March 3 2019

Facts About US Presidents

https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/did-you-know/52-astonishing-facts-you-never-knew-about-us-presidents/ss-BBTbA5p?ocid=spartandhp&fullscreen=true#image=34

Abraham Lincoln turned down the chance to host elephants

Slide 1 of 52: In 1861, the King of Siam offered to gift President Lincoln 'several pairs of young male and female elephants,' which were indigenous to his country (today we know it as Thailand). The elephants could be bred to multiply, the king suggested, and the herds could be used as 'beasts of burden' that could work alongside the military during the Civil War. The president politely declined the offer, opting to use steam power instead of animal labor.

In 1861, the King of Siam offered to gift President Lincoln ‘several pairs of young male and female elephants,’ which were indigenous to his country (today we know it as Thailand). The elephants could be bred to multiply, the king suggested, and the herds could be used as ‘beasts of burden’ that could work alongside the military during the Civil War. The president politely declined the offer, opting to use steam power instead of animal labor.

Gerald Ford modeled on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine

Slide 2 of 52: Before he became our nation's 38th president, Gerald Ford had a side gig as a model. In 1942, shortly after joining the Navy, he landed an uncredited spot on the cover of Cosmopolitan in his uniform. Another fun fact? It was during this time that he met and went on to marry a fellow model, Elizabeth Bloomer. She became known to Americans as First Lady Betty Ford.

Before he became our nation’s 38th president, Gerald Ford had a side gig as a model. In 1942, shortly after joining the Navy, he landed an uncredited spot on the cover of Cosmopolitan in his uniform. Another fun fact? It was during this time that he met and went on to marry a fellow model, Elizabeth Bloomer. She became known to Americans as First Lady Betty Ford.

Slide 3 of 52: Back in the 1800s, little was known about our planet. In the absence of scientific evidence, some people believed in some pretty kooky theories—like the idea that planet Earth is actually hollow. Our sixth president, John Quincy Adams, was on board with this one. The commander-in-chief even signed off on a proposed expedition by a fellow Hollow Earther and would-be explorer to the Earth's 'empty' core. But when Andrew Jackson was voted into office four years later, he put the kibosh on the journey that never was.

John Quincy Adams approved a real-life journey to the center of the Earth

Back in the 1800s, little was known about our planet. In the absence of scientific evidence, some people believed in some pretty kooky theories—like the idea that planet Earth is actually hollow. Our sixth president, John Quincy Adams, was on board with this one. The commander-in-chief even signed off on a proposed expedition by a fellow Hollow Earther and would-be explorer to the Earth’s ’empty’ core. But when Andrew Jackson was voted into office four years later, he put the kibosh on the journey that never was.4/52 SLIDES© AP/REX/Shutterstock

William Howard Taft took a custom bathtub on a trip to Panama

Slide 4 of 52: The legend goes that our 27th president once got stuck in a bathtub and had to be pulled out by six men. Although President William Taft did weigh 340 pounds at his heaviest, this story is wholly false. But it probably stemmed from Taft's (very true) affinity for baths. In fact, he ordered a 7-foot-long tub that weighed a literal ton to be built and placed aboard the USS North Carolina, so he could luxuriate in it on his way to Panama.

The legend goes that our 27th president once got stuck in a bathtub and had to be pulled out by six men. Although President William Taft did weigh 340 pounds at his heaviest, this story is wholly false. But it probably stemmed from Taft’s (very true) affinity for baths. In fact, he ordered a 7-foot-long tub that weighed a literal ton to be built and placed aboard the USS North Carolina, so he could luxuriate in it on his way to Panama. 5/52 SLIDES© Historia/REX/Shutterstock

Herbert Hoover’s White House staff hid from him

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Slide 5 of 52: In a very diva move, 31st president Herbert Hoover insisted that his staff never see him around the White House—and he didn't want to see them either. This caused quite the charade, of course, as the staff felt pressured to hide from the president whenever he was present. According to White House journalist Kenneth Walsh, staffers would 'pile into closets' and 'hide behind bushes so the president couldn't see them.'

n a very diva move, 31st president Herbert Hoover insisted that his staff never see him around the White House—and he didn’t want to see them either. This caused quite the charade, of course, as the staff felt pressured to hide from the president whenever he was present. According to White House journalist Kenneth Walsh, staffers would ‘pile into closets’ and ‘hide behind bushes so the president couldn’t see them.’6/52 SLIDES© John Knoote/Daily Mail/REX/Shutterstock

Lyndon B. Johnson proposed to Lady Bird with a $2.50 ring from Sears

Slide 6 of 52: In 1934, Lyndon B. Johnson, then 26, proposed to Claudia Alta 'Ladybird' Taylor, 22, on their first date. Though she declined his offer, Johnson continued to woo her from afar, sending his sweetheart 90 letters in the span of about 90 days. Impatient, Johnson traveled from Washington, D.C. to Texas to arrive at her door with an ultimatum—marry me now or forever hold your peace. She accepted his proposal and the $2.50 engagement ring that came with it. Find out more fascinating trivia about America's first ladies.

In 1934, Lyndon B. Johnson, then 26, proposed to Claudia Alta ‘Ladybird’ Taylor, 22, on their first date. Though she declined his offer, Johnson continued to woo her from afar, sending his sweetheart 90 letters in the span of about 90 days. Impatient, Johnson traveled from Washington, D.C. to Texas to arrive at her door with an ultimatum—marry me now or forever hold your peace. She accepted his proposal and the $2.50 engagement ring that came with it. Find out more fascinating trivia about America’s first ladies. 7/52 SLIDES© Charles Gorry/AP/REX/Shutterstock

John Quincy Adams loved to skinny-dip

Slide 7 of 52: While in office, sixth president John Quincy Adams often swam in the Potomac River, and he preferred to do so in the buff. Adams was an early riser, and in his diaries, he wrote of waking at about 4 a.m. and taking a morning dip—nude. Though it sounds risqué now, skinny-dipping was apparently common in the 1800s.

While in office, sixth president John Quincy Adams often swam in the Potomac River, and he preferred to do so in the buff. Adams was an early riser, and in his diaries, he wrote of waking at about 4 a.m. and taking a morning dip—nude. Though it sounds risqué now, skinny-dipping was apparently common in the 1800s.8/52 SLIDES© Philippe Hays/REX/Shutterstock

George Washington grew cannabis

Slide 8 of 52: Before you start thinking the nation's first president was a stoner, you should know that George Washington grew hemp, not marijuana (they both belong to the cannabis family). He cultivated the hemp at his estate in Mount Vernon for industrial uses, like rope- and canvas-making.

Before you start thinking the nation’s first president was a stoner, you should know that George Washington grew hemp, not marijuana (they both belong to the cannabis family). He cultivated the hemp at his estate in Mount Vernon for industrial uses, like rope- and canvas-making. 9/52 SLIDES© Kristian Dowling/AP/REX/Shutterstock

George W. Bush is cousins with Hugh Hefner

Slide 9 of 52: It turns out our 43rd president and the founder of Playboy are distant cousins. More specifically, they're ninth cousins twice removed, sharing the same pair of great-grandparents. Another cousin shared by the two is former presidential candidate John Kerry. Check out these rare, candid photos of U.S. presidents.

It turns out our 43rd president and the founder of Playboy are distant cousins. More specifically, they’re ninth cousins twice removed, sharing the same pair of great-grandparents. Another cousin shared by the two is former presidential candidate John Kerry. Check out these rare, candid photos of U.S. presidents. 10/52 SLIDES© AP/REX/Shutterstock

Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its name

Slide 10 of 52: Though the residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is painted white, it was known as The Executive Mansion and The President's Palace until October 1901, when then-president Theodore Roosevelt referred to it as The White House. The 26th president made the moniker official when he had it engraved on his stationery.

Though the residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is painted white, it was known as The Executive Mansion and The President’s Palace until October 1901, when then-president Theodore Roosevelt referred to it as The White House. The 26th president made the moniker official when he had it engraved on his stationery. 11/52 SLIDES© Chris Barham/Daily Mail/REX/Shutterstock

Warren Harding lost the White House china in a poker game

Slide 11 of 52: Warren Harding, our 29th president, loved a game of poker—and apparently, he was a high roller. During one of his bi-weekly poker games, Harding gambled away a set of china that had been in the White House since President Benjamin Harrison's tenure six terms prior. He bet it all on one ill-advised hand.

Warren Harding, our 29th president, loved a game of poker—and apparently, he was a high roller. During one of his bi-weekly poker games, Harding gambled away a set of china that had been in the White House since President Benjamin Harrison’s tenure six terms prior. He bet it all on one ill-advised hand. 12/52 SLIDES© Mike Hollist/ANL/REX/Shutterstock

Thomas Jefferson kept pet grizzly bears

Slide 12 of 52: During his tenure as our third president, Thomas Jefferson became the happy recipient of a wild gift: a pair of grizzly bear cubs. He kept them in a cage on the front lawn of the White House for a few months before deciding they were too dangerous to keep and bequeathing them to a museum. These are the 13 presidents with the highest IQ scores.

