Dental Emergencies- Knows and Hows

What to do when you have a dental problem? How to deal with the issue without panicking? If you want to know more than keep on reading. Having Dental problems is quite common. But not every problem calls for the doctor. For instance, swollen gums, tooth pain, and mouth sores are serious issues but they are do not require a trip to the dentist. It is important to determine what you should do. So, the purpose of this article is to educate the people on how to deal with such emergencies. So, whenever someone faces any dental issue, they will know what to do. Many things can be done during a dental emergency. Some of the top things that you can do are discussed below:

  1. Keep calm: The first most important thing you have to do is to keep yourself calm. Don’t panic. Panicking never helps. Determine the root cause of the problem. Decide whether it requires going to the ER or not. For instance, if you are experiencing tooth pain, the first thing you can do is stay calm and rinse your mouth. Take a pain killer to lessen the pain. If the tooth continues to pain, then visit your doctor immediately.
  2. Try home remedies: Using home remedies can be very helpful. Try using a remedy to solve a dental issue when your issue doesn’t require going to the hospital. For instance, for swollen gums, you can use a cold compress, pain medications, and gargling with salt and water. These remedies are very popular.
  3. Call your Dentist: If your dental problem can’t be solved at home, you should call your dentist. Ignoring a dental emergency can cause some serious damage. So, don’t waste any time and set up an appointment with your doctor.

Note: ER only deals with the dental problem if it is related to a health emergency. If it is not related then going to the dentist is your only solution.

How to find a good Dentist?

Finding a good dentist is not difficult. You can easily find a good one even online. Some clinics offer online appointments, as well. Just search for a clinic with your area name online. For instance, if you live in Eugene, Oregon, here are some great options:

  • Quest Dental Clinic
  • Oakmont Family Dental
  • Eugene Dental group

All of them are great options with several glowing reviews on their websites.

Some other tips to avoid dental issues

Taking good care of your teeth can save you from dental emergencies. The following are some other additional tips you can practice to avoid dental issues:

  • Practice good oral hygiene.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks. Frequent use of alcohol can cause dry mouth and other dental issues.
  • Go to a good Dentist regularly. If you don’t have a dentist, find one.

Dental emergencies are quite common. The severity of the issue determines whether it requires a dentist or not. But even if it doesn’t, contacting a dentist is never a bad idea.

Trend sport with side effects

Yoga is trendy and no one doubts its positive effects on the body and mind. But be careful: if you get it wrong, you risk injury.

Even if yoga now has a certain lifestyle flair and some may only start doing it because it “somehow feels good” or because a course is offered in the gym: Most people come into contact with it for health reasons. Some people are overworked, exhausted or sleep poorly and hope that yoga will primarily relax. Another might suffer from back pain , tension , circulatory problems or joint problems – and would like to see an improvement in his situation, a healthier, stronger, and more healthy body.

Yoga can do you all good. Yoga relaxes muscles, strengthens and tones them. It stimulates the metabolism, acts on the nervous system and through it on the body. Blood values ​​can improve, and regular practice even has a positive effect on the immune system, studies have shown. And all without side effects? Only if used correctly. “Similar to drugs, the dose makes the poison,” says Prof. Ingo Froböse from the German Sport University Cologne. “Yoga is very helpful, but under two conditions: You need a certain body awareness, that only develops over time, and a good teacher.”

Finding it can be a challenge. Not because there are so few, but because there are so many yoga teachers. The Association of Yoga Teachers in Germany (BDY) estimates that at least three million Germans practice yoga regularly in Germany. With the increasing demand, so has the offer in recent years – the number of teachers who offer yoga in Germany has increased fivefold in the last 20 years and is more than 10,000 according to the BDY. The variety of styles alone is confusing. Ashtanga, Bikram, Kundalini, Iyengar or power yoga: who knows what is behind which name, let alone which type they like best?

