National Health Observances

Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity Is a Major Public Health Problem

  • Children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. They also have more risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure and high cholesterol than their normal weight peers.
  • Children with obesity can be bullied and teased more than their normal weight peers. They are also more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.
  • Children with obesity are more likely to have obesity as adults. This can lead to lifelong physical and mental health problems. Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancers.

 

Childhood Obesity Is Influenced by Many Factors

Many factors can have an impact on childhood obesity, including eating and physical activity behaviors, genetics, metabolism, family and home environment, and community and social factors. For some children and families, obesity may be influenced by the following:

  • too much time spent being inactive
  • lack of sleep
  • lack of places to go in the community to get physical activity
  • easy access to inexpensive, high calorie foods and sugary beverages
  • lack of access to affordable, healthier foods

 

Addressing Obesity Can Start in the Home, but Also Requires the Support of Providers and Communities

We can all take part in the effort to encourage children to be more physically active and eat a healthy diet.

State and local health departments, businesses, and community groups can:

  • Ensure that neighborhoods have low-cost physical activity opportunities such as parks, trails, and community centers.
  • Offer easy access to safe, free drinking water and healthy, affordable food options.

Health Care Providers can:

  • Measure children’s weight, height and body mass index routinely.
  • Connect or refer families to breastfeeding support services, nutrition education, or childhood healthy weight programs as needed.

Early Care and Education centers and schools can:

  • Adopt policies and practices that support healthy eating, regular physical activity, and limited screen time.
  • Provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice these behaviors.

Working together, we all have a role in making healthier foods, beverages, and physical activity the easy choice for children and adolescents to help prevent childhood obesity.

 

Source https://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html


Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis

Gastric motility disorders are gastrointestinal conditions which affect the body’s ability to digest food normally. A number of conditions fall into this category, including gastroparesis.

Gastroparesis literally means paralyzed stomach. It is one of the most severe and complicated gastric motility disorders. Gastroparesis can be caused by a number of factors and is commonly seen in the diabetic population; however, often the cause is unknown. It is more prominent among females than males.

Approximately 1 in 25 Americans, including children, suffers from gastroparesis. In some instances, it appears for a brief time and goes away on its own or improves with treatment. Many cases are refractory and do not respond well to treatment.

Gastroparesis is complicated to treat and treatment options are limited. There are few medications available, mostly geared towards symptom control rather than dealing with the underlying problem. For this reason, they are often ineffective.

Additional treatment options include diet changes, certain surgical procedures and, in severe cases, nutritional support through feeding tubes or IV nutrition.

Gastroparesis Symptoms

Symptoms of Gastroparesis often imitate those of other GI disorders which can make diagnosis difficult. Patients may complain of one or more of these symptoms:

  • Early Satietyafter a few bites of food
  • Nausea(especially after eating)
  • Vomiting(often undigested food from hours or even days before)
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Hiccupping
  • Excessive Belching
  • Bloating
  • Weight Gain
  • Weight Loss
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux which is not controlled by acid suppressants
  • Erratic blood glucose levels

 

Source https://www.g-pact.org/gastroparesis


Gastroparesis Tips

Gastroparesis Tips

Tips offered by other gastroparesis patients:

 – Sit up after eating

 – Walk after eating

 – Belly massage

 – Chew small bites of ginger

 – Acupuncture

 – Nausea wrist bands

 – Try to eat foods that are GP friendly.  Stay away from fried and greasy foods

 – Chew gum

 – Do mild exercise such as walking, Pilates, or yoga

 – Use heating pads on your stomach to help ease the pain

 – Eat small meals – 5 to 6 small meals per day

Source https://www.g-pact.org/gastroparesis/tips


Water and Contact Lenses Don’t Mix

Water and contact lenses don’t mix

Many people who wear contact lenses do not know that contact lenses and water are a bad combination—even when showering, swimming, or using a hot tub 1-4.

Water can introduce germs to the eyes through contact lenses

Water can cause soft contact lenses to change shape, swell, and stick to the eye. This is uncomfortable, and can scratch the cornea (the clear dome that covers the colored part of the eye), which makes it easier for germs to enter the eye and cause infection.

