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Dying for a better life: South Koreans fake their funerals for life lessons

SEOUL (Reuters) – A South Korean service is offering free funerals – but only to the living.

More than 25,000 people have participated in mass “living funeral” services at Hyowon Healing Center since it opened in 2012, hoping to improve their lives by simulating their deaths.

“Once you become conscious of death, and experience it, you undertake a new approach to life,” said 75-year-old Cho Jae-hee, who participated in a recent living funeral as part of a “dying well” program offered by her senior welfare center.

Dozens took part in the event, from teenagers to retirees, donning shrouds, taking funeral portraits, penning their last testaments, and lying in a closed coffin for around 10 minutes.

University student Choi Jin-kyu said his time in the coffin helped him realize that too often, he viewed others as competitors.

“When I was in the coffin, I wondered what use that is,” said the 28-year-old, adding that he plans to start his own business after graduation rather than attempting to enter a highly-competitive job market.

South Korea ranks 33 out of 40 countries surveyed in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Better Life Index. Many younger South Koreans have high hopes for education and employment, which have been dashed by a cooling economy and rising joblessness.

“It is important to learn and prepare for death even at a young age,” said Professor Yu Eun-sil, a doctor at Asan Medical Center’s pathology department, who has written a book about death.

In 2016, South Korea’s suicide rate was 20.2 per 100,000 residents, almost double the global average of 10.53, according to the World Health Organization.

Funeral company Hyowon began offering the living funerals to help people appreciate their lives, and seek forgiveness and reconciliation with family and friends, said Jeong Yong-mun, who heads the healing center.

Jeong said he is heartened when people reconcile at a relative’s funeral, but is saddened they wait that long.

“We don’t have forever,” he said. “That’s why I think this experience is so important – we can apologize and reconcile sooner and live the rest of our lives happily.”

Occasionally he has dissuaded those contemplating suicide.

Slideshow (6 Images)

“I picked out those people who have asked themselves whether … they can actually commit suicide, and I reversed their decision,” Jeong said.

The message of personal value resounded with Choi.

“I want to let people know that they matter, and that someone else would be so sad if they were gone,” he said, wiping away tears. “Happiness is in the present.”

Reporting by Daewoung Kim and Youngseo Choi. Writing by Minwoo Park. Editing by Josh Smith and Karishma Singh

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Health Tip: Advice for Better Looking Hair

— Maintaining smooth, shiny hair doesn’t have to be difficult. The products and techniques you use to wash your hair can go a long way, says the American Academy of Dermatology.

The academy suggests you:

  • Wash oily hair more frequently.
  • Concentrate shampoo on the scalp.
  • Use conditioner after every shampoo.
  • Concentrate conditioner on the tips of the hair.
  • Choose a shampoo and conditioner made for your hair type.
  • Protect hair when swimming.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: November 2019

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Sooner Is Usually Better for Gallbladder Surgery

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) — If someone is hospitalized for a painful gallbladder attack, new research suggests that surgery probably shouldn’t wait.

Doctors may typically hold off on operating until gallbladder inflammation has gone down and antibiotics have started working on an infection. But the study found that waiting more than 72 hours for surgery led to a higher rate of complications and longer hospital stays.

“These findings suggest that if you can do the surgery early, the results may be better,” said study senior author, Dr. Stanley Trooskin, chief of surgical services at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J.

The gallbladder is a small organ near the liver that stores bile, a substance used in digestion, especially digestion of fatty foods. Gallstones — hard, pebble-like pieces — can form in your gallbladder, according to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Gallstones can be as tiny as a grain of sand or as big as a golf ball.

Gallstones are very common. They affect up to 15% of the U.S. population, the NIDDK says.

People can often have gallstones and not realize it. But, sometimes, gallstones block the ducts that release bile. This can cause a gallbladder attack — sudden pain in your upper right abdomen. Sometimes your symptoms will go away. But they may come back, and they may come back repeatedly.

Gallstones that keep coming back can lead to complications, such as gallbladder inflammation or infection. Gallstones can also damage the gallbladder, bile ducts or liver, according to the NIDDK.

Surgery to remove the gallbladder is the most common treatment. The gallbladder isn’t an essential organ, like your heart or liver. That means you can live without it, and removing it stops gallstones from forming.

There are two types of surgery — open and minimally invasive (also called laparoscopic). Minimally invasive gallbladder surgery is often done on an outpatient basis. Recovery takes about a week, the NIDDK says.

Open surgery is more complex, and involves a much larger incision. You may need to stay in the hospital up to a week. Recovery can take as long as a month from this procedure.

