Group of diverse individuals exercising in a park - managing vital signs for healthier lifestyle.

Blood Pressure, Pulse, Temperature, and Respiratory Readings: What Do Your Vital Signs Say About Your Health?

Group of diverse individuals exercising in a park - managing vital signs for healthier lifestyle.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “vital signs,” but you may not know how truly important they are. Vital signs are an objective and helpful way to get a quick snapshot of someone’s health — including your own. For vital signs to be useful, however, you first have to understand what they are and why they’re important. 

What are Vital Signs

Vital signs are an objective measurement of all the critical physiological functions of a person’s body. In healthcare, vital signs are the essential first step in evaluating someone’s health status. Whether in a doctor’s office for a routine check-up or in the emergency room preparing for surgery, healthcare professionals will take a person’s vital signs before providing care. Why? Because vital signs, though simple, offer a plethora of information about a person and help direct the care professionals provide. 

Vital signs consist of four basic pieces of information

  • Temperature
  • Blood Pressure
  • Pulse (Heart Rate)
  • Respiratory Rate (Breathing Rate)

The information gathered from these four items can indicate a person’s health status by whether or not the numbers are within normal limits. 

Temperature: Normal Range 97.7 to 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit

A person’s temperature is typically taken with a thermometer by mouth, ear, or forehead. The normal temperature range is 97.7 to 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit. For example, a temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit may indicate a fever from an infection or dehydration. On the other hand, a low temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit may show that the person has been exposed to cold for too long or has an underactive thyroid. 

Blood Pressure: Normal Number 120/80 mmHg

a healthcare worker measuring a patient s blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer

Blood pressure measures the force of blood against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps out blood and is obtained using a blood pressure device. The numbers on a blood pressure reading consist of two numbers, with one number (systolic) over another (diastolic).

Although “normal” blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg or lower, most people fall within a range of that number. Because blood pressure readings measure the force of blood pumped by the heart, it says a lot about the condition of a person’s heart and cardiovascular system. A person with repeated high blood pressure readings of 140/90 mmHg, for example, may have heart disease. In contrast, a person with a very low blood pressure reading of less than 90/60 mmHg may be suffering from heart failure or heatstroke. 

Pulse: Normal Range 60 to 100 beats per minute

person holding blue pulse oximeter

Typically taken while a person is resting, a normal range for a person’s pulse — also known as heart rate — has a wide span of 40 beats per minute because a normal pulse may vary from person to person.

A person’s pulse fluctuates depending on their emotions, illness, injury, or even how often they exercise. An athlete, for example, may have a normal pulse of about 55 or lower due to their healthy heart. A non-athlete with a slow pulse of 55, however, may have a heart problem. Conversely, someone who has a fever, heart issues, or experiencing severe pain may experience a fast heart rate of 130 beats per minute. 

Respiratory Rate: 12 to 20 breaths per minute

Being able to breathe well is essential for life. Your breathing is one of the primary indicators of good health. A normal range for respiratory rate, also known as breathing rate, is 12 to 20 breaths per minute. For example, a low respiratory rate of 9 may indicate a drug overdose or carbon monoxide poisoning. A high respiratory rate of 24, however, may be a sign of a lung condition or pneumonia. 

Vital Signs: Knowledge is Power

When it comes to your vital signs, knowledge is power. Taking your vital signs and knowing what the numbers mean can help guide you to make healthy decisions about your habits and lifestyle. Your vital signs show you whether you’re on the right path and what you need to address to make improvements.

Interested in learning more about vital signs? Take a look at the health courses offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy or follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. You can also visit us on Facebook or Twitter for more information on healthcare.

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Man experiencing knee pain while working out - a concept of common workout injuries.

Healthcare Physical Fitness: How to Avoid Hurting Yourself When You Exercise

Man experiencing knee pain while working out - a concept of common workout injuries.

Working out is an excellent way to maintain your health. It keeps one intellectually and emotionally balanced as well as physically fit. There are numerous ways to exercise, depending on one’s physical needs and comfort level; nonetheless, regardless of the type of exercise chosen, it is critical to take specific precautions to avoid workout injuries. Here are 10 common workout injuries and how to treat the injury.

Common Workout Injuries

When people exercise, they injure themselves in a variety of ways. Among the most common workout injuries are:

1. Shoulder Injury

The most prevalent cause of shoulder injury happens when performing shoulder-related activities too frequently without allowing the muscles and tendons to rest in between workouts. Working out hard can cause inflammation and injury to the rotator cuff.

