Recent Articles

Athlete’s Foot & Blisters on Feet

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin, usually found on the feet in between the toes, that creates lesions and blisters on feet that are painful and bothersome. Athlete’s foot usually comes with the flaking, scaling and itching of the skin in the infected part of the feet.

What causes athlete’s foot?

The main cause of athlete’s foot is a fungus that lives on the human skin. The fungi are usually harmless until there is a change in the condition of our skin. These changes are often brought on by a change in the environment that we live in. When the fungi are subject to this change, they end up growing which leads to a fungal infection that is known as athlete’s foot.

What does athlete’s foot look like?

Athlete’s foot looks like a scaly or flaky patch of skin that is itchy and painful to touch. Pus filled blisters on feet are very common while suffering from athletes foot. Scratching at the infected part will not make thing better. In fact, they usually aggravate the discomfort and spread the infection even further. Instead, proper treatment should be done to treat athlete’s foot.

Athlete’s foot left untreated can cause blisters on feet

It is recommended that people suffering from athlete’s foot do not leave the condition untreated. Unfortunately for most it will not heal itself.  If left untreated, athlete’s foot will cause the skin to crack which can become inflamed, more painful, and in some cases, cause blood blisters on feet. If left untreated, the fungi can also spread to other parts of the body, such as the groin area causing irritation.

How to cure athlete’s foot?

If a person is suffering from Athlete’s Foot, the first thing they should do is to apply antifungal cream to the affected area. The use of medicated powders and antifungal creams often help in healing blisters on feet that are caused by athletes foot and ultimately will aid in healing the infection itself.

If the infection is severe, then a doctor should be consulted to get anti-biotic that will help cure athlete’s foot. Remember not to stop the treatment when the itching or inflammation disappears. Continue the course of medication that has been prescribed by the doctor.

Athlete’s foot is a very serious problem for many people. Luckily, it can be cured easily if people are willing to stay off their feet for a while and listen to their doctor’s advice.

Dealing With Loestrin 24 Breakthrough Bleeding

Loestrin 24 is a random medical condition of breakthrough bleeding that a patient may face, while she is taking Loestrin 24 or any other kind of birth control pills.

This condition normally occurs when the patient is using this medicine for first time, or is making a switch from one brand of birth control pill to another.

Loestrin 24 is a light dose birth control pill widely consumed by women around the world. It helps in birth control and makes sure you don’t have to worry about any blood tests. It is also important to understand that these pills do not protect from any kind of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

This kind of bleeding is normally not a reason for any concern as it is quite natural and it naturally stops after two or three months of usage. The occurrence of Breakthrough Bleeding depends on either the brand of the medicine, body chemistry or the method in which it is consumed. Thus, the way a patient’s body or rather the hormones in her body react to the medicine, also decides the aftermaths.

The bleeding can occur whether you are taking Loestrin for birth control reasons or for managing your periods. In any case, it is not a cause of a major concern.

Loestrin 24 Fe has nothing to do with actual period. This medical condition is just about your body adjusting to new hormones and it has absolutely nothing to do with your regular period. It is by no means a sign of illness.

It is also important to understand that you should not stop taking Loestrin just because the bleeding has occurred, because this can only worsen the situation. The bleeding is one of the main reasons why patients quit taking birth control pills, but medically it is advised not to do so.

One way to stop or minimize the Loestrin 24 breakthrough bleeding is to start taking pills at the same time when the bleeding occurs. The effect can be seen only after 24 hours.. You should not expect the bleeding to stop right away after taking the pill!

High Efficiency HVAC Choices and Your Atlanta Home

High Efficiency HVAC and the various options that effect energy savings and indoor air quality in your home, can be hard to explain to homeowners in areas like Atlanta GA. While we advocate installing the most efficiency and energy saving equipment you can reasonably afford to do, there are times when it just doesn’t make sense to blow up your HVAC budget!

In this Atlanta HVAC guide, we want to explore the various factors of a High Efficiency HVAC System in your Atlanta home. By the end of this page, you will have a better idea of how to invest your energy saving dollars for the highest return on investment.

High Efficiency Equipment Terms and Types

As an Atlanta homeowner, its up to you to understand the terms you are going to hear when an Atlanta HVAC Company starts explaining the options to you.

  • SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio: An energy efficiency rating for air conditioning equipment. The number is measured in a low to high factor, with the higher numbers being the highest efficiency, and resulting in more money you save. The minimum SEER rating for new equipment is 13 SEER. The highest rated units on the market can reach well above 20 SEER.
  • HSPF – Heating Seasonal Performance Factor: Heating efficiency rating for air source heat pump condensing units and matched air handlers. The higher the HSPF rating, the more efficient the heat pump will operate, thus saving you more money during the heating season.
  • AFUE – Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency: A measure of your gas or oil furnace heating efficiency. Higher AFUE % values means a more efficient furnace. The easiest way to relate this value to you is in the form of a $1. An 80% AFUE furnace returns .80 cents of heat to your home, for every $1 you spend on fuel. The minimum percentage established by the DOE for furnaces is 78%.
  • EnergyStar – An EPA designation attached to HVAC equipment to identify models that meet EPA guidelines for high-efficiency performance that exceed standard government minimums.
  • Certified Matched Systems – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) puts heating and cooling equipment through rigorous certification processes to ensure systems deliver the efficiency performance at certain test conditions.

Several of our definitions were taken directly from terms and conditions provided on the AHRI website.

Reason for Choosing High Efficiency

One of the most important factors to choosing high efficiency HVAC is to decide why you are doing it. Are you looking for the highest return on your HVAC system investment, lower monthly utility costs, trying to take advantage of local or federal tax credits, or do you sincerely prefer to go green and help preserve the environment?

If saving money and reducing monthly utility costs are your main reason, then the choices you make are going to be different from those of a person who wants to be as green as possible.

Initial Cost of Equipment and Installation Differences

The bottom line is that higher efficiency heating and air conditioning equipment cost the contractor anywhere from 2 – 3 times more than its standard efficiency sister equipment. Where a standard 80% AFUE furnace, 13 SEER AC system might cost a local contractor $1800-$2500 wholesale, the high-efficiency flavor may run much higher and in the $3500-$4000 range just for the higher efficiency HVAC equipment alone!

Aside from the cost of the equipment being more, there may be venting differences that make the installation of a high efficiency gas furnace more costly. Higher efficiency furnaces are vented with a plastic PVC pipe versus the old b-vent flue pipe. In many cases, this can mean a small bit of roofing repair as well as a different venting option for the unit.

Always ask the contractor to provide a full written estimate of all work being performed, so you are fully aware of the project and can compare it to other price quotes you get on an equal footing. If you can get them to do it, ask them to separate the installation and equipment costs into separate columns.

Return on High Efficiency HVAC Investment

We all have a budget when it comes to a major expense like your home HVAC system replacement. Since you only have to replace the home HVAC system every 10-15 years, its important to think ahead when you start planning.

In the Atlanta market, we use our home central air, or cooling system much more than we do our heating system, so it makes more sense to focus the majority of our HVAC dollars into high efficiency air conditioning. Common sense tells us that if the furnace is only running for 3 months out of the year, it’s going to take a lot longer to reclaim the investment over time.

Best High Efficiency HVAC Systems in Atlanta

As we previously mentioned in this page, the best high-efficiency HVAC system for your Atlanta home is truly going to depend on your own goals and your budget. Use the following guidelines to ask deeper questions of your HVAC Contractor, based on your overall goals.

Look at these comparisons for a typical 2000 sf home in Atlanta, with an average difficulty of installation.

  • Going Green, No Budget or Cost Ceiling! $12,000-$20,000
    95% or Higher AFUE, Geothermal, Variable Speed Furnace, 18 SEER or Higher, 2-Stage Solar Assisted Air Conditioning or Heat Pump for Hybrid heating and cooling.
  • Green & Sensible, Moderate Budget, Highest ROI $8,000-$12,000
    90% AFUE furnace, Variable Speed. 16 SEER, 2-Stage Air Conditioning or Heat Pump.
  • High Efficiency Cooling, on the Lowest Budget! $5000-$8500
    80% AFUE Furnace with Variable Speed Blower, 2-Stage 16 SEER Air Conditioning or Heat Pump!

Staph infections in nose

Staph infections caused by staphylococcus bacteria, a type of bacteria commonly found on skin or in the nose even in healthy individuals. These bacteria do not cause serious problems and result in only a relatively minor skin infections. But if the bacteria invade deeper into your body, enters the bloodstream, joints, bones, lungs or heart can cause death.

Staph infection can range from minor skin problems to endocarditis, an infection that threatens the lining of your heart valves. As a result, signs and symptoms of the staph infection in the nose vary widely, depending on the location and severity of infection.

