medicine en-US The Ultimate List of Hangover Cures <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-ultimate-list-of-hangover-cures" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="The morning after" title="the morning after" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're only a few months away from the party season. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year are just a few of the many occasions that give you an excuse to drink a little more than you should. And then, the hangover is upon you. Are there really any good cures out there? Well, it turns out there are a bunch of methods worth trying.</p> <h3>First, the tried and tested ones</h3> <p><b>Drink plenty of water.</b> That means drinking high-quality H2O before, during and after the event. My general rule is one glass of water for every drink, and then chug a glass or two before bed and again when you wake up. Alcohol dehydrates you which causes a lot of the hangover pains. Water is a great way to combat those effects. And if you want to up the ante, try a drink packed with electrolytes, like Powerade, Gatorade, and so on.</p> <p><b>Hit up the eggs.</b> Our bodies often crave things like eggs after we've been drinking. Mine usually comes fried with bacon, but why eggs? Well, the magic word here is &quot;albumin.&quot; It's a protein in eggs that helps to rehydrate cells (the same ones you dehydrated the night before). You can even chug them raw, if you can stomach them in your delicate state.</p> <p><b>Get fruity.</b> Fruits are full of fructose, which helps you get the alcohol out of your system faster. Vitamin C is also packed into most fruits, and that needs to be replenished after your night on the town. Whether it's a fruit smoothie, tomato juice, orange juice, persimmon, or anything else fruity, get them down you. Also, try additional vitamin C pills to boost your levels. This will stimulate your liver to break down the alcohol.</p> <p><b>Drugs work.</b> Ibuprofen. Alka-Seltzer. Pepto-Bismol. Resolve (that's from the UK). I've tried them all and they ALL helped. You're in pain, and pain relievers will help to dull that pain. Combined with the tips above, they'll work wonders. You can also try Tiger Balm, clove oil or any other cooling medication on your head, the back of your neck, and your temples. This should provide some relief.</p> <p><b>Hair of the dog.</b> You know the expression. Why does it work? Well, some say that a hangover is caused by alcohol withdrawal, which is alleviated by more booze. Others say it has to do with the effects of methanol metabolism. Either way, it's a very good way to beat the hangover, but it obviously has major drawbacks. Good for a Sunday at home, not so good for a Monday morning in the office. Unless, of course, you have a very liberal alcohol policy.</p> <p><b>Coffee really is your friend.</b> You see it all the time in movies and on TV. Someone has a hangover, they reach for the coffee pot. Well, it's not just good for making you a little more alert. The caffeine present in your cup of joe acts as a vasoconstrictor. This helps to shrink those dilated blood vessels that are causing your headache. Apparently, anyway.</p> <h3>Now, some more unusual cures</h3> <p><b>Try a little willow bark or feverfew.</b> Pop down to your local vitamin store and pick up one of mother nature's best pain relievers. Willow bark has a natural form of aspirin in it that will help fight off those headaches. Feverfew has the same qualities. And they're both completely natural, if that's something you want from your medication.</p> <p><b>Bouillon and some hot water.</b> The Brits have no problem drinking weak gravy (Oxo cube + hot water) and yet it can be more than a tasty beverage. All that salt and potassium that left your body via the toilet needs to be replaced, and bouillon contains a bunch.</p> <p><b>Take Niacin for better blood flow.</b> You've no doubt seen that word on cereal boxes and other foods. One of Niacin's properties is the dilation of your blood vessels. That increase in blood flow allows toxins to removed from your cells more quickly, speeding up the whole detoxification process. Niacin is available from most pharmacies and vitamin stores.</p> <p><b>Go crackers with honey.</b> Honey is another one of those high fructose ingredients that helps your body get rid of the alcohol faster. So pour some on a cracker or two and put that hangover in its place.</p> <p><b>And why not go bananas at the same time?</b> Instead of the crackers, mix bananas with honey and milk and make a hangover-busting milkshake. The banana helps to calm the stomach, as does the milk. The honey and banana both contain natural sugars to restore your blood sugar levels back to normal. The milk also rehydrates you. And best of all, bananas are rich in electrolytes, magnesium and potassium, which are killed by heavy drinking.</p> <p><b>Charcoal ain't just for grillin'.</b> More prevention than cure, take a tablet of activated charcoal for each alcoholic drink you have. Charcoal absorbs all sorts of impurities in the alcohol (water filters are made of them) and these are known to cause some of the issues associated with a hangover. But don't overdo it, as charcoal can also absorb nutrients, too.</p> <p><b>Ginger or peppermint for the inevitable stomach upset.</b> It's not just your head that hurts after painting the town red. Ginger is a natural and effective remedy for stomachs that are really feeling the effects of one too many. Make sure you're getting a good amount of real ginger, though. Capsules are reliable; a can of ginger ale usually isn't &mdash; that's just ginger flavor. Peppermint is also a great natural aid for indigestion and stomach problems, but chew actual leaves, not minty gum. Real peppermint tea is a good solution if you can't find real leaves in your local store.</p> <p><b>Replace your amino acids.</b> Alcohol deprives your body of essential amino acids. These are the building blocks of protein, so replace them with a meal that contains beef, chicken, fish or soy. You can also buy amino acid supplements if you just can't face food.</p> <p><b>Lemon-aid (or lime-aid).