Sunday, July 28, 2019

Life with Chronic Disease: How to “beat the heat

It’s summer and heat waves are happening all over the country. While high heat indexes, particularly if they are occurring for multiple days, can be serious for anyone, it’s particularly challenging for those with chronic conditions. Not only can medications change how people respond to heat and sun, they also might be less likely to sense temperature change. In addition, those overweight tend to retain body heat and are therefore more at risk for heat related illnesses.

Be aware of signs of overheating: cramps, dizziness, fainting, headaches, heavy sweating, increased heart rate, nausea. Get help if you exhibit any of these signs.
Enjoy a long cool shower, a swim or use a cooling tie. Keep a squirt bottle in the refrigerator, squirting yourself when it gets to be too much. As the water evaporates, it cools you.
Air conditioning is better than a fan. Don’t have one and can’t afford one? Make a makeshift air conditioner by putting ice in a shallow bowl in front of a fan. As the ice melts, it will cool you. Note this doesn’t work so well when it’s humid. Seal any cracks between a window unit and the frame with peelable caulking or a sealant strip. These steps help ensure good airflow and keep the coils cleaner, which means more efficient and more effective cooling. If you have a fireplace, make sure the damper is closed. When the AC is on keep windows and doors closed.
Take it easy. Avoid strenuous activities

Take steps to avoid the sun such as wearing a wide brimmed hat, using sunscreen (reapply if you are swimming), stay in the shade or use an umbrella,
Have sun blockers on windows to reduce sunlight in your house. Look for curtains and blinds that block the sun. You can find these at many stores, including places like Walmart.
Eat Cool Foods. When possible avoid turning on the stove. Spicy foods can cool you down. Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which can make you sweat more. As the water evaporates it makes you feel cooler. Not surprising a lot of spicy salsa gets consumed in the summer. Salads and other light foods are perfect when the temps are high.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. As you lose water you can become dehydrated and your body temperature rises. Replacing fluids is essential to keeping cool.
Evaporative Coolers can be a good option depending on where you live. They tend to work best when relative humidity is 60% or less; however, evaporative coolers can work in humid conditions when they are used in semi-outdoor settings (loading bays and docks, garages) or outdoors(sporting events, festivals). In general, evaporative coolers (also called swamp coolers) are cheaper, more energy efficient and more environmentally friendly than air conditioners. You can move them from room to room, including outdoor patios. Check out 5 Things to Consider When Buying an Evaporative Cooler.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine and drinks with lots of sugar. They can cause you to become dehydrated.  Drink water instead.
Turn off appliances, computers etc. They can generate heat. If you are using a lap top, keep it off your lap. Skip the drying cycle on the dishwasher and leave the door open to let the dishes dry. Use appliances only when necessary and in the evening if possible, when the air is cooler. Instead of the dryer, hang clothes outside and even consider hand washing dishes Use compact fluorescent bulbs as they not only save money, they give off less heat than standard incandescents.

Some extra tips:
• Read and watch movies about snow and cold temps.
• Take a clean cotton sock. Fill it with rice and tie it off. Put it in the freezer for two hours before bed time. Slide it between the sheets. Rice retains cold for a long period of time.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Take a Break: Try Forest Bathing

The term “forest bathing” or Shinrin-yoku was coined in Japan, where nature therapy has ancient roots. The idea of “park prescriptions” in urban areas first started in Asia and caught on worldwide.

To “bathe” or bask in nature is to engage all fives senses-smell the flowers; taste the wild blackberries; listen to the birds; feel the bark of a tree; and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. However, walking in a relaxed manner on a nature path can do wonders. In fact, a recent study  found two hours a week of being in nature to be a crucial threshold for promoting health and well being. The study used data from nearly 20,000 people in England and found that it didn't matter whether the 120 minutes was achieved in a single visit or over several shorter visits. It also found the 120 minute threshold applied to both men and women, to older and younger adults, across different occupational and ethnic groups, among those living in both rich and poor areas, and even among people with long term illnesses or disabilities.