During his tenure as our third president, Thomas Jefferson became the happy recipient of a wild gift: a pair of grizzly bear cubs. He kept them in a cage on the front lawn of the White House for a few months before deciding they were too dangerous to keep and bequeathing them to a museum. These are the 13 presidents with the highest IQ scores. 13/52 SLIDES© MATHEW B. BRADY/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Ulysses S. Grant was arrested for speeding—on a horse

Slide 13 of 52: A noted equestrian, our 18th president was quite confident on a horse—perhaps too confident. While driving his horse and buggy at a furious pace during his presidential tenure, Grant was pulled over twice within the span of 24 hours. The second time, one bold police officer decided to arrest the commander-in-chief, who was ultimately given a fine. Legend has it that the officer and the president eventually became friends.

A noted equestrian, our 18th president was quite confident on a horse—perhaps too confident. While driving his horse and buggy at a furious pace during his presidential tenure, Grant was pulled over twice within the span of 24 hours. The second time, one bold police officer decided to arrest the commander-in-chief, who was ultimately given a fine. Legend has it that the officer and the president eventually became friends. 14/52 SLIDES© AP/REX/Shutterstock

The first White House bowling alley was a birthday present for Harry Truman

Slide 14 of 52: In 1947, 33rd president Harry Truman became responsible for having a bowling alley installed in the West Wing in celebration of his 63rd birthday. He became the first person to ever throw a bowling ball down the White House lane, and one of the seven pins he knocked down is on display at the Smithsonian Institution.

In 1947, 33rd president Harry Truman became responsible for having a bowling alley installed in the West Wing in celebration of his 63rd birthday. He became the first person to ever throw a bowling ball down the White House lane, and one of the seven pins he knocked down is on display at the Smithsonian Institution. 15/52 SLIDES© A.Sontaya/Shutterstock

Bill Clinton is a My Little Pony Expert

Slide 15 of 52: During a segment on the NPR show 'Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!,' 42nd president Bill Clinton was quizzed about the animated movie My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. To the amazement of his hosts, he nailed all three questions and won a prize on behalf of the listener for whom he was playing.

During a segment on the NPR show ‘Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!,’ 42nd president Bill Clinton was quizzed about the animated movie My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. To the amazement of his hosts, he nailed all three questions and won a prize on behalf of the listener for whom he was playing. 16/52 SLIDES© STEWART COOK/REX/Shutterstock

Clint Eastwood was almost Vice President under George H.W. Bush

Slide 16 of 52: While running for office in 1988, then-presidential nominee George Bush was not feeling lucky, so he considered bringing on the 'Dirty Harry' actor to help breathe life into his struggling campaign. Clint Eastwood had been mayor of Carmel, California, but Bush famously chose Dan Quayle as his running mate instead. Here are more things you probably don't know about the vice presidency.

While running for office in 1988, then-presidential nominee George Bush was not feeling lucky, so he considered bringing on the ‘Dirty Harry’ actor to help breathe life into his struggling campaign. Clint Eastwood had been mayor of Carmel, California, but Bush famously chose Dan Quayle as his running mate instead. Here are more things you probably don’t know about the vice presidency. 17/52 SLIDES© Universal History Archive/REX/Shutterstock

James Garfield could write in Greek with one hand and Latin with the other

Slide 17 of 52: The ambidextrous James Garfield could write in two languages simultaneously: Latin and Greek. He taught both languages while attending the acclaimed Williams College in Massachusetts, where he was later named president before going on to be elected as the 20th president of the United States.

The ambidextrous James Garfield could write in two languages simultaneously: Latin and Greek. He taught both languages while attending the acclaimed Williams College in Massachusetts, where he was later named president before going on to be elected as the 20th president of the United States.18/52 SLIDES© Shutterstock

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to name a woman to his cabinet

Slide 18 of 52: In 1933, our 32nd president became the first one to hire a woman by naming Frances Perkins as secretary of labor in 1933. She had previously worked for him when he was governor of New York.

In 1933, our 32nd president became the first one to hire a woman by naming Frances Perkins as secretary of labor in 1933. She had previously worked for him when he was governor of New York. 19/52 SLIDES© Historia/REX/Shutterstock

Abraham Lincoln allowed seances in the White House

Slide 19 of 52: First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln reportedly invited mediums to the White House to call on departed spirits through seances during Abraham Lincoln's tenure. While there's no definitive evidence, the president was said to have attended some of the events. He was also thought to believe in the occult to an extent.

First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln reportedly invited mediums to the White House to call on departed spirits through seances during Abraham Lincoln’s tenure. While there’s no definitive evidence, the president was said to have attended some of the events. He was also thought to believe in the occult to an extent. 20/52 SLIDES© Zick Jochen/action press/REX/Shutterstock

Three presidents are Grammy winners

Slide 20 of 52: It may sound odd, but Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Jimmy Carter have each won a Grammy. No, they're not singers or songwriters, but they did nab prizes for Best Spoken Word Album for the audio versions of their biographies. Check out more impressive hidden talents of U.S. presidents.

It may sound odd, but Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Jimmy Carter have each won a Grammy. No, they’re not singers or songwriters, but they did nab prizes for Best Spoken Word Album for the audio versions of their biographies. Check out more impressive hidden talents of U.S. presidents. 21/52 SLIDES© Universal History Archive/UIG/REX/Shutterstock

George Washington’s teeth were made of something more disturbing than wood

Slide 21 of 52: It's a popular misconception that our first president's teeth were made of wood. In fact, they were made of something even more horrifying: other people's teeth—likely those of slaves or impoverished people. The dentures apparently also contained ivory.

It’s a popular misconception that our first president’s teeth were made of wood. In fact, they were made of something even more horrifying: other people’s teeth—likely those of slaves or impoverished people. The dentures apparently also contained ivory. 22/52 SLIDES© Universal History Archive/UIG/REX/Shutterstock

Two rival presidents died on the exact same day

Slide 22 of 52: Thought friendly in their personal lives, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were political competitors. On his deathbed, Adams is believed to have uttered, 'Thomas Jefferson still survives,' in a final act of rivalry. Little did he know that Jefferson had actual died hours earlier.

Thought friendly in their personal lives, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were political competitors. On his deathbed, Adams is believed to have uttered, ‘Thomas Jefferson still survives,’ in a final act of rivalry. Little did he know that Jefferson had actual died hours earlier. 23/52 SLIDES© Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/REX/Shutterstock

America’s eighth president was the first to be born stateside

Slide 23 of 52: There were seven official U.S. presidents before Martin Van Buren, the first president to actually be born in the states, took office. Van Buren was the eighth U.S. president. In fairness, the United States was not even founded until 1776, two years before George Washington took office, but facts are facts. Don't miss these presidential trivia facts that simply aren't true.

There were seven official U.S. presidents before Martin Van Buren, the first president to actually be born in the states, took office. Van Buren was the eighth U.S. president. In fairness, the United States was not even founded until 1776, two years before George Washington took office, but facts are facts. Don’t miss these presidential trivia facts that simply aren’t true. 24/52 SLIDES© Historia/REX/Shutterstock

Two of 10th President Tyler’s grandchildren are still alive

Slide 24 of 52: How is it possible that two grandchildren of our nation's 10th president, born one year after George Washington took office and elected to office himself in 1841, are still alive as of this story's publication in 2019? The president was 75 when his last child was born in 1928, and the two living grandsons are descendants of that son.

How is it possible that two grandchildren of our nation’s 10th president, born one year after George Washington took office and elected to office himself in 1841, are still alive as of this story’s publication in 2019? The president was 75 when his last child was born in 1928, and the two living grandsons are descendants of that son. 25/52 SLIDES© Nara Archives/REX/Shutterstock

No one could dance in the White House during James Polk’s tenure

Slide 25 of 52: The wife of 11th president James Polk was a strict Presbyterian and looked down upon dancing, so it was banned in the White House while her husband was in office and at the Inaugural Ball. She also disapproved of horse racing and the theater. Here are 14 of the most gorgeous inaugural gowns worn by First Ladies.

The wife of 11th president James Polk was a strict Presbyterian and looked down upon dancing, so it was banned in the White House while her husband was in office and at the Inaugural Ball. She also disapproved of horse racing and the theater. Here are 14 of the most gorgeous inaugural gowns worn by First Ladies. 26/52 SLIDES© F A Archive/REX/Shutterstock

Ulysses S. Grant’s middle initial stood for nothing

Slide 26 of 52: You might know who is buried in Grant's tomb, but do you know what his middle initial stood for? Well, neither did he. Apparently, it came from a typo on his application to West Point.

You might know who is buried in Grant’s tomb, but do you know what his middle initial stood for? Well, neither did he. Apparently, it came from a typo on his application to West Point.27/52 SLIDES© Universal History Archive/UIG/REX/Shutterstock

Rutherford B. Hayes was the first American to own a Siamese cat

Slide 27 of 52: The First Cat during Hayes's presidency was literally the first cat—as in the first Siamese cat to be owned by a U.S. citizen. She was a gift to the president and First Lady. They originally named her Miss Pussy, but eventually simplified things by calling the cat Siam. Check out these funny words that were made up by U.S. presidents.