Treatment for shoulder injuries differs depending on the severity and extent of the damage. Anti-inflammatory medication, injections, or physical therapy may treat smaller tears. However, surgery can usually treat total rotator cuff tears.

close up photo of a person having a back pain

2. Muscle Pull and Strain

You will experience a muscle pull when your muscles become exhausted, overused, or used in the wrong way. Strains can affect any muscle, but the lower back, neck, shoulder, and hamstring are prevalent. Treatment of muscle pull and strain involves the use of ice, anti-inflammatory medication, and ice cubes to relieve mild to moderate pain. While severe pain will require medical treatment.

a person holding his wrist
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Pexels.com

3. Wrist Sprain or Dislocation

A wrist sprain is an injury to the ligament, while a wrist dislocation means the bones have been misaligned. Minor injuries can lead to chronic pain and suffering if not properly cared for and treated. Mild dislocation can be treated through reduction, while a severe case of wrist dislocation calls for surgery.

4. Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis is one of the most common workout injuries that can occur to runners who increase the intensity of their running and end up injuring the Achilles tendon. The most common symptoms are heel discomfort and soreness. Rest and pain relievers are frequently used in conjunction with at-home treatment under the supervision of a doctor.

a person touching his ankle

5. Sprained Ankle

When working out, you might twist, roll or even turn the ankle in an unusual way, causing a sprained ankle.  As a result, the ligaments that maintain the ankle bones together might be stretched or torn. The degree of a sprained ankle determines the course of treatment. Self-care and over-the-counter pain relievers may help. However, you may need a medical examination to assess how seriously you’ve sprained your ankle and the recommended treatment.

6. Knee Injuries

Sprains and tears of soft tissues (e.g., ligaments, meniscus), fractures, and dislocations are the most common knee injuries. In many cases, injuries to the knee involve more than one structure. When you do strenuous workouts, you may end up getting a knee injury. The most frequent symptoms of a knee injury are pain and swelling. Furthermore, the knee can catch or lock.

7. Shin splint

Pain along the shin bone (tibia), the big bone in the front of your lower leg, is referred to as “shin splints.” Runners, dancers, and military recruits are all susceptible to shin splints. Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, are common among athletes who have recently increased or altered their training routines. Muscles, tendons, and bone tissue can become overworked as a result of increased activity.

You can treat shin splints with rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers, and then you can resume your normal activities. In case of severe and persistent shin splint pain, visit your doctor right away to check for additional problems including a tibia stress fracture.

fashion love people woman

8. Hamstring Strain

A hamstring strain, often known as a strained hamstring, occurs when one or more leg muscles are overstretched and begin to tear. Hamstring strains can be minor, resulting in little pain and a quick recovery. They can sometimes be severe, necessitating surgery and weeks of crutches.

A hamstring strain is most commonly caused by muscle overload, such as when you’re jogging and your leg is completely extended immediately before your foot hits the ground. When your foot hits the ground and you put all of your weight on it, the muscles might become overstretched and tear.

9. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition that affects runners. It is an inflammation of the bottom of the feet. A sharp, tight painful sensation at the base of the heel, similar to stepping on a nail, is a common characteristic of this condition. Overtraining, overuse, or the incorrect choice of footwear can cause this workout injury. Nevertheless, relief can be obtained by rolling the foot on a golf ball, cooling the painful area, and extending and strengthening the calf muscles.

10. Foot Numbness

Nerves in the torso, spine, legs, hips, feet, and ankles can become compressed, causing numbness in the feet and legs. To reduce numbness in the foot, you can perform the following therapies to reduce the symptoms: massage, mindful meditation, taking vitamin B supplements, and acupuncture. In addition, you can treat long-term foot numbness using antidepressants, corticosteroids and Gabapentin, and pregabalin.

To learn more about healthcare, enroll in one of our healthcare courses. Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy to learn more about our current course offerings. To purchase scented candles and soaps with a healthcare theme, visit Avidity Medical Scentations.

Woman with long hair touching the ends of her unhealthy hair - showing common hair problems such as split ends and brittleness.

Your Hair and Your Health Care: 10 Hair Problems You May Have, and What They May Be Telling You About Your Health

Woman with long hair touching the ends of her unhealthy hair - showing common hair problems such as split ends and brittleness.

Everyone wants a full, beautiful, healthy head of hair. Most people think of hair problems as cosmetic issues and rely on beauty products for solutions. However, just like healthy skin and healthy teeth, healthy hair is more than a sign of cosmetic beauty, and issues with hair health affect more than just the way you look. 

Hair Products Can Mask Underlying Issues

Common hair problems can include dandruff, dullness, brittleness, and split ends. Most of us head to the salon for a trim to get rid of those unsightly split ends. For most other hair concerns, we hit the beauty aisle for spendy hair products that promise to strengthen, fortify, and hydrate hair, add shine, or eliminate dandruff. While these products can make your hair look healthier, the real causes of hair problems can indicate underlying health issues. Addressing these root causes will improve your overall health, which means healthier hair.

