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Menstrual CrampsOne of the many things that separate women from men is the monthly visit that could get a woman to buy sanitary pads. It is somehow the essence of being a woman but this girl-thingy may sometimes be associated with a discomforting experience that most women can relate… the menstrual cramps. It could be a real struggle for others with low pain tolerance. Some may not survive the struggle without taking over-the-counter pain relievers. Menstrual cramps, as defined by WebMD, are throbbing, aching cramps you get in your lower belly just before and during your period. Indeed, these are the most common, annoying parts of your period which can range from mild to severe. They usually happen for the first time a year or two after a girl first gets their period. With age, they usually become less painful and may stop entirely after you have your first baby. Your doctor may call your cramps dysmenorrhea. The most common symptoms of menstrual cramps are aching pain in your belly (sometimes severe), feeling of pressure in your belly, pain in your hips, lower back, and inner thighs.

Dealing with cramps every month can be as frustrating as it is painful. Luckily, there are several ways on how to ease yourself during the cycle that might help you relieve period cramps. According to Health partners, drinking water can reduce bloating during your period and alleviate some of the pain it causes. Also, drinking hot water can increase blood flow throughout your body and relax your muscles. This can lessen cramps caused by uterine contractions.

Herbal teas have anti-inflammatory properties and antispasmodic compounds that can reduce the muscle spasms in the uterus that cause cramping. Drinking chamomile, fennel, or ginger tea is an easy, natural way to relieve menstrual cramps. Some foods can also offer natural relief for cramps and they taste great. Anti-inflammatory foods can help promote blood flow and relax your uterus. Try eating berries, tomatoes, pineapples, and spices like turmeric, ginger, or garlic.

Furthermore, some delicious treats such as brownies or French fries can contribute to cramps. Foods high in sugar, trans fat, and salt can cause bloating and inflammation, which makes muscle pain and cramps worse. You must also control your caffeine intake. Caffeine causes your blood vessels to narrow. This can constrict your uterus, making cramps more painful. If you need your coffee fix, switch to decaf during your period.  A heating pad may also be beneficial. A little heat can also help your muscles relax, improve blood flow and relieve tension. You can also take a hot shower or relax in a hot bath.

Over half of women who menstruate experience period pain (dysmenorrhea) for one to two days every month. Even though period pain can mean headaches or general discomfort, the pain is typically caused by menstrual cramps. For some women, the discomfort is merely annoying. For others, menstrual cramps can be severe enough to interfere with everyday activities for a few days every month. But ladies, always remember that there are several ways on how to ease the pain and discomfort. Why not try these remedies and see what fits you right to get the most comfortable feeling you ought to have? Bring it on girl!

PNFP-ZDS Marie Claire A. Gaas

References:

  • Menstrual Cramps

Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on August 14, 2020

https://www.webmd.com/women/menstrual-cramps

  • 13 ways to stop period cramps

https://www.healthpartners.com/blog/13-ways-to-stop-period-pain/

  • Menstrual cramps

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menstrual-cramps/symptoms-causes/syc-20374938

LeukemiaAccording to Global Cancer Statistics, there are 474,519 leukemia cases worldwide with 311,594 deaths in 2020. These numbers made leukemia among the feared condition in the world. Annually, the Philippines celebrates Leukemia Awareness Month and the Department of Health has designated it every month of September. This is to raise the profile of this “silent killer,” which also coincides with the “Blood Cancer Awareness Month” that is also celebrated internationally every September of each year. So, what really is leukemia and what made it so fearsome? Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects your blood cells and bone marrow. It can prevent white blood cells from fighting infections and cause them to multiply uncontrollably. This overgrowth can cause overcrowding of the healthy blood cells, leading to severe problems throughout the body. The chances of survival depend on a variety of factors, including a person’s age and response to treatment. As with other types of cancer, there’s currently no cure for leukemia. It is somehow, a genetic disease, though in most cases, it is not hereditary. It is a genetic disease because it is related to a person's DNA, which is the material that carries genetic information. DNA determines the development, growth, and function of their bodily cells.

There are many types of leukemia. It can either be acute or chronic. Acute leukemia happens when a majority of affected white blood cells cannot function normally, causing rapid degeneration. On the other hand, chronic leukemia occurs when only some of the affected blood cells cannot function normally, causing a slower degeneration. A range of factors can affect a person’s chance of surviving leukemia, including age, time of diagnosis, progression and spread of cancer, type of leukemia, family history of leukemia, exposure to chemicals, body’s response to treatment, and the extent of bone damage.

