Children who get Flu Vaccinations have three times Risk of Hospitalization for flu.

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Children Who Get Flu Vaccine Have Three Times Risk Of Hospitalization For Flu, Study Suggests (2009 Requested Repost)

Source: American Thoracic Society
The inactivated flu vaccine does not appear to be effective in preventing influenza-related hospitalizations in children, especially the ones with asthma. In fact, children who get the flu vaccine are more at risk for hospitalization than their peers who do not get the vaccine, according to new research that will be presented on May 19, at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego.
Flu vaccine (trivalent inactivated flu vaccine—TIV) has unknown effects on asthmatics.
“The concerns that vaccination maybe associated with asthma exacerbations have been disproved with multiple studies in the past, but the vaccine’s effectiveness has not been well-established,” said Avni Joshi, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. “This study was aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of the TIV in children overall, as well as the children with asthma, to prevent influenza-related hospitalization.”
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend annual influenza vaccination for all children aged six months to 18 years. The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (3rd revision) also recommends annual flu vaccination of asthmatic children older than six months.
In order to determine whether the vaccine was effective in reducing the number of hospitalizations that all children, and especially the ones with asthma, faced over eight consecutive flu seasons, the researchers conducted a cohort study of 263 children who were evaluated at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota from six months to 18 years of age, each of whom had had laboratory-confirmed influenza between 1996 to 2006. The investigators determined who had and had not received the flu vaccine, their asthma status and who did and did not require hospitalization. Records were reviewed for each subject with influenza-related illness for flu vaccination preceding the illness and hospitalization during that illness.
They found that children who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of hospitalization, as compared to children who had not received the vaccine. In asthmatic children, there was a significantly higher risk of hospitalization in subjects who received the TIV, as compared to those who did not (p= 0.006). But no other measured factors—such as insurance plans or severity of asthma—appeared to affect risk of hospitalization.
“While these findings do raise questions about the efficacy of the vaccine, they do not in fact implicate it as a cause of hospitalizations,” said Dr. Joshi. “More studies are needed to assess not only the immunogenicity, but also the efficacy of different influenza vaccines in asthmatic subjects.”
American Thoracic Society. “Children Who Get Flu Vaccine Have Three Times Risk Of Hospitalization For Flu, Study Suggests.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 2009.

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Is your slow cooker safe?

Hazards In Your Slow Cooker Could Be Making Your Family Sicker

304ck from the 70s, slow cookers are making a big comeback in the kitchen.

It’s easy to see why. They offer the same time-saving, fuss-free, one-pot style of cooking that made them popular in the first place.
As safe as slow cookers seem to be left unattended while they simmer dinner, some of them contain lead and other unsafe levels of heavy metals that could be slowly contaminating your food and making your family sick.
And if you found one at a yard sale or inherited an old one, be aware of safety risks such as old, worn cords when using them, because some very real health concerns are connected to old-fashioned slow cookers.

“If you were handed down a vintage pot from the 70s that has the insert firmly attached to the heating element, instead of a removable insert, then it’s time to upgrade,”
Stephanie O’Dea, New York Times best-selling cookbook author and slow-cooking expert told NBC News. “All of the newer pots have a removable cooking pot which is dishwasher safe.”
Slow cooker inserts made from glazed ceramic contain an alarming amount of lead – they also begin to leak this lead at a terrifying rate when heated.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, most slow cookers reach a temperature between 170 degrees and 280 degrees Fahrenheit. But at 80 degrees, levels of lead being slowly leeched into food are 10 times higher than when the slow cooker is not heated. What also may be alarming is that the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t account for the lead levels leaching into food when the slow cookers are heated.
Health experts have found there are no safe lead levels for humans. Even in small amounts, ingesting lead can result in diminished mental performance and many health issues, Duke University researchers found.
A study released by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that children are particularly susceptible to poisoning from low levels of lead.
Those risks include: hearing damage, nervous system and kidney damage, decreased muscle and bone growth, digestive disorders and joint pain.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified lead as one of its ten chemicals of major public health concern. They also recognize one of the sources of exposure is through food – specifically from lead-glazed or lead-soldered containers.
Children are the most vulnerable because they absorb four to five times as much ingested lead as adults from a given source.
Exposure to lead in childhood is thought to contribute to 600,000 new cases of children with intellectual disabilities each year. Globally, lead exposure accounts for about 143,000 deaths each year.
The WHO fact sheet on lead poisoning and health states: “Young children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead and can suffer profound and permanent adverse health effects, particularly affecting the development of the brain and nervous system.
“Lead also causes long-term harm in adults, including increased risk of high blood pressure and kidney damage. Exposure of pregnant women to high levels of lead can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and low birth weight, as well as minor malformations,” it says.
Consider these three slow cookers that don’t seem to leach lead when heated:
VitaClay 8 Cup Smart Organic Multi-Cooker/Rice Cooker
Instant Pot 6QT, 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker and Slow Cooker
Precise Heat 12-Inch Surgical Stainless Steel Deep Electric Skillet/Slow Cooker
— Kimberly Hayes Taylor

