Jamaica Health Tips Blog
Ever wonder why mosquitoes are attracted to some people
when compare to others? Many Jamaicans believed that if your blood is sweet,
then mosquitoes will be more inclined to bite you more than others. With us
having over 3,000 species of mosquitoes, only three are predominantly
responsible for the transmission of diseases. These are the Anopheles, Culex
and some of the diseases that are transmitted by them are Malaria, Encephalitis and Dengue
Mosquitoes being so persistent and irritating at times,
possesses an uncanny ability to sense our murderous intention and take flight
before one of our fatal swats. However, before taking a blood meal, a mosquito
would normally probe the surface of the skin, using sensory organs to find the
perfect area to strike a blood vessel. It then injects its proboscis in your
skin, releasing saliva in your blood vessel to prevent clotting and facilities
the free flow blood. This is when its possible for this vector to transmit disease
causing microbes in your body.
With that in mind here are a few reasons mosquitoes
are more attracted to some people more than others;
Persons with high body temperature will be more likely
to be bitten by one of these vectors e.g. pregnant women. Normal areas of our
body with high temperature are our foreheads, neck, wrists and elbows. However,
a person who has just finish some vigorous activity and is hot will have blood
closer to the surface of their skin. As a result, the mosquito will use the heat
to determined where blood is closer to the skin.
Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, therefore
a person who breathes heavily, will cause the mosquito to hone in on them as it
follows the steady flow of the gas. This is why you will hear them buzzing
right at your ear line. So, as you exhale carbon dioxide through your nose, it
travels at the side of the face along the ear line, where the vector follows
As we indulge in various activities or due to an
increase in our body temperature, the body will start to producing sweat to facilities
cooling down. When ever we sweat there is an increase in the secretion of
lactic acid through our skin. Mosquitoes are attracted to lactic acid and this
will make you their prime victim.
According to several prominent Entomologists,
mosquitoes are believed to be more attracted to a person with a Type O when
compare to a Type A or Type B. it has also been deduced that persons with
certain genetic are greater attractant to mosquitoes than others.
In order to protect yourself from mosquito bites,
always wear mosquito repellant
containing DEET and light coloured clothing to
Are you protecting yourself
from mosquito bites?
Season 2018: The Top 5 Things you Must Do!
As we reluctantly welcome the 2018 hurricane Season,
many Jamaicans are carelessly living day by day without a disaster preparedness
plan. A hurricane can cause widespread devastation and catastrophic effects on not
just lives and properties but also the economy. As mentioned in a post printed
by AccuWeather.com, the official season begins June 1, 2018 and will end
November 30, 2018. It is also predicted by many geologists that the season will
be a very active one.
Therefore, planning and preparing are the only two things
that will help you to be safe and resilient in the wake of a hurricane. The
ability to quickly recover following a hurricane requires focus, preparedness,
advance planning, and knowing what to do.
Against that background, here are a few things you
must do to be prepared;
gutters, drainage and tall trees around your home.
gutters and drains to ensure that there is no obstruction that could hinder the
free flow of water during rainfall. Additionally, observe water flow around
your house during rainy time, this will give you an indication of how high
water will rise and if there is need for additional drainage. Cut down tall
trees and over-hanging limbs that could cause damage to roof and house during
cracks and seams.
Using caulk to seal cracks and seams in wall, could
save you hundreds of thousands during a hurricane. This will make your home
impervious to water and protects your home other valuables during a heavy
the sturdiness of your roof.
Checking the roof of your home are among-st the first
things you should do before the hurricane. This should take precedence,
especially if your home has gone through a previous hurricane. The strong winds
during a hurricane can wreak havoc on your roof, therefore checking for loose,
missing or materials in disrepair are very crucial.
Having a battery powered weather radio during a
hurricane is imperative. Why? In most instances during a hurricane the
electricity will go. As a result, having a battery powered weather radio will
help you keep up to date on the news and weather reports.
Things such as can foods, other non-perishable food
item and safe drinking water are a must have during the hurricane season. Also having emergency equipment such as band
aides, dressing items and antiseptic is very crucial just in case you need to
treat a wound during a hurricane.