</b> Lemons and limes contain a lot of natural sugars. Adding two or three tablespoons to a glass of water or coffee will help stabilize your blood sugar. It may not taste all that great though.</p> <p><strong>Stimulate the scalp.</strong> In college, I had a friend who would cure his hangover by standing in the shower and aiming the high-powered jets at a certain spot on his head. I always thought it was odd, but there's method to the madness. By stimulating the scalp you are bringing blood into the area, and those open vessels help relieve a headache. Pull your hair (if you have some), use a gentle massager or try the shower-head technique.</p> <p><strong>Take a mustard bath.</strong> Now, before you go out and spend a few hundred bucks on Grey Poupon, relax. All you need to do is add a few tablespoons of mustard powder to a hot bath and soak for 20 minutes. Mustard has the ability to increase circulation and draw toxins out from the body. Give it a try.</p> <p><strong>Milk thistle.</strong> Available from any good vitamin store, milk thistle (silymarin) protects liver cells from toxins. It should be taken before going out for a few drinks, preferably with a meal or snack.</p> <p><strong>Get to know Kudzu extract.</strong> Also known as Pueraria lobata, Kudzu has been in used in traditional Chinese medicine for many years. It's something that actually helps reduce alcohol intake, so you're less likely to want those extra drinks that turn you from happy to completely bombed. It also contains isoflavones, diadzin and puerarin, which are known to speed up the hangover healing time.</p> <p><b>Give Yoga the time of day.</b> Some yoga poses can literally help you push the alcohol out of the effected organs. I have not tried this one, but I know a few people who swear by yoga as a hangover cure. Look at &quot;the seated twist&quot; for starters.</p> <p><b>Try a shot of wheatgrass.</b> Wheatgrass is considered to be a natural detoxifier, cleansing the body's blood and water and revitalizing the cells. It also contains powerful detoxifying agents and assists in hydration. Drink a glass at night before hitting the hay, and one the following morning for full effect.</p> <p><strong>Prickly pear cactus.</strong> Researchers at Tulane University and the University of California have discovered that prickly pear cactus extract (<em>Opuntia ficus indica</em>) can relieve hangover symptoms and dry mouth. It can also relieve inflammation. It is best taken several hours before you start drinking alcohol.</p> <p>Well, there you have it. If you know of any sure-fire hangover cures (other than not drinking in the first place) share them here so we can all benefit this holiday season. And as always, please, don't drink and drive.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The Ultimate List of Hangover Cures" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">General Tips articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink General Tips Health and Beauty alcohol drinking hangover headache medicine pain relief Fri, 08 Oct 2010 13:00:07 +0000 Paul Michael 256993 at How Much Caffeine is in That? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-much-caffeine-is-in-that" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Kenyan coffee" title="Kenyan coffee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're trying to avoid your own caffeine intake due to <a title="4 Ways Breast-Feeding Saves Money" href="">breastfeeding</a>, pregnancy, or health reasons, or trying to keep your kids from ingesting more than their fair share, here's a list of a few everyday items and their caffeine content. (See also: <a href="" title="7 Nutrients You Need More Of">7 Nutrients You Need More Of</a>)</p> <h2>Coffee</h2> <p>Coffee varies in caffeine content drastically, even in the same coffeehouse, on the same day. Everything from roast styles to brewing methods affect the amount of caffeine you get. The lighter the roast, the more caffeine it has.</p> <ul> <li>Starbucks (Grande) iced coffee, 16 oz: <strong>190 mg</strong>. <em>This is double-brewed. Without the ice it contains <strong>380mg</strong>.</em></li> <li>Starbucks brewed coffee, 16 oz: <strong>330 mg</strong>. <em>Brewed coffee has <strong>50% more</strong> caffeine on average than instant coffee.</em></li> <li>Instant coffee, 16 oz: <strong>60-345mg</strong></li> <li>Starbucks latte, 16 oz: <strong>150mg</strong></li> <li>Starbucks espresso, 1 oz (1 shot): <strong>58-75mg</strong></li> </ul> <h2>Tea</h2> <p>The longer a tea is steeped, the higher the caffeine content. If after the first steep, you add more hot water to the tea or tea bag, the tea becomes almost entirely decaffeinated.</p> <ul> <li>Starbucks Tazo chai tea latte, 16 oz: <strong>100 mg</strong></li> <li>Regular black tea, 8 oz: <strong>40-120 mg</strong></li> <li>Stash green tea, 18 oz: <strong>78 mg</strong></li> <li>Snapple iced tea, 16 oz: <strong>18 mg</strong></li> <li>12 oz Nestea: <strong>17 mg</strong></li> <li>Decaffeinated black tea, 8 oz: <strong>2 mg</strong></li> </ul> <h2>Soft Drinks</h2> <p><em>All drinks are 12 oz servings</em></p> <ul> <li>Mountain Dew: <strong>54 mg</strong></li> <li>Mello Yello: <strong>53 mg</strong></li> <li>Diet Coke: <strong>47 mg</strong></li> <li>Tab: <strong>47 mg</strong></li> <li>Dr Pepper: <strong>42-44 mg</strong></li> <li>Sunkist Orange: <strong>42 mg</strong></li> <li>Pepsi: <strong>36-38 mg</strong></li> <li>Coke: <strong>35 mg</strong></li> <li>A&amp;W Cream Soda: <strong>29 mg</strong></li> <li>Barq's Root Beer: 2<strong>3 mg</strong></li> <li>A&amp;W Root Beer: <strong>0 mg</strong></li> <li>7-Up: <strong>0 mg</strong></li> <li>Sprite: <strong>0 mg</strong></li> <li>Mug Root Beer: <strong>0 mg</strong></li> <li>Fanta: <strong>0 mg</strong></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Energy Drinks</h2> <ul> <li>No Name (formerly known as Cocaine), 8.4 oz: <strong>280 mg</strong></li> <li>Monster Energy, 16 oz: <strong>160 mg</strong></li> <li>Full Throttle, 16 oz:&nbsp;<strong>144 mg</strong></li> <li>Enviga, 12 oz: <strong>100 mg</strong></li> <li>No Fear, 8 oz: <strong>83 mg</strong></li> <li>Rockstar, 8 oz: <strong>80 mg</strong></li> <li>Red Bull, 8.3 oz: <strong>76 mg</strong></li> <li>AMP, 8.4 oz: <strong>74 mg</strong></li> </ul> <h2>Food</h2> <ul> <li>Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate, 