How to Open a Restaurant

Everybody needs food. Unlike some other things people spend money on, food is something nobody can live without. This has created a demand that has persisted throughout history, and consequently, has resulted in the founding of the countless lucrative food establishments that litter just about every country.

Before you decide to start your own restaurant and join the ever-growing food industry however, there are a few things you need.

First of all, much like other business endeavors, you need a solid foundation of knowledge on the subject before things can begin. Some restaurant owners learn commercial cooking in college, or some other related course. Others may want to be less hands-on with the kitchen, and revel in the office work; these individuals may major in financial management or business management. Either way, a good educational background is advisable when starting any livelihood.
More

What it Takes to Become a Chef

Many people enjoy kitchen work; the smell of something simmering in a covered pot, the delicate steps of preparing a tongue-tingling dish. The atmosphere of the kitchen can bring the senses to life, and so many seek it in a career as a chef. The road is long however, and not everyone is cut out for life at the stove.

Many famous chefs do not start out in restaurants. Rather, they develop a love for food early in their lives. This is the first step in becoming a chef; start cooking at home. It doesn’t matter if you start with simple soup or stew. The important thing is to gain experience working with kitchen utensils, equipment, and of course, cooking ingredients. Not only does this develop a good background that restaurants look for in people, but it builds a passion for culinary arts. Of course, cooking in a restaurant is different from preparing homemade meals, but it is undoubtedly the best place to start.
More

When Back Pain Should Worry You

I often hear people including those working in the food industry complain about back pain. I also suffer from this kind of pain once in a while, where the pain can range from simply annoying to severe. Usually, the pain just goes away on its own in less than a week, especially after I get a relaxing back massage. That is why I don’t worry that much when I have back pain because I always assume that it could not be something serious.

While most back pain, whether middle back pain, left or right side back pain or upper back pain are caused by improper posture or other less serious conditions, there are cases when the pain should cause you to worry and contact a doctor.

Back Pain that Lingers for More than Two Weeks

Many doctors follow the “two week rule” for back pain. They believe that most of the musculoskeletal pain should already resolve on its own at the end of two weeks unless something more serious is causing the pain. If your back pain still lingers after two weeks despite trying home remedies, it would be good to have it checked by a doctor. However, there are cases when the two week rule must be disregarded and immediate medical attention must be delivered within the two-week period. It is when several other symptoms are present.

Back Pain Caused by Acute Trauma

If an accident in the past has caused the pain, such as from a fall or a car accident, the condition should be immediately checked by your doctor. Necessary evaluation and tests including MRIs and X-rays must be done on the affected area to know if there are broken bones or other internal injuries that are causing the pain.

A Worst Pain Experience

If you feel that your back pain is the worst pain you have ever experienced, it is enough reason for you to worry and see your doctor. A worst back pain experience may be caused by serious conditions such as appendicitis, heart attack or aneurysm.

History of Cancer

Back pain especially in the lower back of patients with a history of cancer is considered to be metastatic unless otherwise proven.

History of Neurological Symptoms

If you have back pain and you have a history of neurological symptoms such as tingling sensation and numbness, you should see your doctor for diagnosis. The back pain could just be a delayed symptom of a neurological problem which needs special attention by a doctor.

Weight Loss or Fever

Back pain that comes with fever or weight loss is something that should be taken seriously.

Back Pain that Disrupts Sleep

More often, back pain at night is more serious than pain occurring during the day. Cancer is just one of the conditions that may cause this problem.

Many people believe that their back pain is nothing serious. As a result, some of them are not able to get early treatment for underlying conditions they might be suffering from. Knowing when to visit your doctor and seek medical help for back pain is important to avoid further problems and complications from happening.

Treatment Options Available for People with Bunions

Various types of foot problems may not be life-threatening, but they can cause serious discomfort or pain to the sufferer especially since the foot carries the whole weight of the body when standing up or sitting down. I can still remember having a painful toe in the past and how it caused much pain whenever I walked. I’m sure that many of you have also suffered from other types of foot problems that have caused considerable discomfort or varying pain.

While some types of foot problems are very common, not many people are knowledgeable about how to treat them. I am talking in particular about bunions. Many people suffer from this problem discreetly and without taking any steps to improve their condition for lack of knowledge about this disease. Fortunately, it is not something serious or life-threatening, but it definitely can affect your normal routine.

A bunion is an enlargement of the big toe’s base joint. If it affects the joint of the smallest toe, it is called tailors bunion. The enlargement usually causes inflammation and pain in the joint area. In advanced cases, significant deformation of the toe is also noticeable. The larger the bunion is, the more pain it causes when walking.

Fortunately, there are various treatment options available for bunion sufferers:

Non-Surgical Treatment

  1. Wearing appropriate shoes. For minor cases of bunions, the symptoms associated with them can be easily reduced without medication or surgery. To achieve this, it is important for sufferers to wear the best shoes for bunions, which provide bigger space in the toe area and are more comfortable to wear. High-heeled and pointed shoes must be avoided.
  2. Use of orthotic devices. A doctor who specializes in foot disease, otherwise known as a podiatrist, would be able to assess your condition and determine if you will need orthotic devices such as shoe inserts, bunion pads and arch supports. Orthotic devices are designed to reduce the pressure in the affected toes, thereby reducing the symptoms of bunions.
  3. Anti-inflammatory medicines. These medicines may be useful for relieving inflammation. Over-the-counter pain relievers may also be taken in case of pain.

Surgical Treatment

In case there are no signs of improvement in your condition and your bunion is getting worse to the extent that it already is affecting your normal life, surgical treatment is the last option available. Also known as bunionectomy, surgery for bunion would attempt to realign the affected toe, correct the deformity, and restore the normal functioning of the toes. There are several variations of bunionectomy, and the type of procedure performed on a patient depends on the severity of the bunion, the age of the patient and other factors.