Most water is not germ-free. There are many different kinds of germs in water that can cause eye infections, but a particularly dangerous germ—an ameba called Acanthamoeba—is commonly found in tap water, lake water, well water, and other water sources 5. This germ can cause a very severe type of eye infection called Acanthamoeba keratitis, which is often very painful and difficult to treat—sometimes requiring a year or more of treatment 6-8. Although rare, this type of infection can result in the need for a corneal transplant, or blindness 9, 10.

Keep contact lenses away from all water

For contact lens wearers, it is best to remove lenses before showering, swimming, or using a hot tub—and contact lenses should never be rinsed or stored in water 121112. It is also important to wash and dry hands well before handling lenses 13-15, and to clean contact lens cases with solution rather than water to avoid contaminating the lenses with germs found in water.

For those who are actively involved in swimming or other water sports and concerned about being able to see well enough without wearing lenses, prescription goggles may be a good option—or possibly even a different form of vision correction, such as laser eye surgery.

Throw away or disinfect contact lenses that touch water

If water touches contact lenses for any reason, take them out as soon as possible. Throw them away, or clean and disinfect them overnight before wearing them again. This may help to reduce the risk of infection, but these recommendations are not based on scientific testing. The safest option is to keep contact lenses away from all water.

References

1.    Hammersmith KM. Diagnosis and management of Acanthamoeba keratitisExternal. Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2006;17(4):327-31.

2.    Butcko V, McMahon TT, Joslin CE, Jones L. Microbial keratitis and the role of rub and rinsingExternal. Eye Contact Lens. 2007;33(6 Pt 2):421-3; discussion 424-5.

3.    Beattie TK, Tomlinson A, McFadyen AK, Seal DV, Grimason AM. Enhanced attachment of Acanthamoeba to extended-wear silicone hydrogel contact lenses: a new risk factor for infection?External Ophthalmology. 2003;110(4):765-71.

4.    Wu Y, Carnt N, Stapleton F. Contact lens user profile, attitudes and level of compliance to lens careExternal. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2010;33(4):183-8.

5.    Visvesvara GS,  Moura H, Schuster FL. Pathogenic and opportunistic free-living amoebae: Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri, and Sappinia diploideaExternal. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2007;50(1):1-26.

6.    Guerriero S, La Tegola MG, Monno R, Apruzzese M, Cantatore A. A case of descemet’s membrane rupture in a patient affected by AcanthamoebakeratitisExternal. Eye Contact Lens. 2009;35(6):338-40.

7.    Dart JK,  Saw VP, Kilvington S.  Acanthamoeba keratitis: diagnosis and treatment update 2009External. Am J Ophthalmol. 2009;148(4):487-499 e2.

8.    Ross J, Roy SL, Mathers WD, Ritterband DC, Yoder JS, Ayers T, Shah RD, Samper ME, Shih CY, Schmitz A, Brown AC. Clinical characteristics of Acanthamoeba keratitis infections in 28 states, 2008 to 2011External. Cornea. 2014;33(2): 161-8.

9.    Gagnon MR,  Walter KA.  A case of Acanthamoeba keratitis as a result of a cosmetic contact lensExternal. Eye Contact Lens. 2006;32(1):37-8.

10. Page MA, Mathers WD. Acanthamoeba keratitis: a 12-year experience covering a wide spectrum of presentations, diagnoses, and outcomesExternal. J Ophthalmol. 2013;2013:670242.

11. Joslin CE, Tu EY, Shoff ME, Booton GC, Fuerst PA, McMahon TT, Anderson RJ, Dworkin MS, Sugar J, Davis FG, Stayner LT. The association of contact lens solution use and Acanthamoeba keratitisExternal. Am J Ophthalmol. 2007;144(2):169-180.

12. Beattie TK, Tomlinson A, McFadyen AK. Attachment of Acanthamoeba to first- and second-generation silicone hydrogel contact lenses.ExternalOphthalmology. 2006;113(1): 117-25.

