Tag Archives: Government

Straight, No Chaser: Your Questions on Treatment of Fire Related Injuries

firevictim
Questions, you’ve got questions (Why are you so shy about posting them?).  Here we go.  Today, your focus is on the aftermath and treatment of fire related injury.

1)   What does carbon monoxide poisoning look like?

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is very dangerous because the gas is colorless and odorless.  You should suspect that you’re feeling its effect when you’re feeling like you have the flu after perhaps being in a contained area with a motor running or after a fire.  Headache is the most common symptom, and you may also feel nauseated, with malaise (feeling ‘blah’) and fatigue also being common symptoms.

2)   How are the burns treated?

  • Burns cause serious illness.  The thermal component can cause direct damage to your airway.  The toxins contained within (carbon monoxide and cyanide) can kill you independent of any other consideration.  Burns are especially prone to infection, so you don’t want significant skin burns exposed to everything outside of a burnt house while you’re waiting for the ambulance.
  • The burns will be treated according to the severity.  A lot of intravenous fluid, pain management, clear blister removal and infection control will be in order.  Especially serious burns may require a burn unit and skin grafting.

3)   What can I do to treat while waiting for the ambulance?

  • Keep calm, and keep them calm.
  • Be prepared to start CPR if necessary.
  • If any injuries have occurred to the head and neck, lay the person down and don’t move them.
  • Cover any bleeding areas, and apply enough pressure to stop external bleeding.
  • If you have a clean sheet, wrap the person in it.

4)   I know someone who says she was intubated (i.e. had a ‘breathing tube’ placed), and they were feeling fine after a fire.  Why would this have been done?

  • It’s hard to comment on the management of individual cases sight unseen, but most likely soot or burning was noted somewhere inside the airway (e.g. the mouth, nose or oral cavity).  Intubation would have been done to protect and secure the airway before in collapses.  If you wait until the last possible moment, it could be too late.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Our World is Filled with Toxins

toxic-world-2
You can’t escape all toxins, but you can certainly minimize your exposure to them.  A handy way to classify them involves reminding you of the organ systems that help us detoxify and how, over time, toxins fight and sometimes win the battle against our defenses.  In the interest of space, I’m going to give you the names of several chemicals that you may want to know about and should be wary of using, without giving you details on their individual effects.  If you have questions about any of them specifically, call me at 1-844-SMA-TALK.
Lungs
The toxins: We are fighting what we breathe and inhale.  Air pollution includes levels of carbon monoxide and methane.  Exhaust fumes, factory emissions, first and second-hand smoke all contain substances damaging to our lungs.  Did someone mention cigarettes?  Tobacco smoke has been fascinating to me.  The idea that we would introduce smoke into the very area we use to deliver oxygen to our entire body is one of the most curious actions of humans.  Look at this diagram of the toxins found in cigarettes.
chemicals-in-cigarettes-arsenic-etc
The effects: The lungs are impressively effective at handling toxins up to a certain point and up to a certain age (approximately 35 years old).  At that point what had been reversible airway damage begins to not only change the structure of lung tissue, but it results in lung tissue loss that does not get repaired.  It’s as if when you run your hands through your hair, you discover that you’re pulling out large clumps of it.  Of course, the problem is that this isn’t your hair, but the lung tissue that you need to breathe.  The list of diseases contributed to, exacerbated by or caused by toxins is long, including COPD (emphysema, chronic bronchitis), asthma exacerbations, asbestos and lung cancer.
Skin: 
The toxins: Do you trust your skin products – you know, mascara, styling gel, tanning oil, soaps and body washes, shampoos, hair sprays, shaving creams, cologne and lotions, just to name a few?  Toxic chemicals you’re commonly absorbing through your skin include propylene glycol, parabens, glycerin, triethanolamine and sodium lauryl sulfate.
The effects: You thought acne and the occasional allergic reaction were bad?  This group’s collective effects includes respiratory, immune system and skin toxicants and known throat carcinogens.  I’d suggest you become more conscious of what you’re using and seek organic options when available.
Kidneys
The toxins: The water we drink seems to get worse with time.  Does anyone remember when tap water was “just fine?”  Now our drinking water is liable to contain ammonia, chlorine, bleach and other toxic substances.  An entire movie (Erin Brockovich) was made over the issue of toxins in drinking water.  You may recall that the kidneys bear the burden of the actual elimination of urine.  They need to maintain excellent health to perform this function.
The effects: The consequences of the kidney’s inability to perform can be so dramatic that dialysis (which is basically manual, external filtering of your blood once the kidneys go into failure) becomes necessary.  Prior to that, toxins “gumming up” the kidneys can be left free to create havoc in other parts of the body.
Gastrointestinal system (particularly your liver and intestines)
The toxins: The food you eat is toxic.  To be clear, usually I’m asking you to eat healthily.  Today, that’s still true, but it’s not the only issue.  I’m pointing out that your food contains actual toxins, including food additives and dyes, pesticides on your non-organic fruits, aspartame, MSG, hormones, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, mercury, bisphenols, and alcohol.  Did someone mention alcohol?  Alcohol is directly toxic to the liver.
The effects: I’m just going to focus on the alcohol.  Alcohol produces conditions known as fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.  Chronic, excessive alcohol use is the single most important cause of illness and death from liver disease in the U.S.  Moderation or abstention is the order of the day, my friends.  Liver transplants are very hard to come by.
The purpose of this is not to paralyze you into inactivity but to stimulate you into action.  Between now and tomorrow, when you read the fourth post in this toxins series, I’d suggest you review this post about natural detoxification.  Compare that to some of the other options I’ll be discussing later.  I’d recommend an ounce of prevention.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPres

Straight, No Chaser: Natural Methods of Detoxification

Natural-Detox
It seems that at least once a week I get asked to comment on colonics, detox diets, juice fasts, etc.  It seems to me that these are all rather extreme places to start.  How about we just talk about the threats that exist, how to avoid them, how to understand the natural detoxification process and how to optimize it?
On some level, our body is at constant war with our surroundings.  We are finely tuned machines (until we’re not).  We are well designed and equipped to filter the air we breathe and the food we eat, and to repel external poisons from penetrating our bodies.  That’s a very good thing, because toxins are everywhere.  We eat and drink them.  We inhale, absorb and ingest them.  Usually we do these things unwittingly, but for various reasons, a good number of us do these things intentionally.  By definition, toxins have harmful effects on our bodies.  Buildups of these substances can cause damage and eventually death.
In the first part of this five-part review of toxins and how they affect us, I want to point out how the body is equipped to combat and eliminate toxins – until and unless we poison it.  In the second part, I’ll offer Quick Tips to enhance your ability to naturally detoxify.  In the third part, I’ll discuss what and where the toxins are that we must combat.  In the fourth and fifth parts, I’ll discuss some of the exotic (or should that be esoteric?) methods promoted to detoxify the body.
Let’s start not by talking about toxins, but by discussing how the body protects you.  There are four areas in particular to review: the skin, the lungs, the kidneys and the gastrointestinal tract (particularly your liver and intestines).
Skin: The skin is actually the body’s largest organ, and it’s the largest organ of elimination.  It is in constant contact with the environment and is our primary barrier against disease, keeping out microorganisms, dusts, pollens and other substances with no good intentions.  The constant battle leaves your skin’s pores clogged, subject to infection, lacerations, and premature aging.
Lungs: The lungs are the vessels of life, bringing oxygen into the body to supply the needs of all your organs and systems.  However, have you looked at the atmosphere lately?  Smog’s everywhere, not to mention allergens and cigarette and cigar smoke.  If the air you’re breathing is poisoning the lungs themselves, your ability to keep poisons out of you and exhale away carbon dioxide incrementally become diminished to disastrous effect.
Kidneys: Your kidneys are one of the two primary ways you visibly eliminate waste.  Consider them the blood’s strainer.  You really should learn to watch your urine.  It tells a story about your health.  If your urine is not clear to light yellow, something’s going on.  If you come to me with cloudy, straw-colored, bloody, pink, or brown urine, those all tell me about different medical conditions you could be experiencing.
Your liver and intestines: Now we’re looking at your stools.  Consider that if you were ideally healthy, you’d have a bowel movement with the same frequency with which you ate.  At the other end of the spectrum (no pun intended), you could be constipated, or your bowels could be obstructed.  You have bacteria that live in your intestines that also help naturally detoxify wastes, but that only works as intended if you continue to have stools.  The more contact time your body’s intended waste has with your intestinal tract, the more of it that will be absorbed.  Fortunately, the intestines have additional barriers in its membranes that fight against toxins reentering the body.  Your liver serves a vital function in detoxifying many directly poisonous substances. It uses its natural chemicals to facilitate excretion of toxins by the kidneys.
Most everything you think you know about extrinsic supplemental ways to detoxify are poor substitutes for what a healthy body will achieve.  If you focused on your health and fitness, you could rest assured that your body would protect you, and you could also save a ton of money avoiding all those fad diets and other ‘previously secret’ methods of detoxification.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPres

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips – Learn the ABCDEs of Hiccups

hiccups-enHD-AR1

Three question sets on hiccups of all things

Why do I get hiccups?
You get hiccups because everyone gets them.  You get them because basically you’ve agitated your main breathing muscle (You have one on both sides, between the chest and abdominal cavities.).  Something’s caused it to spasm, which produces a reflex vocal cord closure.  That sound you hear is the reflex air going down your windpipe.  Here’s some of those ‘somethings’…
You smoke too much.
You’re overstressed.
You’re agitating your stomach.

  • You eat too much too quickly.
  • You drink too much.
  • You swallow too much air.
  • You alternative between hot and cold foods too quickly.

Are hiccups ever serious?
Absolutely.  In fact, hiccups can go on for more than 48 hours.  In these instances, you need to get evaluated.  Several things can cause this, but I’ll be particularly worried about your nerves and nervous system.

hiccup-460_1215860c

What about all those hiccup cures?
Some things never hurt to try.  What you’re actually trying to accomplish through multiple variations of the same theme is to increase your carbon dioxide level (the gas you exhale in breathing), which tends to stop the hiccups.  Here’s a few oldies but goodies – think ABCDE.

  • Achoo!  Sneeze even if you don’t need to.  It may additionally stimulate the diaphragm out of hiccupping.
  • Breathe into a paper bag for 30-60 seconds.
  • Count to 10 while holding your breath.
  • Drink a cold glass of water – fast (Notice you’re holding your breath while doing this, and no, you don’t need a pencil in your mouth.).
  • Eat a teaspoon of sugar or honey.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Our World is Filled with Toxins

toxic-world-2
You can’t escape all toxins, but you can certainly minimize your exposure to them.  A handy way to classify them involves reminding you of the organ systems that help us detoxify and how, over time, toxins fight and sometimes win the battle against our defenses.  In the interest of space, I’m going to give you the names of several chemicals that you may want to know about and should be wary of using, without giving you details on their individual effects.  If you have questions about any of them specifically, call me at 1-844-SMA-TALK.
Lungs
The toxins: We are fighting what we breathe and inhale.  Air pollution includes levels of carbon monoxide and methane.  Exhaust fumes, factory emissions, first and second-hand smoke all contain substances damaging to our lungs.  Did someone mention cigarettes?  Tobacco smoke has been fascinating to me.  The idea that we would introduce smoke into the very area we use to deliver oxygen to our entire body is one of the most curious actions of humans.  Look at this diagram of the toxins found in cigarettes.
chemicals-in-cigarettes-arsenic-etc
The effects: The lungs are impressively effective at handling toxins up to a certain point and up to a certain age (approximately 35 years old).  At that point what had been reversible airway damage begins to not only change the structure of lung tissue, but it results in lung tissue loss that does not get repaired.  It’s as if when you run your hands through your hair, you discover that you’re pulling out large clumps of it.  Of course, the problem is that this isn’t your hair, but the lung tissue that you need to breathe.  The list of diseases contributed to, exacerbated by or caused by toxins is long, including COPD (emphysema, chronic bronchitis), asthma exacerbations, asbestos and lung cancer.
Skin: 
The toxins: Do you trust your skin products – you know, mascara, styling gel, tanning oil, soaps and body washes, shampoos, hair sprays, shaving creams, cologne and lotions, just to name a few?  Toxic chemicals you’re commonly absorbing through your skin include propylene glycol, parabens, glycerin, triethanolamine and sodium lauryl sulfate.
The effects: You thought acne and the occasional allergic reaction were bad?  This group’s collective effects includes respiratory, immune system and skin toxicants and known throat carcinogens.  I’d suggest you become more conscious of what you’re using and seek organic options when available.
Kidneys
The toxins: The water we drink seems to get worse with time.  Does anyone remember when tap water was “just fine?”  Now our drinking water is liable to contain ammonia, chlorine, bleach and other toxic substances.  An entire movie (Erin Brockovich) was made over the issue of toxins in drinking water.  You may recall that the kidneys bear the burden of the actual elimination of urine.  They need to maintain excellent health to perform this function.
The effects: The consequences of the kidney’s inability to perform can be so dramatic that dialysis (which is basically manual, external filtering of your blood once the kidneys go into failure) becomes necessary.  Prior to that, toxins “gumming up” the kidneys can be left free to create havoc in other parts of the body.
Gastrointestinal system (particularly your liver and intestines)
The toxins: The food you eat is toxic.  To be clear, usually I’m asking you to eat healthily.  Today, that’s still true, but it’s not the only issue.  I’m pointing out that your food contains actual toxins, including food additives and dyes, pesticides on your non-organic fruits, aspartame, MSG, hormones, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, mercury, bisphenols, and alcohol.  Did someone mention alcohol?  Alcohol is directly toxic to the liver.
The effects: I’m just going to focus on the alcohol.  Alcohol produces conditions known as fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.  Chronic, excessive alcohol use is the single most important cause of illness and death from liver disease in the U.S.  Moderation or abstention is the order of the day, my friends.  Liver transplants are very hard to come by.
The purpose of this is not to paralyze you into inactivity but to stimulate you into action.  Between now and tomorrow, when you read the fourth post in this toxins series, I’d suggest you review this post about natural detoxification.  Compare that to some of the other options I’ll be discussing later.  I’d recommend an ounce of prevention.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Natural Methods of Detoxification

