Category Archives: Health Issues

Ever wonder how safe your water is?

You can find out how safe your water is in your area. You can go to and put in your zip code and find out what, if any, contaminants are in the water you drink. After you put in your zip code, you can select your water company. When I did that, I found there are 7 contaminants above the health guidelines along with 10 additional contaminants. The report on my water is for up to 2015 so it could be a little out of date. You can see how many ppb in your area, your state’s, and national standard.

The seven cancer-causing contaminants found were:
bromodichloromethane – formed by chlorine or disinfectants used to treat the water
chloroform – also formed by chlorine or disinfectants
chromium (hexavalent) – may be due to industrial pollution or natural occurrences in groundwater
dibromochloromethane – also formed by chlorine or other disinfectants; may cause problems during pregnancy
radiological contaminants – radium and uranium – can be leached from minerals or mining; increased risk of cancer; may harm fetus
tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene) – dry cleaning chemical, can cause cancer
total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) – this includes the ones above that are formed by chlorine and are cancer-causing contaminants.

The other contaminants found were
1,4-dioxane – a solvent from industrial waste water
barium – mineral in rocks, too much can cause cardio-vascular issues
bromoform – a TTHM
chlorate – byproduct of disinfection
chromium (total) – natural metal that can increase from industrial uses
fluoride – added to drinking water
haloacetic acids (HAA5) – from disinfectants like chlorine
nitrate – fertilizer chemical
strontium – a metal that can accumulate in the bones – can cause cancer and leukemia
vanadium – a metal used in steels and alloys; toxic in pregnancy and childhood

We had installed a filtering system when we first moved here along with a separate drinking water filter so I do not have to worry about contaminants.

Eat Organic

There is a new study that concludes organic foods could help ward off cancer. The JAMA Internal Medicine study stated that those who eat organic foods lowered the risk of developing cancer.

In France, a team of scientists looked at what over 68,000 adults ate for over four years. They then divided them into four categories, dependent on what they ate like organic produce, meat and fish, supplements, etc. The group that ate mostly organic foods were 25% less likely to develop cancer. Specifically non-Hodgkins lymphoma and post-menopausal breast cancer.

The reasons for not consuming organic foods was addressed from the group that didn’t eat organic. Some were price, limited availability, or lack of interest in it. One surprising statement was that more than 90% of us in the United States have detectable pesticides in our urine and blood.

What might be left unclear is how much pesticide exposure one may have outside of food consumption. What about those who may have had pesticide treatments on their lawns or gardens? If you eat out a lot, you may be getting more exposure to conventional foods in that way.

Source: JAMA

Washing Your Hands

Now that flu season is here, it’s time to be more cognizant of what you can do to prevent germs and catching those nasty bugs. Here are some tips that may help.

Make sure you use soap and water. Those antibacterial gels can help in a pinch but they shouldn’t be the main hand cleanser you use.

Wash long enough. It is recommended to sing Happy Birthday through two times (to yourself of course – not out loud) in order to get the correct length of time needed to remove the germs.

Make sure you thoroughly dry your hands. Germs love to grow in moisture so you need to make sure they are dry.

Wash your hands more often. Don’t wait to wash them only when you go to the bathroom. If you go to a public place and use a shopping cart, doorknob, elevator button, or other thing that many people tend to touch, wash your hands. In the meantime, try not to touch your face before you can wash.

Don’t touch other surfaces after washing. Use your elbows to leave a room. Even the faucets you use can contaminate your hands again. You can use a paper towel to turn off a faucet if you aren’t where a faucet turns off automatically.

If you use bar soap, rinse it off before using. It may have germs and if you are in a household that shares soap, there may be germs on it.

You can use plain soap. There is no evidence that antibacterial soap is any better.’re-washing-your-hands-wrong/ss-BBJDkCS?ocid=spartandhp

Here is WHO’s recommendation for cleaning hands:


The gallbladder is a small organ that we don’t think about until something goes wrong. It is where bile is stored until it is needed. The gallbladder delivers the bile to the small intestine where it breaks down fats. You can get along without it but it you then have to be careful of what you eat. You will have to back off on fats, mostly. It also helps vitamins and nutrients to absorb into your bloodstream.

When your gallbladder has problems, you can experience different symptoms. The most common is pain. It can come on quickly, especially after eating a fatty meal, but it can go just as quickly as if it never was there. You can also experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, fever, and jaundice. The most common problems are gallstones or inflammation.

If you need to have surgery to remove it, it is called a cholecystectomy. Usually you can have it removed laparoscopically which is less invasive. The recovery time is a week or two before resuming regular activities.

It may be time to ditch the tie

Men’s ties. What is their purpose? Do they keep you warm? Do they cover up anything other than buttons? They get in the way. I think of Dilbert’s tie floating in the wind. Very few men clip them down with a tie clip so they move around picking up germs all over the place.

They do show some flair for some who are brave enough to go beyond solids or stripes. They seem to have a bit of respectability but are they really necessary? Here are some reasons not to don a four-in-hand tie.

The BMA (British Medical Association) has said doctors should no longer wear ties because of the germs. Imagine a doctor standing over a patient picking up MRSA and then going on to the next patient.

There is a link between wearing a necktie and interocular pressure when the tie is too tight.

Another study found it restricts blood flow to the brain causing headaches, dizziness, and nausea.

Perhaps a clipon tie isn’t such a bad idea…