If you have a bunion, you should be proactive about its treatment to avoid unnecessary discomfort and pain. Except for surgery, most of your treatment options are inexpensive. If you are still unsure about whether you have a bunion or not, you could visit a podiatrist to diagnose your condition.

5 Types of Catfish That Can Make a Great Addition to Your Aquarium

People have different interests when it comes to pets. Aside from cats and dogs, rabbits and exotic animals are also gaining in popularity as pets. Aside from land animals, fishes are also popular as pets. I have visited several houses as well as restaurants with indoor or outdoor aquariums. And I must admit that they can add aesthetic value to the place. They also help entertain visitors, especially children.

While there are many species of fish that are suitable for aquariums, catfishes are perhaps one of the most versatile species that can make a delightful addition to your tank. With numerous types available in varying appearance, personality and purpose, you can easily find a catfish that will meet your preferences:

  1. Cory Catfish – Because of their peaceful nature, Cory catfish make a good addition to a community tank. They are bottom dwellers that feed on bottom scraps. However, they also enjoy eating fish foods as well as shrimp pellets and algae wafers.
  2. Pictus Catfish – This type of catfish can also live peacefully with any soft water aquarium mate, as long as it is not small enough to fit into the catfish’s mouth. Pictus cats are known for their pectoral fin, so extra care must be taken when catching them. Aside from leftover fish foods, they must also be fed with catfish pellets for complete nutrition. An occasional treat of small live food is also okay.
  3. Britle-Nosed Catfish – The Brittle-nosed cats are among the most sought-after aquarium catfishes because of their hardiness and ease of care. They are also peaceful and shy bottom-dwelling fishes that love to feed on tank algae and even dead fishes. They normally just come out during feeding time and in the evening.
  4. Clown Catfish – Unlike most aquarium catfishes, clown catfish prefer flowing or well-oxygenated water. They can peacefully cohabit with small groups of fish of at least four and generally stay at the bottom of the tank. They are not very difficult to feed as they will feed on almost any leftovers that settle at the bottom of the tank. They can also be fed with pellets and flakes as well as live or frozen foods.
  5. Otocinlus Catfish – Considered to be one of the smallest catfishes, otocinlus cats are another functional and attractive addition for your aquarium. They are very social and prefer to be kept with other fishes in small schools. They feed on algae as well as wafer food and vegetable-based flakes.

Most aquarium catfishes are difficult to breed in an aquarium setting. So if you want them, find a reliable breeder or a pet store that sells them.

One advantage of adding catfishes to your aquarium is that they are good tank cleaners. However, you must not completely rely on them to clean your tank. Regular cleaning is still required to make your tank a suitable living environment for your fishes.

5 Simple Steps to Overcome Anxiety

While I am preoccupied with my work several hours a day for at least five days a week, I really try to find some time to relax, enjoy and spend quality time with the people I care for. I do this because I believe that a balanced life is a key to a happy and successful life. Most importantly, I don’t want to suffer from any emotional or mental disorder because of the kind of life that I have.

Nowadays, many people suffer from anxiety as a result of stressful and imbalanced personal and business life. Anxiety is a condition involving unpleasant inner turmoil, which is more often accompanied by fear, nervousness, apprehensions, worrying and sometimes, anxiety chest pain. While this feeling is just normal, the inability to manage anxiety can lead to anxiety disorder which can affect a person’s normal thinking, functioning and overall quality of life.

Fortunately for people who suffer from anxiety, there are ways on how to prevent or overcome this negative feeling. Here are some simple steps to do it:

  1. Take a deep breath.

Deep breathing can trigger a relaxation response and switch our emotion from being anxious to being more relaxed. It can be done by inhaling slowly, counting up to four and then slowly exhaling and counting up to four again before repeating the same procedure. You can do it amidst your work or whenever you feel stressed.

  1. Get enough sleep.

Lack of rest and sleep can trigger anxiety. That is why getting at least eight hours of sleep every night is very important especially for people who are prone to anxiety. If you can’t sleep, try engaging in a relaxing activity such as taking a warm bath, listening to music, or reading a book before bedtime to help you fall asleep easily.

  1. Exercise regularly.

Brisk-walking, running, hiking, biking, swimming, dancing and playing basketball or tennis are just some of the exercises and physical activities that you can do to cope up or reduce your risk of anxiety. During physical activities, the body releases endorphins which can help the body feel more relaxed.

  1. Stay connected with friends and loved ones.

Socialization is vital to stress and anxiety management. Family and friends are able to provide emotional support especially when you are feeling down. Talking or spending several hours of entertaining or engaging activity with them can help improve your emotional stability.

  1. Avoid caffeine and illegal substances.

Certain substances can exacerbate anxiety. On top of the list is caffeine, a substance that causes some people to palpitate or feel nervous. Alcohol is another substance. Alcoholic beverages may cause you to feel more relaxed for a short time; but after that, the opposite can happen. Illegal substances such as marijuana and LSD among others also cause panic attacks after the effect of the drug wears off.

  1. Take a break.

If you are suffering from anxiety attacks, it might help if you take a regular break from your usual routine and enjoy something you want to do even for just a couple of minutes or hours each day. It could be listening to soothing music, playing sports, pursuing a hobby or a simple stroll at the park.

While there are supplements for anxiety and therapies that can help patients, prevention is still better than cure. By observing the above mentioned tips, you should be able to reduce your chances of suffering from anxiety disorder.

What There is to Know About Shoulder Pain

Have you ever experienced suffering from shoulder pain after a long and tiring day? While I don’t usually get this kind of pain from my work, I sometimes experience shoulder pain as a result of other strenuous activities I am engaged in. Whenever my shoulder is painful, I just want to sit down on the couch or lie down on my back to relax.