Natural-Detox
It seems that at least once a week I get asked to comment on colonics, detox diets, juice fasts, etc.  It seems to me that these are all rather extreme places to start.  How about we just talk about the threats that exist, how to avoid them, how to understand the natural detoxification process and how to optimize it?
On some level, our body is at constant war with our surroundings.  We are finely tuned machines (until we’re not).  We are well designed and equipped to filter the air we breathe and the food we eat, and to repel external poisons from penetrating our bodies.  That’s a very good thing, because toxins are everywhere.  We eat and drink them.  We inhale, absorb and ingest them.  Usually we do these things unwittingly, but for various reasons, a good number of us do these things intentionally.  By definition, toxins have harmful effects on our bodies.  Buildups of these substances can cause damage and eventually death.
In the first part of this five-part review of toxins and how they affect us, I want to point out how the body is equipped to combat and eliminate toxins – until and unless we poison it.  In the second part, I’ll offer Quick Tips to enhance your ability to naturally detoxify.  In the third part, I’ll discuss what and where the toxins are that we must combat.  In the fourth and fifth parts, I’ll discuss some of the exotic (or should that be esoteric?) methods promoted to detoxify the body.
Let’s start not by talking about toxins, but by discussing how the body protects you.  There are four areas in particular to review: the skin, the lungs, the kidneys and the gastrointestinal tract (particularly your liver and intestines).
Skin: The skin is actually the body’s largest organ, and it’s the largest organ of elimination.  It is in constant contact with the environment and is our primary barrier against disease, keeping out microorganisms, dusts, pollens and other substances with no good intentions.  The constant battle leaves your skin’s pores clogged, subject to infection, lacerations, and premature aging.
Lungs: The lungs are the vessels of life, bringing oxygen into the body to supply the needs of all your organs and systems.  However, have you looked at the atmosphere lately?  Smog’s everywhere, not to mention allergens and cigarette and cigar smoke.  If the air you’re breathing is poisoning the lungs themselves, your ability to keep poisons out of you and exhale away carbon dioxide incrementally become diminished to disastrous effect.
Kidneys: Your kidneys are one of the two primary ways you visibly eliminate waste.  Consider them the blood’s strainer.  You really should learn to watch your urine.  It tells a story about your health.  If your urine is not clear to light yellow, something’s going on.  If you come to me with cloudy, straw-colored, bloody, pink, or brown urine, those all tell me about different medical conditions you could be experiencing.
Your liver and intestines: Now we’re looking at your stools.  Consider that if you were ideally healthy, you’d have a bowel movement with the same frequency with which you ate.  At the other end of the spectrum (no pun intended), you could be constipated, or your bowels could be obstructed.  You have bacteria that live in your intestines that also help naturally detoxify wastes, but that only works as intended if you continue to have stools.  The more contact time your body’s intended waste has with your intestinal tract, the more of it that will be absorbed.  Fortunately, the intestines have additional barriers in its membranes that fight against toxins reentering the body.  Your liver serves a vital function in detoxifying many directly poisonous substances. It uses its natural chemicals to facilitate excretion of toxins by the kidneys.
Most everything you think you know about extrinsic supplemental ways to detoxify are poor substitutes for what a healthy body will achieve.  If you focused on your health and fitness, you could rest assured that your body would protect you, and you could also save a ton of money avoiding all those fad diets and other ‘previously secret’ methods of detoxification.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips – Learn the ABCDEs of Hiccups

hiccups-enHD-AR1

Three question sets on hiccups of all things

Why do I get hiccups?
You get hiccups because everyone gets them.  You get them because basically you’ve agitated your main breathing muscle (You have one on both sides, between the chest and abdominal cavities.).  Something’s caused it to spasm, which produces a reflex vocal cord closure.  That sound you hear is the reflex air going down your windpipe.  Here’s some of those ‘somethings’…
You smoke too much.
You’re overstressed.
You’re agitating your stomach.

  • You eat too much too quickly.
  • You drink too much.
  • You swallow too much air.
  • You alternative between hot and cold foods too quickly.

Are hiccups ever serious?
Absolutely.  In fact, hiccups can go on for more than 48 hours.  In these instances, you need to get evaluated.  Several things can cause this, but I’ll be particularly worried about your nerves and nervous system.

hiccup-460_1215860c

What about all those hiccup cures?
Some things never hurt to try.  What you’re actually trying to accomplish through multiple variations of the same theme is to increase your carbon dioxide level (the gas you exhale in breathing), which tends to stop the hiccups.  Here’s a few oldies but goodies – think ABCDE.