Symptoms depend on what type of leukemia you have. Common symptoms include weakness, pale skin tone, fever, easy bruising and bleeding, nosebleeds and bleeding gums, tiny red spots in skin (called petechiae), bone or joint pain and/or tenderness, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, groin or stomach, enlarged spleen or liver, frequent infections, unplanned weight loss, night sweats, shortness of breath, and pain under the ribs on the left side. Currently, there is no cure for leukemia. Treatments for leukemia will depend on your age, overall health, and the type of leukemia that you have. Treatments can include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplant, and antibiotics. Treatments can last for a long time depending on the type and severity of the condition. People with leukemia often experience emotions such as fear. To all patients out there, you are braver than you believe and stronger than you think. Keep fighting!

PNFP-ZDN Rowence F. Zorilla

References:

1. Is Leukemia Curable?

Medically reviewed by Jenneh Rishe, RN — Written by Kristeen Cherney on May 3, 2021

https://www.healthline.com/health/leukemia/is-leukemia-curable

2. What to know about leukemia survival rates

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322990

3. Leukemia

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/leukemia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20374378

4. Is leukemia hereditary?

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325332

5. Global Cancer Statistics 2020: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries

https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.3322/caac.21660

Obesity endIn 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that at least 2.8 million people die each year as a result of overweight or obesity associated with the occurrence of chronic diseases. In the Philippines, the prevalence of overweight and obesity is observed to be mostly higher than the national estimate across all population groups (DOST-FNRI, 2019). It has given a toll on the overall health of Filipino individuals both in children and in the adult population. With this, Obesity Prevention Awareness Week has been observed every first week of September by virtue of the Proclamation No. 162 as it is aimed at addressing the different concerns in the prevention and treatment of obesity management and sought to reduce life-threatening diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes as well as to improve the quality of life.

To manage overweight and/or obesity, it is important to incorporate healthy living. To achieve and maintain a healthy weight isn’t a shortcut to dietary change. It is about a discipline that includes mindful eating and regular physical activity. As we usually hear “think before you eat”, here are some tips to help you control weight gain that may result in obesity:

Assessing your weight

A high amount of body fat can lead to weight-related diseases and other health issues. Body Mass Index (BMI) is one of the tools used to estimate weight status in relation to potential disease risk. According to World Health Organization (WHO) the normal range of BMI is between 22 kg/m² to 25 kg/m². The weight that is higher than what is considered a healthy weight for a given height is described as overweight or obese. This is an important indicator to determine early signs of overweight that leads to obesity that can cause health conditions and risks.

Healthy Dietary Intake

An eating plan that helps manage your weight includes a variety of healthy foods.

  • Consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables of different combinations provides vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
  • Choose whole grains over refined grain for they maintain the structure of the grains that keeps the layers that hold vitamins, minerals and fiber.
  • Choose both animal and plant-based proteins. Consume more white meat (such as fish and chicken) than red meat (pork and beef) and make sure to trim down edible fats.
  • Replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels thus reducing the risk of heart disease. Reduce the intake of fatty meats and high-fat dairy products.
  • Limit foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt. When eaten in high amounts, these can lead to overshooting of unnecessary calories, which leads to ill-effects.

Physical activity

Physical activity can make you feel better, function better and sleep better. Being physically active also fosters normal growth and development, improve overall health, and reduce the risk of various chronic diseases. For adults,a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity is recommended to keep our body systems work better, which can contribute to getting rid of unwanted calories. It can be in the form of jogging, stretching, dancing, and more. physical activity is recommended to keep our body systems work better which can contribute to getting rid of unwanted calories and it can be in a form of jogging, stretching, dancing and more.

Now more than ever, we need action to prevent the growing trend in obesity and inactivity. The rise of obesity especially in childhood obesity has placed the health of the entire generation at risk. Let us all participate to end obesity in our country. Be informed and disseminate the right information to your family and friends. Be one among the advocates of ending obesity. Be fit and healthy!

