Saturday, May 26, 2018

Diseases You Can Get From Your Pet

close up of flea


Bites from infected fleas cause bubonic and septicemic plague. But if your pet already has pneumonic plague, you could catch it from stray droplets when he sneezes. Each type causes fever and chills or headache, among other symptoms. It can be fatal if not treated with antibiotics. To help prevent it, keep your pets away from rodents and free of fleas.
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hookworm rash
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Eggs from the poop of an infected pet (often a puppy or kitten) live in the dirt and hatch into larvae. These enter your body through the skin -- if you walk on them barefoot, for example. Hookworm isn’t usually dangerous. It should go away on its own, but your feet or lower legs might be itchy with red lines for a few weeks. Let your doctor know if you notice these symptoms or if you have stomach pain or diarrhea.
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Infected animals transmit this virus through their spit when they bite you. It could be a raccoon, fox, skunk, coyote, or a pet that didn’t get its shots. You may feel sick and feverish at first. Later you might be nervous, confused, and unable to sleep. Wash any bite with soap and water to help protect against the virus. Get to your doctor as soon as possible. Rabies will kill you in a few days if you don’t get the right medication.
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cat litter box
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Cats that have this parasite spread it through their poop. So clean the litterbox often, and wash your hands afterward. If you’re healthy, you can get infected and not get sick from it. But it can cause problems if you’re pregnant or have a weak immune system. Symptoms include muscle aches, fever, and red, blurry eyes. Most people get better without treatment, but in serious cases, your doctor may suggest medication.
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trimming cat nails
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Cat Scratch Disease (CSD)

Your cat can give you this bacterial infection with a scratch, bite, or if she licks an open wound. The area may get tender and swollen with raised, pus-filled sores. You might have fever and a headache. It usually goes away on its own, but you could need antibiotics. To avoid scratches, trim your cat’s nails and don’t play rough. Flea treatments can prevent the bacteria that causes CSD. Wash any bites or scratches with soap and water.
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tapeworm illustration
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It’s rare for people to get a tapeworm from animals, but it can happen. Typically, your pet swallows an infected flea and then you swallow a flea that bit your pet. It mostly happens to children. You may see bits of tapeworm, each piece about the size of a rice grain, in your pet’s poop. Collars and pills can help keep fleas away. Though some tapeworms are scary long -- almost 3 feet -- they aren’t usually dangerous. They’re also easy to treat.
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ringworm rash
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Dogs, cats, pigs, horses, and other animals can pass along this fungus when you touch them. Adult animals may not show symptoms, but kittens and puppies often have crusty hair and bald patches. People get red, itchy, ring-shaped rashes on the top layer of skin. Keep yourself, your pet, and your living area clean to help avoid the infection. Antifungal creams, sprays, and pills can get rid of it, though it sometimes returns.
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Animals that carry this bacteria (lizards, snakes, birds, hamsters, goats, dogs, and cats) may look normal and healthy. But you could get sick if you don’t wash your hands after you handle their food or anything in their living area, like bedding, water containers, fencing, etc. You may have a fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and a stomachache. It usually goes away on its own in a few days, but some people might require a hospital stay.
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Infected pet birds like cockatiels and parrots, or farm birds like chickens and turkeys, may have the bacteria in their pee, poop, or spit. It dries and forms small dust particles that can infect you if you breathe them in. You could also get it if a bird bites you. You might have fever, chills, headache, and a dry cough, which sometimes leads to a serious lung infection. Your doctor will give you antibiotics to kill the bacteria.
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tick burrowing in skin
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Lyme Disease

Cats and dogs can’t give it to you directly, but they may carry deer ticks infected with the bacteria. Collars or medications can keep ticks off your pets. It isn’t always easy to know if you have the disease. A round-shaped rash is one symptom, but not everyone gets it. You also might have a headache, joint pain, and dizziness. If you catch Lyme disease early, the right antibiotics should lead to a full recovery.
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dog running in brush
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Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF)

Dogs who love to run in the brush can bring home an infected tick and pass it to you. You might notice flu-like symptoms: muscle aches, chills, and fever. A rash often starts at your wrists and ankles and spreads from there. If you see this, get to your doctor within a few days and get some antibiotics. If you don’t treat it, RMSF can inflame your lungs, heart, and brain and lead to kidney failure and death.
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person picking up dog waste
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Infected dogs or cats spread this bacteria in poop. Symptoms, if you have them, include bloody diarrhea, nausea, stomachache, and fever. You should get better in a week or so without treatment. The doctor might give you antibiotics if you have a weak immune system or if the infection spreads to your bloodstream.
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dog receiving injection
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This parasite travels in poop. It’s rare, but your pet can give it to you. You might have diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or no symptoms. It usually goes away on its own, but some cases may require medicine. To keep your pets parasite-free, keep their shots up to date, protect them from fleas and ticks, bathe them often, and get rid of their waste quickly.
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abscess caused by mrsa
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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

