Chikungunya fever, what?

Chikungunya means “that what bends up” in the Makonde African dialect.  Over 800,000 case in the Caribbean and Americas have occured since 2013.  It is an illness with fever that causes terrible joint pains and rash.  It is caused by a virus that is transmitted through a mosquito bite. The pains are in the large joints of the knees, elbows, and ankles as well as the small joints. Use of window screens, insect repellents, minimize standing water or from buckets are essential to minimize infection risk. Chikungunya is more severe in the very young, elderly, pregant women, and those with chronic illnesses. Vaccines and other therapies are desperately needed.  Seek medical help from a physician if you are experiencing these symptoms.

Naturally lose weight following 4 life-saving steps.

It is not complicated to obtain the healthy lifestyle benefits that you seek without starting down a dangerous path that could lead to an untimely death.  Many people realize the urgency to change their unhealthy habits now to avoid a terrible outcome. Did you know that in our country food manufacturers admit to employing food biochemists to manipulate food product manufacturing and, as a result, addict us by tricking our own bodies into thinking that we are still hungry, resulting in the consumption of excessive calories. You have to be responsible for your own wellness through education to be a smart consumer when it comes to healthy food choices.

A failure to take the necessary steps toward a healthy lifestyle may end your life early. Did you know that the rate of childhood obesity exceeds 30% in the United States.  As a result, the complicating factors of cardiac disease and diabetes are piling up and contribute to poor quality of life and earlier death for generations to come. It is no wonder that there is a frenetic pace from industry to capitalize on this obesity crisis with the opening of weight loss clinics everywhere. Did you know that many of these programs are not even based on real clinical research data and can cost you your life? Watch out for the doctor-prescribed, heart stimulating injectable drugs that claim to assist in weight loss as they can directly kill you by unnecessarily straining your heart or in combination with severe calorie restriction imposed by many weight loss programs.

The marketing promise from these weight loss clinics is to promote an “easy and quick fix” is both interesting, but in reality, scientifically appalling. The emotional rollercoaster ride can be avoided by choosing the right path to health.

Four life-saving steps:

1. Rid dairy products from diet to decrease the risk of additional calories and help alleviate body inflammation that leads to early cardiac disease and cancer.

2. Avoid added sugars from sauces, sweetened drinks, and cereals that lead to obesity and physiological addiction of foods through biochemical modification.

3. Eat plant based nutrition versus animal based nutrition that provides higher quality nutrition and promotes lean body mass.  Help alleviate “irritable bowel” symptoms through more pure food intake.

4. Exercise regularly to promote fat burning and maintenance of weight.

My toddler does not speak, is this normal?

Late talkers are children 18–35 months old who acquire language at a slower rate than their typically developing peers. Communicative gestures and symbolic play usually occur at 10-12 months of age, while specific words usually begin at age 12-15 months, on average. Behavioral and socio-emotional development improves by age 4-5 for most of these toddlers that are delayed in expressive language only. “It seems that parents of children with expressive language deficits are more likely to adapt their communication style, and this exacerbates the child’s language difficulties and is less than optimal for language acquisition”. Tannock and Giralametto (1992). Two year-old late talking toddlers are characterized by limited vocabulary and lack of production of combined words. Research suggests that no later than school age the majority of these children will show significant improvement on expressive language skills and reach the age appropriate levels (Rescorla, 2009; Roos & Weismer, 2008)

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: Do not be overly concerned if your toddler is a late talker, ie solitary expressive language delay. If there are additional developmental delays such as receptive language delays or motor skill delays, one would consider a full developmental assessment after a discussion with your pediatrician.

At this point we do not know what causes autism

“Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.”

We need to train pediatricians and health care providers on how to screen toddler and children for autistic behaviors by using various questionnaires or other screening tools.  It is usually premature to make a formal diagnosis of ASD in a child less than 5 years old as many of these individuals may improve with early intervention.

Flu and widespread disease this season

Now with the flu season upon us, lets be cautious to monitor the A’s, B’s, and C’s; those of Airway, Breathing, and Circulation.  Start with preemptive measures against possible evolving lung complications such as pneumonia with symptoms of wheezing, shortness of breath, nasal flaring or increased work of breathing and/or dehydration with symptoms of dry lips and mouth, decreased urine output, increased heart rate, or light headedness, by using liberal amounts of nasal saline rinses, antifever medication, and/or oral fluids BUT also seek urgent care services. Unfortunately, the injectable flu vaccine strains for the 2014/2015 were not perfectly matched for the common flu strains encountered this season across the USA.  As a result, we are beginning to see epidemic levels of flu illness as most individuals are “not immune” and therefore can easily pass their illness onto others by coughing or sneezing.  The complicating factors to look for are respiratory distress with complicating pneumonia, wheezing or asthma flares, light-headedness, headaches, persistent fevers and even heat exhaustion from dehydration.  Do not wait until it is too late in the course of the illness if you are suffering from these symptoms, seek help!  The last place you want to be in an flu epidemic environment is the ER!

Cell phone emitted radiation may contribute to brain cancer

Consider the dreadful possibility that an increase in cell phone or cordless phone use over the past 20+ years along with its associated electromagnetic radiation may lead to brain cancer. Of course, there are potential other genetic or environmental factors that play a role. Conflicting data on the subject has been reported; however, actual brain cancer rates have risen a whopping 100%+ from just 1992-2006. Radiofrequency energy, emitted by cell phones and cordless phones, are found to increase glucose consumption use on the same side of the head where the phone antenna is held and, in fact, brain cancer is found much more commonly on the right side of the head then the left side.  Could it be that because since more people are right-handed then left-handed and and hold their phones up to the right ear, this radiation causes cancer more on the right side of the head.  CAUTION: Children are even more susceptible to this radiation and taking proactive measures now for your family can make the difference between life and death.  Long term studies will not likely provide the well needed information for many years revealing is there is a relationship between use and cancer.  So for now, assume it is possible!