Good Eggs: New fertility test says it can measure how many high-quality eggs you have left

by Jessica Ashley

A new test is in town, and it might just give women information about their fertility they never expected to find: Exactly how many “good eggs” they have left.  Even if it could predict how many high-quality eggs we have and how that affects our chances of getting pregnant, is that information we want to know?

Plan Ahead, the first test of its kind to test and predict a woman’s “ovarian reserve,” will be available in fertility clinics in eleven states in the next few weeks. Marketed by Repromedix, it will be available for $350 to women who want a higher-tech insight into family planning than has previously been available.

How does this thing work anyway?
Plan Ahead’s calculations are based on tracking three hormonal tests:

* inhibin B, a protein derived from egg follicles
* anti-mullerian hormone, generated by the cells that surround eggs that have not yet matured
* follicle stimulating hormone, which prompts development of the eggs

These hormone levels are combined with the woman’s age and estrogen levels to create a formula for her fertility. Or at least conceive a score for how many eggs are viable for reproduction.

Do they really count the eggs?
The hormonal tests that Plan Ahead depends upon to derive this score aren’t new to the market, and some experts are concerned about the use and analysis of the anti-mullerian hormone since the Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved it for commercial distribution. Adding fuel to this fertility testing fire is the lack of published data by marketing company Repromedix. Although Repromedix conducted a study of 200 women’s ovarian reserves, the results have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Some doctors say the test should be clinically established before the idea — or Plan Ahead itself — is sold to women. Although clinical data and FDA clearance isn’t being made available by Repromedix at this point, the company is making a very important point about what the test can’t do: It can’t predict whether or not a woman is fertile or how quickly she will get pregnant. It also cannot determine the rate of deterioration of the viable eggs she does have.

Simply put, it all comes down to the count. All the math and blood tests and money and technology tells a woman one thing: If she’s at risk of having a low supply of “good eggs.”

Why is this count so controversial?
At Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, the chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, Dr. Ralph Krazer told the Chicago Tribune that he thinks Plan Ahead’s being offered to women prematurely “[g]iven the state of the science.”

In New York, Dr. Zev Rosenwaks took his concerns a step further. As the director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center, he questioned Plan Ahead’s value for patients worrying that results could generate false reassurance or panic among women who are tested.

While the science here is fascinating — just think, a mathematical formula that is essentially a peek into the amazing and previously far more mysterious underworld of our ovaries — as a woman, a mother, a person who wants to parent again in the future, I think Plan Ahead carries as many (if not more) anxieties than those other pregnancy-related tests.

Do we need to stress over another plus or minus sign?
I can’t imagine a woman or couple who haven’t been overwhelmed by pounding hearts while waiting for a plus or minus sign to appear on a pregnancy test. And if you’ve been through an amnio, age-related risk assesments, ultrasound and genetic “abnormality” tests, you’re familiar with the worry they produce over issues you never considered when you chose to become a parent. While I’ve been fortunate to be more fertile than I expected that one night after several pitchers of microbrews and mood lighting, I’ve known too many women who’ve experienced the emotional roller coaster of infertility drugs and treatments, hormones and panic in an effort to become pregnant. Sure, the science is incredible and has aided, inspired, guided and gifted many people with pregnancies, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come free or even cheap.

The cost here, I am concerned, is the opportunity for more anxiety to creep into a woman’s biology. While Plan Ahead is geared, the manufacturer says, toward women in their mid-to-late 30s who have already experienced difficulty conceiving and want to test their ovum and themselves to see if they should pursue in vitro treatment, I imagine many more women in that will have their blood drawn for the cause.

Oh yeah. There are plenty of questions. A lifetime of ’em for a lifetime of ovum.
A girl child is born with a lifetime supply of eggs and once she starts menstruating, the eggs are released, with a sharp decline as she moves through her 30s. This basic biology is not new to us, but the cultural move to later motherhood is relatively recent. So how does a test that measures that egg supply factor in?

Will women make different maternal choices if they know they’re lacking lots of high-quality eggs?

Will the question of how many “good eggs” a woman has follow whether she’s got a clean bill of health, is STD-free and even wants children at all?

Will women who’ve chosen to put a college, a career, travel, themselves first in their 20s suddenly feel the necessity to put that all aside if there’s a chance their eggs may not outlast their other ambitions?

As family planning takes this turn, is the science formulating the potential for anxiety more tests could produce for people who want to become parents, if not now then maybe, possibly one day on down the road?

While we’re busy counting “good eggs,” are we also accounting for the emotional responses to Plan Ahead just being available?

What’s your response to Plan Ahead?: Would you take this fertility test if it was available in your city?

Know the Facts About Infantigo

Before I get into some of the facts about Infantigo which can also called Impetigo, I want to first talk about the biggest organ on our bodies, and that is our skin. Believe it or not, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I became aware that our skin was even considered to be an organ.

And out of all the organs in our bodies, our skin could be considered as being the most important. I know you’re probably thinking about our heart, brain, liver, kidneys and stomach, but think about it. It’s our skin that hold all these things together, so in my book that makes it more important.

Our Skin Is Made Up Of Three Different Layers

  • The outside layer is the epidermis.
  • The next layer is the dermis, and this contains all our nerve endings, blood vessels, oil glands and sweat glands. It also contains elastin and collagen.
  • The third layer is the  subcutaneous which is made mostly of fat and helps our bodies stay warm. It also helps hold the skin to all the tissues underneath it and absorbs trauma or shock to our bodies.

Our skin is also the first defense against any bacterial infections, and even though many bacteria already live on the surface, only healthy skin can protect us from any infections.

The most serious complication of Impetigo is a severe kidney disease that occurs following a strep infection, but this only occurs in less than 1% of the cases and mostly occurs in children. So let’s go over some of the facts about Impetigo…

It Is A Bacterial Infection Of The Surface Of The Skin

Yes, Impetigo happens to be a highly contagious bacterial skin infection which can show up anywhere on your body, but generally attacks your exposed areas. Children tend to get Impetigo on their face, especially around their mouth and nose, and sometimes even their legs or legs.

The bacteria responsible for this infection depends on which form of Impetigo you have. If you have the Non-Bullous form, the bacteria responsible would be either Staphylococcus or Streptococcus. If you should be suffering from the Bullous form of the disease, this is caused by the Staphylococcus bacteria.

The areas that are infected can range from dime to quarter size and start out as tiny blisters that break to expose moist, red skin. After a few days, the infected area gets a golden, grainy crust that gradually spreads.

This infection Is More Common In Children Than In Adults

The reason Impetigo is so common among children is because it can be easily spread to them by other children in school or pre-school. This is why it is also called “school sores.” It has been said that this disease really loves skin that has had other skin problems like poison ivy, skin rashes from allergies or eczema.

If your child has contracted Impetigo, you should keep them home from school or day care until they are no longer contagious, which is usually 24 to 48 hours after you begin treatment with the antibiotics. Without antibiotics, Impetigo will remain contagious until the sores go away.

During this time you have to be careful with their bed linen, clothes, towels and wash clothes. The key is to keep them separate from your other laundry and wash them daily. I suggest this because Impetigo can also be spread to other members of your family if they come into contact with items that have been handled by your child while they were still contagious.