Continued

Dr. Bruce Molinelli, director of the acute care surgery program at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., said when open surgery was the only alternative, there wasn’t as much concern about when to do surgery. But, now that minimally invasive surgery is preferred, it’s more of an issue because if the gallbladder becomes more inflamed or infected, the surgeon may end up having to do an open surgery.

On the other hand, he said, if you wait and the gallbladder inflammation subsides and the antibiotics are treating any infection, surgery might be even easier.

“A number of big studies have been back and forth on the question of early surgery versus late surgery,” Molinelli said.

He said Trooskin’s study supports what he’s seen in practice. “Gallbladder surgery isn’t an emergency surgery, but it’s probably better to do surgery sooner rather than later.”

The study looked at a national database of surgical procedures done from 2012 to 2016. The researchers took a group of almost 50,000 people who had gallbladder surgery and split them into three groups. One group had gallbladders removed with 24 hours. The second group had their gallbladders taken between 24 and 72 hours. The third group didn’t have their gallbladders removed until 72 hours or more after being admitted to the hospital.

The study team adjusted the data to account for factors such as age, body size, and whether or not someone had diabetes.

Length of stay was an average of five days for those who had surgery after 72 hours compared to just a day for those who had their operations within 24 hours of admission. The group that had surgery between 24 and 72 hours after admission had average stays of two days.

The study also found that blood clots in the legs and lungs, and bloodstream infections (sepsis) were more likely in the delayed surgical group. The odds of being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of surgery were also higher for the delayed surgery group.

The findings were to be presented Thursday at the American College of Surgeons annual meeting, in San Francisco. Findings presented at meetings should be viewed as preliminary until they’ve been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Stanley Trooskin, M.D., chief medical officer and chief, surgical services, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and professor and chief, division of general surgery, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, N.J.; Bruce Molinelli, M.D., director, acute care surgery program, Northern Westchester Hospital, Mount Kisco, N.Y.; Oct. 31, 2019, presentation, American College of Surgeons annual meeting, San Francisco

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

Can Testosterone Make Women Better Runners?

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 16, 2019 — A little bit of testosterone cream might help women run faster longer, a new study suggests.

Some female athletes have naturally high testosterone levels that are similar to men, and there is controversy over whether it’s fair to allow them to compete against female athletes with normal testosterone levels.

There’s a lack of clear evidence on how testosterone levels affect women’s athletic performance. To learn more, Swedish researchers gave 48 physically active, healthy women between the ages of 18 and 35 either 10 milligrams (mg) of testosterone cream or 10 mg of a placebo cream every day for 10 weeks.

The researchers, led by Angelica Linden Hirschberg from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, assessed how testosterone levels affected aerobic performance by measuring how long the women could run on a treadmill before becoming exhausted.

Average circulating levels of testosterone rose from 0.9 nanomoles/liter of blood (nmol/l) to 4.3 nmol/l among the women given the testosterone cream. There was no increase among the women who received the placebo.

Compared to the women in the placebo group, running time to exhaustion increased by 21.2 seconds (8.5%) among the women in the testosterone cream group.

The women in the testosterone cream group also had much larger gains in lean muscle mass than those in the placebo group.

On average, testosterone levels among women who received the hormone cream rose to levels that were below the average range in men. Yet, that level significantly increased the length of time they could run before reaching exhaustion, according to the study published online Oct. 15 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Female athletes with naturally high testosterone levels must lower their levels to below 5 nmol/l of blood to be eligible to compete at international level in middle distance races, the International Association of Athletics Federations says.

The policy has been widely criticized and challenged in court.

“Our results are therefore of great importance for the ongoing discussion of whether it is fair to allow athletes with naturally high testosterone to compete in the female category without reducing their hormonal concentration to the female range,” Hirschberg and her colleagues concluded in a journal news release.

More information

The Hormone Health Network has more on testosterone.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Hospitals Work to Better Spot Deadly Sepsis in Kids

Marnie Doubek, MD, primary care doctor, Maplewood, NJ.

Niranjan Kissoon, MD, professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine, University of British Columbia; vice chair,  Global Alliance for Sepsis; Sepsis Alliance advisory board member, Vancouver, Canada.

Lauren Hess, MD, pediatric counselor, Texas Children’s Hospital; co-lead, Sepsis Quality Improvement Project, Houston.

Terri Brown, registered nurse; clinical specialist, quality & safety, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston.

Michael Bell, MD, chief of critical care medicine, Children’s National Hospital, Washington, D.C.

Charles Macias, MD, chief, division of pediatric emergency medicine, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, Cleveland, OH.

Sepsis Alliance.