Learn more ways to forest bathe at Shinrin Yoku or watch the video below:

Not interested in today’s activity, go to the Take a Break Pinterest and pick out something else.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Journal Watch July 2019


Cancer Survivors Have High Prevalence of Chronic Pain: The prevalence of chronic pain and HIPC were higher for survivors with less than a high school education, low household income, public insurance, or no paid employment. The adjusted prevalence of chronic pain was highest among survivors of cancer of the bone, kidney, throat-pharynx, and uterus. JAMA Oncology

Tanezumab Improves Scores for Pain, Function in Osteoarthritis: For patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee or hip, tanezumab is associated with significant improvements in pain and physical function versus placebo, according to a study published in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Rimegepant Shows Promise for Relief From Migraine Attacks: Compared with placebo, rimegepant, an orally administered, small-molecule, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonist, can increase the percentage of patients free of pain and free from their most bothersome symptom during a migraine attack, according to a study published in the July 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Galcanezumab Can Cut Frequency of Cluster Headache Attacks: Galcanezumab can reduce the frequency of episodic cluster headache attacks, according to a study published in the July 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Hepatitis C and Dietary Supplements: A new report from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health  has found that no dietary supplement has been shown to be effective Hep C or its complications. Research on other dietary supplements for hepatitis C, such as zinc, licorice root (or its extract glycyrrhizin), SAMe, and lactoferrin, is in its early stages, and no firm conclusions can be reached about the potential effectiveness of these supplements. Colloidal silver is sometimes promoted for treating hepatitis C, but is not safe. Colloidal silver can cause irreversible side effects, including a permanent bluish discoloration of the skin.

Safety concerns: Herbal supplement used to treat addiction and pain: The herb kratom is increasingly being used to manage pain and treat opioid addiction, but it's not safe to use as an herbal supplement, according to new research led by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York. Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy

Music Relieves Pre op Anxiety Before Peripheral Nerve Block: Patients undergoing preoperative peripheral nerve block placement have a similar change in anxiolytic scores when they receive music medicine versus midazolam, according to a study published online July 18 in Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine.

• Approved Recarbrio (imipenem, cilastatin and relebactam), an antibacterial drug product to treat adults with complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI) and complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI)
• Granted accelerated approval to Xpovio (selinexor) tablets in combination with the corticosteroid dexamethasone for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) who have received at least four prior therapies and whose disease is resistant to several other forms of treatment, including at least two proteasome inhibitors, at least two immunomodulatory agents, and an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody.
• Issued warning letters to three repackers of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), B&B Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Asclemed USA, Inc., doing business as Enovachem and Spectrum Laboratory Products, Inc., for significant violations of current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) requirements.
• Warned patients and health care providers that certain Medtronic MiniMed insulin pumps are being recalled due to potential cybersecurity risks and recommends that patients using these models switch their insulin pump to models that are better equipped to protect against these potential risks.
• Approved Soliris (eculizumab) injection for intravenous use for the treatment of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) in adult patients who are anti-aquaporin-4 (AQP4) antibody positive.
• Approved Dupixent (dupilumab) to treat adults with nasal polyps (growths on the inner lining of the sinuses) accompanied by chronic rhinosinusitis (prolonged inflammation of the sinuses and nasal cavity). This is the first treatment approved for inadequately controlled chronic rhinosinusis with nasal polyps.

Issued warnings to companies selling illegal, unapproved kratom drug products marketed for opioid cessation, pain treatment and other medical uses

Approved Vyleesi (bremelanotide) to treat acquired, generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women.
• Expanded the indication for Symdeko (a combination of tezacaftor/ivacaftor) tablets for treatment of pediatric patients ages 6 years and older with cystic fibrosis who have certain genetic mutations.


Long work hours associated with increased risk of stroke: People who worked long hours had a higher risk of stroke, especially if they worked those hours for 10 years or more. Stroke

Morning Preference Has Protective Effect on Breast Cancer Risk: Morning preference seems to have a protective effect on breast cancer risk, according to a study published online June 26 in The BMJ.

HPV Vaccination Program Has Considerable Impact: After five to eight years of vaccination, prevalence of HPV 16 and 18 decreased and anogenital wart diagnoses was down in girls, women, boys, men. The Lancet

Three Interventions Could Cut Cardiovascular Deaths: Lowering blood pressure, cutting sodium intake, and eliminating intake of trans fat could cut the incidence of premature death from cardiovascular disease by 94 million people worldwide during the next 25 years, according to a study published online June 10 in Circulation.