The First Cat during Hayes’s presidency was literally the first cat—as in the first Siamese cat to be owned by a U.S. citizen. She was a gift to the president and First Lady. They originally named her Miss Pussy, but eventually simplified things by calling the cat Siam. Check out these funny words that were made up by U.S. presidents.28/52 SLIDES© Historia/REX/Shutterstock

James Garfield’s spine was on display at a museum

Slide 28 of 52: At the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington D.C., the spine of President Garfield was displayed along with other medical oddities in 2000. A bullet hole from his 1881 assassination is clearly visible.

At the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington D.C., the spine of President Garfield was displayed along with other medical oddities in 2000. A bullet hole from his 1881 assassination is clearly visible. 29/52 SLIDES© Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/REX/Shutterstock

Chester Arthur held a White House yard sale to finance a redecorating project

Slide 29 of 52: In what was probably the first White House yard sale, the 21st president sold two dozen wagon loads of presidential merchandise including a pair of Abraham Lincoln's pants and John Quincy Adams' hat. He then used the money to hire an interior decorator. Don't miss these hilarious quotes from past presidents.

In what was probably the first White House yard sale, the 21st president sold two dozen wagon loads of presidential merchandise including a pair of Abraham Lincoln’s pants and John Quincy Adams’ hat. He then used the money to hire an interior decorator. Don’t miss these hilarious quotes from past presidents. 30/52 SLIDES© Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/REX/Shutterstock

William McKinley’s red carnation might have saved his life

Slide 30 of 52: The 25th president was known for wearing a red carnation on his lapel for good luck. The boutonniere probably was a good luck charm after all. While greeting a little girl at an event in 1901, he decided to give his lucky flower to her. Moments later, he was assassinated.

The 25th president was known for wearing a red carnation on his lapel for good luck. The boutonniere probably was a good luck charm after all. While greeting a little girl at an event in 1901, he decided to give his lucky flower to her. Moments later, he was assassinated. 31/52 SLIDES© Nara Archives/REX/Shutterstock

Herbert Hoover had his own sport

Slide 31 of 52: To keep our 31st president fit, his physician invented a sport that was later called Hoover-ball while Herbert Hoover was in office. It's a combination of tennis and volleyball and uses a medicine ball. The sport is still played competitively in Hoover's hometown of West Branch, Iowa.

To keep our 31st president fit, his physician invented a sport that was later called Hoover-ball while Herbert Hoover was in office. It’s a combination of tennis and volleyball and uses a medicine ball. The sport is still played competitively in Hoover’s hometown of West Branch, Iowa. 32/52 SLIDES© James Gray/ANL/REX/Shutterstock

Dwight Eisenhower ordered the assassination of squirrels

Slide 32 of 52: Our 34th president, an avid golfer, got sick and tired of squirrels messing up his game by digging up the green to bury their acorns. He ordered his valet to shoot the rodents, but the Secret Service forbade the use of guns on the White House grounds, so groundkeepers trapped and released the animals instead. Check out these other things presidents have tried to have banned from the White House.

Our 34th president, an avid golfer, got sick and tired of squirrels messing up his game by digging up the green to bury their acorns. He ordered his valet to shoot the rodents, but the Secret Service forbade the use of guns on the White House grounds, so groundkeepers trapped and released the animals instead. Check out these other things presidents have tried to have banned from the White House. 33/52 SLIDES© REX/Shutterstock

Four presidents were cheerleaders

Slide 33 of 52: What did Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, Franklin Roosevelt, and George W. Bush have in common? They all served as cheerleaders either in high school or college. Talk about squad goals!

What did Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, Franklin Roosevelt, and George W. Bush have in common? They all served as cheerleaders either in high school or college. Talk about squad goals! 34/52 SLIDES© Historia/REX/Shutterstock

Ronald Reagan did standup comedy

Franklin Roosevelt wore dresses as a child

Jimmy Carter believed in UFOs

Abraham Lincoln was a licensed bartender

John Adams named his dog ‘Satan’

We had a 24-hour president

Ever hear of President David Rice Atchison? If the answer is no, that’s probably because he was only ‘president’ for a day. In 1849, the inauguration of Zachary Taylor landed on a Sunday, and the religious incumbent refused to be sworn in on a holy day. He had Atchison stand in for him.

Presidents’ Day is technically called Washington’s Birthday

Presidents’ Day has a more complex history than one would think. After George Washington died in 1799, his supporters recognized his birthday as a day of remembrance. In 1885, his birthday became a federal holiday for the whole country. Later, in 1968, a new bill made certain federal holidays on Mondays and combined birthday celebrations for Washington and Lincoln for a ‘Presidents’ Day.’ According to the United States Code, however, that holiday is technically still called Washington’s Birthday and never officially changed to Presidents’ Day. Federal code permits local governments and private businesses to name federal holidays whatever they want, so most states call it Presidents’ Day.

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February 28 2019

Diseases and such we can catch from our pets

Vets reveal the most dangerous diseases pets can give you

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/vets-reveal-the-most-dangerous-diseases-pets-can-give-you/ss-BBTuiZr?ocid=spartandhp&fullscreen=true#image=1

Pets are one of life’s great joys. According to the National Institutes of Health, some 68 percent of American households have a pet, and their benefits are countless, from getting active to boosting mood. But as wonderful as our furry (or scaly, or feathered) friends are, there are certain health risks that come with having an animal in your home.

“Zoonotic diseases (zoonoses) are those that can be transmitted between animals and people,” explains Christa Gallagher, BSC, DVM, an assistant professor of public health and epidemiology at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. “Animals, whether wild or domesticated, can transmit harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi to humans.”

But talking to your veterinarian about possible disease transmission can help you avoid the risks. Diseases from pets can be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids, touching and/or petting, through bites and scratches, inhalation, and through mosquitos, ticks, and fleas, Dr. Gallagher says. Very young children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are particularly at high risk. Here are 15 diseases you can get from your pet.2/16 SLIDES© Lightspruch – Getty Images

Toxoplasmosis

Tigger, my cat

“Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma Gondii) is a parasitic infection in which cats are the main source of infection,” explains Dr. Gallagher. While healthy people don’t typically contract the disease, it can cause serious health complications for pregnant women and immunocompromised people. Be sure to change the cat litter frequently (once a day if anyone has a weakened immune system in the house), and thoroughly wash your hands afterward. Pregnant women should avoid changing the cat litter altogether. Keeping your cat indoors will also help prevent them from contracting it.

Symptoms in pets: Cats don’t typically show symptoms of toxoplasmosis. Kittens, who are more vulnerable, may get diarrhea.

Symptoms in humans: Healthy people often won’t show any symptoms, and the CDC estimates that some 40 million people may be living with toxoplasmosis. Some people will have flu-like symptoms, including swollen lymph nodes or enduring muscle aches. 3/16 SLIDES© AleksandarNakic – Getty Images

Rabies

While it’s unlikely that you’ll contract rabies from your pet (it’s most commonly contracted from wild animals like raccoons and bats), it’s within the realm of possibility since it is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal. “The disease is most commonly contracted through a bite, although potentially it could be transmitted through a scratch as well,” says Gary Richter, MS, DVM, a veterinary health expert with Rover.com. “Although human exposure to rabies from a dog is uncommon, it’s worth noting since rabies is almost 100 percent fatal if the person is not treated immediately after exposure.” The best way to prevent it is to keep your pet up-to-date with their vaccines.

Symptoms in pets: Foaming at the mouth is the most common sign of rabies, but other symptoms could include behavioral changes, fever, hypersensitivity to touch, light, and sound, hiding in dark places, staggering, loss of appetite, and seizures.

Symptoms in humans: According to the CDC, preliminary symptoms can include fever, headache, and weakness, but as it progresses and infects the central nervous system, you can experience insomnia, anxiety, confusion, partial paralysis, and hallucinations.4/16 SLIDES© BraunS – Getty Images

Salmonella

Turtle

You’re probably aware that you can get salmonella from raw or undercooked poultry, but did you know you can get it from your pets? “This infection can also be caused by the bacteria that live on the skin of pet reptiles,” warns Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in Los Angeles. Jory D. Lange Jr, a food safety lawyer, also says they have seen cases of pet hedgehogs, backyard chickens, and dog food causing salmonella outbreaks.

To avoid it, wash your hands well after handling reptiles, especially after feeding them. Be sure to also clean pet toys and bedding outside.

Symptoms in pets: Reptiles don’t typically present with symptoms of salmonella, says Dr. Shainhouse.

Symptoms in humans: Fever, headache, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and chills are common symptoms in humans, according to Dr. Shainhouse.5/16 SLIDES© rhyman007 – Getty Images

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a bacteria that is shed in the urine of infected animals. Our pets can contract this infection from ground water that is contaminated by infected wildlife. Though this infection does require contact with infected urine, it’s much easier than you may think to inadvertently come in contact with your pet’s urine,” says Johanna Reel, NHV Natural Pet’s in-house registered veterinary technician. Get your pet vaccinated against the disease, and don’t swim in water that may be contaminated with animal urine.

