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Monday, June 22, 2015

Bed Bugs! │ High Blood-Pressure Medication Warning │ The Disgusting Truth About Your Toothbrush

The ol' bedtime was after midnight last night ─ finishing up these posts late in the evening incurs a price.

Concerning that evening, though ─ my eldest step-son Tho started quizzing me about the barbecue event at my cousin Wendy's home out near Chilliwack that is scheduled for next Saturday.

Many of the drinking guests tends to camp or otherwise overnight it out there, for the drinkers tend to drink well into the night.

My younger brother Mark and his girlfriend Bev plan to go, so I will, too.

If Tho did go, he would undoubtedly take his girlfriend Tiffany.

But let's move on to today!

My day commenced soon after 8:00 a.m. ─ or at least, I think that may have been when I rose for the day. 

I tend to rise feeling as if I need to be getting to bed ─ not starting my day!  And this morning, my eyes were dry, and have remained so.

It looked to be yet another hot, sunny day, but it has become entirely hazed over this afternoon.  I still spent time out in the backyard, though, trying to benefit from exposure to the Sun ─ obscured as it was.

I got over 20 minutes of exposure to my front and my back whilst sporting just a pair of shorts.

It had been in my mind this morning to maybe try and get away to do some shopping, but I finally made the decision that I needed to do one-arm knee-curls with my 42½-pound dumbbell ─ it has been three days since my last session.

I would like to have another session on Wednesday, and a final one on Friday.  If the weather is hot and sunny at my cousin Wendy's barbecue on Saturday, I should be in good shape for possibly doffing my top over there during the course of some of the afternoon.

Prior to the exercising, though, I had a post edit to finish at My Retirement Dream ─ I only got about half-way through it yesterday.  The post had originally published on December 16, 2011; but when I checked it out yesterday for the first time, it only contained a YouTube video.

That omission has now been remedied:  Direct Bus from Udon Thani to Chiang Mai

Yesterday I had told Jack that I would renew the house mortgage today online, but thus far I have let that slide.

Just a few years ago, my brother Mark unknowingly brought home bedbugs from the house his girlfriend Bev lives in.

And the spread began.

Many times I helped my wife Jack embark on a killing spree under our heavy mattress that rests upon a spread of removable wooden slats.

A few times on my own, I even 'treated' them to a stream or spray of boiling water ─ it didn't matter if I could see any of the freaks, I would just soak the scalding water into all the likely locations I could think of.

Jack used to regularly lift her son Tho's mattress and kill, kill, kill.  Why the fool was content to do nothing himself still puzzles me.  He even told her that once he could see three of them on the wall a short distance above his mattress ─ he felt they were watching him in hungry longing, waiting for him to settle in.

I had become so enraged by them that a few times when I caught sight of one, I would take a sewing needle and jab viciously over and over until it was no longer able to run due to the mortal damage I had inflicted; and then I would cart off its crippled form to dump into the toilet bowl so that it could add drowning to its miserable end. 

They would sometimes even get me while I was sitting on the chesterfield or semi-rocking arm-chair watching T.V. in the living room.

I sometimes treated those items of furniture to the scalding water.

But no one has seen a bed bug now in possibly a year or more.

Might we have vanquished them?

I suppose a few spiders that pay visits here for varying periods of time may also have a role ─ especially those keen-eyed little jumping spiders, some of which are striped in zebra fashion.  I kind of like those guys.

Anyway, I was motivated to offer all of the preceding due to this Health Sciences Institute (HSI) article that they released about six days ago:

Out for blood
Summer vacation season has arrived -- and when you travel, it's always fun to bring back souvenirs.

But there's a little souvenir you might accidentally cart home that you didn't even notice and that could make life miserable. And you can pick it up just about anywhere, whether you're on a bargain tour or visiting a luxury resort spa.

I'm talking about Cimex lectularius, more commonly known as bed bugs.

If you haven't yet encountered one of these persistent and bloodsucking little critters, consider yourself lucky. Because they're in more places than you might imagine -- and it's important to your health (and sanity) that these bugs don't hitch a ride home with you after your summer vacation.

Believe it or not, "Bed Bug Awareness Week" just ended on Saturday. But for anyone who has ever tried to evict these persistent bloodsucking creatures from their home, every single day is filled with "bed bug awareness."

The most common way for bed bugs to infest your home is by transferring themselves from a place you've stayed -- which might even be a first-class hotel -- via your luggage. But they can also easily hitch a ride in an item of used furniture such as a couch or chair.

You can even pick them up in places you'd least expect them. Like buses, trains or taxis, retail stores, movie theaters, nursing homes or outpatient facilities -- especially in some larger cities where they're now considered an epidemic.