Timing of Exercise May be Key to Successful Weight Loss: In a study of 375 adults who have successfully maintained weight loss and who engage in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity, most reported consistency in the time of day that they exercised, with early morning being the most common time. Being consistent in the timing of physical activity was associated with higher physical activity levels, regardless of whether people exercised consistently during the morning, afternoon, or evening. Obesity

Smokers three times likely to die from heart disease: The study, the most in-depth in the world, shows for the first time how smoking harms all of the cardiovascular system - the heart and major blood vessels. BMC Medicine

Extremely Low LDL Cholesterol May Up Stroke Risk: Cholesterol levels that are too low may increase the risk for hemorrhagic stroke, according to a study published online July 2 in Neurology.

Healthy lifestyle may offset genetic risk of dementia: The study was led by the University of Exeter -- simultaneously published today in JAMA and presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2019 in Los Angeles. The research found that the risk of dementia was 32 per cent lower in people with a high genetic risk if they had followed a healthy lifestyle, compared to those who had an unhealthy lifestyle. Participants with high genetic risk and an unfavourable lifestyle were almost three times more likely to develop dementia compared to those with a low genetic risk and favourable lifestyle. 

Mentally Stimulating Activities Lower Risk for Cognitive Decline: Among community-dwelling older persons, engaging in a higher number of mentally stimulating activities(reading books, using computers, social or craft activities, playing games) particularly in late life, is associated with a lower risk for developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), according to a study published online July 10 in Neurology.

Take a bath 90 minutes before bedtime to get better sleep: A stematic review protocols -- a method used to search for and analyze relevant data -- allowed researchers to analyze thousands of studies linking water-based passive body heating, or bathing and showering with warm/hot water, with improved sleep quality. Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering found that bathing 1-2 hours before bedtime in water of about 104-109 degrees Fahrenheit can significantly improve your sleep. Sleep Medicine Review 

Excess Risk for Diabetes-Linked Heart Failure Greater in Women: The excess risk for heart failure associated with diabetes is significantly greater in women than men, according to a meta-analysis published online July 18 in Diabetologia.


Diet quality may affect risk of frailty in older adults: Poorer overall diet quality was linked with an increased risk of becoming frail in a study of U.S. community-dwelling older adults, published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society. The quality of the overall diet appeared to be more important than protein intake for a lower risk of frailty.

Vast majority of dietary supplements don't improve heart health or put off death,study finds:In a massive new analysis of findings from 277 clinical trials using 24 different interventions, researchers say they have found that almost all vitamin, mineral and other nutrient supplements or diets cannot be linked to longer life or protection from heart disease. Although they found that most of the supplements or diets were not associated with any harm, the analysis showed possible health benefits only from a low-salt diet, omega-3 fatty acid supplements and possibly folic acid supplements for some people. Researchers also found that supplements combining calcium and vitamin D may in fact be linked to a slightly increased stroke risk. Annals of Internal Medicine.

Possible link between sugary drinks and cancer: A study published by The BMJ  reports a possible association between higher consumption of sugary drinks and and an increased risk of cancer. While cautious interpretation is needed, the findings add to a growing body of evidence indicating that limiting sugary drink consumption, together with taxation and marketing restrictions, might contribute to a reduction in cancer cases.

Are testosterone-boosting supplements effective? Not likely: Men who want to improve their libido or build body mass may want to think twice before using testosterone-boosting supplements -- also known as "T boosters" -- as research shows these alternatives to traditional testosterone replacement therapy may not have ingredients to support their claims. The World Journal of Men's Health

Frequent Fried Food Intake Increases Risk for Coronary Artery Disease

The frequency of fried food consumption shows a positive linear relationship with the risk for coronary artery disease (CAD), according to a study recently published in Clinical Nutrition.


Study challenges 'no pain no gain' requirement for patients with clogged leg arteries: Patients with peripheral arterial disease should be given the option of pain-free exercise, according to a study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. This study compiled the best evidence and compared completion and adherence rates between traditional versus alternative exercise programmes of at least four weeks duration. Traditional programmes consisted of walking until moderate to severe pain was induced, resting until the pain subsided, then repeating the process. Alternative exercises included walking without pain, arm ergometer (an exercise bike for the arms), resistance training, circuit training, lower limb aerobic exercise, and walking with poles. "Many patients with PAD exercise very little or not at all. It has been suggested that the pain component of conventional exercise programmes is a deterrent. More recent studies have shown that pain-free forms of exercise are equally effective, but patients are not always given the option."