Dangerous self-study

If you are serious about it, you will not be able to avoid testing a few schools and styles at the beginning until you have found the right one for you. Or the right teacher, because it doesn’t work without him. Experts strongly advise against learning only from books or DVDs – even book authors if they are serious. The risk of injuring yourself in the process is very high – for various reasons.

“Most people are stiff in certain parts of the body and overmobile in others,” says Marina Pagel, who runs an Iyengar studio with her partner in Hamburg. The body usually compensates for this. Yoga is about recognizing these weak points and working on them. “Especially at the beginning, many people don’t have a pronounced body awareness,” says the Iyengar teacher, who has been practicing yoga for around 20 years. It’s like with small children who are just learning to walk: If you don’t pay attention to what they’re doing, they could fall or their fingers jammed. “Many yoga students are similar. If they were not given instructions, they would be injured.”

In the best case scenario, nothing happens if you adopt the wrong posture. However, with the corresponding previous damage or with constant repetition, it can have unpleasant consequences. Muscle strains or tendon irritation, ligament stretching, blockages of the small vertebral joints are possible. Cartilage or intervertebral discs can react sensitively to long-term incorrect loading.

“Some postures are also very demanding on the body and are problematic in terms of cardiovascular regulation, for example,” says Froböse. “If untrained people suddenly go into a headstand, the work of the heart can increase significantly, which not everyone can tolerate well.” In any case, it is advisable to consult a doctor from the age of 35 before starting a new sport as a couch potato. That being said, beginners shouldn’t do a headstand anyway – such exercises are reserved for advanced users. In open courses, a good teacher can therefore always assess the level of performance of his students and will not suddenly confront newcomers with exercises that are too difficult and therefore dangerous, but rather prepare them for them.

yoga

Mindfulness with oneself, listening is a central point in yoga. “It’s not about just learning certain movements or exercises, but about learning to move,” says sports scientist Froböse. What is meant is: to feel the limits of stress, to develop a sensitivity for one’s own body and not to ask too much or too little of the body – a certain stimulus threshold should be reached if something is to change. Just don’t overdo it.

In the beginning, the exercises should therefore not be too demanding. As with any sport, the body needs a certain time to adapt to the new load and to tolerate more. “Our structures, i.e. the ligaments, tendons and joints, have a different metabolism, which means that they react differently to new stresses,” explains Froböse. Muscles react the fastest, around four weeks. Ligaments and tendons take longer, about three months. Only then can you expect more from the body, increase the load.

False ambition and the body’s own weak points

False ambition is therefore also problematic, for example when someone absolutely wants to master a lotus position or a headstand without the body having the necessary prerequisites for this, i.e. without the necessary strength or flexibility to be able to perform this exercise correctly. Something like that damages the body in the long term. To stay with the example: a lotus position – that cross-legged position where the legs look like a knot – requires articulated hips. If you force yourself into the posture despite stiff hips, although you are not yet ready, you will eventually have problems with your knees. This can be continued at will.

In addition, every body has its own weak points. For some it is the cervical or lumbar spine, for others it is the knee joints or shoulders. The teacher must be aware of these weak points, which is why good teachers always ask new students about previous illnesses, injuries or operations. The background is as follows: Some postures (asanas) cannot be practiced with certain injuries, those affected are then given an alternative asana or, as in Iyengar yoga, practice with aids such as blocks, chairs or wall ropes particularly precisely so that the body regenerates.

To avoid injuries, you always need an external corrective, nobody can do that alone. “In Iyengar Yoga, we teachers demonstrate the posture and go in with the students together. We observe and instruct at the same time. Then we come out of the asana so that we can see the group better, and first correct verbally so that the participants are aware and can actively improve, “says Pagel. “If that is not enough, one must, where necessary, carefully touch the student where the body is not yet moving.”