Children’s Hospital Association.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

CDC.

National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

Health Affairs: “Preventing Sepsis By Reimagining Systems And Engaging Patients.”

JAMA Pediatrics: “Cost of Pediatric Severe Sepsis Hospitalizations.”

WebMD Health

Don’t Let SAD Get the Better of You

SUNDAY, Oct. 13, 2019 — If you suffer from the winter blues, there are things you can do to make the season less depressing.

Clinically known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it happens when there is less sunlight during the day, according to Jeannie Larson, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing.

Less sunlight may affect your serotonin level, which affects your mood, and lower levels of serotonin are linked to depression, she said in a university news release.

About 10% of people living in northern areas experience SAD. That’s about 5% of the population of the United States, Larson said. SAD is more common among women, and starts in one’s 20s and 30s.

SAD can make you depressed, anxious and moody. It can also cause sleep and eating problems. You may sleep too much or too little, or gain weight. And you may feel too tired to carry out normal routines. People suffering from SAD also may avoid socializing and lose their sex drive.

To combat SAD, Larson recommends spending 30 minutes outdoors every day.

More information

For more on SAD, head to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

AHA News: Women and Men Tolerate Heart Transplants Equally Well, But Men May Get Better Hearts

FRIDAY, Oct. 11, 2019 (American Heart Association News) — Women are just as likely as men to survive after a heart transplant despite often getting poorer-quality donor hearts, new research shows.

The findings, published this week in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Heart Failure, sought to shed new light on what role, if any, gender plays in surviving a heart transplant. Past research on post-transplant survival rates and gender have told conflicting stories.

For the new study, researchers looked at data from 34,198 international heart transplant recipients from 2004 to 2014 and, after adjusting for recipient and donor factors, they found “no significant survival difference” between men and women.

“That’s a pretty novel finding,” said study author Dr. Yasbanoo Moayedi, a postdoctoral medical fellow at Stanford University in California. “We already know that women are hugely under-represented as recipients of heart transplants, but the striking thing about the new findings is there’s no difference in survival when matched to their male counterparts.”

The study also found women who get heart transplants appear to have lower-risk features than male recipients, with fewer instances of diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, peripheral vascular disease and past cardiovascular surgery. Yet, women appear to receive higher-risk hearts than men.

“We need to better understand the matching of risk with recipient,” Moayedi said. “We hypothesize that women tend to deteriorate more acutely, and they’re sicker, so they take any heart that’s available.”

She said the findings suggest women with advanced heart failure need to be referred a bit earlier for transplant.

“One takeaway of the study is that maybe we’re missing the optimal window [for women],” she said. “Many factors may determine access to transplant, but gender should not be one of the them.”

The study was limited by its observational nature and its lack of data on waitlist mortalities, donor race and information about how sick patients where when they received a transplant.

Dr. Monica Colvin, a heart failure-transplant cardiologist who was not involved in the research, called it “a contemporary analysis” because it included newer devices and current medical therapy.

“There have been anecdotes of women having worse survival than men after heart transplant and studies have been conflicting,” said Colvin, director of the Heart Failure Network Strategy at the University of Michigan. “This study should dispel that myth and inform doctors that there really is no difference. We should not delay or defer referral for this lifesaving treatment based on concern for differential survival in women.”

An estimated 6.2 million U.S. adults have heart failure. In 2018, there were 3,408 heart transplants, according to the federal Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

Moayedi would like to see future studies explore why more women don’t undergo heart transplants and how a doctor’s gender might play into that decision.

“Is it that women don’t see themselves worthy enough for a heart transplant? As a patient, should I be more of an advocate for my symptoms? These things need to be looked at more systematically to learn how to best help the patient,” Moayedi said.

Colvin advises women with advanced heart failure to be seen at an advanced heart failure center “and seek out as much information as they can. It’s important to know what all your options are.”

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Is Partial Hip Replacement Often the Better Option?

THURSDAY, Oct. 3, 2019 — In recent years, the number of U.S. adults getting total hip replacements — meaning both a new ball and joint socket — following a hip fracture has soared to an estimated 500,000 annually.

That’s nearly three times the rate at which these adults undergo a partial hip replacement, which only replaces the ball of the hip joint.

But a new Canadian study that compared the short-term outcomes of both surgeries showed somewhat surprising conclusions.

“What we now know is that within two years of having either a total or partial hip replacement, there’s no difference, and possibly more harm, with total replacements,” said lead author Dr. Mohit Bhandari, academic head of orthopedic surgery at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

The global study randomly assigned an estimated 1,500 patients — all of whom were 50 or older with a hip fracture but able to walk independently — to receive either a total or partial hip replacement.

