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Think Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Pink Ribbon

Conquering Cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is between October 1st and 31st this year. This tragic condition affects approximately 1 in 8 women throughout their lives. That’s 12.5 percent of the total population, according to those numbers. If the world has a population of seven billion, that means a whopping 875,000,000 women will eventually encounter breast cancer at some point in their lives.

Now, the funny thing about statistics is that they’re prospective, not necessarily representative. While they can be used to identify a trend, and help prevent against that trend, they aren’t ironclad numbers representing the history of that trend’s ultimate impact. For example, statistically, it may be unlikely for a person to make a living as, say, an entertainer. Artists who paint, act, tell jokes, or make music represent a minority of the population; though they do ultimately have a big impact. But just because it’s statistically unlikely to be a successful artist doesn’t mean you can’t be a successful artist. It just means getting there is more difficult.

Likewise, with breast cancer, just because statistically 1 in 8 women come down with this condition over the course of their lifetime doesn’t mean that out of eight women you know, one of them will find a malignancy in her breast. According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that 2017 will see 252,710 invasive breast cancer cases diagnosed in women (because, though a minority of the population, men can also get breast cancer), and it’s predicted that 40,610 will die from this condition. You’ll notice that this represents a fraction of the 12.5% supposed by the earlier statistic. Though it is still a debilitating condition, in some countries it is being successfully contended with.

That said, these numbers also don’t take into account the many women who get breast cancer but go without diagnosis until it is too late, and they’re already terminal.

Surprising Causes

What is known is that there are certain causes for breast cancer which are often ignored by mainstream media outlets for reasons of economy. For example, certain compounds in beauty products are often toxic. Have you ever used deodorant and found yourself breaking out where you applied it? This is because the deodorant blocks your pores. Now according to the ACA

, only a few studies have ever indicated a correlation between antiperspirants/deodorants and breast cancer; but there have been studies that have found a link.

It’s just possible that part of breast cancer’s cause stems from social norms which are unhealthy. Without raising awareness for this reality, the scourge of preventable cancer will not be lessened. But that scourge is lessening, and part of that has to do with the pink ribbon army sweeping our nation.

Get Your Pink Ribbon

You’ve seen the ribbons on license plates, bicycles, instrument cases, bumpers, back windows, bulletin boards and more. The pink ribbon represents breast cancer, and raising awareness for the condition. This coming October, you may feel compelled to do your part to combat breast cancer. Some suggestions involve:

  • Buying And Decorating Visibly With Pink Ribbons
  • Raising Awareness On Social Media
  • Doing Your Own Research To Better Understand The Condition
  • Reaching Out To Friends And Loved Ones Living With This Cancer
  • Helping To Educate Women On Possibly Dangerous Activities

The best way to fight cancer is with proper diet, proper exercise, healthy supplementation, and the avoidance of known unhealthy activities. Don’t spend too much time in the sun, don’t use substances which are known to be toxic, and avoid questionable beauty products. The more aware people are, the better this cancer can be fought.

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Digestive Tract Paralysis


In the most comprehensive definition, digestive tract paralysis refers to an inconsistent movement of certain parts of the digestive tract which in turn poses challenges to the smooth operation of the gut. When you take in food, peristalsis ensures that the food is pushed down from your throat to other parts of the digestive system so that further action can be taken on the food material. This smooth movement of food through the system lacks in individuals who have digestive tract paralysis. The muscles are not able to facilitate the push the food further down for more action thus slowing down its movement. This condition can manifest in as either gastroparesis which is partial paralysis of the stomach or intestinal pseudo obstruction which is a paralysis of the intestines. The following are symptoms and treatment of digestive tract paralysis.


If you have digestive tract paralysis, you will notice several symptoms including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling of satiety
  • Heartburn
  • Sweats
  • Lack of appetite

There are also several secondary conditions including malnutrition and dehydration are as a result of vomiting and lack of appetite. Individuals with chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction will present with constipation, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and loss of appetite. These symptoms, however, will not show at the same time and will, to a large degree, depend on the part of the small intestine that has been affected.