1.45 oz: <strong>31 mg</strong></li> <li>Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar, 1.55 oz: <strong>9mg</strong></li> <li>Ben and Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch, 8 oz: <strong>84 mg</strong></li> <li>Haagen-Daz Coffee Ice Cream, 8 oz: <strong>58 mg</strong></li> <li>Starbucks Coffee Ice Cream, 8 oz: <strong>50-60 mg</strong></li> </ul> <h2>Medications</h2> <ul> <li>No Doz, 1 Tablet: <strong>200 mg</strong></li> <li>Excedrin Extra Strength, 2 tablets: <strong>130 mg</strong></li> <li>Anacin Maximum Strength, 2 tablets: <strong>64 mg</strong></li> <li>Midol Maximum Strength: <strong>60 mg</strong></li> </ul> <p>Things get a little tricky when it comes to what has caffeine and what doesn't. I knew Barq's Root Beer had caffeine, but didn't know that A&amp;W Cream Soda has it as well. And just to confuse matters more, A&amp;W Regular Root Beer is caffeine free. Also surprising was the caffeine content in Sunkist Orange. This list will help you keep the caffeine out of little hands (because they absolutely do not need it), and keep the buzz where it belongs &mdash; in your hectic, parental world.</p> <p>This list was compiled with help from the Mayo Clinic article on <a href="">caffeine content.</a></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How Much Caffeine is in That?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a post from our sister blog, <a href="">Parenting Squad</a>. Visit Parenting Squad for more great posts:</p> <ul> <li><a href="">7 Simple Tips To Encourage Writing In Young Children</a></li> <li><a href="">Do Forward-Facing Strollers Delay Language?</a></li> <li><a href="">Effective Treatment For Peanut Allergies In Children</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Sonja Stewart</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Food and Drink articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink beverages caffeine coffee medicine soda tea Thu, 04 Mar 2010 18:00:03 +0000 Sonja Stewart 5617 at Generic Drugs: Not Always The Same? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/generic-drugs-not-always-the-same" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the world of prescription drugs, generic equivalents have been a financial blessing for many patients, saving them millions, if not billions, of dollars each year. For the most part, they perform the same function as brand name drugs at a fraction of the cost. A recent article in the <a href="">New York Times</a>, however, has indicated that some generic drugs might not work as well as their brand name counterparts.</p> <p>The evidence thus far, however, has been largely anecdotal. People have reported on various websites, including <a href="">People&rsquo;s Pharmacy</a>, that when they switched to generic drugs, either they did not work as well or they experienced adverse side effects. The take home message from all of this is that not all drugs are created equally, and generic equivalents might in fact not do as good of a job at alleviating ones&rsquo; symptoms.</p> <p>This is of particular concern when the medication involves ailments whose side effects can seriously affect a person&rsquo;s health, including the fields of cardiology and neurology. In fact, the American Academy of Neurology has gone so far as to say that they are not in favor of generic substitutes for certain anticonvulsant drugs (for treating epilepsy) without proper physician&rsquo;s approval.</p> <p>The issue, to say the least, is controversial. The insurance industry is particularly supportive of generic drugs and often insists that they be used (or else incur a penalty in the form of higher co-payments), and the <a href="">Food and Drug Administration</a>&nbsp;(FDA) as well as the American Medical Association (AMA) both agree that generic drugs work just as well as brand names. But there are an increasing number of incidences that seem to tell a different story, and the growing wave of concern is causing the field of medicine to take notice.</p> <p>Generic drugs are essentially a cheaper alternative to brand name medications. When a new drug hits the market, it maintains patent protection for twenty years. When the patent expires, other drug makers can rush into the market and sell the drug at a lower price.</p> <p>According to the FDA, the generic equivalent must have &ldquo;the same active ingredient, dosage form, and strength,&rdquo; as its brand name counterpart, though not necessarily identical. It must also be bioequivalent, which means that it must result in blood levels of the active ingredient that are very similar to the brand name drug.</p> <p>To be considered bioequivalent, the generic drug must achieve blood serum levels that are 80% to 125% of the reference level, a range that some experts feel is too wide and might possibly result in the reduced absorption, and thus effectiveness, of a drug. This is especially important when treating heart conditions and seizures.</p> <p>Interestingly, the differences might even be of concern when switching from one generic brand to another, and the patient might not even be aware of the change due to the fact that pharmacists are not obligated to inform them of it.</p> <p>For now, there have not been any well established clinical studies that offer concrete evidence that generic drugs are in fact less effective, and experts contend that in most instances, generic drugs work just fine.</p> <p>If you have concerns, speak with your physician. If you have questions about the brand or makeup of your medication, discuss your concerns with your pharmacist of insurer.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Generic Drugs: Not Always The Same?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a post from our sister blog, <a href="">Healthcare Hacks</a>. Visit Healthcare Hacks for more healthcare tips and news.</p> <ul> <li><a href="">Pfizer To Extend Free Medication Program</a></li> <li><a href="">Diabetes Projections Over The Next 25 Years: A Scary Scenario</a></li> <li><a href="">H1N1 (Swine Flu) Virus Very Serious For Pregnant Women And New Mothers</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Healthcare Hacks</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty generic drugs healthcare medicine Wed, 30 Dec 2009 15:00:02 +0000 Healthcare Hacks 4306 at Surviving Swine Flu <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/surviving-swine-flu" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Getting a shot" title="What a prick!" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="380" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're probably going to get swine flu, and there's really&nbsp;no need to freak out.&nbsp;Most people are surviving it just fine. Sure, fear-mongering news reporters love nothing better than a global pandemic to boost their ratings with sensationalist coverage of school shut-downs and hospitalizations, but while swine flu is no picnic, it doesn't look like it's going to wipe out civilization as we know it.</p> <p>Let's go ahead and take a fatalistic approach to this virus. We're going to get it, and we're probably going to survive it; but those who are in high-risk catgories need to take special precautions. Wash your hands all you want; it's a virus, and it will travel.</p> <p>We need a level-headed approach to combating this illness, and with a vaccine still not available to the public, it's important to take stock of your health and protect yourself and your loved ones before the flu season really takes off.</p> <h2>Know if you are at risk</h2> <p>You expect the flu to pick off the old and infirm, but this flu is different. You might not be happy to hear that most of the 77 swine-flu related deaths recently studied by the CDC had underlying <a href="">conditions like asthma or diabetes</a> that complicated their illness (10% of the U.S. population has <a href="">diabetes</a>; 16.4% has <a href="">asthma</a>). If you are asthmatic, your condition can be aggravated by respiratory complications associated with the flu, so have your fast-acting bronchial dilator on hand and talk to your doctor about other precautions you might want to take. Diabetics are slower to heal and more prone to infections, so discuss a proactive approach with your doctor before you get sick.</p> <h2>Consider a pneumonia vaccination</h2> <p>The swine flu vaccine itself is days or possibly weeks away, and the biggest risk of the flu isn't really the flu virus itself, but rather the bacterial infections that strike once your immune system has been weakened by the flu. Data from the CDC suggests what most doctors probably could have guessed: up to 29% of people who have died while infected with the swine flu have also had <a href="">accompanying infections like pneumonia</a>. I didn't even know that you could get a vaccine for pneumonia until recently, but apparently this <a href="">underused&nbsp;treatment is fairly effective</a>. The vaccine only needs to be given twice in a lifetime, and although&nbsp;it only covers a couple dozen strains of pneumonia (there are more than <a href="">80 different types</a>), most infections are caused by the 23 strains of bacteria&nbsp;that are included in the vaccine. Pregnant/nursing women and children under the age of two <a href="">are not generally vaccinated.</a></p> <p>I've been calling around, and the price of a pneumonia vaccine seems to range between $30-55. That's not exactly cheap, but for an asthmatic like me, it's cheaper than a trip to the emergency room (again). Check your local pharmacy or clinic to see if they are offering pneumonia vaccines; many pharmacies are scheduling vaccination clinics that include the <a href="">flu shot</a> and pneumonia vaccinations at the same time. The vaccine isn't always covered by insurance.</p> <h2>Exercise and eat well</h2> <p>This is obviously something everyone should be doing already, but if today is the first day that you put down the bag of Doritos and take a slow walk around the block, so be it. You don't have to deprive yourself and go crazy with a weight-loss scheme; just add some fresh fruit and veggies (the&nbsp;darker, the better &mdash; think berries and kale) to your daily food intake and find ways to keep your blood pumping, even if it means long, leisurely walks around the block. Take deep breaths and try to slowly expand your lung capacity. Don't exhaust yourself, because that can just make you more prone to illness.</p> <h2>Get enough Vitamin D</h2> <p>Many people live with <a href="">vitamin D deficiency</a>, and it can be difficult to tell that you have one without a blood test. Vitamin D <a href="">may play an essential role </a>in keeping your immune system, particularly your respiratory system, healthy. There are few ways to get enough vitamin D, but you can take supplements, drink vitamin D-fortified milk (3 glasses a day), or make a point of spending at least 15 minutes a day outside during the sun's peak hours (11AM-1PM).</p> <h2>Get plenty of sleep</h2> <p>The flu hits those who are most vulnerable, and that includes not just the old and sick, but also the physically exhausted. Most people don't get nearly enough sleep on a daily basis, so if it means that you have to skip your favorite TV shows for a few weeks to get some more shut-eye, so be it. Remember, unless you are one of those rare genetic mutants who only needs 6 hours of sleep per night, you should be striving for somewhere around <a href="">8.5 hours of quality sleep</a>.</p> <h2>If you get sick...</h2> <p>If you've managed to catch the swine flu, you can still take steps to avoid the worst aspects of the disease. The usual advice still applies: get plenty of rest, stay home if you can, remain hydrated, and allow people to tell you how good chicken soup is for you. For most people, this should be enough.</p> <p>For those with immuno-suppressive disorders or anyone considered &quot;high-risk,&quot; you might want to take an anti-viral medication within the first 24 hours of the onset of flu symptoms. Pneumonias develop when mucus and fluids in the lungs become infected with bacteria, which happens when the mucus is allowed to hang out and fester. To prevent pooling of mucus:</p> <ol> <li>Assuming you don't have any other conditions that would prevent this (like fresh stitches from an appendectomy), cough. Force yourself to cough; this moves the phlegm around in your chest and disrupts bacterial growth.