Another thing is to try your best to keep the infected area as isolated as possible. If your child touches any other part of their body with hands or fingers that have touched the infected area, that area will also become infected.

This is why it’s important to start treatment of Impetigo as quickly as possible. The faster healing begins, the less you have to worry about this infection spreading.

There Is An Extreme Form Of Impetigo

The extreme form of Impetigo is called Ecthyma. If not treated quickly and properly the infection could invade down to a deeper layer of your skin. Because of this, some people call Ecthyma, “deep impetigo.” The one thing to be aware of if the infection gets this advanced is that the sores could cause permanent scarring and pigment changes.

Scarring And Permanent Skin Damage Is Very Rare

Impetigo is not serious and is easy to treat, but the key is to treat it in the early stages. It could clear on its own in two to three weeks, and of course if you decide to use antibiotics this can shorten the course of the disease and stop it from spreading to others.

It doesn’t leave scars or damage to the skin, but as I stated above, if you don’t treat it right away, and it advances to Ecthyma, then there will be scarring after it heals.

Pooping blood

Pooping blood is the result of distended veins (which cause hemorrhoids), which are located in the rectum, and anus’ lower part. In normal cases, they do not cause any problem, but if they get swollen, it can become very painful and then the patient has to treat it. There are two types of hemorrhoids; one is called, “Internal hemorrhoid” and the other is called “External hemorrhoid”. The internal hemorrhoids are present in the inside layer of rectum. The internal hemorrhoid cannot be felt physically and do not cause any kind of pain if everything is fine, but one has to cure hemorrhoids if he/she experiences any pain in anus or rectum, as the pain could be indicating hemorrhoids.

In the case of hemorrhoid swelling, the, the internal hemorrhoid protrudes through the anus. The outer skin, which surrounds the anus, has external hemorrhoids beneath it. It can also be not felt except in the case of abnormality, such as swelling of the hemorrhoid or when the blood clot is blocked in the vein, which is very painful, and demands to cure hemorrhoids.

The Causes

The most common cause of dark blood in poop is the swollen veins, which are caused when there is a strain, causing bloody stool. Pregnancy can also be one major reason of hemorrhoids, as during pregnancy the enlarged uterus put a pressure on the rectum. Treatment of hemorrhoids is very important if one feels pain or bleeding through anus. Another significant cause of hemorrhoids can be constipation too, as hemorrhoids are often associated with constipation that also puts strain on the bowel and stool passing. Liver problem can also lead to the hemorrhoid pain. One must see the doctor immediately to cure hemorrhoids if he/she experiences any such symptom such as problem in stool passing or swelling.

Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids

As the early symptom of hemorrhoids, one may experience bleeding from the anus, resulting in blood in your stool. This bleeding is mostly painless. The bleeding can be seen with the passage of poop, or it can just keep dripping when one uses toilet to poop. This bleeding stops itself after a limited period of time.  To cure hemorrhoids, one must take notice of earliest symptoms.

However, pooping blood may not be the one and only reason for hemorrhoids as bleeding can occur due to tumor, infection, or inflammatory disease of bowel. The symptoms of the problem in internal or external hemorrhoids are different each other and in order to treat it correctly, one must know about the problem in detail. In case of abnormality in internal hemorrhoids, the veins swell and the swelling go to the extent that the hemorrhoid is prolapsed outside the anus. This protruded hemorrhoid can be felt like a lump.

The internal hemorrhoid sticking out of the anus can be pushed back through the anal hole. This may solve it temporarily, but it will not completely cure it in any case, and there will be a time when the protruded hemorrhoid will become so swelled that it could not be pushed back anymore as the lump will be wedged.

Therefore, it is more advisable to take notice of blood in poop at the initial stage. The one suffering from hemorrhoid pain also feels harsh and experience uncontrollable itching inside the anus and every time during the passage of poop, there feels a blockage that rouses the urge of needling for the movement of bowel. The external hemorrhoid pain has a more chronic condition, which is known also as “Thrombosed External Hemorrhoid”. This condition crops up when a blot clot is blocked inside the hemorrhoid and produces great pain and itching. To treat this the blood clot in the vein has to be removed in the first place to allow the passage of blood and ease bowel movement.

The reason behind Thrombosed External Hemorrhoids being painful is that, the blood clot, which blocks the vein, causes increased swelling of the hemorrhoid, which causes increased pain. Doctors treat blood in poop as the pain increases if the patient sits, because sitting causes pressure on the rectum and the hemorrhoid, which has clogged blood clot.

The Cure

There are of course proper medical treatments to treat this condition, but there are some home remedies too, which can be adopted to cure hemorrhoids. To soothe the inflammation of the hemorrhoid and soften the stool, the patient must sit in a tub of warm water. This treatment can be performed regularly for 15 to 20 minutes and after having done with bath tub sitting, the anus area must be dried off with towel as otherwise, further inflammation can occur. As prevention and cure of hemorrhoid, doctors also recommend the intake of plenty of water and other health and fresh beverages to prevent the hardening of bowel movement.

For treatment, doctors also recommend patients not to sit on hard places such as wooden chair or bench for longer period as sitting can worsen the problem. Patients must get rubber or air donuts to sit on as these donuts are soft, and helps to ease the hemorrhoids problem.

Medically, there are many treatments to cure hemorrhoids. Some include oral intakes and other includes surgeries to treat dark blood in poop.  Various kinds of surgeries are used to cure hemorrhoids such as stapled Hemorrhoidectomy, a laser therapy that it used to make the internal hemorrhoids hard.

Hemorrhoids are a serious and painful bowel condition and one must not delay any time to cure hemorrhoids. The pain from your bloody poop can occur in consecutive intervals and patients may ignore it by considering it a normal bowel pain, such perception towards it is wrong as the earlier we go for treatment, the better it will be.

Mobile Phone for Children: Bad or Good

Mobile radiation effects in children


“Waiting for high levels of scientific and clinical proof before taking action to prevent well-known risks can lead to very high health and economic costs”

These are the words quoted by the scientific council of European Union on regards to the study report of IARC (international agency for research on cancer) WORLD HEALTH ORGANIASTION’S view of classifying mobile phone as POSSIBLE CARCINOGENIC.

There is no specific scientific evidence still now whether mobile phone radiations cause any particular effect on the health of people. It is surely ridiculous to wait for the time consuming scientific, clinical and sociological studies to come out for the authorities to take necessary actions against these possible hazardous things which have great influence in the health of the public. The main threat of these is on the health of the children whose makes the future of the society. We have waited and also waiting for the studies on the effect of asbestoses, petrol and also on the impact of smoking on lung cancer and also other health problems. Even these studies are very much influenced by the strong multinational companies who makes and market theses products in both developed and developing nations. So even in the case of mobile phones, also they may influence the studies which can spoil their profits.

How children are affected more

Unlike the adults the children are on their growing state. The cells are rapidly dividing and the tissues are in the state of growth, so the radiations can affect the gene coding which are the basis of their replication and growth. Also the thickness of skull is very less compared to adults so the area of brain exposure to radiation is more compared to adults. So the children may be the vulnerable sector who can be affected very easily by these hazardous radiations.