It is important to know what causes brings about the condition in order to find out how to treat it. Both conditions of the digestive tract paralysis have an array of causes associated with each most of which are common. They can either be triggered by a problem in the nervous system of the loss of a muscle function. In some cases, these disorders can be inherited. Likewise, individuals who have undergone treatments for chemotherapy or even illnesses like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis can easily get the disease.

Most treatments of this ailment focus more on easing the symptoms. Aside from medication, changes in eating patterns are some of the approaches used to combat both conditions of digestive tract paralysis. A good chunk of relief comes when the digestion is sped up by watching your diet. For instance, you should avoid fats and fiber. Fats leads to the production of certain hormones that impedes digestion while fiber generally is slow to be digested. Better still, have small meals with regular small intervals to hasten the digestion process.

Medication on the other hand often depends on specific symptoms. If you present with nausea then you will be given anti-vomiting medication, similarly, when you present with diarrhea, ant kinetic comes in handy. Pro-kinetic drugs are also vita in improving bowel movements as well as reducing nausea and bloating. In more advanced cases, you may need hospitalization where you will be given intravenous nutrition for some time before you can manage the condition on your own. Studies are also still underway to test the viability of certain treatments. There are also a variety of approaches that can work excellently to bring relief. If you suffer from this condition frequently then chances are you have a transient condition which is triggered by stress. Meditative chanting among other activities can help to relieve stress and ultimately digestive tract paralysis.

The above are some of the symptoms and treatments for digestive tract paralysis. It is critical that you understand them to the core so that you may know how to avoid it, use remedies, and when to see a doctor.

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Symptoms of Gasteoparesis


Image is from dLife

Otherwise termed as delayed gastric emptying, gastroparesis is a medical condition characterized by a partial paralysis of the stomach. This paralysis leads to the food remaining in the stomach for periods longer than normal. In normal circumstances, the stomach moves food down the duodenum by contracting to push its content down the gut a process controlled by the vagus nerve. When this nerve is damaged, it is possible for gastroparesis to occur as the muscles of the stomach and small intestines shall not be carrying out their duties in the right manner.

Signs and symptoms

  • The key symptoms of gastroparesis are nausea and vomiting. Vomiting often occurs after meals. Sometimes, however, especially in severe gastroparesis, you may vomit even before taking in any food or fluids into the stomach. The cause of this is usually the accumulation of secretions inside the stomach. Since the stomach lacks the grinding action with this condition, the foods that you vomit will be in big chunks, and you can easily identify them.
  • At other times, you may experience bloating which may sometimes be accompanied by abdominal distension. Again, you will notice that you get full quicker than the normal way a factor that could lead to weight loss.
  • Abdominal pain is also another key symptom that you may present with if you have gastroparesis. The cause of the pain is however not clear.
  • Poor blood sugar control is another symptom of the condition
  • Heartburn too may accompany the condition.

Worth noting

Other than the sign and symptoms of gastroparesis, it is important to appreciate the diagnosis and the treatment.


There are many methods of diagnosing gastroparesis. The most typical of the methods is the gastric emptying study. This study measures the emptying of food from the stomach. Here, you eat food which has a small radioactive material in it. A scanner is then put on the region around the stomach for some time to monitor the amount of radioactivity that would be taking place inside the stomach. For patients with gastroparesis, the food usually takes a relatively long time to get into the small intestines compared to a normal individual.

Another method of diagnosis is anthro-duodenal motility study. This study is however considered experimental and cannot be used in some patients. It basically measures the pressure that results from the contraction of the muscles of the small intestines and the stomach.


There is a whole list of treatment of gastroparesis including diet, medication, as well as procedures which facilitate emptying of the stomach. The treatments have myriad end goals which include providing a diet with foods that are emptied easily, controlling the conditions which are known to aggravate gastroparesis, relieve the symptoms as well as maintaining adequate nutrition.

On a diet, emptying occurs faster when there is not much food in the stomach, and as such, it is urged that you take smaller portions though at shorter intervals. Besides, softer foods tend to require less grinding. It is important to note that fats trigger the body to release certain hormones that are an impediment to stomach emptying. As such, you should look to the direction of foods with low-fat content. Also, diets not so rich in fiber are recommended. Fiber is known to be responsible for the formation of bezoars as well as critical in slowing down the process of stomach emptying.