Researchers wanted to learn, first and foremost, which group would be more likely to need a secondary hip procedure within two years of follow-up. They also analyzed differences between the two groups with regard to function and quality of life, as well as the development of serious adverse effects.

Most differences proved negligible. About 8% of patients in both groups needed to undergo a second hip procedure within 24 months of follow-up. Patients who received a total hip replacement reported slightly better function, less pain and stiffness than those with the partial hip replacement. But the improvements weren’t enough to be clinically significant.

The difference in serious complications between the two groups perhaps came as the biggest surprise. Serious complications occurred in 42% of patients with a total hip replacement, compared to 37% among those with a partial hip replacement.

Bhandari suggested that the adverse effects suffered by either group may not have been a direct result of surgery, but added that any time you undergo a more complex surgery that takes longer, your risk of complications is likely to increase.

The findings were published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A quick glance at the findings suggests that partial hip replacement is the way to go. But experts urge consumers not to jump to this conclusion.

“The study only looks at outcomes two years out,” said Dr. Claudette Lajam, spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Many patients who opt for partial hip replacement, she said, end up returning to their surgeon later for additional surgery.

Here’s one of the main reasons why. “A metal ball sitting in a native socket doesn’t feel good after a while,” explained Lajam, an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital and Center for Musculoskeletal Care in New York City. After time, the natural cartilage of the individual’s socket wears down as it moves against the artificial surface of the “metal ball” that is surgically implanted during a partial hip replacement.

Cost is generally not a deciding factor in which surgery to get, either. Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover hip replacement surgery and associated costs. But a patient’s age and anticipated remaining life span can and should play a pivotal role in the decision.

Bhandari explains: “Someone who’s 51 may believe strongly they don’t mind the potential of earlier risk for longer-term gain. But patients who are 90 may want to see less risk with similar earlier benefits.”

While the study does provide new insights into some of the likely short-term outcome differences between partial and total hip replacements, it’s unlikely to serve as a game-changer among candidates for hip surgery.

“It’s a very individualized decision,” Bhandari observed. “No patient with a hip fracture will fall under a blanket guideline.”

More information

Visit the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons for more on hip replacement surgery.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Why Vaping Weed is Better than Smoking It?

People use marijuana for different purposes. Weed lovers just want to get “high”. Some people want to relieve the symptoms of some disease or condition as cannabis is claimed to help with sleep disorders, regulate insulin production, reduce social anxiety and depression, relieve multiple sclerosis, arthritis and other forms of pain. There’re also users who pursue both mentioned goals.

No matter what drives you to use marijuana, you may wonder what is the best way to inhale it is: smoking or vaping? Let’s see.

What way of inhaling marijuana has a better effect?

You’ll see for yourself when you try a weed vape pen on Vapingdaily, that vaporizing marijuana differs from your usual way of smoking it. And the effects are faster.

A group of scientists studied the effects of smoked and vaporized cannabis in 2016. They recruited 17 adults who had experience of marijuana smoking, but not in the month prior to the study’s launch.

The experiment lasted 6 weeks. Each participant had one smoking or vaping session per week. THC doses were of 0 mg, 10 mg, and 25 mg, with the 0-mg dose being the control point.

After each session, physiological changes in the participants were examined. They also filled a questionnaire to self-report their experience and completed 3 computerized tasks designed to measure attention span, memory, physical reaction time and motor movement.

Both 10mg and 25mg got the users quite stoned. But it turned out that when being vaped, the same doses of cannabis resulted in significantly stronger subjective drug effects, higher blood THC levels, and slower cognitive and psychomotor performance.

What are the health advantages of vaping cannabis over smoking it?

If compared to smoking, vaporizing is a much safer way to consume marijuana. It has two bonuses for your health.

1. Vapor is cleaner than smoke.

Smoking occurs at a minimum of 230°C. A joint burns at much higher temperatures which may reach 600-900°C.

When weed burns in the joint, the chemical bonds between organic molecules and carbon atoms are broken apart and “free radicals” are generated. These components create a lot of different harmful toxins, including carcinogens. Thus, 88% of the compounds that are emitted into the smoke are not cannabinoids and terpenes.

Regular weed smoking leads to the tar build up in the lungs, similar to tobacco smoking. This may lead to respiratory health problems.

Vaporizing cannabis doesn’t produce the toxins that smoking does, because the plant matter doesn’t burn but is heated up. A vape pen for weed operates at 160-230°C. The vapor from cannabis contains about 94% cannabinoids, 5% flavonoids (beneficial plant pigments) and about 1% of aromatic hydrocarbon (an organic compound containing carbon and hydrogen).