According to the WHO the recommendations covers all the non-ionizing radiofrequency electromagnetic fields which includes the mobile phones and the wireless internet access. The recommendation is to ban the use of mobile phones in schools and also to give preference to the use of wired internet connections. Especially for children’s under the age of 18. .


A lot of studies where conducted from 1990’s to 2011 regarding the use of mobile phones and health hazards.

1. Study by international journal of epidemiology in 1998 shows that there is no significant increase in risk of glioma and meningioma( types of brain tumors) by use of mobile phones.

2. A study by Australian radiation production and nuclear safety agency recommends limit of exposure by reducing call time and encouraging use of hands fee. They also recommend to limit its use by children.

3. In 2007 a study by Dr.Lennart Hardell- found risk of malignant glioma, a higher rate of acoustic neuroma, also the tumors more seen in sides of head where we use modiles more., also use of 1 hour of phone increase the risk of tumors

4. IN Feb 2008 a study by Dr. Vini Khurana a Neurosurgean from Australia writes ”there is increase body of evidence………for a link between mobile phone usage and certain brain tumors”.


On going through the studies conducted from 1990 to till date. Even if in the former studies there was not much evidence in the increase in the rate of cancer chances by the use of mobile phone. But as the use of mobiles increases from year to year the exposure rate each and every persons are increased and the radiation exposure from mobiles, towers and also other electromagnetic sources are showing an increase in signs ad symptoms of different chronic diseases in the body.

It many take many more years to come out with a full scientific evidence by the scientists about the pros and cones on the mobile usage. So write now the European Union has taken a correct step by publishing the article. That will make the people rethink on the use of mobile profoundly.


Pros and Cones of Mobile Usage by Children’s


· Can contact them easily

· Can be used them in emergency

· Internet can be assessed by children very easily which helps in their studies


· Non ionizing radiation threats.

· Chances of cancer in brain

· Chances of children exposed to porn sites etc more

· Chances of children especially in teens engaging in cyber crimes

· Chances of growth problems in very young children’s

· Chances of mutations in sex cells in children

· Chances of infertility etc in people especially in males due to radiation

What Parents Can Do

· Never give mobile to children below 5 yrs even for playing

· Don’t allow children to take mobiles to schools

· Better allow the children to use mobiles only after 18 yrs

· Educate them of the hazards to use of mobiles

· Don’t put mobiles in pockets use separate pouch for mobiles

· Try to use always head phones

· Force the schools to ban mobiles, also ask them to use internet through cables than wireless.

· Don’t allow children to use mobiles more than one hour a day.

· Encourage them to use fixed lines more

· Never allow them to use internet in mobiles.

[N.B:- non ionizing radiation :- Non-ionizing radiation is the term given to radiation in the part of the electromagnetic spectrum where there is insufficient energy to cause ionization. It includes electric and magnetic fields, radio waves, microwaves, infrared, ultraviolet, and visible radiation]

Lingering Cough: Exactly What to do for Relief

A lingering cough is quite literally a cough that lingers. Often a lingering cough is the result of a previous illness or sickness, and is the last symptom to hang around while you are recovering. A lingering cough is considered to be a persistent cough if it continues to last for a period of eight weeks of longer. The distinct difference between a lingering cough and a normal (or “acute”) cough is that the cough remains after all other symptoms of a period of sickness have cleared up. This differentiation is important, because if a long-term cough is accompanied by period of illness for its duration, then it should not be diagnosed and treated in the same way as a persistent cough would be. Potential causes of a lingering cough can be caused by numerous factors.

These include:


A smoker’s cough is really a lingering cough that lasts over eight weeks. Any time you go by way of periods of smoking cessation, like when you happen to be sleeping at night, your damaged cilia inside your lungs cannot move the big collection of phlegm as much as your throat to exactly where it is possible to swallow it. A smoker’s cough does result in additional mucus to create an extra effort to get foreign toxins out of one’s lungs, which tends to make you cough.

Chronic Bronchitis

Bronchitis usually develops a lingering cough but the term that describes inflammation bronchial tubes lung area that final results in excessive secretions of mucus tubes with tissue swelling that narrow or close up bronchial tubes. Chronic bronchitis is understood to be a cough that happens every single day with sputum production that can last for several weeks, years row. The primary of chronic bronchitis is smoking cigarettes other causes are breathed in environment irritants breathed in frequently through the nostrils.

Sinuses and Post Nasal Drip

Sinus and postnasal drip can cause a lingering cough with mucus. This condition is difficult to detect. Cat Scan of the sinuses is used for diagnosis. Affected person complains of a “irritation in their throat” and require frequent throat clearing.

Acid Reflux Describes acidity reflux, or backward flow, of stomach acidity together with other contents in towards the wind pipe. If stomach acidity moves backward inside the wind pipe, reflexes result in spasm from the airways that induce difficulty breathing and coughing. From time to time, acidity reflux is seriously so serious that substances may be aspirated in towards the lung region and result in related signs and signs and symptoms along with harm to lung tissue. In particular consumers, no sensation of acid reflux is felt too as their only symptom could possibly be lingering cough.

A Lingering cough can be a result of a respiratory infection-specifically Pertussis, or whooping cough. It is definitely an upper respiratory infection caused by the Bordetella pertussis which is a harmful bacteria. It’ causes severe illness that may trigger permanent disability in infants, as well as death. The infection generally lasts 6 weeks. Whooping cough can impact individuals of any age. Prior to vaccines had been widely available, the illness was most typical in infants and young kids. Now that most kids are immunized prior to entering school, the greater percentage of instances is noticed amongst adolescents and adults..

Smoking, Chronic Bronchitis, Sinuses and Post Nasal Drip, Bordetella pertussis, and even acid reflux can cause a lingering cough.

Does lingering cough warrant a visit to a doctor?

Even if you have allergies, or regularly smoke, it is important not to assume these are the contributing factors to your cough. Some of the possible underlying causes are very serious, and could potentially result in fatality. If you are coughing up blood, experience chest pain, or have shortness of breath and light-headedness, then seek medical attention immediately.

A Lingering cough can be caused by a respiratory infection; more succinctly, Pertussis, or whooping cough. It is an upper respiratory infection caused by the Bordetella pertussis a harmful bacteria. It’s a severe illness that may trigger permanent disability in infants, as well as death. The infection generally lasts 6 weeks. Whooping cough can impact individuals of any age. Prior to vaccines had been widely available, the illness was most typical in infants and young kids. Now that most kids are immunized prior to entering school, the greater percentage of instances is noticed amongst adolescents and adults.

Lingering coughs can also be a dry cough and is so named because it produces no mucus. A cough that creates mucus help’s the body remove congestion from the airways in the lungs and promotes rapid healing.

There are a few tips and tricks that might help relieve that annoying cough, if at the very least to provide you with a brief respite. If you want to attempt to rid yourself of a hacking cough, these home Cough Remedies might give you some relief:

-Water: Keep hydrated, always. Warm water might be soothing, but if you have any swelling then try regularly sipping cold water.

