Tag: Health

Stoned drivers are a lot safer than drunk ones, new federal data show

A new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that drivers who use marijuana are at a significantly lower risk for a crash than drivers who use alcohol. And after adjusting for age, gender, race and alcohol use, drivers who tested positive for marijuana  were no more likely to crash than who had not used any drugs or alcohol prior to driving.

When it comes to driving, alcohol is much more dangerous than other drugs.

So, should we all assume that we’re safe to blaze one and go for a joyride whenever the whimsy strikes us? Absolutely not. There’s plenty of evidence showing that marijuana use impairs key driving skills. If you get really stoned and then get behind the wheel, you’re asking for trouble.

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How Neuroscience Reinforces Racist Drug Policy

A recent neuroscience study from Harvard Medical School claims to have discovered brain differences between people who smoke marijuana and people who do not. Such well-intentioned and seemingly objective science is actually a new chapter in a politicized and bigoted history of drug science in the United States. Different-looking brains tell us literally nothing about who these people are, what their lives are like, why they do or do not use marijuana, or what effects marijuana has had on them.

“You’re enough of a pro to know that to come out with something counter to what the Congress feels, and what we’re planning to do, would make your commission just look bad as hell.”

When Nixon was in office, he kept for his personal records now famous audio recordings of his interactions with individuals in the Oval Office. There is one such recording with Raymond Shafer himself, who is more or less told that marijuana was to remain classified as a Schedule I narcotic, regardless of his findings.

“You’re enough of a pro,” Nixon tells him, “to know that for you to come out with something that would run counter to what the Congress feels and what the country feels, and what we’re planning to do, would make your commission just look bad as hell.” This conversation was recorded in 1971—the year before the Commission released its report.

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Beware of Artificial Sweeteners

There’s an old proverb that goes “What the devil doesn’t know can’t hurt him.” Well in this case it actually does, it’s hurting you, it’s hurting me, and it is definitely hurting our kids and putting them at risk for some serious medical conditions.

Please read along and pass this information to your family and friends, it is only through awareness that we can help other to learn the truth.Like the old Belizean proverb.. “No monkey seh ih pikney ugly – No monkey will says it’s child is ugly” which means that no one will admit to fault or that they are wrong. We simply cannot depend on the drug makers to tell us what is safe and what is not, we must search for the real information and understand it. Continue reading “Beware of Artificial Sweeteners”

Antibiotics: Killing Off Beneficial Bacteria … for Good?

It’s an accepted concept by now that taking antibiotics in order to quell an infection disrupts the personal microbiome, the population of microorganisms that we all carry around in our guts, and which vastly outnumbers the cells that make up our bodies. That recognition supports our understanding of Clostridium difficile disease — killing the beneficial bacteria allows C. diff room to surge and produce an overload of toxins — as well as the intense interest in establishing a research program that could demonstrate experimentally whether the vast industry producing probiotic products is doing what it purports to do.

But implicit in that concept is the expectation that, after a while — after a course of antibiotics ends — the gut flora repopulate and their natural balance returns. Continue reading “Antibiotics: Killing Off Beneficial Bacteria … for Good?”

Childhood Allergies on the Rise and More Severe

Childhood Allergies on the Rise and More Severe

By Beth W. Orenstein
Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH

If it seems like the number of kids with allergies is increasing, it’s not your imagination — and that’s why parents need a crash course in allergy preparedness. In fact, not only are more children affected by allergies, but the severity of allergic reactions is worsening, too.

Between 1997 and 2011, food allergies among children under age 18 jumped 50 percent, according to a 2013 report from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And children with food allergies also tend to have higher rates of skin allergies. “We know that food allergies and skin allergies go together,” says Amy Branum, PhD, MSPH, a health statistician with the CDC.

Eat or touch something they’re allergic to, and many children will get hives or a skin reaction, says Joshua Davidson, MD, MPH, an allergist and immunologist with Healthcare Partners Medical Group in Torrance, Calif. These are considered mild allergy symptoms. “But some also have a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, meaning their throat closes and they have difficulty breathing or have abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea,” Dr. Davidson says. In addition, children who experience anaphylaxis may have a dangerously low drop in blood pressure. And anaphylaxis can lead to shock or, if left untreated, even death.

A Rise in Childhood Allergies: Why?

The hard question to answer isn’t if childhood allergies are on the rise, but why, Dr. Branum says. There are some leading theories, but no definitive answers.

One theory is the hygiene hypothesis, which states that our improved ability to clean and prevent germs has thrown our immune systems off balance. The immune system has two objectives: to fight infections and to fight allergens, says Matthew Greenhawt, MD, an allergist at the University of Michigan Allergy Clinic and an assistant professor in the division of allergy and immunology at the University of Michigan Health Center in Ann Arbor. Some experts hypothesize that because the infection-fighting system doesn’t have as much work to do, the system that fights allergens overcompensates.

