Your Best Friend

Your Best Friend

A natural friendship involves loving and being loved. It means knowing that someone is on your side, wanting to help you, cheering you on, and always keeping your best interest in mind. A friend is someone you value, a comrade, a partner, someone who is dear to you, someone you want to spend time with, and someone you enjoy. You become someone’s friend by investing time in them and with them, and by sharing your life with that person.

Do you know God as your friend?

If we do not know God as a friend and if we are not confident that He thinks of us as His friends, we will be reluctant to tell Him what we need or to ask Him for anything. If we have a stiff, distant relationship with God, our prayers can be legalistic. But if we go to Him as our friend, yet without losing our reverence and awe of Him, our communication with Him will stay fresh, exciting, and intimate.

I encourage you to see God as your friend. Treat Him with respect and honor, but treat Him as your friend and learn to communicate with Him as openly and easily as you would with an earthly companion. He’s the best friend you’ll ever have.

“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” #PROVERBS18:24

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Steroids

Steroids

The word steroid may scare you because of one reason or another. Steroids in general means a lot of things to people based on what they’ve heard, their job or their lifestyle. In the public eye the word steroid has a bad rap for some reasons but many people still can’t explain why. What comes to your mind when you hear the word steroid? Do you know that steroids can be very useful when used appropriately? What do I mean by using steroid appropriately? Let me explain myself; Steroids are really chemicals, often hormones made naturally by the human body and they work to help the organs, cells and tissues function properly. There are available synthetic steroids which are commercially made unlike the natural ones produced by human body.

Steroids are generally classified into two types; you may have heard about corticosteroids and the anabolic-androgenic steroids. These are the two types known and I will explain the difference between them.

Corticosteroids are referred to as the “medicine” that fight inflammation in your body. They’re like your defense and fighter against any inflammation that attacks your body to make you sick. These corticosteroids are made in the labs but they do a wonderful job like the hormone cortisol. They basically stop the immune system process that trigger inflammation that causes human sickness. In medicine they can be used in treating asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema and other rash or skin diseases. Unfortunately, there are bad side effects that come from the use of corticosteroids. These side effects vary and depends on the dose used and how long a person was on it. Some of these undesirable side-effects are excess weight gain, puffy face, nausea, mood swings, insomnia, acne, thinning of skin, unusual hair growth, increased blood sugar. One of the serious side effects that deserves special mention is that corticosteroids will turn down your natural immune system if used for a long time. This will make you susceptible to infection because your natural immune system is weak to fight off and defend you against infections. If you’re on corticosteroid longer than three (3) months they will cause your bones to become brittle and susceptible to breakage, this problem is referred to as Osteoporosis. When steroids are used in children for too long it slows their growth and brings the risk of stimulating diabetes. After reading all these it’s scary to mess around with steroids without proper medical supervision.

Anabolic steroids are the man-made version of testosterone which is a male sex hormone that acts to help in building bigger muscles. Basically, anabolic steroids have performance and muscle-boosting powers that is why people misuse and abuse them. Unfortunately, the abusers are so ignorant of what they’re doing to their health because they take one hundred times (100X) the usual dose prescribed for medical problem. Their ignorance shows because they think more is better for them without any consideration to the adverse effects to their own health. Let’s consider some of the side effects of anabolic steroids: There are fluid retention, acne, blocks the body from making natural testosterone leading to smaller testicles with lower sperm count, infertility and breast growth. In women they cause irregular “periods” that changes and stops at random, development of male-pattern baldness, facial hair and deep voice. The consumption of very high dose will lead to mood swings, anger and aggressive behavior sometimes called “roid rage”. There is the possibility of liver, kidney and heart damage, increased low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol which leads to massive heart attack. This can happen to anybody at any age so don’t abuse steroids, just think and be kind to your own health. Your life is very precious and worth everything to you and your family and friends to be wasting in the pursue of vanity and temporary satisfaction.

