- Women’s Health
- Healthy Living
- Health Conditions
- Nurse Barb
This cough, cold and flu season if you’re looking for a new twist on a cough syrup, consider trying Nurse Barb’s Tahitian Honey Cough Syrup.
If you have a cough, consider taking a tasty trip to Tahiti with ingredients in your refrigerator. For centuries, people have used honey as a natural cough suppressant and this treat might be just what your throat is craving for your cough.
Tahitian cough syrup? Really!
I was inspired to create this honey cough syrup recipe by a Tahitian Limeade I had in Hawaii this summer. I’ve also created a few variations for kids to help them stay hydrated while helping to suppress their pesky coughs.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents of children over the age of one try honey as a cough suppressant.
Research shows what Moms know
Research from Penn State College of Medicine in 2007 showed that honey was an effective and natural alternative to over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine. The study found that a small dose of honey given before bedtime provided better relief of nighttime cough and sleep difficulty in children than no treatment or dextromethorphan (DM), a cough suppressant found in many over-the-counter cold medications.
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE VERSATILITY OF HONEY?
COMING SOON TO A LOCATION NEAR YOU!
I’ll be demonstrating LIVE and In Person how to make my Honey cough Syrup plus Honey Coughsicles.
Can you believe we’re still talking about the flu this year? Like the persistent winter storms that have blanketed much of the country week after week, this flu started early and it’s still widespread in many parts of the country. There were several different strains of the flu circulating, which meant that some people came down with the flu twice!
5 Flu Tips for Spring
1. Wipe it down and wash your hands
The winter storms may have left you drained from endless laundry, however, good old-fashioned hand washing and wiping down surfaces is more important now than ever. Keep hand sanitizer in your backpack or purse, wash your hands and wipe down surfaces especially when anyone in the house has a runny nose or cough.
2. Get your Zzz’s
There’s abundant research that shows adults do best with seven to eight hours of restful sleep each night. Sleep is essential for a healthy immune system to restore and refresh itself. Not only does plenty of restful sleep help keep you healthy, it also helps you recover if you are dealing with a cold or flu.
3. Let the sunshine in
A key nutrient for a healthy immune system is vitamin D, which is known as the sunshine vitamin because your skin uses sun exposure to make it. Vitamin D is also found in fortified milk. Vitamin D helps bolster your immune systems and helps prevent some infections and some types of cancer. (more…)
Meningitis B has devastating consequences
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, their child, who’s away at college contracts a rare form of Meningitis, and it’s the one type that’s NOT included in the mandatory meningitis vaccine required for college students. In the current situation at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where 4 students were affected and 1 needed to have both feet amputated to save his life. At Princeton, 7 students have been affected, and luckily none of them fatally. There’s also been one case reported in a staffer at UC Riverside. The first case was recognized in March, 2013 and the 7th just last week, in November, 2013.
The student from Santa Barbara was a lacrosse player who was apparently in septic shock. What happens is that the toxins from the meningitis bacteria overwhelm and damage the blood vessels in the limbs, which deprives the tissues of oxygen. The tissue in those limbs then die and if it’s not treated, can lead to more serious and life-threatening issues. Amputation is a last resort to save the person’s life.
What’s going on?
College students are required to be vaccinated against Meningococcal meningitis, which is a very serious infection. Most have received a series of 2 vaccines. Though the number of cases in the US is between 800-to 1,500 each year, a small percentage of people who contract any type of meningitis can have serious, even life-threatening consequences.
What Causes Meningitis?
Meningitis may be caused by bacteria or by a virus, which makes it even more confusing. In the case of the Meningitis outbreaks in the Santa Barbara and Princeton students, it was caused by Niesseria Meningitis, sero group B. (more…)
What is Interventional Pulmonology?
This new field is revolutionizing what we can now offer to people to diagnose and treat a variety of lung diseases. Imagine someone, like my uncle, Richard, who had several puzzling spots seen on his lungs on x-rays. He’d been told that he wasn’t well enough to have surgery or a biopsy or remove them, and the previous bronchoscopies didn’t reach them. His doctors back east were only able to give their best guess and did the best they could to treat these puzzling spots.
Uncle Richard would have been a good candidate for Interventional Pulmonology, a new way of combining various diagnostic procedures and minimally invasive techniques to reach the most remote areas of the lungs, biopsy and treat them. In his case, he may have benefited from Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy or EndoBronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) or Radial Probe Ultrasound (REBUS). All of which can help physicians gain access to hard to reach lesions while minimizing risk to the person.
Training the next wave of pulmonologists
These weren’t available for my uncle despite being in a large metropolitan are. Though there are very few hospitals in the country with an Interventional Pulmonolgy program, here in Silicon Valley, El Camino Hospital has had one of the top programs (more…)
What to do when your mom or Nurse Barb isn’t there to help.
Here’s what you need to know:
• As of Jan 12. 2015, the flu is already affecting over ½ of the country.
• You can use the CDC’s Flu tracker to see how the flu is affecting your area.
Guidelines for Staying Home and Not Spreading Germs
• Remember, you are most contagious in the first 24 hours when your symptoms are likely to be at their worst, so if you feel like you’ve been knocked flat, can barely get out of bed, can’t think, are feverish, have chills, or you are achy, then STAY HOME! Your body needs rest to recover. Also, this way, you won’t spread your germs to others.
It’s that time of year again. With holiday travel wrapping up and winter weather setting in, flu season is in full swing. I’ll be guiding you through some very informative and interactive online tools provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) to help you and your family navigate flu season and stay as healthy as possible.