I am sure many of you also have suffered from shoulder pain which includes pain between shoulder blades. It is a common complaint among adults and the elderly. It normally occurs when you do activities that put much strain on your shoulders or when you are sitting down in awkward position for a long time. It can also be caused by certain conditions such as gallbladder and heart diseases. Just like shoulder subluxation and other conditions affecting the shoulders, shoulder pain may or may not be a serious condition. But there is more to know about pain in the shoulder so you would be able to properly deal with the problem if you have it.

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

  • Rotator cuff tendinitis
  • Shoulder joint arthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Bursitis
  • Broken shoulder bone
  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Shoulder separation
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Overuse shoulders
  • Referred pain from lung, heart or gallbladder

Some cases of shoulder pain can be prevented with strengthening and stretching exercises involving the rotator cuff and shoulder muscles. Your physical therapist may be able to recommend some suitable exercises for you.

Home Care for Shoulder Pain

There are some simple steps that can help you manage shoulder pain at home:

  • Apply ice pack on the affected area and let it sit for 15 minutes. Do it three times daily for three days following the onset of the pain.
  • Rest from activities that put pressure on the shoulder for several days until your symptoms improve.
  • Manage pain and inflammation by taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • When you have to return to normal activities after signs of improvement, do it slowly.

When to Seek Your Doctor

One of the most serious conditions that cause shoulder pain is referred pain from heart attack. Immediate attention by a medical professional can make a difference between life and death of the patient. Symptoms include crushing pain in the shoulder area that runs from the chest to the jaw, arms and neck. Patients also usually experience sweating, shortness of breath or sweating. If these symptoms occur, call 911 as soon as possible.

In addition, you should also visit your doctor in case of:

  • Severe shoulder pain as a result of injury and the affected area shows signs of bruising, swelling or bleeding
  • Shoulder pain that comes with redness, fever and swelling
  • Shoulder pain that causes problems in shoulder movement
  • Pain that lingers for more than a week despite home treatment
  • Changes in skin color to blue or red in the affected area

Shoulder pain can affect you anytime. With your understanding about this condition, you will be able to know what to do and when to seek medical attention for your pain.

Knowing the Difference Between Bronchitis and Pneumonia

Bronchitis and pneumonia are both respiratory ailments that share several similar symptoms. It is one reason why many people including myself often confuse bronchitis vs pneumonia. Needless to say, they are two conditions you want to prevent. But despite some similarities, there are also considerable differences between the two and understanding these differences is vital for their early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

Definition

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes which serve as airways to the lungs. Bronchitis can be either acute or chronic. Pneumonia, on the other hand, is an infection in the lungs which can be life-threatening if it affects children or the elderly.

Symptoms

Symptoms may vary between acute and chronic bronchitis. For acute cases, they include wet cough that can bring up clear, yellowish or green mucus. Wheezing cough is not uncommon together with low-grade fever, abdominal or chest discomfort during coughing and shortness of breath. As for chronic bronchitis, coughing may end up longer, sometimes taking weeks or even months. Patients may also suffer from worsening productive cough and frequent colds.

Patients suffering from pneumonia may also show different symptoms, depending on the cause of the condition. Bacterial pneumonia may come suddenly or gradually. The cough may also bring out rust-colored or green sputum from the lungs. In severe cases, patients may also suffer from chattering teeth, shaking chills, high fever, shortness of breath and chest pain.

If the cause of pneumonia is viral, symptoms are more like that of flu. Symptoms may include fever, headache, weakness, dry cough, and muscle pain. Shortness of breath is also expected within the next 36 hours after infection and it could get worse if not treated. Breathing may also become more difficult and to some extent, the lips can turn blue.

Lastly, there are people who suffer from mycoplasma pneumonia or more commonly known as walking pneumonia. This type of pneumonia has mild symptoms which include fever, headache, cough and malaise which usually appear gradually.

When a Doctor Is Needed

Whether it is bronchitis or pneumonia, call your doctor in case of:

  • High fever with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If the patient is an infant or a child, such condition requires emergency attention.
  • Shaking chills
  • Cough that causes you to have disrupted sleep
  • Cough that lasts more than three weeks
  • Cough that comes with blood or green or yellow mucus
  • Wheezing cough
  • Chest pain whenever you take a deep breath or are coughing

In addition, if the patient is already coughing with large amounts of blood, has severe breathing difficulty, or has lips and fingernails that turn blue, call emergency service right away as these symptoms may be a sign of a life-threatening condition.

While there are available pneumonia or bronchitis remedies that include natural products and over-the-counter medications, it would be good to consult your doctor first before taking any remedies. Home remedies and medications may not be effective unless there is a correct diagnosis for your condition.

Pregnancy Stretch Marks: What You Should Know About

Stretch marks are a skin problem that affects a large number of people. While they can also affect men, they are more commonly seen among women especially those who have already undergone pregnancy. Pregnancy is perhaps one of the most common causes of stretch marks, appearing on the breasts and abdomen. Many of you may already have seen how a stretch mark looks like, especially if you are a husband, daughter or son of a mother who has one.

I have seen some men who have stretch marks, but usually the appearance is not as noticeable as those I have seen among mothers. Understanding pregnancy stretch marks will not only be useful among women but also among men so that we may be able to help some of the women we know deal with this condition.

What Are Pregnancy Stretch Marks?

Pregnancy stretch marks are depressed small streaks in the skin that normally occur in the abdomen and breasts during the last trimester of pregnancy when there is a rapid expansion of the abdomen to accommodate the unborn baby. They usually start to appear in brown, pink or purple color and then later on fade and become light silver. They do not totally disappear.

Who Can Develop Pregnancy Stretch Marks?