If you’re getting this information for the first time and you happen to be on steroids already there is an important warning for you now. Listen, don’t stop the steroid abruptly. Doing that will cause a major health problem for you. You will “crash” into restlessness, fatigue, mood swings, depression and other adverse effects. The way to stop the use of steroids is by tapering the dose down slowly over several days. You need to contact your Physician and Pharmacist who are knowledgeable about the appropriate way to taper and stop the use of steroids.

I hope the information in this article has helped educate you about the dangers of indiscriminate use of steroids. It is a very powerful anti-inflammatory agent that should only be prescribed for a legitimate medical use and only under the supervision of a trained medical professional.

 

Reference:

Goldberg, linn, MD., Hannah-Shmouni, Fady. Aug. 2018, Types of Steroids.

Fish, Lisa., Goldberg, Linn., Spratt, Daniel., 2004, Anabolic Steroids and Young men, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Heat Therapy (Thermotherapy)

Heat Therapy

Nature has provided us many things to live a healthier life but we tend to overlook many of the available resources because of ignorance or our belief that science is better than nature. I’m not saying that science is not good but what I’m trying to emphasis is that nature is filled with many things that can keep us healthy. In the developing countries of the world many people still look for the things in “nature” to heal them even though some of them overuse natural products to their own peril.
Heat is something that doesn’t need to be described for anybody but do you also know that heat can be used to treat certain ailments? The use of heat for treating illness is known as thermotherapy. There is also a process call “Cryotherapy” which is the use of cold to treat illness. But in this article my focus will only be on thermotherapy which I already explained is using heat to treat illness.
Heat can be very therapeutic in certain conditions but we need to know which conditions because it is not useful for every kind of illness. There are two kinds of heat we’re talking about; dry heat and moist heat. How does heat work for the healing process? Heat can help in treatment of certain diseases by raising the body temperature of the affected area and thus improving blood circulation, dilating the blood vessels and improving the flow of oxygen and nutrients to thereby healing the damaged tissues. Heat also stimulates the sensory receptors in the skin and decreases pain signal transmission to the brain making the patient feel less pain. Heat therapy facilitates the stretching of soft tissues around the spine, connective tissues and adhesion and decreases stiffness while increasing muscle flexibility. A research was conducted that found patients with lower back pain reported significant less pain with heat therapy (Morteza, D., Farahbod, F., 2014).
When using heat treatment, it is important to remember to keep it warm and not hot temperature to avoid burning yourself or someone else. Dry heat comes from sources like heating pad, dry heat packs and saunas while moist heat are from steam towels, moist heat packs or baths. There is also professional heat therapy from ultrasounds which is also therapeutic. Heat treatment works best when used in combination with other treatments recommended by your doctor or physical therapist. It is better to have a sustained longer treatment until the pain or problem goes away. Each treatment should last at least 10 to 30 minutes.
What kind of condition is heat therapy good for? The major benefits are for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, neck and shoulder pain, fibromyalgia, muscle pain, stiffness, back and shoulder pain, hip and foot pain, muscle tension, spasm.
What is heat treatment not recommended for? You should not use heat on open wound, bruised or swollen injury, people with diabetes, dermatitis, vascular disease, multiple sclerosis, and deep vein thrombosis.
Heat therapy is very inexpensive and convenience and it works if done consistently. But if it doesn’t seem to help you after several trials you should contact your personal physician for more evaluations of your medical problem.

 

Reference:
Dehghan, Morteza. Farahbod, Farinaz. 2014, The Efficacy of Thermotherapy and Cryotherapy on Pain Relief in Patients with Acute Low Back pain, A Clinical Trial Study. Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research.

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The Lethal Pancreas

It is not my intention to discourage you with this story because I believe life needs to be enjoyed to its fullest. But I also like to be real and call it the way it is with factual information. This blog is motivated by what I’ve noticed going on recently within our community and healthcare in general. First of all, an important question needs to be asked; why should people lose their lives prematurely as if life is nothing to be tossed like garbage? Recently a 41-year-old woman lost her life, few years ago my coworker in her early fifties also lost her life and earlier this year a young man in his forties lost his life to the same condition. The common sickness among all of these people is that they were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Their death happened within few months just after their diagnosis without giving enough time for therapy. I would imagine some of you may’ve heard about or even know someone who died from pancreatic cancer shortly after the diagnosis. My investigation into this problem reveals a terrible scenario; with pancreatic cancer by the time doctors make the diagnosis the cancer has already advance to late stages.