-Avoid dairy produce: Eating dairy can increase the rate at which the body produces mucus. This mucus can trickle down the throat as phlegm and cause coughing.

-Use a humidifier: This will ensure the air is full of moisture, and help keep your throat from drying out.

-Take a bath: Sitting in a tub of warm water for 10-20 minutes and breathing in the moist warm air will also help to soothe and relieve a dry throat.

-Cough drops, sweets, or lozenges that contain an oral anesthetic like menthol will help provide temporary relief by numbing the receptors in the throat.

-Other popular suggestions include consuming “health foods” such as garlic, onion and honey.

A final note

If the situation allows it, stay indoors and keep warm. Avoid going in to work, and minimize close contact with others. If your day usually involves the preparation of food or drink, ensure you don’t have contact with the food or drink yourself. Each time you cough, you expel tiny droplets into the air. You don’t want to pass your lingering cough on to anybody else.

Frequently Asked Questions About Drinking Problems

Find out the answers to the most frequently asked questions about alcoholism and alcohol abuse.

I’m not an alcoholic. Can I be helped with a drinking problem?

You don’t have to be an alcoholic to need help, or to get help. If your health care provider determines that you are not alcohol dependent, but you are involved in a pattern of alcohol abuse, he or she can help you:

  • Examine your problem.
  • Set goals and limits.
  • Examine trigger situations.
  • Develop new ways of handling problem situations.

If you have any alcohol-related problem, even if you are not alcoholic, Alcoholics Anonymous also can help with information and support.

How much can I drink?

According to the National Institute of Health, most adults can drink moderate amounts of alcohol–up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women and older people–and avoid alcohol-related problems. However, certain people should not drink at all. That includes:

  • Recovering alcoholics.
  • People under the age of 21
  • Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
  • People who plan to drive or engage in other activities requiring alertness and skill.
  • People taking certain medications, including some over-the-counter medicines.
  • People with medical conditions that can be worsened by drinking.

Can alcoholism be cured?

Unfortunately, not yet. Although the symptoms of this disease can be treated, and medication is available that can help prevent relapses, a cure has not yet been discovered. This means that even an alcoholic who has been sober for years and has regained health is still vulnerable to relapse, and must continue to avoid alcoholic beverages.

Are there any medications for alcoholism?

Yes. Two types of medication are commonly used to treat alcoholism. Tranquilizers known as benzodiazepines are used in the first few days of treatment to help patients safely withdraw from alcohol. Common brands of benzodiazepines include Valium® and Librium®. The other type of medication is used to help people remain sober. Naltrexone (ReVia®) has recently been approved for this purpose. This medication is used in conjunction with counseling to lessen cravings and prevent a return to heavy drinking.

Does alcoholism treatment work?

While not 100 percent effective in every case, studies have shown that a minority of alcoholics remain sober at least one year after treatment while others have periods of sobriety alternating with relapses. However, treatment outcomes for alcoholism compare favorably to outcomes for many other chronic medical conditions. The longer one abstains from alcohol, the better his or her chances of remaining sober. It is also important to remember that it often takes several attempts for people to achieve long-term sobriety. Relapses are common, and should not indicate failure or inability to overcome this disease.

If you or someone close to you answers “yes” to any of the following questions, a drinking problem is possible. More than one “yes” indicates that a problem is very likely, and that help should be sought immediately.

  • Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
  • Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  • Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
  • Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

If I have trouble with drinking, can’t I simply reduce my alcohol use without stopping altogether?

Maybe, maybe not. If you are diagnosed with alcoholism, then the answer is “no.” Studies have shown that nearly all alcoholics are unsuccessful when they attempt to cut back on drinking without stopping altogether. Cutting out alcohol entirely is almost always necessary for successful recovery. However, not all alcohol-related problems involve alcoholism, and people with some problems may be able to limit the amount they drink. However, if you cannot stay within your limit every time you drink, you will most likely need to stop drinking entirely.

Is there a difference in the way that alcohol affects your body as you age?

As a person grows older, some physical functions such as vision, hearing, and reaction time — tend to decline. Also, other physical changes associated with aging can cause older people to feel the immediate effects of alcohol after consuming fairly small amounts. These factors make older people more susceptible to alcohol-related falls and automobile accidents.

Also, since older people in general take more medicines than younger ones, the possibility of dangerous side effects when medication and alcohol are combined increases with age. In addition, medical conditions that are more common to older people, such as high blood pressure and peptic ulcers, can be made worse by consuming alcohol. Even if there is no medical reason to avoid alcohol, older men and women should limit their intake to one drink per day.

Are there differences between the effects of alcohol on women and men?

Even when differences in body weight are taken into account, studies show that women are more affected by alcohol than men and women become more intoxicated after drinking the same amount of alcohol as men. This is because of the difference in the percentage of water in men’s and women’s bodies. Since alcohol mixes with body water, the same amount of alcohol becomes more highly concentrated in a woman’s body than in a man’s. That is why the recommended drinking limit is lower for women than for men.

In addition, the long-term effects of alcohol abuse have shown to take a heavier physical toll on women than on men. Alcohol dependence and related problems, like brain and liver damage, progress more rapidly in women than in men.

Is it true that alcohol is good for your heart?

It is true that many studies have shown that people who drink alcohol in moderation. That is, one or two drinks per day are less likely to develop heart disease than people who do not drink any alcohol or those who drink larger amounts. It is speculated that small amounts of alcohol may help protect against coronary heart disease by raising levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and by reducing the risk of blood clots in the coronary arteries. However, this does not mean that drinking is “good for you.” If you are a non-drinker, you should not start drinking just to benefit your heart. Protection against coronary heart disease is better obtained through regular physical activity and a low-fat diet. If you are advised to abstain from drinking for any other reason, you should not drink. And even for those who can drink safely and choose to do so, it is important to remember that moderation is key. Heavy drinking can increase the risks of many conditions, including heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure and cirrhosis of the liver.

Alcohol for Women

Women and alcohol really don’t mix. The health consequences of drinking alcohol are more serious for women than men.

It’s commonly believed that men can hold their liquor better than women can, but that’s only part of the story. Research shows that alcohol also takes more of a toll on women physically, mentally and socially.

A study by researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Washington University looked at more than 400 people during a 15-year period to study the long-term effects of alcohol. It found that women who drank heavily reported more difficulty in everyday tasks such as climbing stairs, carrying groceries or taking care of family members, than men did.

“On most of the measures, the women were more seriously disabled than the men,” says Kyle Grazier, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of health management and policy at the University of Michigan and lead author of the study. The study was presented last year at the First World Congress on Women and Mental Health in Berlin.

Study subjects were divided into three groups: those who were alcoholics throughout the whole period, those who were alcoholics at the beginning of the study and those who were not alcoholics. Women were adversely affected by alcohol whether they had been drinking heavily for 20 years or had stopped drinking in the past five years. Alcohol affected the time they spent at work or social activities and, in general, compromised their health more than men.

“It’s very consistent with what other researchers have reported about alcohol having a more accelerated course toward negative effects in women,” says Kathleen Bucholz, Ph.D., who worked on the study with Grazier and is a research professor in the department of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis.