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>When not sleeping, try to rest in an upright position.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Try to move around when you are sleeping. Don't just stay flat on your back for many hours at a time.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you develop a cough that isn't bringing up much phlegm, and you have your doctor's go-ahead, get your hands on a good <a href="">expectorant</a>&nbsp;that contains Guaifenesin, like Mucinex. Expectorants help to thin the mucus out, so that you can bring it up when you cough. Breaking up this nastiness and coughing it out is crucial to preventing infection.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you are asthmatic, be vigilant and keep in touch with your doctor as necessary. At the first instance of respiratory distress, get thee to a medical facility.</li> </ol> <p>**I am not a doctor, and nothing in this article should be construed as me giving medical advice. However, most of the tips given here do come from the Center for Disease Control or other reputable sources, so I promise that I am not just making stuff up. Please consult your physician before undertaking any new medical treatments.**</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Surviving Swine Flu" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Andrea Karim</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty cold cough epidemic flu shot h1n1 infection medicine pandemic pneumonia swine flu tamiflu Wed, 30 Sep 2009 17:37:19 +0000 Andrea Karim 3655 at DIY Plastic Surgery: This Is Not A Hoax. <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/diy-plastic-surgery-this-is-not-a-hoax" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Nose Job" title="Nose Job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="177" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I do a lot of research on the Internet for information about home-made solutions to everyday problems. In fact, I'll be posting one soon that covers recipes for home-made car wax, air freshener and even glue. But on my travels, I discovered a horrifying fact - in these tough economic times, people out there are taking medical matters into their own hands. DIY plastic surgery is on the rise. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Around two years ago, <a href=";in_page_id=34">a reliable English paper called Metro </a>reported the outbreak of DIY plastic surgery. The obsession with celebrity culture, and media pressure that make everyone feel bad if they don't look amazing, was leading people to take matters into their own hands. It did not go well. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><em>&quot;In the worst case, a man gave himself a nose job with a chisel and replaced the cartilage he removed with a chicken bone,&quot; according to consultant psychiatrist Dr David Veale. &quot;Others have cut their stomachs in DIY tummy tucks, and used glue to try to pin back their ears.&quot;</em><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Ouch! It seems more like a story that would appear in the National Enquirer, but unfortunately it's true. That was two years ago, and sadly, things have not improved. A lack of self-confidence and a rise in BDD (body dysmorphic disorder) continues to make people long for the plastic surgeon's knife. And with people suffering from a lack of money and no access to credit, they are becoming desperate. DIY plastic surgery, as horrific as it sounds, continues to gather momentum.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">In late 2008, <a href="">news broke of Hang Mioku</a>, a Korean woman who became so obsessed with plastic surgery that she injected COOKING OIL into her own face.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><em>Her face became so grotesquely large that she was called &quot;standing fan&quot; by children in her neighbourhood - due to her large face and small body. And it would seem that even Hang can now see the damage she has done; she now says that she would simply like her original face back.</em></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Last month, <a href="">WCCO's Esme Murphy </a>told the story of a woman who injected herself with silicone to save money on plastic surgery. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><em>&quot;I really thought that I was getting a bargain and I really didn't do my homework like I should have,&quot; said the woman who did not want to be identified. Her lips and left cheek are disfigured from silicone she self-injected. She was trying to make her upper lip fuller and fill acne scars. A year and a half ago, another doctor had given her silicone injections. That treatment went well but it wasn't cheap. It was $2700 for a series of three treatment. So she turned to the Internet and found a site advertising silicone for $10.&quot;</em></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">As you can see, the results are awful. She will be disfigured for life unless she pays for a certified plastic surgeon to try and reverse the results. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><em>&quot;Initially I thought I did a good job,&quot; said the unfortunate mom from the Twin Cities. However, within a day her lips and cheek were disfigured. &quot;Its very frightening, its very embarrassing having to be in public,&quot; she said.</em><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">There is even a Technorati page devoted to DIY Plastic Surgery gone wrong, which you can <a href="">check out yourself here</a>.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">And now, which may be even worse, more &quot;legitimate&quot; ways to do the treatment yourself are reaching the market. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">For $129 and up, you can buy a hand-held personal laser to remove blotches and smooth out wrinkles. And the <a href=" ">REJUVAWAND</a> costs $159 and uses two infra-red wavelengths of laser energy to promises to give similar results to the more expensive Botox and microdermabrasion treatments. Does it work? Doctors say it's too weak a laser to do any damage, but in effect you're wasting a lot of money on an almost useless product. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">You can also buy a DIY chemical peel.<o:p></o:p> <a href=",,547687_646241,00.html">Dr Denese's Triple AHA/BHA at-home fizzing facial peel</a> promises the same results as a beauty salon treatment at a fraction of the cost. But is it ever a good idea to put these kinds of chemicals on your skin with no medical supervision? <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Perhaps the most harmless DIY solution I found was the <a href="">CoCo &quot;nose job&quot; device</a>, which will give you Cleopatra's Nose! To be honest, it just looks like a strong clothes peg.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><em>&quot;CoCo - Beautiful New Look of Nose is available at discerning stores in Japan, Korea and Taiwan from only $7.50. Why spend more on expensive plastic surgery and fancy doctors when you can just 'do it yourself'?&quot;</em></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">With the average rhinoplasty procedure costing roughly $5000, what do you think the chances are that a $7.50 product could do the same job? Exactly. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Look, I'm no doctor, but I would like to summarize by saying please, please don't take the frugal option on this and attempt to do it yourself. There is no substitute for medical training and your body is too important to mess with by yourself. There are very few shortcuts to a better body, but plastic surgery is one of them...and it comes with a hefty price. Be prepared to pay it, or you may end paying significantly more to reverse your own home-made medical mistakes.<span style="">&nbsp; Or worse, pay for it for the rest of your life with horrible disfigurements, bad health and chronic pain. </span><o:p></o:p></p> <!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial;"><o:p></o:p></span> </p> <!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="DIY Plastic Surgery: This Is Not A Hoax. " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living Consumer Affairs DIY blemish doctor medicine nose job skin surgery Thu, 02 Jul 2009 17:58:55 +0000 Paul Michael 3346 at Are You a Sucker for Health Trends? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-a-sucker-for-health-trends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="350" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p> <meta content="text/html; charset=utf-8" http-equiv="CONTENT-TYPE" /><br /> <title></title><br /> <meta content=" 3.0 (Win32)" name="GENERATOR" /></p> <style type="text/css"> <!-- @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --><!-- @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --> </style></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">If Billy Mays was the pitch person for an &quot;anti-heart attack medicine&quot;, there would likely be many consumers getting on the phone to place their orders. If Brad Pitt became a spokesperson for virility pills, chances are even greater that sales would go through the roof. It's been awhile since we've heard the expression &ldquo;I'm not a doctor but I play one on tv&rdquo; but more and more companies are wising up to the idea that celebrity endorsements for health products are an effective way to sell product. With a nation of people working on getting healthier but wanting an easy way out, health fads can be all-too-easy to sell. But how inclined are you to buy?</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Health fads are big business but if you're looking for an easy fix to health issues, look instead at good old diet and exercise before spending your hard-earned cash on fads. Here are some other considerations to make about the new products springing up on the market:</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>Research the Research</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Look for the studies that were conducted involving a large number of participants who received both treatments and placebos but do not know who gets what. Research without a control group or those that are conducted on animals provide no definitive answers as to how effective the treatment or the pill will be for you.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>Where is the Evidence?</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Tons of commercials use touching &ldquo;personal&rdquo; stories to make the sale. While the stories may sound good and can be easily related to your own situation, you have to look beyond that aspect. Consider for instance a miracle cold pill or vitamin. At some point, your cold is going to get better and go away. Depending when you take the miracle cure medication, you are bound to see a difference at some point because the cold will naturally run its course. Look instead for scientific evidence that backs up the claims being made in the commercials.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>Remain a Skeptic</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">When products use terminology like &ldquo;miracle&rdquo;, &ldquo;breakthrough&rdquo;, or &ldquo;cure-all&rdquo;, don't get sucked in. Pay attention to what is being said but do your own homework to see what makes this product so great. Many companies will try and turn your attention away from the real lack of evidence by hoisting conspiracy theories on you about why experts don't agree with their claims.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>Who Is Doing the Talking?</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Pay a spokesperson to talk and they will say just what has been written for them. Look into who is doing the talking on the product's behalf. Are they a real person with a real story to tell or do they get paid for simply doing a good job of reading a teleprompter? Read the fine print on print ads and television commercial campaigns to find out who is getting paid to talk. Anyone with a financial (or otherwise) stake in the book, health program, or miracle cure may not be totally honest.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Your money is yours to spend how you want to but make sure you are investing in quality products that are worth your money and not just fly-by-night fads that promise to make you stronger, healthier, skinnier, or more beautiful. When it seems too good to be true, it generally is. Understand that now before losing your money on a fad - or worse - risk losing your good health.