Let’s see what’s happening with the pancreas which is turning into a “lethal weapon” for human lives. What is the Pancreas? The pancreas is a vital organ or gland about six inches long shaped like a thin pear lying on its side between the stomach and the spine. It is vital because of the important functions it performs in the human body. It releases enzymes that help us digest the food we eat and the hormones that control the sugar in our body. If your Pancreas is damaged you’re in big trouble because your system will not work properly leading to the demise of the body cells and ultimately death. 

What causes pancreatic cancer?

It is so unfortunate that despite the advancement in medicine and healthcare the cause of this cancer is still unknown but there are risk factors that may lead to the disease. The risk factors for getting pancreatic cancer are the following:

  1. Genetic – This is related to your family history. It is not absolute that if you have family history of pancreatic cancer you will get it but just be aware that family history gives you a higher probability than a person who doesn’t have the family history. When we speak of family history it means a member of your immediate family being diagnosed of the cancer in the past. It is also possible that with passage of time people may not even remember or be aware of family history through the ages, that of great grandparents, distant uncles, aunts, et cetera.
  2. Diabetes – Are you diabetic or prediabetic? That is a risk factor implicated.
  3. Chronic inflammation –  Pancreatitis or chronic inflammation of the pancreas predisposes an individual to pancreatic cancer.
  4. Obesity – If you’re overweight or obese that is a high-risk factor.
  5. Smoking- Are you a smoker? Just be aware of the link with pancreatic cancer which is not good.
  6. Old age – This is a risk we can’t avoid. Pancreatic cancer affects older people over 65 years old than younger people.

Signs & Symptoms: The following are the things that may indicate the possibility of pancreatic cancer. Please know that some of these signs and symptoms are also implicated in other disease conditions.

  1. Loss of appetite with weight loss for no reason – You chronically don’t feel like eating and you’re losing weight without even trying.
  2. Blood clots – Whenever you have blood clot that is not normal so it needs to be checked out by qualified medical professional.
  3. Fatigue – Are you chronically feeling tired? A lot of things may make you feel this way so it is important to know the reason especially if the fatigue lasts longer than normal.
  4. Pain in upper abdomen radiating to the back – This unusual pain is a bad sign that requires further evaluation.
  5. Depression – Being depressed is not without a cause including possible pancreatic cancer.
  6. Dark urine – Your urine should never be dark in color, it could be a bad sign of a major illness.
  7. Yellowing of skin and the whites of the eyes – This is called jaundice and a possible sign of a damaged pancreas.

Prevention: These are things that are recommended for you to help prevent pancreatic cancer.

  1. Stop smoking – Despite all the warnings do you still smoke? Here’s another reason to stop smoking; it helps to prevent all kinds of cancer including pancreatic.
  2. Maintain a healthy weight – Since overweight is a risk factor it makes sense to reduce weight and keep a healthy weight through exercise.
  3. Healthy diet – Watch what you eat, add more fruits, vegetables and whole grain in your diet.
  4. Regular medical checkup – If you’re missing this life-saving responsibility you owe it to yourself to have annual medical checkup with your personal physician. This allows your doctor and you to monitor any changes in your health and help in early detection of any illness including pancreatic cancer. 

The Lethal PancreasPancreatic Cancer

Reference:

https://www.cancer.gov/types/pancreatic

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Americans With Disability Act – ADA

What is the Americans with disabilities act (ADA)?

It is very important that everyone becomes aware of what this law entails. I believe it is a responsibility and a civic duty for all Americans to be treated equal without regard to their physical or mental health conditions. In a nutshell the ADA or Americans with disabilities act is a civil rights law that was passed and became effective in 1990 which prohibits discrimination against people who are disabled in all areas of public life, jobs, schools, transporations, etd.

