Sunday, December 14, 2014

What Causes Respiratory Illnesses In Children

Respiratory illnesses are among the leading causes of illnesses in children. In fact, children in developed countries probably have more respiratory problems on an average than any other illness. And in a lot of developing countries, these illnesses can be fatal for children because they do not get the proper care and they are not exposed to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to know what can cause these illnesses and how children are affected by them so that you can take measures to prevent these problems or get them treated as soon as possible.
Circumstances That Bring About Respiratory Illnesses In Children
There are two common causes of respiratory illnesses: Genetics and the Environment. Most breathing problems can be traced back to one of these origins. Even though there is often no sure way of determining the cause of a respiratory problem, some likely causes are:
• Smoking during Pregnancy: A mother who smokes when her child is in the womb can put her child in danger of having a respiratory problem. This is because the baby gets exposed to tobacco smoke that can cause damage to the lungs.
• Sex hormones: Studies have found that twice the number of boys show signs of respiratory illness than girls. However, this is only when they are children. Women tend to get more affected by respiratory problems than men later in life.
• Air Pollution: Air pollution is one of the biggest factors of respiratory problems. The air contains various chemicals and toxins like Sulphur Dioxide and Nitrogen Dioxide. These gases can be very dangerous when inhaled in large quantities. They can affect the lungs and lead to wheezing, coughs and other breathing troubles.
• Lifestyle: Lifestyle and general living conditions play a very important part in the health of a child. Children that lead a good lifestyle with proper food, shelter, exercise and care often have a lower chance of getting health problems.
• Poverty: Poverty leads to under-nourishment of children and they cannot develop their immune systems properly, making them more susceptible to a number of diseases, including respiratory problems.
• Pollen: Pollen in the air is scientifically known to cause a number of respiratory problems. Pollen from certain plants may affect different children.
Even if these circumstances are not the major causes of a child's respiratory illness, they can still be a trigger for an asthma attack, wheezing or any other breathing problem.
How This Illness Affects Children
Children who suffer from respiratory problems have to be very careful. Even a small trigger can bring on a major issue, making them weak and ill. A child with a respiratory problem will often find it difficult to climb stairs, play sports or take part in physical activities. In certain cases, children who have major conditions may have to be rushed to hospital when they get an asthma attack. This could even prove to be fatal if it is not treated immediately.

