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Best Physical Therapy's Health Information Library

Here, we have gathered health articles on almost every major subject in healthcare. Please explore, enjoy, and share this free resource provided by Best Physical Therapy

Traveler's Health

Traveling can increase your chances of getting sick. A long flight can increase your risk for deep vein thrombosis. Once you arrive, it takes time to adjust to the water, food, and air in another place. Water in developing countries can contain viruses, bacteria, and parasites that cause stomach upset and diarrhea. Be safe by using only bottled or purified water for drinking, making ice cubes, and brushing your teeth. If you use tap water, boil it or use iodine tablets. Food poisoning can also be a risk. Eat only food that is fully cooked and served hot. Avoid unwashed or unpeeled raw fruits and vegetables.

If you are traveling out of the country, you might also need vaccinations or medicines to prevent specific illnesses. Which ones you need will depend on what part of the world you're visiting, the time of year, your age, overall health status, and previous vaccinations. See your doctor 4 to 6 weeks before your trip. Most vaccines take time to become effective.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Medicines

Medicines can treat diseases and improve your health. If you are like most people, you need to take medicine at some point in your life. You may need to take medicine every day, or you may only need to take medicine once in a while. Either way, you want to make sure that your medicines are safe, and that they will help you get better. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is in charge of ensuring that your prescription and over-the-counter medicines are safe and effective.

There are always risks to taking medicines. It is important to think about these risks before you take a medicine. Even safe medicines can cause unwanted side effects or interactions with food, alcohol, or other medicines you may be taking. Some medicines may not be safe during pregnancy. To reduce the risk of reactions and make sure that you get better, it is important for you to take your medicines correctly. You should also be careful when giving medicines to children, since they can be more vulnerable to the effects of medicines.

Water Pollution

We all need clean water. People need it to grow crops and to operate factories, and for drinking and recreation. Fish and wildlife depend on it to survive.

Many different pollutants can harm our rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans. The three most common are soil, nutrients, and bacteria. Rain washes soil into streams and rivers. The soil can kill tiny animals and fish eggs. It can clog the gills of fish and block light, causing plants to die. Nutrients, often from fertilizers, cause problems in lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. Nitrogen and phosphorus make algae grow and can turn water green. Bacteria, often from sewage spills, can pollute fresh or salt water.

You can help protect your water supply:

  • Don't pour household products such as cleansers, beauty products, medicines, auto fluids, paint, and lawn care products down the drain. Take them to a hazardous waste collection site.
  • Throw away excess household grease (meat fats, lard, cooking oil, shortening, butter, margarine, etc.) diapers, condoms, and personal hygiene products in the garbage can.
  • Clean up after your pets. Pet waste contains nutrients and germs.

Environmental Protection Agency

Environmental Health

Our environment affects our health. If parts of the environment, like the air, water, or soil become polluted, it can lead to health problems. For example, asthma pollutants and chemicals in the air or in the home can trigger asthma attacks.

Some environmental risks are a part of the natural world, like radon in the soil. Others are the result of human activities, like lead poisoning from paint, or exposure to asbestos or mercury from mining or industrial use.

NIH: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Health Statistics

Health statistics are numbers that summarize information related to health. Researchers and experts from government, private, and non-profit agencies and organizations collect health statistics. They use the statistics to learn about public health and health care. Some of the types of statistics include:

  • How many people in the country have a disease or how many people got the disease within a certain period of time
  • How many people of a certain group have a disease. The groups could be based on location, race, ethnic group, sex, age, profession, income level, level of education. This can help identify health disparities.
  • Whether a treatment is safe and effective
  • How many people were born and died. These are known as vital statistics.
  • How many people have access to and use health care
  • The quality and efficiency of our health care system
  • Health care costs, including how much the government, employers, and individuals pay for health care. It could include how poor health can affect the country economically
  • The impact of government programs and policies on health
  • Risk factors for different diseases. An example would be how air pollution can raise your risk of lung diseases
  • Ways to lower risk for diseases, such as exercise and weight loss to lower the risk of getting type 2 diabetes

Numbers on a graph or in a chart may seem straightforward, but that's not always the case. It's important to be critical and consider the source. If needed, ask questions to help you understand the statistics and what they are showing.