Different reactions

Other research has indeed shown that women react to alcohol differently from men in many ways. One of these is that they tend to get intoxicated quicker, even when taking into account the difference in body weight.

According to a report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), women absorb and metabolize alcohol differently from men. Because they have less body water than men of the same weight, their blood alcohol concentrations are higher after drinking equivalent amounts. While women are less likely to get behind the wheel after drinking, the report said that they have a higher risk of dying in a crash if they do drive.

What’s more, women are more vulnerable to alcohol-related organ damage, trauma and social difficulties. Women who are heavy drinkers tend to develop liver disease more quickly than men, and they may be more vulnerable to alcohol-induced brain damage, according to the report.

There may be other factors that tie in with how alcohol affects women versus men. Women who are alcohol-dependent tend to be using other drugs as well, which could impair their health, according to Carol Boyd, Ph.D., director of the Substance Abuse Research Center and professor of women’s studies at the University of Michigan.

Boyd has conducted studies of college students and their drinking habits and has found that, “When young women drink too much, the consequences are quite notable.” They have more trouble with their grades and miss more classes than their male counterparts, she said. According to the NIAAA report, there is a relationship between how much female college students drink and the incidence of sexual victimization and dating violence.

How much is too much?

Of the estimated 15 million people who abuse alcohol in the United States, nearly one-third of them are women, according to the National Women’s Health Information Center of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

But what constitutes alcohol abuse as opposed to moderate drinking? According to the NIAAA, moderate alcohol use is one drink per day for women, two for men. One drink is equal to a 5-ounce glass of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. Boyd, however, has her own rule about how to tell if you’re drinking too much. She calls it the 0-1-2-3 rule and uses it to help women gauge if they’re close to the line of alcohol abuse.

Her 0-1-2-3 rule is this:

  • You should not drink if you’re pregnant or have a medical condition that will be made worse by drinking.
  • Never have more than one drink an hour.
  • Never drink two days in a row.
  • Never have more than three drinks in a 24-hour period.

So what about having a glass of wine with dinner every night, which isn’t harmful. There is some leeway in the 0-1-2-3 rule, Boyd says. But because it’s easy for women who drink every day to slip into drinking too much, she advises caution. “If women drink every day, they need to acknowledge it and watch it,” she says.

Women also can ask themselves certain questions to determine if they may have a drinking problem. According to Boyd, if you answer “yes” to two or more of the following, it’s a red flag:

  • Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
  • Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  • Have you ever felt guilty about your drinking?
  • Have you ever had an eye-opener, a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves?

Other questions might include whether other people have complained about your drinking and whether you have to drink more now than you used to for the same effects. People with more than two positive answers should be prepared to take the next step. “They would need to see somebody about the fact that they possibly have a problem,” says Boyd.

How Do I Know If I Have Pneumonia or Bronchitis?

Pneumonia symptoms

Pneumonia symptoms vary depending on the cause. For example:

Bacterial pneumonia can come on gradually or suddenly. In the most severe cases, patients may experience shaking chills and chattering teeth, signs of a high fever, perhaps with moderate to severe chest pain, and a cough that produces rust-colored sputum (thickened fluid and mucus) from the lungs.

Viral pneumonia symptoms initially resemble influenza (flu): fever, dry cough, headache, muscle pain and weakness. After 12 to 36 hours, patients become increasingly short of breath. The cough becomes worse, and a small amount of mucus is produced. Fever may also worsen, and as breathing becomes more difficult, a patient’s lips may turn blue (cyanosis). In extreme cases, a bacterial infection may also develop, adding symptoms of bacterial pneumonia as well.

Mycoplasma pneumonia causes a severe cough that tends to come in violent attacks, producing a small amount of whitish sputum or mucus. Chills and fever appear early in the illness, and some patients experience nausea or vomiting. The symptoms and course of mycoplasma infections are highly variable. It may simulate strep throat or produce nothing more than a prolonged, annoying cough. Some experts believe that it may be an important cause of severe and prolonged attacks in individuals with asthma. Patients may feel very weak for a long period of time.

Bronchitis symptoms

The hallmark symptom of bronchitis is a wet or dry cough, which may cause chest pain. Breathing may become difficult, and accompanied by burning in the chest, and wheezing or rattling in the throat. Exertion may cause shortness of breath. It is important to consider the possibility that asthma may be the cause of the cough, especially if wheezing and shortness of breath with exertion are prominent.

Patients may feel very tired and have a low-grade fever. Sputum may be clear, white, gray, yellow or green.


You should see your doctor for any symptoms that last more than a few days. You should also see a doctor if fever rises, or if chest pains become severe.

Diagnostic tests may include a chest X-ray to locate infected areas in the lungs or airways. Blood tests may be done to help determine the cause and severity of the infection. In some cases, the doctor will take a laboratory culture of the mucus produced by coughing. Cultures can help determine the type of bacteria causing the infection, and the most effective antibiotics to use against it.

How Are Pneumonia and Bronchitis Treated?

If their disease is detected early enough, most people with pneumonia or bronchitis can be treated at home. Early treatment is essential in order to prevent life-threatening complications. These serious cases generally require hospitalization.

Pneumonia treatment

In young and healthy patients, early antibiotic treatment can cure bacterial pneumonia and can improve recovery from other organisms (mycoplasma, rickettsia) but there is no effective treatment for viral pneumonia. Which drugs are used will depend on the type of organism causing the infection and your doctor’s judgment.

Supportive treatment includes: proper diet, oxygen when needed, medication for chest pain and therapy to relieve cough.

A vigorous young person may recovery completely within one week. Older patients take longer (several weeks) to recover. Someone recovering from mycoplasma pneumonia may be weak for an extended period of time.

Bronchitis treatment

The most effective way to treat bronchitis is to get lots of rest, stay indoors if the weather is cold and windy and drink lots of fluid to help liquefy mucus. Mucus should be coughed up; so avoid using cough suppressants.

Your doctor may prescribe or recommend an expectorant medication (mucolytics) to help loosen mucus, or bronchodilators (albuterol) to open air passages. Older people, who generally have lower resistance to bacterial infection, may need to take antibiotics.

Supportive treatments include: rest, staying indoors if weather is bad, increased humidity (cool mist humidifier) to soothe air passages, and increased fluids to avoid dehydration and thin out mucous secretions.

Symptoms usually disappear within seven to 10 days in patients with no prior chronic pulmonary disease, however, some cases of viral bronchitis may take several weeks to completely resolve, especially in smokers and asthmatics.

How Is Emphysema Treated?