In conclusion, a hurricane is no joking matter,
failing to prepare is basically preparing you and your family to be at great
risk. Knowing where the nearest shelter is located and planning alternate
routes to get there should be amongst some of the things in your disaster plan.
Emergency number such as an ambulance services, the Police and the fire
department are vital as well. Remember your health is your responsibility, so
be prepared and get ready for this hurricane season.
you prepared for hurricane season 2018?
Ever woken up from a bad dream, only to realize you
are pinned down to your bed and cannot move?
I bet you have,
this feeling of being out of control is known as Sleep Paralysis. Many
Jamaicans would claim they have been held down by evil spirit while others said
they have even seen ghosts. According to an article written by the NHS Choice;
“sleep paralysis is the temporary
inability to move or speak that happens when you're waking up or, less
commonly, falling asleep.”
So in essence, your brain has woken up but your body is still in a state of
sleep, which normally cause the muscles to be paralyzed. Despite, the muscles
of the body being briefly paralyzed, you are still able to breath and even see
in some cases.
It has been noted in several research that sleep paralysis has been
experienced by majority of the population at some time in their live. Researchers have even went on to say that most
of these occurrences take place while the individual is sleeping on his or her
back. Sleep paralysis may even cause individuals to experience hallucination,
this is reason they may have sense ghost or evil spirit in their presence. This
terrifying but harmless experience can last from few seconds to even minutes.
Wondering what could possibly cause such dreadful experience? Here are a
few causative factors;
- Sleep deprivation - the less sleep you get and the more exhausted you are, the more
likely you are to experience sleep paralysis.
- Family History - family history plays a very important role in our health
and wellness, thus sleep paralysis is just one more thing in our life it will
- Age – sleep paralysis has been reported mostly in the teens and young
is also being rumored to be linked to mental illnesses such as bipolar and stress
therefore, it’s important to check with your doctor if you have any of these
To reduce and eliminate the occurrence of sleep paralysis is to have a
healthy sleeping life and to take care of your personal health through regular
exercise and a proper diet.
Have you ever experience sleep paralysis?
As the reality of the New Year sets in, many
Jamaicans are eager to drop all the pounds they have packed on during the
festive season. Needless to say though,
a lot of us will be in the same spot as we were last year or even the year
before. Within a month or two many of us would have lost all hope in
accomplishing our weight loss goal, mainly because we have made the very same
mistakes year after year. Against that back ground, here are the five biggest
mistakes we make when trying to lose weight;
According to a research done by the University of
Copenhage, a person who works out for 30 minutes a day will lose 40% more fat
than someone who works out for a longer period. Shocked? Don’t be, this is
because the longer you work out, your body will resort to using your muscles to
fuel your workout. Remember fat is the fuel use to keep the muscles in the body
active hence, the less muscle in the body the less fat you will burn at the end
of your work out. In addition, the body reads exercise as a stressor, therefore
when the body is stressed it will produces cortisol. Elevated cortisol due to
long periods of exercise may lead to an increase in blood sugar levels, retention of
fat around the mid-section and slowing down of the immune system. In essence it’s best to do short high
intervals work out for a maximum of 45 minutes a day.
Working out six to seven days a week does not give
the body adequate time to rest. Rest plays a very crucial part in muscle
recovery. Remember when you are working out you are not building muscles but
rather tearing them down. This means that the body will need time to heal and rejuvenate for
your next work out. Another important part of resting the body is getting
adequate sleep. Ever noticed after a good night’s rest, how flat your tummy
looks? This is because during sleep your body produces hormones that burn fat. According to a research published by Annals of Internal Medicine,
getting less than seven hours of sleep can undo the benefits of dieting. As
outlined in the study; 50% of weight loss by dieters who got adequate sleep were fat, while dieters who cut back on sleep loss less fat. The study even
further explained that dieters who did not get adequate sleep were hungrier; they
were also less satisfied after meals and lack energy to exercise. In summary
working out 3-4 times per week and getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night should
do the trick.