10 Hair Problems and What They’re Telling You

1. Split Ends

When we notice split ends, we assume it’s just time for a haircut. Most of us just clip them off and never think about why they occur. Split ends indicate dehydration. If you have lots of split ends on a regular basis, drink more water and avoid things that exacerbate dehydration, like coffee and alcohol. You can prevent and easily treat these hair problems. Following these tips can help reduce them. 

  • Turn down the heat: washing your hair with scalding hot water damages the follicles.
  • Check the ingredients: avoid using harsh shampoos with harmful sulfates, parabens, and even formaldehyde.
  • Protect your hair before styling: avoid prolonged use of heated styling tools at high temperatures. Reducing the temperature should also create less frizz. 

2. Premature Graying Hairs

Going gray prematurely happens to both men and women. While graying hair is rarely associated with a health problem, it is rarely a source of joy for people in their early 20s. In some cases, premature graying can be caused by a deficiency of vitamin B12. Pituitary or thyroid gland problems can also cause premature graying. Graying hair can be reversible in some cases once the vitamin deficiency or other problem is treated. 

3. Dandruff

If you experience annoying dandruff, understanding the underlying causes can give you important insights into your health. The first item to examine is your existing shampoo. Harsh chemicals can irritate the scalp, so listen to your body and pay attention when any hair product causes discomfort, pain, itching, or irritation. 

Some people may think dandruff is a sign of washing your hair too much. However, in mild cases, frequent washing can exfoliate scales on your scalp. More severe cases require treatment with a shampoo containing zinc.

As with so many other hair problems, an unbalanced diet that lacks sufficient vitamin B can cause dandruff. Leafy vegetables, eggs, milk, legumes, and sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin B. You should also add foods with healthy oils to your diet.

Dandruff-like flaking can indicate scalp psoriasis. If your dandruff is yellow instead of white, you may have seborrheic dermatitis which requires doctor-prescribed treatment. 

Smiling woman looking at her reflection in the mirror while touching her healthy hair - solving common hair problems.

4. Dryness

Dry hair often indicates a dry scalp, which can lead to dandruff. Aging and the hormonal changes women go through during menopause can also cause dry hair. Environmental conditions like living in a hot, dry climate can contribute to dry hair.

Overwashing, using harsh shampoos that strip your hair of natural oils, and heat damage also contribute to dryness. Shampooing your hair every day is not recommended. Some medications and medical illnesses can cause extremely dry hair. If you’ve ruled out all other possible causes, you may want to talk to a doctor. 

5. Hair Loss

If you notice excessive hair loss in yourself or someone you know, it may indicate a more serious health problem. While we all lose up to hundreds of hairs every day, noticeably abnormal hair loss can be a sign of eating disorders like anorexia nervosa or bulimia. In some cases, it can be a side effect of certain medications. Hair loss is also associated with iron deficiency, which can easily be treated by modifying your diet or taking iron supplements. Because there are many causes that can contribute to hair loss, it’s best to talk to your doctor. 

6. Pattern Baldness

Male pattern baldness is associated with coronary heart disease. Hair loss, in general, is associated with heart health. People with pattern baldness and other types of hair loss have an increased risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure). A study has also shown that male pattern baldness  is a major risk factor for COVID-19. Coronary heart disease does not, however, cause vertex baldness.

7. Dullness

People usually consider dull hair as a simple cosmetic issue that can be fixed with a salon treatment. Certain medical deficiencies or overexposure to certain elements are common reasons for issues like dull hair. Dullness can result from too much sun or chemical exposure. Doctors also believe that dullness and brittleness may be signs that you’re not absorbing enough protein, phosphorus, sulfur, and selenium. If those vitamins and minerals are missing from your diet, you might also notice an effect on your teeth.

8. Excessive Oiliness

Certain hair types are naturally more oily than others. Natural oils collect at the root of the hair follicle, creating oiliness on the scalp. Some people dislike the damp appearance this gives to their hair. Luckily, there are ways to control overly oily hair, including dry shampoos and techniques like washing your pillowcases regularly.

woman wearing pink lace cami top
Photo by Godisable Jacob on Pexels.com

Overusing hair products, exerting lots of physical energy, and other environmental factors can contribute to oiliness. Surprisingly, so can over-washing your hair. Oiliness is more common in straight hair and can be made worse by certain products. If you’re concerned about excessive oiliness or scalp irritation, contact a dermatologist. 

9. Brittleness

A diet low in protein and vitamins can cause your hair to become dull, dry, and brittle. It can also make your hair fall out. Certain nutrients can make your hair stronger and thicker, especially iron, zinc, vitamin B, and folic acid. A diet rich in fish, nuts, leafy greens, and legumes also help fortify hair. Brittle hair can also be caused by overly treated hair that has been repeatedly colored, bleached, chemically treated, or styled with heated tools. 

