Everyday Ostomy Terms You Need To Know

Whether you or a loved one has an ostomy, one thing is certain, there is a lot to learn. It can be confusing to say the least when you first start caring for your ostomy. Your nurses and doctors will be using terms you may have never heard before. They may reference things you can’t even picture because you have never seen them before. I have listed out some very basic ostomy terms to get you familiar with some of the supplies. Be patient with yourself and never be afraid to ask questions. These are just a few of the terms you will hear and there are many others. United Ostomy Association of America has a great guide for new ostomates that I highly recommend.

Ostomy Vocabulary

Pouching System: Includes the skin barrier and the pouch. Options are a one-piece ostomy system or a two-piece ostomy system. Colostomy, ileostomy, and urostomy all require a pouching system.

Ostomy Pouch: Collects output from your stoma and is worn on the side of the body. Pouches are available in drainable or closed. A one piece ostomy pouch will have the skin barrier as a part of the unit. A two piece ostomy pouch will not have the skin barrier connected and you will need to buy the skin barrier separately. Also known as an ostomy bag.

Skin Barrier: The part of the ostomy pouching system that fits directly around the stoma. Protects the skin from output while holding the ostomy pouch in place. Skin barriers are also called wafers or flanges.

Convex Skin Barrier: Used for flush, flat, or retracted stomas to help the stoma empty into the ostomy pouch by pressing the peristomal skin down and allowing the stoma to reach the inside of the pouch effectively. Convex barriers or inserts curve like a bell and can help uneven skin form a complete seal with the ostomy pouch

Filter: Allows gas to escape from the pouch and helps to absorb odor. Available in a variety of styles.

Stoma Caps: Small closed pouches that can be worn briefly while showering or during intimate moments. Stoma caps are not meant to replace your normal everyday ostomy pouch.

Wear Time: How long you can wear your pouching system before it fails or needs to be changed. Wear times vary between people and circumstances such as, heavy activity, hot weather, etc. Wear times should be fairly consistent for each individual person. The average is 3 to 5 days and it is not recommended that you exceed 7 days.

How to Maintain Winter Health: Some Useful Tips

You don’t have to be a stark to worry about winter. This season can bring anyone down with colds and flu. All the time, you don’t need modern medicine to help you stay healthy this winter. Here are eight natural ways to prevent getting sick during the winter:

Drink plenty of fluids. As winter brings dry air, staying hydrated throughout the day gets more challenging. Your body needs an adequate amount of fluids to function properly, immune system included. Always bring a bottle of water along with you. Avoid sugary drinks because they can suppress your immune system. Drink herbal teas like chamomile, ginger root, and rose hip to improve your resistance against the cold. Make vegetable soups and broths and consume them throughout the week.

Use saline nasal flush. Dry mucous membranes make you more susceptible to microbes. You can prevent this by flushing your sinuses with mild salt water daily. For nasal irrigation, you can use a neti pot or ready-to-use plastic bottles that come with saline packets.

Limit simple sugars from your diet. Simple sugars are also known as “empty calories” because they contain very little nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Limit your consumption of candies, cakes, cookies, syrups, sweetened drinks, and refined grain products. Several studies have shown that refined sugars can alter your immune system for several hours after consumption.

Include protein with every meal. Your body requires protein to synthesize enzymes and other materials needed by the immune system. Get protein from different sources such as seafood, white-meat poultry, yogurt, eggs, beans, and nuts.

Eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. These foods contain vitamins A and C and phyto-nutrients, which boost the immune system. Consume at least five servings of vegetables and at least three servings of fruits a day.

Prepare food with garlic, onion, ginger, and other spices. Garlic and onions have antimicrobial properties that help you fight off infection.

Get enough sleep every night. Sleep helps restore and heal the body. You need adequate sleep to keep your immune system in optimum condition. Establish a healthy sleep-wake cycle by getting to bed early during the long winter nights. Try to get seven or eight hours of sleep each night. If you have difficulty sleeping, try using relaxation and breathing techniques to help get rid of stress and quiet your mind.

