Posted by LAwordsmith at Jul
Part 3 in our series on fever
Think you know everything about how to use a thermometer correctly? If you read this post until the end, I’ll wager you’ll learn something you didn’t know. And understanding the right way to use a thermometer is important for various reasons.
When people bring their child to my office because of fever, one thing I ask is if they’ve actually taken their temperature with a thermometer. Many have not. Either they don’t have one or they’re not sure they can use a thermometer correctly.
Even if you’re in a situation where you can’t get to a doctor, exact readings taken at different times of the day can be an important clue in making a proper diagnosis. With many infections—strep throat is one I see a lot—the fever is usually a lot lower in the morning than it is in the evening. Also, knowing if your fever is lower today than it was yesterday can be an objective sign you’re getting better. Of course, if it’s not, or if it’s higher, that may be an indicator of the opposite.
If you don’t have a thermometer, [... continue reading]
Posted by LAwordsmith at Jul
Part 2 in our series on fever
It’s a common worry—you come down with some illness, start running a fever, and feel miserable. You don’t care if fever is one of the ways the body fights off infection. You just want to feel better.
And I don’t necessarily disagree, if you use the proper methods and don’t overdo them, because fever isn’t the only thing that helps your body fight off infection.
Bringing fever down to make you feel better increases the odds you’ll drink more fluids and maybe eat a little. (Dehydration makes all your organs work less efficiently and is one of the main dangers to try to avoid in almost any illness.)
But some can people obsess a little too much about fever. Fever from infection that stays below 105 F orally doesn’t directly damage the body, at least as far as we know. Of course the cause of the fever needs to be properly diagnosed, and treatment begun. A fever even lower than this can be a sign that something’s going dangerously wrong. But that thing isn’t the fever. [... continue reading]
Posted by LAwordsmith at Jul
Part 1 in our 3-part series on fever in children
A common call I get from parents and grandparents is about their child’s fever: They can’t get it to go down. They want to know if it’s too high, what to do, and why the medicine they’re giving isn’t getting it back to normal.
It used to happen all the time after I’d seen a child with strep throat, until I got smart enough to explain at the visit that with strep, no matter what we do, the fever is usually going to hang around for about 72 hours. It’s going to get worse at night. Even taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen sometimes won’t bring it down to normal. If the child is drinking fluids and not looking a lot worse, they’ll just have to be patient and wait for the immune system, with the help of antibiotics, to have time to fight it off.
And still, I get the calls. But I understand. Because fever in children can be scary—doubly so if you don’t know the cause and can’t get expert advice when you need it.
Fever’s Good Side
In itself, fever can [... continue reading]
Posted by LAwordsmith at Jun
Thanks to The Survival Mom for reminding me of the public concerns over the doxycycline shortage. For several months now, this commonly prescribed antibiotic has been in short supply.
There are plenty of other antibiotics, so why the worry? Well, this one’s particularly good for Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever—and we’re right on the verge of peak season for those two dangerous diseases. Uh-oh.
Why the Shortage?
As usual in drug shortages, it’s hard to point to one cause. Apparently a manufacturer or two have stopped making doxycycline. Some say there’s a scarcity of basic ingredients. Others suggest the manufacturers may have decided to use their resources to produce drugs that have a better profit margin.
The shortage has caused the retail price of doxycycline to skyrocket. Today, I called my local Walgreens and was quoted $85 for a two-week supply of generic doxycycline. I’m guessing that same amount was about $15 or $20 a year ago.
For years, doxycycline has been a cheap cure for multiple illnesses as variable as pneumonia, sinusitis, sexually transmitted diseases, malaria, and Lyme disease. But really, the shortage is no reason to panic.
I often recommend keeping antibiotics on hand in case you can’t get to a doctor. And this is a [... continue reading]
The post appeared first on TheSurvivalDoctor.com. Click to comment and read others' experiences: How the Doxycycline Antibiotic Shortage May Affect You .
Posted by LAwordsmith at May
There are not many natural ways to treat or prevent nasal allergies effectively, but using a neti pot for nasal irrigation is one of them. And it’s safe.
Okay, sure … a brain-eating amoeba has killed a few unfortunate people after they used contaminated tap water.
And, yes, some who use the neti pot actually have more sinus infections.
But … you can prevent both of those problems with two simple steps.
How to Use a Neti Pot Safely
Step #1. Clean the pot thoroughly before each use. You’ll need a tube brush or something similar to make sure you clean inside that thin spout.
Step #2. For irrigation, use distilled water, or boil your tap water for about a minute (and give it time to cool off) to kill any of those amoebas. Sure, it’s so easy to use water straight from the tap, and those brain-eating amoebas are really rare. But if you were to get the infection, you’d die. There isn’t a cure. Why take a chance?
How to Use a Neti Pot Effectively
- Add around ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to every cup or so of water. You don’t have to use either, but the salt may clean better, and the baking soda is a buffer to limit any irritating stinging.
- If you’d rather, use your favorite commercial, premixed [... continue reading]
The post appeared first on TheSurvivalDoctor.com. Click to comment and read others' experiences: Allergies Vs. Amoebas: 2 Steps to Using a Neti Pot Safely .