Health and Fitness Blog
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19 Dec 2018

9 Strange-but-True Public Health Laws You Never Knew Existed

 

Laws are put into place for the greater good of society. The goal with these rules is to ensure everyone has an opportunity to pursue happiness in the safest possible way.

Some laws make a lot of sense, like requiring people to use a toilet instead of the sidewalk if they need to use the bathroom.

There are some laws which don’t make a lot of sense at all. Some of them you might even be breaking right now without realizing it. Here are some of the strange-but-true public health laws that are on the books right now. 

Dumbest Laws You Can Find in the United States

1. You are not allowed to get drunk at a bar while in the state of Alaska. If you have already had too much to drink, then you are not permitted to enter a bar to get more alcohol. Local police even enforce this law.

2. There is a community in Arizona called Goodyear which does not permit you to spit in public. If someone observes you spitting on the road, sidewalk, or in a park, then you can be charged with a fine of up to $2,500.

3. It is illegal in the state of California to build, maintain, or use nuclear devices. In case you’re thinking about starting the end of the world, maybe the $500 fine for violating the law will change your mind.

4. If you have an intense love of catapults, then you might want to stay out of the state of Colorado. You can still all down there, but you are not allowed to discharge them. Enter those pumpkin-throwing contests in a different state if you must.

5. Florida says that it is against the law to sell your children.

6. If you take a trip to the state of Georgia, make sure you bring some extra flatware if you want to enjoy some fried chicken. Eating those tasty drumsticks with your hands is illegal.

7. There is only one state (Idaho) in the U.S. where it is illegal to be a cannibal. Of course, the law actually says that you’re not allowed to engage in the non-consensual consumption of human flesh. If you receive permission in their will to eat your friends and family, then you can skirt around this law.

8. Did you know that Washington State has set aside over 1,000,000 acres of land to protect Bigfoot? It’s the nation’s first Sasquatch Sanctuary. If you happen to poach the big fellow, then you’ll be asked to pay a $1,000 fine for your efforts.

9. South Carolina is one of the few places in the world where it is still illegal to work on a Sunday. If that is a cause for celebration, you’d better keep your energy in check. It’s also illegal to dance on a Sunday too.

And then here’s a final thought to consider: it is illegal to impersonate an auctioneer in Rhode Island. So, if you’re going once, going twice, and are sold on the idea, you might want to think again.

12 Dec 2018

Why Skin Cancer Surgery Isn’t as Scary as You Might Think

 

There are three words which change a person’s life forever: “You have cancer.”

It is natural that the idea of a life-threatening condition could give you the shudders. Everyone has a weak point after they hear these three words. That makes you human.

When you realize that today’s treatment options are better than ever before, with survival rates going through the roof, then the feelings of fear transform into determination.

If you’re still struggling with the idea of a surgery, then here is some information to help you take those next steps forward.

#1. You’re awake for most procedures.

Skin cancer surgeries are named after Frederic Mohs, who developed the removal technique all the way back in the 1930s. The physician goes through each layer of the skin, using microscopic analysis, to only remove the disease. You’re awake for the procedure because it is done under local anesthesia almost all the time.

#2. You can have it done almost anywhere on the body.

The Mohs surgery is usually performed on squamous cell or basal cell cancers, but it can sometimes be useful in the treatment of melanoma too. Patients have the procedure around their mouth, nose, eyes, or ears because of how effective it is at removing the cancer. It’s approved for use on the hands, neck, or feet too.

#3. You are in-and-out of the doctor’s office quickly.

If your physician recommends Mohs surgery for your skin cancer diagnosis, then it is an outpatient procedure you will schedule. Most patients are at the office for three hours or less on the day of their appointment. The surgeon will take the first layer of tissue, which takes about 10 minutes to complete, and then you’ll want about 30 minutes while it is examined. You’ll then get stitched up or have another layer removed. That pattern continues until the cancer is gone.

#4. You will not be in a lot of pain.

Except for the stick of the needle and the pressure of the tissue removal, the lidocaine you receive eases the discomfort of this procedure for about three hours. Most patients experience only minimal pain afterward. Unless the tumor removed is over a joint, it is possible to walk away from this procedure without the need for prescription-strength painkillers.

#5. You will receive a minimal scar.

Although you will see a noticeable scar from this procedure, its appearance will begin to fade in about six months. The redness fades during that time too, creating a minimal visual impression. Complete healing occurs in two years for most patients, causing the region to turn the same color as the skin tones around the area.

Then there is the success rate for this procedure to consider. The Mohs surgical intervention for skin cancer touts a cure rate of 99%. 

That doesn’t mean those three words you hear from the doctor aren’t going to impact you in negative and sometimes severe ways.

