Problems with Our Health Care System

Given the enormous amount of money that is spent on our health care system and the research that has gone into the various diseases we would be excused if we think that there should be able to trust our health care system to deliver quality health care. Sadly, our Western health care system falls well short of what is desired. Instead of healing and health it largely delivers suffering and further disease. Mendelssohn as far back as 1979 (and he wasn’t the first to suggest it) considers that the public has been ‘conned’ about the benefits delivered by ‘scientific medicine’. There is a great deal of myth that surrounds our current system.

A part of the myth is that medical practice has produced an overall increase in health in the past one hundred years. However, historical analysis has found that general improvements in social and environmental conditions provide a more adequate explanation of the changes than the rise of ‘scientific medicine’. Factors such as the improvement in diet and nutrition, sanitation and improved general living conditions have made the greatest difference.

Hospitals are deadly. Mistakes/errors, accidents, infections, medical drug disasters, diagnostic equipment including; X-rays, ultrasounds and mammograms make hospitals very dangerous. Hard technology has taken over the central role in modern medicine as it is considered effective and efficient. This has however been questioned. It is considered uneconomic and it also causes an unnecessary amount of pain and suffering. Accidents in hospitals now occur more frequently than in any other industry except mining and high rise construction. In addition to this are the medical doctor caused diseases. They are so common that they have their own name – iatrogenesis. Again the general public is unaware of how common this disease is. All told, iatrogenesis accounts for 784,000 deaths each year in the United States – more American deaths than all the wars of the 20th century combined. 98,000 deaths a year are caused by medical errors alone, and surgical errors account for another 32,000 deaths. These figures include only deaths. Officials admit that medical errors are reported in official data only 5 percent of the time, so the problem is much greater – exactly how much greater, no one really knows.

Research carried out in Australia showed that the equivalent of a jumbo jet load of people died unnecessarily died each week in Australia because of medical interventions – this information was contained in an official Health Department report. It was substantially hushed up – because of the potential impact of the information on the general public! We talk about and work to reduce road accidents and we ‘ground’ airplanes that are shown to have faults – but the general public is generally unaware of the risks that they take when they come under the care of the medical health care system.

Apart from accidents and medical mistakes adverse drug reactions and infections account for many of the incidences of iatrogenesis. Adverse drug reactions are very common. Some of these reactions can be minor but they can also be deadly. There are five main groups into which these adverse reactions can be placed. Those that:

adversely affect the blood cells,
cause toxicity in the liver,
damage the kidneys,
affect the skin, and
affect the unborn baby.

Beware of Oversimplifications – Health And Wellness

In their desire to make sense out of health information, people often oversimplify the truth. For example, potato chips have long been reputed as a junk food. Actually the quick cooking process of potato chips preserves its nutrients better than mashed, boiled, or baked potatoes. Ounce per ounce, potato chips provide more nutrients than other forms of potatoes. However, because potato chips are cooked in oil, they are high in fat and calories and are not recommended for people trying to lose weight. By being aware that the truth is not simple for most health issues, the tendency to oversimplify and over generalize health information can be thwarted.

Health Discoveries Take Time

Health discoveries often mean media headlines, but a cardinal rule of science is that findings must be replicable. Health information based on a dramatic discovery is not usually valid unless it is confirmed in several follow-up studies or experiments.

Criteria of Valid Reliable Health Information

Health information should be valid and reliable and based on scientifically controlled studies. In health research, validity means truthfulness. If a study is designed and conducted properly, its findings are likely to be valid. For example, it was found that adding vitamin E to human cells in the laboratory stimulated cell division and growth. This was used to support the erroneous conclusion that vitamin E would delay the aging process. This was not a proper generalization because a simple laboratory experiment is not a valid procedure for demonstrating something as complex as aging.

Reliability is another key criterion for evaluating health information and refers to the extent that health claims can be consistently verified. If a claim is reliable, it can be demonstrated to occur consistently in study after study. Researchers speak of findings as statistically significant when they are considered reliable. Statistical significance means that the probability that a study’s findings are due to chance alone is less than 5%. That is, 95 out of 100 times similarly designed studies would yield similar results. Because thousands of studies are performed, however, some studies that yield statistically significant results eventually prove to be wrong. Consequently it takes hundreds of studies, many of them conflicting, to create a consensus on a particular health issue. Any health claim worth considering should be based on numerous studies or experiments conducted over many years.