Question: 

The ADA creates a protected class called “qualified individuals with disabilities”. What does this phrase means and how does one qualifies for protection. 

Response:

There are many people who are disabled with one ailment or another but who can still be productive if given an employment opportunity. Disability here is defined under the ADA rule to include: Physical or mental impairments that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such impairment as well as being regarded as having such an impairment (Walsh, David J., 2012). 

The ADA act is to protect the disabled individuals from discrimination. There are important things that need to be met for the ADA act, first the person must be disabled and fall into the definition of disability as stated above. This implies that the persons have a physical or mental impairment that greatly limits one or more major of their life functions, they have a record of impairment or they are regarded as having an impairment.  

When the individuals have been established as disabled then they also need to be qualified for the job they are seeking. This implies that they are able to perform the essential functions of the job they are seeking with or without reasonable accommodation by the employer. A qualified individual with disability should satisfy the skills, education, experience, and other job-related requirements for the job held or sought (Walsh, David J., 2012). It is important to know that a disabled person is regarded as qualified even if he/she cannot perform all of the job functions as long as they can accomplish the essential functions of the job. The unessential functions of the job are irrelevant as far as the ADA law is concerned. If the employer is to provide accommodation for the disabled employee, the accommodation should be reasonable in that it shouldn’t cause the employer undue hardship.

The last important thing that needs to be satisfied is that the disabled person is not a direct threat to their own health and safety or that of other individuals while performing the job they are hired. Any threat that cannot be eliminated by reasonable employer accommodation is not considered qualified.

americans with disability act ada

Reference:

Walsh, David J., Employment Law For Human Resource Practice, 4th edition, 2012

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Harassment – Important Q & A

Q1. What is harassment?

Many people hear about harassment without knowing exactly what it is. When you hear about harassment I’m sure the first thing that comes to your mind is sexual harassment but there is more to harassment than sexual. Harassment is an unwelcomed behavior to another individual and it could be sexual, racial, age, disability, religious beliefs or national origin. Harassment is a form of discrimination though sexual harassment is the most common form of this kind of discrimination. Sexual harassment is not always against the opposite sex because there is same-sex harassment exhibited by homosexual individuals. This is motivated by sexual desire for people of the same sex.

Q2. How does employer liability for harassment by a co-worker or third party compare or differ with the company’s liability for harassment by supervisors, managers or other top officials?

The main issue here is the level of liability for the employer when the problem of harassment is caused by a top company official like the supervisors, managers, CEO Vs. if the harassment is perpetrated by a co-worker or a third party like vendors. We must understand that companies take the problem of harassment very serious because it can cost them a lot from bad reputation to millions of dollars in liability. In the process of maintaining a positive social responsibility having policies on how to manage the problems of harassment is a very good thing for corporations. The grounds for attributing liability to employers for harassment differ depending on whether the harassment results in a tangible employment action and the organizational position of the harasser (Walsh, J. David, 2012).

When co-workers and third parties are the harassers they will create a hostile work environment for the victims who do not welcome the harassment. But if the receiver of the harassment appreciates it then we’re good because there is no problem. It is sad to know that there are instances where an employee may welcome harassment especially if the harasser is a top company officer and the victim is getting some favor from it like promotion or preferential treatment. A co-worker does not have the same authority as a supervisor/manager to create or enforce a tangible employment action that will adversely affect another employee. Therefore the employer is only liable for the harassment caused by a co-worker or third party if the victim can show that a) the employer knew or should have known about the occurrence of the harassment; and 2) the employer also failed to take prompt and effective steps to stop the harassment.

If the harasser is a top company official like Supervisors, Managers, CEO or administrator then it’s a bigger problem for a company. This is because top company officers have the ability to make an employee suffer a severe tangible employment action like loss of employment, reduced salary or loss of promotion. When this happens and the victim sues and proves it the employer is liable with no excuse to avoid penalties. The employer can only avoid liability if no tangible employment action was suffered by the victim and the employer can prove two things; a) the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct any harassment promptly and b) the harassed victim failed to take advantage of any corrective or preventive opportunities that the employer provided through their company policies and procedures against harassment.