Qualification is crucial

To do this, the teacher has to know what she is doing. The quality of a course therefore stands and falls with its qualification. The problem here is that there is no standardized training in Germany. Basically, every yoga teacher can call himself, regardless of whether he has acquired his knowledge in a few weekend courses or whether he has completed a three-year training in which great value is placed on in-depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Serious schools also require prospective teachers that they can demonstrate at least two to three years of their own practice under supervision before starting their training. This is important because you can only pass on to others what you have experienced in your own body.

Interested parties can contact the BDY. The association has established a number of criteria that a qualified teacher should meet (see box). The Iyengar Yoga Association has similarly strict requirements.

Inquiries are therefore welcome: a good teacher should be willing to provide information about his or her training in advance – if you are shy, you probably do not have the appropriate qualifications. When in doubt, he can’t teach you anything. At least nothing to alleviate serious back or joint pain.

Does Corona mean the end for fitness studios as we know them?

Lifting dumbbells, yoga or interval workouts – in Corona times, many train in their own living room or in the park. That puts gyms under pressure. Workouts are streamed without further ado, but the competition is fierce online. 

Envious looks at the biceps are rare in your own living room. Apart from that, it is quite easy to do sports at home, as many people have recently discovered – thanks to small dumbbells, yoga mats and millions of video workouts. Exercise in the fresh air also found numerous new fans when the fitness studios were closed. Which increasingly begs the question: Can the good old training in the studio survive this?

Health (DIFG) asked around 1000 fitness studio members in May, are unlikely to please operators: one in five stated that they would like to visit the fitness studio less often in the future than before the crisis – or not at all anymore. At the same time, the studio owners must compensate for the consequences of the forced Corona break. Contributions must be credited in later months, missed new memberships have an impact. The industry expects ten percent fewer members at the end of the year than at the end of the previous year. 

New start for the fitness industry

“The fitness studio has to reposition itself,” says DIFG chairman Ralph Scholz. What is needed is a mixture of stationary training, online courses for at home and, ideally, offers for outside. The challenge will be “to squeeze that into a membership fee”.

It would be a little easier for those who already relied on unusual membership models before the crisis . Apps such as ClassPass or Urban Sports Club give their members a large selection of different sports offers for a fixed monthly fee: Whether swimming pool, yoga studio, pumps or dance course – the studios receive a certain amount from the app provider, depending on the offer the customer has about the fitness App uses.

These companies quickly switched to online operations when the crisis hit. They offered the studios to stream their courses and continue to allow participation through the app. Although the studios have now reopened, Urban Sports Club co-founder Moritz Kreppel is sure: “The online offers are there to stay. A combination of online and offline makes perfect sense. The flexibility to be able to use both, is extremely important. ” For some it is important to have a tea with the trainer or participants after the yoga class and in other cases to be able to participate quickly and flexibly at home.

The competition is fierce on the internet

On the Internet, however, the live streamed courses from the studio around the corner compete with numerous pre-produced fitness videos from Youtubers, bloggers or larger companies. Kreppel from the Urban Sports Club does not want to rule out on-demand content for the future either. It will be difficult for the small, owner-operated gym to keep up, even if it tries to mix it up online and offline. Ralph Scholz assumes that new service providers will emerge who will help operators in the process.

“Fitness studios will have to fight to win back their customer base,” confirms sports scientist Susanne Tittlbach from the University of Bayreuth. The current situation, in which distance and hygiene rules have to be complied with, makes this increasingly difficult.

According to Tittlbach, researchers have found that people were on average less active in sports at the height of the Corona crisis. However, there was a growing gap: people who were already active in sports became even more sporty, while less active people became even more inactive. For the latter, the course at a fixed time at a fixed location, perhaps even in a group, should continue to be helpful in overcoming the famous weaker self.

Measuring your pulse by hand – what you should pay attention to and what the values ​​mean

Measuring your own pulse regularly is important and useful. Experts say that too. Instead of an expensive heart rate monitor, a little sure instinct is enough. Read here how you can quickly feel your pulse and determine it correctly – and what conclusions can be drawn from the values.