Health information must also pass scientifically controlled, double-blind studies. The classic study includes at least two groups in which one is an experimental group and receives some form of experimental treatment and the other is a control group and receives no treatment. The double-blind feature of a study means that neither the researcher nor the subjects know who is receiving an experimental treatment. If a researcher wanted to prove, for example, that a particular brand of soap prevents athlete’s foot, two groups would be needed. One would use the experimental soap, and the other would use a placebo or soap substitute. Researchers administering the soap treatment would not know which soap they were using, nor would the subjects in the experimental and control groups. Therefore if the experimental group has significantly fewer cases of athlete’s foot, the results can be attributed to the treatment.

Dangers In Buying Health Insurance Online

When faced with the dilemma of buying their own health insurance, consumers find a baffling array of choices, terms, waiting periods, deductibles and exclusions. What is the difference between coinsurance and a copay anyway?

With less employers than ever offering health insurance benefits, people retiring earlier, and the trend toward self-employment and entrepreneurship, there are more people buying individual and family health insurance plans (IFP) than ever before.

Compounding the problem is the fact that health insurance is very complex, and consumers can easily make very serious mistakes that end up costing them tens of thousands of dollars – after it’s too late.

Naturally, with the growth of the internet has come the growth of “online” health insurance marketplaces. Unlike term life insurance, auto or homeowner’s insurance, health insurance has so many moving parts that it is not a commodity easily compared or purchased online. You are not buying an airline ticket from Travelocity, or a book from Amazon! Many online health insurance shoppers are duped into buying a virtually worthless “discount” plan instead of real insurance. Other consumers are under the mistaken impression that buying online will lower their premium – not true!

Here are the main problems in comparing and applying for health insurance from one of the online marketplaces.

First, not all of the sites have all of the plans available. When making such a critical and expensive purchase, wouldn’t you want to have the entire universe of coverage available to you?

Secondly, it is almost impossible to get an accurate premium quote online. Most online health insurance sites quote the “standard” rate. There is no way to tell if the medication you’re taking, or your height and weight ratio or any of the dozens of considerations that go in to the rate will effect your final price for coverage – you are flying blind!

Many online health insurance sites have “sponsored” or “featured” listings. After you enter your demographic info, available policies pop up. Often times the insurance company will have paid the site for premium placement, much like Google or Yahoo. Many mistakenly think this means it’s the “best” policy for them, and with the dizzying array of options for coverage, it’s not hard to see how they could make this potentially expensive mistake.

Health Insurance Protection In Georgia

In Georgia, state laws protect your access to healthcare even if you get sick or would not otherwise have ready access to health care. Here’s a rundown on current scenarios in Georgia’s health care system.

Group Health Plans
There is such a thing nondiscrimination in a group health plan, which means that if you are covered under a company-backed policy, you cannot be denied or be limited in your access to healthcare because of you health status. You also cannot be made to pay more because of your current state of being.
Similarly, if you are a small company trying to buy group health insurance, you cannot be turned down because of any factor that may affect the use of health services by anyone in your company. Therefore, you as an employer should be sold health plan on a guaranteed basis.

As it is, Georgia limits health insurance carriers from excluding pre-existing conditions. Of course, there are rules on what can be counted as a pre-existing condition and how long anyone must wait before a new plan begins to pay for the care of that condition. In general, if you have a new plan, your old coverage can be credited as the exclusion period of your pre-existing condition under certain conditions.

Conversion Policy
If for any reason you lost your fully insured group health plan, you have the right to buy an individual health insurance from the same company that provided the group coverage, provided that you were fully covered for six months under that group plan.
However, there are conversion policies and you can be charged premiums. Thankfully, you do not have to be slapped with a new exclusion period for pre-existing conditions.

Health Insurance Between Jobs
Even after you leave your job, you still remain in your employer’s group health plan for a period of time, which is called COBRA or state continuation coverage. This continuation helps if you are waiting for a new health plan or are between jobs.
Low To Modest Income Health Insurance
If you can’t afford health insurance, you may qualify for free health coverage or a subsidized plan. Georgia’s Medicaid program offers free health care for pregnant women, low-income families, and elderly or disabled individuals with little or no income. Median income families in Atlanta can opt for private family health insurance programs readily available in the market.

Safety Precautions Before Preparing Baby Food Recipes

Homemade baby food recipes are the healthiest option when it comes to feeding your baby. These are also easy to make and store. Babies start to eat solids at 6 months and it should be pureed. Purees can easily be made from fruits and vegetables and they are far healthier than jarred foods as they are fresh and only require one or two ingredients. Please read these tips to start solid foods before you start preparing solid foods for your baby. Safety should be considered first above all just like what you did in planning for your pregnancy diet.