The Link Between Immigration And Elder Care

I recently had a conversation with a client whose 80-year-old mother is mentally alert but physically infirm.
We were discussing her upcoming move to an assisted living facility. Our discussion was mostly, as you would imagine, about the financial ramifications of this change. But I also wanted to give him a heads-up about something else he might want to consider as his mother moves from her home to the facility.
The general perception is that a resident in an assisted living facility is safer from accidents, especially falls, than is someone living on their own. In my experience, the reality is that such a difference is slight, if not nonexistent.
Assisted living facilities can be very useful in many ways. Staff members make sure that residents take their medication, eat regular meals, are bathed and dressed each day and enjoy some level of companionship. But most residents have their own room or studio apartment, and they sleep alone at night. For those who are ambulatory, falls are always a risk, but especially so in the dark.
For those who fall in an assisted living facility, there is one advantage: Someone will find them promptly and call for help. (Incidentally, this is the same level of benefit conferred by Life Alert and similar medical alert products.) Prompt attention is good, but the damage may already be done. All it takes is one fall to potentially ruin someone's quality of life, often permanently.
I saw this first-hand when my wife's aunt was in such a facility. In a recurring cycle, she would fall and end up in the hospital. She would stay there for several days, often on powerful pain medication. While in the hospital, she became deconditioned and weak, which made her even more prone to falling just as she returned to the facility. (A rough rule of thumb is that a geriatric patient loses 1 percent of muscle mass for each day spent in bed.) Every repetition of this cycle noticeably worsened her overall condition.
Falls have always been a threat to older adults, but as our population ages and longevity increases, the issue has come into sharper relief. The New York Times recently ran a pair of articles that describe the profound effect falls can have for people older than 65, and some of the measures nursing homes and assisted living facilities take to try and keep their residents safe. (1) While it is clear that many facilities are willing to put a lot of effort into preventing falls, predicting them can be difficult on a case-by-case basis.
The Times reported that 24,000 people over 65 died after a fall in 2012, the most recent year for which data was available. More than 2.4 million people over 65 received emergency treatment for fall-related injuries that same year. Nonfatal falls can often result in permanently reduced mobility, with the resulting loss of independence and, in many cases, increased anxiety about falling again.
The only reasonably foolproof solution is round-the-clock attention, which is beyond the standard level of assisted living care. This measure was nonetheless common in my wife's aunt's facility, where the patients and their families usually had a bit of money to spend on personal aides. Some assisted living facilities sometimes provide such supervision in cases where a resident is deemed to be at high risk; in others, the patient's loved ones must arrange it themselves. But unless someone is there to make sure the resident never walks anywhere alone, falls can and probably will happen. We hired aides to stay with my wife's aunt around the clock, and they were with her for the last six years of her life - the last five of which were spent at home, after she decided to leave assisted living.
As my wife's aunt discovered, if we employ personal to aides to prevent falls, some of the rationales for institutional assisted living effectively vanish. Good aides make sure their charges take their medication, eat regular meals, are bathed and dressed, and have companionship. They do all these things, too, without the facility's built-in overhead costs. Greater access to home health aides would mean fewer people would need the care assisted living facilities provide, especially those who do not suffer from dementia.
But there is a labor shortage in this area. Few Americans willingly take on this difficult but necessary work. One aspect of the immigration debate that is seldom discussed is that we need foreign labor in order to create an ample supply of young, able and willing people here to care for our growing elderly population.
Immigration reform alone is not a complete answer, of course. The complicated bureaucracy attendant on hiring home health aides also needs to be addressed. We should make it simpler and cheaper for families to hire the help they need.
Home health workers are not a one-size-fits-all solution. There will always be good assisted living facilities, and people who want to live in them. But in an institution or at home, one of the biggest challenges of caring for aging parents is keeping them safe from falls. If immigration reform helps get us there, it is one more point in its favor.

What Can You Get From A Functional Pathology Testing

Before determining one's complete health status, several tests typically need to be performed; among these tests is functional pathology testing (which is actually, in itself, a collection of tests); this is an integral process in assessing the current state of the body's organ and biochemical functioning, as well as nutritional deficiencies and imbalances. It covers a wide range of variables that determine the body's natural inclinations with regard to its healthy development.
The determination of the current health status is not the only benefit derived from functional pathology testing, though; it also presents reliable information on how the body can actually work optimally, especially in preventing potential health complications.
One of the things that results of the test bring to light is the dietary aspect of health. Results allow doctors to recommend the most appropriate and specific dietary changes to patients. Everybody knows that everything that is put into the body is greatly responsible for sustaining/maintaining its normal functioning. If there are deficiencies of certain essential nutrients that may lead to an illness, testing gives doctors something to go with in preventing that from happening.
In addition to that, functional pathology testing establishes whether certain behaviors are the result of hormonal imbalance, external factors or a combination of both and other variables. For example, extreme weariness for no reason, lethargy, difficulty bouncing back from stress or an illness, frequent feelings of being overwhelmed, craving both salty and sweet food, only coming "alive" after 6 p.m. - the test can determine the real reasons behind these. When such behaviors manifest, functional pathology testing, specifically the saliva test for adrenal fatigue, will be able to identify if a person displays such behaviors and inclinations due to adrenal stress fatigue (a condition caused by the inability of the adrenal glands to meet the demands of stress) or the presence of a chronic health condition such as arthritis, cancer, and others.
If the adrenal stress test reveals that the behaviors and inclinations are indeed due to adrenal fatigue, it automatically becomes easier for doctors and other health professionals to prescribe treatments (natural therapies), supplements, dietary and lifestyle changes that can support the adrenal glands and promote its healthy function and vitality, and natural healing response, even during stressful times.
Overall, the testing makes prevention of potential health woes, and the treatment of present health problems, much easier and more effective. After the test, people can quickly launch into a healthier path so their body can regain vigor and they can have a better quality of life.