  • Achoo!  Sneeze even if you don’t need to.  It may additionally stimulate the diaphragm out of hiccupping.
  • Breathe into a paper bag for 30-60 seconds.
  • Count to 10 while holding your breath.
  • Drink a cold glass of water – fast (Notice you’re holding your breath while doing this, and no, you don’t need a pencil in your mouth.).
  • Eat a teaspoon of sugar or honey.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Our World is Filled with Toxins

toxic-world-2
You can’t escape all toxins, but you can certainly minimize your exposure to them.  A handy way to classify them involves reminding you of the organ systems that help us detoxify and how, over time, toxins fight and sometimes win the battle against our defenses.  In the interest of space, I’m going to give you the names of several chemicals that you may want to know about and should be wary of using, without giving you details on their individual effects.  If you have questions about any of them specifically, call me at 1-844-SMA-TALK.
Lungs
The toxins: We are fighting what we breathe and inhale.  Air pollution includes levels of carbon monoxide and methane.  Exhaust fumes, factory emissions, first and second-hand smoke all contain substances damaging to our lungs.  Did someone mention cigarettes?  Tobacco smoke has been fascinating to me.  The idea that we would introduce smoke into the very area we use to deliver oxygen to our entire body is one of the most curious actions of humans.  Look at this diagram of the toxins found in cigarettes.
chemicals-in-cigarettes-arsenic-etc
The effects: The lungs are impressively effective at handling toxins up to a certain point and up to a certain age (approximately 35 years old).  At that point what had been reversible airway damage begins to not only change the structure of lung tissue, but it results in lung tissue loss that does not get repaired.  It’s as if when you run your hands through your hair, you discover that you’re pulling out large clumps of it.  Of course, the problem is that this isn’t your hair, but the lung tissue that you need to breathe.  The list of diseases contributed to, exacerbated by or caused by toxins is long, including COPD (emphysema, chronic bronchitis), asthma exacerbations, asbestosis and lung cancer.
Skin: 
The toxins: Do you trust your skin products – you know, mascara, styling gel, tanning oil, soaps and body washes, shampoos, hair sprays, shaving creams, cologne and lotions, just to name a few?  Toxic chemicals you’re commonly absorbing through your skin include propylene glycol, parabens, glycerin, triethanolamine and sodium lauryl sulfate.
The effects: You thought acne and the occasional allergic reaction were bad?  This group’s collective effects includes respiratory, immune system and skin toxicants and known throat carcinogens.  I’d suggest you become more conscious of what you’re using and seek organic options when available.
Kidneys
The toxins: The water we drink seems to get worse with time.  Does anyone remember when tap water was “just fine?”  Now our drinking water is liable to contain ammonia, chlorine, bleach and other toxic substances.  An entire movie (Erin Brockovich) was made over the issue of toxins in drinking water.  You may recall that the kidneys bear the burden of the actual elimination of urine.  They need to maintain excellent health to perform this function.
The effects: The consequences of the kidney’s inability to perform can be so dramatic that dialysis (which is basically manual, external filtering of your blood once the kidneys go into failure) becomes necessary.  Prior to that, toxins “gumming up” the kidneys can be left free to create havoc in other parts of the body.
Gastrointestinal system (particularly your liver and intestines)
The toxins: The food you eat is toxic.  To be clear, usually I’m asking you to eat healthily.  Today, that’s still true, but it’s not the only issue.  I’m pointing out that your food contains actual toxins, including food additives and dyes, pesticides on your non-organic fruits, aspartame, MSG, hormones, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, mercury, bisphenols, and alcohol.  Did someone mention alcohol?  Alcohol is directly toxic to the liver.
The effects: I’m just going to focus on the alcohol.  Alcohol produces conditions known as fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.  Chronic, excessive alcohol use is the single most important cause of illness and death from liver disease in the U.S.  Moderation or abstention is the order of the day, my friends.  Liver transplants are very hard to come by.
The purpose of this is not to paralyze you into inactivity but to stimulate you into action.  Between now and tomorrow, when you read the fourth post in this toxins series, I’d suggest you review this post about natural detoxification.  Compare that to some of the other options I’ll be discussing later.  I’d recommend an ounce of prevention.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Natural Methods of Detoxification

Natural-Detox
It seems that at least once a week I get asked to comment on colonics, detox diets, juice fasts, etc.  It seems to me that these are all rather extreme places to start.  How about we just talk about the threats that exist, how to avoid them, how to understand the natural detoxification process and how to optimize it?
On some level, our body is at constant war with our surroundings.  We are finely tuned machines (until we’re not).  We are well designed and equipped to filter the air we breathe and the food we eat, and to repel external poisons from penetrating our bodies.  That’s a very good thing, because toxins are everywhere.  We eat and drink them.  We inhale, absorb and ingest them.  Usually we do these things unwittingly, but for various reasons, a good number of us do these things intentionally.  By definition, toxins have harmful effects on our bodies.  Buildups of these substances can cause damage and eventually death.
In the first part of this five-part review of toxins and how they affect us, I want to point out how the body is equipped to combat and eliminate toxins – until and unless we poison it.  In the second part, I’ll offer Quick Tips to enhance your ability to naturally detoxify.  In the third part, I’ll discuss what and where the toxins are that we must combat.  In the fourth and fifth parts, I’ll discuss some of the exotic (or should that be esoteric?) methods promoted to detoxify the body.
Let’s start not by talking about toxins, but by discussing how the body protects you.  There are four areas in particular to review: the skin, the lungs, the kidneys and the gastrointestinal tract (particularly your liver and intestines).
Skin: The skin is actually the body’s largest organ, and it’s the largest organ of elimination.  It is in constant contact with the environment and is our primary barrier against disease, keeping out microorganisms, dusts, pollens and other substances with no good intentions.  The constant battle leaves your skin’s pores clogged, subject to infection, lacerations, and premature aging.
Lungs: The lungs are the vessels of life, bringing oxygen into the body to supply the needs of all your organs and systems.  However, have you looked at the atmosphere lately?  Smog’s everywhere, not to mention allergens and cigarette and cigar smoke.  If the air you’re breathing is poisoning the lungs themselves, your ability to keep poisons out of you and exhale away carbon dioxide incrementally become diminished to disastrous effect.
Kidneys: Your kidneys are one of the two primary ways you visibly eliminate waste.  Consider them the blood’s strainer.  You really should learn to watch your urine.  It tells a story about your health.  If your urine is not clear to light yellow, something’s going on.  If you come to me with cloudy, straw-colored, bloody, pink, or brown urine, those all tell me about different medical conditions you could be experiencing.
Your liver and intestines: Now we’re looking at your stools.  Consider that if you were ideally healthy, you’d have a bowel movement with the same frequency with which you ate.  At the other end of the spectrum (no pun intended), you could be constipated, or your bowels could be obstructed.  You have bacteria that live in your intestines that also help naturally detoxify wastes, but that only works as intended if you continue to have stools.  The more contact time your body’s intended waste has with your intestinal tract, the more of it that will be absorbed.  Fortunately, the intestines have additional barriers in its membranes that fight against toxins reentering the body.  Your liver serves a vital function in detoxifying many directly poisonous substances. It uses its natural chemicals to facilitate excretion of toxins by the kidneys.
Most everything you think you know about extrinsic supplemental ways to detoxify are poor substitutes for what a healthy body will achieve.  If you focused on your health and fitness, you could rest assured that your body would protect you, and you could also save a ton of money avoiding all those fad diets and other ‘previously secret’ methods of detoxification.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips – Learn the ABCDEs of Hiccups

