“You Could Be Brushing Your Teeth with Feces” And Other Hidden Germs Around The House

Did you know? 64% of people wait a month or more to wash their hand towels, meaning that they might as well be washing their hands in the toilet. People that don’t clean their phone are twice as likely to suffer from outbreaks of spots than those who do once a week. Only 17% of women wash their makeup brushes although it’s recommended to do so once a week. You could be brushing your teeth with feces. Black spots on your shower curtain contain literally billions of mold spores. An infestation of one female bed bug can rise to 5000 in 6 months It’s that time of year again. Spring cleaning season is officially underway and many items around the home need more than a dust or a quick wipe. Germs are so small they can be hiding in plain sight and while most bacteria we come across every day is relatively harmless, there are some nasty ones to watch out as they can affect our health. These include E. coli, staph, and mold. Cleaning thoroughly and often is the only way to ensure these bacteria are kept at bay. You might be surprised at the germs that lurk in some of your most often used household items. You could be brushing your teeth with feces If you flush the toilet with the lid open, particles of water, urine and feces...

Do Herpesviruses Cause Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people around the world, but what ultimately causes dementia is unknown. It is typically thought to be caused due to unusual buildup of the protein amyloid plaques in the brains. Though small these plaques can grow into large clusters that are toxic to neurons. However, recently, a new study presented another potential causative agent of the disease. Decades ago, certain scientific studies came up with correlative data linking Herpesvirus infections to Alzheimer’s disease. The idea was long-dismissed but was recently rejuvenated by a new study. The study also found evidence that the viruses can interact with brain cells in ways that could accelerate the Alzheimer’s disease. Herpes viruses 6 and 7 are widely present in humans, but poorly understood. They infect nearly every human, typically during infancy, and have been closely linked to the childhood rash called roseola, according to the HHV-6 Foundation. These viruses can get to the brain and remain inactive for decades. Brains riddled with Alzheimer’s disease contain high levels of these two strains of human herpes virus. But just having herpes virus present in the brain isn’t enough to cause Alzheimer’s. Something needs to activate the viruses, which causes them to begin replicating. However, the trigger for activation of these viruses in not known. In the study — one of the most detailed analyses of Alzheimer’s brain tissue done to date — the team...

CBD, A Chemical Found in Marijuana Could Be The Future of Medicine

I’ve seen it advertised in moisturizers, oils, tinctures, candies, and even coffee. Some osteopathic doctors are even advising patients to take this chemical compound in supplement form to ease stress, anxiety, or minor gastrointestinal pain. Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few months, you know CBD is the big buzzword in health and wellness. Maybe you have or are experimenting with it because of its claims to miraculous health benefits, or maybe you think it’s another wellness fad that will be forgotten next month. Nonetheless, cannabis was first reported in 2,6000 BC for its plethora of physical and psychological benefits in a Chinese pharmacopoeia. There’s no doubt about it, phytocannabinoids such as CBD have the potential to treat—as a primary or adjunct therapy— a wide range of pathologies as a consequence of its neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory functions. Right now, we’re just lacking the evidence. CBD or cannabidiol is a chemical found in both marijuana and hemp and is actually the most studied nonpsychotropic phytocannabinoid—not to be confused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the only phytocannabinoid that gets you “high.” You will typically see CBD oil or supplements extracted from hemp since the plant has less than 0.3% THC as compared to marijuana which can have up to 15-20%. Despite what you see in the media, there is actually very little hard evidence on the therapeutic potential of CBD. This...

