Posted - Jul 30 2010 : 08:26:11 AM
| Volume 10, Issue 35
July 30, 2010
Summer is at its full intensity, and those of us with COPD who venture beyond the comfort of air conditioning and push it too far are vulnerable to heat stroke. It's therefore a good time to review how to recognize it, treat it and equally important, how to prevent it! Below is a non-medical person's brief summary of some of the information written about heat stroke.
Heat stroke (or heatstroke) is a medical emergency and can be fatal if not treated promptly and properly. It is a type of hyperthermia, which is an elevation in body temperature accompanied by physical and neurological symptoms. When one's body is not able to dissipate heat sufficiently due to high temperatures, humidity or vigorous exercise, body temperatures can rise to a dangerous level. Dehydration may also cause or contribute to heat stroke. Some medications such as beta blockers, anti-Parkinson drugs, some antidepressants, antihistamines, sleeping pills, anti-diarrhea pills, diuretics, and some psychiatric medications may also cause some people to be more vulnerable to heat stroke.
Heat stroke is sometimes preceded by heat exhaustion. Many of the signs and symptoms are the same. The following articles will help you differentiate the two, however heat exhaustion can also includes heavy sweating and paleness. Warning signs for both conditions can include hot body temperature, hot skin with no sweating, rapid pulse, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, headache, muscle cramps, aches, and dizziness. It can result in coma or death. Heat stroke can also come on suddenly without the common warning signs noted above, only have a couple of the warning signs, or fool us by having even less common warning signs.
Heat stroke victims need immediate medical attention. Try to cool the person and call 911. Don't second guess yourself; it could be a fatal mistake!
To avoid heat stroke, maintain proper hydration, and avoid excessive heat, humidity, and vigorous exercise. Also avoid coffee, tea and alcohol, and wear lightweight, loose clothing.
For more complete information on heat stroke, see the following:
SOURCES: News items summarized in The COPD-NEWS are taken from secondary sources believed to be reliable. However, the COPD Family of Services does not verify their accuracy.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
- AMERICANS WITH DISABILTIES ACT CELEBRATES 20 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
- CLEANING AND GROOMING ADVICE FOR PET OWNERS
- RESEARCH LINKS RECREATIONAL POOL DISINFECTANTS TO HEALTH PROBLEMS
- BRIGHT STARS OF THE BRAIN REGULATE BREATHING
- WOOD SMOKE EXPOSURE MULTIPLIES DAMAGE FROM SMOKING, INCREASING RISK OF COPD
- NO,YOU ARE NOT EXCUSED FROM THE TABLE UNTIL YOU EAT YOUR BROCCOLI!
- OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES MEASURES TO PROTECT CONSUMERS AND PUT PATIENTS BACK IN CHARGE OF THEIR CARE
- MEMBER RECOMMENDS CRANBERRY JUICE FOR PHLEGM
AMERICANS WITH DISABILTIES ACT CELEBRATES 20 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
The ADA (American with Disabilities Act) turned 20 years old this week. This powerful piece of civil rights legislation protects people with disabilities from discrimination, and requires that resources be made accessible to individuals who are disabled - within reason, of course. People often wonder if they meet the qualifications for being considered "disabled." Others are insulted when they think someone is trying to place yet another label on them - one that many people find undesirable, limiting and stigmatizing. Some of us simply do not consider ourselves disabled (or perhaps could come up with a better term), but we just want a few things to be just a bit less challenging for us, such as having someone pump our gas at a self-serve gas station. Although we all probably have our own personal concept of what it means to be "disabled," the ADA has its own rather broad definition.
The ADA has modified its definition over the years, sometimes to clarify expectations for specific settings, such as employment or transportation. Because many federal agencies oversee aspects of enforcement of ADA laws, different descriptive words are used by different agencies. For those of us with COPD, we can claim protections and expect accessibility if our condition, "substantially or severely restricts a major life activity." Major life activities, according to the ADA, include, but are not limited to, "caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, working," and a few specific "major bodily functions." To learn more about the ADA, visit:
If you just want a good synopsis, visit:
CLEANING AND GROOMING ADVICE FOR PET OWNERS
From Josephine in Switzerland
In response to reading the advice in last week's newsletter that pets should be groomed twice a month, long time member Josephine has some great additional advice. As a pet owner herself, she recommends not having your pet sprayed or dusted with any kind of chemical powder, especially flea powder. Some of those products, she has learned, can be very bad for our lungs and/or cause allergic reactions. Instead, you can ask your veterinarian about liquid drops that can be put on your pet's neck to keep fleas and other pests away. Josephine also advises others to be careful of the shampoo with which you wash your dog. Like some human shampoos, some dog shampoos can also irritate our lungs. Although she agrees that it might be best not to let dogs into your bedroom, she's not convinced that all of us react negatively to cats, unless, of course, you have fur allergies. Her major advisory, however, is to stay away from commercial cat litter, which she find "nasty" to breathe in. Besides, Josephine finds commercial cat litter unnecessary. She suggests using shredded paper (or toilet paper) in the litter box. If you would like to forgo the litter box altogether, she suggests that you consider toilet training your cat. For skeptics, or for those who want help toilet training their cat, she recommends the following web site.
