Z-Pack and sudden deathBy Philip Chua
Cebu Daily News
THE ANTIBIOTIC azithromycin, which came in a Z-pack of 5 one-a-day pill for a five day treatment, has been linked to sudden death. Last year alone, 55.3 million prescriptions have been written for Z-pack. Forty-five deaths have been reported, mostly from cardiac arrest, and those with previous heart condition were found to be more prone to this complication. The effect of the medication on the heart rhythm could be causing the problem. The Z-pack has been taken for sore throat and sinus problems.
Complications like this are rare but people should not be taking antibiotic casually. The body and its immune system can usually handle mild infections without medications, but when it is severe, antibiotics will be considered by the attending physician, who will prescribe the appropriate one for specific bacteria involved. It is unsafe to self-diagnose and self-treat. Abuse or misuse of antibiotics can lead to bacterial resistance in the future. That is scary. Also, even common medications can have possible side effects and complications.
Snoring linked to cancer
About 30 million of Americans have sleep apnea, a condition that blocks the airway passage in the throat while the person is asleep, resulting in breath-holding, causing lack of oxygen and air-hunger, followed by snoring. Sleep apnea is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. A new study of 1,500 individuals who had sleep apnea and followed for 25 years were found to be 5 times more likely to develop cancer. More clinical studies are expected to follow. If you snore, we suggest you consult with your physician about it. Not only to save your marriage but to play it safe for you and your loved one.
Calcium pills and heart attack
Calcium supplement is very popular, especially among 61 percent of America women, to ward off
osteoporosis. Calcium is found in multivitamins and minerals and other pill and food supplements. The 11-year clinical research on about “24,000 persons
between the ages 35 and 64 found participants who took regular calcium supplements were 86 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who didn’t take supplements …. those who took only
calcium supplements were twice (200 percent) as likely to suffer a heart attack as those who did not take any vitamin supplements.” Kidney stones and bloating are other observed complications.
“Supplements cause calcium levels to soar above the normal range, and it is this flooding effect which might ultimately be harmful,” according to the researchers.
While the recommendation for those taking calcium not to exceed 2000 mg, the safer alternative is to eat a balanced diet to obtain the daily calcium requirement in a more natural way. Physicians are now re-evaluating the common practice of prescribing calcium supplements to prevent osteoporosis and considering other options. Those on calcium supplements should discuss this with their physicians before discontinuing them.
Crash dieting is dangerous
Particularly popular among overweight teenagers and other individuals who are conscious about their weight and shape is crash dieting. The sudden and erratic fall in blood sugar and other nutrient level is adverse to the brain, liver, and other organs in the body. And if this is done often, this results in the yoyo effect on the body weight, which negatively impacts the system, including the immune system. The proper way to lose weight or maintain a normal weight is by calorie-counting and food apportionment. Being
conscious of how much we eat every day is essential. If the target calorie for the day is, let us say, 2000 calories, this could be divided into the 3, or 4, or 5 meals that day. A steady blood sugar level the entire day is healthier, allowing the pancreas and insulin secretion to be more regular and stable, instead of erratic.
Besides, the quantity, quality of food is fundamental. Fish, white chicken meat, vegetables, nuts, high fiber grains, and some fruits are the way to go. Good
hydration with filtered water (not soft drinks) is also a must. The more we stay away from red meat, the
better, as far as prevention of cancer, heart attack, and stroke is concerned. If you think about it, our health is, to a great extent, in our hands, reasonably within our control.
The soft drink controversy
New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has been the subject of criticism and ridicule following his recent proposal to ban supper-sized soft drinks in the city. This is his latest initiative to combat obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other related illnesses. In 2008, the city mandated restaurant chains to post calorie-counts on their menus. Two years before that, the “Board of Health and city council banned artery-clogging
trans-fats from restaurants and prepared foods.” In 2003, the Mayor “blocked the beverages from vending machines in schools and city-owned buildings.”
While it could be argued that this is government
intrusion into people’s choices, this is no different from ordinances regarding seat belts, DUI, using cell phones while driving, no smoking in theatres, restaurants, work place, etc. These are all for the people’s protection. If people do not protect themselves and become liabilities and a danger to their fellowmen, it is the government’s job to step in. Obesity and other major illnesses from soft drinks, which cause metabolic syndrome–a cluster of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke–are costing tax payers billions of dollars a year, which every citizen pays for, even those who “behave” and live a healthy lifestyle. The massive epidemic of obesity, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, is indeed alarming.
Soft drinks, which we have labeled “liquid candy,” have adverse health effects, especially among
children, as we have discussed in this column in the past. While the ban is a restriction on people’s
freedom just like those four ordinances we have
mentioned above, which have been adopted in the United States and other countries in the world,
medical science and public health interest are also well behind this controversial ban.
Of course, the questions are: How about the other unhealthy food items in restaurants? Shall we allow the government to restrict our choices even more? Where will it stop? This is indeed a dilemma. Perhaps, the answer is personal discipline and responsibility on the part of all of us, the citizens.
For more data, please visit: philipSchua.com
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