People usually get this antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but pets can get infected or become carriers. A pet can spread MRSA through a skin or wound infection. So keep things clean while you treat your pet, and keep him away from anyone who’s recently had surgery or has a weak immune system. If you get it, you’ll notice skin infections like painful, pus-filled pimples or boils. Serious cases can lead to pneumonia and blood or joint infections. Talk to your doctor or vet if you or your pet has symptoms. Treatments include wound draining and antibiotics.
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woman with cat at vet
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Don’t Panic

You don’t have to worry about getting all the illnesses your pet gets. You can’t catch many of the most common ones:
  • Heartworms: Parasites spread by mosquitoes that chose your pet’s heart and lungs
  • Parvovirus: A virus that usually causes vomiting and diarrhea in puppies
  • Distemper: A viral disease that causes fever and cough and can damage your dog’s nervous system over time
Talk to your doctor or veterinarian if you’re unsure about symptoms after you get a new pet.
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10 Veggies That Pack in the Protein

fit woman

Why Do You Need Protein?

Your body uses it to build your muscles and organs, deliver oxygen to cells all over your body, and keep your immune system working. Most people should get at least 10% of their daily calories from protein. That’s about 56 grams for a man (based on 2,000 calories a day) and 43 grams for a woman (1,800 calories a day).
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Grilled steak
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Where Do You Get It?

Meat is a good source, but you shouldn’t overdo it, especially the fatty kind. It can make you gain weight and lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other health problems. You can get protein from other foods, too, like yogurt, eggs, beans, and even vegetables. In fact, veggies can give you all you need as long as you eat different kinds and plenty of them.
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Steam them with nothing but a sprinkling of salt for a protein-packed snack: up to 30 grams per cup. That’s about what you’d get from a 3-ounce serving of chicken.
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Tempeh dish
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It’s made when bacteria feed on soybeans -- a process called fermentation, just like milk ferments to make cheese. It’s often sold in blocks, and you can use it in place of meat in some recipes. It has about 17 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving (far more than its cousin tofu, made from soybean milk). Try a tempeh “hamburger” to scratch that fast-food itch and get a punch of protein in the process.
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A half-cup of cooked lentils has 9 grams of protein. Cook them with caramelized onions and wild mushrooms for a meat-like texture (without the meat).
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Sugar snap peas
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Sugar Snap Peas

They have about 5 grams of protein per cup. Stir-fry them with some tempeh, onions, and hot peppers for a spicy vegetarian feast that’s protein-packed.
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Potato and chili
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A large baked potato has about 8 grams of protein. But watch the butter and sour cream -- they can pile on the fat and calories. Try it with some chili made with low-fat ground turkey or tofu crumbles instead. And add lots of beans to that chili for an even bigger protein hit.
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Broccoli Raab
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Broccoli Rabe

It has more than 3 grams of protein per serving. Sautee it with some garlic and onions for a great side dish that goes with just about anything.
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white mushrooms
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White Mushrooms

A cup of cooked white mushrooms has about 3.5 grams of protein. Sautee them with garlic and chili flakes, and mix with pasta for a traditional Italian treat.
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Eating corncob
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A dab of butter and a sprinkle of salt and you have a yummy summer side. One large ear has almost 4 grams of protein.
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Boiled artichokes
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The easiest way to have this is to boil one whole and sprinkle it with salt. You can drizzle a little butter or olive oil as well if you like. It’s simple and delicious and has about 3.5 grams of protein.
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Brussels Sprouts
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Brussels Sprouts

These tiny cabbages pack 2 grams of protein into each half cup. Roast them with onions and garlic and a little olive oil. You can even add a bit of bacon for flavor and more protein.
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What's Throwing You Off Balance?

vertigo effect


It's not a fear of heights, though lots of people think it is. It's not even a "disorder," really. Vertigo is a symptom -- a feeling that either you or the space around you is spinning. This might upset your balance or make you sick to your stomach. Conditions that affect the inner ear cause it most often, but those that have an impact on the brain can also do it.
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bppv treatment
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Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Tiny crystals inside your ear fall into one of the fluid-filled canals, often when you hit your head. Then, when you turn or stand, they confuse your brain and make you dizzy, nauseated, or briefly move your eyes back and forth without control. BPPV can last from a few seconds to a few minutes and usually goes away on its own. Your doctor may treat it with maneuvers that get the crystals to move out of your ear canals.
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A cold or flu virus, or sometimes bacteria, infect the maze of fluid-filled channels deep in your ear. This "labyrinth," which normally helps you keep your balance, swells up, confuses your brain, and causes vertigo. You also might have fever, vomiting, hearing loss, and ringing in your ear (tinnitus). It usually clears up without treatment, but in rare cases, you may need antibiotics to knock out a bacterial infection.
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vestibular neuronitis
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Vestibular Neuronitis