The above are some of the symptoms of gastroparesis together with its diagnosis and treatment. A comprehensive appreciation of the condition will take you a long way in managing it.


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Importance of Infant Immunization


Image is from New Health Advisor

Immunization is one of the most important achievements in the last century. It has saved countless lives while preventing millions of people from getting sick or incurring a lifelong disability. It is a testament to the power of vaccines that many childhood diseases that often resulted in hospitalization or death are now preventable.

It is only natural for a parent to want a good life for their child, a life free of ailments or pain. Immunization is the single most effective way of protecting a child from many serious diseases that exist today. The decision to immunize your child, therefore, is a crucial one since there is no alternative to it.

The Immunization schedule

The vaccine schedule is recommended by the AAP, CDC and most physicians. It is always reviewed on a yearly basis by a group of qualified healthcare providers and changed as necessary based on the latest research.

For your child to be fully protected, they have to be immunized starting at 2 months of age, then 4 months, 6 months and 18 months. Immunization starts at two months since this is the safest time to start the immunization process. Those babies who are not immunized at this time stand a huge chance of developing serious harm if they get sick within the first 2 years of their lives.

It is highly advisable to follow the immunizations schedule keenly and get all the shots on time. Delaying the vaccination process can be risky. Below are some of the reasons why it is best to follow the immunization schedule;

  • It will ensure your child is protected as soon as it can be.
  • The routine schedule is based on the best science today and is safe and works well.
  • Your child will get used to the needle and this will reduce their anxiety.
  • The risk factor for side effects remains the same whether you take one vaccine or four.
  • You will have fewer visits to get your child’s shots if you follow the schedule.

Common Infant Immunization Myths

  • Vaccines cause autism- there has not been any direct link that has been established between autism and vaccines.
  • Vaccines can cause serious side effects- since it is always mandatory for a child to have a physical evaluation by a trained medical professional, it is rare to have a child develop an allergy or fatality.
  • Vaccines are not needed- Vaccination has led to a decrease in serious diseases that are fatal and a drop in vaccination will lead to a resurgence of these diseases.
  • It is okay to skip some vaccines- once a vaccination is skipped, the only thing protecting the child is the immunity of the people around them.
  • Infant immunization is too early- children are immunized at an early age since this is the time they are at risk of having fatal complications.

Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child

  1. It can save your child’s life- vaccination can now protect your child from more diseases than ever before, all thanks to the progress being made in science. A good example is polio which used to be one of the most feared diseases in the world and now there are no reports of it.
  2. Vaccines are safe and effective- after much review from doctors and scientists, vaccines have proven to be safe.
  3. Immunization protects those around you- there are still cases of babies who die from vaccine-preventable diseases because they are too young to be vaccinated, by ensuring you and your kin are vaccinated, you are also protecting these babies.
  4. Saves time and money by saving you from prolonged disabilities.


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Understanding the Importance of Immunization


Image is from Impatient Optimists

Many health professionals recommend immunization for protection against diseases. Immunizations are where you get vaccinated with weakened antigens to prevent you from getting that illness. It works by making your immune system produce antibodies to fight off that particular infection ensuring you get added immunity.

These diseases you are vaccinated against, are usually infectious and can be difficult to treat. Immunizations are usually given to children at a young age. There are vaccination campaigns encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated and for adults who were not vaccinated to get their vaccines. However, there is need to understand the importance of immunization and why every child should get vaccinated as early as possible.