hiccups-enHD-AR1

Three question sets on hiccups of all things

Why do I get hiccups?
You get hiccups because everyone gets them.  You get them because basically you’ve agitated your main breathing muscle (You have one on both sides, between the chest and abdominal cavities.).  Something’s caused it to spasm, which produces a reflex vocal cord closure.  That sound you hear is the reflex air going down your windpipe.  Here’s some of those ‘somethings’…
You smoke too much.
You’re overstressed.
You’re agitating your stomach.

  • You eat too much too quickly.
  • You drink too much.
  • You swallow too much air.
  • You alternative between hot and cold foods too quickly.

Are hiccups ever serious?
Absolutely.  In fact, hiccups can go on for more than 48 hours.  In these instances, you need to get evaluated.  Several things can cause this, but I’ll be particularly worried about your nerves and nervous system.

hiccup-460_1215860c

What about all those hiccup cures?
Some things never hurt to try.  What you’re actually trying to accomplish through multiple variations of the same theme is to increase your carbon dioxide level (the gas you exhale in breathing), which tends to stop the hiccups.  Here’s a few oldies but goodies – think ABCDE.

  • Achoo!  Sneeze even if you don’t need to.  It may additionally stimulate the diaphragm out of hiccupping.
  • Breathe into a paper bag for 30-60 seconds.
  • Count to 10 while holding your breath.
  • Drink a cold glass of water – fast (Notice you’re holding your breath while doing this, and no, you don’t need a pencil in your mouth.).
  • Eat a teaspoon of sugar or honey.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: When Foreign Bodies are Ingested

jingle bell
Let’s talk about our kids and the things they put inside themselves. Pediatric foreign body ingestion/insertion is a common emergency room presentation. Maybe it’s just part of them exploring their world. In fact, I recall getting a pearl in my ear and a dime in my nostril as a child; maybe I wanted to start saving at a young age…
The bottom line is kids get in trouble. And it’s not always their fault. Families sometimes leave things lying around the house. Children may be fed something they can’t handle. Then there’s always the older sibling putting stuff in them…
More than 100,000 cases of accidental pediatric foreign body ingestion occur each year. I’m going to address the three main orifices where things are placed and let you know the dangers, potential solutions and what to expect if and when you show up in the emergency room. Yep, three different holes, because different types of insertions occur, each with their own risks. I guess they figure if there’s a hole, something needs to go in it.
Ears:

FB+ear

What Happens: Kids will put anything that will fit in their ears, but the problems arise when something either gets stuck or breaks off in an ear. This can include such things as a cotton swab, food, a toy (a bead, something waxy, or something pointy) or whatever else they get their hands on. This poses a significant risk of infection, bleeding and possible rupture of the eardrum, which can lead to an entirely new set of complications.
What You Need to Know: Regardless as to the nature of the item, removal of the item is going to be very dramatic. At home, you should be very conservative in your efforts to get anything out of a child’s ear. Blind efforts may lead to pushing the item further back on the eardrum, possibly rupturing it, or jabbing it into the ear canal, causing damage and potentially setting up an infection. Such efforts usually make it even more difficult for health professionals to get at it once you come to the ER or your doctor’s office.
What happens in the ER: Drama. Depending on the size, shape and depth of the object, tools to flush it out, suck it out, scoop it out or pick it out may be used. There is no guarantee of success, and if the object is unable to be easily retrieved (without an unacceptable risk of further ear damage), the child may either be put to sleep to make the process easier, or you may be referred to an ears, nose and throat specialist.
Nose:

FBnose

What Happens: Somehow kids think that because of the shape of the nostrils, round things just belong in there. Those smooth pearls, beads, marbles and kernels fit just right.
What You Need to Know: The particular danger with items placed in the nose is they can become dislodged into the airway and choke the child. You should be mindful of this as you try to get that object out yourself. One strategy that you might safely try (assuming no blood or significant pain or other apparent injury exists) is to ‘blow your child a kiss’. Put your mouth around the kids mouth and give a big puff. Sometimes this will pop the object out of the nostril! More easily, if the child is big enough to blow his/her nose, try that while occluding the unaffected nostril.
What Will Happen in the ER: We may try the same things described above. We may also use a piece of equipment called an Ambu-bag to deliver that same type of puff. If that doesn’t work, we have additional means to enter the nose and try to remove the object. The most important consideration is to protect the child’s airway.
Throat to the Stomach or Lower Airway:

FBstomach

What Happens and What You Need to Know: More foreign object ingestions and aspirations (passage down the airway) occur in children younger than 3 years than in other age groups, although they do occur in all ages. Even relatively immobile infants may get something inappropriate in their mouths despite not being able crawl or pick up objects and put them in the mouth. Their relative inability to chew, coupled with faster breathing rates increases the odds of objects entering the windpipe instead of the food pipe. We see simple things such as nuts, raisins, coins, magnets, seeds, foods (e.g. hot dogs and grapes), as well as toys, pins, batteries, balloons, bones and many other items. Your pediatrician has likely advised you to avoid giving certain foods until the child is at least 5 years old.
Objects that have entered or passed through the throat will leave a sensation that something is still in the throat, particularly if it scratched something on the way down. Objects in the airways run the risk of partial or complete obstruction of different parts of the airway. This can be immediately life-threatening if severe enough obstruction has occurred. There’s no guesswork here; the child will be having difficulty breathing, coughing, gasping and likely turning blue.
What Will Happen in the ER:

FBnoseremoval_sq2__8_

Management of swallowed or aspirated foreign body depends on the size of both the object and child and the object’s location.
1) If it’s in the stomach or beyond: unless there are multiple sharp objects that suggest something’s been perforated, little will be done, and you’ll be instructed to wait and watch for it in the stool.
2) If it’s in the airway, this is an emergency, and a lung specialist will need to get the object out with a special scope.
3) If it’s in the food pipe but not yet in the stomach or beyond, what’s done will depend on the size and location. Esophageal foreign bodies (that is, those in the food pipe) generally require early removal by a specialist because of their potential to cause respiratory problems (by manual pressure onto the windpipe) and complications to the esophagus itself (scratches, burns or even rupture). Most notably, ingestion of those annoying button batteries, and their lodging in the esophagus require urgent removal even if no symptoms are present because of an unacceptably high risk of complications. Sharp foreign bodies (except for single straight pins) are especially dangerous and prone to complications and most likely will also need to be removed.
So, after all that, is there any wonder why we ask you to child-proof your home? The dangers are real, and the drama of an ER visit for these things is avoidable and worth being diligent at home. Have a great, safe, healthy and happy weekend.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2015 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC

Straight, No Chaser: Our World is Filled with Toxins

toxic-world-2
You can’t escape all toxins, but you can certainly minimize your exposure to them.  A handy way to classify them involves reminding you of the organ systems that help us detoxify and how, over time, toxins fight and sometimes win the battle against our defenses.  In the interest of space, I’m going to give you the names of several chemicals that you may want to know about and should be wary of using, without giving you details on their individual effects.  If you have questions about any of them specifically, call me at 1-844-SMA-TALK.
Lungs
The toxins: We are fighting what we breathe and inhale.  Air pollution includes levels of carbon monoxide and methane.  Exhaust fumes, factory emissions, first and second-hand smoke all contain substances damaging to our lungs.  Did someone mention cigarettes?  Tobacco smoke has been fascinating to me.  The idea that we would introduce smoke into the very area we use to deliver oxygen to our entire body is one of the most curious actions of humans.  Look at this diagram of the toxins found in cigarettes.
chemicals-in-cigarettes-arsenic-etc
The effects: The lungs are impressively effective at handling toxins up to a certain point and up to a certain age (approximately 35 years old).  At that point what had been reversible airway damage begins to not only change the structure of lung tissue, but it results in lung tissue loss that does not get repaired.  It’s as if when you run your hands through your hair, you discover that you’re pulling out large clumps of it.  Of course, the problem is that this isn’t your hair, but the lung tissue that you need to breathe.  The list of diseases contributed to, exacerbated by or caused by toxins is long, including COPD (emphysema, chronic bronchitis), asthma exacerbations, asbestosis and lung cancer.
Skin:
The toxins: Do you trust your skin products – you know, mascara, styling gel, tanning oil, soaps and body washes, shampoos, hair sprays, shaving creams, cologne and lotions, just to name a few?  Toxic chemicals you’re commonly absorbing through your skin include propylene glycol, parabens, glycerin, triethanolamine and sodium lauryl sulfate.
The effects: You thought acne and the occasional allergic reaction were bad?  This group’s collective effects includes respiratory, immune system and skin toxicants and known throat carcinogens.  I’d suggest you become more conscious of what you’re using and seek organic options when available.
Kidneys
The toxins: The water we drink seems to get worse with time.  Does anyone remember when tap water was “just fine?”  Now our drinking water is liable to contain ammonia, chlorine, bleach and other toxic substances.  An entire movie (Erin Brockovich) was made over the issue of toxins in drinking water.  You may recall that the kidneys bear the burden of the actual elimination of urine.  They need to maintain excellent health to perform this function.
The effects: The consequences of the kidney’s inability to perform can be so dramatic that dialysis (which is basically manual, external filtering of your blood once the kidneys go into failure) becomes necessary.  Prior to that, toxins “gumming up” the kidneys can be left free to create havoc in other parts of the body.
Gastrointestinal system (particularly your liver and intestines)
The toxins: The food you eat is toxic.  To be clear, usually I’m asking you to eat healthily.  Today, that’s still true, but it’s not the only issue.  I’m pointing out that your food contains actual toxins, including food additives and dyes, pesticides on your non-organic fruits, aspartame, MSG, hormones, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, mercury, bisphenols, and alcohol.  Did someone mention alcohol?  Alcohol is directly toxic to the liver.
The effects: I’m just going to focus on the alcohol.  Alcohol produces conditions known as fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.  Chronic, excessive alcohol use is the single most important cause of illness and death from liver disease in the U.S.  Moderation or abstention is the order of the day, my friends.  Liver transplants are very hard to come by.
The purpose of this is not to paralyze you into inactivity but to stimulate you into action.  Between now and tomorrow, when you read the fourth post in this five-part toxins series, I’d suggest you review this post about natural detoxification.  Compare that to some of the other options I’ll be discussing later.  I’d recommend an ounce of prevention.
Call us at 1-844-SMA-TALK or login at www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com to chat with your expert nutritionists about these matters, especially now that we’re in National Nutrition Month.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what  http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2014 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Natural Methods of Detoxification