It does mean that you have options for your future that can help you quickly and easily get into remission, so you don’t need to be scared of that skin cancer surgery. 

21 Nov 2018

Why Quitting Alcohol Cold-Turkey is a Bad Idea

 

Did you know that the body treats alcohol as if it were any other drug?

That means you can go through withdrawal symptoms if you decide to stop drinking alcohol. You must go through a formal detox procedure that can produce uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous symptoms. Hundreds of people die each year because they decided to quit drinking and their bodies rebelled from the effort.

Lowell Cauffiel, a bestselling author of true crime novels, described the symptoms as his “guts being pulled from his body.” There were shakes, sweats, and vivid hallucinations after stopping his habit of drinking two-fifths of bourbon daily.

Because of these withdrawal symptoms, and the fact that many try to stop drinking on their own without doctor supervision, alcohol is the most dangerous substance to quit cold-turkey.

How Dangerous is Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

About 16 million people in the United States have an alcohol use disorder. That means they use it compulsively, lose control over their intake habits, and encounter negative emotional states when they’re not using it.

The fatality rate from alcohol withdrawal syndrome can be as high as 4% when the most serious symptoms occur. People who deal with shivering, shaking, confusion, and worse are in the highest risk categories.

During a study of patients admitted to a hospital in Spain with this issue, 6.6% of them died over the 15 years covered.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that over 800 people died in the United States because of alcohol withdrawal. It affects the young, old, rich, poor, and famous all the same. Actor Nelsan Ellis, who struggled with alcoholism most of his life, died from complications of this issue even though he’d checked himself into a medical center.

Will I Experience Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome if I Quit Drinking?

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome occurs for those who are dependent on the substance for proper functioning. 

This process takes time to create through the excessive use of alcoholic substances. You would begin to experience the withdrawal symptoms about six hours after you had your last drink.

The symptoms are at their worst during the first three days of the withdrawal process. Most people see an improvement in their health about a week after they had their final drink.

Most people who drink casually, even up to one or two alcoholic beverages each day, will not experience the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. It occurs because the chronic use of alcohol can change the brain’s chemistry, especially with regards to GABA. 

When you stop drinking after chronic use, the body begins the process of detoxification. It attempts to restore brain patterns to their regular functioning. Repetitive detox efforts can increase the severity of the symptoms too, which increases the risk of a life-threatening experience. 

If you struggle with alcohol, then finding a way to quit will help you to begin the health restoration process. Don’t start down this path by yourself. Talk to your doctor about your concerns, bring your family into these conversations, and then find the therapy you need. 

It will be a struggle over the first few weeks, but it is also an investment in your future. 

10 Nov 2018

How to Take Control of Your Happiness This Week

 

If Monday wallops you this week, that might feel like you’re not in control of your emotions. Instead of focusing on happiness, you might be centered on the stress happening all around you instead.

There are four ways that you can take control of your happiness in any given week. That’s because you can choose to be happy, no matter what else is going on in your life. No one else has control over what you feel unless you allow that to happen.

Here is how you can turn something terrible into something happy on a regular basis.

Best Ways to Bring Happiness Back

1. Try to make the first thought you have every day be a happy idea. Don’t look in the mirror and think about all the things that you would like to change about your life. Try searching for something that makes you feel grateful for the position you’re in that day. Then commit yourself to look for more moments of gratitude every time you catch your image in the reflection.

2. Pay attention to the negative thoughts that you have about yourself or other people during the day. Try wearing a rubber band around your wrist. Every time you think of something that is distractive or undesirable, then snap the band. The physical sensation from the snap on your skin creates a reaction within your mind that helps you to start recognizing the negative thought patterns you have before they become an influence on your day.

3. Find some time every day to do something that you love. Look for ways to embrace the inner child that is still living deep within your heart. When you feel stressed out about what’s happening in the world today, then disconnect from the information which impacts your happiness. Take 10 minutes, find a quiet place where you can think without interruption, and then spend some time thinking about the happiest moments of your life. Go back to those times as a child when you could be silly without worrying about how others perceived you. This process can bring a lot of positive energy back into your life, helping you to release a lot of tension.

4. Make sure that you are getting plenty of sleep at night. Getting less than six hours of sleep can impact the amount of happiness you experience the next day. If you are struggling to achieve restful sleep at night, then work on ways to relax your muscles before settling in with deep breathing techniques. Sit up straight in your bed. Breathe in deeply, then exhale through the nose. Then repeat for 60 seconds before trying to fall asleep. 

How Do You Focus on Happiness?

Happiness begins when you’re willing to choose it over the harmful stresses in your life. If you are having a bad week, then try using these steps to turn things around. 

Then when Monday comes along, you’ll be ready to take on all of those potential issues in the correct mindset.