What Parents Can Do About Childhood Allergies

If you suspect your child has an allergy, talk with his or her doctor. Your child’s doctor may refer you to an allergist, Dr. Greenhawt says. This specialist can perform various types of allergy testing and is trained in the best methods for treating allergies.

Read the full article here

Why is my water brown?

Why is my water brown?

When you turn your faucet or shower on and brown water comes out, you know there’s something wrong there.

Discoloration can range from a light straw yellow color to dark brown. It can be caused by a number of things including:

  • Naturally occurring substances
  • Disturbance of mains deposits
  • Corrosion of service pipes
  • Internal plumbing issues

There are several reasons why water turns brown, the main one being rust.

Rust – Water will turn brown, red, orange or yellow if there is rust in the water. There are two major sources for rust in your water, the Water Supplier’s main pipes or your pipes in your home and seeing that in Belize, almost all homes are equipped with PVC; I highly doubt that it’s an in-house issue. If a main pipe is broken and fixed there could have been seepage of dirt that would cause it but only temporarily or it could cause rust to dislodge and get into your water flow as you use your faucet or shower. Unless mains are serviced regularly or replaced as needed this can become a serious health threat and a because rust breaks down metal it could cause main pipe breaks which would be costly to WASA.

The first step in solving this problem is to determine the origin. Is it WASA’s pipes or yours? Here are a few pointers:

Possible problem at WASA’s end:

  • The water was clear before and suddenly it started to pour out brown or discolored
  • If you have a heater in place, only the cold water is discolored.
  • The water from all water outlets on the property is discolored and does not clear up after several minutes.

Possible problem on your end:

  • Water is discolored every morning or when used after several hours of non use.
  • Water clears up after it is allowed to run for several minutes.
  • Discoloration is only at certain water outlets.
  • If you have a heater in place, only the hot water is discolored.

If you are still unsure, try this:

When you turn on a faucet in your home and the water is discolored, quickly turn it off and get a clean clear glass or white bowl and go to your outside faucet closest to the meter. Let that water run for two minutes then fill the bowl. If that water is clean then it’s likely your plumbing. If it’s discolored then it’s WASA’s plumbing.

You can also check with your neighbors to see if they are experiencing the same discoloration.

Other things that can cause discolored water are:

  • Naturally occurring substances: The raw water used for producing drinking water may be obtained from a variety of sources, including boreholes, and rivers. Waters from some sources contain significant concentrations of iron, manganese or organic material that can give a yellow or brown tint to the water.
  • Disturbance of mains deposits: The sudden appearance of discolored tap water is usually caused by disturbance of iron and manganese deposits within the water pipes. Naturally occurring iron and manganese in the water can settle out in the water pipes. Over time, deposits can build up. If there is a sudden change in direction or flow rate within the pipe, the deposits can be disturbed and resuspended into the water. The discoloration can range from a straw color to dark brown. Sudden changes in flow can be caused by a burst main or by a change in demand for water, for example when fire-fighters tackle a large blaze. Probably the most common cause of discoloration.
  • Deterioration of the distribution mains: Many of the water pipes are made of cast iron. Over time, cast iron corrodes. The corrosion products or ‘rust’ can be picked up by the water and give an orange-brown discoloration.
  • Corrosion of service pipes: Service pipes connect the water main in the road to the customers’ property. The section of the pipe between the main and the water meter is the responsibility of WASA. The section between the meter and inside your home is your responsibility. These pipes can also corrode. Flakes of darkly colored material can indicate corrosion of iron/lead based service pipes.
  • Air in the water: Under pressure in the mains, air can become trapped causing water to have a milky white appearance when drawn from the tap. This often happens following repairs to fractured water mains.

Is discolored water harmful?

Discolored water caused by main deposits is unlikely to be harmful to health. Cloudy water caused by tiny air bubbles in the water is not harmful to health. However, if you have any concerns about the quality of your drinking water supply please contact WASA.

Jacqueline Patterson – How Marijuana  Helps Her Cerebral Palsy

Jacqueline Patterson – How Marijuana Helps Her Cerebral Palsy

A touching video of how Medical Marijuana helped this woman who was born with Cerebral Palsy.

Jacqueline Patterson was born with cerebral palsy, a congenital disorder that affects her motor functions. As a result of her condition, she suffers from a severe stutter and major pain and weakness on her right side. This video showcases the amazing effect of cannabis on her condition.

After Jacqueline was reported for cannabis possession in Iowa, she moved to California and won a court case arguing that her consumption of marijuana was strictly for medicinal purposes. Hit up Jacqueline on Twitter @medicalmaryjane.

Jacqueline Patterson’s Medical Cannabis Testimony at Patient Protection Day 2008