Health Check

Health Check

It is Flu Season: Protect Yourself and your Children

It is Flu Season: Protect Yourself and your Children

By Arturo Gastanaduy, M.D.

Click aqui para español- >Temporada de Gripe: Protéjase y proteja a sus hijos

The “Flu” is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the Influenza viruses. It usually comes during the Fall and Winter months and attacks millions of people. Most illnesses are mild-moderate.

However, about a half million persons require hospitalization and between 12,000 and 56,000 die from it each year. People exposed to influenza become ill in 1 to 4 days with sudden onset of high fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, headache, sore throat, cough and nose congestion. The illness lasts between 7 to10 days and resolves gradually.

Influenza complications could be moderate like ear and sinus infections or severe like pneumonia, inflammation of the heart, brain, and muscles, and generalized infection. The complications are produced by the virus itself and by co-infection with other germs.

Severe disease and death are more common in infants and small children, adults over 65 years, pregnant women and persons with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.

Influenza vaccine is the most effective way to prevent the illness and its complications. Everyone older than 6 months of age should be vaccinated. Yearly immunization is needed because the viruses change with time. The best season for vaccination is the Fall.

Influenza can be diagnosed with a nose swab sample and doctors can prescribe medicines to treat it. These medicines do not prevent the disease, but they can make it less severe, and to be more effective, they should be given during the first two days of the illness.

You can prevent the spread of influenza by vaccinating yourself and your family members, and by following simple steps like covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, hand washing and avoiding contact with sick people.

Caring for a healthy Beard

Caring for a healthy beard

By Dr. Carlos Rosales

Click aqui para español->El Cuidado de la Barba

In an effort to change the trend of “metrosexuality” which originated in the 1990’s, where men overly cared for their appearances while trying to keep lean bodies, publicly admitted the need for skin and hair care products, and donned form fitting clothing, men’s care in our decade focuses on highlighting masculine traits, explaining the recent proliferation of the use of beards.

 “Uber-sexuality” is the term used to describe this new, contemporary trend encompassing men who exhibit traditional masculine qualities and accentuate the caring nature of the new man. The term comes from the German word Über, which means “above”, translating to mean “above sexuality”, reminding us of Nietzsche’s “Superman” (Übermensch): The Alpha male of the pack.

Uber-sexuality labels a man who is undoubtedly masculine but meticulously well-kept. Although the uber-sexual male does not conform to the extreme nature of metro sexuality, he is keenly aware of his image. Another fresh, trendy look that has frequented contemporary mainstream fashion is “lumber-sexuality.” Men adherent to this label maintain a long beard and exhibit their chest hair.

Lumber-sexual men outfit themselves in plaid shirts and work boots, closely mimicking the appearance of a lumberjack. These men aim to achieve that masculine look with the long beard, but they also otherwise take care of themselves. These overly “manly” tendencies have made barber shops a worldwide trend. Beard care and grooming requires expert intervention. Whether long or short, beards must be cut, washed, moisturized, and styled to maintain a “clean” look.

A beard not properly cared for can become a messy source of bacteria. Some advice for a great beard: You should have enough facial hair to avoid the scruffy-beard look. To accomplish this, you must let your beard grow for two to three months without trimming to achieve a thick appearance. Visiting a grooming expert your first few times is highly recommended, so that said expert may shape your beard correctly, as this can be quite a challenging do-it-yourself for first-timers and beginners. Remember to wash your face in the morning and at night, focusing on the skin under your beard.

Additionally, using a facial wash or scrub carefully exfoliate the skin under your beard once a week to remove the dead skin cells from underneath your beard and to avoid beard dandruff. Use special products for your beard such as conditioners and styling creams. Your beard should always look impeccable, so that it garners the right kind of attention. Brush your beard after you eat and wash it if necessary to prevent infections. Avoid handling your beard unnecessarily as bacteria is often found on your hands.

An attractive, healthy, well-kept beard is impossible to attain without resolute cleanliness being at the epicenter of your beard-grooming routine. If you are unwilling to dedicate the needed time to care for your beard, you’d be better served avoiding one altogether.