10. Bald Patches

If you have bald patches that appear suddenly and only affect a limited area, you may have a form of alopecia called alopecia areata. This skin disorder is believed to be an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks hair follicles. In most cases, lost patches of hair regrow within 12 months or so, but alopecia can result in total baldness in certain people. Contact a doctor if you notice patchy hair loss, loss of eyebrow or eyelash hair, or thinning of your beard or body hair. 

Woman meditating at home and observing Feng Shui practices for better overall well-being.

10 Ways That Feng Shui Can Help Improve Your Health and Your Home

traditional chinese fish shaped decor hanging on street

If you’re searching for harmony, peace, and better health in 2022, there’s no better place to start than with Feng Shui. If you’re not familiar with the Feng Shui, it is the ancient Chinese practice of arranging objects in the environment to promote positive energy and achieve balance. The main idea of Feng Shui is the Taoist belief called “chi,” which is the ever-present life force that inhabits all things. When you practice Feng Shui, your goal is to arrange things in your home to promote harmony, positive energy, and balance in the space where you live.

How Does Feng Shui Promote Good Health? 

Chi is made up of opposing forces called yin and yang. By balancing yin and yang through the arrangement of furniture, decorations, and building layout, Feng Shui draws luck, prosperity, and good health for its users. 

Feng shui promotes good health by:

1. Reducing Allergies.

Feng Shui advises people to do away with clutter. This is the main principle of practicing what is called a “minimalist mindset.” According to practices, clutter only serves to trap negative energy. When it comes to your health, clutter traps dust, mold, and mildew — all items that contribute to allergies, asthma, and other illnesses. 

2. Preventing Accidents.

According to Feng Shui practice, doors should remain unblocked to allow positive energy access into the home. Health professionals also advise the same, because blocked exits can lead to falls, especially during an emergency. 

3. Fostering Calmness.

Flowing water represents refreshment and vitality, and a small water fountain or aerated fish tank will do just that. The sound of flowing water and the serenity of swimming fish helps revitalize a stressed brain. 

4. Cleaning the Air

Potted plants are an excellent opportunity to bring the outdoors into the home, and they’re also a must when it comes to Feng Shui. Healthy plants attract abundance, and they also lower indoor carbon dioxide and pollutants. 

5. Preventing Illness

In Feng Shui, the windows are the eyes of the home, so it’s essential to keep them bright and open to light and air. Keeping clean air flowing through the home helps to eliminate toxins, dust, and germs, while stagnant air promotes illness. 

6. Lifting the Spirit.

Sunlight is preferable when it comes to Feng Shui, but electric lights also serve a purpose. Keeping areas well lit attracts positive energy, but it also brightens the mood and prevents accidents from occurring. 

family making breakfast in the kitchen

7. Maintaining Relationships and Family Ties.

Honoring family and friends is a major part of Chinese custom. Placing photographs and mementos around the home to connect you improves your sense of well-being. 

8. Keeping Germs Away.

Removing your shoes before entering the home is a well-known Asian custom, and Feng Shui also recommends this practice. People often track dirt and germs throughout the home by way of their shoes. Removing footwear keeps potential sources of infection out of your home. 

9. Enhancing Self-Reflection

Mirrors are like water in Feng Shui, taking on the form of whatever container it’s in. Use mirrors to see yourself in a positive light, and place them in areas that reflect the sunshine. 

10. Improving Overall Well-Being

Whether it’s your child’s drawing or a Picasso, hanging artwork that is meaningful to you helps establish good Feng Shui. Enjoying the space you live in means making it your own, and the artwork you choose says a lot about you. 

red and golden asian decorations hanging in local market
Photo by Angela Roma on Pexels.com

Feng Shui for Good Physical and Mental Health 

This ancient Chinese practice improves both your physical and mental well-being. For more tips on how to stay healthy, follow Avidity Medical Design Blog. If you’d like to take a healthcare course, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy. If you are interested in relaxing with scented soaps and candles, visit Avidity Medical Scentations to see our current product offerings.

gold saxophone

“Name Your Own Tune”: 10 Types of Music You Can Listen to for Good Health

Music has always been viewed as an effective tool to promote health and wellness. Ancient cave paintings depict shamans who played the flute, and music was used to help wounded soldiers after World War I. Today’s science is still not able to accurately describe how the mind and body can be supported by listening to music. However, there is a strong connection between the mind and the body, and health and wellness, and music therapy.

gold saxophone

10 Types of Music You Can Listen to for Good Health

piano keys illustration

Slow Classical

The calming effect of slow, classical genres stimulates the release of dopamine, which increases pleasure and concentration. These effects can be good for the overall health of a person because they can reduce stress as well as increase their quality of life. Classical music may also increase cognition in a phenomenon known as the “Mozart effect.” For more information on the Mozart effect,” read this insightful post by Dr. Eric Perry, entitled “5 Amazing Benefits of Classical Music.”