It is hard to predict who could develop stretch marks during pregnancy. Certainly, they appear in more than 50 percent of pregnant women. However, certain factors may increase your risk of stretch marks. For instance, if your mother and other sisters have developed them during pregnancy, there is a big probability that you will too. Also, younger pregnant women are more prone to this condition. Additionally, the faster you gain weight and expand your belly during pregnancy, the more chances that you will have stretch marks.

How Can You Prevent Stretch Marks?

Unfortunately, most preventive measures for stretch marks do not really work. Even topical lotions and creams which claim to be effective in preventing stretch marks among pregnant women seem to not work.

Moreover, it is always best to keep your skin hydrated during pregnancy to make it look more toned and smoother. Drinking more fluid especially water can also help keep your skin healthy and may help in reducing your risk of having stretch marks.

How to Remove Stretch Marks?

Although stretch marks are highly visible during and right after pregnancy, they usually reduce in appearance after one year. They normally become lighter in appearance even without applying any skin care products. However, if they bother you and you would like to reduce their appearance faster, there are several treatment options available including light therapy and the use of stronger topical medications. You could talk with your dermatologist about the most suitable option for you.

Pregnancy stretch marks generally do not require medication or medical attention unless you are bothered by their appearance. However, if you intend to use any topical medication to get rid of them while still pregnant, it would be better to first seek the advice of your doctor as some topical medicines may be harmful to your unborn child.

5 Simple Ways to Prevent Kidney Stone Formation

Kidney stone is a condition that is not new to me. I know of friends and even family members who have developed kidney stones in the past. Some of them were able to pass their stones without any medication while others had to seek medical attention. I do not know how kidney stones feel like, but I read about them from the people at www.removemykidneystones.com. Some of the people I know who had them complained of severe pain especially during urination while others said that they did not have an idea they had kidney stones not until their doctor told them.

Kidney stones are minerals present in the urine that crystallize and form into tiny stones, the most common of which are uric acid and calcium. The stone formation normally happens when the urine becomes so concentrated with these minerals because of inadequate fluid in the urine to dilute them.

Many people believe that there is no way to prevent kidney stones. However, I have read a number of resources online that say you can prevent them from happening. And here are some ways to do it:

  1. Drink plenty of water.

One of the risk factors for developing kidney stones is not having adequate liquid intake that can dilute the minerals in the urine. Water is the most vital liquid that a person should take. Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily can make the urine less concentrated. Juices from fruits and vegetables can also help. To know if you have adequate liquid in your system, check the color of your urine. It should be light yellow. If you are taking vitamin B supplements or multivitamins, the color of your urine should be bright yellow.

  1. Avoid sugar.

A high sugar diet also makes a person prone to forming kidney stones as sugar interferes with magnesium and calcium absorption. The consumption of soda and other unhealthy sweet treats is one of the reasons why many young children also get kidney stones. And this is supported by a South African study which shows that soda can exacerbate the condition in the urine, which results in the formation of kidney stones, particularly calcium oxalate stones.

  1. Ensure adequate magnesium intake.

Magnesium is an essential mineral that is responsible for numerous biochemical reactions in the body and it is believed that magnesium deficiency has a lot to do with kidney stone formation. One of the important functions of magnesium is in preventing the oxalate from combining with calcium, which in turn prevents calcium oxalate stone formation. Eating green leafy vegetables as well as consuming vegetable juices is one way to boost your magnesium intake. Magnesium supplements are also available.

  1. Exercise regularly.

Sedentary or bedridden people are more prone to kidney stones because their lack of movement causes their bones to give out more calcium to the system. Exercising regularly helps keep the balance of calcium in the body. Also, exercising helps prevent high blood pressure, a condition which doubles a person’s risk of kidney stones.

  1. Reduce intake of calcium supplements.

Calcium from foods is beneficial to the body but it is a different story with calcium supplements. Calcium supplements are found to increase your risk of kidney stone formation by about 20 percent.

These simple tips are useful for preventing new stone formation and as home remedies for kidney stones. However, if you are in doubt that you may already have kidney stones, it would be best to seek the advice of your doctor regarding your condition.

5 Factors that Cause Troubles in a Relationship

Many of us are looking for that one perfect relationship. This is perhaps one reason why some people rely on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) in looking for a compatible partner. As I understand it, the MBTI concept on relationship compatibility depends on the personality type of the persons involved. When saying this, people who have generally good personality traits can be compatible to most personality types such that INFJ relationships and INFP relationships are expected to produce some of the warmest and successful relationships.

However, regardless of the compatibility of the persons’ involved, problems may arise which may lead to a troubled relationship and ultimately, a breakup if not properly addressed.

  1. Neglect

Friendship is said to be one of the foundations of a successful relationship. It allows partners to enjoy each other’s company regardless of their differences in many things. But friendship does not just grow on its own without being nurtured. Partners need to spend quality time with each other and communicate as much as possible. If couples start to neglect each other, that is when the friendship starts to deteriorate which could eventually lead to irreparable damage in the relationship.

  1. Conflicts left unsettled

Arguments and conflicts are just normal in any relationship. When couples learn to overcome them, they can make a relationship even stronger. However, if left unsettled, they can build up resentment against each other such that even smaller arguments can be hard to fix in the future. Then the blame game usually begins. In some cases, couples will start to hurt each other physically or emotionally until the feeling of love will be changed to hatred.

While most relationship conflicts are normally settled between couples, some need mediation by a third party such as friends, family or a professional.

  1. Lack of care

In a relationship, we sometimes like to have our own way no matter what it takes, and we begin to be too stubborn to listen to what our partner has to say. To make this happen, we oftentimes tell our partner how they cannot be right. Some people even go to the extent of punishing their partner for having a different opinion by showing their lack of care and intentionally doing what they think can hurt the other person. When couples no longer care for each other, it can lead to both people feeling lonely, which in turn causes them to lose interest in the relationship they have.