2. Vaping has less impact on the lungs.

Whether from tobacco, cannabis, or wood, smoke is harmful to your lungs. As mentioned above, carcinogens and other toxic chemicals are released during the combustion of materials.

Moreover, marijuana smokers take larger puffs, inhale more deeply, and hold their breath longer when compared to those who use weed pens. This leads to greater exposure.

Research shows that regular marijuana smoking injures the cell linings of the large airways. That’s why smokers experience chronic cough, phlegm production, wheeze and bronchitis.

Given that vapor is cleaner that smoke, it’s more loyal to your throat and lungs. However, vaping is still not well-researched. So, there may be potential risks to the heath we don’t yet know about. To stay on the safe side, vape in moderation.

Are there any additional pluses?

Aside from the health benefits, vaping surpasses smoking in the following aspects:

  • No “high”

THC and CBD are two active marijuana compounds that contribute to the plant’s therapeutic properties. The difference in effect is the only – unlike THC, CBD doesn’t produce psychoactive effects. In other words, it doesn’t make you “high”.

Some people avoid smoking medical marijuana because it impairs their coordination and reaction time. They only want to reap weed’s health benefits and keep a clear state of mind at the same time. Thanks to vaping CBD oil, they can have this opportunity. CBD is derived from the marijuana plant and mixed with a carrier oil (hemp seed or coconut) to create CBD oil.

  • Convenience

A weed pen allows setting different temperatures. This makes it easier to reach the desired intensity of high. For example, to reach a mellow high, set your device at 150°C. To increase the potency, set the temperature of 166-187°C. But don’t go higher than 229°C which is a near-combustion temperature. You’ll reduce the elimination of cannabinoids.

Vaporizing marijuana isn’t as smelly as smoking it. Moreover, vapor dissipates faster than smoke. So, you won’t attract unwanted attention if you happen to vape in public.

  • Cost-efficiency

As soon as you light a joint, the flame begins to destroy the blunt and everything in it, even when you are not taking a hit. And when you do, it burns even faster. Vaping gives more control. You set the temperature and can switch your vaporizer off. Both these features make a substantial impact on the cost of your marijuana vape session.

  • Availability

Access to medical marijuana involves getting a doctor’s prescription. When it comes to cannabis products made for vaporizing, many of us can buy weed online for our cannabis vaporization without any problems.

Generally, online stores only ask visitors to verify the age by clicking on “I’m older than 21” icon. And after that, you can choose the best vape pen for weed and marijuana products, such as dry herb, oil, or wax. Besides, CBD oil is completely legal as it contains no more than 0.3% THC.

Keep in mind that the use of marijuana may cause side effects. This is especially true for conventional or “street” weed that might contain harmful fungus and/or pesticides. It can be dangerous for people with a compromised immune system. When it comes to treatment with marijuana, it’s better to visit a doctor, get a prescription, and buy the product at a reliable supplier.

BIO:
?
Robert Mayers was born and raised in Atlanta. A writer and a reader in one person and a big lover what he does.

Shane Dwyer
Author: Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn’t afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

Who Multitasks Better: Men or Women? The Answer May Surprise You

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 14, 2019 — Multitasking is equally taxing for women and men, according to a study that challenges the popular notion that women are better at it.

For the study, 48 women and 48 men were asked to do letter or number identification tasks. In some tests, they had to pay attention to two tasks at once (concurrent multitasking). In others, they had to switch attention from one task to another (sequential multitasking).

Researchers measured participants’ reaction times and accuracy on both types of multitasking and while doing single tasks.

The results showed that compared with their performance on single tasks, women and men had similar, significant declines in speed and accuracy when multitasking.

The study was published Aug. 14 in the journal PLoS One.

The findings support growing evidence contradicting the common belief that women are better at multitasking than men, according to the authors.

“The present findings strongly suggest that there are no substantial gender differences in multitasking performance,” study author Patricia Hirsch said in a journal news release. Hirsch is a scientist at RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany.

She and her team noted that different findings on gender and multitasking may owe to the specific tasks assessed. They said no single study can assess all the mental demands of multitasking.

However, at least for the mental demands of multitasking assessed in this study — working memory updating, engagement and disengagement of task sets, and inhibition — men and women have similar results, researchers said.

More information

The American Psychological Association has more on multitasking.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: August 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Building a Better Backpack

TUESDAY, Aug. 13, 2019 — A well-organized backpack helps ensure that your child has everything needed for school. Problems start when it becomes overloaded. Lugging around a heavy pack can lead to bad posture, back pain and worse.