Indian

Traditional Indian music is designed around “rasa,” or the essence of music. These musical qualities evoke emotional states that may help some people disconnect from the throes of addiction and engage in positive mental attitudes. 

black and red samsung galaxy smartphone

Cinematic

The genre used in heroic films is often uplifting and motivating. This can be useful to accomplish difficult tasks like exercising or working on large projects. The end result is fulfillment, stress reduction, as well as happiness…all good things for your health!

Zen

Anxiety and depression are rampant among today’s youth and adults, which is why the Zen genre can be good for the soul. Also referred to as meditation or nature sounds, Zen is typically a calm instrumental mixed with some sounds from nature.

photo of person playing acoustic guitar

Rock and Roll

A faster tempo can increase the heart rate and improve circulation. Even aggressive rock tunes can help some people process anger or negativity, which leads to a better emotional state. 

Jazz

Cool and calm, smooth and soulful, jazz elevates the mood and gets you ready to have a good time. This is also the music of survivors, and its lyrics often spout tales of overcoming hardship. 

brass drums

Folk

If you’re in need of a brain break, folk music seems to be the answer. Its calming effect is similar to sitting next to a fire with a cup of cocoa, and it benefits mental health. 

Pop

You cannot discuss music and health without referencing what most people hear on the radio or in public venues. These are the songs that everyone knows whether they like them or not. If you do like them, they are uplifting, and their familiarity is comforting. 

Blues

Some people say the blues put difficult situations in perspective. Others liken them to a good cry. Either way, it is an emotional expression at its finest. Processing hard emotions through blues is also a healthy alternative to other options. 

Inspirational

Finally, it would be difficult to deny the power of inspirational music. It doesn’t matter if it’s cliched, inspirational genres make you feel like you can take on the world. 

arc art bass bowed string instrument

Good Health and Music is an Individual Experience

The important thing to remember about music, is that it is an individual experience. Practically any type of music can support good health, but the type of music and it’s ability to support health and wellness varies from listener to listener. The general consensus is that vulgarity and aggressive genres can limit health progress, but this may not be the case for a person who listens while working out in the gym. The music may motivate the listener to engage in more exercise, hence supporting good health. That is why it is important to remember that, while music listeners are different, each listener may benefit by including, or sampling different forms of music to see which works best for therapy, relaxation, health, and wellness.  

person holding silver flute

For more informative articles, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. To take an online healthcare course, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy. To purchase scented soaps and candles, visit Avidity Medical Scentations.

A concept of toxic household products - several bottles of cleaning products on the floor, mainly used to clean homes.

Keep Your Home Healthy: How to Handle Medically Toxic Products in Your Household

A concept of toxic household products - several bottles of cleaning products on the floor, mainly used to clean homes.

Keeping your home safe and clean is essential to protecting your health. However, some everyday household products could put you and your loved ones at risk. Even the alternative options labeled “green” or “natural” may still contain harmful ingredients. So how can you distinguish these toxic household products?

It may be difficult to distinguish all of the health hazards in your home. Still, you can limit your exposure to dangerous threats by reading the labels and using products as directed. To help you determine which ones you may want to stop buying, get rid of, or replace, here is a list of the most toxic household products:

10 Most Toxic Household Products You Must Know About

1. All-Purpose Cleaners.

Most cleaning solutions tend to be the biggest toxic offenders in your home. The cleaners labeled “all-purpose” usually comprise ammonia, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether acetate, sodium hypochlorite, and/or trisodium phosphate. These chemicals contribute to skin, eye, nose, as well as throat irritation and can be highly poisonous to humans and animals if ingested. Since it’s not a requirement to list the unsafe ingredients, many consumers unknowingly purchase and use these toxic household products.

The safest alternative for all-purpose cleaning is a solution of baking soda, Borax, Castile soap, vinegar, lemon, and hot water. But if you choose to work with an all-purpose cleaner:

  • Always protect your skin by wearing rubber gloves;
  • Make sure you use it where there is good air circulation; and
  • Avoid mixing different cleaners. Combining cleaning agents like ammonia and bleach will produce chloramine, a gas that causes severe breathing problems and could be fatal if inhaled in large quantities.

2. Non-Stick Cookware.

The invention of non-stick pots and pans may seem helpful because it eliminates the concern about food sticking to the surface. However, non-stick cookware contains trace amounts of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a cancer-causing chemical. When the lining of those pots and pans gets scratched or chipped, the chemicals can seep into your food. It would be safer to swap the non-stick for cast iron or stainless steel cookware.