Tips To Start Solid Foods

Solid foods are usually introduced sometime between four to six months and the key sign you should look for to see that your baby is ready for solids such as the ability to chew.
Observe your baby to check the best time to feed your baby within the day, for example before, after, or at a divided time from formula or breastfeeding.
Introduce solids to your baby gradually to check for food allergies, do it by taking note of the food ingredients, give the food at a time, and wait three to four days before introducing another.
Use a teaspoon first or smaller than that when you are first introducing solid foods and the gradually shift to a tablespoon or more as your baby grows and tolerate eating solid foods.
Consult your health care provider if your baby won’t eat any solid foods by the time he is seven to 8 months.
In most cases, an iron fortified rice cereal is the first solid food that your baby should eat. And continue to try on other cereals, like oatmeal, and then slowly introduce strained fruits, vegetables and lastly, meat.
Don’t stress yourself too much in introducing solids, your baby would reach a stage when he/she will like to eat everything.

Basic Principles Behind Food in A 72 Hour Kit

It is common knowledge that emergencies and natural disasters can happen even without our knowledge and thus the need for an emergency 72 hour food kit. Man has always been trying to predict when a calamity or natural disaster would hit. But even with the modern technology and all the gadgets that try come up with a sure-fire way of determining the exact time a natural disaster like an earthquake, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes and tsunamis would come and bring destruction, there is still no certain way to know when.

But even with the inability of man to predict with accuracy when certain natural disasters and emergencies would affect people, there is still a great need to be prepared. Preparation for those earthquakes and tsunamis that have been claiming a lot of properties and lives for the past years can be done by being equipped with survival kits. And since there is no telling when another emergency would hit, it is wise to have those survival kits easily accessible and can be quickly carried around.

One of the basic items that a person must have in his survival kit is food. The best emergency food kit must have not just any food but those that can help sustain a person while being left on his own for at least 3 days; this is the number of days that is expected that help could come to someone after an emergency or natural disaster. It is essential that the food that you can find in a best emergency food must have those foods that are high in calories. Some people would include in their survival kit food that won’t spoil right away. Some good examples of foods to bring is those that are canned. Canned foods don’t expire easily which makes them ideal for travelling and during times of natural disasters. Having can food is already almost a 72 hour kit in a can.

The basic principle of food behind a 72 hour emergency survival kit is to sustain the strength of the person. Without the needed strength during calamities or disasters, the chances of surviving will diminish. Food is one of the basic aspects of survival for man so it is but understandable how it should be always present in a survival kit.

A 72 Hour Food Kit Should Be Readily Available

Aside from food, there are also other stuffs that a person must not forget to have with him during emergencies. Some people would sometimes have a bit of difficulties when it comes to determining what contents their survival kit should have. Because of the many presumed necessities people have nowadays, it is getting very tricky to decide what stuff should just be considered as necessary for survival. The whole idea of having a survival kit is to have only those essential things for survival. Limiting the list of things to be present in your kit will make it more effective since it can be easily carried and available to you.

Tips On How To Deal With Pregnancy Food Cravings

Many females possess strange cravings in the course of pregnancy. These pregnancy food cravings may appear and move to the different levels throughout the process of carrying a child and can vary from being salty meals in a trimester to sweet in another. Pickles or ice cream? Pineapple pizza and anchovy? Ketchup on… almost everything? Late evening candy binges.

Some adjustments in the food choices can be anticipated and will be triggered because of the hormonal alterations in the human body. For some females, sometimes the faint stench of a once most liked meal or beverage is adequate to make them hungry, while for some, food items that were once fended off are desired with an eagerness.

Fact is, no one is confident why a number of females possess food cravings. For instance, you might not feel like alcohol consumption when expecting, which is helpful since preventing dark beer, wines, along with spirits fosters the infant’s psychological and bodily growth.

Others believe an expecting female’s desire food items for instance salt-laden chips can be nature’s means of aiding her fulfill her everyday sodium quota. Nonetheless, it’s extremely improbable that cells turn so-called nutritional shortfalls in food urges. Desiring a specific meal will differentiate pregnancy meals urges from cravings females own if they aren’t expecting.

This is how to take care of pregnancy food cravings:

1. Attempt to fulfill a snack craving with a small-size bar rather than the full size. Must have potato chips? Select a munch size of cooked chips to confine fat ingestion and general intake.

2. Give attention to low-calorie meals. Yogurt and ice bars low on fats could work when you wish super-king size ice cream.

3. Consume balanced diet, which includes thin sources regarding protein, grains, reduced-fat milk foods, veggies, fruits as well as legumes. If your diet plan is nicely balanced, a portion of not-so-healthy meals will not crowd out the food intake the child needs.