NO II Joanna Marie E. Baltazar

 

References:

  • Obesity Prevention Awareness Week

https://caro.doh.gov.ph/obesity-prevention-awareness-week/

  • Proclamation No. 162, s. 1999

https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1999/08/21/proclamation-no-162-s-1999/

  • Factors Associated with Overweight and Obesity among Adults 20.0 Years and Over: Results from the 2013 National Nutrition Survey, Philippines

https://philjournalsci.dost.gov.ph/publication/regular-issues/past-issues/83-vol-148-no-1-march-2019/903-factors-associated-with-overweight-and-obesity-among-adults-20-0-years-and-over-results-from-the-2013-national-nutrition-survey-philippines-2

  • Overweight and Obesity is Top Nutrition Concern in  Metro Manila cities-FNRI Survey

https://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph/index.php/programs-and-projects/news-and-announcement/769-overweight-and-obesity-is-top-nutrition-concern-in-8-metro-manila-cities-fnri-survey

  • Appropriate Body-mass Index for Asian Population and its Implications for Policy and Intervention Strategies

https://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/bmi_asia_strategies.pdf

Fried Rice SyndromeLately, COVID-19 has overpowered many of the other illnesses and diseases in the world. People are focused on the continuous rise of COVID cases that we often realize that there are lots of other diseases caused by bacteria, parasites and viruses that are present in our community and even in our home. One of which is food poisoning and one of the possible causes of it is right there present in our own kitchen.  Fried Rice Syndrome (FRS) is a type of food poisoning that has been coined as such because it often happens after the consumption of contaminated fried rice. To understand how a plate of fried rice becomes contaminated, you would need to understand the process of cooking it. The crux of Fried Rice Syndrome lies in how the dish is prepared. A standard process of preparing fried rice goes like this… rice is first pre-cooked and then either left to cool at room temperature or kept overnight, a step that is crucial to remove moisture and let the grains firm up. After that, the cooled rice grains are fried with other ingredients to complete the dish. In this whole process, the heat-resistant Bacillus cereus survives past both the cooling and frying stages. As such, the bacteria remain on the plate of fried rice up until it is served.

The culprit behind this ailment is the Bacillus cereus. It is a toxin-producing bacteria that is one of the most common causes of food poisoning that causes FRS. In the Philippines, fourteen students of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Laboratory High School in Sta. Mesa, Manila, were rushed to a hospital after they came down with symptoms of food poisoning. Hospital doctors told the police that the students complained of nausea and dizziness after they ate fried rice being sold in the school canteen. Philip Tierno, a microbiologist and clinical professor at New York University Langone Health said that leftover fried rice is a primary cause.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Bad Bug Book, the bacteria release two types of toxins that cause different illnesses. One causes diarrhea while the other toxin elicits vomiting. The first type of toxin is released in the small intestine after the bacteria are ingested, and causes diarrhea, cramps and occasionally nausea but rarely vomiting. Symptoms typically begin 6 to 15 hours after eating contaminated foods, which can include various meats, milk, vegetables or fish. The symptoms typically subside after about a day. The second type of toxin is released by the bacteria in the food before it is consumed. Starchy foods, such as rice, are the most common sources of food affected. The toxin causes vomiting and nausea within 30 minutes to 6 hours after eating the contaminated food. Symptoms subside after about 24 hours.

For most people who contract Bacillus cereus, rest and keeping well-hydrated are enough to allow the body to get rid of the infection on its own and is typically within a day. Complications including aseptic meningitis, gangrene, and cellulitis, typically occur only in people with compromised immune systems, those who have surgical wounds, or people who use intravenous drugs. According to Doctor Philip Tierno, if medical treatment is required, doctors focus on treating the symptoms, such as by administering intravenous fluids for dehydration. Occasionally, antibiotics such as Vancomycin are prescribed for serious cases when the bacteria hang out in the digestive tract for too long.

To prevent the Fried Rice Syndrome, cooked food should either be refrigerated at 4 °C and below or kept warm above 60 °C. Storing food well is crucial as bacteria can persist and thrive at room temperature. Simply put, to prevent the occurrence of Fried Rice Syndrome, food should not be left at room temperature to cool for more than two hours. Consuming leftover foods is a practical and convenient way to do it but always make sure that the food you consumed is stored in a well-ventilated place to avoid food poisoning. However, it is still safe to just discard your leftover food if you are unsure of its safety.

NO I Zamubec Alomar C. Adlawan, RND

REFERENCES:

  • Bacillus Cereus: The Bacterium That Causes 'Fried Rice Sydrome'

https://www.livescience.com/65374-bacillus-cereus-fried-rice-syndrome.html

  • Fried Rice Syndrome: How Your Favourite Dish Could Harm You

https://www.gutcare.com.sg/fried-rice-syndrome-how-your-favourite-dish-could-harm-you/

  • Rice sends 14 PUP students to hospital for food poisoning

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/99871/rice-sends-14-pup-students-to-hospital-for-food-poisoning

Stay HydratedMost of us, if not all, know that the human body comprises around 60% water. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.

