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      The stats tell it all: The number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease. That’s right, more than any other disease – even cancer (a close second) – heart disease is the most likely to kill you. The United States is currently facing a “diabesity” epidemic, or a substantial increase in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome leading to diabetes and obesity, all serious risk factors for heart disease.

      According to the American Heart Association, every 34 seconds someone in the US dies of a heart attack. By the time you finish reading this paragraph, another person will have lost their life. Sadly, many people do not even know they have heart disease until they experience a heart attack. These facts alone make Heart Health a critical topic to understand.

       
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      The gut-skin connection is very significant. Inflammatory processes present in the gut may manifest on the skin. Toxins are expelled with sweat, and can cause the skin to react. Like the inside of the digestive tract, the skin is covered in microbes which can be neutral, protective or pathogenic. Skin reaction may reflect what is going on inside the body. Therefore treating skin conditions only from the outside will often be ineffective and lead to other chronic issues.

       
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      The gut-brain connection occurs in two directions—from the brain to the gut, and from the gut to the brain. When a person has a “gut feeling,” or an emotional upset causes a stomachache or loss of appetite, they experience examples of the first, most familiar direction. When the gut is out of balance, inflammation results leading to a condition commonly known as leaky gut. A leaky gut will allow undigested food particles and toxins to enter into the bloodstream. Some may cross into the brain, setting the stage for diseases like Alzheimers and dementia. Recognizing the underlying contributing factors that created the gut imbalance in the first place is the first step to achieving optimal brain function .

       
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Parasites in the Pool

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 11/04/2011


 

A particular parasite, called Cryptosporidium, is showing up in pools, lakes and fountains, causing a diarrheal disease known as cryptosporidiosis, or “crypto” for short. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 134 disease outbreaks associated with recreational water in 2007 to 2008, when the most recent data is available. That is a 72 percent increase over the previous two-year period. Of all 105 confirmed disease outbreaks in pools and fountains, Cryptosporidium was responsible for 57 percent of them, causing over 12,000 illnesses.

The parasite can cause diarrhea in all age groups, but immune-compromised individuals, the very young, and very old are particularly susceptible to more serious illness upon infection. Symptoms of crypto include abdominal cramping, frequent watery diarrhea, nausea, feeling ill, and even malnutrition and weight loss in severe cases. In most people, however, a crypto infection is not dangerous, but it’s uncomfortable.

Cryptosporidiosis spreads by contact with contaminated water, and as the bacterium is tolerant of chlorine, it may not be possible to avoid contact. While it is not common for a pool to be contaminated with this parasite, Cryptosporidium contamination is increasing. Proper sanitation and hygiene are important for prevention of this illness. People, and especially infants, with diarrhea should not swim in pools until their diarrhea subsides. Infants should wear protective diapers when swimming. Try not to swallow water and be sure to wash hands after swimming to stay on the safe side.