Symptoms in pets: Some animals won’t show signs of leptospirosis, while others may have fever, vomiting, diarrhea, refusal to eat, depression, infertility, and other symptoms.

Symptoms in humans: Some people with leptospirosis won’t have any symptoms, while others may have high fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, or other symptoms. According to the CDC, if you recover from a first phase of symptoms and become more severely ill a second time, it could be a sign of meningitis or kidney or liver failure.6/16 SLIDES© rsmseymour – Getty Images

Toxocariasis

My cat Tigger and his baby

Most commonly contracted from the feces of dogs but sometimes from cats, toxocariasis is a parasitic disease from the larvae of toxocara roundworms. Dr. Shainhouse says, “Be careful to use gloves or a plastic bag or shovel to clean up doggy poop, and wash your hands well afterward.”

Symptoms in pets: Diarrhea, vomiting, bloody stool, worms seen in the stool

Symptoms in humans: “Humans contract roundworm infections by oral-fecal transmission, but the worms tend to end up in the lungs, which can present as shortness of breath and hives/itch, abdominal pain, bloody stool,” explains Dr. Shainhouse.7/16 SLIDES© bluecinema – Getty Images

Tapeworm

“While you can contract this by eating undercooked pork, you can also contract this from an infected pet,” explains Dr. Shainhouse. It is contracted via oral-fecal transmission through direct contact with pet stool (which is more common than you may think). You can prevent contracting tapeworm by handling animal feces with gloves or a shovel, and washing your hands thoroughly.

Symptoms in pets: According to Dr. Shainhouse, abdominal pain, diarrhea, rice-like pieces in the stool, fatigue, hunger or loss of appetite, and longer worms in vomit are signs of tapeworm. She says that pets with tapeworm also often drag their bottoms along the ground.

Symptoms in humans: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, rice-like pieces in the stool, fatigue, hunger or loss of appetite.8/16 SLIDES© PavelRodimov – Getty Images

Ringworm

“Ringworm, which is a fungal disease (despite the deceptive name), grows on hair follicles. It is transmitted through direct contact,” explains Dr. Richter. Cleaning your pet’s bedding regularly, frequently washing your hands, vacuuming, and disinfecting are your best bets for avoiding ringworm.

Symptoms in pets: Animals get the same circular lesion as humans, but it can be difficult to see under their fur so look out for signs like red lesions, crusty skin, and patchy hair.

Symptoms in humans: Ringworm in humans is usually easy to spot thanks to the telltale ring-shaped rash that is often red and itchy. 9/16 SLIDES© SilviaJansen – Getty Images

Cat scratch disease

“This bacterial infection is caused by Bartonella henselae, which is carried by kittens. It is transmitted to humans via a scratch from the infected animal,” explains Dr. Shainhouse. According to the CDC, 30 to 40 percent of adopted shelter cats have documented cases of cat scratch fever. People with weakened immune systems are at higher risk, so they may want to hold off getting a kitten less than a year old, since they’re more likely to get the infection. If you do get scratched, wash the area immediately.

Symptoms in pets: Cats usually don’t show any symptoms but in some cases may have a fever, and in rare cases, may have labored breathing, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes, red eyes, and/or decreased appetite. And despite the name, dogs can also get cat scratch fever and may show signs of fever, arrhythmia, and inflammation of the heart (endocarditis).

Symptoms in humans: Cat scratch fever is often contracted by kids who can show symptoms like fever and enlarged lymph nodes. 10/16 SLIDES© Bogdanhoda – Getty Images

Giardia

My dog Aurora

“Pets can also pass some parasites on to their humans,” says Dr. Reel. “Giardia is a common intestinal parasitic microorganism, which causes severe gastrointestinal symptoms. This parasite can be spread through contact with contaminated water or contact with infected fecal matter.

Symptoms in pets: Painful gas, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting are common.

Symptoms in humans: Painful gas, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting are some of the common symptoms in humans as well.11/16 SLIDES© MRBIG_PHOTOGRAPHY – Getty Images

Pet scabies (mange)

Not to be confused with human scabies, pet scabies can’t truly be spread to humans, but can cause some discomfort. “In pet scabies, the animal is the only viable host for the mite, meaning the mite only lives on the pet,” explains Dr. Shainhouse. “However, the mite can jump off of the pet, bite the human owner, then jump back home (aka, the pet’s skin).” The best way to protect you and your dog is to avoid having your dog around other animals that have it.

Symptoms in pets: Pet scabies can affect your pet-typically dogs-with severe itching, rash, blisters, and sores.

Symptoms in humans: Temporary itching and skin irritation.12/16 SLIDES© Photology1971 – Getty Images

Campylobacteriosis

Camp-what? The name may be hard to pronounce, but the CDC estimates that Campylobacter is the top cause of bacterial diarrheal illness in the country. Though it’s typically contracted from raw or undercooked poultry, pets can also spread it. “Campylobacteriosis is a bacterial disease cause by Campylobacter species. Fecal-oral transmission can result in gastrointestinal symptoms in most healthy persons. More serious infections can occur if a person is very young, elderly, or immunocompromised,” says Dr. Gallagher.

That’s why it’s important to wash your hands frequently, especially if you come in contact with animal feces.

Symptoms in pets: Most common in puppies younger than six months old. Fever, vomiting, and enlarged lymph nodes are possible symptoms in your dog.

Symptoms in humans: Severe, often bloody diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps are the top symptoms.13/16 SLIDES© suprun – Getty Images

Myobacterium marinum

Although our furry friends get the brunt of the diseases that can be passed on to humans, our scaled sidekicks aren’t without their possible infections. Mycobacterium Marinum grows in fish tanks and can be spread to humans. “It is commonly seen in people who put their ungloved hands into fish tanks (like when you clean out your pet’s tank),” explains Dr. Shainhouse. So be sure to wear gloves when scooping out fish and cleaning the fish tank.

Symptoms in humans: Red bumps or sores on the hand or finger that can spread to the arm. Symptoms can also include low-grade fevers.14/16 SLIDES© Chalabala – Getty Images

Hookworms

My dog Snoopy

Yet another canine parasite, hookworms suck on the intestinal lining of dogs. The eggs in the pet feces could transfer through the skin if you come in contact with it. Thoroughly washing your hands will go a long way, especially after curbing your dog.

Symptoms in pets: Diarrhea, weight loss

Symptoms in humans: People often show no symptoms but can come down with loss of appetite, anemia, cough, wheezing, or rash.15/16 SLIDES© PeopleImages – Getty Images

Cellulitis

“Dog and cat bites that pierce human skin can cause severe skin infection and cellulitis if not treated immediately,” warns Dr. Shainhouse. “Cats’ mouths carry Pasturella multocida, while dogs carry Staphylococcus, Streptomyces and Capnocytophaga sp.” Avoid rough play with your pets or other animals that might result in them taking an unintentional nibble of your skin.

Symptoms in pets: None.

Symptoms in humans: Bite mark and severe skin infection. 16/16 SLIDES© narin_nonthamand – Getty Images

Irritant contact dermatitis

Though it’s not totally a disease, contact dermatitis is an irritating side effect of having pets for some people. “Pet kisses may be a sign of affection or loyalty, but it can cause skin irritation in humans,” says Dr. Shainhouse.

“If you are crazy enough to have a pet tarantula, know that they are not soft and fuzzy. Their ‘fur’ is actually spines that can be shed as protection when they are afraid or in fighting mode. These spines can prickle your skin and cause an irritant dermatitis.”

Take preventative measures especially if you have sensitive skin, like washing up after getting licked by your pet to prevent a rash.

Symptoms in pets: None

Symptoms in humans: Skin irritation, rash, and itchiness.Vets reveal the most dangerous diseases pets can give you Pets are one of life’s great joys. According to the National Institutes of Health, some 68 percent of American households have a pet, and their benefits are countless, from getting active to boosting mood. But as wonderful as our furry (or scaly, or feathered) friends are, there are certain health risks that come with having an animal in your home.

February 25 2019

Nocturnal hypoglycemia

Thanks to the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), it is now well recognized that intensive glycemic control can reduce the risk of diabetes complications. Despite this knowledge, one of the biggest barriers in reaching glycemic targets is the increased risk of hypoglycemia that comes with tighter blood glucose control.

Hypoglycemia is often reported to be one of the most feared complications of diabetes. With nocturnal hypoglycemia being especially worrisome for those who live alone or travel alone. It can also be concerning (not to mention disruptive) for a significant other that you share a bed with.

What is nocturnal hypoglycemia?

  • Nocturnal hypoglycemia is low blood sugar that occurs overnight while you are asleep. It is common to sleep through a low blood sugar when it occurs during sleep.

How common is nocturnal hypoglycemia?