Every time our heart muscle contracts and in doing so pumps blood through the body’s arteries, it creates a noticeable and tangible pressure wave that continues through the entire bloodstream into the capillaries. That’s the  pulse . The arterial pulse can be easily felt at various points in the body. The best place where a large artery – as close as possible under the skin – runs. Measured regularly and correctly – and interpreted by a doctor, it is a reliable parameter for our physical condition. Important: measuring your heart rate doesn’t have to be a science.

Measuring your heart rate manually – where does it work best?

As already mentioned, different parts of the body are suitable for determining the pulse without technical aids such as pulse monitors or EKG. “The pulse is usually measured on the radial artery (editor’s note: on the inside of the wrist below the thumb),” advises Professor Dr. Martin Scherer , Director of the Institute for General Practice at the University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf. Other points where the arterial pulse can be felt well are:

  • Carotid artery
  • Armpit (axillary artery)
  • Groin (femoral artery)
  • Popliteal artery
  • behind the inner ankle of the foot (arteria tibialis posterior)
  • on the middle of the foot (arteria dorsalis pedis)
Functional training: A woman and a man doing functional training in a gym

SPORT WITH FUN

Functional training: why the full-body workout is more than a fitness trend

Measuring your pulse on your wrist – that’s how it works

To measure the pulse on the wrist, you need your fingers and either a watch with a seconds display or a smartphone. First, feel with the fingertips of two or three fingers – ideally: index and middle fingers, possibly also ring fingers – until you can feel the pumping vein. Depending on the disposition, this may require more or less pressure. Play around a little to find out at which pressure point you feel the pressure wave most clearly. Important: A grip that is too tight can squeeze the vein so that you can no longer feel the pulse. 

Even the thumb won’t get you anywhere when measuring the arterial pulse. He himself has a strong pulse, which is superimposed on the wrist and does not allow any reliable result. The same applies to measuring the pulse on the carotid artery. Here, too, you can feel the blood pressure wave best and most reliably with your index and middle fingers. If you want to document your pulse over a longer period of time, you should always measure on the same artery.

How long do you measure your heart rate?

Ideally, start the stopwatch and count each pulse for a minute. If this is too strenuous for you, you can shorten the whole thing to 30 seconds and double the calculated value. It becomes a little less precise if you shorten the measurement time further. With a ten-second interval, a sensed and counted pulse can more or less result in six beats. If you want to know exactly, you should repeat the measurement three times and calculate the mean value from the results. 

When to measure your pulse?

In order to obtain comparable values, you should always measure your pulse at around the same time of day, if possible. We recommend the time in the morning – immediately after waking up, but before getting up or breakfast – and preferably in a lying position. Take a few minutes and take a few deep breaths. The value that you determine in bed in the morning is also referred to in medicine as the resting pulse or resting heart rate. It depends on various biometric and physiological factors.

The average values ​​apply to:

  • Competitive athletes: approx. 40 beats / minute
  • Recreational athletes: 60-70 beats / minute
  • Teenagers: about 80 beats / minute
  • Untrained adults: approx. 80 beats / minute
  • Elementary school students: approx. 85 beats / minute
  • Children (4-5 years): approx. 100 beats / minute
  • Infant: approx. 130 beats / minute.

Which pulse is normal?

First of all, one should know that even a healthy heart does not beat like clockwork. For a “normal” pulse rate, doctors give a corridor of 60 to 90 beats per minute. Broken down to the ten-second interval already mentioned, this corresponds to between ten and 15 beats per ten seconds. These values ​​correspond to the heart rate in the resting state – commonly – as already described – also known as the resting heart rate. This value depends on various factors – including age, gender, height, weight and the level of training. For example, people who do sports regularly (preferably endurance sports) usually have a measurably lower resting heart rate than the so-called couch potatoes. The reason is simple. A trained heart muscle is significantly more efficient, which is particularly noticeable in the better oxygen uptake. The heart pumps the same amount of blood around the body with fewer contractions. 