Natural-Detox
It seems that at least once a week I get asked to comment on colonics, detox diets, juice fasts, etc.  It seems to me that these are all rather extreme places to start.  How about we just talk about the threats that exist, how to avoid them, how to understand the natural detoxification process and how to optimize it?
On some level, our body is at constant war with our surroundings.  We are finely tuned machines (until we’re not).  We are well designed and equipped to filter the air we breathe and the food we eat, and to repel external poisons from penetrating our bodies.  That’s a very good thing, because toxins are everywhere.  We eat and drink them.  We inhale, absorb and ingest them.  Usually we do these things unwittingly, but for various reasons, a good number of us do these things intentionally.  By definition, toxins have harmful effects on our bodies.  Buildups of these substances can cause damage and eventually death.
In the first part of this five-part review of toxins and how they affect us, I want to point out how the body is equipped to combat and eliminate toxins – until and unless we poison it.  In the second part, I’ll offer Quick Tips to enhance your ability to naturally detoxify.  In the third part, I’ll discuss what and where the toxins are that we must combat.  In the fourth and fifth parts, I’ll discuss some of the exotic (or should that be esoteric?) methods promoted to detoxify the body.
Let’s start not by talking about toxins, but by discussing how the body protects you.  There are four areas in particular to review: the skin, the lungs, the kidneys and the gastrointestinal tract (particularly your liver and intestines).
Skin: The skin is actually the body’s largest organ, and it’s the largest organ of elimination.  It is in constant contact with the environment and is our primary barrier against disease, keeping out microorganisms, dusts, pollens and other substances with no good intentions.  The constant battle leaves your skin’s pores clogged, subject to infection, lacerations, and premature aging.
Lungs: The lungs are the vessels of life, bringing oxygen into the body to supply the needs of all your organs and systems.  However, have you looked at the atmosphere lately?  Smog’s everywhere, not to mention allergens and cigarette and cigar smoke.  If the air you’re breathing is poisoning the lungs themselves, your ability to keep poisons out of you and exhale away carbon dioxide incrementally become diminished to disastrous effect.
Kidneys: Your kidneys are one of the two primary ways you visibly eliminate waste.  Consider them the blood’s strainer.  You really should learn to watch your urine.  It tells a story about your health.  If your urine is not clear to light yellow, something’s going on.  If you come to me with cloudy, straw-colored, bloody, pink, or brown urine, those all tell me about different medical conditions you could be experiencing.
Your liver and intestines: Now we’re looking at your stools.  Consider that if you were ideally healthy, you’d have a bowel movement with the same frequency with which you ate.  At the other end of the spectrum (no pun intended), you could be constipated, or your bowels could be obstructed.  You have bacteria that live in your intestines that also help naturally detoxify wastes, but that only works as intended if you continue to have stools.  The more contact time your body’s intended waste has with your intestinal tract, the more of it that will be absorbed.  Fortunately, the intestines have additional barriers in its membranes that fight against toxins reentering the body.  Your liver serves a vital function in detoxifying many directly poisonous substances. It uses its natural chemicals to facilitate excretion of toxins by the kidneys.
Most everything you think you know about extrinsic supplemental ways to detoxify are poor substitutes for what a healthy body will achieve.  If you focused on your health and fitness, you could rest assured that your body would protect you, and you could also save a ton of money avoiding all those fad diets and other ‘previously secret’ methods of detoxification.
Check back this afternoon for all the information you’ll need to make your magnificently designed, natural detoxification machine known as your body work its best.  I welcome any questions or comments.
Call us at 1-844-SMA-TALK or login at www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com for personalized advice on these or other healthcare topics.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what  http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2014 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: That Doesn't Belong There, Little Johnny!

jingle bell
Let’s talk about our kids and the things they put inside themselves. Pediatric foreign body ingestion/insertion is a common emergency room presentation. Maybe it’s just part of them exploring their world. In fact, I recall getting a pearl in my ear and a dime in my nostril as a child; maybe I wanted to start saving at a young age… Bottom line: kids get in trouble. And it’s not always their fault. Families sometimes leave things lying around the house. Children may be fed something they can’t handle. Then there’s always the older sibling putting stuff in them…
More than 100,000 cases of accidental pediatric foreign body ingestion occur each year. I’m going to address the three main orifices where things are placed and let you know the dangers, potential solutions and what to expect if and when you show up in the emergency room. Yep, three different holes, because different types of insertions occur, each with their own risks. I guess they figure if there’s a hole, something needs to go in it.
Ears:
What Happens: Kids will put anything that will fit in their ears, but the problems arise when something either gets stuck or breaks off in an ear. This can include such things as a cotton swab, food, a toy (a bead, something waxy, or something pointy) or whatever else they get their hands on. This poses a significant risk of infection, bleeding and possible rupture of the eardrum, which can lead to an entirely new set of complications.
What You Need to Know: Regardless as to the nature of the item, removal of the item is going to be very dramatic. At home, you should be very conservative in your efforts to get anything out of a child’s ear. Blind efforts may lead to pushing the item further back on the eardrum, possibly rupturing it, or jabbing it into the ear canal, causing damage and potentially setting up an infection. Such efforts usually make it even more difficult for health professionals to get at it once you come to the ER or your doctor’s office.
What happens in the ER: Drama. Depending on the size, shape and depth of the object, tools to flush it out, suck it out, scoop it out or pick it out may be used. There is no guarantee of success, and if the object is unable to be easily retrieved (without an unacceptable risk of further ear damage), the child may either be put to sleep to make the process easier, or you may be referred to an ears, nose and throat specialist.
Nose:
What Happens: Somehow kids think that because of the shape of the nostrils, round things just belong in there. Those smooth pearls, beads, marbles and kernels fit just right.
What You Need to Know: The particular danger with items placed in the nose is they can become dislodged into the airway and choke the child. You should be mindful of this as you try to get that object out yourself. One strategy that you might safely try (assuming no blood or significant pain or other apparent injury exists) is to ‘blow your child a kiss’. Put your mouth around the kids mouth and give a big puff. Sometimes this will pop the object out of the nostril! More easily, if the child is big enough to blow his/her nose, try that while occluding the unaffected nostril.
What Will Happen in the ER: We may try the same things described above. We may also use a piece of equipment called an Ambu-bag to deliver that same type of puff. If that doesn’t work, we have additional means to enter the nose and try to remove the object. The most important consideration is to protect the child’s airway.
Throat to the Stomach or Lower Airway:
What Happens and What You Need to Know: More foreign object ingestions and aspirations (passage down the airway) occur in children younger than 3 years than in other age groups, although they do occur in all ages. Even relatively immobile infants may get something inappropriate in their mouths despite not being able crawl or pick up objects and put them in the mouth. Their relative inability to chew, coupled with faster breathing rates increases the odds of objects entering the windpipe instead of the food pipe. We see simple things such as nuts, raisins, coins, magnets, seeds, foods (e.g. hot dogs and grapes), as well as toys, pins, batteries, balloons, bones and many other items. Your pediatrician has likely advised you to avoid giving certain foods until the child is at least 5 years old.
Objects that have entered or passed through the throat will leave a sensation that something is still in the throat, particularly if it scratched something on the way down. Objects in the airways run the risk of partial or complete obstruction of different parts of the airway. This can be immediately life-threatening if severe enough obstruction has occurred. There’s no guesswork here; the child will be having difficulty breathing, coughing, gasping and likely turning blue.
What Will Happen in the ER:
Management of swallowed or aspirated foreign body depends on the size of both the object and child and the object’s location.
1) If it’s in the stomach or beyond: unless there are multiple sharp objects that suggest something’s been perforated, little will be done, and you’ll be instructed to wait and watch for it in the stool.
2) If it’s in the airway, this is an emergency, and a lung specialist will need to get the object out with a special scope.
3) If it’s in the food pipe but not yet in the stomach or beyond, what’s done will depend on the size and location. Esophageal foreign bodies (that is, those in the food pipe) generally require early removal by a specialist because of their potential to cause respiratory problems (by manual pressure onto the windpipe) and complications to the esophagus itself (scratches, burns or even rupture). Most notably, ingestion of those annoying button batteries, and their lodging in the esophagus require urgent removal even if no symptoms are present because of an unacceptably high risk of complications. Sharp foreign bodies (except for single straight pins) are especially dangerous and prone to complications and most likely will also need to be removed.
So, after all that, is there any wonder why we ask you to child-proof your home? The dangers are real, and the drama of an ER visit for these things is avoidable and worth being diligent at home. Have a great, safe, healthy and happy weekend.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) will offer beginning November 1. Until then enjoy some our favorite posts and frequently asked questions as well as a daily note explaining the benefits of SMA membership. Please share our page with your Friends on WordPress, and we can be found on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips – Learn the ABCDEs of Hiccups