Outcomes Improved After ACL Repair With Three Tendon Graft Types

Patients who received patellar tendon, hamstring tendon, or "double-bundle" hamstring tendon grafts for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair had no significant difference in quality of life at five years postsurgery, according to a study published in the June 5 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can increase men's risk of stroke and heart attack: Aging men with low testosterone levels who take testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) are at a slightly greater risk of experiencing an ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), or myocardial infarction, especially during the first two years of use, reports a new study. The findings confirm concerns voiced by many health agencies about the potential risks associated with the treatment. American Journal of Medicine


Link found between gut bacteria, successful joint replacement: Having healthy gut flora -- the trillions of bacteria housed in our intestines -- could lower the risk of infection following knee and hip replacement surgeries, while an unhealthy intestinal flora may increase the risk of infection. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research

At-home support helps stroke patients adjust after hospital stay: Michigan State University researchers have found that many stroke patients feel unprepared when discharged from the hospital. Their caregivers feel the same.  But when a home-based support network using social work case managers and online resources is put into place, quality of life and confidence in managing one's health improve, according to a new study published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.


Nursing home care cost significantly out paces general inflation and medical care prices: One of the largest studies on out-of-pocket costs for nursing home care finds prices are high and rising faster than other medical care and consumer prices, reports a team of health policy researchers. Medical Care Research and Review

Electronic Health Record medication lists lack accuracy, may threaten patient safety:When it comes to keeping track of prescribed medications between clinic visits, many patients rely on printed medication lists automatically generated from electronic health records (EHRs). An examination of the EHRs of a cohort of ophthalmology patients revealed that one-third had at least one discrepancy between the medications discussed in the clinician's notes and those on the medication list. JAMA Ophthalmology

One in 10 people have 'near-death' experiences, according to new study: Near-death experiences where people report a range of spiritual and physical symptoms, including out-of-body sensations and seeing or hearing hallucinations, affect 10% of people, according to a new study analysing participants from 35 countries. Experiences most frequently reported by participants in their study included: abnormal time perception (87 per cent), exceptional speed of thought (65 per cent), exceptionally vivid senses (63 per cent) and feeling separated from, or out of their body (53 per cent). The study group who reported NDEs variously described feeling at total peace, having their 'soul sucked out', hearing angels singing, being aware they were outside their body, seeing their life flashing before them, and being in a dark tunnel before reaching a bright light. European Academy of Neurology Congress


Older adults: Daunted by a new task? Learn 3 instead: Learning several new things at once increases cognitive abilities in older adults, according to new research. After just 1.5 months learning multiple tasks in a new study, participants increased their cognitive abilities to levels similar to those of middle-aged adults, 30 years younger. Control group members, who did not take classes, showed no change in their performance. One important way of staving off cognitive decline is learning new skills as a child would. That is, be a sponge: seek new skills to learn; maintain motivation as fuel; rely on encouraging mentors to guide you; thrive in an environment where the bar is set high. The Journals of Gerontology

Do You Need That Surgery? How To Decide, And How To Pick A Surgeon If You Do: So your doctor has told you some of the scariest words you can possibly hear: You need surgery. What do you do next? Advise from a primary care doctor that he gives his patients. NPR

The unpopular truth about biases toward people with disabilities: Needing to ride in a wheelchair can put the brakes on myriad opportunities -- some less obvious than one might think. New research from Michigan State University sheds light on the bias people have toward people with disabilities, known as "ableism," and how it shifts over time. Contrary to popular belief, the findings suggest that biases toward people with disabilities increase with age and over time, but that people are less likely to show how they really feel publicly. Journal of Social Issues

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Take a Break: A Summer Read

Just got back from a week's vacation at Cape Cod. Can’t think of a better way to spend those breaks between walks by the ocean, eating good seafood, and riding a bike on the many trails that dot the Cape, than lying in a hammock with a good book.

Everyone has their own criteria for a “beach” read. Mind is a book that catches my attention and keeps me enthralled without upsetting me. So to help you find a book that enthralls you check out Books for the Ages: Good for anyone 1 to 100.