A virus causes sudden swelling of the vestibular nerve that connects your inner ear and the brain. This could make you dizzy, unsteady, and sick to your stomach, but doesn't normally cause hearing loss or tinnitus. It can last from hours to a few days, but it may take you a month or so to get completely better. It usually clears up on its own, but you might need to rest in bed if your symptoms are bad.
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yoga class practicing tree pose
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Meniere's Disease

Though rare, it can cause serious vertigo that lasts from 20 minutes to several hours, often with nausea and vomiting. You might have tinnitus, hearing loss, and a feeling of pressure in your ear. Medicine can cut how many attacks you get and make you feel better when you have one. Diet changes and balance exercises could also help.
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prescription pills in hand
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Your medicine could be the cause of your vertigo. Some drugs that can bring it on are antibiotics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, blood pressure meds, and anti-inflammatories. If you notice dizziness or balance issues, don't stop taking your pills, but call your doctor right away. She might suggest something different that won't cause problems.
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perilymph fistula
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Perilymph Fistula (PLF)

A blow to your head can tear a hole in the tissue that divides your air-filled middle ear from your fluid-filled inner ear. This can lead to balance problems. Your ear may ring, feel full, or you may get sensitive to loud noises. Changes in air pressure, like when you're in an airplane, can make it worse. A week or 2 of bed rest gives the hole a chance to heal. Surgery may be an option if you still have problems after 6 months.
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migraine headache
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Vestibular Migraine

Food, stress, and other causes of migraine could inflame your vestibular nerve, which sometimes leads to vertigo. You may be dizzy, sick to your stomach, sensitive to light and sound, or have ringing in your ears. Strangely, you might not have an actual headache. You treat it with changes in diet, exercise, sleep, and other habits. Your doctor can add medicine and physical therapy if you need them.
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woman with head injury
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Head Injury

A hit to the head can disturb your balance in any number of ways. Besides the inner ear damage that leads to vertigo or perilymph fistula, it can also affect your vision, which helps keep you upright. It may also injure parts of your brain that control movement. Treatment depends on what causes the problem. Your doctor and physical therapist might be able to help.
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woman riding in car
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Motion Sickness

Sometimes riding in a boat, car, train, or plane may make you nauseated and dizzy. It usually stops when you get off the vehicle. But if you have to stay on board, medicine might help. It's also a good idea to:
  • Focus on something far away.
  • Keep your head still.
  • Avoid strong smells, greasy food, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Eat light (plain crackers and water).
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passengers disembarking cruise ship
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Mal de Debarquement Syndrome

When you step off a boat, you might feel for a moment as if the ground is moving like the ocean. Even professional sailors notice it. Now imagine it doesn't go away. For weeks or years, you rock, bob, or sway -- at least it feels that way -- when you're on solid land. Doctors suspect it's because your brain doesn't readjust when the motion of the journey ends. Most cases get better on their own within a year.
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active nerve cells
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Neurological Conditions

Illnesses like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and cervical spondylosis slowly damage the way your nervous system talks to your brain, which can affect your balance. Physical therapy can help you manage the symptoms.
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ramsay hunt syndrome
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Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

You get this condition, and the balance problems that go with it, from the shingles virus that affects a face nerve. It causes a painful rash with fluid-filled blisters around one ear. Your face may be weak and hard to move on the same side. You might also have hearing loss, tinnitus, and vertigo. Call your doctor if you notice these symptoms. Quick treatment with antiviral drugs can help ease pain and keep it from getting worse.
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speeding ambulance
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When to Get Emergency Help

Sudden balance problems may sometimes be a sign of serious problems, like a clot in your blood or a burst blood vessel from a stroke, aneurysm, or embolism. Call 911 right away if you or someone you're with:
  • Can't move or feel one or both arms or one side of the face
  • Can't see out of one or both eyes
  • Speaks in a confused, slurred, or garbled way
  • Has a sudden painful headache
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Inspirational Quote – May 26, 2018

“You create your thoughts. Your thoughts create your intentions, and your intentions create your reality.”