There is no cure for emphysema. The goals of treatment are to provide relief of symptoms and prevent progression of the disease. Your physician may recommend any of the following treatments depending on your symptoms and clinical findings:

  • Stop Smoking. If patients who are diagnosed with emphysema are still smoking, the first and best form of treatment is to stop. Cigarette smoking will cause the disease to worsen in spite of any other efforts that can be used to improve the symptoms of emphysema.
  • Environmental Control. Environmental control is another factor in treating emphysema. Many people with emphysema will notice that their symptoms worsen when they are exposed to air pollution, dust or secondhand smoke. Avoid exposure to these agents whenever possible.
  • Bronchodilating Medications. Your physician may prescribe drugs that act by opening up and relaxing the air passages in the lungs. The most commonly prescribed medications for emphysema include a class of drugs known as B2-agonists. The action of these drugs often leads to improved breathing. These drugs can be taken orally or they can be delivered as aerosol sprays through an inhaler. Sometimes, they are also administered through a nebulizer, which is a liquid form of a drug given through a special machine set up at your home. Some examples of these medications include albuterol, pirbuterol, isoetherine, metaproteranol, terbutaline, theophylline, and salmeterol.
  • Anti-inflammatory Medications. Since emphysema involves a chronic inflammation of the lung tissue, your physician may prescribe a steroid-containing medication in an attempt to reduce lung irritation. Usually these drugs are given when the disease flares up and symptoms get worse but some patients are required to take steroids every day. It is important to take these drugs exactly as they are prescribed and not to discontinue them without a physician’s order. A commonly prescribed steroid medication is prednisone, but lately aerosolized steroids are used much more often because of their greater effectiveness and safty.
  • Supplemental Oxygen. If patients are unable to maintain acceptable oxygen levels on their own, the physician may prescribe supplemental oxygen that is delivered through a tube leading into the nostrils. This oxygen is usually portable and can be taken as needed or worn continuously. Patients experiencing a severe attack of emphysema may require mechanical ventilation (respirator) to assist their breathing. This assisted breathing device often can be removed once the patient recovers from the acute episode.
  • Lifestyle Modification. Emphysema can limit a person’s ability to carry out activities of daily living (hygiene, eating, socializing). Patients who have severe symptoms are encouraged to take frequent rest periods during even modest activity so that they can conserve energy necessary for breathing. Avoiding extreme weather conditions is also helpful in controlling symptoms for some people with emphysema. Air conditioners and humidifiers can sometimes improve symptoms.
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation. This is one of the newly recognized areas of rehabilitation. In a pulmonary rehabilitation program patients can be treated either in an inpatient or outpatient setting. The goal of pulmonary rehabilitation is to return patients to the highest functional level possible within the limits of their disease. In pulmonary rehabilitation, many medical disciplines (physicians, nurses, physical and respiratory therapists, dieticians, psychologists, to name a few) work together with the patient to develop a comprehensive program that is aimed at maximizing patient function.
  • Maintain Overall Good Health Habits. Adequate sleep and proper nutrition, along with regular exercise within your level of tolerance, can help maintain stamina and resist infections that often make emphysema symptoms worsen. Many physicians recommend influenza and pneumonia vaccines for patients with emphysema.

Are there any new advances in the treatment of emphysema?

For some types of patients with emphysema a newer type of surgery called lung reduction surgery may lead to improvement in lung function. The surgery involves the removal of diseased and damaged regions of the lungs so that the normal tissue can function better. Since this procedure is relatively new, researchers are still gathering data about which patients benefit the most from lung reduction surgery. Many insurers, including Medicare, do not yet pay for this procedure. Clinical trials in lung reduction surgery are ongoing. For more information about lung reduction surgery contact the National Jewish Medical and Research Center and University Hospital at 1-800-222-LUNG.

Lung transplant surgery is currently being performed for a select group of patients with late-stage emphysema. Like other organ transplants, there is a long waiting list for lung transplantation. The criteria for receiving a lung transplant are very strict due to the complexity of the procedure, the possible complications and the limited supply of donor organs.

Winding Up Breathless

If you are young and you smoke, here’s another reason to put the butts down. Smoking is the most common cause of COPD, a respiratory disease that could leave you breathless later in life.

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Both conditions reduce the airflow in and out of the lungs. The disease affects an estimated 16 million Americans – twice the number as diabetics – and is the nation’s fourth leading cause of death, according to federal health statistics.

You can have COPD and not know it for years because the disease has a long “silent period,” according to Stephen Rennard, Larson Professor of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and one of the nation’s top experts on COPD.

“Typically, a patient has been a smoker since youth. However, they develop shortness of breath when they are 40 years old, and by then, 15 percent of lung function or more has been destroyed,” Rennard says. The disease, he says, is “relentlessly progressive.”

A chronic cough, chest tightness, increased mucus production and frequent clearing of the throat also are symptoms.

Smoking accounts for 80 percent to 90 percent of all COPD cases, although heredity, second-hand smoke, exposure to air pollution at work and in the environment, and a history of childhood respiratory infections also are factors.

COPD interferes with basic activities

A national survey “Confronting COPD in America” found that millions of American suffer from shortness of breath so severe it interferes with basic daily activities. Of the nearly 600 people with COPD interviewed:

    • Nearly half have difficulty breathing while bathing and dressing or doing light housework.
    • One in three loses his or her breath while talking.
    • More than one-quarter have difficulty breathing even when sitting or lying still.
    • Almost one-quarter say the condition has made them an invalid.
    • Some are too breathless to leave home.

The survey also showed that COPD symptoms are a cause of great distress for patients: 58 percent say they panic when they cannot get their breath; 52 percent feel that they are not in control; 39 percent worry about having serious breathing problems when they are away from home.

Therapies that help

  • Bronchodilators help open narrowed airways. There are three main categories: sympathomimetics (for example albuterol) that can be inhaled, injected or taken by mouth; anticholinergics (for example, ipratopium) and methylxanthines that can be given intravenously, orally or rectally.
  • Corticosteroids or steroids can be given orally or intravenously during acute exacerbations of COPD to help resolve inflammation and bronchospasm. The use of inhaled corticosteroids remains one of the most controversial issues in COPD pharmacology. Data from pooled studies shows a modest reduction in the frequency of COPD exacerbated with inhaled coricosteroids.
  • Antibiotics fight infection. They are frequently given at the first sign of a respiratory infection.
  • Expectorants help loosen and expel mucus secretions from the airways.

Other drugs sometimes taken by patients with COPD are tranquilizers, painkillers, cough suppressants and sleeping pills. All these drugs depress breathing to some extent; they should be avoided whenever possible and used only with great caution.

While aerobic exercise cannot reverse the damage, exercise can help deconditioned COPD sufferers dramatically improve their well-being and daily activities, Rennard says.

Also, COPD sufferers often have heart disease as well, and exercise as part of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation can also help if done properly.

Getting tested

If you smoke or if you have recently quit, you should consider having your lungs tested. COPD can be diagnosed by spirometry testing, which measures lung volumes (and is commonly used to determine the severity of asthmatics’ conditions).

“The neat thing about spirometry is that it is one of those few things done in medicine that isn’t invasive. It doesn’t require a needle stuck in you. And you don’t have to take your clothes off for it,” says Sam Giordano, executive director of the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC).

The average age of diagnosis for COPD is 53, Giordano says. “We think that’s way too old. We want to get that average age of diagnosis way below that figure. The earlier a person is diagnosed, the better opportunity to get him or her to stop smoking if they are, or to improve the quality of life or to avoid the deconditioning that accompanies the disease.”