  • Immunizations save the lives of children. New-born children get their immunity from their mothers. However, the immunity runs out within the first year, and they become more susceptible to getting infections. Through getting vaccinated, children get protection from diseases that were once fatal. Some diseases have been eradicated as a result of these vaccinations.
  • Vaccinations are effective, and there are no serious side effects after getting immunized. All vaccines undergo extensive testing and review to ensure they are safe for administration. Other than the initial soreness at the entry point, it is extremely rare for people to get seriously affected by the vaccine.
  • By getting all your vaccines, you protect those around you. Immunizations make sure your immune system is strong enough to fight infections. As a result, you will not spread infections to those who have weaker immune systems. Children and adults who are not vaccinated can pass these dangerous diseases to those who have compromised immune systems like those who have cancer or do not respond to vaccines or children who are too young to get immunized. These diseases can result in long-term complications or even death.
  • Immunizations save you time and money that would have been spent treating diseases that are preventable. In some schools and child care facilities, children who are not vaccinated are denied attendance since they pose a risk to the other children. When they get an infection, you will have to spend a lot of money getting treatments that can be avoided at an early age. You will also have to take time from work to take care of the child, and all this would have been prevented by getting the child vaccinated at an early age.
  • Immunization also protects future generations by eradicating very dangerous infections. Through vaccines, smallpox has been eradicated worldwide, and children no longer need to get the vaccination since the disease does not exist. The risk of pregnant women passing rubella to their unborn children has also greatly reduced as a result of getting vaccinated at an early age. Through immunization, other diseases are expected to be eradicated making it safer for future generations.
  • Since you interact with different people, it is easy to get infections if you are not vaccinated. Immunizations ensure that you can safely interact with foreigners without the risk of getting diseases they might unknowingly be carrying.
  • Vaccinations reduce the risk of disease outbreaks, especially in school. Outbreaks usually occur when children are not immunized.
  • Vaccination gives children protection against serious illnesses and the complications that arise as a result of these illnesses. These complications include paralysis, deformities, amputations, brain damage and in severe cases death.

It is recommended to ensure children get immunized at an early age to reduce the chances of getting an infection. Through immunization, you get increased immunity without having to get sick first.


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Understanding Polio


Image is from GOOD Magazine

Poliomyelitis, popularly known as polio is a crippling, infectious and potentially harmful viral infection transmitted by the poliovirus. The virus can spread from a person to another and acts swift once in the body, infecting the brain and spinal cord.

The result is paralysis and potential death. Even though the virus isn’t common in most developed countries, polio could me a menace to people who travel out of the country often.

Poliovirus Transmission and Infection

The primary mode of transmission is via person-to-person contact. The virus resides in the human mouth or intestines meaning that it can be transmitted through contact with human excrement even in the tiniest bit.

A less common infection route is by inhaling sneeze or cough droplets. Any traces of feces in your hands when touching your mouth or putting infected items like toys into your mouth could lead to an infection.

Since infected people can be carriers for up to two weeks, it is hard to know who to avoid as apparently healthy people could be a threat. This combined with the fact that the virus can live out of the human body for weeks means that the risk of infection from contaminated food or water is very high especially in low sanitation areas.

Popular Poliovirus infection Symptoms

Most of the people with the poliovirus will show no visible symptoms. Worse still, up almost 25 percent of the infected will have nothing more than flu-like symptoms. These could be

  • A sore throat
  • Fever, nausea and tiredness
  • Headache and stomach pain

These symptoms could linger for a week or so before they ebb depending on whether your immune system was strong enough to fight off the virus or not.

If unaddressed the virus could develop into serious brain and spinal cord injury causing:

  • A constant feeling of pins and needles in your legs (paresthesia)
  • Meningitis (the infection of the spinal cord, brain or both)
  • Paralysis

Paralysis is the worst of the poliovirus infection symptoms. If the patient is lucky, the paralysis could affects limbs leaving the person disabled. In rare but more severe cases, the virus could affect core muscles, for instance muscles controlling your breathing hence leading to death.

When Does the Poliovirus Infection Become Polio?

Poliomyelitis, by definition, is a paralytic disease. Consequently, only people whose poliovirus infection results into paralytic disease are technically considered to have the disease.

With no actual control over how the virus will react once in the human body, it is always safe to stay clear of the virus.

Poliovirus Infection Prevention

As with most viral infections, preventing the infection is always better than trying to cure it. As of to date, there is no known cure for polio. The best medicine can offer to infected individuals is:

  • A proper nutritious diet
  • Bed rest with pain relievers
  • Moderate physical therapy to keep the muscles working
  • Drugs and medication to control the virus’ spread and effect

While things like improved sanitation and personal hygiene might reduce the spread of the virus, it is wise to take the polio virus at the designated times. There is a total of four shots in the regime.

  • When two months old
  • When four months old
  • Six to 18 months old
  • Between four and six years

Adults could also consider taking the vaccine when traveling to high prevalence areas. Even though the immunity gathered from childhood vaccines would be enough to keep you safe as long as you live, it would do you no harm to get an extra shot when you can.

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