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18 people wish they knew before applying for Disabiity Beneifits

18 Things People Wish They Knew Before Applying for Disability Benefits.

If your illness or disability is at a point where it’s affecting your ability to work and earn money, you may consider filing for Social Security disability benefits. If you’re approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you’d begin receiving payments the sixth month after your disability was determined to begin, in an amount based on your lifetime average earnings covered by Social Security. You can also apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is based on need and doesn’t require you to have worked before.
Applying for disability has the reputation of being a frustrating, confusing process — especially since an estimated 60 to 70 percent of applicants are denied the first time, setting off an often-lengthy appeal process. People with invisible illnesses may encounter unique challenges, since disability reviewers may not understand how limiting their medical condition actually is.
Talking with others who have been through the disability process can help give you “insider tips” you wouldn’t have known before. So we asked our Mighty community to share what they wish they knew about applying for disability benefits before they started the process. It’s important to remember that everyone’s medical situation is unique, and the disability process is different for each person. But hopefully these tips can give you an idea of strategies to consider.
Here’s what our community told us:
1. “I still haven’t been approved. But I wish I knew to check up on your doctors. Make sure they are making notes of what your appointment is about. Sometimes they don’t, and the appointment is a waste on paper. Your diagnosis needs to be documented. You would be surprised how many doctors fail to do this.” — Jillian C.
2. “I wish I would have been prepared for all the feelings. You have to almost strip yourself bare and prove you’re truly unable to work to many strangers. Plus the roller-coaster feelings of relief, quickly followed by grief. Grief for the person you were, and grief for the person you could have been in the future.” — Ashley C.
3. “[I wish I’d known] to start out with a lawyer instead of waiting until after I’d been denied. I’ve got a very good case according to my lawyer, and I could have saved nine months.” — Allison W.
4. “I was lucky to have found an advocate in my small rare disease group. He gave me many tips, but one of the best ones was to overload the review team with paperwork… Daily pain and routine journals, letters from doctors, what he called ‘A Day in The Life,’ fact sheets about my rare disorder along with how each symptom affects me and my ability to work… A page-long summary of a typical day for me. Details, details, details!” — Michelle M.
5. “Get your doctors, especially specialists, to write letters on your behalf explaining why you are disabled and what medically disables you! My nephrologist and primary both wrote letters urging the judge to take consideration to all aspects of my health issues, and I feel that was helpful.” — Kathryn W.
6. “I wish I would have known to ignore everyone who says you won’t get approved the first time or that you need a lawyer! I was so afraid to apply after the horror stories I had heard and advisors telling me I wouldn’t even qualify. I put it off for so long. And you know what? I got approved in less than three months, my first try, no hassle, no lawyer. A lot of people have a difficult time and get screwed over, but it isn’t everyone as people lead you to believe.” — Alison S.