3. Air Fresheners.

The purpose of air fresheners is to keep your home smelling fresh and clean. Instead, it pollutes your home with several highly flammable, cancer-causing chemicals, including formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, p-dichlorobenzene, and aerosol propellants. If you’re going to use air fresheners, it’s best to keep them away from open flames and spray in well-ventilated areas. Or you can opt for non-toxic alternatives like baking soda and vinegar, which both absorb odors. 

4. Antibacterial Cleaners.

Antibacterial cleaners usually contain a fragrance, surfactant, and pesticide, which can cause irritation to your eyes and burn your skin and throat. Therefore, you should wear latex gloves when using these cleaners. And if the product comes in contact with your skin or eyes, wash the area immediately.

5. Plastic Food Containers.

Plastic food containers consist of chemicals like phthalates, which give plastic flexibility, durability, and transparency. However, plastic eventually breaks down, especially when you add heat to it. That breakdown releases phthalates and other dangerous chemicals into your food, causing damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system. To protect yourself from these health risks, avoid heating and storing food in plastic containers and switch to glass containers. 

6. Antibacterial Soaps

You may have grown accustomed to using antibacterial soaps and gels to keep your hands free from germs. But every time you do so, you may be rubbing toxic chemicals like triclosan and triclocarban on your skin. Who wants harmful substances that create antibiotic-resistant bacteria all over their hands? Using regular soap and water is a safer, effective way to keep germs away. 

7. Oven Cleaners.

Many oven cleaners contain poisonous and corrosive ingredients such as lye. If inhaled or ingested, these chemicals can cause severe tissue damage and may be fatal. That is why you should always wear protective gear (apron, gloves, and safety goggles) and operate in a well-ventilated area when working with oven cleaners. Or you can opt for an oven cleaner that doesn’t include lye. 

8. Insect Repellents.

When you apply repellents to protect your skin from biting insects, you’re also exposing yourself to pesticides such as pyrethrin and chemicals commonly known as DEET. These chemicals may burn your eyes, skin, and throat and cause anxiety, a loss of coordination, and mental and behavioral changes. Spraying insect repellent only on your clothing can help prevent this threat to your health and will still shield you from bugs. 

9. Insecticides.

You may use these products to eliminate pests from your home or pets, but you could make yourself sick in the process. The same pesticides found in bug sprays are also in pet flea and tick treatments. These chemicals can cause headaches, dizziness, twitching, and nausea. When handling insecticides, make sure not to use them on or around surfaces that come in contact with food. And if you use flea and tick medication on your cat or dog, it’s best to wait 24 hours before petting them.  

10. Bleach.

Similar to other toxic household products, chlorine bleach contains chemicals that can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat and damage the esophagus and stomach if consumed. Therefore, you should always handle bleach with caution by wearing protective gear, using it in a properly ventilated area, and keeping it away from young children.  

To learn more about other healthcare topics similar to this one, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog or sign up for a course at Avidity Medical Design Academy. For products that support your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health, visit Avidity Medical Scentations to purchase our scented candles and soaps. Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on new products that support health and well being.

Man chopping vegetables and cooking food in his kitchen - practicing proper food handling to avoid foodborne illnesses.

Holiday Cooking 101: How to Keep Yourself Healthy When Cooking for the Holidays

Man chopping vegetables and cooking food in his kitchen - practicing proper food handling to avoid foodborne illnesses.

When preparing food throughout the year, and especially during the holidays, it’s easy to forget about food preparation and food safety. Food poisoning and foodborne illnesses are common, but easily preventable, if you take the right steps beforehand. Learning how to properly thaw, wash, cut, cook, and store foods can mean the difference between enjoying a delicious meal and spending the night in the emergency room.

Although there are many types of foodborne illnesses, the four most common are listeria, e. Coli, salmonella, and norovirus. Here are 10 easy ways to avoid coming in contact with these and other germs by practicing proper food handling.

Tips on How to Avoid Foodborne Illnesses When Cooking

1. Practice Good Hand-Washing

Surprisingly, the most common source of foodborne illnesses is a cook’s own hands. Whether you need to take a bathroom break in the middle of food preparation or you’ll be moving from raw meats to fresh veggies, take a minute to soap up like you’re preparing for surgery. Use warm water, antibacterial soap, and plenty of friction.

Contrary to popular thought, excessively hot water isn’t what kills germs in hand-washing; it’s the friction that comes from rubbing your hands together. To make sure that you’re applying adequate friction, adopt a hand-washing song that keeps you scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.

2. Copy Your Recipes

Another common and incredibly surprising source of foodborne illnesses are mobile phones. How many people source their recipes online using mobile devices? How many of these same individuals use their mobile devices while on the commode? If you use your smartphone in the bathroom, don’t let it double as a cooking tool. Use hand sanitizer or another disinfecting agent to clean your mobile phone before calling recipes up. In fact, take the time to write out recipes by hand before you start handling food. If you ever have to touch your phone while cooking, head back to the sink and thoroughly wash your hands again.