13. Radford CF, Minassian D, Dart JK, Stapleton F, Verma S. Risk factors for nonulcerative contact lens complications in an ophthalmic accident and emergency department: a case-control studyExternal. Ophthalmology. 2009;116(3):385-92.

14. Sokol JL, Mier MG, Bloom S, Asbell PA.  A study of patient compliance in a contact lens-wearing populationExternal. CLAO J. 1990;16(3):209-13.

15. Collins MJ, Carney LG. Patient compliance and its influence on contact lens wearing problemsExternal. Am J Optom Physiol Opt. 1986;63(12):952-6.

 

Source https://www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/water-and-contact-lenses.html

 


Facts About Psoriasis

Facts about psoriasis

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a genetic skin disease associated with the immune system. Your immune system causes your skin cells to reproduce too quickly. A normal skin cell matures and falls off the body’s surface in 28 to 30 days. However, skin affected by psoriasis takes only three to four days to mature and move to the surface. Instead of falling off (shedding), the cells pile up and form lesions. The skin also becomes very red due to increased blood flow.

Is psoriasis contagious?

Psoriasis is not contagious. It is not something you can “catch” or “pass on.” The lesions may not look good, but they are not infections or open wounds. People with psoriasis pose no threat to the health or safety of others.

Who gets psoriasis?

The disease affects more than 8 million people in the U.S. Ordinarily, people have their first outbreak between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can appear at any age. Approximately one-third of those who get psoriasis are under 20 years old when the disease first surfaces.

What causes psoriasis?

No one knows exactly what causes psoriasis, but it has a genetic component. Most researchers agree that the immune system is mistakenly triggered, which speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells. A person can have the genes for psoriasis without having the disease on their skin. Genes may be passed through several generations of a family before someone encounters the “right” mix of genes and environmental factors that lead to the development of psoriasis.

Is there a cure?

Currently, there is no cure for psoriasis. However, there is hope for a cure. Researchers are studying psoriasis more than ever before. They understand much more about its genetic causes and how it involves the immune system. The National Psoriasis Foundation and the federal government are promoting and funding research to find the cause and cure for psoriasis.

Are there different types of psoriasis?

There are five forms of psoriasis:

·         Plaque [plak] psoriasis: The most common form, characterized by inflamed skin lesions topped with white scales

·         Guttate [GUH-tate]: Characterized by small dot-like lesions

·         Pustular [PUHS-choo-ler]: Characterized by pus-filled, blister-like lesions and intense scaling

·         Inverse: characterized by intense inflammation in the folds of the skin

·         Erythrodermic [eh-REETH-ro-der-mik]: Characterized by intense shedding and redness of the skin. If this rare form develops, see a doctor immediately

Approximately 10 percent to 30 percent of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. This form of arthritis is similar to rheumatoid arthritis. It can develop at any time, but for most people it appears between the ages of 30 and 50. In psoriatic arthritis, the joints and the soft tissue around them become inflamed and stiff. Psoriatic arthritis can affect the fingers and toes and may involve the neck, lower back, knees and ankles. Having psoriasis does not guarantee that you will eventually develop psoriatic arthritis.

Source https://www.psoriasis.org/teens/about-psoriasis

 

 


Vaccines for Adults

You’re not a kid anymore, so you don’t have to worry about shots, right? Wrong. Find out how to stay on top of your vaccines.

 

What vaccines do adults need?

Vaccines for adults are recommended based on your age, prior vaccinations, health, lifestyle, occupation and travel destinations.

The schedule is updated every year, and changes range from the addition of a new vaccine to tweaks of current recommendations. To determine exactly which vaccines you need now and which vaccines are coming up, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

 

What factors might affect my vaccine recommendations?

