Foods that protect your heart

So every other day we read about the latest food fads, from coconut oil to avocados.

Most of these foods start trending on social media due to their stated health benefits. Some are fact while others are merely fiction, but most people would try anything in the quest for a healthy life.

Through all these those that catch my eye are those mostly related to cardiovascular health?

I am of African descent and people of my race have been known to have a higher risk of heart diseases, diabetes and hypertension. So in my quest to live a healthier and happier life I try to eat foods known to improve the heart.

Having low LDL cholesterol levels are said to be the best way to improve your heart and preferring the homeopathic path I search for foods that can help me achieve my goal.

So what foods help reduce LDL cholesterol levels?

  1. Oatmeal: I have previously written about the health benefits of eating oats and it is still my go to breakfast of choice (i.e. when I do eat breakfast). Oatmeal is rich in fiber, which helps bind cholesterol away from the blood that is then excreted out of the body. It also regulates blood sugar levels, aids in digestion and keeps you fuller for longer which helps aid weigh loss.


What is Scarlet Fever ?

What is Scarlet fever?

Scarlet fever is an illness that is caused by a bacterium.

Scarlet fever usually develops two to seven days after exposure to an infected person and symptoms include a pinkish rash, sore throat, headaches and fever.

How is scarlet fever transmitted?

The infection is spread when an infected person sneezes and an uninfected person breathes in the infected air particles.

Infection also occurs when you share the clothing of an infected person and touch their skin.

Who is at risk for infection?

Scarlet fever mostly affects children younger than 15 years of age but it can affect anybody regardless of their age.


How to recognize the symptoms of a stroke

Strokes has long been associated with old age but in recent times we hear of young people also falling victims to strokes.

Strokes can affect anyone regardless of age and gender and it is important that we are aware of their symptoms.

There are different types of strokes, but the symptoms of some strokes disappear within 24 hours and these are known as transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or mini strokes.

Transient ischaemic attacks occur when there is a temporary disruption to the blood supply in a part of the brain.

When this happens it can lead to brain cells dying.

Symptoms of mini strokes include slurred speech, blurry vision and numbness in the face, arms and legs.

Some people don’t realize that they have had a stroke because TIA doesn’t usually last long.

The symptoms of a mini-stroke are usually resolved within 24 hours, but having TIA increases you chances of having a full-blown stroke in future.

So how do you recognize when you have a stroke?

Remember the word FAST.

FAST stands for Face-Arms-Speech-Time.


Chest Pains and why you shouldn’t ignore them

Sometimes I feel a sharp pain in my chest, it might occur when I inhale deeply or just after I have done strenuous exercises.

When this happens it is also accompanied by scary thoughts such as “What could this be?”

Even though chest pains are scary and most people immediately think of heart attacks when they have chest pains there are many causes of chest pain from a strained muscle to a chest infection.

Some of these problems are potentially life threatening but others are not.

Lets examine some of the likely causes of chest pain.

Asthma: This common health condition is characterized by shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and sometimes chest pain. Asthma is caused by inflammation of the bronchial tubes.

Coronary Artery Disease: Yes your chest pain can be causes by heart disease. Coronary Artery Disease is a blockage of the blood vessels in the heart. The blockage leads to a reduction in the flow of oxygen and blood to the heart. This increases the chances of getting a heart attack in future.


What you need to know about Lassa fever

Lassa fever also known as Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF), is a member of the Arenaviridae virus family.  Tt is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever that was first discovered in Lassa, Borno State, Nigeria in 1969.

Animals transmit the virus and the multi-mammate mice is the primary host of the Lassa virus. The virus is transmitted by contact with the feces and urine of the animal.

Eaten as “Bush meat” in West Africa, the disease can be contacted when someone is preparing the meal. The disease can also be transmitted via contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.

Lassa fever infects more than 500,000 people annually and there have been reported cases in Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and the Central African Republic.

The incubation period of the disease is from six to twenty-one days.

Lassa fever does not present symptoms in 80 % of infected people but for the infected 20% that shows symptoms of the disease it can prove fatal.


What is the Zika Virus?

The Zika virus is a flavivirus, which is part of the same family of viruses that includes yellow fever, West Nile virus, chikungunya and dengue fever.

The virus is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, which bites an infected person and spreads the virus to other people.

Twenty percent of the people infected with Zika virus become ill with the virus.

The incubation period for the Zika virus is unknown.

But the illness may last for up to to a week.

Symptoms of the Zika virus include a mild fever, rash, muscle pain, headache, weakness and red eyes.

There are no vaccine or medications available for the Zika Virus but bed rest, drinks liquids and taking paracetamol to relieve fever and pain can help treat the symptoms of the virus.

People who had previously been infected with the Zika virus can also infect other people via blood transfusion and sexual contact because the virus can remain in their bloods for a while.


What is Lyme’s disease ?

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by infected ticks.

Feeding on rodents that have natural reservoirs of the bacteria infects the ticks. The ticks then infect the human by feeding on them.

Ticks cause a majority of the infections.

Ticks in the nymph stage of their life cycle are very small and may feed for long periods of time undetected.

The B. burgdorferi bacteria that cause Lyme disease is injected into the skin by the bite of an infected tick.

If untreated, the bacteria may persist in the body for months or even years, despite the production of B. burgdorferi antibodies by the immune system

The EM rash that has been used to diagnose Lyme disease is usually similar to a bull’s eye, but not always it can also be solid red.

Not all patients infected with Lyme disease develop the characteristic bull’s-eye rash.

The EM rash, which does not occur in all cases, is considered sufficient to establish a diagnosis of Lyme disease even when  blood tests are negative.

The risk of infectious transmission increases with the length of time in which the tick was attached.


What is the Plague ?

Plague is a deadly infectious disease that is caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis.

There are different types of plagues including

  1. The bubonic plague that is concentrated in the lymph nodes
  2. The septicemic plague that is concentrated in the blood vessels.


What is Diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus , also commonly called diabetes, are a group of metabolic diseases in which there are high blood sugar (Glucose) levels over a prolonged period.

Glucose is an important source of energy for the cells of the body. It comes from two major sources your food and your liver.


What is the Avian Flu?

Avian influenza commonly known as avian flu or bird flu is an illness that is caused by viruses adapted to birds.”

The disease is caused by the influenza A virus.