What is true fasting? Maybe not what you think#Isaiah#CHaRA#faithhopelove
“Fasting, abstinence from food or drink or both for health, ritualistic, religious, or ethical purposes.
The abstention may be complete or partial, lengthy, of short duration, or intermittent.
Fasting has been promoted and practiced from antiquity worldwide
by the founders and followers of many religions,
by culturally designated individuals (e.g., hunters or candidates for initiation rites), and by individuals or groups as an expression of protest against what they believe are violations of social, ethical, or political principles.”
One major difference between bacterial and viral infections is the treatment. We have many more effective antibiotics (drugs which fight bacteria) than we do antiviral drugs.
And antibiotics do not affect viruses. Despite that fact, patients often expect and even demand their physicians prescribe antibiotics for viral infections such as influenza, colds and bronchitis- and unfortunately too often we physicians do it anyway.
Influenza- the vaccine is given annually and targeted to the strains of virus predicted to be active in any given year.
Measles (rubeola), Mumps, Rubella (German measles) -I am grouping these together since their vaccines are usually given together as the MMR. Recent outbreaks of measles have been attributed to the decline in vaccination rates.
Polio, a disease parents feared when I was a child, due to to risk of permanent paralysis, now essentially eradicated in the United States
Rotavirus, in infants and small children, a common cause of gastroenteritis- vomiting and diarrhea, with or without fever and abdominal pain
HPV, the human papilloma virus, causes warts of all kinds, but the vaccine is targeted to the strains that cause genital warts and can lead to cervical cancer
The cousin viruses, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.
Hepatitis is an infection of the liver, which can range from a mild disease to life threatening. Hepatitis A is spread through contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B is spread through contact with infected blood or other body fluids.
Another set of cousins, Varicella Zoster (VZ) virus causes two different infections and thus has two vaccines. The original infection is varicella or chickenpox, formerly a common childhood illness but not seen often now due to the vaccine. When it reactivates, usually years later in adulthood, it is known as zoster or shingles.
There are also several vaccines usually reserved for travel to specific areas of the world, occupational exposure, military service or other special circumstances. These include vaccines for anthrax, typhoid, cholera, (bacteria) and yellow fever, smallpox,and rabies (viruses).
Diseases for which there is no vaccine
One of the most serious is malaria, caused by a parasite transmitted by infected mosquitos. Malaria is rarely a risk in northern or extreme southern areas of the world, but for the tropics, especially sub-Saharan Africa it is a major health problem.
Otherwise we all are at risk of other serious infections that we cannot yet prevent with immunization. These include
HIV-human immunodeficiency virus ,and most other sexually transmitted diseases including HSV- herpes simplex virus, gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia.
HCV- Hepatitis C
Most respiratory viruses, including rhinovirus, cause of the common cold; RSV-respiratory syncytial virus and infectious mononucleosis
The Ebola virus
Borrelia, not really a bacteria, it’s a spirochete, which causes Lyme (not lime) disease
And the bacteria Staphylococcus, which causes “staph” (not staff) infections of the skin and Streptococcus, which causes “strep throat”
If you have any questions or concerns about which vaccines you might need to protect yourself against infections, please consult your own personal physician.
If you like art in any form- paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, pottery, jewelry, woodcarving- then a trip to the Santa Fe and Taos New Mexico area will be a treat for you. You will be able to visit gallery after gallery, shop after shop for days on end, and still not see them all. If you arrive by air your art tour will start right at the airport which is small but sets the tone for what you will see during your stay. As you step outside the terminal you will be greeted by the bronze statue Reverence by artist David Pearson. As described in an art guide, “Hers is a pose of prayer, of openness to powers beyond all understanding,.. Her ancient gesture is transformed into one of welcome and benefaction in her perfect placement at the Santa Fe airport. ”
Taos likewise is an art mecca both within the town and also at the Taos Pueblo, which is also a must see for those interested in Native American history and culture. At the pueblo, tribe members display and sell handmade arts and crafts.
As you travel around both cities and the surrounding areas, you don’t have to look for the art- it will find you.
Use these links to share the heart of health wherever you connect.
Prevention is a focus in healthcare now and immunization has been one of the most effective ways to prevent disease ever developed.
The list of diseases that are “vaccine preventable” is long and continues to grow.
Vaccine recommendations may be based on a person’s
concurrent conditions, especially diabetes mellitus, chronic lung diseases, heart disease and immune suppressing disorders.
Vaccine administration may vary by
the number of doses recommended,
how far apart the doses should be given, and
which vaccines can be administered at the same time.
Immunization protocols have become so complex that even physicians have difficulty keeping it straight without the use of paper or digital checklists. This is one area where the Internet and EMRs (electronic medical records) can be useful.
I use the name of the disease and/or the bacteria, rather than the vaccine name, since there are different brand names for the vaccines depending on the manufacturer.
So successful have these vaccines been that most young doctors have never seen a patient with these diseases (unless perhaps they specialize in infectious disease, immunology, emergency medicine or critical care). And even I, who graduated medical school in 1978, have only seen a few, and none in recent years.
Diphtheria-primarily a respiratory tract illness in young persons
Pertussis, better know as whooping cough, also a respiratory illness, which has made a comeback in recent years, apparently due to a waning of immunity
Tetanus, also called “lockjaw”– due to a toxin which may contaminate a dirty wound
Menigococcal disease, which is one of many causes of meningitis (inflammation of the brain lining), but one of the most deadly, even with treatment
Streptococcal pneumoniae disease; the vaccine is often referred to as the “pneumonia vaccine”, but the bacteria can also cause ear infections, sinusitis, meningitis and sepsis (bloodstream infection)
Haemophilus disease is similar to pneumococcal, but more of a concern in infants and children
I cannot think of anything else worth saying today other than to express my sadness for and sympathy to the family of Kayla Mueller. On the evening news last night I heard Kayla’s aunt describe her as “noble beyond her years.”
I had never heard of Kayla until a few days ago, but her story touches my heart. I have a son about the same age; and like her, his work and passions take him all over the world. I cannot imagine getting an email like the one her parents received confirming her death.
At only 26 years old, Kayla had already traveled to India, Israel, Palestine and Syria on humanitarian endeavors and in Arizona worked at a women’s shelter and with AIDS patients, according to the news reports. And in a letter she wrote to her family from captivity, she expressed regret that she was causing them pain.
I hope the memory of this beautiful young woman brings some comfort to their grieving hearts.
Use these links to share the heart of health wherever you connect.