Exercise regularly. Several studies have linked moderate, regular exercise to a healthy immune system. Exercise increases the production of macrophages (bacteria-killing cells) and improves circulation of immune cells to help fight off bacteria and viruses.

Life is short. Everyone wants to succeed in the life. But what makes a person’s life a success is still a big question. Many attributes are related to success that range from physical to mental counts, hard skills to soft skills, hard works, thought-process, dreams, reality, happiness, hardship and what not!

5 Ways To Get You Motivated About A Healthy Lifestyle

It’s that time of the year when people vow to make changes. Maybe it’s time to quit smoking, learn another language or take that kickboxing class you’ve been putting off all of last year. Regardless of what it is, you want to improve yourself in one way or another. One of the most common resolutions that people make is to get in better shape. It’s no coincidence that January is the month when gyms rack up the most enrollments. How many of these new members will you see still see there in April? If you really want to make changes, do it in a way that will set you up for long term success. Don’t flip a switch and decide that you’re all of a sudden a fitness enthusiast. That’s a recipe for failure. Here are five ways that you can make your new venture a successful one.

Create a Plan

Plan your day from beginning to end. From the time you wake up to the time you plan to retire for the night. Plan the day and times for laundry, grocery shopping and so on. Once you’ve done that, pick three days that you cleared your schedule to exercise for 45 minutes. It can be at home or at a gym so plan commute time accordingly. If waking up early before work is your best option, plan to get to bed earlier so you can wake up ready to go. If you plan to go after work, bring a gym bag to work so that you don’t have to stop home afterwards. Once you consistently go three times a week, try adding a fourth day to the mix.

Make Gradual Changes

Bad habits didn’t develop overnight and they can’t be undone in that manner either. These toxins that we rely on have addictive properties that are hard to shake. The probability of quitting smoking by going from three packs a day to none at all is highly unlikely. Just like with everything else, it takes time and a consistent effort. The same goes with eating sugars, drinking coffee and a sedentary lifestyle. Take small steps in the right direction. Start with reducing the amounts of sugars you eat. Make a goal every week to eat less and less sugar. From drinks to foods, gradually phase them out of your diet. While doing this, try to sneak some exercise into your routine. If three times a week seems extreme, try two times, maybe for thirty minutes to start. Then lengthen your workouts and up your weekly visits as you get more accustomed to that lifestyle.

Set Goals For Yourself

Set goals to eliminate bad foods from your diet, to get to the gym and to improve your current fitness level. Allow yourself 50 grams (if you consume more than that) of sugar for the week and 2 gym visits. Practice pushups until failure. If you can do 6 repetitions at the moment, set a goal for to reach 10 repetitions in three weeks for example. Keep setting new challenges and new goals that will build on your previous results. Not only will it keep you more engaged in your workouts, it will let you track your progress.

Challenge Friends

You held a plank for one minute for your first time. You’re excited, now challenge a friend or coworker to do the same. You did it, now see how long it takes them to do it. Maybe a weight loss challenge, who can do the most pushups or hold the longest plank. The more people engaged, the easier it becomes. You may even find a gym partner, which is the best way to push yourself through those rough days that you probably wouldn’t make it. You can’t let your gym partner go alone, they need you!

Don’t Listen To Bad Advice

If you seek advice or nutrition counseling, go to a professional and disregard what anyone else has to say. Follow their advice and see where it leads you over a three month period. Don’t give up after a week because you aren’t seeing results. Only take advice from one person at a time. If you hired a personal trainer or dietician, take their advice and their advice only. The more people you ask for advice, the more contradictory information you will receive. Everyone has their own opinion or some silly fad diet that worked for them or how to build muscle or lose weight. Don’t look for shortcuts or a quick and easy fix because there aren’t any. Pace yourself throughout the journey and enjoy each step you take.

Why You Need The Flu Shot This Season

The flu shot will help protect you from this virus during the season. Not only will it keep you healthy and get you through the whole year but it is also a good idea to get yourself vaccinated if you are around children and elderly people. If you fall ill, there is a big chance that people around you fall ill too and this could get dangerous for those who do not have a good immune system.