Ask your doctor about spirometry testing or check with the AARC, which coordinates free public screenings around the country.

Should I Get a Flu Vaccination This Year?

About 36,000 Americans die each year from complications of flu. An estimated 10 percent to 20 percent of U.S. residents get the flu each year with an average of 114,000 people hospitalized for flu-related complications. The flu vaccine is specifically recommended for people who are at high risk for developing serious complications resulting from influenza infection.

Studies show when the vaccine matches the actual circulating flu strains for that season, the vaccine is 70 percent to 90 percent effective in preventing illness in healthy young adults. In the elderly and those people with certain chronic medical conditions, the vaccine may be slightly less effective. It has been shown, however, that when people who were vaccinated get the flu, their risk of hospitalization and death from the flu is greatly reduced.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the flu vaccine for the following people:

  • People ages 50 or older
  • Persons of any age with chronic heart, lung and kidney disease or with diabetes
  • Persons who have a suppressed immune system (Examples include people with HIV infection, those who have undergone organ transplantation and people taking medications such as chemotherapy or steroids that alter the immune system’s response to illness.)
  • Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities housing persons of any age with chronic medical conditions
  • Children and teenagers who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who may therefore be at risk for developing Reye’s syndrome following an influenza infection
  • People in close or frequent contact with those persons identified as high risk (Examples include health care workers, nursing home employees and caretakers of individuals who are considered high risk.)
  • Other persons who wish to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with the flu.

In the United States, the flu usually occurs from about November until April. The number of flu cases is normally low until December, and peak flu activity is seen between late December and early March.

The flu vaccine is best administered between September and mid-November since it takes about one to two weeks after vaccination for the body to develop antibody protection against the flu. Adults and older children are vaccinated in the upper arm muscle and young children in the thigh muscle. The benefits of the standard flu vaccine last less than one year, so it is necessary to be revaccinated each year.

Most people report no side effects from the flu vaccine. The most serious side effect that can occur in people receiving the vaccine is an allergic reaction in those who have a serious allergy to eggs, since the viruses used in the vaccine are grown in hens’ eggs. For this reason, people who have an allergy to eggs should not get the flu vaccine. Other reported side effects associated with the flu vaccine include some soreness at the injection site (reported in less than one third of those who get the vaccine) and mild headache or low-grade fever for about a day after getting the vaccine (reported in 5 percent to 10 percent of those who get the vaccine).

Some people do not receive the flu vaccine because they erroneously believe that the vaccine may cause the flu. This is not possible, since the vaccine is manufactured from killed influenza viruses, which are not capable of causing infection.

How to Do if you Got Colds and Flu

During the winter months, colds and flu are appearing commonly. Here are some details if you have got it.

Doctor Visit

When to See the Doctor

You usually do not have to see your doctor if you have signs of a cold or the flu. Most of the time, colds and flu just need to run their course. However, you should call your doctor in these situations:

  • Your symptoms get worse.
  • Your symptoms last a long time.
  • After feeling a little better, you develop signs of a more serious problem. Some signs are nausea, vomiting, high fever, shaking chills, chest pain or coughing with thick, yellow-green mucus.

When you have these symptoms, doctors look for bronchitis, sinusitis, ear infections and pneumonia. These are bacterial infections that may require antibiotics. Antibiotics do not work for colds.

If you are elderly, have a chronic medical condition or have a poor immune system, see a doctor if you think that you have the flu. Complications from colds or flu viruses can lead to such conditions as bronchitis, ear infections, sinusitis, pneumonia, bacterial infections or even death.

Medical conditions

For some people, colds and flu can aggravate underlying medical conditions like heart disease and asthma. If you have asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema, your symptoms of those conditions may be worsened for many weeks even after your cold or flu has gone away.

For children

With children, be alert for:

  • High fevers lasting several days or higher than 101 F, or if the child has shaking chills.
  • Increased throat pain.
  • Coughing that produces green or gray sputum or lasts more than 10 days.
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath.
  • Pain in the ear.
  • Unusual lethargy.
  • Enlarged, tender glands in the neck.
  • Blue lips, skin or fingernails.

For very young children, look for high fever and abnormal behavior such as acting unusually drowsy, refusing to eat, crying a lot, holding the ears or stomach, or wheezing.


A doctor can help you with sinusitis by prescribing antibiotics because this is a bacterial infection. Other medications can clear out phlegm and clear the sinuses.

Before Your Doctor Visit

This SHOULD be completed by you BEFORE your doctor visit.   (YES / NO)

Does your child have a runny nose?
If yes, how long has your child had a runny nose?
Is there fever?
If yes to fever, for how long?
Is there a cough present?
Is your child eating normally?
Is your child lethargic?
Is the child playful?
Is your child prone to asthma?
Does your child have any facial pain or pressure over the sinuses?

Take ALL your child’s medication with you whenever you visit your doctor!

Questions to Ask the Doctor

Ask your doctor about…

  • Whether it is a cold or sinusitis.
  • Treatment.
  • The usual course of your condition.
  • Medications, if any, and their side effects.
  • Signs of a secondary infection.

Make sure that you…

  • Understand what is wrong.
  • Know the signs of complications or secondary bacterial infections.
  • Know what to do if you see these signs.
  • Understand how the condition is to be treated.
  • Understand dosages and complications of any medicines prescribed.
  • Understand when to call your doctor.
  • Understand when to be rechecked if necessary.

When to See a Specialist

Your doctor may send you or your child to a specialist such as an ear, nose and throat specialist if there has been:

  • Failure of two courses of antibiotic medicines to cure the acute sinus infection and a CT scan shows abnormal sinus bone structure.
  • Failure of three courses of antibiotic medicines to cure the acute sinus infection when the CT scan shows normal sinus bone structure.
  • Presence of acute sinus infection and nasal polyps.
  • Presence of acute sinus infection and loss of sense of smell.


Treatment Plan

The goal of therapy for colds is to treat the symptoms to minimize discomfort.


In pounds In kg.
13 – 17 6.0 – 7.9 1/4 tsp. = 25 mg. 1/2 tsp. = 50 mg.
18 – 23 8.0 – 10.9 1/2 tsp. = 50 mg. 1 tsp. = 100 mg.
24 – 35 11.0 – 15.9 3/4 tsp. = 75 mg. 1 1/2 tsp. = 150 mg.
36 – 47 16.0 – 21.9 1 tsp. = 100 mg. 2 tsp. = 200 mg.
48 – 59 22.0 – 26.9 1 1/4 tsp. = 125 mg. 2 1/2 tsp. = 250 mg.
60 – 71 27.0 – 31.9 1 1/2 tsp. = 150 mg. 3 tsp. = 300 mg.
72 – 95 32.0 – 43.9 2 tsp. = 200 mg. 4 tsp. = 400 mg.
96 – 154 44.0 – 70.0 2 tsp. = 200 mg. 4 tsp. = 400 mg.

Dosage to be administered every six hours.