3. Don’t Make Your Utensils Do Double Duty

It’s no secret that raw meat is a major source of food poisoning. Wash your hands after handling raw meat and before you start chopping salads, setting the table, or engaging in any other activities. More importantly, don’t make your utensils do double duty. Keep cutting boards and knives for meat separate from cutting boards and utensils used for fruits and vegetables. 

4. Wash Ready-to-Serve Vegetables 

Ready-to-serve salads and leafy greens often indicate that they’ve already been washed on their packages. What many consumers don’t know is that these vegetables are often washed and packed directly in the fields in which they’ve been picked. Not only does this mean that they’ve been treated with dubious water sources, but they’ve also been handled by hands that could use a good washing themselves. Always wash all of your fruits and vegetables before cooking with or serving them. For added safety, rinse your fresh produce in a mild white vinegar and water solution.

5.  Defrost Frozen Meat in the Refrigerator

Don’t leave your meat out on the counter to defrost for hours at a time. Plan in advance by placing frozen meat in the refrigerator in a leak-safe container or pan. Keep in mind that as meats defrost, their packaging will leak blood and spread bacteria. Place them on a shelf where spills aren’t likely to come in contact with produce or other items that will be served raw.

6. Pay Attention to Sell-by and Use-by Dates

There is definitely some flexibility in sell-by dates. However, you should never consume foods like milk, meat, and eggs after their use-by dates. Even though these things may smell and taste fresh, the risks of eating them are simply too high.

7. Cook Meat Thoroughly

One of the easiest ways to avoid foodborne illnesses caused by raw or uncooked meat is by purchasing a meat thermometer. Find out how hot the inner temperature of your meat should be based upon its thickness and type. Meat thermometers are low in cost and they’ll give you a quick and accurate reading of core temperatures so that you can avoid burning meals and avoid making everyone ill.

8. Cool Leftovers Right Away

Kicking back to relax while dishes simmer or gradually cool on a warm stove is a recipe for disaster. After serving everyone, package the remaining food right away and cool it down quickly. Bacteria is far less likely to grow in your remaining dishes when they’re stored properly.

9. Clean Your Cleaning Implements

You might be spreading harmful bacteria from surface to surface with your kitchen towel or sponge. Kitchen towels and sponges harbor harmful bacteria that can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and more. Wash and dry linens and replace sponges once every one to two weeks.

10. Make Every Cook Aware of Your Prevention Strategies

If you’ve got helpers in the kitchen, be sure that they know the rules and follow them. It makes no sense to constantly wash your own hands if there’s someone else mopping up beef blood with your dish towel or regularly swiping at a filthy mobile phone. 

Limiting all the ways in which bacteria can be introduced into your foods is only one part of the process. Proper heating and proper food storage help ensure that existing organisms are killed off and that their populations don’t spiral out of control. To find out more about food safety, consider attending one of our classes at Avidity Medical Design Academy, or check out our other blogs on the subject.

The Powerful Health Benefits of Aromatherapy: Healthy Stress-Free Scents in a Relaxing Environment – Visit Avidity Medical SCENTations!

A woman leaning over two lit scented candles at night with her eyes closed to smell them.
Our sense of smell is an important part of physical, mental, and spiritual health. – Avidity Medical Scentations (http://aviditymedicalscentations.com)

When you buy your friend or family member scented soaps or candles, you actually provide them with the valuable benefits of aromatherapy, especially in a relaxing stress-free environment, and especially after a hard day’s work. Aromatherapy has been around since the time of Hippocrates. But, like many ancient remedies, it has been relegated to alternative medicine. Modern Western medicine generally uses pharmacology and medical procedures to heal the body. However, it is slowly coming around to recognize the impact the olfactory system has on the body. 

The Olfactory System and Your Health

The olfactory system is your body’s sense of smell. Amazingly, scientists claim it can distinguish somewhere between 30,000 and 1 trillion scents.

You might think olfactory cells would be confined to the nasal region of the human body, but they are everywhere! Olfactory cells exist in the heart, intestines, liver, and skin, among many other organs. 

Since these scent cells are all over your body, it is not surprising that aromatherapy could offer many kinds of health benefits. 

Benefits of Aromatherapy and Science

Research has offered somewhat inconclusive results because the methods used in aromatherapy are not standardized. Furthermore, the results depend on personal responses. However, the studies focusing on benefits reveal potential breakthroughs in pain relief and the reduction of stress and anxiety. 

Most of its supporters can attest to the benefits of aromatherapy that research has supported. These benefits break down into several primary categories: 

  • Physical Health.
  • Mental Health.
  • Spiritual Health.
  • Emotional Health.

Science doesn’t have all the answers. However, it does offer evidence of the benefits of aromatherapy that fit into these three categories. For example, headache or other pain relief (physical) and stress reduction (mental and/or spiritual). 

