Exploring health from head to toe

On this blog I want to INFORM, INSTRUCT, and INSPIRE us to explore the

HEART of HEALTH.

Let’s do all 3 today by looking at 3 timely topics from 3 recent reports.

 

INFORMATION – about mosquitoes and the diseases they carry and spread to humans

a mosquito on a leaf
Mosquitoes are tiny but the diseases they carry can be deadly.

 

World-wide, malaria affects more people than any other mosquito transmitted disease. Most cases that occur in the United States are due to infections caught when people travel to or from areas of the world where malaria is common- sub-Saharan Africa, southeast Asia, the Amazon area of South America.

West Nile Virus, also spread by mosquitoes, occurs in tropical areas but since 1999 has spread to North America where it threatens people here. Now we are told that the Zika virus is spreading northward from South America, posing a new disease risk  to Americans. When pregnant women become infected with this virus, the infant may be born with a small brain and head, called microcephaly.

The American Mosquito Control Association, AMCA ,researches and reports on all aspects of mosquitoes and the many diseases they transmit. If you want to learn about the subject, you will likely find it here. It’s worth taking a look.

 

INSTRUCTION- how to prevent blisters

You probably don’t worry much about blisters- until you get one. Then the pain can inhibit doing sports, walking, even just wearing a shoe.

feet in sports shoes

 

At worse, blisters can become chronic wounds, get infected, and threaten limbs in susceptible persons like those with diabetes or poor blood flow.

Ways to prevent blisters include-

  • Proper fitting shoes, not too tight or too loose
  • Breaking shoes in before activity likely to cause a blister, like running, dancing, long walks, sports
  • Wearing absorbent cushioned socks, perhaps 2 pair together
  • Applying protective padding over pressure points on the feet. Even plain paper tape can accomplish this, according to this study published in the New York Times
Blisters may not hurt as much as fractures, but can be almost as disabling.

 

INSPIRATION- a weight loss victory

I’ve written about obesity here before, detailing how obesity adversely affects one’s well-being and how important it is to maintain a normal weight.

Body mass index chart
A BMI OF 30 or more represents obesity. BMI Chart created by Vertex42.com. Used with permission.

 

However, losing weight, especially a lot of weight is never easy; it requires changes in eating and activity, sometimes even medication or  surgery in extreme cases.

I enjoyed this  story which  illustrates the importance of  lifestyle  change and how that can happen with the right motivation and commitment. And a little help from an unlikely friend.

“I’m still here because a shelter dog saved my life.”

Watch a video about the

Mutual rescue of Eric and Peety from Humane Society Silicon Valley 

someone standing on a scale
Diabetes and obesity are interrelated; we don’t always know which came first.

 

 

Please leave comments about how you will use these pieces to explore your own health.

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