  • According to a journal article from Medscape General Medicine:
      • During the DCCT 43 percent of all hypoglycemia episodes and 55 percent of severe [hypoglycemic] episodes reported occurred during sleep. Incidence rates vary from 12 to 56 percent, however, because 49 to 100 percent of episodes occur without symptoms the actual incidence may be much higher.1 

Why is nocturnal hypoglycemia concerning?

  • Nocturnal hypoglycemia can be especially dangerous because an individual is unlikely to recognize symptoms or wake up during an episode.
  • Undetected nocturnal hypoglycemia is a risk factor for hypoglycemia unawareness:
    • Hypoglycemia unawareness is low blood glucose that occurs without symptoms, therefore, the person is unaware of the drop in their blood glucose, ultimately delaying treatment.
  • Nocturnal hypoglycemia may also result in physical injury, poor quality of life and possibly impairment in cognitive function.
  • Severe hypoglycemia can cause seizures and unconsciousness, requiring emergency care.

Why does low blood glucose go undetected at night?

  • When low blood glucose occurs counterregulatory hormones (such as glucagon and epinephrine) are released to raise blood glucose. The release of these hormones provides the initial symptoms (shaking, sweating, rapid heartbeat, etc.) that an individual may feel when their blood glucose is low. Such symptoms will likely trigger an individual to treat low blood glucose.
  • However, while asleep such symptoms/signals are suppressed and/or go unnoticed.
  • There is also evidence that the release of counterregulatory hormones is suppressed to some extent during sleep.

What increases the risk of nocturnal hypoglycemia?

  • Any of the following medications may cause hypoglycemia (including nocturnal hypoglycemia):
    • Insulin
    • Sulfonylureas
      • (Diabeta, Micronase, Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL, Amaryl, Glynase)
    • Meglitinides
      • (Prandin, Starlix)
    • Exercise (especially if exercise was longer or more intense than usual)
    • Alcohol (especially if consumed before bed)
    • Low blood glucose in the past 24 hours

Signs and symptoms of nocturnal hypoglycemia:

  • Vivid dreams or nightmares
  • Restless sleep
  • Morning headache
  • Night Sweats
  • Mood changes
  • Fatigue
  • Convulsions

Prevention of nocturnal hypoglycemia:

    • Check your blood glucose before going to bed.
      • Discuss with your health care provider a safe blood glucose target for bedtime.
      • Many people feel comfortable if their blood glucose is at least 100 mg/dL before going to sleep.
    • If your blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dL (discuss a blood glucose target for bedtime with your health care provider) eat at low to moderate glycemic index snack before going to bed
      • Whole wheat bread with peanut butter or whole grain crackers with a slice of cheese
  • If you were more active than usual, consumed alcohol in the evening, or had low blood glucose during the day, set an alarm to check your blood glucose at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. in the morning.
  • If you currently take the intermediate-acting insulin, NPH, speak with your health care provider about switching to long-acting insulin such as Lantus, Levemir, or Tresiba. Long-acting insulin has a flat action profile and does not have variable peaks (like NPH does) therefore the risk of nocturnal hypoglycemia is reduced.
  • If you have a history of nocturnal hypoglycemia, hypoglycemia unawareness or have experienced severe low blood glucose, a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) may be helpful.
    • A CGM may also be beneficial if you live alone or travel alone as you can set an alarm for when your blood glucose drops below a set threshold (i.e. <70 mg/dL).

*Insurance coverage can be a challenge*

Treatment of nocturnal hypoglycemia:

  • If you are woken up by low blood glucose, first check your blood glucose to confirm it is low (<70 mg/dL).
  • Treat low blood glucose with quick acting carbs such as juice (4 ounces) or glucose tablets (3 to 4 tablets).
  • Retest blood glucose in 15 minutes. If blood glucose remains below 70 mg/dL, repeat the above treatment.
  • Once your blood glucose is above 70 mg/dL, if your typical breakfast time is still several hours away have a small snack that includes both a carb and a protein, such as a peanut butter crackers.
  • Make sure to discuss with your health care provider specifics on how he/she would like you to manage/treat nocturnal hypoglycemia.
  • If you take insulin to speak with your health care provider about getting a prescription for emergency Glucagon.

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February 21 2019

Microbiome Food Information

The Ultimate Microbiome Diet Guide and Food List

By Sasha Brown

Microbiome

It comes as no surprise that the second someone decides to lose weight; their immediate response is the dreaded diet. Diets don’t have to make you miserable, and you don’t have to suffer through cutting out all of your favorite foods. There has to be a point where enough is enough and you lose weight while not losing your sanity along the way! The many organisms in your gut form their own ecosystem known as the microbiome. By understanding this microbiome, you can understand a more efficient way to lose weight. A healthy gut diet will give you the results you so badly want. The best part about this diet is that it is easily doable. Anyone can use the microbiome diet to further their weight loss needs.

Learn the Power of Balance

A balanced microbiome can be the difference between losing a lot of weight, or gaining it. Good bacteria thrive in your microbiome. If you have an imbalanced microbiome it will push you to crave sugary and unhealthy fats. This will eventually slow down your metabolism and cause you to become hungry faster than usual. A balanced microbiome causes you to crave healthy foods and become hungry at meal appropriate times. The key to obtaining a balanced microbiome lies within a clean gut diet. This diet will help eliminate gut inflammation which can lead directly to weight loss. Phase 1 of a microbiome diet focuses on eliminating the foods that are disrupting your intestinal track and slowing the growth of good gut bacteria. Having a healthy gut diet alone can restore your gut flora and significantly increase the number of good bacteria in your microbiome.

The Come and Go

Chicken

There will be foods you are used to having that will have to be taken out of your diet. There will also be additions to your diet that you will need to make. You will need to avoid processed foods, sugar, eggs, soy, dried fruits, and starchy vegetables. All of these foods feed the bad gut bacteria. It is very important to avoid foods high in starch. Most non-starchy fruits and vegetables are free game. You can still eat all your favorite beef and chicken dishes, as these proteins are not off limits. To ensure the growth of the good bacteria in your stomach it is suggested that you begin taking bacteria promoting supplements like prebiotics and probiotics. If supplements aren’t your thing, you can even choose a probiotic diet plan. The best news is that this clean gut diet allows you to still enjoy your coffee, beer, and wine!

A Diet You Can Snack On

Yoghurt

There are numerous foods out there that can have a positive benefit on your good gut bacteria, but there are some that are better than others. Focusing on foods that are high in prebiotics and probiotics will not only restore gut flora, but promote the growth of good bacteria in the stomach. Most diet plans tell you to avoid snacking, but a healthy gut diet promotes it. Snacking on foods such as yogurt, bananas, pickles, or cultured veggies will actually be beneficial to gut bacteria and weight loss. The bacteria within the probiotic foods will significantly increase the speed at which your good gut bacteria grows.

Bacteria

Your gut is lined with different types of bacteria, and some of these are good gut bacteria. The majority of the cells within your digestive tract are bacterial. The bacteria are responsible for digesting your food. These intestinal organisms even control your metabolism and can influence your mood. Gut bacteria and weight loss go hand in hand. The more good gut bacteria you have, the more weight you will lose. A clean gut diet will work wonders in your weight loss endeavors. The bacteria produce essential vitamins and nutrients that allow your body to stay nourished. The good bacteria play a huge role in your overall health. They allow for efficient digestion, absorption of nutrients, overall well-being, and of course weight loss. Probiotic foods are some of the best you can consume, because they are already filled with live bacteria that help promote digestion.

Not Your Traditional Diet

A clean gut diet allows you to step away from the traditional diet ways. You will no longer have to worry about calorie counting or tracking your portion sizes. Talk about freedom! By doing this you are able to rely on your body’s own sense of hunger and intuitive eating. Dieting usually comes along with stress, but stress inhibits weight loss. The good gut diet allows you to eliminate two major stressors; calorie counting and portion control. The microbiome diet gives you the personal freedoms that other diets lack, but also gives you results. Fermented foods are welcomed and actually recommended, which means beer is not off limits!

You Will See Results

Weight loss

Eating superfoods, foods high in polyphenols and low in lectins, will allow you to begin seeing results. Lucky for you, dark chocolate and cocoa powder are polyphenol-rich! The clean gut diet not only gives you weight loss results, but you will end up feeling better in general. You will no longer be held back by fatigue. In fact, you will feel rejuvenated and motivated to do things that you may have resisted before embarking on the clean gut diet. Your sleep patterns will even improve, leaving you feeling great. The good bacteria in your stomach will also help restore gut flora. Not only will you regain balance to your life, but your microbiome will regain balance.

Encourage Diversity

You don’t have to feel trapped with this diet because there are so many foods that aren’t off limits. In fact, eating diverse foods will actually diversify your microbiome. This will allow the good gut bacteria to thrive and continue to multiply. The diverse diet will also help fight against disease. A more diverse microbiome is actually associated with leanness. Not only can you consume lots of different foods, but it will have a beneficial effect on your overall health. Talk about a win-win situation.