Not interested in today’s activity, go to the Take a Break Pinterest and pick out something else.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Life with Chronic Disease: Ticks-Nature’s Dirty Needle

Because ticks feed on all sorts of critters-rodents, foxes, bears, pets, deer, mice etc.-they pick up and can transmit a wide variety of diseases. Hence the nickname “nature’s dirty needle.” Just as being pricked by a dirty needle can transmit disease, the same holds true for ticks.

As if I needed a reminder, both my husband and I have had tick borne illnesses this summer. While mine is most likely Lyme, my husband tested positive for borrelia miyamotoi.

Over the course of being treated, I’ve talked to three different providers and each one had their own ideas about how to deal with our various tick bites. The provider that saw my husband, who at the time was having intermittent chills, fever and headaches, thought it was viral but ordered a tick panel just to “take that off the table.” His symptoms started appearing three weeks after the tick had latched on but hadn’t started feeding.

In my case, I developed some sort of rash but it didn’t look like anything we’d seen on line and my initial reaction was a lot of nausea, again not a symptom that I saw on the list.

My over all response to this experience is there is a lot of information on-line, some of it old and outdated, some of it wrong, and some just plain confusing.  More importantly, there is a lot we don’t know and medical providers are struggling to figure out how to deal with this epidemic. That noted, there are some basic things we all need to pay attention to.

Note that as new information becomes available, this post will be updated.

It’s a rare person that hasn’t heard of Lyme Disease, however, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for tick borne diseases. Depending on where you live, they can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis/ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, tularemia, powassan virus and various other diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC),  over the past two decades, seven new tick borne germs that can cause illness have been identified in the US.

Thanks to climate change, tick borne diseases are spreading and it’s not just the black legged tick you need to be concerned about. The Lone Star tick now appears in the Great Lakes and New England. A bite from this tick can create an allergic reaction to red meat (beef, pork or venison) that can range from hives to full anaphylactic shock.

There are also new tick species being identified in the US, including the Asian long horned tick can make people and animals seriously ill.

Because the focus has been on Lyme Disease, which requires a tick to be attached 36-48 before the bacteria enters the blood stream, medical providers are having to adjust their thinking as some diseases can be transmitted in minutes. In short, if you have to take the tick out with tweezers, it may have had sufficient time to transmit a disease.

Know the Ticks in Your Area: Ticks can be found in every state so it’s important to check with your local health department about the type of ticks in your area and what diseases they may carry. Health departments all have tick prevention programs so be sure to understand the specifics for your region.

Avoid areas with high grass, leaf litter and walk in the center of trails when hiking.  Compost piles can also be areas where ticks gather. Spring and early summer are high risk times as ticks are in an earlier stage of their development, called “nymphs.” Nymphs often carry heavier loads of disease-causing pathogens, and are smaller and harder to spot.

Use products that contain permethrin to treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents or look for clothing pre-treated with permethrin. Wear light colored clothing-ticks show up better-and tuck pant legs in socks and shirts into pants. Gaiters can add an additional layer of protection 

Treat dogs for ticks. Dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and to some tick borne diseases. They may also bring ticks into your home. Talk to your veterinarian about the best tick prevention products for your dog. In Vermont, many people are using the Seresto collar for dogs and cats. However, if you have a pet that likes to swim, the collar loses its effectiveness a lot sooner than the 8 months advertised.

Bathe or shower as soon as possible, within two hours,  after coming indoors.

  Conduct a full-body tick check daily using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body upon returning from tick-infested areas. “Hot” spots include armpits, hair, ears and behind the ears, belly button, behind the knees, and groin. Parents should help children check thoroughly for ticks. Remove any ticks right away. If you live in a high tick area, it’s recommended to check twice a day.

Put dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, dry thoroughly and then tumble dry on high for 10 more minutes.

 The CDC recommends the following method for removing a tick:
• Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.

• Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.

• After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

Do not : Paint the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly or use heat to make the tick detach from the skin.

• Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet.

• If you don’t know what type of tick it is, save it and show it to your medical provider

• Many states are asking that ticks be mailed to the health department so they can determine what type of disease(s) are occurring among the ticks in your area. Not all health departments have posted this information on-line so call your medical provider and/or local health department for information.