By whatever route they might gain entry to your premises, these reddish-brown, itsy-bitsy insects are very good at hiding out in tiny spaces, like cracks and crevices, where they hole up until dark. Then, like little vampires, they emerge to suck your blood (which they need to survive) while you're sleeping.

While most of us associate bed big bites with itching or painful welts, the health risks can be serious. The bites have been known to cause everything from allergic reactions to asthma attacks.

So how can you keep these bloodthirsty little varmints out of your life? Here are tips offered by leading debugging experts to keep the bed bugs from biting:
  • Look for evidence of these parasites when you check into a hotel. With the help of a good flashlight, check out the beds and look for black or rust-colored spots on the sheets; bug skins that have been shed; and, of course, the bugs themselves. If you find any evidence of bed bugs, it's time to find another room -- well removed from the infested one. And remember, bed bugs have been known to invade the most elegant places.
  • Keep your clothes in a sealed plastic bag inside your suitcase.
  • Don't unpack on a bed, but on a luggage rack or desk. As strange as it may sound, you might even want to keep your suitcase inside the bathtub, an area that these particular critters can't get to.
  • Wash all your clothes immediately upon returning home, and turn the drier up high, which will kill any of the bugs and their eggs that might have attached themselves to an article of apparel. A single female can lay up to 500 eggs.
  • Check your empty suitcases for any evidence of bed bugs -- and if you suspect they're there, vacuum or use steam heat on them.
If you already have a bed big infestation, they can be real headache to get rid of. In fact, it took three tries for Brooke Borel, the author of a new book on bedbugs called Infested: How the Bed Bug Infiltrated Our Bedrooms and Took Over the World, to rid her apartment of them.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can try:
  • Get rid of clutter, wash all bedding regularly, vacuum thoroughly and frequently, and steam clean your home, especially around cracks and crevices. Bed bugs hate heat!
  • Open a window or use a fan in your bedroom to disperse the CO2 that you're giving off when you sleep. Bed bugs seek out CO2 and use it as a beacon of sorts to find you.
  • Another recommended method is turning a bowl or dog dish into a "dry ice trap." Place some dry ice inside the bowl and cover it with a cloth or paper cover. The bed bugs will be attracted to the CO2 given off by the dry ice -- and once inside, they won't be able to escape.
While people with a bed bug problem are often advised to call in an exterminator, remember that many of the chemicals used by pest control services are extremely toxic. And whole-house fumigation typically requires the use of deadly gases. So don't let anyone talk you into that.

If you feel you can't do without the help of a professional, look for one who uses nontoxic chemicals that are safe for your family and your pets.
All I can say is...be merciless!

About five days ago, Health Sciences Institute (HSI) ─ who are a member site of NewMarketHealth.com ─ released the following report concerning blood pressure medications.

I'm 65 years old, and have no idea how my blood pressure is ─ a doctor mentioned it was a tad high two or three decades ago when he was checking me out for another reason, but I haven't heard anything since.

I don't get check-ups, though ─ I simply meant that I was not informed of any issues when having my knee surgery a little over 4½ years ago, or while being given medical treatment for a few issues in the years prior to that.

But here's the HSI report:

Triple trouble
If you suffer from high blood pressure, you probably ran out of room in your medicine cabinet years ago.

Between calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, beta blockers and diuretics, you may be taking two, three meds or more to keep your blood pressure under control.

And it's all because you've been promised that loading up on these hypertension drugs is the best way to prevent a life-threatening stroke.

But a major new study is singing a different (and frightening) tune. Researchers have proven that those trusted meds may more than double your stroke risk, even if they're successfully lowering your blood pressure.

And you won't believe who's helping to sound the alarm.

Nobody has done more to shove blood pressure meds down millions of Americans' throats than the American Heart Association.

AHA guidelines advise blood pressure patients to take "more than one type of prescription medication" if their doc says so, even if it means taking the drugs "every day for the rest of your life."

And apparently even AHA's former president finds that hard to swallow.

Dr. Suzanne Oparil, who once ran both the AHA and the American Society for Hypertension, has just co-authored a study warning that combining blood pressure meds could be a dangerous -- and even deadly -- idea.

The study tracked over 26,000 people for more than six years. And researchers found that taking even one blood pressure med increased your risk of a potentially fatal stroke by 33 percent.

Worse still, people who were taking three or more blood pressure drugs -- which is shockingly common -- were two and a half times more likely to suffer a stroke as those who controlled their blood pressure naturally.

In fact, the study's lead author, Dr. George Howard from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said taking at least three blood pressure meds leaves you in just as much trouble as not treating your hypertension at all.