4. Consume repeatedly for avoiding reduction in the blood sugar that can induce food urges. Dividing meals into 6 little gratifying meals will help.

Super Foods As Prescription

What are super foods? Well, they are foods that are considered the most nutritionally dense on the planet. The abundance and density of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins and other vital nutrients is what makes them super foods and the kicker is the majority of nutritionally dense foods are plant based.

Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” and scientific studies now verify he knew what he was talking about.

Imagine eating foods that have the power to help you lose weight, lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, and banish diabetes all the way down to clearing up your skin and putting you in a better mood. You would surely want a lifetime supply. Granted you may be able to get the same effect with any number of drugs but then you would also be dealing with a number of side effects and you would be buying food as well as drugs. Good nutrition is all about superior food choices but if I can’t get these foods and they are not readily available to me at my local supermarket then what good are they?

The good news is a great many of these super foods are available right now at your local supermarket and many of them are available year around and they are to be found in the produce aisle. The one thing that you need to be concerned with in fresh fruits and vegetables is the presence of pesticides because any benefit you get nutritionally from these super foods could well be negated by the pesticides used in the growing process. So along with these lists of super foods I will add which ones are the highest in pesticides and should be organically grown if possible. If not they should be washed with soap and if necessary peeled.

The Dirty Dozen: These foods you should always buy organic: celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, spinach, kale, cherries, potatoes and grapes (imported). All produce should be well washed of course, whether it is organic or not.

The Clean Sixteen: These foods have low enough levels of pesticides that they are considered to be safe to consume whether they are organic or not: onions, avocado, sweet corn, pineapple, mango, sweet pea, asparagus, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloupe, oranges, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potatoes and honeydew melon. Once again, ALL produce should be well-washed before eating.

The Wii Fit Review

In this article I will provide a Wii Fit review. The Wii gaming console has been around for a few years now and is one of the best selling gaming platforms out there. Wii is also the first major platform to target the fitness market. By creating a fitness program, the designers of this software made the first inroads into interactive fitness delivered via a gaming platform.

What makes this such a useful tool is the interactive feedback provided by the system which personalizes the program. The system comes with a sensor bar which tracks your Wii Remote (also called a Wiimote), your nunchuck, or your balance board. It allows the system to monitor your movements in order to evaluate your progress.

The balance board communicates with the underlying software program to provide additional information on you, the user. Your weight is calculated along with your balance during certain exercises and tests. (You need not worry about personal information. You can lock your profile so no one has access to your information if you should desire to keep it private. You should be aware however, that the system does display your weight and Body Mass Index when you take the fitness test.)

You also have a personal trainer assigned to you while you are working out. You can choose between a male and a female trainer. The trainer will show you how the exercises are supposed to be performed initially. After the first time you do the exercise you have the option to have the trainer instruct you again, should you need or desire additional guidance. The trainers guide you through the exercises and provide motivational feedback while you are working out.

There have been additional fitness gaming programs released over the past year, but the best is still Wii Fit. Review any of the other programs and you will find Wii Fit provides the best graphics, combined with a wide variety of exercises from beginner to advanced to keep you motivated to work out for a long time.

Wii Fit Plus – Great For Fitness But With a Lot More Entertainment

Wii Fit is great for starter fitness but now the Wii Fit Plus offers a lot of entertainment mixed in with fitness, guidance and caloric help.

Wii Fit Plus is helping all ages burn calories. The original was made by Nintendo in Japan and has had great success in the past with it’s tennis, baseball, golf and the list goes on. These sport games are not like any other as they make the player stand up and move. They also are very mindful games because it requires strategy and a little technique. For example, the Tennis game may not require perfect form to hit the ball but it may require the player to advance up to the net to make a drop shot in order to out wit the wii opponent. This seems to work well for the young enthusiasts but what about older adults and the parents of the children playing? Here comes Wii Fit Plus, one of the hottest items this year.

Wii Fit Plus is everything the former console is, plus more. Recently Nintendo released the Plus edition just in time for Thanksgiving. Why? It lays out a complete Thanksgiving menu, lists calories of a large databases and helps the user know how much to burn to fix the damage made on a Thanksgiving Menu plus more.

This new addition can also calculate your BMI, your ideal weight, exercise routine how much time it will take to burn off some of the calories you earned during your Thanksgiving meal. W.F.P. seems to make cute fun out of working off the weight, such as the Turkey Burn with games like Bird’s Eye Bull’s Eye, Hula Hoop and Rhythm Boxing.