 If you are considering growing a beard, grow yours a few millimeters at a time and ask others’ opinions. Their commentary may range from ecstatic approval to unflattering rejection as beards are not for everyone, but always remember: if you like it and it feels right to you, grow it proudly and enjoy every lasting moment cultivating your beard and paving your road towards unrivaled übermensch status.

Do you dare to Botox?

Do you dare to Botox?

By Dr. Carlos Rosales

Click aqui para español->Te Atreves al Botox?

Botulinum toxin, or Botox, is a natural toxin that, when reduced, is useful in medicine. This toxin is widely recognized by its use in aesthetic medicine, but it is also used in other medical practices like neurology and gastroenterology, among others.

Botulinum toxin comes from the Clostridium Botulinum bacteria that blocks contact between the nerves and the muscles, producing a paralysis which could be deadly in a toxic situation, but is very useful when applied in small, controlled quantities.

Botulinum toxin works magic in reducing facial expression lines. The toxin is placed in different areas of the muscles, mainly on the forehead, between the eyebrows, and around the eyes (crow’s feet). Sometimes it is applied on the neck, chin, nose, and even the body.

When a person uses lots of facial gestures in communicating, progressive lines of expression develop which create scarring of the skin. Botox helps avoid this scarring damage and prevents wrinkles from progressing or developing.

It is important to remember that this toxin is not a filler; it is not applied to add volume but is simply injected to relax or paralyze the muscles of expression.

If Botox is injected in large quantities, it can alter the expression of the patient. The average injection amounts are between 20-50 units per session, every four to six months. The physician decides the quantity after a thorough medical evaluation.

The toxin is injected with a needle smaller than an insulin needle and the pain is minimal. These injections should always be done by a certified, trained physician.

Results can be noticed within 48 to 72 hours, revealing a fresh and pleasant look.

Botulinum toxin can be combined with other techniques for skin care. An expert can recommend the ideal treatments and procedure for each patient according to skin type, shape of the face, and stage of aging. 

Dare to try this basic tool of modern aesthetic care!

Media

What is ALS?

What is ALS?

By AnaMaria Bech

Click para español -> ¿Qué es la ELA?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. 

The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. 

A-myo- trophic comes from the Greek language. "A" means no or negative. "Myo" refers to muscle, and "Trophic" means nourishment- "No muscle nourishment. "When a muscle has no nourishment, it "atrophies" or wastes away. "Lateral" identifies the areas in a person's spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates it leads to scarring or hardening("sclerosis") in the region.

As motor neurons degenerate, they can no longer send impulses to the muscle fibers that normally result in muscle movement. Early symptoms of ALS often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. When muscles no longer receive the messages from the motor neurons that they require to function, the muscles begin to atrophy (become smaller). Limbs begin to look "thinner" as muscle tissue atrophies. 

Although the cause of ALS is not completely understood, the recent years have brought a wealth of new scientific understanding regarding the physiology of this disease. While there is not a cure or treatment today that halts reverses ALS, there is one FDA approved drug that modestly slows the progression of ALS. There are significant devices and therapies that can manage the symptoms of ALS that help people maintain as much independence as possible and prolong survival. There are medically documented cases of people in whom ALS 'burns out,' stops progressing or progresses at a very slow rate. 

In our city, we have a champion who is not only trying to live and thrive while dealing with this condition, but who is using his fame to raise awareness and funds for research, and to bring hope to others with ALS. Steve Gleason played for The New Orleans Saints from 2000-2008. Gleason will always be remembered for his blocked punt on the night the Louisiana Superdome reopened for the first time after Hurricane Katrina.

In January 2011 Steve was diagnosed with ALS, considered a terminal neuromuscular disease. Beyond his faith that there is a solution to heal, it is his mission to show that people can live and thrive after this diagnosis. Steve and his wife, Michel, formed “Team Gleason” to help him accomplish

Those goals and more. You can help, too by visiting teamgleason.org.

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Publisher's Note

As the holiday season approaches the first thing on my mind is "I can't believe the year is almost over!"

Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to count the many reasons why we should be grateful, so I take this opportunity to thank first, our readers and supporters. We are still a young project and it is very rewarding to hear your comments and to receive words of encouragement. I feel very grateful and flattered every time someone says they love what we are doing.

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I hope you all have a very special Thanksgiving celebration! Remember to remain calm and sane through the busy holiday season coming ahead.