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Are You a Sucker for Health Trends?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Tisha Tolar</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty diets health fads medicine product pitches spokespeople trends Fri, 29 May 2009 13:29:21 +0000 Tisha Tolar 3212 at 15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="witch hazel" title="witch hazel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I discovered witch hazel in college. I was not exactly the owner of the clearest skin in Britain, and dabbing a little witch hazel extract on my <a href="" title="5 Best Skin Care Tips for People on a Budget">blemished skin</a> stopped me enduring a mountain of abuse. But there are way more uses for this shrub than clearing up spotty skin. (See also: <a href="" title="The Avocado Face Mask">The Avocado Face Mask and Other Natural Beauty Experiments</a>)</p> <p>To get slightly technical for a moment, witch hazel is (according to <a title="Witch hazel (astringent)" href="">Wikipedia</a>):</p> <blockquote> <p>&hellip;an astringent produced from the leaves and bark of the North American Witch Hazel shrub (<em>Hamamelis virginiana</em>), which grows naturally from Nova Scotia west to Ontario, Canada and south to Florida, and Texas in the United States. This plant was widely used for medicinal purposes by American Indians. The witch hazel extract was obtained by steaming the twigs of the shrub.</p> <p>The essential oil of witch hazel is not sold separately as a consumer product. The plant does not produce enough essential oil to make production viable, however, there are various distillates of witch hazel (called hydrosols or hydrolats) that are gentler than the &quot;drug store&quot; witch hazel and contain alcohol.</p> <p>Witch hazel is mainly used externally on sores, bruises, and swelling. The main constituents of the extract include tannin, gallic acid, catechins, proanthocyanins, flavonoids (kaempferol, quercetin), essential oil (carvacrol, eugenol, hexenol), choline, saponins, and bitters. Distilled witch hazel sold in drug stores and pharmacies typically contains no tannin.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Most drug stores and online pharmacies carry witch hazel in one form or another. Establishments from Rite Aid and Walgreens to Amazon carry varying products, although I have yet to find the massively handy Witch Stick, and other line of <a title="Witch Skincare" href="">Witch products</a>, anywhere other than in the UK. (You can find some <a title="Witch products at Direct Chemist" href="">here</a>, but be prepared to pay some steep shipping).</p> <p>But when you get your hands on the mightily useful little medicinal marvel, what can you do with it? Here's a rundown, and I'm sure many of you have already used a witch hazel product in one form or another, as you'll realize when you skip down the page. It's very useful, so put it on the top of your next shopping list.</p> <p> <script async src="//"></script> <!-- 468x60 Upper Article --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:468px;height:60px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-6789250261177596" data-ad-slot="3714035540"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script> </p> <h2>15 Uses for Witch Hazel</h2> <h3>1. The big one: Spot and blemish control</h3> <p>Witch hazel can reduce the inflammation on a pimple. Some people claim daily use helps with acne, and witch hazel can be found in many over-the-counter treatments. Application with a Witch Stick is the most convenient, but you can dab it on with a cotton ball. Ask your pharmacist before you do this, though.</p> <h3>2. Soothe and heal diaper rash</h3> <p>If your baby's rash isn't healing quick enough, apply witch hazel solution (<a title="Witch Hazel Dickinson Astringent" href=";tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000NWF1J0">Dickinson's is good</a>) with a cotton ball and you should see immediate improvement to your baby's bottom.</p> <h3>3. Shrink bags under the eyes</h3> <p>Some people say that the application of hemorrhoid cream to those little baggies under your eyes can take them away. It's not an old wives' tale. One of the magic ingredients in a product like Preparation H is witch hazel, which helps tighten up the skin and reduce the bagginess. And that leads nicely to&hellip;</p> <h3>4. Soothe and reduce external hemorrhoids</h3> <p>Not only does witch hazel tighten skin, it's also a good anti-itch remedy. By combining witch hazel with aloe, glycerine or petroleum jelly and rub it on external hemorrhoids, you will reduce itching significantly and dry up most bleeding.</p> <h3>5. Varicose vein relief</h3> <p>Soak wash cloths in witch hazel and lay on legs, which are propped straight out, to reduce pain and swelling from varicose veins. The witch hazel helps to tighten the veins, relieving the discomfort temporarily.</p> <h3>6. Soothe poison ivy and poison oak</h3> <p>Just like acne and blemishes, the witch hazel reduces itching and relieves swelling. Something definitely worth packing on your next camping trip.</p> <h3>7. Treat chicken pox blisters</h3> <p>A combination of aloe, honey, lavender and other essential oils create a spray that will vastly reduce the discomfort of chicken pox blisters. And it's all-natural. Here's what to do:</p> <p>Mix together 1 tablespoon honey, 40 drops lavender essential oil, 15 drops lemon essential oil, 15 drops bergamot essential oil, 5 drops peppermint essential oil, 1 teaspoon carrot seed oil and 1/2 cup aloe vera gel.</p> <p>Once completely mixed, and 1/2 cup distilled witch hazel and mix again. Pour mixture into spray bottle and use on affected areas (avoiding eyes). A more potent and less unsightly way to treat the chicken pox than traditional calamine lotion.</p> <h3>8. Heal your bruises faster</h3> <p>Been in a fight recently? Well, maybe not. But if you bang your leg or arm and are left with a nasty bruise, a thrice-daily dab of witch hazel can help speed up the healing time of the bruise.