The problem is so pervasive that the American Occupational Therapy Association created National School Backpack Awareness Day. It’s held every September to share ideas to keep kids safe.

You can protect your kids by making sure that their packs are properly fitted and properly loaded. Here’s how.

When shopping for a backpack, make sure that its width and length match each child’s torso. It shouldn’t hang more than 4 inches below the waist. The bottom of the pack should closely align with the curve of the child’s lower back — if it wobbles back and forth, spine problems can develop.

Other features to look for include wide, padded and adjustable shoulder straps. A waist, hip and/or chest belt will more evenly distribute the load. A backpack with many compartments allows for its content to be well spaced throughout. For traffic safety, the pack should have reflective accents that will help cars and other vehicles see your child in low light conditions.

Before loading the pack, have your child put it on and adjust the straps for a snug fit. Put the heaviest items at the back of the pack. Arrange the contents so items won’t slide around as your child moves.

When filled, a backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 5% to 10% of your child’s weight, so 8 pounds for a child who weighs 80 pounds. Don’t guesstimate — test it on your scale. If the pack is too heavy, take out a book or another item that your child can carry in his or her hands or stow in a locker.

Finally, make sure your child wears the pack on their back and not swung onto just one shoulder.

More information

Learn more about backpack awareness day and how to spread the word yourself.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: August 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Isolate vs. Full-Spectrum: Which CBD Product is Better?

To say that CBD blew up in the last few years is an understatement. Most notably, the great deal of anecdotal evidence that CBD helps with a wide range of health issues, like anxiety, depression, pain and insomnia – to name a few.

This craze led to a huge demand for CBD. Even in states where all forms of cannabis are illegal, consumers can still buy CBD in the form of “supplements” extracted from industrial hemp. Charlotte’s Web, for instance, is one of these products known for its quality and efficacy.

These companies were able to slip through a small loophole in cannabis legislation. Industrial hemp is almost universally made up of CBD. As long as the THC level is below 0.3%, the government doesn’t consider it a controlled substance.

Unfortunately, the push for CBD led to an oversaturated market filled with sub-par products. So it’s recommended you buy CBD oil from only established, reputable companies, such as CBD Shopy in the United Kingdom.

Another factor you should take into consideration is the difference between CBD isolates and full-spectrum CBD oils. Isolates – while purer – are actually less effective than their full-spectrum counterparts.

How does this work? Let’s take a look.

CBD Isolates vs. Full-Spectrum

 

The difference between isolates and full-spectrum CBD is like night and day. To illustrate, imagine two football teams. Team Isolate consists of a single quarterback and Team Full-Spectrum contains a full group of players.

Both have a chance of scoring a touchdown, but one clearly has an advantage through teamwork. This is basically how full-spectrum beats isolate. But first we need to see what makes these products different.

Isolates

Isolates are CBD in their purest form. CBD extracts made from isolates are not used by licensed medical marijuana producers, but common in the CBD supplement industry.

Companies extract the CBD from industrial hemp and discard other cannabinoids and terpenes in the process. This leaves a product that is up to 99% pure CBD.

Full-Spectrum

Full-spectrum CBD is the complete opposite of isolate. If you have a medical prescription or buy CBD extracts from a recreational dispensary, then you’re dealing with full-spectrum products. Many non-prescription providers also offer full-spectrum CBD.

Unlike isolates, full-spectrum CBD extracts maintain the other cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp or marijuana plant. In order to understand what makes this difference so important, we need to clarify what terpenes are.

Terpenes

Terpenes are oily compounds found throughout the plant kingdom. Some examples are limonene, caryophyllene, linalool, myrcene, ocimene, guaiol and eucalyptol. Frankly, the list is much, much more extensive.

These terpenes make a huge difference in how a particular strain affects you. For a medical patient, terpenes are critical in properly addressing their needs. Epilepsy patients, for instance, will only benefit from linalool – a terpene that is known to have anti-seizure properties. Unfortunately, it’s not as common as myrcene or caryophyllene – two of the most easy-to-find terpenes in cannabis.

Full-spectrum CBD preserves all of these crucial terpenes. While we don’t end up with a completely pure CBD product, it still works more efficiently.

Now, this probably goes against all logic. After all, wouldn’t a purer product be more efficient? Absolutely, if it weren’t for a little thing called the “entourage effect”.

 

The Entourage Effect

 

The “entourage effect” is a concept that’s been circling around the cannabis community for some time, but new users often miss this critical phenomenon.