  1. Lack of understanding

All of us like to be understood by other people. Understanding does not necessarily mean that they are in agreement with us. It simply means that they know why we do what we do. Understanding the other person helps develop compassion, empathy, care and love, which are all vital in a relationship. If there is a lack of understanding in the relationship, there is a tendency that a partner may look for it from somewhere or someone else. This in turn can lead to jealousy and separation.

  1. Lack of support

When life gets tough, it is just normal for us to seek for support especially from our partner. If the support is not there, it can lead to the feeling of self-pity and neglect, which are both not healthy in any relationship.

Knowing these different areas where a relationship may suffer or fail can help each person especially those who are already into a relationship give special attention to avoid a troublesome relationship.

FAQs about Fish Oil for Dogs

While natural foods generally are a good source of daily nutrition, some people need added supplements to boost their health and immune system. As you have known, I really enjoy food in general. But as much as I eat foods that are a good source of vitamins and minerals, I still feel that I don’t get the sufficient nutrition that my body needs to be really healthy. I know that many people feel the same way; hence, the increasing popularity of vitamin or mineral supplements.

The same is true for animals. I have several friends who own pets and they really invest on food supplements for their dogs or cats to keep them in their prime health. One interesting fact I have discovered is that there are certain supplements that are beneficial for both people and animals, particularly dogs. One of them is fish oil supplement.

What is fish oil supplement?

Fish oil in supplement form is a good source of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) omega-3 fatty acids. It is commonly sourced from the tissues of cold water fish.

What are the benefits of fish oil for dogs?

  • Fish oil boosts the nervous system and immune system.
  • The omega 3-fatty acids in fish oil are important in the brain development of fetuses and puppies.
  • It promotes healthy coat and skin.
  • Helps reduce the risk of inflammation
  • Increases stamina
  • Helps reduce joint discomfort
  • Protects dogs from auto-immune diseases

Why is fish oil supplement important for dogs?

Omega-3 EFAs which are beneficial for dogs can be difficult to find in most dog foods and even in natural foods. They are easily perishable with exposure to light, air and heat. So even if they are added in commercial dog foods, they will not survive.

Are there any side effects when giving fish oil to dogs?

Generally, fish oil is safe for dogs. However, some dogs may develop side effects to fish oil especially if it is not administered properly or it is given excessively. One possible side effect of fish oil is that it can decrease platelet activity, leading to difficulty in producing blood clot when the animal is injured. It is a serious condition since your dog may lose more blood even with minor injuries. Fish oil may also interfere with the natural healing of wounds and production of new healthy skin. Allergic reaction is also possible, especially if your dog is allergic to fish.

While there are known side effects of fish oil supplement in dogs, many dog owners still find this type of supplement beneficial to their pet. The key to helping your dog enjoy the benefits of fish oil is by getting the right dosage which can be determined by your veterinarian. You can also determine it yourself by following the instructions in the product label. Proper handling and storage of fish oil is also important since the oil can easily go rancid when exposed to the elements. Most importantly, seek the advice of your veterinarian about fish oil supplement. As many dog owners ask their vet can dog eat bananas and other fresh fruits, the same question should also be raised regarding fish oil.

3 Effective Home Remedies for Sunburn

Have you ever experienced swimming in the summer and when the fun almost winds up, you just notice you got sunburn? Many of you have probably experienced similar situations in the past. I myself have experienced getting sunburn many times, not only during the summer but at other times of the year. Aside from food-related stuffs, I also like doing outdoor activities whenever I have the chance and when I do, I sometimes end up going home with a sunburned skin.

Sunburn can be irritating, itchy and painful, especially the second degree sunburn which is more serious than first degree sunburn. While it is general knowledge that prolonged exposure under the sun can trigger this condition, some people are still careless about going out without skin protection. But even with your best efforts of protecting your skin, sunburn is inevitable sometimes. If you do have sunburn, you could try the following home remedies to help soothe your symptoms:

  1. Potato Paste

Throughout the years, potatoes have a good reputation as an effective pain reliever for minor skin problems including scratches, skin irritations, bites and burns. It also has inflammatory properties that can help reduce the swelling.

Application

To make potato paste, put a large sliced potato in the blender. Give it a swirl until it has liquid consistency. If it is too dry, add a little water to the mixture and swirl again. Transfer the potato paste in a bowl and then soak some cotton balls in it. Gently apply the cotton balls on the affected area without rubbing the skin. Let the paste sit for several minutes before rinsing.

  1. Vinegar

Many people have already proven the effectiveness of vinegar for sunburn. Among the several types of vinegar, pure apple cider vinegar works best for soothing the symptoms of sunburn. It is best applied after a cool bath.

Application

Prepare a cup of apple cider vinegar and put it in a spray bottle. If you are using other types of vinegar and you think it is too strong for your skin, you can dilute it with cool water in equal parts. Spray the vinegar in the burned area and let it air-dry.

  1. Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda is a versatile ingredient that is not only useful for cleaning but is also beneficial for soothing sunburn and reducing its reddish appearance.

Application

A baking soda paste can be made by combining baking soda with a little amount of water to achieve the paste consistency. The amount of baking soda paste you will need depends on how big the affected area of the skin is. When adding water, use cool water but not ice-cold water. Smear the paste gently on the burned skin, without rubbing. Leave it for several minutes and then rinse.

When you are in the sun and you notice your skin turning red and becoming painful, it could be a sign that you are already have sunburn. When it happens, go to the nearest shade immediately and if possible, take a cool bath then apply any of the remedies listed here.