The CDC does not recommend routinely taking antibiotics after tick bites.

The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) recommends against the use of a single dose doxycycline. It is impossible to state a meaningful success rate for the prevention of Lyme disease by a single 200 mg dose of doxycycline because this regimen is based on a single human trial that utilized an inadequate observation period and an unvalidated surrogate end point. In animal studies, the efficacy of single dose doxycycline was <50 nbsp="" span="">

In high incidence areas of Lyme disease, the CDC makes the following recommendation:
Single prophylactic dose of doxycycline (200 mg for adults or 4.4 mg/kg for children of any age weighing less than 45 kg) may be used to reduce the risk of acquiring Lyme disease after the bite of a high risk tick bite. Benefits of prophylaxis may outweigh risks when all of the following circumstances are present:
1. Doxycycline is not contraindicated.
2. The attached tick can be identified as an adult or nymphal I. scapularis tick.
3. The estimated time of attachment is ≥36 h based on the degree of tick engorgement with blood or likely time of exposure to the tick.
4. Prophylaxis can be started within 72 h of tick removal.

Antibiotic treatment following a tick bite is not recommended as a means to prevent anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or other rickettsial diseases. There is no evidence this practice is effective, and it may simply delay onset of disease. Instead, persons who experience a tick bite should be alert for symptoms suggestive of tick borne illness and consult a physician if fever, rash, or other symptoms of concern develop.

 ILADS recommendation for a person in an endemic area who discovers a feeding blacklegged (deer) tick is “100–200 mg of doxycycline, twice daily for 20 days. Other treatment options may be appropriate on an individualized basis.” 

These are two reputable organizations and while they don’t recommend prophylactic treatment, they do acknowledge situations where it may be appropriate. However, they verge in the course of what that treatment should be.  

In addition to the concerns of becoming drug resistant by taking 200 mg of Doxy, it is important to note that the only clinical trial was preventing a Lyme rash. This is an interesting article to help better understand why some doctors will not prescribe a prophylactic treatment for tick bite-Single Dose Prophylactic Treatment of aTick Bite Only Prevents a Lyme Rash.

Contact your provider if you develop any of these symptoms following a tick bite and/or it’s tick season and you develop unexplained:
Muscle pain
Joint swelling and pain
Rash: It doesn’t have to look like the “bull’s eye” rash. Also many people, including children, never develop a rash

A “tick panel” tests for Lyme and other tick borne diseases. However, it takes 2-6 weeks to mount an immune response that would turn the test positive so it generally doesn’t make sense to do the test right away. Because co-infection is a growing concern, providers will use the tick panel if you symptoms are not resolving.

The CDC recommends treatment based on symptoms and a confirmed exposure to a tick. If the symptoms remain after treatment, a tick panel can be done to determine if you have a tick borne disease that’s not treated by doxycycline, the drug of choice for Lyme Disease and other tick borne diseases.

With more advanced tick panels, more cases of co-infection are being diagnosed.

The treatment for Lyme Disease commonly includes doxycycline, amoxicillin or cefuroxime axetil. For anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, dosycycline is the first line treatment. Combination therapy with atovaquone and azithromycin is most commonly recommended for treatment of mild to moderate babesiosis. Treatment is usually continued for 7 to 10 days. A combination regimen of oral clindamycin and quinine has also been proven effective, but the rate of adverse reactions is significantly higher with this combination.

Lyme disease, if not treated promptly with antibiotics, can become a lingering problem for those infected. But a study  led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania has some brighter news: Once infected with a particular strain of the disease-causing bacteria, humans appear to develop immunity against that strain that can last six to nine years. However, there are at least 16 different strains of the Lyme disease bacterium have been shown to infect humans in the United States, so being bit by a tick carrying a different strain of the disease is entirely possible.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Take a Break: Make a Neck Cooler

My husband describes the weather in Vermont as winter and the 4th of July. He isn’t far off as it seems like the week before, the week of and the one following are among the hottest temps we will have all year. At the moment, he isn’t far off.

Making a Neck Cooler is a great way to stay cool during these hot spells. Instructables Craft has excellent directions for the tie and it’s what I use. 

Depending on the temps, the tie should keep you cool for 3-5 hours.

Not interested in today’s activity, go to the Take a Break Pinterest and pick out something else.