In a nutshell, the entourage effect is a synergistic relationship between different cannabinoids and terpenes. Like our football analogy, these various compounds work together, ultimately providing a much more effective, beneficial outcome.

People seeking relief from a variety of illnesses – be they backed by studies or purely anecdotal – need to opt for full-spectrum CBD. This isn’t up for debate. Full-spectrum beats isolate by a longshot.

Shane Dwyer
Author: Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn’t afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

Does Marijuana Make Drivers Better, or Just Cocky?

Marijuana consumers are a little too high on themselves behind the wheel, according to government and road safety organizations — but the affects of the plant on drivers aren’t as clear as those of alcohol.

Recent studies from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Colorado Department of Transportation and American Automobile Association highlight growing concerns among law enforcement, chiefly that a large portion of marijuana consumers think they’re better at driving after using pot, and the majority of Americans don’t think stoned drivers will be caught by police.

Earlier this week, NHTSA deputy administrator Heidi King told a United States Senate committee that her organization needed more resources for public education about marijuana-impaired driving. According to King, NHTSA research has shown that “most users of marijuana who have participated in market research we have developed are saying they believe they drive safer when they’re high because they’re very focused and they’re being very cautious.”

Marijuana Deals Near You

King’s remarks echo CDOT surveys and public education campaigns that say marijuana users don’t think they’ll be caught by police. In a series of 2018 surveys by CDOT, almost half of regular pot users said they felt they weren’t a danger on the road after consuming, relying on personal experience instead of government information to determine their impairment. A new national poll from AAA shows similar results, with almost 70 percent of Americans believing it’s unlikely a stoned driver would get caught by police. According to AAA, an estimated 14.8 million drivers also admitted to driving within an hour of using marijuana at least once in the past month.

“Choosing to use cannabis triggers the same responsibilities as choosing to use alcohol: The bottom line is that if you’re impaired, you should not drive,” AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley says in a statement. “Still, our latest research shows that many drivers don’t consider marijuana-impaired driving to be as risky as driving drunk. Now is an important time to have a conversation about safe use, and to drive home the point that people who drive high put everybody at risk.”

However, McKinley’s statement go against comments from our readers, with many reporting that they drive the same or better after using marijuana. A congressional report on the subject didn’t back up those claims, but it did conclude that “studies of the impact of marijuana consumption on a driver’s risk of being involved in a crash have produced conflicting results, with some studies finding little or no increased risk of a crash from marijuana usage.”

The perception of marijuana’s negative impact on driving skill is widely accepted, but pot use and impairment aren’t so easy to scientifically connect, like alcohol. Breathalyzers and blood tests can show the amount of THC in your body, but your marijuana tolerance and time of consumption can dramatically affect how impaired you really are. Regular users can still have high amounts of THC in their blood after not consuming pot for days and being totally sober, while novice users can still be significantly impaired hours after smoking despite not having THC blood levels deemed legally impaired.

“Detecting impairment due to use of marijuana is more difficult. The body metabolizes marijuana differently from alcohol,” authors of the congressional report wrote. “The level of THC (the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana) in the body drops quickly within an hour after usage, yet traces of THC (nonpsychoactive metabolites) can still be found in the body weeks after usage of marijuana.”

In 2018, Adams County Sheriff deputies invited a handful of participants to drink beers, smoke joints and then test their driving skills on a closed course in order to determine how impaired they really were; the study also observed distracted drivers who used a cell phone while driving. Although distracted drivers performed the poorest, the marijuana users performed considerably worse than drivers who drank alcohol.

Studies and perceptions about stoned driving may differ, but the vast majority of marijuana legalization supporters and industry participants believe it’s a safety problem. Organizations such as the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Marijuana Industry Group and several large dispensary chains have all sponsored campaigns aimed at raising awareness about the potential dangers of stoned driving.


Toke of the Town

2 Hours/Week in Nature: Your Prescription for Better Health?

THURSDAY, June 13, 2019 — Spending just a couple of hours a week enjoying nature may do your body and mind some good, a new study suggests.

The study, of nearly 20,000 adults in England, found that people who spent at least two hours outdoors in the past week gave higher ratings to their physical health and mental well-being.

There could, of course, be many reasons that nature lovers were faring better than people who preferred the great indoors, according to lead researcher Mathew White.

White said his team tried to account for as many alternative explanations as possible: They asked study participants about any disabling health problems that might keep them homebound, as well as their exercise habits.

The researchers also looked at factors such as people’s age, occupation, marital status and the characteristics of their neighborhood — including poverty and crime rates.

In the end, outdoor time itself still seemed beneficial. People who spent two to three hours per week in nature were 59% more likely to report “good health” or “high well-being.”