Staph infections can be treated with:
1. Antibiotics. Your doctor may perform tests to identify the type of staph bacteria that is behind your infection, to help choose the antibiotic that would work well
2. Draining wounds caused by staph infection if you suffer injury due to staphylococcus infection, the doctor makes a small incision in the skin to drain fluid in the wound caused by the staphylococcus infection.
3. Elimination of infection by surgery if the infection has invaded organs

Disease with cloudy urine

Pathological

Pathological cloudy urine means this symptom is caused by a disease or pathogenic factor. It is often sustained or recurrent and needs to be diagnosed by a urologist to prevent certain underlying diseases from advancing.

In most cases, it caused by both Inflammation and infection, has a tendency to come and go. This is not only a confusion for most people, but also a strong reason for you to require medical attention for further identification, to make sure that your body is healthy.

The common causes:

Urinary tract infections are the most common diseases to cause this condition, such as pyelonephritis, kidney tuberculosis, cystitis, urethritis. In this type of condition due to urinary infection, there are a large number of white blood cells or pus cells, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, fungi or bacteria, epithelial cells in urine.

Blood in urine

Blood in urine has the appearance of cloudy urine for the red blood cells in urine. In other words, bloody urine (hematuria) is another type. The causes of cloudy red urine are numerous.

The causes leading to red blood cells in urine include kidney stones, bladder stones, tumor, trauma, severe renal disease, pyelonephritis, cystitis, renal tuberculosis, polycystic kidney disease, or bleeding diseases (thrombocytopenia purpura, hemophilia), or hypertension, diabetes, anemia, and leukemia.

South Beach Diet vs Weight Watchers Which One is For You

Evaluating the South Beach diet from the Weight Watchers diet strategy is a job that is difficult mainly because these two diet plans are really so popular. Anybody who’s contemplating each one of the weight loss plans will probably attain a modicum of weight loss and is unquestionably in the correct track. Both diet plans are followed by huge numbers of individuals all over the world and every works about along with another.

It uses extra fat and is vital that you remember when determining to compare diet plans that both stress the absolute importance of comprehending and knowing the way where a human body stores. The South Beach diet picks to focus the dieter on eating just good fats like olive oil and good carbs. This way, it can largely be compared to a Mediterranean diet which uses just olive oil as its main fat. Something that’s currently called the Glycemic Index that has related to the way where a body uses its insulin is rigorously followed by the plan. Additionally, it controls particular types of foods like pasta and specific types of foods that are regarded as an easy carbohydrate like white bread.

While carrying out a diet comparison, one will notice the Glycemic Index is additionally utilized by Weight Watchers however that Weight Watchers concentrates a lot more on keeping the diet nutritionally balanced and moderating what one eats rather than on either limiting or removing specific types of foods. Those that are on Weight Watchers are permitted to eat anything they need, so long as they practice appropriate portion control.

The South Beach program requires removing a large number of distinct foods from the diet such as many types of sugar, any simple carbohydrates and all white bread. This diet is incredibly heart healthy rather than a diet such as the Atkins diet where the dieter chooses the majority of their everyday food consumption from meat.

The Weight Watchers diet plan does have no food that is expressly prohibited. Rather it advocates the dieter to make healthful food choices including an excellent deal of lean protein alongside a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. The most crucial difference between both diets is that the eating of fruit supports like a way for the dieter to consume enough important nutrients. Every day’s meals should contain three or two portions of fruit. The South Beach diet plan removes fruit entirely for the remainder of the time the individual stays in the diet and from the very first couple of weeks of the plan, they need to continue to maintain their fruit servings to a minimum daily.

Both diets enable dieters to take out a web-based membership including access to food tracking software different support groups and recipes. These memberships that are on-line may be somewhat pricey and dieters should completely inquire before registering for one, what’s offered. Regarding support, weekly meetings are conducted by Weight Watchers in hundreds of places throughout North America and these conferences are available to any member. Someone that has reached their target weight facilitates meetings.

The program has figured conspicuously in current editions of O Magazine and her protege, Dr. Mehmet Oz has had its creator, Dr. Agatston on his present several time.

It’s not difficult to enter the zone when the South Beach is being followed by one particularly if one enables the user to track what they’re eating daily and takes advantage of their on-line tracking that allows the planning of weight because it comes down. This program is like Weight Watchers’ Points Plus system.

Is Farmville Healthy?

Have You ever been looking on Facebook and you see an add and you wonder why would you do such a thing? Well that’s what I used to think about the popular Facebook application Farmville. So one day when I had some free time I visited it. I started around 2:00. i made my own person and fiddled around with my new farm. I had a blast! The next time I looked at the clock it was 5:30! Right then i realized what Farmville really was. A time waster. Sure it was fun but was it really worth it? No.

