Posts tagged ‘caffeine’
Yeah, I know. That photo on the left of the kid getting the flu shot is really scary. It’s been about five years since I last wrote about the flu and the flu vaccine, and two years since I discussed the Swine Flu and its vaccine. I figured it was time to give a bit of an update, and Halloween was a good time to do so because I think the flu shot is really scary.
This post is not about whether you should get the flu shot or not. That’s not my job to tell you what you should do. Actually, it’s nobody’s job to tell you to get a flu shot (or not get one) and that includes your own primary care physician. I believe in informed consent and an individual making an informed decision based off unbiased information they have been provided and researched themselves. (more…)
Here in North Carolina the pine pollen is out with a vengeance. Sneezing, bloodshot eyes, itchy skin, and asthma symptoms are the most common complaints athletes present with. Ever wonder why you suffer certain allergy-related symptoms and some people don’t? Well, there are a couple reasons you may be more allergic than you need to be. It’s hard to entirely avoid the pollen, unless you live inside and in a bubble, but taking charge of your health can help tremendously. (more…)
Energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster won’t just make your kid hyper, but a new study out by the University Of Miami School Of Medicine says energy drinks may “put some children at risk for adverse health events, especially those with diabetes, seizures, cardiac abnormalities or mood and behavior disorders.” The study also goes on to say that the drinks can cause seizures or even death if used excessively.
Energy drinks have no therapeutic benefit to children, or any person for that matter, and many people over-do stimulant beverages to stay awake, pull an all-nighter while studying or partying, or just to give them some sort of hopeless energy to get through the day. The sugar content, as well as stimulants added such as caffeine and guarana, are linked to numerous health problems, though if you choose to listen to Dr. Maureen Storey, senior vice president of science policy for the American Beverage Association, you may think this is all a bunch of bull (no relationship to Red Bull). (more…)
The new Diet Pepsi “Skinny Can” will be in stores next month, and even though the can is leaner, it won’t equate to the consumer looking the same. Pepsi says the can is a “celebration of beautiful, confident women,” while critics comment that it supports common marketing ploys enforcing the “skinny is better” rationale.
Regardless of what you make of the can, diet soda sweetened with aspartame (Nutrasweet), sucralose (Splenda), or even the regular types containing high fructose corn syrup or regular sugar, are far from healthy. Just last week a study noted an increased risk of stroke among those who drank diet soda daily and not regular soda, though the link between the two is yet unknown. Some cite the increased salt intake, while others note that those who typically drink diet soda often don’t have a healthy diet to begin with and therefore have an increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease anyway. (more…)
Flu season again. Bring on the fear.
In 2004 the shortage of the flu vaccine stressed out everyone’s immune systems enough to lower their resistance to all viruses. People took extreme measures to obtain the vaccine. Some threatened their doctors to give them the shot while others held “vaccine lotteries” to decide who the lucky recipients would be. Last year’s news of the Avian Flu began to emerge so the vaccine shortage did not spark as much panic as it had in the past. This year we are told that we actually have a surplus of vaccines to the point that even healthy individuals are advised to get a vaccine; the same healthy individuals whose doctors would have suffered heavy fines if caught administering a vaccine to them in years’ past. Also new this year is the recommendation that children ages 6 months to 5 years receive the vaccine. This is a change from the 6 to 23 month age group in the past. I hope after you read this and inform yourself about the flu shot you will think twice about giving your child, and yourself, this vaccine. My 3 and 4 1/2 year old girls will not be receiving this shot. (more…)
Last year the shortage of the flu vaccine stressed out everyone’s immune systems enough to lower their resistance to all viruses. This year we have the Avian Flu scare to take its place. Although two completely different viruses, the fact that there is such a “killer virus” out there like the Bird Flu makes people more afraid of coming down with the common flu that is present every year from early Fall to late Spring.
Each year, federal health agency officials try to guess which three flu strains are most likely to be prevalent in the U.S. the following year to determine which strains will be included in that following year’s flu vaccine. When the match between the vaccine and circulating viruses is close, the flu vaccine is thought to provide a 70-90% chance of temporary immunity to selected strains in healthy persons less than 65 years old. For those over 65 years old, which is usually one of the target groups, the efficacy rate drops to a mere 30-40%. Although it is considered to be 50-60% effective in preventing hospitalization or pneumonia and 80% effective in preventing death from flu caused by the covered strains. (more…)