A Diet That Ensures Results Without A Treadmill

There is finally a diet that ensures you will lose weight and become healthier, all without extreme exercise. Simply by removing the foods that cause inflammation and disrupt your good gut bacteria, you will restore the balance of the microbiome. The balanced microbiome alone will restore health and balance to your digestive system. This balance helps promote and initiate weight loss. Exercise is always a great way to stay healthy and in shape, but it is not the main focus with a healthy gut diet.

Your Metabolism Will Be Restored

Weight loss is very dependent upon your metabolism and how your body metabolizes foods. Metabolism is the process in which your body converts what you consume into energy. If your gut is lined with good gut bacteria, your body will be able to metabolize your food more efficiently. This results in less stored fat cells. Once you have restored your metabolism, this will automatically lead to healthy weight loss. It is important to follow the clean gut diet in order to restore the balance in your microbiome.

Give Yourself Enough Time For Meals

A huge part of getting your gut back in shape is a good consciousness. Your gut is your second brain, and what affects your mind also effects it. An unbalanced microbiome can cause you to feel anxious, nervous, tired or depressed. It is important that you not only eat foods that align with a clean gut diet, but also get into a state of meditation prior to eating. You can do this by removing stressors like stressful people or conversations. If you are in a stressful environment it is likely that you will eat your food faster. This will cause the good gut bacteria in your stomach to struggle to digest your food, and in turn, throw your microbiome off balance. You need to plan ahead and make sure that you have enough time to patiently eat your meal without rushing through it.

https://howtonight.com/microbiome-diet-guide-and-food-list/The microbiome is a key to weight loss success. If you can follow the few simple steps to restore good bacteria in your stomach, then you will be able to mark down your weight loss as a success. The good news is that gut bacteria respond very quickly to a change in diet, so you will begin to see and feel changes more quickly than other diets. The average lifespan of a bacterium in your microbiome is only 20 minutes. Each time you eat you have the chance to take steps into promoting your gut health. Don’t let a couple minor setbacks hinder you from moving forward. By following a probiotic diet plan, consuming prebiotic foods, or foods high in polyphenols and low in lectins, you will be sure to create an environment that the good gut bacteria will thrive on. A balanced microbiome will give you weight loss results, and make you happier while doing this.

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February 21 2019

Mental Health Info

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is the range of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that impact one’s wellbeing. Just like physical health, mental health is important for daily functioning. Difficulties with mental health can impact a variety of factors in one’s life, from relationships, to education, employment, recreation, motivation, and personal enjoyment.

There is no definition of optimal mental health. The range of what is most healthy for a single individual can vary based on circumstances, culture, family upbringing, personality, and preference. There are, however, definitions of mental health conditions that cause an individual significant stress or impairment in daily functioning. These mental health disorders are classified according to symptoms. A diagnosable mental health condition/disorder requires meeting criteria as observed by a licensed professional.

Prevalence of mental health conditions

Mental disorders occur across the world. They are not unique to any nation, group, or culture, though some populations have higher prevalence and incidence rates of specific disorders than others. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, for 2015 in the Unites States, approximately 43.4 million adults age 18 or older had any mental illness, 9.8 million adults had a serious mental illness, and 13% of children (age 8-15 years) had a diagnosable mental disorder.

Cause of mental health conditions

What causes mental health disorders is a difficult question. For many mental health conditions, genetic and biological factors interact with life circumstances to trigger onset. The range of life circumstances that can lead to mental health difficulties includes negative life events, exposure to violence, sexual and physical abuse, trauma, low stress tolerance, financial hardship, belonging to a minority or discriminated against group, displacement, and living with a physical disease or chronic illness. Not all individuals who undergo such circumstances develop mental health conditions, however a percentage of vulnerable individuals will.

Common mental health conditions

Some of the more common categories and diagnoses of mental health conditions are:

Major Depressive Disorder:

Characterized by persistent low moods and feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. Often accompanied by sleep disturbance.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

Episodes of frequent, intense, and overwhelming anxiety.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

A chronic condition where people perform repetitive behaviors (compulsions) in response to continuous and uncontrollable thoughts or urges (obsessions).

Eating Disorders:

Includes anorexia nervosa (an obsessive desire to lose weight by food avoidance and/or compulsive exercise), bulimia nervosa (periods of excessive eating followed by efforts to avoid weight gain) and binge-eating disorder (frequent episode of loss of control over eating, generally resulting in high weight gain).

Schizophrenia Spectrum and Psychotic disorders:

A group of chronic conditions characterized by an impaired ability to discern reality. Audible and visual hallucinations are a hallmark characteristic. Abnormal movement and fragmented speech are also common.

Bipolar Disorder:

Separated into type 1 and 2, bipolar disorder involves a fluctuation between extremes of elevated and depressed moods.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:

A syndrome caused by singular, ongoing, or early trauma or witnessing violence that causes significant impairment, recurrent thoughts of the trauma, and difficulty coping and performing daily tasks.

Insomnia and hypersomnia:

Characterized by disturbances in sleep and waking cycles, either in difficulty falling or remaining asleep, or in sleeping too much.

Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders:

A dependence or addiction to specific substances, as well as behavior like gambling.

Personality Disorders:

A group of diagnoses characterized by inflexible and lasting personality styles. The personality causes impairment in significant areas of functioning.

In addition to those listed, there are also dissociative, somatic symptom, elimination, sexual dysfunction, gender dysphoria, impulse and conduct control, paraphilic, neurodevelopmental and neurocognitive disorders. The categories and specific diagnoses of mental disorders help a practitioner assess and formulate the best treatment approach.

Relationship between physical health and mental health

For those living with a physical health condition, the risk of having difficulties with mental health is heightened. For example, rates of major depressive disorder are significantly higher in individuals suffering from poor health and physical disease than in the general population. The reasons for this can be many: increased difficulty managing the tasks of daily life, increased financial strain, chronic pain, feeling isolated, the loss of ability and/or employment, being stigmatized, low levels of understanding and empathy from others, and the difficulty of medical management. Likewise, the onset of a physical disease can be frightening, distressing, and anxiety provoking. Plans for the future may be altered due to disease, as can relationships to others. Medication for treating illness can also affect thoughts and mood (steroids for controlling inflammation for example), as can the physiological process of some diseases (hypothyroidism for example). If you have a physical health condition, you live with an array of stresses, hardships, and potential variables like medication and the illness itself that can leave you vulnerable to the onset of a mental health condition.

Treatment for mental health

Just as there are treatments for many physical diseases, there are interventions for mental health conditions. Mental Health intervention can include medication, psychotherapy, learning positive coping skills, behavioral change plans, social programs, support groups, or residency in facilities for daily monitoring and increased care. Any of these can be applied in combination.

There is an array of qualified professionals who can begin assessment of a mental health condition and formulate an approach for treatment: medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors (doctoral and masters degree level), and clinical social workers. Every individual responds differently to treatment, and no one intervention works identically for every person. Someone with generalized anxiety disorder for example, may respond well to anti-anxiety medication (anxiolytics), whereas someone else with the same diagnosis may not. Many mental health conditions are treatable and patients show improvement over time. A small percentage of individuals who seek professional help do not respond to intervention. Though there are no “cures” for mental health conditions, there is help.

 

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February 19 2019

Microbiome Info

What is The Microbiome Diet?

This is the first diet of it’s kind, based upon cutting edge scientific breakthroughs to heal and replenish the microbiome.  When the microbiome flourishes so do we, however when it’s out of balance, a state called dysbiosis, our health begins to falter. The Microbiome Diet was created with the specific focus of nourishing friendly, protective bacteria, while pruning species that have overgrown healthy limits. This approach not only improves function through the entire body, it raises the bar on what it means to actually be healthy. Patients frequently report benefits in systems and areas that seem completely disconnected from gut health.  All roads lead to the microbiome and all health stems from a vibrant, thriving ecosystem.

Microbiome Basics

1) As much as 90% of the cells in your body are actually bacterial, not human!

2) The vast majority of species are helpful and necessary for both life and health, including those that may become pathogenic when overgrown.  In the right balance, most strains contribute to the health of the whole. (So let’s maintain balance!)

3) The microbiome produces Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) which are used as a fuel source by cells of the intestine, promote the growth of healthful strains of bacteria, decrease inflammation, improve the immune system, boost brain function, balance mood, and even alleviate anxiety.

4) Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers transmitting information through the brain and body, influencing the way we think and feel, plus they’re made by bacteria!

5) They produce natural antibiotics and vitamins to protect and nourish us.

6) Microbes regulate metabolism.  

7) The immune system and microbiome live together in the intestine and are inextricably intertwined.  The health of one depends on the health of the other.

Microbiome Diet Basics

While we’ll go much deeper into the specifics of The Microbiome Diet in part two, here are some of the basic principles of eating for the overall health of your microbiome.

1) Load up on plant foods that heal your gut and support the microbiome.

2) Avoid foods that are inflammatory and trigger imbalances in the gut microbiome.

3) Consume foods loaded with natural probiotics, which replenish the microbiome.