On the CDC’s flu activity and surveillance site you’ll find four panes with weekly reports and a flu summary. There’s also up-to-date flu activity maps like the one pictured at the top of the blog, which I just downloaded this morning. For those of us who like to see trends and data, you’ll find interactive surveillance data to help you stay informed and make it through flu season armed with information.
Key fact: The flu is also known as Influenza. ILI stands for Influenza Like Illness.
I’d like to focus on the CDC’s extremely useful FluView interactive tool. Under the Influenza Like Illness or ILI and Viral Surveillance tab you can launch an app that will show you the number of patients reporting Influenza-like illnesses during a medical visit and the results of lab tests indicating what strains are most prominent for both the duration of this year’s flu season and for your region of the United States.
You can also see a chart containing up-to-date information about the number of confirmed Influenza hospitalizations by season and age group and a comparison of serious pediatric flu-associated cases for multiple flu seasons.
The site also has a very useful interactive map showing the Influenza-like illness (ILI) level by state. Clicking on your state will also give you more information about this season’s flu strains and links to flu shot locations near you and low-cost flu vaccine resources. If you haven’t had your flu vaccine and want to get one, here’s a link for where you can find one in your area.
Be sure to:
• Get immunized for your own safety and the safety of your loved ones
• Wash your hands often
• Wipe down surfaces
• Stay home
• Use these tools to keep up with the current status of flu cases in your area.
Silicon Valley Resources:
For people in Silicon Valley, the Flu is beginning to surge, which means that it’s not too late to get your flu vaccine.
Disclosure: I’m working with El Camino Hospital to help inform the community about using prevention to stay healthy.
Harmonicas are In!
Fun and creative COPD rehabilitation programs are even being made available to help people with COPD who are struggling to breathe better.
Acronyms and abbreviations are abundant in this digital age of rapid communication. However, when it comes to discussing the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. it’s important not to gloss over the term without taking a deeper look at what it means. So in honor of National COPD Awareness month, here is a simple guide to COPD that won’t leave you scratching your head and thinking IDK (IDK = I Don’t Know).
What is COPD?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is actually an umbrella term that refers to several long-term lung diseases like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and even asthma. What these diseases have in common is they cause airflow blockage and breathing-related difficulties. COPD is a progressive disease, which means it gets worse over time. Early detection, treatment, and lifestyle changes can not only slow disease progression, but also improve quality of life.
If you’re like the 40 million Americans who have seasonal allergies or hay fever, there’s a few things you need to know.
Reducing Allergy triggers
TrueHEPA Air Filter
Keeping the air clean and purified is a great first step. There’s lots of confusion about HEPA air filters (HEPA – is a High Efficiency Air Particulate Filter. I recommend that you look for a TrueHEPA filer because it safely removes 99.7% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. After much research, and because we have a friend staying with us who is getting a bone marrow transplant and needs the air to be super clean, I’m getting a True HEPA air filter.
Look for one that is certified as asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Also when considering how much the air quality in your home can change, look for a TrueHEPA filter that has an automatic sensors that monitors the air quality and then automatically adjust the fan speed to keep your air purified.
Vacuming up dust, pet dander and pollen
If you’re like me and you happen to be vacuuming and see a lot of dust particles in a ray of light, you may wonder just how much of the dust is staying trapped in your vacuum. And, if you have someone in your family who’s allergic to dust, pollen or pet dander, you might consider a vacuum that features Level 3 AllergenBlock™ Technology. This vacuum traps 99% of dust, pollen and pet dander in the vacuum and doesn’t allow it to re-enter the air.
What To Do For Allergies?
Spring may have sprung, but it’s still cold in many parts of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. Not only that, but we’re seeing a spike in Flu like illnesses. In fact, in many parts of New England, there were more reported cases of the flu in April than had been reported in January.
Some experts think it’s because of the persistent Polar Vortex and the fact that people are staying indoors where they have a higher likelihood of being exposed to the germs that lead to colds and flu. While we don’t have an exact cause for this sudden spike in flu cases, what I can tell you is that it’s normal for the flu to last well into late spring.
If you or someone you live is experiencing the worst symptoms of the flu, here’s some tips that might help:
• Wash your hands regularly to help prevent spreading the flu.
• Fight Fever with Fluids. Liquids are the ultimate defense for a bad fever. Try to drink 2 to 3 additional ounces of fluid every hour. Water is your best ally in this situation, but non-carbonated sports drinks can be a great substitute.
• Elevate your head. Congested sinuses and post nasal drip can lead to difficulty breathing, especially when lying flat. Here’s a trick from the ICU: Put extra pillows UNDER the mattress to elevate the head of the bed. The increased angle will help drain your congested sinuses and help relieve pressure.
• Just Relax. Studies have shown that elevated levels of stress can have negative effects on your immune system. So, turn down the stress to help turn up your immune system. Plus, relaxation time can help you cope with symptoms.
• Keep your medicine cabinet stocked up. It’s important to look for a medication that can treat the toughest symptoms at once. My go to when I have aches, fever, a sore throat nasal, sinus and chest congestion and a cough is also what I give my own family. Vicks DayQuil Severe and NyQuil Severe, which you can find in my medicine cabinet right now.
These contain maximum strength active ingredients and offer an over the counter solution for the worst cold symptoms. My husband prefers the liquid NyQuil because it allows him to fight off the worst symptoms while he sleeps. I like the DayQuil Severe caplets because they’re purse sized, they’re easy to bring along when I travel, and they help me when I have to power through even the worst symptoms.
• Remember: If you’re taking prescription medications, do check with your health care provider about any over the counter medications. And remember, these medications are only indicated for adults. Check with your pediatric care provider for questions about how to best treat children.
You can find more information about the flu from the CDC.
For more information, please visit Vicks.com.
Disclosure: I’m working with Vicks to help alert people about prevention and treatment options for the flu.