Save Your Cat By Understanding Roundworms in Cats

Cats are considered to be one of the most popular pets across the country. They have that natural charm that attracts many pet lovers to bring them home. I have nothing against cats, but they just don’t seem to fit my lifestyle. However, I know quite a number of people in my neighborhood who own a cat or two. Some of my relatives and friends also have them. Fortunately, I have not seen them in any of the restaurants I have visited to critique.

If you have a cat, chances are you already have a general idea about some of the life-threatening diseases that affect these animals, such as pancreatitis in cats and kidney problems in cats. That is good as your knowledge can help save your cat from untimely death due to serious illnesses. However, even the seemingly minor health problems in cats also deserve attention as they may lead to life-threatening problems. In particular, owners should also be aware about roundworms in cats. Several cat owners that I know of have cats that are infected with this type of worm. Roundworms can affect cats, regardless of breed.

Symptoms of Roundworm Infestation in Cats

There are two types of roundworms that commonly affect cats. They are the Toxascaris leonina and Toxocara cati. Generally, they manifest several common symptoms including:

  • Lethargy
  • Colic
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal feces
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia
  • Coughing (this is an indication of the presence of larvae in the lungs)

There are different ways on how cats can be infected with roundworms, the most common of which is through ingestion of food, water, feces or vomit that contains roundworm eggs. As for kittens, they normally get roundworms if their mother has it during pregnancy or from their mother’s milk if the mother has become infected only after pregnancy.

What is the treatment for roundworms?

Fortunately, treating roundworm infestation in cats is inexpensive and simple. Veterinarians generally administer deworming medications to the affected cat. Owners can expect to see dead or dying roundworms in the stool after treatment. However, deworming medications general cannot kill the larvae or immature worms; so medications are normally given two or three times, typically in weeks interval.

As a preventive measure, cat owners may have their pet receive a regular dose of anthelmintic medication especially if the animal frequently spends time outdoors. Kittens are also advised to get dewormed during boosted vaccination.

Cats diagnosed with roundworms infestation have a big chance of recovering from the condition if appropriate treatment is given promptly. As for owners, if their cat is diagnosed with roundworms, proper disposal of the feces must be observed as humans can get roundworms by ingesting eggs through the consumption of fresh produce from soil contaminated with roundworm eggs. Also, washing of hands after handling the feces is important.

Roundworms infestation in cats should be taken seriously by pet owners as this problem does not only seriously affect cats but also their owners.

Facts You Need To Know About Sprained Foot

Sprained foot is another common condition affecting the feet aside from tingling feet sensation. Although I am not into sports or other activities that can put pressure on my feet, I have still suffered from this condition at least once in the past. Anybody who has experienced it will surely be able to remember the pain and discomfort that this condition brings. Common as it may be, not many people know what a sprained foot really is and how it can be treated. Understanding more about this condition can make a big difference in preventing this problem and recovering from it at the soonest time possible.

Foot Sprain Definition

The feet are comprised of connective tissues such as cartilage, ligaments and joint capsules that function as cushions between bones to reduce impact during activities. Any tearing or damage to these connective tissues results in foot sprain.

Causes of Foot Sprain

Foot sprain may develop when:

  • There is excessive force placed on the foot joint as a result of jumping, rolling an ankle, or by encountering an accident.
  • There is forceful bending or twisting movement in any of the feet. This is very common in certain types of sports such as gymnastics, track and field running, windsurfing and football.
  • Repetitive strain in the feet especially for people who have an unstable type of feet such as flat feet.

Certain factors also increase a person’s risk of sprain. These include:

  • Instability of joint
  • Poor balance
  • Muscle weakness
  • Joint stiffness
  • Lack or inadequate warm up before a game or strenuous workout
  • Inappropriate footwear
  • Fatigue

Symptoms of Foot Sprain

  • Sudden onset of intense pain when performing activities that put pressure on the affected joint
  • Stiffness and pain which may occur in the bottom, top or side of the affected joint
  • Occasional referred pain to the ankle or toes
  • Pain when the affected region is touched
  • In severe cases, swelling or bruising may also be present

Treatment for Foot Sprain

Physiotherapy can help hasten the healing and recovery of foot sprain. Physiotherapy treatment may include the use of orthotics, crutches, protective taping and protective boot of foot brace. Also part of this treatment process is soft tissue massage, certain exercises for improving foot flexibility and strength, and dry needling among others.

If the condition of patients does not improve despite appropriate physiotherapy treatments, a doctor may recommend other treatment options. These may involve the use of prescription medications or corticosteroid injection. In some cases, patients are also referred to a specialist called a podiatrist who can help explore other possible solutions.

Minor to moderate cases of foot sprains normally show improvement in a couple of weeks, and patients are normally able to return to normal activities in about six weeks if appropriate treatments and management are applied. As for severe cases, a longer period of time is needed for full recovery.

Foot sprain is generally not a critical health problem; however, it can affect a person’s normal activities or work. If neglected, the healing process may take longer and, sometimes, the simple sprain would progress into a more serious problem.

 

5 Tips to a Strong and Successful Relationship

how to get over someoneWhile some people are struggling to learn how to get over someone especially a controlling boyfriend or girlfriend, there are also people who are striving to have a happy and successful relationship. I truly appreciate it when I see older people with gray hair who are still very sweet with their spouses. It makes me believe that in our modern day where separation and divorce are becoming pretty common, it is still possible to have a good and flourishing relationship with someone you love.

I have known of some couples who have been together for 20 or more years and they all admit that their relationship was never without arguments, problems and trials. But one thing in common among them is that they never let these challenges ruin their relationship. Instead, they try their best to make their relationship even stronger.