It was extremely unhealthy. I figure if I take care of my crops, animals, trees and if I help my friends and send them presents, find cheats I could be on for a total of 5 hours all together if I kept coming back. And our kids could probably find ways to make it longer. You could easily get addicted like any other video games.

So now I’m back to thinking, “Why would I do such a thing?”

Yep they are targeting the same type of people that are lacking things in their life. I stay clear of facebook and half my family back east plays that darn game. I have not played it or even been on facebook and only joined to stop the spamming join requests. I am steering way clear of any games or social networks as much as possible. Especially in the new year. There are too many REAL things in life to miss out on to continue to veg in front of the computer. Save the time for when your a computerized brain in a jar at 2025 and can’t get up and run around. I hope to eventually weed out the internet almost completely.

I can’t believe this, but I’m a little obsessed with Brussels sprouts right now

A few months ago, my mom made Brussels sprouts and made me swear I’d try them. I felt like I was ten years old. Except that when I was ten, I didn’t have to try Brussels sprouts. Maybe since I am a lot less picky than I was when I was a kid at the dinner table, or maybe since my mom likes to wrangle me into eating heaps of vegetables with her, I agreed to try them that night.

Really, there was no way I could hate them. My mom roasted them with what she said was “an embarrassing amount” of butter and salt, and then sprinkled them generously with hazelnuts. They were delicious. I think I had three helpings. Three helpings and a gajillion grams of fat, but three helpings of a vegetable nonetheless.

As much as I loved my mom’s Brussels sprouts cardiac arrest in a side dish, I knew there was no way I’d replicate it in my own kitchen. I just can’t bring myself to butter things up like that and I felt nervous about making Brussels sprouts into the watery, bland, sad looking vegetables I remember seeing in the lunch line at my grammar school cafeteria. Ick.

Then, like some kind of garden fairy magic, I opened a magazine to find a recipe for “baby cabbages.” Next to it, a photo of Brussels sprouts in all their roasted glory looked as delicious as the dish my mom made.  I was hooked. Maybe I couldn’t bring myself to blandness or buckets of butter, but this recipe I could definitely try.

I dutifully bought Brussels sprouts and roasted them with a bit of olive oil, salt, and herbs (here’s one easy recipe to try). Then I sprinkled them with Parmesan cheese. They were just as scrumptious as I’d hoped, tender with just a few crispy edges, salty without being bloat-causing. I ate two platefuls of baby cabbages, and even convinced my son to try some too. He wasn’t as in love as I was, but he was convinced enough to get a few bites in.

Since then, I’ve put fresh Brussels sprouts permanently on my grocery list. I’ve tried some other recipes and even sauteed them a time or two, and they have quickly become more than one of my favorite vegetables. They’ve become a vegetable I crave.

Who knew, especially way back when I was ten and would only eat celery with peanut butter or when I passed up Brussels sprouts in the cafeteria for a slice of soggy and bland pizza, that “baby cabbages” would be so satisfying and hold such a coveted place on my plate?

Are you obsessed with an unlikely vegetable?

Conversation with a man

Conversation has always been the thing that brought men and women together. Communication has been the one thing able to breach the barrier between men and women from the most primitive ages till today. But despite the years of evolution and experience, men and women are still wholly inadequate when it comes to dealing with each other.

Talking about pets, weather and politics are topics that fall short of conversation gold. Conversation is not about who won the elections, its about the person sitting across the table from you who might very well be with you for some time to come. Good conversation leads to second and third dates. Stimulating a man’s mind is very important unless you’re out with the gym jock who can’t pronounce the word “pronunciation”

Now what do you talk about? The answer is, yourself. Don’t go overboard, but do give him an idea of who you are and what you like. Tell him where you went to school and what you’re working as at the moment. Ask questions and let him speak too. A conversation is about two people, not one person endlessly going on about themselves. Practice some restraint and you’ll be alright.

Body language tells a lot about people when they’re talking. A man will sit up straighter and become more animated when talking about something he takes pride in or has confidence about. If he is unsure, uncertain or is apprehensive about a certain topic, he will cross his arms and become more withdrawn.

Now here are the ‘normal’ topics of conversation

Where are you from?

How long have you lived here?

What sports do you like?

What do you work as?

Do you like to travel?

What do you do to relax?

Do you have any hobbies?

These topics will help you get to know your date. But not much else. Lots of people know your date and what he does and what sports he watches. To get him to set you apart and see you as someone special, you have to know how to hit the right spot.

Lets say he’s a lawyer. Instead of asking how much he makes or how many people he handles a day, ask him this: “What kind of cases do you prefer?” or “How do you feel when you get a difficult case?”