"We want to raise the issue that… relying solely on this [drug-centered] approach is going to come at a dear price of people's lives," he said.

And this isn't the first big study to highlight the risks of blood pressure drugs. Not by a longshot. Other recent research has shown that older people taking blood pressure meds were more likely to suffer from dementia. And those who managed to achieve the lowest systolic (top) numbers showed the most memory loss.

Blood pressure meds can also cause life-threatening facial swelling, dizziness, falls, lupus and even glaucoma. And that's just the short list.

Of course, having high blood pressure isn't healthy either -- it's how you get to that lower reading that makes the difference. Howard, Oparil and their fellow researchers say that doctors need to start focusing on non-drug, early interventions.

Even if you already have high blood pressure, there are plenty of ways to bring it down without being joined at the hip with some of the most dangerous drugs out there -- for life. Here are three easy things you can start doing today:
  • Increase your potassium. Not only does potassium work to lower blood pressure, but previous research found that men who consumed the lowest amounts of potassium had a significantly higher risk of stroke. And it's easy to find potassium-rich foods, which include bananas, chicken, lima beans and spinach.
  • Ditch the fructose. Numerous studies over the years have linked fructose to high blood pressure. I'm talking about added fructose, mainly in the form of high fructose corn syrup found in so many processed foods, not the kind found naturally in an apple or a pear.
  • Dust off your walking shoes. Exercise, especially brisk walking, is one of the best "drugs" you can take for hypertension, and it's free (well, if you don't count those expensive sneakers).
And one more thing: quit worrying about salt. Strict low-sodium diets have been proven to do very little to lower your blood pressure and they can even be dangerous for your heart.
I don't need any encouragement ─ there's no way that I would ever willingly ingest any of that toxic chemistry!

Also about five days ago, Dr. William Campbell Douglass II released a short report concerning the latest research involving toothbrushes ─ how did I miss hearing or reading about any of this before?

The disgusting truth about your toothbrush
I have a prediction. By the time I'm done telling you this little tale you'll be headed to the bathroom to toss out your toothbrush.

Because new research confirms that toothbrushes are practically poop magnets. They're crawling with nasty fecal filth, and a study of toothbrushes in shared bathrooms finds that 60 percent have these gross germs on the bristles.

That's not even the worst part. This is: When fecal matter is present, it's 80 percent likely that it's someone else's poop!

Granted, this was a study done on toothbrushes in dorms, which are already filthy cesspools, and have a ton of traffic running through the restrooms.

But fecal matter can end up on a toothbrush in any bathroom, even one that's not shared with rowdy college kids – even one in YOUR own bathroom. Because fecal matter doesn't end up on those brushes as part of some sick dorm-room prank.

Every time you flush the toilet, you create a little storm of particle matter that lifts up and out of the crapper like a teeny tiny disgusting tornado of filth. You can't see it, but when that dirty toilet water ends up going airborne the particles float around the room eventually settling all over the place.

And if your toothbrush is out in the open, some of those particles are bound to settle on the bristles.

A toothbrush cover won't always help. The brush could end up with poo germs anyway, plus the dark, damp and enclosed conditions inside the cover will help bacteria grow.

You can hide your toothbrush in a cabinet or another room, or invest in a UV sanitizer, but why bother?

You don't actually need a toothbrush in the first place!

A toothbrush can be handy, but it can also be harmful. For example, most people brush way too hard and damage the enamel of the teeth. Your fingertips are gentler, safer and poop-free (assuming you've washed them).

Don't use store-bought toothpaste. Instead, mix 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with some baking soda and work your homemade paste into your teeth and gums with your (clean) fingertips.

Rinse with the peroxide, and you're done.

Be sure to floss and/or use a water irrigator and you'll have the strongest, whitest teeth and healthiest gums around.

But if you want to keep using a toothbrush, be my guest. Just listen to your wife and keep the lid down.

Keeping the brush away from the flush,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.  
I brush with baking soda, but I spend about 10 minutes or so doing the brushing ─ I usually do it in the evening while I'm watching T.V.

I've never been a flosser ─ some of my teeth are so close together that the floss shreds, and it can be a bothersome chore.

It would be nice to do away with a toothbrush, though ─ maybe I'll give flossing a try again.

Anyway, I keep my toothbrush here in the room where my computer is, since I do not brush in the bathroom. 

But here are a few further reports about this dental hygiene revelation, if you're interested:
I should add here that although I spend about 10 minutes at a time brushing my teeth, I am not abusive with my manual toothbrush ─ it's about four years old at this point. 

And no, the bristles are not splayed out all over the place.
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