Here are some of the tips they shared on how to make a relationship stronger and happy amidst the challenges:

  1. Spend more time doing things that you both enjoy. It could be watching movies together, eating at your favorite restaurant, travelling, playing games or even doing chores, as long as it is something both of you find enjoyable. Some people allow themselves to be preoccupied with work and other personal things, neglecting the importance of quality bonding time with their spouse or partner. This is one of the reasons why some relationships fail.
  2. Work together to solve any problem that may arise. It is very easy to blame the other person in case of failure or problems. There is no such thing as a problem-proof relationship and you can expect problems to come by when you least expect. When that happens, avoid the blame game and start discussing with your partner how to solve your problem.
  3. Become supportive to your partner. In times of difficulty, you should be the first one to show support to your partner. Your presence alone can mean a lot to a person who is down or depressed for some reason. If needed, you could also give positive encouragement.
  4. Appreciate even the smallest things that your partner did for you. It could be as simple as preparing your coffee for breakfast, cooking for dinner, washing the dishes, or taking you out on a date. Appreciate these simple things because it is the best way to recognize the goodness shown to you.
  5. Communicate always. Communication is vital in understanding each other. Without communication, doubts, conflicts and unmet expectations may arise. Additionally, over-the-phone conversation is not as effective as talking in person. It is important to take time each day to talk with your spouse or partner about anything that concerns you or your relationship.

Many relationships that have ended or failed could still possibly work if these tips were applied by the persons involved. If you are in a troubled relationship and you still want it to work, you should try any of the tips mentioned above and see how it can greatly improve your relationship.

 

10 Possible Reasons Why You Have Abnormal Taste

In the food industry where I am, it is important that you have a good sense of taste. My sense of taste not only allows me to appreciate the taste of each food that comes into my mouth but also identifies the ingredients that are in it. I could not be a food critic if it were not for my keen sense of taste.

Unfortunately, not all people have the normal sense of taste that many of us enjoy. Some people are suffering from taste disorder, causing them to have reduced or total loss of ability to taste different flavors. Some also have temporary or permanent lingering taste such as metal taste in mouth, sweet taste in mouth or salty taste in mouth.

Any type of disorder affecting our taste is something that we cannot easily neglect. Food is part of our daily life and it is vital for our nourishment. An abnormal taste can greatly affect a person’s appetite and overall health; thus, it is a condition that needs immediate medical attention.

There are various reasons why you can suffer from taste disorder. Some of the most common are listed here:

  • Dental Problems and Poor Oral Hygiene – Gum disease as well as infections and inflammation in the mouth and inability to brush teeth at least twice daily can cause abnormalities in taste. Certain medications for dental diseases also cause dry mouth which in turn could affect your taste. If you have dental problems and experiencing abnormality in taste, inform your dentist on your next appointment.
  • Medications – Some antihistamines and antibiotics have a reputation of leaving a bad taste in the mouth such as a bitter or salty taste. To some extent, they may also cause total loss of taste temporarily. If that happens, inform your doctor of such side effect so that an alternative medicine may be prescribed to you.
  • Chemical Exposure – Some toxic chemicals such as solvents, insecticides and pesticides may also impair taste. Contact with any of these chemicals requires emergency attention from your doctor.
  • Infection – Flu and other infection affecting the upper respiratory and middle ear may also cause taste disorder.
  • Surgeries – Some people may also suffer from taste disorder after undergoing surgery in the throat, ear and nose as well as extraction of the wisdom tooth.
  • Radiation Therapy – Radiation therapy for patients with cancer in the neck or head may also cause the patient to experience abnormal taste. This is especially true if the therapy is done on the mouth and nose area.
  • Head Injury – Previous surgery or trauma to the head can impair your sense of taste because the taste nerves may be cut, blocked or physically damaged.
  • Smoking – A significant number of smokers have reported a reduced ability to taste which eventually improves after quitting.

While a small number of people are born with taste disorder, some cases can be prevented by avoiding the factors causing it. Don’t hesitate to visit your doctor if you feel that there is something abnormal about your taste buds. This condition is treatable as long as the underlying cause is identified.

Beware: 5 Serious Causes of Left Arm Numbness

arm numbness

Just like pain in right arm or left arm, arm numbness, particularly numbness in left arm is also a common complaint among adults. One can easily neglect this problem because even a healthy person can experience it. Numbness frequently occurs when there is a lack of blood supply to a particular part of the body. In the case of numbness in the arms, this normally happens after sleeping in an awkward position where the arm has a restricted blood flow. Oftentimes, I experience this problem when I sleep on my side with my arm tucked under my head. Other people may also have different sleeping positions that cause problems.

Though very common, left arm numbness should not be taken for granted as it may also indicate a serious health problem. Some of them may require more than just home remedies but medical attention:

  1. Brachial Plexus Injury

The brachial plexus is composed of a network of nerves responsible for sending signals coming from the spine to the arms. If any of the nerves gets overstretched or torn, it could result to numbness in the arm.

  1. Ganglion Cysts

Ganglion cysts are noncancerous growths that are normally found on the hands and wrists. They can develop suddenly or gradually over a period of time. This type of cyst does not normally manifest any symptoms and does not also require treatment. However, sometimes, it can cause numbness in the arms and affect normal movement of the joint. It is when these cysts are normally removed through surgery.

  1. Nerve Compression or Damage

Nerve compression is perhaps one of the top reasons for left arm numbness. It happens when the nerve in the left arm that runs from the central nervous system gets compressed, which in turn interrupts blood circulation causing numbness. Aside from compression, nerve damage may cause arm numbness especially if the person is suffering from diabetes, infection, metabolic problems, injuries, or is exposed to toxins.

  1. Stroke

Symptoms of stroke may vary from person to person. Aside from chest pain, other symptoms of stroke may also show up such as left arm numbness. This happens due to an interrupted supply of blood to the brain which in turn affects the blood circulation in the arms and other parts of the body. Stroke is an emergency situation that requires immediate attention by a doctor.