In fact, White said, even when people had health conditions, they typically rated their well-being as higher if they got outside at least two hours per week.

And that did not have to mean hiking a mountain, or even venturing far from home, according to White, a senior lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School, in England.

Most people in the study got their outdoor time within two miles of home. So a trip to the local park or other “green space” will suffice.

“Get out in nature for two hours a week — it doesn’t matter where,” White said. And, he added, it doesn’t have to be two hours in one go.

That’s an important message for people who think they don’t have the time or resources for getting out into nature, according to Kathleen Wolf, a researcher at the University of Washington College of the Environment, in Seattle.

“In the U.S., I think, there’s often a belief that to get out into nature, you have to travel to a national park,” said Wolf, who was not involved in the new study. “But it doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to be hours in one shot.”

In fact, she added, most studies on the relationship between outdoor time and human well-being have focused on “nearby nature.”

For the current study, White’s team used data from more than 19,800 adults who took part in a U.K. government survey. Among other things, participants were asked to rate their general health and satisfaction with their lives (a measure of well-being).

They were also asked how often they’d spent time outdoors in the past week — be it the countryside, the woods, a beach or green spaces within a city.

Overall, a difference emerged at the two-hour “threshold.” For example, among people who’d spent two to three hours in nature, 82% said their general health was good, and 65% rated their well-being as “high.” Of people who’d logged no nature time, 68% rated their health as good, and 56% reported high well-being.

“What’s interesting about this study is that it’s getting at ‘dosage,'” Wolf said. “It’s not just, ‘spend time outdoors.'”

Like all such surveys, she noted, the study has limitations. Even though the researchers tried to account for other variables, it’s always possible there are explanations for the findings.

Still, Wolf said, many other studies have suggested that time spent in nature does the body and mind good.

A 2018 review of 140 studies found that, on average, people who regularly spent time in, or lived close to, green spaces had lower blood pressure, heart rate and levels of the “stress” hormone cortisol. They also tended to sleep more at night, and had reduced rates of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Wolf said it’s not yet clear exactly how contact with nature benefits us — that is, what does it do to the brain and nervous system? But scientists don’t always know precisely how a medication works either, she noted.

Wolf thinks the evidence is compelling enough that community planners should be taking green space seriously.

“Parks are not just a frill,” she said.

And those plans should include equitable distribution, Wolf added, so that green space is not only a luxury of wealthier neighborhoods.

The findings were published online June 13 in Scientific Reports.

More information

The U.S. National Park Service has more on nature’s health benefits.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: June 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Patients Who Read Docs’ Notes Take Meds Better

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Reading the notes your doctor makes during your visit appears to be good medicine.

An online survey of 20,000 adults treated at three U.S. health systems that have made clinical notes available to patients for several years finds that those who actually read them may be more likely to take medications as prescribed.

Patients listed several benefits of reading the notes: 64% said doing so helped them understand why a medication was prescribed; 62% felt more in control of their medications; 57% said the notes answered questions about medications; and 61% felt more comfortable with their prescriptions.

And 14% of patients at two of the health systems — Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston and Geisinger in rural Pennsylvania — said they were more likely to take their medications as prescribed after reading doctors’ notes, the study found.

Meanwhile, 33% of patients at the University of Washington Medicine in Seattle, the third health system studied, considered clinical notes very helpful.

“Sharing clinical notes with patients is a relatively low-cost, low-touch intervention,” lead author Catherine DesRoches, executive director of OpenNotes at BIDMC, said in a news release.

Though sharing notes is a cultural shift, electronic health record systems make it easier, she said, adding that the payoff could be “enormous” because poor adherence to medications costs the health care system about $ 300 billion a year.

“Anything that we can do to improve adherence to medications has significant value,” DesRoches said.

Patients whose primary language was not English and those with lower levels of education were more likely to report benefits from being able to read their doctor’s notes, according to the study published May 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Still, this kind of transparent communication initially makes doctors uneasy, said study co-author Dr. Tom Delbanco, co-founder of OpenNotes.

“They worry about many things, including potential effects on their workflow, and scaring their patients. But once they start, we know of few doctors who decide to stop, and patients overwhelmingly love it,” he added in the news release. “The promise it holds for medication adherence is enormous, and we are really excited by these findings.”

An accompanying editorial by Dr. David Blumenthal and Melinda Abrams of the Commonwealth Fund noted that transparency is mandated by federal law and policy.

“Our challenge now is to make the best and most of shared health care information as a tool for clinical management and health improvement,” Blumenthal and Abrams wrote.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, news release, May 28, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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