doubts in the medical community regarding the use of these cessation medications. These aids have been sold over the counter for almost two decades and have been suggested by the Department of Health and Human Services for just as long. This was based on data received in very short term studies performed at the onset of the product releases.
The decline in the amount of people who actually smoke has evened out after the past several years. However, the ratio of people who have quit smoking as compared to those who have never started has remained quite the same over the years that stop smoking aids have been available. The recent study involved phone interviews of about 6,800 adults over a two year period, conducted in Massachusetts.
During the first interviews that occurred from 2001 to 2002, over 750 people said they had quit smoking at some point during the past two years. However, these people were revisited in the years of 2003 through 2004 and some 60% had relapsed. Additionally, 68% of those people who had been interviewed again during the second round reported that they were now smokers again. Only 22% of these people had claimed the use of stop smoking aids for a period of 6 weeks or less; 7 and a half percent for longer than 6 weeks.
Upon further research the risk of relapse was significantly higher in those individuals who had smoked heavily and for a good number of years and had received no help from professionals. Heavy smokers were defined in the study by those who had reported smoking their first cigarette of the day within thirty minutes of rising and who smoked at least one pack a day.
The lowest risk of smoking relapse was found in people who had remained cigarette free for at least six months. In both of these groups, there seemed to be no data to suggest that smoking cessation medications had an impact on the numbers at all. The biggest number of people found who had quit smoking permanently had been in people who had smoked for less than 5 years of their lives.
While GERD and Acid Reflux disease are very similar, they are not the same thing. Some people do confuse the two terms but there are differences. Acid Reflux is basically the same thing as Heartburn. It occurs when there is back flow of stomach acid into the food pipe (esophagus). The esophagus is the pipe that connects the stomach and the throat. Commonly, acid reflux is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux in the medical profession. If you are experiencing acid reflux there is a chance you will taste a sour flavor as a result of regurgitated food and acid that travel up the esophagus.
This condition is very serious if left untreated and can eventually lead to GERD which is essentially a much more severe form of acid reflux. The most typical symptoms of GERD are heartburn which occurs more often than not. In addition you can develop a bad cough, vomiting, nausea, chest pain and a number of other undesirable conditions. GERD can become so serious that it can actually cause holes and ulcers to form in the stomach lining, esophagus and throat. In some cases GERD will require a surgical procedure in order to repair damage that has occurred inside the digestive system.
If acid reflux is treated properly and controlled efficiently, there is a very good chance that GERD may never become an issue. However, acid reflux that is left untreated and unattended can easily turn into a much worse problem. If your doctor has given you specific instructions on controlling your heartburn, the best advice is to follow his/her suggestions. Many people who have habits such as drinking or smoking are prime candidates for GERD. This is because these are two of the hardest habits to break and also, unfortunately, two of the most common contributing factors to acid reflux and GERD.
The most common times to experience the worst symptoms of GERD or Acid Reflux for that matter is at night when you are laying in your bed. This is why most doctors will suggest eating a good two or three hours before going to bed. This means going to bed on an empty stomach is the best way to avoid heartburn or other discomfort at night.
If you have questions about your acid reflux and want to know how to avoid it turning to GERD, speak with your doctor and follow his/her advice on treatment. In most cases treatment with medications to control acid will be quite effective.