RESEARCH LINKS RECREATIONAL POOL DISINFECTANTS TO HEALTH PROBLEMS
The University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences reports that taking a dip in a pool might not be as safe for us as we think. Although most of us with COPD focus on the possible fumes from the disinfectants, the researchers point out yet another problem. Because recreational pools contain organic matter such as dead life forms, leaves, skin cells, hair, sweat, urine, makeup, etc. in the water, the interaction of the disinfectants with the organic matter in the pool results in the formation of additional harmful byproducts - "nitrogenous disinfection byproducts," if you want to be scientific about it. These byproducts, the researchers claim, can mutate genes and result in birth defects, cancer, and especially noteworthy for us, they can cause respiratory ailments!
COMMERCIAL FREE: We do not accept any paid advertising. Any corporations, products, medicines (prescription or over the counter) mentioned in this newsletter are for informational purposes only and not to be construed as an endorsement or condemnation of same.
BRIGHT STARS OF THE BRAIN REGULATE BREATHING
Have you ever had someone annoy you by telling you your shortness of breath is in your head? Well, they may be partially correct! Scientists have discovered that brain cells shaped like stars, call astrocytes, regulate breathing. Once thought only to be cells that glue neurons together, the role of these cells is now considered important in understanding respiratory failure, and even sudden infant death syndrome. The astrocytes appear to actually regulate breathing by sensing the carbon dioxide level in arterial blood. This discovery helps researchers target new approaches to understanding and treating respiratory disorders.
WOOD SMOKE EXPOSURE MULTIPLIES DAMAGE FROM SMOKING, INCREASING RISK OF COPD
In a news release, the American Thoracic Society announced it would be publishing an article that delves into the effect of wood smoke upon smokers. They point out that not only does exposure to wood smoke increase an individual's chance of developing COPD (as we would all would expect), they also found that the exposure to wood smoke actually alters an individual's genetic material. The synergistic combination of tobacco and wood smoke dramatically increases the risk of developing decreased lung function.
MEDICAL DECISIONS. Your physician should be consulted on all medical decisions. New procedures or drugs should not be started or stopped without such consultation. While we believe that our accumulated experience has
value, and a unique perspective, you must accept it for what it is...the work of COPD patients. We vigorously encourage individuals with COPD to take an active part in the management of their disease. They do this through
education and by sharing information and thoughts with their primary physician and pulmonologist. However, medical decisions are based on complex medical principles and should be left to the medical practitioner who has
been trained to diagnose and advise.
NO, YOU AR NOT EXCUSED FROM THE TABLE UNTIL YOU EAT YOUR BROCCOLI!
Sometimes newspapers report "recent studies" even thought the studies refered to are a few years old. Nevertheless, some of those stories, like this one, bear repeating. Researchers at Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore, report finding a substance in broccoli that could play a role in reducing the progression of COPD. Curious? You'll find everything you need to know here:
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES NEW AFFORDABLE CARE ACT TO PROTECT CONSUMERS AND PUT PATIENTS BACK IN CHARGE OF THEIR HEALTHCARE
The Obama Administration has announced new regulations to empower consumers to appeal decisions made by their health insurance providers. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the purpose of the act is to help support and protect consumers, and end some of the worse insurance company abuses. This act allows consumers to appeal unfavorable decisions to an outside, independent, decision maker, no matter what state they live in or what insurance company they have. The act also addresses providing information and assistance to individuals who want to appeal decisions. Now the big caveat: although there is the intent to eventually phase in this protection across the board, the new rules will only cover NEW health plans beginning on or after September 23, 2010. For the complete news release, visit:
CRANBERRY JUICE FOR THROAT PLEGM
From Jim Balsley, Iowa
Jim, a long time member, shares with us that his pulmonary case worker at his V.A. suggested he try 1/2 cup of cranberry juice, the diet type if necessary, for phlegm in the throat. He reports that it is "truly unbelievable and works immediately." Cranberry juice is known for its anti-adhesive properties, particularly in binding to bacteria so that cannot stick to cell walls. For a comprehensive review of the many health benefits of cranberries, visit:
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Watch your tongue when you attempt this very frustrating, yet compelling game. The "reset" is in Spanish ("reiniciar"), which kind of makes one question if the test is really used by children in China as they claim!
Called "Neuroscience for Kids," these exercises state the are intended for grade school kids. Yeah, right! Well, they must be building kids smarter these days, because some of these are downright difficult!
Like puzzles? This site offers a nice variety!
For comments and questions or to contact Joan Costello or Richard D. Martin, please contact us jointly at:
Until next Friday,
Richard D. Martin, Co-Editor
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To tell your friends how to subscribe to this Newsletter, send them to
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Please keep in mind that all posts are from COPD patients / caregivers and not medically trained professionals - consult your medical team for your personal medical needs.
To contact List Management write Management@copd-support.com
Your COPD Support Newsletter is provided only to subscribers.
To see other programs provided in the Family of COPD Support
Programs, examine our web site at http://copd-support.com
To tell your friends how to subscribe to this Newsletter, send them to
To modify or cancel your subscription to the Newsletter go to:
Please keep in mind that all posts are from COPD patients / caregivers
and not medically trained professionals - consult your medical team
for your personal medical needs.