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Monthly Archives: May 2016

This Test Can Tell You if Your body need Antibiotics

We’re amidst an antibiotic emergency that general wellbeing specialists have been cautioning about for a considerable length of time. While anti-microbial are a wonder of present day medication, they’re being over utilized and manhandled—30% of remedies are superfluous, another study found but then specialists keep on prescribing them improperly and the agrarian business depends on them to keep creatures full. Such abuse is prompting more quick witted microscopic organisms that are advancing into super bugs that can oppose about each antibiotic drug accessible today.

To evade a universe of widespread, untreatable bacterial contamination, specialists say decreasing superfluous utilization of anti-infection agents is basic. That incorporates recommending the medications just for bacterial contamination, against which they work, and not for viral diseases. But since individuals with bacterial contamination—individuals with chilly side effects, say—tend to feel also to those with viral diseases—with influenza indications—numerous specialists still endorse the medications for both.

Now, scientists at Stanford University and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center report on a blood test that can distinguish between bacterial and viral infections. The test looks at the proteins made by seven genes; in the presence of bacteria, four of the genes become more active, while in the presence of viruses, three of them churn out more proteins. By measuring this, the test can tell with reliable certainty whether an infection is caused by a bacteria or virus.

This was a viruses was a surprise to the researchers. “The notion that there are just seven targets with really excellent accuracy was pretty shocking,” says Dr. Timothy Sweeney, a researcher at Stanford University and lead author of the paper, which was published in Science Translational Medicine.

Previous studies identified dozens or hundreds of genes that were associated with either bacterial or viral infections, but those analyzed a single set of data from a group of patients. Sweeney and his team combined publicly available data from nearly two dozen groups of people with documented infections. These ranged from cases of the common cold to hemorrhagic viral fevers, to ear infections and septic shock. Teasing apart the genetic signatures of these people led to the narrowed set of seven genes that showed consistently different activity in the presence of bacteria and viruses.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, about a third of the 154 million prescriptions that doctors write for antibiotics are unnecessary, and likely do more harm in terms of promoting bacterial resistance, than good in treating infections. The reasons for that include patients who demand drugs to treat their symptoms, even if they aren’t caused by bacteria, doctors who are too pressed for time to educate their patients about the difference between bacterial and viral infections, and a better-safe-than-sorry mentality to protect hospitalized patients, from dangerous, potentially fatal infections like sepsis.

“We don’t really have a good test where we can say you don’t have an infection so we can safely withhold antibiotics,” says Sweeney.

This panel of seven genes may change that, but it will take a few years before it becomes reliable enough to use in the clinic. While Sweeney and his colleagues tested the panel in a group of nearly 100 children with infections, more testing in more patients is needed to verify the panel’s accuracy. For now, the test also takes four to six hours—too long when the patient might be suffering from sepsis, which can progress quickly within hours.

The goal is to perfect the technology to scan the blood for the seven genes’ profile in about an hour. “A lot of people said we need a test like this, and we hope our test, or one like it, will help to reduce the crazy over use of antibiotics that is threatening not just medicine but whole parts of our society based on our inability to treat certain infections,” says Sweeney.

Be Smart about Your Health before Things Get Expensive

One of the keys to sparing cash on your social insurance is to abstain from becoming ill in any case. An ounce of savvy counteractive action can spare you what you’d spend on cures. Furthermore, in the event that you do build up a genuine therapeutic condition, you’ll keep your yearly out-of-pocket expenses in line in the event that you pay consideration on what your specialist orders. Take after these four stages to spare.

# Make this a habit

One of the best ways to avoid getting sick doesn’t cost a dime: Wash your hands (for 20 seconds, says the CDC). Handwashing cuts respiratory illnesses like colds by 21%, a published review found. No sink nearby? Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

# Take your best shot

A 2007 study put lost earnings from the flu at $16.3 billion a year. Between 5% and 20% of the U.S. population comes down with the flu each year, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you’re in that group, you’ll probably miss up to five days of work. You can get an annual free flu shot from an in-network health care provider; plus schools and companies often offer them at no cost.

# Be smart about tests

Preventive care is covered by insurance with no cost sharing. There’s a debate, though, about whether the harms of some screening outweigh the benefits. Talk to your doctor, but these seven tests are likely a net positive, says Wanda Filer, a family physician and president of the American Academy of Family Physicians: All adults should be screened for high blood pressure, depression, alcohol misuse, HIV (ages 18 to 65), and cholesterol (starting at 35 for men, 45 for women at risk of heart disease). Diabetes, for people 40 to 70 who are overweight. A hepatitis C test is recommended if you were born between 1945 and 1965.