Several factors can affect whether you need certain vaccines. Be sure to tell your doctor if you:

·         Are planning to travel abroad

·         Have had your spleen removed

·         Work in certain occupations where exposures could occur

·         Are or might be pregnant

·         Are breast-feeding

·         Are moderately or severely ill or have a chronic illness

·         Have any severe allergies, including a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of a vaccine

·         Have had a disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome

·         Have a weakened immune system or are being treated with an immunosuppressant

·         Have recently had another vaccine

·         Have recently had a transfusion or received other blood products

·         Have a personal or family history of seizures

 

Your doctor might also recommend certain vaccines based on your sexual activity. Vaccinations can protect you from hepatitis A and hepatitis B, serious liver infections that can spread through sexual contact. The HPV vaccine is recommended for men up to age 21 and women up to age 26.

 

Why are some vaccines particularly important for adults?

Adults of any age can benefit from vaccines. However, certain diseases, such as the flu, can be particularly serious for older adults or those living with certain chronic illnesses.

 

How can I keep track of my vaccines?

To gather information about your vaccination status, talk to your parents or other caregivers. Check with your doctor’s office, as well as any previous doctors’ offices, schools and employers. Some states also have registries that include adult immunizations. To check, contact your state health department.

If you can’t find your records, talk to your doctor. He or she might be able to do blood tests to see if you are immune to certain diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. You might need to get some vaccines again.

To stay on top of your vaccines, ask your doctor for an immunization record form. Bring the form with you to all of your doctor visits and ask your provider to sign and date the form for each vaccine you receive.

Source https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/vaccines/art-20046750

 


Taking Your Best Shot

Thanks to vaccines, we can protect young infants against whooping cough by making sure everyone is up to date with their vaccines. Pregnant women can pass on protection to their newborns by getting vaccinated during their third trimester every pregnancy. Family members and caregivers can strengthen that protection by getting up-to-date on the whooping cough vaccine, which helps prevent the spread of this life-threatening disease to infants and their mothers.

Whooping cough is just one of several vaccine-preventable diseases that threaten Americans. Outbreaks continue to occur, and many vaccine-preventable diseases remain common. Consider pneumococcal disease, which affects nearly 4 million Americans each year and can cause pneumonia or infections of the ears, blood and brain. Or that 1 in 3 Americans each year will develop shingles, which can lead to debilitating pain that lasts for weeks, months and, in rare cases, years.

Vaccines are safe, effective and the best protection against these diseases—from infancy to early adulthood and into old age. By getting vaccinated, we not only protect ourselves, we help stop the spread of disease to our children, families and communities. But, for vaccines to be most effective, vaccination rates must remain high.

We must be persistent in raising awareness about immunizations and encouraging timely vaccination. Every August is dedicated to National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). NIAM is an annual observance designed to highlight the importance of immunizations. Each week of the month underscores the benefits of vaccination for people of all ages—including infants, children, teens, pregnant women and adults.

 Source https://www.hhs.gov/blog/2018/08/01/honor-national-immunization-awareness-month.html


Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction

Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction

Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction (CIP) refers to a group of rare motility disorders characterized by persistent signs and symptoms of intestinal blockage in the absence of any physical blockage. In those with CIP, nerve or muscle problems cause the small and/or large intestine to lose the ability to contract and/or push food, fluid, stool, and air through the gastrointestinal tract.

CIP shares many symptoms with more common GI disorders which, combined with many physicians’ unfamiliarity with CIP and the complexity of diagnostic testing, results in what is often a difficult and delayed path to proper diagnosis.

CIP has a variety of different causes and ranges greatly in its severity. Treatment focuses on symptom management and meeting nutritional needs and can be immensely challenging. Despite utilization of the best available interventions, CIP can have a devastating impact on quality-of-life for patients as well as their families; in rare instances complications related to CIP itself or necessary treatments can even be life- threatening.

CIP Symptoms

Symptoms of CIP include:

  • Abdominal Distention/ Bloating
  • Abdominal Obstructions/Blockages
  • Early Satiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Constipation
  • Weight Loss
  • Chest Pain/Esophageal Spasms (may feel like a heart attack)
  • Decreased or no Bowel Sounds
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Poor Appetite
  • Malabsorption
  • Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea (less common)
  • Poor Growth and/or Development (children)

It is not unusual for those with CIP to have other portions of the GI tract also affected; this may include Dysmotility in the esophagus and/or stomach (Gastroparesis) and, for some, includes problems with bladder emptying as well.