hiccup-460_1215860c

Three question sets on hiccups of all things

Why do I get hiccups?
You get hiccups because everyone gets them.  You get them because basically you’ve agitated your main breathing muscle (You have one on both sides, between the chest and abdominal cavities.).  Something’s caused it to spasm, which produces a reflex vocal cord closure.  That sound you hear is the reflex air going down your windpipe.  Here’s some of those ‘somethings’…
You smoke too much.
You’re overstressed.
You’re agitating your stomach.

  • You eat too much too quickly.
  • You drink too much.
  • You swallow too much air.
  • You alternative between hot and cold foods too quickly.

Are hiccups ever serious?
Absolutely.  In fact, hiccups can go on for more than 48 hours.  In these instances, you need to get evaluated.  Several things can cause this, but I’ll be particularly worried about your nerves and nervous system.
What about all those hiccup cures?
Some things never hurt to try.  What you’re actually trying to accomplish through multiple variations of the same theme is to increase your carbon dioxide level (the gas you exhale in breathing), which tends to stop the hiccups.  Here’s a few oldies but goodies – think ABCDE.

  • Achoo!  Sneeze even if you don’t need to.  It may additionally stimulate the diaphragm out of hiccupping.
  • Breathe into a paper bag for 30-60 seconds.
  • Count to 10 while holding your breath.
  • Drink a cold glass of water – fast (Notice you’re holding your breath while doing this, and no, you don’t need a pencil in your mouth.).
  • Eat a teaspoon of sugar or honey.

Straight, No Chaser: Your Questions on Treatment of Fire Related Injuries

firevictim
Questions, you’ve got questions (Why are you so shy about posting them?).  Here we go.  Today, your focus is on the aftermath and treatment of fire related injury.
1)   What does carbon monoxide poisoning look like?

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is very dangerous because the gas is colorless and odorless.  You should suspect that you’re feeling its effect when you’re feeling like you have the flu after perhaps being in a contained area with a motor running or after a fire.  Headache is the most common symptom, and you may also feel nauseated, with malaise (feeling ‘blah’) and fatigue also being common symptoms.

2)   How are the burns treated?

  • Burns cause serious illness.  The thermal component can cause direct damage to your airway.  The toxins contained within (carbon monoxide and cyanide) can kill you independent of any other consideration.  Burns are especially prone to infection, so you don’t want significant skin burns exposed to everything outside of a burnt house while you’re waiting for the ambulance.
  • The burns will be treated according to the severity.  A lot of intravenous fluid, pain management, clear blister removal and infection control will be in order.  Especially serious burns may require a burn unit and skin grafting.

3)   What can I do to treat while waiting for the ambulance?

  • Keep calm, and keep them calm.
  • Be prepared to start CPR if necessary.
  • If any injuries have occurred to the head and neck, lay the person down and don’t move them.
  • Cover any bleeding areas, and apply enough pressure to stop external bleeding.
  • If you have a clean sheet, wrap the person in it.

4)   I know someone who says she was intubated (i.e. had a ‘breathing tube’ placed), and they were feeling fine after a fire.  Why would this have been done?

  • It’s hard to comment on the management of individual cases sight unseen, but most likely soot or burning was noted somewhere inside the airway (e.g. the mouth, nose or oral cavity).  Intubation would have been done to protect and secure the airway before in collapses.  If you wait until the last possible moment, it could be too late.

Straight, No Chaser: Your Questions About Gunshot and Stab Wounds

 Your Top Five Questions:
 1. Why don’t the bullets always get taken out? 
Removal of bullet may cause more damage than leaving them in.  It’s sometimes not worth the effort.
2. What’s with the tubes that go in the chest?
Chest tubes are used to treat a pneumothorax (a collapsed lung).  The problem is there’s air in the space between the lung and the chest wall.  This can interfere with normal breathing and may be life threatening.  The tubes go through the chest wall to release the air from that space, thus allowing re-expansion of the lungs.
3. Why would doctors ever need to slit someone’s throat to save their lives?
That describes either a cricothyrotomy or a tracheostomy, and it’s not ‘slitting’ the throat as much as it’s creating an opening in the airway to permit airflow.  This is usually necessary because of some airway obstruction at the upper throat (foreign body in the throat, etc.) with an inability to clear it.  This procedure is only done to save a life.
4. Why would you die from a wound to the thigh?
Fractures of certain bones and laceration of certain blood vessels are potentially associated with enough blood loss that you could bleed to death.  Infection and blood clots are additional considerations that could be life-threatening.
5. What about gunshot or stab wounds to someone pregnant?
Penetrating trauma to the abdomen is typically less fatal to the mother than to a fetus because the fetus is literally acting as a shield.  In the event any wound has placed the mother’s life at risk or the mother has died from the wound, under certain extreme circumstances, an emergency C-section may be performed to save the baby.