6 – 11 0.4 ml. 1/4 tsp. 1/2 tablet
12 – 17 0.8 ml. 1/2 tsp. 1 tablet
18 – 23 1.2 ml. 3/4 tsp. 1 1/2 tablets
24 – 35 1.6 ml. 1 tsp. 2 tablets 1 capsule
36 – 47 1 1/2 tsp. 3 tablets 1 1/2 capsules
48 – 59 2 tsp. 4 tablets 2 capsules
60 – 71 2 1/2 tsp. 5 tablets 2 1/2 capsules
72 – 115 3 tsp. 6 tablets 3 capsules

Dosage to be administered every four hours.

Over 115 pounds-adult dose:
2 adult tablets every 4 hrs.

If you want to do this: Choose medicine with this:
Unclog a stuffy nose Nasal decongestant
Quiet a cough Cough suppressant
Loosen mucus Expectorant
Stop runny nose and sneezing Antihistamine
Ease fever, headaches, minor aches and pains Pain reliever

Self Care

  • Drink fluids such as water, juice, soup and non-caffeinated beverages to help loosen mucus and to keep yourself from becoming dehydrated.
  • Gargle with salt water for a sore throat.
  • A cool-mist humidifier may help relieve stuffy noses. Clean the humidifier often to avoid a buildup of harmful mold.
  • Saline nasal drops and suctioning with a bulb syringe can help infants and small children breathe better. Be gentle because aggravating the nasal passages could make swelling worse.
  • Choose over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that fit your symptoms.
  • Check with a doctor before treating children suffering from cold and flu symptoms with medicine.
  • Read OTC medicine labels carefully. Just because they are over the counter doesn’t mean dosages don’t count. Don’t exceed recommended dosages or length of use. Taking a nasal spray for too long during a cold could result in an even stuffier nose.
  • Check expiration dates on medicine.
  • Don’t double up on ingredients. If you take more than one medication at a time, be careful not to duplicate ingredients. You don’t want to take two different medicines that both contain acetaminophen. Too much can damage the liver.
  • If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic for a sinus infection, finish the entire dose as your doctor directs you.

Caring for an infant with a cold

Infants breathe through their noses even if they are blocked. That is why a baby struggles so much with a cold and always sounds worse than an adult. Treatment of the symptoms aims to help the infant breathe easier through the nose. We suggest you check with your child’s doctor before using any of these methods to relieve cold symptoms:

  • Humidify the room to keep nasal secretions moist.
  • Use salt water nose drops in infants to help keep nasal mucus thin. This is especially recommended before feeding an infant so that the infant can breathe through the nose during a feeding.
  • If the mucus is thick in an infant, a parent may gently suck it out with an bulb or nasal syringe.
  • Keep the infant upright in a seat as much as possible.
  • Anti-fever medication may be used according to the dosage schedules. However, do not use anti-fever medication in a child younger than 3 months without first consulting your doctor.
  • A number of cough suppressants containing DM (dextromethorphan) are available. Dosages may vary. We suggest you consult your doctor for the correct dose for your child. These medicines may not be used for every child.

Common Medication Prescribed

Nasal decongestant: Relieves nasal and sinus congestion.

Cough suppressant: Provides temporary relief of cough due to sore throat or irritated bronchial tubes.

Expectorant: Helps loosen and thin mucus, making it easier to bring up with a cough.

Antihistamine: Helps relieve cold-related and allergy-related symptoms such as hay fever, nasal inflammation, stuffy nose, red and inflamed eyes, hives, and swelling.

Pain reliever: Helps relieve headaches and fever.

Antibiotic: Fights and kills germs.

Herbs and supplements: Herbs and minerals such as echinacea, eucalyptus, garlic, honey, lemon, menthol, zinc and vitamin C have been publicized as cold remedies. However, these claims are not solidly supported by scientific studies.

Asthmatic Mothers Beware

Should Fluffy go bye-bye? Maybe.

If Mom has asthma, then a cat in the home actually triples the risk that her child will develop persistent wheezing–an initial indicator of asthma – by age 5. So says a recent study by the medical journal The Lancet.

Yet, the same study, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, found allergy-prone children were 40 percent less likely of developing the disease if a cat was in the home during the child’s early life and Mom did not have asthma.

“For most kids, exposure to a pet is good. But there are two exceptions: if the mother is allergic or if she has asthma.” says The Lancet study’s author Juan C. Celedon, M.D., at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

If children actually do benefit from early-life pet exposure, then it would have to be in the first year when the immune system is still maturing, says Clifford Bassett, M.D., FAAAAI, an allergist with New York University Medical Center in New York. After that small window, a family may have a hard time introducing a pet into a home where a child is at risk for developing allergies.

What specifically causes asthma is still uncertain, but studies show if one parent has an allergic disease, the risk that their child may develop allergies is 48 percent. That risk increases to 70 percent if both parents have allergies.

Yet a separate study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found having two or more pets lessened the chances that a child develops allergies.

Almost 70 percent of homes have at least one or more pets. Some 50 million cats and 50 million dogs are in Americans’ homes. Ten million pet owners are allergic to cats and dogs.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder involving constriction of the muscles lining the bronchial airways. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, tightness of the chest and shortness of breath. Asthmatic lungs are often referred to as “twitchy” meaning they overreact to allergens that are harmless to most other people. Although asthma cannot be cured, there are treatments to control symptoms. Certain allergens such as pollens, molds, animal dander, dust mites and cockroaches can be triggers for attacks.

Asthma is becoming increasingly more common. More than 17 million people are affected with potentially life-threatening asthma in 1998, compared with 7 million in 1980: a 158 percent increase. That includes nearly 5 million children and teens. About 5,000 deaths occur each year because of asthma, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Working parents of children with the disease lost an estimated $1 billion a year in productivity.

Does Fluffy get the boot?

But parting with Fluffy is tough, Bassett says.

“I’ve never seen someone get rid of their cat. They come for a shot or medication, get a new doctor, but they don’t get rid of the cat for some reason. The dog usually gets kicked out the door but not the cat,” Bassett says. “People seem to have less of an attachment with their dogs.”

But no matter what the research is saying, experts urge parents to err on the side of caution with pets in the home. Studies show a child with one parent with allergies has a 25 percent chance of developing problems and someone with both parents afflicted has a 50 percent to 75 percent chance.

“Individuals who have pet allergies and asthma should continue avoidance measures especially if they have symptoms that are worsened upon exposure,” Bassett says.

Here are some tips from Bassett on what you can do to cope with your allergies around pets.

  • Keeping pets outside the bedroom can reduce unnecessary suffering since people spend about a third of each day in this room.
  • Because pet dander is buoyant and floats freely, you can use electrostatic or HEPA air cleaners to remove unwanted allergenic particles, especially cat dander. It may take six months after the pet has been removed to completely rid the home of cat dander.
  • Avoid hugging or kissing pets.
  • Don’t let allergy sufferers handle litter boxes and place the boxes away from areas of air filtration intake vents in homes with central heating and air-conditioning.
  • Wash hands after handling or touching a pet to help avoid spreading the dander.
  • Consider placing plastic covers on the couch or other upholstered furniture, which may harbor pet allergens where the pet sleeps or rest
  • Wash your pet weekly.
  • A non-allergic person should brush the pet regularly and outside of the home.