Not eating enough food to provide the body with
sufficient energy will put the body under stress and by extension slows down
your metabolism. This action also sends
the body into survival mode, this means it will hold on to the existing fat and
slows down the process of burning it so you won’t lose energy. It does this to prevent itself from starving and also providing energy to operate the vital organs. This very same
reaction can take place when you restrict yourself from eating certain food;
hence letting the body becomes deficient in certain nutrients. As stated by a dietitian
who works at the Western Regional Health Authority, “No food is bad”. Just make
sure you are eating in moderation while focusing on eating healthier, which is eating
more natural foods. If you eat healthy 80% of the time you will only need to
work out 20% of the time. This means that what you put in the body is four
times more important than any work out.
drinking enough water
Did you know that often times when you feel hungry
you are actually thirsty? Drinking water is one of the easiest things you will
ever do to lose weight. Drinking water aids in digestion of food, the proper
functions of organs and also makes you feel full so you will eat less. Not
drinking enough water can slow down your metabolism and hence reduces the
burning process. There are countless reasons why drinking enough water is a
vital part of any weight loss program, but more so it’s very important in the
body’s daily function. Remember water is life.
- Not doing exercise you love
Ever heard the saying, will power is a diminishing
resource? All of us at some time in our life have set out to accomplish some
dreams, but over time that level of will and determination fades in the
distant. One factor that could combat such a thing when trying to lose weight
is doing physical activities that you love. Dancing, Kickboxing, Running whatever
that is convenient and not burdensome for you to do.
Most importantly it is vital to listening to your
body, do not over-exercise, over-eat or vice versa, but rather do everything in
Once you practice these five steps listed above you
will realize that losing weight is not so difficult and burdensome after all.
Do you currently find it hard to lose weight? Leave your
comments and share your experiences.
With the recent buzz in the media about the outbreak
of hand foot and mouth disease in our schools, Jamaican parents are frantic
with fear and hoping that their children do not contract the disease. One of
the latest news published by the Gleaner mentioned that there were approximately
313 reported cases of the disease from a total of 98 schools in the island. The only four parishes that have not yet been
affected are Trelawny, Hanover, Clarendon and Manchester. But what is this
hand foot and mouth disease? Should you be worried?
As outlined on the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention
website, Hand foot and mouth disease is a common viral illness that usually
affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. However, it can
sometimes occur in adults. This disease should not be confused with foot and
mouth disease or otherwise called hoof and mouth disease that only affects
cattle, swine and sheep, as these two diseases are not related and are cause by
Early symptoms are usually fever, loss of appetite,
sore throat and malaise, a day or two after the fever a child will start to develop
painful sores in the mouth as well as small red blisters around the mouth, palm
of the hand, sole of the feet, elbows, knees, buttocks and other parts of the
body such as the genitals. These blisters may turn in ulcers which most times
are painless. The thing that parents should pay attention to though, is that the
painful sores in the mouth may result in dehydration and weight loss in their child as it would be difficult for him or her to swallow.
This disease most times only last for about a week
however, it is during this time that the illness is most contagious. The infected
individual can spread the virus when they cough; sneeze and the droplets are
inhaled by people around them. A person can also get infected by touching an
object contaminated with the virus such as toys, door knobs and then touch their eyes, nose and mouth. The virus can also spread through blister fluid and
stool from an infected person hence, to help others from getting infected, you
should stay home while you are sick and keep children at home until their fever
and blisters have healed.
This will help in the transmission but not totally
eliminates it as, the virus can still lives in a person body for weeks even
after symptoms disappear. This means that it’s very important to seek medical advice
as to when it’s safe to send your child back to school or when you can return
to work. The hand foot and mouth disease as no treatment or vaccine, this
disease is caused by a virus and antibiotic does not work against viruses. To
relief symptoms doctors may prescribe a mouth wash or spray that numbs mouth
pain and over the counter medications to reduce pain and fever. Children
however, should never be given aspirin as it may result in other complications.
Here now are things you can do to help protect yourself
and your children from getting hand foot and mouth disease; wash your
hands often with soap and wash especially after changing diapers and using the
bathroom, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, avoid
close contacts with an infected person such as hugging, kissing, sharing of
utensils and disinfect frequently touched areas for example door knobs and toys.
Remember your health is your responsibility so be
healthy today, for more information on hand foot and mouth disease please visit
your nearest health facility.