7. “You [may] have to prove again that you’re still disabled. You’ll have to complete paperwork, get medical records, etc, etc. and it’s possible for them to deny your benefits because they believe you’re no longer disabled. It is a terrifying feeling that the benefits you fought so hard for for over three years to get and depend on could get yanked away. So continue to document everything. Every doctor appointment, keep logs, everything. Being sick is your full-time job.” — Jolene M.
8. “I wish I knew how hard it would be to convince a group of strangers that I might not look ‘sick’ but in reality I’m constantly hurting.” — Sammi F.
9. “Ask for anything Social Security tells you in writing. Just because a helpful clerk says one thing doesn’t mean someone else will back it up unless it’s in writing.” — Colleen S.
10. “Follow through with paperwork thoroughly, and be as detailed as possible. Never hide your pain, write it down as many times as possible. Get letters from your doctors approving you for disability. This helps tremendously! I was surprised I was approved on my first try and within six months. As soon as I received paperwork from them, even if I wasn’t well, I’d make sure to fill it out and mail back immediately. My case worker told me this is why I was approved so quick, plus because of my disability.” — Vanesa B.
11. “If you’re going to do it yourself, you’re better off requesting your medical records yourself and making sure everything is there before you send in your application. Have letters of support from your doctors that include your diagnosis.” — Brittany H.
12. “When you have an invisible chronic illness, especially one that is rare, you have to be prepared mentally for people to say you are lying, it’s all in your head, or you will be better soon even though there is no cure. The disability process for people that are truly sick is a test of endurance, frustration and letdowns. This is very unfair when you don’t have much physically or emotionally to give. It’s not easy to ask for help from anyone let alone from disability because that means there is no other option. Mentally prepare yourself for that.” — Da F.
13. “I wish I knew how many people I would be dealing with. I struggled to keep them all straight.” — Kelly M.
14. “I wish I knew how long it actually takes. Most people are denied the first time. If you are denied, do the appeal immediately or your initial date can change and have to start from the beginning.” — Crystal W.
15. “The most important thing is to prove inability to work. That’s all they really care about. How long can you stand, sit, walk, can you lift, carry. What mental and cognitive abilities have been affected. And any documents showing this. This is not the time to be a hero. Do not downplay your symptoms. Tell the truth, because if you don’t it will come out. But tell the truth about how bad your condition is. Physical limitations that are factual and easy to show are the best. Daily pain journals are good for pain conditions because pain is harder to prove.” — Rebecca M.
16. “See if you can find a disability advocate if you can’t afford an attorney. They typically charge a little less than attorneys, and only take their percentage from your initial disability check if you get approved. If you don’t get approved, they don’t get paid, so they work twice as hard to get you approved.” — Julie B.
17. “You will get the same questions to fill out multiple times, sometimes in different formats, sometimes in the same exact formats!” — Michelle M.
18. “Keep in contact with your evaluator. Having a good relationship can help you to know what other documentation you might want to dig up. I was able to avoid an extra evaluation at one of their doctors by providing a workers comp report that he felt was more thorough than theirs would be.” — Rebecca M.
Getty image by golubovy
Erin Migdol
The Mighty Newsletter.