4) Consume foods containing prebiotic fibers to nourish healing bacteria.

https://kellmancenter.com/2016/11/the-microbiome-diet-101-part-1/5) Certain herbs, spices, and compounds are beneficial and can improve the overall health of both your intestine and bacteria.

February 17 2019

More About Microbiome Diet


The Microbiome and Our Genes

Researchers often speak about the microbiota as the full collection of genes and microbes living within a community, in this case the community that inhabits our guts. According to the University of Utah Genetic Science Learning Center, “the human microbiome (all of our microbes’ genes) can be considered a counterpart to the human genome (all of our genes). The genes in our microbiome outnumber the genes in our genome by about 100 to 1.” (14)

You might have learned in school when you were younger that all human beings actually have very closely related genetic codes, even though we are all so different-looking as a species. What’s amazing is that each of our gut microbiomes is vastly different. One of the most amazing things about the microbiome is how different it can be from one person to another.

Estimates of the human gene catalog show that we have about 22,000 “genes” (as we normally think of them) but a staggering 3.3 million “non-redundant genes” in the human gut microbiome! The diversity among the microbiome of individuals is phenomenal: Individual humans are about 99.9 percent identical to one another in terms of their host genome but usually 80 percent to 90 percent different from one another in terms of the microbiome.

Today, researchers are rapidly working on better understanding the microbiome in order to help prevent, cure or treat symptoms of all sorts of diseases that might stem back to the community living within each of us. DNA-sequencing tools are helping us uncover various bacterial strains and how they might hinder or help the immune system. This effort is part of the Human Microbiome Project, done by the Data Analysis and Coordination Center for the National Institutes of Health. The goal is to “characterize microbial communities found at multiple human body sites and to look for correlations between changes in the microbiome and human health.” (15)

While some bacteria contribute to diseases, many do not. In fact, there are lots of bacterial strains we could benefit from having more of. At the same time, having certain diseases can negatively impact the microbiome, although we still have a lot to learn about how this happens exactly. The more we can come to understand how bacteria in the microbiome affect our genes and predispose us to diseases, the better we can personalize treatment approaches and prevent and manage diseases before they’re life-threatening.


The Microbiome Key Takeaways

  • Microbiota are the trillions of bacterial organisms that live inside our bodies. The  whole community of these bacteria is called the microbiome.
  • Our gut is a central location of the microbiome, where the large majority of bacteria live.
  • Poor gut health is tied to nearly every disease there is in some way, because this is where much of our immune system lives and where inflammation often begins.
  • By improving your diet, eating plenty of anti-inflammatory foods and probiotics, lowering stress, and exercising regularly, you can support your body’s microbiome.

How Else Can You Establish a Strong Microbiome?

1. Avoid Antibiotics as Much as Possible

Antibiotics have been commonly prescribed for over 80 years now, but the problem is that they eliminate good bacteria in addition to cleaning the body of dangerous “germs,” which means they can lower immune function and raise the risk for infections, allergies and diseases. While antibiotics can save lives when they’re truly needed, they’re often overprescribed and misunderstood.

Over time, dangerous bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics, making serious infections harder to fight. (4) Before taking antibiotics or giving them to your children, talk to your doctor about alternative options and the unintended consequences to our microbiomes that can result from taking antibiotics too often and when they aren’t needed.

2. Lower Stress and Exercise More

Stress hinders immune function because your body diverts energy away from fighting off infections and places it on primary concerns that keep your alive — which is one reason why chronic stress can kill your quality of life. When your body thinks it’s facing an immediate danger, you become more susceptible to infections and experience more severe symptoms while also developing higher levels of inflammation.

Stress causes immune compounds known as cytokines to contribute to the inflammatory response that damages healthy cells. Exercise is a natural stress reliever that can help lower inflammation, balance hormones and strengthen the immune system.

3. Add Supplements

Co-enzyme Q10, carotenoids, omega-3 fish oil, selenium and antioxidants (vitamins C, D and E) can help keep free radical damage from disturbing micrbiota gut health.


What Diseases Are Connected to the Microbiome?

The microbiome is a lot like Earth’s ecosystems, meaning as its conditions change, so do the organisms that inhabit it. Microbes interact with one another within the community they live in (our gut), plus they change in concentration depending on their surroundings — which means your diet, lifestyle, use of medications/antibiotics and environment really impact your gut health. At the forefront of how your gut microbiome determines whether or not you’ll deal with various illnesses is inflammation.

Inflammation is the root of most diseases. Studies show that an anti-inflammatory lifestyle is protective over brain neurons, balances hormones, fights the formation of tumors and has mood-enhancing benefits. While you might not think that gut health impacts your mood and energy much, think again. Gut-friendly bacteria can help manage neurotransmitter activity, which makes them natural antidepressants and anti-anxiety organisms. Instead of taking anti-inflammatory medications to manage illnesses like arthritis or heart disease, we’re much better off reducing inflammation in the body.

Poor gut health is tied to dozens of diseases, especially:

  • Autoimmune diseases (arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, Hashimoto’s disease, etc.): Autoimmune disorders develop when the body’s immune system goes awry and attacks its own healthy tissue. Inflammation and autoimmune reactions largely stem from an overactive immune system and poor gut health. Leaky gut syndrome can develop, which results in small openings in the gut lining opening up, releasing particles into the bloodstream and kicking off an autoimmune cascade.
  • Brain disorders/cognitive decline (Alzheimer’s, dementia, etc.): Inflammation is highly correlated with cognitive decline, while an anti-inflammatory lifestyle has been shown to lead to better memory retention, longevity and brain health. We now know there are multiple neuro-chemical and neuro-metabolic pathways between the central nervous system/brain and microbiome/digestive tract that send signals to one another, affecting our memory, thought patterns and reasoning. (5) Differences in our microbial communities might be one of the most important factors in determining if we deal with cognitive disorders in older age.A 2017 study by the University of Pennsylvania also found a relationship between the gut microbiome and the formation of cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs), which can cause stroke and seizures. Researchers observed that in mice, the activation of TLR4, a receptor for lipopolysaccharide (LPS) — a bacterial molecule — on brain endothelial cells by LPS greatly accelerated CCM formation. When mice were then observed in a germ-free environment, CCM formation greatly decreased, illustrating the effects of bad bacteria and the microbiome on cerebral cavernous malformations. (7)
  • Cancer: Many studies have shown a link between gut health and better protection from free radical damage, which causes brain, breast, colon, pancreatic, prostate and stomach cancers. Microbes influence our genes, which means they can either promote inflammation and tumor growth or raise immune function and act as a natural cancer treatment. An anti-inflammatory lifestyle can also help lower serious side effects of cancer treatments (like chemotherapy). (8)
  • Fatigue and joint pain: Certain bacteria within our digestive tracts contribute to deterioration of joints and tissue. Research shows that a healthier gut environment helps lower the risk for joint pain, swelling, and trouble moving in people with osteoarthritis and inflamed joints. Some studies have found that patients with psoriatic arthritis (a type of autoimmune joint disease) have significantly lower levels of certain types of intestinal bacteria and that patients with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to have other strains present. (9)
  • Mood disorders (depression, anxiety): Ever hear of the “gut-brain connection”? Well here’s how it works: Your diet affects your microbiome and neurotransmitter activity, and therefore how you feel, your ability to handle stress and your energy levels. (10) Dietary changes over the last century — including industrial farming, the use of pesticides and herbicides, and the degradation of nutrients in foods — are the primary forces behind growing mental health issues like depression. Low nutrient availability, inflammation and oxidative stress affect the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, which control your moods, ease tension and raise alertness. It’s also a two-way street when it comes to your gut and mood: Poor gut health contributes to mood problems, and high amounts of stress also damage your gut and hormonal balance.A 2017 study illustrated the correlation between gut health and depression. Researchers studied 44 adults with irritable bowel syndrome and mild to moderate anxiety or depression. Half of the group took the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001, and the other was given a placebo. Six weeks after taking probiotics daily, 64 percent of the patients taking the probiotic reported decreased depression. Of the patients taking a placebo, only 32 percent reported decreased depression. (6)
  • Learning disabilities (ADHD, autism): Our bodies are interconnected systems, and everything we put in them, expose them to or do to them affects the whole person, including their growth, development and mental capabilities. ADHD and other learning disabilities have been tied to poor gut health, especially in infants and children. (11) We are continuing to learn how our neurodevelopment, cognition, personality, mood, sleep and eating behaviors are all affected by the bacteria that reside within our guts. There seems to be an association between diet and psychiatric disorders due to metabolites of dietary components and enzymes encoded in our human genome that inhabit our guts. One of the most important factors seems to be establishing a healthy microbiome from birth, including a vaginal delivery ideally and being breastfed, which populates the newborn’s gut with the mother’s healthy bacteria.
  • Infertility and pregnancy complications: We first start establishing our microbiomes at exactly the points we are born, and our environment continues to manipulate the bacteria within us for the remainder of our lives. As we age and change, so do our microbiota. This is both good and bad news. It means some of us might already be at a disadvantage if we were exposed to high amounts of bad bacteria or antibiotics at a young age, especially if we were also being withheld from good bacteria that we receive through being breastfed. At the same time, a healthy pregnancy, delivery and period of being breastfed can set the stage for a strong immune system. (12)
  • Allergies, asthma and sensitivities: Certain beneficial bacteria lower inflammation, which lessens the severity of allergic reactions, food allergies, asthma or infections of the respiratory tract. (13) This means stronger defense against seasonal allergies or food allergies and more relief from coughing, colds, the flu or a sore throat. An anti-inflammatory diet helps prevent susceptibility to leaky gut syndrome and helps eliminate phlegm or mucus in the lungs or nasal passages, which makes it easier to breathe.
The microbiome diet - Dr. Axe

What Is the Human Microbiome?

