A friend of mine had a bad reaction to a heart medicine, dropping her blood pressure to as low as 76/49 as a result. She was feeling understandably dizzy but didn’t want to go to the ER so she asked me if there was anything she could do at home to help raise her blood pressure. I recommended that she drink a large volume of water and take some salt tablets. She had no salt in pill form, and didn’t want to take it straight out of the shaker so asked if there was any other way to get the salt in. I asked her to describe the contents of her refrigerator and pantry, and made a mental note of what I thought had the highest salt content.
My friend thought that potato chips might do the trick, and was surprised when I told her that she had something almost ten times saltier at her disposal. Four ounces of prosciutto contained almost 2g of sodium, an entire day’s worth of salt! So she dutifully consumed the sliced meat, washing it down with about a liter of water. Two hours later she was back up to 98/66 and six hours later her blood pressure had returned to a healthy 116/83.
This was a rare case where a “high salt diet” had its benefits. In the case of ham versus hypotension, ham won… and saved my friend a costly, and unnecessary ER visit. Let’s hear it for deli meat!
Perhaps you’ve heard that increasing your water intake is part of a healthy lifestyle – and that you should drink at least 8 glasses of a day. This “rule of thumb” is actually not based on scientific evidence. Although for many people it’s not harmful advice, you may not need to work so hard at getting enough water every day.
The amount of water that your body needs depends on three main variables (yes, needs can vary with different illnesses and conditions, but let’s talk about the average American):
1. Your body’s size
2. Your activity level
3. Your environment (weather and humidity conditions)
The larger you are, the more water you lose from sweat (be it from physical activity or hot weather conditions), the more water you need to replace. The amount you need can vary a lot – and in most cases there are two tricks you can use to stay properly hydrated: Read more »
Researchers at Johns Hopkins published a study that reports that MRI scans CAN cause feelings of dizziness induced by magnetic fields causing motion of the electrically charged fluid of the inner ear.
In both ears, there is a “gyroscope” called the labyrinth. Whenever the head turns or a force like gravity is exerted on this system, fluid moves within, which tells the brain that motion has occurred. It’s much like looking into a glass of water and based on the way the water tilts in the glass, you can guess which way motion is occurring.
In any case, the study Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Fauquier ENT Blog*
It may seem rather unusual to talk about injuries and weather in the same context, but extreme weather can pose significant risks for many kinds of injury. Currently, many parts of the United States are experiencing a major heat wave, with record-setting heat and heat indices over the next few weeks. As we have seen in the recent past, deaths are occurring from heat-related and possibly from participation in outside activities that increase the risk of heat-related illness.
During the month of August, many athletes train for the fall sports season, sometimes participating in two practices a day over the course of a few weeks. While training is necessary and important for athletes to build up their stamina and to improve their performance, health consequences can be deadly if Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at CDC Injury Center: Director's View Blog*
“Bueno es saber que los vasos
nos sirven para beber;
lo malo es que no sabemos
para qué sirve la sed”.
Proverbios y cantares.XLI. Antonio Machado
(‘It’s good to know that glasses
are what can help us drink;
The trouble is, we don’t know
What is the purpose of thirst’)
The one thing you can’t afford to have missing when you start a scientific congress or any other professional meeting is not a notepad, a pencil or even an iPad – nowadays, it’s a bottle of water. Offices, airports, handbags and lecture halls, all of them are bursting with all kinds of bottles. It seems they are essential to work and even to stay alive.
Bordering nonsense, some people desperately search for a bottled water vending machine as soon as they arrive at the airport, even if that means gobbling it down in a minute before walking through the security checkpoints.
It is now a common belief that continously drinking water (6 to 8 glasses a day according to NHS, at least two litres -half a gallon- according to other sources) is the healthy thing to do. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Diario Medico*