</p> <h3>9. Soothe razor burn (and in some instances, prevent it)</h3> <p>The anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel stop itchy bumps from forming up around your irritated hair follicles. Apply before or after shaving; it should certainly have an impact on your itchy red skin (and that includes ladies, too).</p> <h3>10. Treat and soothe a nasty sunburn</h3> <p>Healing damaged skin is one of witch hazel's specialties. But as sunburn is also a type of skin inflammation, witch hazel is ideal for treating this too (despite swelling not being obvious). Treating sunburn with witch hazel will lessen healing time and prevent the infamous skin peeling and flaking.</p> <h3>11. Treat dry skin</h3> <p>By applying witch hazel immediately after showering, you are locking in the moisture that has just soaked into your skin.</p> <h3>12. Use to heal and soothe various cuts and bruises</h3> <p>Many chemists and pharmacists refer to witch hazel as nature's answer to Neosporin. Applying a dab of it will cleanse the cut, protects against infection, and encourage quicker healing of minor skin breaks.</p> <h3>13. Take the bite out of bug bites</h3> <p>With its anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties, witch hazel is ideal for treating bug bites. Just dab a little on the affected area.</p> <h3>14. Refresh tired eyes</h3> <p>NOT by squirting witch hazel in them, but by soaking a clean rag in witch hazel and cold water and placing the cold compress over your closed eyes. After 10 minutes, your eyes should be refreshed, and any redness should be gone. If you've been doing a lot of crying, this can get you back to normal quickly.</p> <h3>15. Make your own deodorant</h3> <p>Witch hazel is often used in deodorants due to its natural skin-healing and skin-care properties. Here is a home-made recipe you may want to try.</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>1 tsp high proof vodka</li> <li>10 drops geranium</li> <li>10 drops cypress</li> <li>8 drops bergamot</li> <li>5 drops neroli</li> <li>4 drops lavender</li> <li>3 drops black pepper</li> <li>4 tb sp (40 ml) witch hazel</li> <li>2 tb sp (25 ml) cornflower water</li> <li>2 tb sp (25 ml) orange flower water</li> </ul> <ol> <li>Measure the vodka into a 4 oz (100 ml) glass bottle with a spray attachment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Carefully add the essential oils, one by one.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Shake vigorously to dissolve the essential oils.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Pour the witch hazel into the bottle, using a funnel if necessary, followed by the two flower waters. Shake well.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Label the bottle and the deodorant is now ready to use.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Before you use the deodorant each time, give the bottle a good shake to ensure the essential oils are fully dispersed.</li> </ol> <h3>Note</h3> <p>As with many herbal remedies, certain people, like women who are pregnant or breast feeding, should talk to their physician before using witch hazel. When using witch hazel, let your doctor know if you experience leg swelling, breathing problems, chest tightness or pain, hives, new rashes or irritations, nausea, upset stomach, vomiting or constipation. Most people who use witch hazel will not experience these adverse side effects, but some will, so notify a health official if any problems are noticed.</p><a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Health and Beauty articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Green Living Health and Beauty herbal medicine natural remedies Tue, 19 May 2009 16:28:49 +0000 Paul Michael 3181 at Being asthmatic just got more expensive <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/albuterol.jpg" alt=" " width="201" height="158" /></p> <p>Feeling wheezy? Asthma attack coming on? Reaching for that inhaler? Let&#39;s stop and think about the CPP (cost per puff). Oh, it may not seem like much now, but that will all change soon. </p> <p>The cost of an albuterol inhaler is going to <a href="">nearly triple</a>, due to the repatenting of the propellant used in the most common drugs used to reduce the inflamation associated with an asthma attack.</p> <p>Traditionally, the propellant used in most inhalers (and many other day-to-day items and appliances) were <a href="">CFCs</a>, which were found to be detrimental to the ozone. Although CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) were phased out of other products, they remain in prescription inhalers. That&#39;s all about to change, however, and the new propellant, <a href="">HFA-134a</a>, has been used in part to <a href="">re-patent the inhaler</a> design, which went generic (and became affordable) back in 1989.</p> <p>For people with decent health insurance, this doesn&#39;t mean much, but for people who pay out-of-pocket for medicine, this is going to be a big hit in the wallet. The difference between $13.50 and $39.50 is striking, especially for people who use more than one inhaler per month.</p> <p>As Sydney Spiesel from says:</p> <p class="blockquote">This makes me wonder about the balance of harms—what are the consequences of the CFCs dumped in the atmosphere by 52 million puffers compared with the asthmatics who will no longer able to pay for their medication? I don&#39;t know much about the contribution of asthma puffers to the atmospheric burden, but I have strong suspicions about the effects of the financial burden. The hike to $39.50 will cost about $1.35 billion more a year. That could mean less for daily necessities for some people without insurance, and less of other medications or care for some of the insured. </p> <p>I&#39;m not saying that you&#39;ll be better off going up to Canada or down to Mexico to purchase your inhalers in bulk, but... oh, wait. Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Being asthmatic just got more expensive" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Andrea Karim</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Insurance albuterol asthma bronchodialaters CFCs drugs generic Health inhaler lungs medicine patent propellants puffer Wed, 04 Apr 2007 19:22:55 +0000 Andrea Karim 455 at