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Just what is the Smart Pill?

The Smart Pill Capsule Study will help your Doctor determine if you have a condition called gatroparesis which is a condition that may delay food from emptying out of your stomach. It allows the Doctors to see how long it takes food to travel through your stomach and intestines. You will swallow a vitamin-sized capsule the will send measurements of ph, temperature throught your GI tract to a data recorder that you will wear for the duration of the test which can last as long as 5 days.

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What to expect during the test: You will eat a Smart Bar, they say just like a granola bar but it is gritty and chewy and not easy to eat when you already feel nauseated, suffering from Gerd, esophagitis and unable to eat, now you have to eat this gritty bar, But I used mind over madder in this situation. Then they give you the smart pill, which is the largest size pill I have seen if you bend your head down its easier to swallow. Then fast again for 6 hours, you wear the data recorder during the entire test. The hardest part, you can’t take your normal medications, like the ones that keep you from throwing up, gerd, acid reducer, pain meds, tums ect. This is before and during the test. You should be able to excrete the pill with in 2 days, If not MRI to find out where it is and how they are going to get it out.

My experience has not been easy to say the least, Non stop nausea, fullness, esophagitis, Gerd, a sense of feeling of full from the moment I ate the bar, I am miserable, can’t sleep, can’t eat, barely drink. But only 4 more days. thank god for music and meditation. But I am hoping this test will help the Doctors figure out what’s going on with my tummy so I can eat and start get stronger again.

Kelly

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What does IVIG treatment feel like?

IVIG therapy also known as a normal human immunoglobulin, the use of a mixture of antibodies to treat a number of health conditions. This treatment can treatment many diseases such as mine autonomic neuropathy, autonomic small cell neuropathy, autonomic dysfunction but is used for so many other treatments and everyone has their own idea of what the treatment is like I can only explain how it makes me feel. Everyone’s experience is different. I was told you may be cold, or fluish, fatigue and painful joints.

My particular treatment plan is 5 days on and 3 weeks off. I was ready to go, positive thinking, I am not going to have any site effects, I am thinking positive. So it can be done by injection or IV. Mine is IV. One particular thing we noticed The faster the IV the more sick I felt, so a 2-3 hour treatment turned into 5 hours. This is done in a infusion center. and all around you are cancer patients, infectious disease all receiving some sort of treatment. That alone makes the entire situation more surreal. Other than the poke in the vein, it was nothing, I had planned on writing reading, but a part me needed to watch, learn and listen to what was happening, not out of disrespect for other patients but one reality of what I was enduring and 2 how lucky I was I was alive, tears for the people that were so sick, its really a difficult place to say Yeah I get to go to treatment today. So I dressed up, I was raised if you felt bad, dress up and you’ll feel better. I was the only one not in pjs, sweats etc.. I wanted to ward off all evils. I didn’t know what to expect,

The headache began, wow! I had never had a headache like this, took Tylenol, no relief, my legs hurt but that was normal but usually heat helps, not this time. I was nauseated, well I was use to that but I could conquer this, these people are fighting for their life, I can do this, I found myself tired, warn out, barley wanting to make it to the car, but tomorrow was going to be better. I came home no appetite and just slept until the tornado began, it was building and I was doing guided imagery to stop it, wasn’t working, I am getting a warmer and warmer stomach, head felt hot, didn’t even want to watch TV. I had so many things planned that I would get done during treatment.

Day 2 a little worse, Day 3 little worse, still forcing myself t dress up, said screw bringing the computer or writing or reading, I knew now, my fight was just beginning. I kept thinking just 2 more days, then sleep for a month. little did I know the days following made me sicker and sicker, found myself sleeping on the bathroom floor, can’t eat, can’t drink, my taste buds were leaving before the treatment but now gone, I was so sick I spent Christmas in the hospital, I didn’t even care that it was Christmas, my veins were giving out, and find a vein that worked was getting difficult, but I was so use to it, it didn’t hurt, my arms trashed, my hands are trashed so I had to have a port put in. This allows the treatment to have access with out having to stick me 6 times. It put me over the edge. The Doctor said it was normal for people to have this reaction after the first 5 days. Thanks for the information. I start again on the 25th, my taste buds are gone, I’m nauseated to the point the meds don’t work anymore, I will crave something like fruit and I pay after. I always thought food was suppose to be good for you, now its just a necessity to stay alive, I can even hold that down, my chest hurts, my esophagus hurts and burns like its on fire. My smell has changed and sounds, its like effecting every aspect of my life and with out food I have no energy, I guess because my body is loosing wt slowly it doesn’t matter, but when you can’t get out of bed your not going to burn a lot of calories.

So for me I pray my second treatment I will handle better and get through this easier. I have home health to do it at the house because with out a immune system, I can’t be around infectious disease. I feel so blessed, I can be in my pjs and no one will think lesser of me because it will just be me and the nurse. So I know I have along road, but it’s a road worth fighting. sometimes I feel so sick Ipray I don’t wake up, and peoples responses still blow me away, Until you try it, you don’t know how you will feel during and after treatment. so I will pray each treatment gets better and I will start to feel better, my dream to get my life back. I am willing to do anything to live. But IVIG is no picnic. But if you are starting this treatment your reaction may be different, you may have no symptoms, I pray that for you and myself.

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Supporting people with invisible illnesses