Each of us has an internal complex ecosystem of bacteria located within our bodies that we call the microbiome. The microbiome is defined as as “community of microbes.” The vast majority of the bacterial species that make up our microbiome live in our digestive systems.

According to the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of Colorado, “the human microbiota consists of the 10–100 trillion symbiotic microbial cells harbored by each person, primarily bacteria in the gut. The human ‘microbiome’ consists of the genes these cells harbor.” (1)

Our individual microbiomes are sometimes called our “genetic footprints” since they help determine our unique DNA, hereditary factors, predisposition to diseases, body type or body “set point weight,” and much more. The bacteria that make up our microbiomes can be found everywhere, even outside our own bodies, on nearly every surface we touch and every part of the environment we come into contact with. (2)

The microbiome can be confusing because it’s different than other organs in that it’s not just located in one location and is not very large in size, plus it has very far-reaching roles that are tied to so many different bodily functions. Even the word “microbiome” tells you a lot about how it works and the importance of its roles, since “micro” means small and “biome” means a habitat of living things.

It’s been said by some researchers that up to 90 percent of all diseases can be traced in some way back to the gut and health of the microbiome. Believe it or not, your microbiome is home to trillions of microbes, diverse organisms that help govern nearly every function of the human body in some way. The importance of our gut microbiome cannot be overstated: Poor gut health can contribute to leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune diseases and disorders like arthritis, dementia, heart disease, and cancer, while our health, fertility and longevity are also highly reliant on the balance of critters living within our guts.

Throughout our lives, we help shape our own microbiomes — plus they adapt to changes in our environment. For example, the foods you eat, how you sleep, the amount of bacteria you’re exposed to on a daily basis and the level of stress you live with all help establish the state of your microbiota.

The Microbiome Diet: Eating to Support Immunity and Lower Inflammation

Your diet plays a big part in establishing gut health and supporting your microbiome’s good bacteria. Research over the past several decades has revealed evidence that there’s an inextricable link between a person’s microbiota, digestion, body weight and metabolism. In an analysis of humans and 59 additional mammalian species, microbiome environments were shown to differ dramatically depending on the specie’s diet.

The flip side is also true: Your gut health can impact how your body extracts nutrients from your diet and stores fat. Gut microbiota seem to play an important role in obesity, and changes in bacterial strains in the gut have been shown to lead to significant changes in health and body weight after only a few days. For example, when lean germ-free mice receive a transplant of gut microbiota from conventional/fat mice, they acquire more body fat quickly without even increasing food intake, because their gut bugs influence hormone production (like insulin), nutrient extraction and fat (adipose tissue) storage. (3)

Now that you can see why it’s critical to lower inflammation and support gut health, lets’s take a look at how you can go about this.

Foods that promote inflammation include:

  • Refined vegetable oils (like canola, corn and soybean oils, which are high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids)
  • Pasteurized dairy products (common allergens)
  • Refined carbohydrates and processed grain products
  • Conventional meat, poultry and eggs (high in omega-6s due to feeding the animals corn and cheap ingredients that negatively affect their microbiomes)
  • Added sugars (found in the majority of packaged snacks, breads, condiments, canned items, cereals, etc.)
  • Trans fats/hydrogenated fats (used in packaged/processed products and often to fry foods)

On the other hand, many natural foods can lower inflammation and help increase good bacteria in the gut. High-antioxidant foods help reduce gut damage caused by oxidative stress and turn down an overactive immune system while safeguarding healthy cells. Anti-inflammatory foods that should be the base of your diet include:

  • Fresh vegetables (all kinds): loaded with phytonutrients that are shown to lower cholesterol, triglycerides and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Aim for variety and a minimum of four to five servings per day. Some of the best include beets; carrots; cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale); dark, leafy greens (collard greens, kale, spinach); onions; peas; salad greens; sea vegetables; and squashes.
  • Whole pieces of fruit (not juice): Fruit contains various antioxidants like resveratrol and flavonoids, which are tied to cancer prevention and brain health. Three to four servings per day is a good amount for most people, especially apples, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, nectarines, oranges, pears, pink grapefruit, plums, pomegranates, red grapefruit or strawberries.
  • Herbs, spices and teas: turmeric, ginger, basil, oregano, thyme, etc., plus green tea and organic coffee in moderation.
  • Probiotics: Probiotic foods contain “good bacteria” that populate your gut and fight off bad bacterial strains. Try to include probiotic foods like yogurt, kombucha, kvass, kefir or cultured veggies in your diet daily.
  • Wild-caught fish, cage-free eggs and grass-fed/pasture-raised meat: higher in omega-3 fatty acids than farm-raised foods and great sources of protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients like zinc, selenium and B vitamins.
  • Healthy fats: grass-fed butter, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts/seeds.
  • Ancient grains and legumes/beans: best when sprouted and 100 percent unrefined/whole. Two to three servings per day or less is best, especially Ansazi beans, adzuki beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils, black rice, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa.
  • Red wine and dark chocolate/cocoa in moderation: several times per week or a small amount daily.
February 10 2019

Keto Fat Bombs Information

Here are a few facts about ketogenic fat bombs to help you understand them better:

1. Keto fat bombs are often small

It’s tough to eat too much of these as they are so high in fat, so they take the shape of small balls or mini muffins. Our favorite way of making them is in muffin pan with liner. That way you don’t get your hands dirty when you make the mixture and they’re super easy (and not messy) to take with you to eat on your way to work or to the gym.

2. Fat bombs can be savory or sweet

The majority of the fat bomb recipes tend to be sweet-ish (sweetened with sweeteners like stevia). This is because stevia is a low calorie (and zero-carb) sweetener that also doesn’t cause stomach problems for people unlike many sugar alcohols that are used in low-carb treats. If, however, you dislike using stevia (we know many people dislike the taste of stevia), then feel free to use your own low-carb sweetener of choice when making sweet ketogenic fat bombs. There are also some savory fat bombs (e.g., made with bacon or avocado). Read why Swerve may be a good option.

3. Fat bombs contain lots of healthy fats

As I mentioned earlier, fat bombs contain lots of fat, but on a ketogenic diet (just like on a Paleo diet), eating healthy fats is highly important to lower inflammation in your body. So, most keto fat bombs contain coconut oil or coconut butter as an ingredient. This is also useful from a recipe perspective as coconut oil solidifies when refrigerated thereby making these fat bombs a lot less messy to eat.

4. Fat bombs should be stored in the refrigerator

As I mentioned above, fat bombs contain lots of fat, which is often liquid at room temperature, so make sure to store these delicious treats in the fridge when you’re not eating them. They’ll often last 1-2 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container. You can also freeze them, although it’s best to thaw them a bit before serving as they can get pretty solid.

5. Fat bombs often also contain nuts and seeds

We suggest you try not to consume too much nuts and seeds on a ketogenic diet since the fats in nuts and seeds can become easily oxidized if the recipe requires them to be heated (more about that here) and some nuts and seeds are actually quite high in carbs (check out our table of carb content for nuts and seeds here). Just a quick note about peanuts while we’re on the subject of nuts – peanuts are not nuts so almond butter is used instead of peanut butter in ketogenic recipes (find out more about why peanut butter isn’t ketogenic here).

What Are Ketogenic Fat Bombs, How To Make Keto Fat Bombs in 3 Easy Steps (PLUS 12 Delicious Ketogenic Fat Bomb Recipes) https://ketosummit.com/what-are-keto-fat-bombs-recipes-how-to-make #keto #recipes #fatbombs

There are 3 basic ingredients to every fat bomb recipe:

1. Healthy Fats

For Example: cacao butter, coconut butter, almond butter, coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut cream (solid part of a refrigerated can of coconut milk), ghee (mostly lactose and casein free, especially if you get cultured ghee, so it doesn’t present the same problems as other dairy products), butter (ok if you’re not sensitive to dairy), bacon fat, avocado oil

2. Flavoring

For Example: sugar-free vanilla extract, 100% dark chocolate, cacao powder, salt, peppermint extract, spices, Keto sugars (like erythritol, Swerve, stevia, Truvia)

3. Texture

For Example: cacao nibs, almonds, pecans, walnuts, chia seeds, bacon bits (choose sugar-free)

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