Are you prepared for the hand foot and mouth disease?
Over the past few months, the cries of many
Jamaicans have been the sweltering heat and stifling humidity being experienced
in our country. As a result most persons
are forced to stay inside, but could we be running from one health hazard into
another? With indoor air pollution being one of the top public health issue on
the WHO agenda, It’s critical that Jamaicans know that the air inside may put
them at more risk than they believe.
the WHO, 4.3 million people a year
die from the exposure to household air pollution. In poorly ventilated
dwellings, smoke from cooking, cleaning supplies like bleach and disinfectants,
too high or too low humidity, recent remodeling, and burning of garbage around
the home can increase level of toxic particles in the air. Recent researches
have shown that exposure to these air toxins are high in women and children who
spend most of their time in the home.
As outlined in an article
in the Jamaica Gleaner (February 2, 2014), “Consistent exposure to poor indoor
air quality often leaves occupants with symptoms such as headaches, fatigue,
sinus infections and asthma attacks”. In addition the air producing
equipment such as the air conditions and fans will not do much good, as they
only circulate the bad air inside. A study done by the MOH has reveals that there has been an increase in the number of individuals
suffering from asthma, both young and old, whether they reside "in dust-prone
areas or live in upscale residential communities". These symptoms can lead
to dire implications and even deaths.
Now here are some
simple ways to reduce indoor air pollution;
- Increase ventilation by opening windows and
- Bring nature inside; NASA research has shown
that indoor plants like fern, spider plant and Aloe Vera acts like an air purifier.
- Use sliced
lemons/lime and baking soda to eliminate bad odor in the kitchen rather than
- Plan remodeling (painting) during the spring time
when you can open up your house to allow fresh air to come in rather than the
- Remove garbage frequently from inside the home.
Remember the health
of your family is in your hand; help them to be safe today by reducing air
pollution in your homes.
How is the air
quality in your home?
My first encounter with this word was about five
years ago in college. My lecturer had given us a paper to write on the
difference between pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, which would include
their pros and cons. What was astonishing to me then was why this approach to
health care was not as popular as the pharmaceutical approach?
Many have theorized that the drug industry is a very lucrative business and has the power
to control the health care industry and the media. Adding to that point, there
have even been reports of pharmaceutical companies manipulating doctors and
even pharmaceutical representatives in promoting their drugs.
Some even have said that
the pharmaceutical industry by no means is in the business of health, healing,
cures or wellness but rather disease maintenance and symptom management. In
other words, if all our illnesses were to be cured and the population had
optimum health, there would not be the need for the pharmaceutical industry, which
reiterates the point that they do not intend to cure diseases. With that in
mind, nutraceutical which is a "Food, or parts of food, that provide medical or
health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease,"(DeFelice, 1989), maybe very foreign to many Jamaicans, more
so the multifarious health benefits that are attributed to their products. Against
that background, here is a list of some common foods and their health benefit
that we should incorporate in your diet.
It is important to know that a lot of our
pharmaceuticals are manufactured using synthetic product e.g. minerals obtained
from stones. Stone was never apart of man’s diet hence, some of these product
do not benefit us in anyway but rather a placebo effect. To couple with that
point, most nutrients used to make pharmaceutical products are extracted from
it source and added with other nutrients and by-product such as enzymes which
may not result in the same effects or benefits as it would in its natural form. In
conclusion, my intention is to solely educate all Jamaicans of the benefits of
taking a holistic and natural approach to their health. Healthy environment = healthy food =
healthy people take your health in your own hands today.
Do you think you could survive without pharmaceuticals?
It’s great to see many Jamaicans adding more fruits
and vegetables to their diet nowadays, but eating healthy is not the only thing
we should focus on. When purchasing our fruits and vegetable we tend to shy
away from the ones that have been bitten by insects or that have insect parts
on them, but are we really equipped with the correct information to identify
good quality fruits and vegetables in the market place? Generally, these foods ought
to be consumed when they are fit and not to be offered for sale in an over ripe,
rotten, parasitic or poisonous condition.