Scented Products and Your Health

When considering scented products for yourself or as a gift, there are many reasons to choose a product. One of those reasons should be the impact a certain scent could have on your health. Not only will you enjoy the pleasure of the scent or the memories that it evokes, but you may experience the reduction of medical symptoms that could greatly enhance your life. 

Visit Avidity Medical Scentations and sign up to receive our product notifications. Each candle or soap will offer you the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy. It also comes with an inspirational message to remind you to maintain good mental, physical, and spiritual health in everyday living. 

Our sense of smell is very complex, and it is interconnected to the rest of our body through our olfactory system. Scientists and healthcare professionals may not understand exactly how or why it works. However, they are beginning to understand that it is an important part of physical, mental, and spiritual health. Take steps now to support your health and well being. Go to Avidity Medical Scentations to sign up for notifications on our healthcare candles and soaps. Each candle or soap includes a health care reminder message to remind you to take steps to maintain your health and well being every day.

Go to Avidity Medical Scentations now to see our current product offerings!

3 Things to Bring to Your Next Doctor’s Appointment

A mother and daughter speaking to a doctor who is wearing blue scrubs and a stethoscope during a doctor's appointment..
A physician needs to know all aspects of the patient’s care to provide the best results and care possible.

Scheduling a doctor’s appointment, but forgetting the things that you wanted to discuss when you get there, is an experience that many, if not all, patients can relate to. Preparing in advance for your next visit can help make your doctor’s appointment a much smoother experience, in terms of the feedback and advice provided by your doctor based on the information that you bring to the visit. With that in mind, let’s talk about some things to bring to your next doctor’s office visit.

What to Bring to Your Next Doctor’s Appointment

First, you will need all documentation for insurance, testing, previous history, and other doctors that have been seen. Second, bring your current medications and basic knowledge of noted reactions, logs, and how you take them. Last, remember to write out a list of discussion topics and cover each with your provider. 

1. Bring Your Documentation.

At each appointment, the receptionist at the front desk will ask if any of your information has changed since your last visit, and will sometimes request documentation pertaining to any changes since your last visit. The nurse may also request some information prior to the doctor coming into the room to begin your visit. Remember to bring these key pieces of information to your next doctor’s visit:

  • Your identification.
  • Proof of medical insurance (or advise that you will be self pay).
  • Results of any images or testing recently done at a different facility, in the event that this information has not been forwarded to your doctor’s office and added to your medical record.
  • Your updated medical history if you are a new patient.
  • Records from specialists if not readily available in your doctor’s office.  

Remember to keep your physician up to date on any aspects of your health, so that your doctor can maintain the continuity of your care, in case you need to be seen by a consulting physician or be seen at a different healthcare facility. Proper documentation will allow the physician to review your records and immediately understand, at a glance, how different aspects of your current treatment may be affecting your health. 

bunch of white oval medication tablets and white medication capsules

2. Bring Your List of Current Medications.

Most physicians will have a record of what medications have been prescribed to you by the office. However, it is important that you bring your list of medications to your next appointment for verification of proper use and correct dosage in relation to your treatment. It is also important to make a list of any reactions and concerns about your medications that you may want to discuss during your next visit. As part of your list, you will also need to include any new medications that were prescribed by other physicians as well, so that these can be reviewed and considered in relation to any other medications, for any potential adverse reactions to the mix of medications.  

3. Bring Any New Medical Problems or Medical Worries That You Have.

Most people visit the doctor because they have concerns over medications or conditions that have developed. It is helpful to keep a list of medical problems or issues that occur between visits, in addition to keeping your medication list, so that all of your medical information remains up to date between appointments. A medical problem list can help you keep your concerns organized by date, all in one place, and help your doctor pinpoint how, why, and when they occurred in relation to other events that might have occurred at the same time, such as an outdoor camping trip, or starting a new medication. Present your problem list to your doctor to discuss your ongoing needs and care, and any potential adjustments that may need to be made. Some documentation, like blood sugar logs or blood pressure readings, are especially important in terms of helping your doctor understand what is happening at home between visits. Also, when you keep a medical problem list between visits, you won’t have to remember things that might have occurred several months prior to your visit for example, but that you may have forgotten all about by the date of your scheduled appointment.

The most important thing to remember is that your doctor needs to know about all aspects of your health in order to provide the best results and the best care possible. It is better to bring more documentation than you think will be necessary to your next appointment, because there may be some information included that the doctor has not received, and may be missing from your medical record.

For more informative healthcare articles, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. Stay up to date on the latest tips and trends in healthcare. If you are interested in taking a course in healthcare, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy to learn more about the types of healthcare courses that you can take in your spare time, with lessons that you can immediately apply to everyday living, as soon as you finish each course.