The Healthcare Standard

Q&A: For Most People, Drinking Plain Water is the Best Way To Stay Hydrated

A: In short, for most people, plain water is better. But first, it’s important to understand the definition of alkaline water. Scientists use pH to describe how acidic or basic a substance is, with a range from 0 to 14. Pure water has a pH of 7, meaning it’s neutral. Fluids with a pH under 7, such as coffee and soda, are acidic. Substances with a pH over 7, such as baking soda, are basic, or alkaline.

Alkaline waters have a pH around 8 or 9. Some vendors use water that has a naturally higher pH, while others say that they create alkaline water through an ionization process.

Alkaline water companies make a host of claims, saying it’s better at rehydrating the body, and that it will detoxify and “balance” your body, help you lose weight, and prevent or even treat cancer. However, there’s little credible research showing that alkaline water benefits your health in any important way. In general, be wary of promoted research on alkaline water, as some of these studies are small or funded by alkaline water companies.

 

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The Healthcare Standard

The Aspiring Neurologists Trying To Slow Zambia’s Stroke Epidemic

The proximate cause was his just-completed rotation as an internal medicine physician at University Teaching Hospital, the biggest and busiest hospital in Zambia’s sprawling capital of Lusaka.

As the hospital of last resort in a poor nation of 17 million, UTH treats all comers. In a typical 24-hour shift in September, Zimba, 38, treated patients with pneumonia, tuberculosis, and difarrhea complicated by HIV. Patients with advanced prostate cancer and intestinal blockages also arrived, wrongly admitted to his internal medicine unit, but Zimba saw them anyway.

There were also four or five cases of stroke. Stroke is the other cause of Zimba’s exhaustion, an often overlooked disease that has become his life’s work.

 

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The Healthcare Standard

A Day in the Life of a NYC Nurse

Most NYC dwellers, including myself, do not have a car. We rely almost exclusively on public transportation. In the course of my career, I have commuted on regional trains, subways, buses, bike-sharing programs, and of course, my own two feet. Navigating public transportation in the crowds and the temperamental weather patterns of New York is a triumph and a skill.

Over the years, I have learned the written and unwritten rules of New York City travel. It goes something like this: leave early, be ready to give up your seat to someone who needs it more, ride your bike as if no one else is paying attention, ride on the left of the escalator to climb and the right to stand still, wear those snow boots twice a year (but on those two days you desperately need them), expect delays, take your backpack off on the train, never use a speakerphone in public, let others off the subway before getting on, and so on. Thankfully, today I live so close to my job in Hell’s Kitchen, my commute is nearly nonexistent.

 

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The Healthcare Standard

From Realistic New Year Resolutions to Mindful Eating Goals: Follow These Tips For A Healthy 2020

A new year comes with its own set of dreams and aspirations. There is no denying that while all of that is tempting, it somehow also pushes us to over expect from our own selves. Pointing out how pertinent it is to keep your goals realistic, a team of 500 nutritionists from HealthifyMe have come up with 20 tips for a healthy you in the new year.

If you are looking to make your coming year all about health and fitness, here’s what you must do.

*While the internet can offer you loads of information about diets and workout, they may not work for you. It is important to read between the lines and consult nutritionists on the ground.

*Sleep for seven hours: Most healthy adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep to function at their best.

 

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The Healthcare Standard

Congress should suspend Health Insurance Tax

The HIT is part of the Affordable Care Act, but recent findings from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services suggests it isn’t actually helping to insure more Americans. In fact, federal officials linked the HIT to a 15.3 percent increase in the net cost of private insurance in 2018, the most recent year the tax was in place. The same year, the number of people enrolled in health insurance plans declined by one million.

As a financial service advisor, those numbers don’t surprise me. The HIT is assessed on the fully insured marketplace, which is where 88 percent of small businesses purchase plans for their employees. It costs hundreds of dollars more per employee per year, so fewer businesses can afford to insure their employees and more workers are sharing in the costs. Naturally, some are priced out of it altogether.

I commend U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and U.S. Sen. Martha McSally for supporting legislation to suspend the HIT, and I encourage them both to continue fighting to get the bill passed before Congress adjourns for the year.

 

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The Healthcare Standard

Self-care best tonic for most as flu season stretches hospital capacity

The health service is stretched by high numbers presenting at hospitals and the need to isolate those with flu. Photograph: David Cheskin/PA

Predictions of an early flu season and peak activity around Christmas have been confirmed.

With massive pressure on hospital emergency departments (half of all current attendances are linked to influenza) and an unprecedented demand for out-of-hours GP services, the health service is severely stretched by a combination of high numbers and the need to isolate those with flu from other patients.

 

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The Healthcare Standard

Why government agencies can now apply for St. Charles mental health funding

With a history of predominantly funding nonprofits, the St. Charles 708 mental health board now also will accept applications from government agencies that directly serve residents.

The city council voted 5-3 earlier this month to approve a policy change that helps clarify the 708 board’s practice for awarding mental health funding. But some opponents of the measure questioned whether a unit of government is an appropriate grant recipient.

A portion of the property taxes levied by the city each year goes toward funding programs related to mental illnesses, developmental disabilities and substance abuse prevention. The 708 board vets applications from community organizations and recommends how that money should be distributed.

However, the board’s guidelines for whether a group should qualify have been inconsistent over the years, Chairwoman Carolyn Waibel said.

 

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The Healthcare Standard

Acupuncture May Ease a Common Side Effect of Cancer Treatment | Health News | US News

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Dry mouth can be a troubling side effect of radiation therapy, but acupuncture may ease its symptoms, a new study suggests.

Of 339 patients getting radiation for head and neck cancer in the United States and China, those who had acupuncture had fewer symptoms of dry mouth (xerostomia) than those who didn’t have acupuncture.

Patients who had fake acupuncture (placebo) had about the same relief as the no-acupuncture group, the researchers found.

The placebo treatment involved a real needle at a spot not indicated for xerostomia, real needles at sham spots and placebo needles at sham points, the study authors explained.

 

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The Healthcare Standard

Your TV, Smartphone Screens May Send Toxins Into Your Home

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Your smartphone, television and computer screens may be contaminating your home with potentially toxic chemicals, a new study suggests.

An international team of researchers found the chemicals — called liquid crystal monomers — in nearly half of dozens of samples of household dust they collected.

Liquid crystal monomers are used in a wide number of products ranging from flat screen TVs to solar panels, the study authors noted.

The scientists analyzed 362 commonly used liquid crystal monomers and found that nearly 100 could be toxic. They also assessed the toxicity of monomers commonly found in six widely used smartphone models.

 

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The Healthcare Standard

Buttigieg health care plan could hit consumers at year’s end, critics say

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Obama administration chief economic adviser Austan Goolsbee discusses his decision to support Pete Buttigieg in the 2020 presidential race and the candidate’s economic policies.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has billed his health care plan as a moderate alternative Medicare-for-all, but according to some critics, it could leave consumers hurting at the end of the year.

Under the South Bend, Indiana mayor’s plan — which he’s dubbed “Medicare for all who want it” — Americans would have the option to either opt in to public health insurance or keep their private health care plans if they like them. But it would automatically enroll Americans who lack insurance in the public option, potentially burdening them with a hefty bill for “retroactive” coverage.

 

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