Over ripe fruit is known to cause diarrhoea and other complications. Here are things to look out for when
purchasing these produce in the market place;
Eating healthy is good but never neglect safety in the process. Remember your health is your responsibility so shop smart and responsible.
Do you inspect your vegetables and fruits before you buy them?
With the recent increase of corsets wearing by
celebrities in Jamaica and around the world, many young women including myself
have fallen prey to the delusion and false sense of true beauty in our society
today. It’s our aim to achieve that hourglass figure portrayed on our
television screens and fashion magazines by some of the biggest names in the fashion
industry. But is it even safe or realistic for all women to look like Kim
Kardashian or even Amber Rose?
In doing my
research on this topic it’s staggering to see the number of young women who
were convinced that their waist were much smaller after couple hours of wearing
this cinching garment. On the contrary there were equal number of medical personnel who were saying these garments don’t work, while reiterating the innumerable
health effects associated with wearing a corset waist training garment.
In trying to
squeeze into a corset, you could potentially harm the major internal
organs that reside in that region. It has been agreed by many medical practitioners
including Dr Jan Schroeder, Professor of Fitness in the Department of
Kinesiology at California State University that Corsets do not result in a
permanent loss of fat in the midsection but rather a re-distribution of the fat
and organs, to give the appearance of a smaller waist.
It’s important to note also that tightening
the abdomen and torso could affect lung function by restricting the amount of space
available for the lungs to expand into the abdomen and fill with air thus,
oxygen or carbon dioxide will not be inhaled or expel respectively resulting in
the person becoming short of breath.
According to an articles posted by Life
by Daily Burn, Dr. Ball was sited saying ,“If you genetically don’t have an
hourglass shape, you can exercise all you want, but you might not end up with
an hourglass figure.” So if your skeletal system do not have an hourglass structure
it’s impossible to obtain such figure from wearing a corset.
As young women we need to find our inner beauty and
embrace it. If you want to be a size six just focus on eating a clean diet
until you achieved your goal weight. Diet and exercise is not our issue in this
society today but rather the will power and perseverance we need to accomplished
what ever our desires maybe. First develop these two skills afterward
everything will fall into place. Remember there is only one of you therefore,
love and value your unique you.
Do you think wearing a corset slims the midsection?
are one of the most repulsive and resilient pest encountered on a daily basis
in a Jamaican home. These insects never seem to give us a break; they infest
our furniture, laundry and most importantly our food. They normally become
established in the home by an infested grocery bag(s), laundry or from simple
wandering from outdoors. Cockroaches are nocturnal in nature and frequent
premises where food is handled, as they like to live where they eat. During the
day they will hide in cracks, crevices, voids in the wall and warm and moist
areas in the home, e.g. sinks, drains, manholes, stoves, the back of the cupboard
and in the refrigerator units.
are the type of pest that we should not ignore or take for granted. They are
vectors known for numerous deadly diseases e.g. Dysentery, Typhoid,
poliomyelitis and many more. These roaches are famous for crawling over faeces
and other insanitary areas and then come crawling and feeding on our foods and
most common cockroach species that have been encountered in our island are the;
cockroach (Blatella germanica)
cockroach (Periplaneta Americana)
cockroach (Supella longipalpis)
cockroack (Blaberus giganteus)
German cockroach may be considered to be the most successful and shows a
greater resistance to insecticides as they are small and readily hid in cracks
and crevices. In addition the female roaches will carry their ootheca for a
long time (up to just before hatching). As a result, they may not be killed
during the pest control process.
first step you should take when dealing with a cockroach infestation is to keep
your home clean and sanitary. Pest needs three things to survive; water, food and
shelter and an insanitary environment provides all three. The next step is to use a licensed pest
control operator to implement the pest program or seek advice before you
implement the same. This is very important because there is certain information
that needs to be obtained before treatment begins and only a trained person
will be competent enough. Adding to that fact, pest control chemicals are very
poisonous and should be handled with caution therefore, a layman is not
equipped to take on such risky task. A pest control program may include the use
of baits hence, it’s crucial that adequate information is obtained from a train
pest control worker. This is because the behaviour of the roaches need to be identified
in order to know where you should locate your baiting station(s).
currently have cockroach infestation in your home?