These questions will make him light up and talk to you more about what he does and why he does it. Its something he is passionate about. Of course some men don’t really like their jobs so instead of asking them about work, try asking them about their hobbies and apply the same concepts.

Asking the right questions will endear you to him and make him want to see you and talk to you more. If you throw in some mystery and a hint of sexuality, he’ll be practically begging you for a second date.

Its not that hard to have a great conversation with a man. You just have to know how.

Second dates are good, but the main thing you need to know is how to take it to the next level. Its not that difficult!

The Way I See It…Breakfast in 2020

The recent newscasts regarding surging food costs and global food scarcity reminded me of an editorial I wrote for Nutrition Close-Up in the fall of 2000. I think it’s time to read part of it again.

I dream that in year 2020, I stopped for a quick breakfast of egg and sausage on an English muffin, hash brown potatoes, and glass of milk. The food was fine, but, I was charged $72.54 for breakfast. What an outrage! What happened to America’s low-cost, fast food? Frustrated and irritated, I went looking for answers. Somebody was going to explain why I was paying $72.54 for breakfast. Didn’t they know I was retired, living on a fixed income. After I yelled and screamed, and ranted and raved, some corporate type sat me down and told me the story.

It seems that over the years our national goal of an abundant, affordable food supply had been diverted from the consumer in favor of those with the loudest voices and most coercive tactics. For example, the wheat used to make the English muffin was 20 times the cost at the turn of the century due to the low yield of pest sensitive strains of wheat. Since genetically engineered wheat was banned in the U.S., and couldn’t be imported, grain production on the ever decreasing U.S. agricultural land mass was steadily going down, and getting of poorer and poorer quality. So my little English muffin cost $11.28.

My glass of milk cost $12.88 since there was little milk production in the U.S. and, thanks to the animal rights bunch, all cows were now free to roam the few farms left for dairy production, and by law had to be hand milked. And for sure no one was allowed that artificial hormone to stimulate milk production. Added on top of that was the fat tax, imposed by righteous consumer advocates who wanted to make sure those who sinned paid their dues. And then the cancer tax that another self-important advocate group had used fabricated science to con the government, and many consumers, into believing was true.

The potatoes in my hash browns were all imported due to the demise of the U.S. potato industry following a severe potato blight which wiped out the blight sensitive (no genetically modified resistant strains allowed) strains allowed for U.S. production. The potatoes were now imported from South America but the cost of inspection at the border and the detailed and exhaustive testing for every known human pathogen (required by laws pushed by the food safety advocates) resulted in massive spoilage and refusal of the majority of imports. Oh, and since my hash browns were fried I had to pay the fat tax. Final cost, $14.36.

And the price of eggs had increased a bit too. Thanks to the demands and threats of animal rights groups like PETA, chickens were first given more space (cost increase 20-30%), then the following demand was that only free-range eggs be available in the market place (another 70% increase), and once that was accomplished the animal activists demanded and were awarded with an animal protein tax which, on top of the cholesterol tax, really did help them achieve their goal of imposing a vegetarian life style on everyone. And, since it now required more land, not less, to produce eggs and, since the available land mass for agriculture was disappearing with urban sprawl, egg prices went through the roof. Instead of paying $0.89 a dozen, it was more like $8.90 an egg. And while the consumer kept blaming those dirty rotten egg producers for gouging the market and short supplying the demand, the chickens were said to be happy, and the animal rights gang was euphoric. So to buy it, crack it and cook it, I was charged $12.69.

And finally, the sausage! $21.33! Fat tax, animal protein tax, cancer tax, banned factory farming, banned hog pens, banned breeding pens, banned overfeeding, banned genetic manipulation for disease resistance, limited production land, high cost of imported feed grains, and layer upon layer of oversight and inspection for animal welfare and testing upon testing for food safety. Actually, more people saw that hog, tested that hog and pampered that hog than the number of people who ate that hog.

And then I woke up. What a nightmare! Seemed like every crazy cabal with an agenda had gotten their way making their life-style my life-style. How many more kids would have been hungry if this became true? How many elderly would have food insufficiency if this happened? Surely people wouldn’t sit back and let a bunch of loud, pushy, overbearing, self-appointed, self-righteous anointed few dictate and rule their lives.

And back then I didn’t even consider bio-fuels. And if you’re still not convinced, the HSUS efforts to get legislation passed state-by-state banning conventional egg production is going full force. Times of increased food costs and increased food scarcity is no time to put limits on food production. I believe people are significantly more important than SUVs and vegetarian agendas and that this really is a matter of life or death.