This makes sense! We do create our thoughts don’t we? So let’s each and every one of us, from this moment on, take a silent oath that every thought we have, we use to create the best intentions we possibly can, thus ensuring that our realities become what we want them to be and use these to the best of our abilities to shape and guide our future path through life. Who’s with me?

Peter Levine on Freedom from Pain

In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Peter Levine and Maggie Phillips discuss the prevalence of chronic pain in modern society and how physical pain may relate to past trauma. They describe the stages that pain sufferers commonly experience and bracing patterns that progress into the pain trap. Their program provides strategies for self-regulation to deal with pain based on real-world examples of patients they have helped. Finally, they explain the primary keys to solving the puzzle of pain that allow every person to heal and live pain-free.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Why Toenails Turn Black, Green, and Other Colors

toes in grass

If Toenails Could Talk

Whether you’re washing your hands or admiring a manicure, you spend a lot more time looking at your fingernails than your toenails. Maybe it’s time to focus on your feet more often (and not just during sandal season). Toenail color changes -- from a big blue spot to a thin brown line -- could signal health problems. Here’s what you need to know.
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black subungual hematoma
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Black Toenail: Common Causes

If your toenail turns black, it’s most likely a bruise under the nail, technically called a subungual hematoma. You can get it from stubbing a toe or from footwear that cram your feet into the front of the shoe. The bruise usually starts out red, then becomes purple, dark brown, and finally black when blood beneath the nail pools and clots. Expect your black toenail to grow out in about 6 to 9 months or longer.
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black malignant melanoma
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Black toenail: Rare causes

Say you’re not a runner, your shoes are roomy, and you’re sure you haven’t hurt your toe -- yet you have one or more black toenails. Check to see if it’s just that dye has rubbed off from a pair of shoes. If not, head to the doctor. You might have a rare cause of black toenail, such as:
  • Malignant melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer
  • Fungal infection
  • Chronic ingrown nail
  • Other health problems
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yellow fungal infection
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All-yellow Toenails

When toenails turn yellow, a fungus is usually to blame. This type of fungal infection is so common that you might not even need to see a doctor for treatment. Try an over-the-counter antifungal cream. If your nail is yellow and thick, gently file down the surface so that the drug can reach deeper layers. If at-home treatment doesn’t work, a doctor visit is in order.
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green chloronychia
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Got Green?

Unless you’re wearing green nail polish, this is a color you don’t want to see on your toenails. It could be green-nail syndrome (chloronychia), which is caused by an infection. The culprit is usually bacteria that thrive in damp or wet conditions. Think hot tubs, sponges, even tight-fitting shoes that you’ve worn for a long time. The color is underneath the nail, so don’t try to scrub it off. Visit your doctor instead.
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cellular blue nevus
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Shades of Blue

If you stub your toe and it turns blue, you might not think twice about the color. But if you get a blue spot or a blue toenail for no clear reason, play it safe and see a doctor. You may have a blue mole beneath the nail. It’s probably harmless. But in very rare cases, a type of blue mole called a cellular blue nevus can become cancer.
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white spots
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White Spots and Streaks

Stubbing your toe doesn’t always lead to a bruise. That’s because the blood vessels under the nail might not break and leak blood. Instead, you might get a white spot on your toenail. It won’t don’t disappear like a bruise, but it will grow out in time. Toe trauma can also cause a white streak -- though you might not know you hurt yourself. For example, it can happen when sneakers are too small and your toe hits the front of the shoe.
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white onychomycosis
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White All Over

Do you have a toenail that’s turned white, or has large powder-like patches? You could have a fungal infection, most likely one called white superficial onychomycosis. If possible, see a doctor as soon as you notice it. This infection spreads across the toenail. White superficial onychomycosis can cause the entire nail to become rough and crumbly.
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white proximal subungual onychomyco
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Whitish or Yellowish Patch

Another type of fungal infection is called proximal subungual onychomycosis. It looks like a whitish or yellowish patch that starts at the base of the toenail, near the cuticle. The infection is rare in healthy people. More often, it happens in people with weakened immune systems. It can also be a sign of HIV.
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striped darier disease
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Candy Cane Stripes

When toenails have red and white stripes, there are usually problems elsewhere on your body. These lines and V-shaped nicks are a hallmark of Darier disease. It’s an inherited disease, mostly affecting the skin and causing greasy, warty, foul-smelling blemishes.
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brown melanonychia
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Brown Streaks

The term for brown and sometimes black color on your toenail is melanonychia. Brown usually appears as a line or streak going up and down the nail. Possible causes:
  • Injury
  • Melanoma
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Fungal infections
  • Certain medications
Because there’s a small chance your brown toenail streak could be a sign of something serious, play it safe and get checked out.
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