# Follow doctor’s orders

When you have a chronic condition such as diabetes or heart disease, the amount you’ll spend on doctor visits and prescriptions adds up. Heeding doctors’ orders not only can keep you healthier, but can also improve your cash flow.

A 65-year-old diabetic who follows her doctor’s treatment plan will pay 13% less in health care costs at age 75 than her less compliant peers, according to HealthView Services, a Danvers, Mass., company that provides retirement health care cost data and tools to financial advisers. For a 65-year-old with heart disease, the cost gap at age 75 between diligent and not-so-diligent patients is 7%.

“If we make minor changes in lifestyle, we can significantly reduce health care costs, both pre-retirement and in retirement,” says HealthView Services founder and CEO Ron Mastrogiovanni.

Prevention is always the best money saver, and the CDC lists community-based diabetes prevention programs at Costs vary and may be covered by insurance.

Successful management of Type 2 diabetes often involves taking insulin, exercising, monitoring your blood sugar levels, and regulating the amount of carbs and sweets in your diet. For those with diabetes, Medicare covers medical nutrition therapy, as do many private insurance plans.

To ward off heart disease, embrace a healthy lifestyle—diet, exercise, no smoking. The American Heart Association has tips at When you have heart disease, the key is to take your medications as directed, even if you feel fine.

Avoid Flu and Cough using This Helpful Tips

flu-and-coughIs it accurate to say that you are maintaining a strategic distance from your collaborator with that hacking hack, chilly, or influenza in the desk area alongside you? Do you step your hand once again from each doorknob? Have frosty and-influenza fear? Take a few to get back some composure before the grippe gets you. Weve counseled many therapeutic specialists to convey you 14 approaches to maintain a strategic distance from colds and influenza this season.

Each time you shake someones hand, wash yours

Be that as it may, dont stop there. Wash them however much as could reasonably be expected, says Mark Mengel, MD, seat of group and family solution at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Running loads of water over your hands will weaken any germs and send them down the channel.

Get your shot
Last years flu-shot shortages are, well, last years shortages, says Jeff Robertson, MD, and chief medical officer for health insurer Regence. Finding flu shots should be easier this year, but you should get one early.

Build up with healthy food
You may think its hard to eat healthy on a regular basis, but eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables supports your immune system, Robertson says. And thats a lot easier than fighting off the flu.

Go to bed
As if getting enough sleep on a normal basis isnt hard enough, you need more zs when youre feeling under the weather. When youre tired, your body isnt fighting as hard, so Mengel suggests getting 8 to 10 hours a night.

Keep your hands off
Touching your nose and your eyes may hurt you, Mengel says. Those are the most common places for germs to get in.

Work out
Get those sweats on and exercise, says Ann G. Kulze, MD, CEO and founder of Dr. Ann and Just Wellness. Working out regularly enhances immune function, she explains.

Stay away
Keep your distance from people displaying symptoms like sneezing and coughing. While that strategy may seem obvious, it applies to more than just strangers and colleagues. Stay away from sick friends and family when possible, Robertson says.

Another reason to quit

Smoking increases the risk of infections by making structural changes in the respiratory tract and decreasing immune response, according to a study of smokers and infection published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2004. In particular, Mengel says, smoking destroys cilia, the little hairlike fibers inside our noses; this can help increase infection risks.

Did you just double dip that chip?
Beware of the dip. It may be harboring more than savory salsa. Double-dippers may be passing germs to those who eat after them, Mengel says.

Already sick?
Here are four things you can do to get better, according to Jeff Robertson, MD, and chief medical officer for health insurer Regence.

Take some alone time
This is the when youll want to shy away from company. Stay home and take care of yourself.

Watch your symptoms
If it goes from simple sniffles to raging sickness, contact your doctor. Your cold may have escalated to the flu.

Drink, drink, drink
Dehydration can easily occur (especially if you are running a fever or vomiting). If youre unable to keep fluids down, contact your physician.

Nows not the time to save up
Dispose of all used tissues. As easy as it is to grab whatever is on the nightstand (including crumpled Kleenex), dont! You may be furthering the cold.