It is very important that employers maintain and publish a formal harassment reporting policy and procedures and strictly follow the policy as written.

Businessman Sexually Harassing Female Colleague

Reference:

Walsh, J. David, Employment Law for Human Resource Practice, 4th ed. 2012

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Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

The problem of Urinary Tract infection which is also known as (Aka) UTI is so common than you’ll even imagine. Urinary tract infection simply is the infection of that part of the body responsible for urination, that is a layman common sense simple explanation. But there is more to that elementary definition. Let’s get the details here.

The urinary tract:
Before writing about the infection of the urinary tract it is important to know what the urinary tract is. The urinary tract is made up of the bladder, the kidneys, the ureter, and the urethra. These are just parts of the body that are responsible for removing the urine and other liquid body waste. The kidneys help filter the blood of waste and excess water to form the urine. This urine then flows down through the Ureters to be stored in the bladder until they are ready to be removed through the Urethra when you urinate.
What is Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of all or any part of the urinary tract. It could be infection of the kidneys, the bladder, the ureter or the urethra. This infection is usually cause by bacteria, especially the bacteria named E. Coli (Escherichia Coli) and others like Chlamydia and Mycoplasma.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of UTI?
The most common symptoms of UTI are:

–     Pain and burning sensation when urinating

–       Cloudy, bloody, or strong smelling urine

–       Strong and frequent urge to urinate

–       Nausea and vomiting

–       Abdominal pain and muscle aches

–       In case of a severely infected kidney the patient may have pain in the upper back

–       Fever, fatigue, shaking chills and mental changes demanding emergency care.

What are the risk factors of getting UTI?

–       Diabetic patients have a high risk, others are

–       Inability to empty your bladder during urination

–       Blocked urine flow

–       Patients carrying urinary catheter

–       Pregnant patients

–       Patients with suppressed immune system

–       The use of spermicides and tampons

–       Excess us of antibiotics, because it disrupts natural flora of the urinary tract.

–       Sexual irregularity, that is multiple partners or excessive sex

–       Holding urine for too long or inability to empty bladder completely

–       Enlarge prostate

–       Uncircumcised men

–       Wiping from back to front after bowel movement, brings bacteria into urethra

–       Women gets UTI more often than men

–       Older adults have UTI more than younger people.

When to see a doctor for UTI:

You should call your doctor when you experience any of the symptoms with

–       Fever and shaking

–       Nausea and vomiting

–       If you have diabetes

–       If you’re pregnant

–       Children and elderly

–       When taking cancer drugs, on chemotherapy because of suppressed immune system.

How to prevent UTI:

–       Drink lots of water daily 6 to 8 ounces to flush out bacteria

–       Wipe yourself from front to back after bowel movement

–       Urinate before and after sexual intercourse

–       Wear clean underwear or pantyhose every day

–       Avoid using diaphragm as contraceptive

–       Don’t soak in a bath for more than 30 minutes at a time, no bubble bath for kids

–       If you’re uncircumcised man, wash your foreskin regularly

Home Remedy for UTI:

–       Reduce the intake of processed food, fruit juice, alcohol and sugar

–       Use heating pad

–       Supplements like Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and zinc to boost immune system

–       Probiotics like lactobacillus and acidophilus can help protect against bacteria

–       Cranberry juice can help but has not been proven effective

Treatment of UTI:

Contact your doctor for complete diagnosis to rule out other medical problems.

–       Doctor will do simple test of urinalysis and urine culture

–       Antibiotics are usually ordered to kill the bacteria causing UTI

–       You should finish the antibiotics ordered by the doctor and dispensed by the Pharmacist. Follow all instructions as directed and report any problems you may have to your doctor or Pharmacist.

Below is a picture of the urinary tract that is affected by the UTI

UTI no 2

References:

https://www.medicinenet.com/urinary_tract_infection/article.htm

https://medlineplus.gov/urinarytractinfections.html

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