Source https://www.g-pact.org/chronic-intestinal-pseudo-obstruction


Colonic Inertia

Colonic Inertia

Colonic Inertia (also known as slow-transit constipation) is a motility disorder that affects the large intestine (colon) and results in the abnormal passage of stool.    It is a rare condition in which the colon ceases to function normally.

In colonic inertia, stool may remain stored in portions of the colon and not progress adequately to the part of the colon (rectosigmoid) responsible for the propulsion and transfer of stool out of the body – the processes involved in defecation.

Colonic inertia is characterized by severe, unremitting constipation, abdominal distention, and abdominal pain.  Individuals with colonic inertia often do not pass a stool for 7–10 days at a time and sometimes longer.

Sometimes colonic inertia is accompanied by abnormalities in motility of the upper intestine including delayed emptying of the stomach (gastroparesis) and small intestinal pseudo-obstruction (a disorder that causes symptoms of blockage, but no actual blockage).

Colonic inertia differs from regular constipation in that the latter patients have normal colonic transit times.

Colonic Inertia Symptoms

It has been determined that the normal frequency of stool passage in the United States is 3 or more bowel movements per week.

Patients with colonic inertia have a long delay in passage of stool.

Symptoms can include:

  • Severe, unremitting constipation
  • Diarrhea (most often called overflow diarrhea due to constipation)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Nausea and or vomiting
  • Excessive gas

Source https://www.g-pact.org/colonic-inertia


What are the different types of hepatitis viruses occurring around the world?

The five hepatitis viruses – A, B, C, D and E – are distinct; they can have different modes of transmission, affect different populations, and result in different health outcomes.

  • Hepatitis A is primarily spread when someone ingests the virus from contact with food, drinks, or objects contaminated by feces from an infected person or has close personal contact with someone who is infected. Hepatitis A does not cause chronic liver disease and is rarely fatal, but it can cause serious symptoms. Hepatitis A can be prevented through improved sanitation, food safety, and vaccination.

 

  • Hepatitis B is often spread during birth from an infected mother to her baby. Infection can also occur through contact with blood and other body fluids through injection drug use, unsterile medical equipment, and sexual contact. Hepatitis B is most common in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, but is also high in the Amazon region of South America, the southern parts of eastern and central Europe, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. The hepatitis B virus can cause both acute and chronic infection, ranging in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, chronic illness. If infected at birth or during early childhood, people are more likely to develop a chronic infection, which can lead to liver cirrhosis or even liver cancer. Getting the hepatitis B vaccine is the most effective way to prevent hepatitis B. WHO recommends that all infants receive the hepatitis B vaccine as soon as possible after birth, followed by 2-3 additional doses. In many parts of the world, widespread infant vaccination programs have led to dramatic declines of new hepatitis B cases.

 

  • Hepatitis C is spread through contact with blood of an infected person. Infection can occur through injection drug use and unsafe medical injections and other medical procedures. Mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis C is also possible. Hepatitis C can cause both acute and chronic infections, but most people who get infected develop a chronic infection. A significant number of those who are chronically infected will develop liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. With new treatments, over 90% of people with hepatitis C can be cured within 2-3 months, reducing the risk of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis. The first step for people living with hepatitis C to benefit from treatments is to get tested and linked to care. There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C but research in this area is ongoing.

 

  • Hepatitis D is passed through contact with infected blood. Hepatitis D only occurs in people who are already infected with the hepatitis B virus. People who are not already infected with hepatitis B can prevent hepatitis D by getting vaccinated against hepatitis B.

 

  • Hepatitis E is spread mainly through contaminated drinking water. Hepatitis E usually clears in 4-6 weeks so there is no specific treatment. However, pregnant women infected with hepatitis E are at considerable risk of mortality from this infection.  Hepatitis E is found worldwide, but the number of infections is highest in East and South Asia. Improved sanitation and food safety can help prevent new cases of hepatitis E. A vaccine to prevent hepatitis E has been developed and is licensed in China, but is not yet available elsewhere.

Source https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/worldhepday.htm