  1. Fractures

Numbness in the arms can also be due to fractures in the shoulder, fingers, collar bones, elbow or arm. This type of numbness usually comes with sharp pain and tingling sensation in the fractured area. An x-ray of the arm can help determine the fractured part as well as the extent of the fracture.

Aside from those listed above, other possible causes of numbness in the left arm are Raynaud’s Syndrome, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, Arteriosclerosis and Vitamin B deficiency.

If you have doubts that your arm numbness is caused by conditions other than an awkward position in sleeping, it is best to see your doctor as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause.

 

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on Dog Allergies

Many of us own or know someone who owns a dog. Dogs are a common pet among famous and ordinary people. They are undeniably intelligent and loyal animals, making them popular among animal lovers.

I also love dogs. However, I pity these animals as they are also prone to many conditions that humans suffer from including allergies. A significant number of canines or dogs suffer from various types of allergies including food allergy, dust mite allergy, pollen allergy, yeast allergy and others. Unlike their human counterpart, dogs cannot talk and express how they feel. If a dog owner is not sensitive enough to its condition, it might suffer from severe allergic reactions without the necessary medical intervention. It would be good for dog owners to be more aware about the answers to frequently asked questions regarding allergies in dogs:

What are the common symptoms of dog allergies?

Although there are different types of allergies that can affect dogs, many of them share similar symptoms which include:

  • Itching and increased scratching
  • Moist, red, swollen, inflamed or scabbed skin
  • Runny eyes
  • Ear infection
  • Snoring
  • Sneezing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constant licking

Which dog is at risk of allergies?

Any dog can be affected with allergies. However, more cases of allergies are reported on retrievers, terriers, setters, and flat-faced breeds.

What are the common allergens in dogs?

Common allergens are:

  • Yeast
  • Dust and dust mites
  • Pollens
  • Mold
  • Feathers and dander
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Certain food ingredients such as corn, soy, chicken, wheat and pork
  • Cleaning products
  • Fabrics, plastic and rubber material

What should I do if my dog has symptoms of an allergy?

It will be difficult to self-diagnose your dog for allergies as there are several types of allergies sharing similar symptoms. When in doubt, bring your pet to a veterinarian. Your vet may conduct a physical examination and a series of tests to determine the type of allergy your dog has.

Can allergic reaction be prevented?

Allergy attacks can be prevented by avoiding offending allergens. For instance, if your dog is allergic to certain food ingredients, avoid giving dog foods containing such ingredients. If your dog is allergic to dust, vacuum its beddings regularly. Regular bathing can also help remove environmental allergens that may have stuck on your dog’s coat such as pollen. Your vet can further discuss this with you once the type of allergy has already been identified.

Is there any allergy medicine for dogs?

In case of allergic reaction, your vet may recommend certain medications to manage it. The most common medication for dog allergy includes antihistamines like Benadryl. Dog supplements such as fatty acid supplement may also be helpful for relieving allergic reactions affecting the skin such as itchiness. In severe case, your vet may also recommend cortisone, a strong medication which should only be used under the supervision of the vet.

If you have further questions regarding dog allergy which are left unanswered, you could discuss them with your vet on your next visit. As dog owners, it would be good to have a general understanding about dog allergies to be able to help your suffering dog manage its condition.

5 Effective Home Remedies for Folliculitis

Have you ever experienced getting tiny lumps on your scalp or on other parts of your body after soaking in a hot tub or warm pool? These tiny lumps may be folliculitis. I must admit that I had them a few times in the past not only after a hot bath but also after irritating my skin while shaving. Folliculitis is a common skin condition that affects many people including a number of people I know. While scalp folliculitis may not be that noticeable unless you don’t grow hair, you can easily spot folliculitis developing in the face or arms since it normally occurs in big numbers and the lumps are usually surrounded by visible red rings. Some even ooze pus with traces of blood.

Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles caused by fungal or bacterial infection. It can affect anyone regardless of age or gender. Fortunately, just as there are dry scalp remedies, there are also effective home remedies for folliculitis:

  1. Water

Drinking eight or more glasses of water daily is the best way to keep the skin hydrated, allowing it to naturally rejuvenate from folliculitis and other skin conditions. Water helps flush out toxins in the body, including those that are present in the skin causing skin problems. It also boosts the body’s immune system to help fight off infection and prevent further growth of lumps. Aside from water, consuming fruit and vegetable juices are also healthy for the skin.

  1. Garlic

Garlic is high in anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which can help in reducing the symptoms of folliculitis. It can promote faster healing and recovery from inflammation and rashes that are associated with folliculitis. Furthermore, the ajoene and allicin compounds found in garlic are effective in fighting bacterial and fungal infection. People suffering from folliculitis are advised to consume around four cloves of garlic a day until their condition improves.

  1. Aloe Vera Gel

You can also reduce the swelling and redness of the skin associated with folliculitis by applying gel from the leaves of an aloe vera plant. It can also give sufferers fast relief from burning sensation and itchiness. When applying the gel, be sure to cover all the areas affected and let it sit for at least 15 minutes before rinsing. You should do this every day until your skin completely heals.

  1. Neem Leaves

For many centuries now, people have been using neem leaves to treat various skin problems including folliculitis. To use this remedy, boil at least 10 neem leaves in a cup of water. Let the water cool before applying it to the affected area. The leaves can help dry out any pus and let the rashes die out. For better effect, repeat this procedure three times daily.

  1. Vinegar

As a folliculitis remedy, vinegar is effective in treating and preventing further growth of rashes and lumps as well as in soothing itchiness. Mix four drops of vinegar in one cup of lukewarm water then soak a cotton ball into the solution. Dab the solution onto the affected skin area and leave it for 20 minutes before rinsing.

Before visiting a dermatologist or spending money for folliculitis medications, try these home remedies first and see what works best for you.