Too Much On Your Mind? How To Handle Medical School Stress

This post came from a conversation that I had with somebody not in medical school that really wanted to ask one important question. “Why are medical students and premed stressed out all the time?” And it’s a really fair question if you’re not in the medical environment. After talking to this person for awhile, I came away with one thing that stresses medical students and premeds more than anything. What is that one thing that causes medical school stress? We love comparing ourselves with our classmates. Let’s be honest, we all do it – consciously and unconsciously. In this post, we’re going to have a heart to heart on how to overcome this. If you want this in a video form, check out the following YouTube video and be sure to subscribe to the channel. Why are Med Students Stressed? I hope that you’re nodding saying, “You know what? Med students are always stressed!” And I hope you also agree that comparing ourselves with others has something to do with that! We have to ask ourselves, why do we compare ourselves to our classmates so much? It’s because we’re used to being high achieving individuals. Look back at grade school, you were probably the all A student. This is where it all started! You may think to yourself, “I didn’t really compare myself to that many people back then.” That’s probably because...

Gender Inequality is Real In This International Medical School

It’s no secret that gender inequality and discrimination exists on a global level. Of course, it is an issue that has made progress over the years; however, the international headlines I see on a weekly or even daily basis regarding the inferior status of women in the professional sphere and everyday life evoke feelings of disbelief, disgust, and dismay. In particular, although it is now legal for Saudi women to drive, sexism continues to be deeply ingrained in their culture. Along the same line, you may have heard about or seen the Wall Street Journal article that was just released on August 2nd about a Japanese medical school meddling in the admission process. Specifically, the board of Tokyo Medical University was accused of lowering exam scores of female applicants to limit the amount of future female doctors. Yes, you read that right. It was reported that school leaders supposedly favored male over female doctors because many women will eventually want to be married and have children. This translates into more doctors on maternity leave; and In light of the current shortage of Japanese doctors, the school decided to turn the tide in society’s favor at the expense of women. To make matters worse, the school has allegedly been involved in this practice since 2011, a year after the number of female matriculates doubled to 40%. Coincidental? Maybe not. According...

7 Huge Misconceptions About Your MD Residency

Are you on the journey towards becoming a fully-fledged doctor? The field of medicine is quite competitive, and different people choose to pursue it for varying reasons. Some may feel it’s their calling, while others may be drawn to it by a particular experience. Whatever your reasons, medical school can be challenging and exciting at the same time. Before you start your MD residency, you have probably looked for residency help services. In your research, you may have come across some purported truths about what your experience could be like. Well, it’s good that you want to familiarize yourself with what to expect. However, you should watch out for misconceptions about an MD residency that many propagate. It will be difficult to handle stress In your residency, you will sometimes be deprived of sleep. You will often feel burnout, and this is stressful enough. Now, if you don’t know how to manage stress, it could lead you to depression. Though the medical system may feel dysfunctional, you can alleviate stress, by letting go of toxic people in your life. Create time away from your rotations for a social life. Choose to view the circumstances in a favorable light. This way you will minimise the external stressors that add to the pressures of residency. You won’t have a social life This myth could cause many to second guess their decision...

Five Tips for Emergency Medicine Clerkship Success

On one of my first shifts of my emergency medicine rotation, a tech ran into the physician workroom shouting that she needed a doctor – a patient was having a seizure. The attending was checking on a patient in the trauma bays while the resident was admitting another patient, so all eyes were on me. I approached the patient, who was clearly postictal and confused, rose the head of the bed, and spoke calmly with him and his terrified family until the resident arrived. Although backup came quickly in this case, emergency medicine is a fast-paced specialty requiring us to think and process information quickly. If you’re in an EM rotation, you need to know the top five ways to keep up: 1. Be prepared for your clerkship. In terms of attire, facilities typically recommend or even require scrubs. Most will provide them, and some even let you wear your own. You’ll be on your feet or standing almost constantly during a busy shift, so wearing compression socks under scrubs can be very beneficial. Good footwear is a must! Most people wear sneakers or a comfortable clog like Dansko (eBay and thrift stores are great places to look for affordable medical clogs). In terms of tools, a stethoscope is definitely essential. I also found it helpful to keep a reflex hammer and trauma shears handy. Lastly, I’d recommend bringing a cheap...