Those Who Are At Risk

Children and senior citizens suffering from various diseases related to the lungs or heart and smokers are often most at risk. A simple case of flu could lead to ear infections, bronchitis and even pneumonia in these people. In fact, those over the age of 65 should also consider taking the pneumonia vaccine during this season.

Even though a healthy individual may only suffer from this virus for a few days and then get back to routine, one dose a year will not do you any harm and it could help protect the people around you. Only those who are allergic to the vaccine or any of the ingredients present in it should avoid taking it. Children below the age of 6 months should also not be given the dose.

When to Get the Shot

It takes about two weeks after you get the injection for the antibodies to build up in your system. This means that you should ideally get vaccinated as soon as possible. Waiting a little longer will only increase the chances of the virus entering your body before the antibodies have taken effect. The shot will then not be able to fight off the flu. However, you should also remember that it is never too late to get the vaccine. Even if you take it in February, it could still protect you from getting ill in March. A few minutes to get yourself protected will help you control the sick days at the office and also cut down on the insurance costs.

Ways You can Get the Flu Shot

If you are scared of needles, it shouldn’t prevent you from getting the flu shot this year. Small children have the option of nasal spray flu vaccine so that they do not feel any pain at all while being given the dose. However, this spray is not recommended for women who are pregnant. Adults also have the option of intradermal flu vaccine. The fine needle used to give this dose only penetrates the skin so you will not feel any pain. Those suffering from an egg allergy can also get a cell-based vaccine.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil to Treat Acne

Acne is a skin condition that can affect men and women at many different stages in life, ranging from those troublesome teenage years when excess sebum can wreak havoc on the skin, to the 30s and 40s where those that have never suffered from it before can suddenly develop the ailment.

Although there are many artificial products that are designed to help clear up acne, one long-established and very effective natural choice is tea tree oil. Although toxic when consumed, used in low concentrations as a topical product it can successfully treat a variety of medical and skin complaints.

This product is often used to treat acne due to the terpinen-4-ol that it contains, a constituent known for its anti-microbial properties. When applied to acne, it can effectively kill off the bacteria that cause it, leading to a great reduction in the swelling and redness that come along with the condition.

With that in mind, it is important to note that tea tree oil used neat can be very strong, causing skin irritation, blisters and itching. For this reason, it is strongly recommended to dilute the product before treating acne, so as to see results without further damaging the skin.

The product can be diluted by simply mixing it with warm water; try mixing tea tree oil will an equal part of warm water before applying to a freshly-cleaned face. Care should be taken to only apply the mixture to the areas of skin that are suffering from acne, so as to avoid causing irritation on other parts of the face.

To apply, use a cotton swab soaked in the mixture and administer directly to your acne. If you prefer, you can create an astringent for you face by adding a few drops of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water, which then can be applied to the whole of the face before moisturising. Due to the potentially irritant qualities of the oil, avoid using any treatment more than once a day.

Tea tree oil can also be blended with other oils and products to create a face lotion or moisturiser. For an entirely natural approach, use recipes provided by reputable natural skin and beauty product retailers to make your own face cream, and then add a couple of drops of tea tree oil for its antimicrobial properties.

You could also add a few drops of tea tree oil to your regular shop-bought lotion of choice in order to create a product that is tailored to treating your acne. In all cases, do a patch test on a sensitive area of skin – such as the inside of your arm – before applying to your face; dab a little tea tree lotion on your skin and then leave for a few hours to see if any redness or irritation develops.

If it turns out that you are sensitive to this oil and it causes skin irritation during your patch test, there are other natural alternatives available to help ameliorate the appearance of acne. One of these is argan oil, which has been shown in studies to effectively improve the condition.

Argan oil is a very gentle alternative, which is highly unlikely to cause any irritation to the skin; to use it, apply it as a night-time moisturiser by massaging a few drops into a clean and damp face before sleeping. The product promotes skin healing and can greatly reduce the redness and irritation of acne over time.

Tea tree oil is a highly-effective natural ingredient for treating acne if used with caution. To ensure best results, dilute the product with water or as mix it with a lotion and use once daily to kill off acne-causing bacteria. If you find you are sensitive to the product, do not despair – gentle argan oil makes a safe and powerful alternative.