Larry Kenney, PhD, a professor of physiology and kinesiology at Penn State, stated that hydration is important because the body is composed mostly of water, and the proper balance between water and electrolytes in our bodies really determines how most of our systems function, including nerves and muscles.

Meanwhile, the Institute of Medicine recommends that women must aim to consume 2.7 liters (or 91 ounces) of fluids daily, and men to drink 3.7 liters (or 125 ounces). But that recommendation doesn't focus on water specifically. Rather, it includes all fluids and water-rich foods, including fruits, vegetables and soups. According to Joe Leech of Healthline, drinking enough water helps maximize physical performance. If you don’t stay hydrated, your physical performance can suffer. This is particularly important during intense exercise or high heat. Losing as little as 2% of your body’s water content can significantly impair your physical performance.

Deficient amount of water in our body also significantly affects energy levels and brain function. Your brain is strongly influenced by your hydration status. Studies show that even mild dehydration, such as the loss of 1–3% of body weight, can impair many aspects of brain function. In addition, drinking water may help reduce headaches and headache symptoms. However, more high-quality research is needed to confirm this potential benefit. It may also help prevent and relieve constipation, especially in people who generally don’t drink enough water. Furthermore, increased water intake appears to decrease the risk of kidney stone formation.

Water is really important to keep us going. Even mild dehydration can affect you mentally and physically. Hence, you should ensure that you get enough water each day. It's one of the best things you can do for your overall health.

PNFP-ZDS Marie Claire A. Gaas

References:

  • 7 Science-Based Health Benefits of Drinking Enough Water

Written by Joe Leech, MS — Medically reviewed by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD — Updated on June 30, 2020

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-water

  • The importance of hydration

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/the-importance-of-hydration/

  • The Quest for Hydration

https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/quest-for-hydration

  • How much water do we really need to drink?

By Lisa Drayer, CNN. Published May 15, 2020

https://www.cnnphilippines.com/lifestyle/2020/5/15/Water-consumption-needed-.html

Hookworm Health RiskHookworm infections are very much common in tropical and sub-tropical impoverished areas where sanitation problem is very high. With these conditions, they are more likely to survive given the conduciveness of the environment necessary for growth. Although one kind of hookworm (Ancylostoma duodenale) can be transmitted through the ingestion of larvae, Hookworm infection is transmitted primarily by walking barefoot on contaminated soil and because of this, its infestation is common among children ages 2-14 years old especially in school-age children as they are fond of doing outdoor activities like playing mostly barefooted. 

Although hookworms are not a major killer of children, they can contribute to children's overall health that can last all throughout childhood and adolescence stages. With this, understanding hookworm is essential to be able to prevent children from acquiring these parasites. According to Lori Smith of Medical News Today, hookworms are parasites that cause infection in people of all ages by entering into the body through the skin that can lead to a number of complications and can be passed to another person via an infected human feces. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is common in areas where feces has been used as soil fertilizers for gardens or simply, defecating near the vegetable garden. Once out from the body, the egg will be deposited in the soil where it matures and hatches releasing a larva. This larva can now penetrate the human skin when condition permits like damaged skin or walking barefoot to contaminated soil. Once the larva enters the human body, it will make its way to the bloodstream, to the lungs, and to the intestine where it can get nutrients to survive and colonize. At this stage and with prolonged infection, malnutrition can occur in children which can lead to stunted growth, causes cognitive and intellectual deficits, and produce damage to selected target organs such as the brain, liver and urinary tract, and eventually to premature deaths.

With this information, it is noteworthy for mothers out there to remind their children to always wear slippers and/or shoes outdoors and even indoors, regularly clean the surroundings, construct and use a toilet with a septic tank and of course do frequent washing of hands especially after using the toilet as personal hygiene and environmental sanitation are important keys to prevent children from acquiring these parasites. Keep in mind that this parasite will not select who to infect therefore adults can also be at risk. Be a role model to your children in keeping clean. Do your best part in nurturing your children by teaching them the right way. 

NO II Joanna Marie E. Baltazar

 

References:

  • What’s to know about hookworm infection?

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313077

  • Parasites- Hookworm

https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/hookworm/index.html

  • Hookworm Infection

https://www.healthline.com/health/hookworm