Measuring a manual pulse: why actually?

Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common cardiac arrhythmias in Germany. However, some sufferers do not even notice for a long time that their heart is beating irregularly. This is dangerous because atrial fibrillation is a common cause of strokes. And this is exactly where the chance of manual pulse measurement lies. “For patients with undetected atrial fibrillation […] this can be a method to detect the irregular heartbeat and start treatment,” says Professor Dr. Clipper. Checking the heart rate can also be helpful in the case of impending infections. As a rule of thumb for adults, the doctor formulates: “At rest, the heart rate should not exceed 100 beats per minute,” says Scherer. It is also a good tool 

Heart attack: high pulse at rest, higher risk 

A study by the German Cardiac Society (DGK) in 2015 suggested that the (resting) heart rate in middle-aged people (and without known cardiovascular disease) is an independent risk marker for heart attacks and all-round mortality. Accordingly, the risk of a heart attack in subjects with a resting heart rate of more than 70 beats per minute was almost 90 percent higher than in subjects whose heart beats less than 70 times per minute at rest. It can therefore make sense to check your own pulse regularly and, if in doubt, to see your doctor.

Additives in food: recognize unhealthy things, eat better

What’s in food isn’t always on the label: manufacturers don’t have to name everything they use. And what they say is often difficult to understand. An instruction manual.

Is a strawberry yogurt a yogurt full of strawberries? Limited. It depends on the details: For example, a cup with “strawberry yoghurt” written on it only has to contain nine grams of real fruit if the entire content is 150 grams. That is about half a strawberry. If the packaging speaks of a “yoghurt with fruit preparation”, less than six grams are sufficient, which corresponds to a third of a berry. And manufacturers can skimp even more with a “strawberry-flavored yoghurt”.

And the taste ? It almost certainly has little to do with the original fruit. Strawberries, for example, lose their aroma during industrial processing and only taste bland. This is also the case with many other original ingredients. That is why many manufacturers help with substitutes from the laboratory and, depending on the product, add other chemical helpers, such as flavors, preservatives , thickeners and colorings . Other substances are also used in savory products, such as flavor enhancers .

There are 316 additives behind the E numbers

According to the Food Labeling Ordinance, so-called additives must be listed on the list of ingredients for packaged products. These substances thicken, acidify, make them longer lasting or larger, they color or enhance the taste.

There are currently 316 substances approved as food additives in the European Union. However, not each of these E numbers stands for its own active ingredient. Many simply indicate different variants of a substance.

Not toxic, but controversial: the additive amaranth

Additives must be mentioned on the packaging either with their chemical name or their E number. The “E” stands for Europe, the numbers behind it describe the substances from E 100 (for the turmeric color curcumin) to E 1520 (for the solvent propylene glycol). In principle, the substances are not harmful , they are not poisonous and in the concentrations used are not harmful to health.

Nevertheless, they are controversial. Some are suspected of causing diarrhea in high doses or triggering allergies or pseudoallergies in sensitive people . The consumer advice centers see around 50 additives as being dangerous, especially for people with allergies or asthma. They advise against certain substances, such as the additive amaranth (E 123), an artificially produced red coloring agent that is permitted in some spirits. He is suspected of having cancer.

What “natural” flavor means

In the case of additives, consumers can still look up the name. When it comes to the taste of foods, they are delivered to the manufacturer in good faith: Around 2700 different flavorings can be used in the EU without specifying the substance. The blanket note “Aroma” is sufficient on the packaging, occasionally supplemented by the melodious addition “natural”. The terms “nature-identical” or “artificial” have not been used since January 20, 2011 according to the EU Flavor Regulation passed in 2008.

This distinction between natural and nature-identical was only a question of the raw materials anyway – both came from the laboratory: the so-called natural ones come from microbes, plants or animals. But that can – even with strawberry yoghurt – be completely different from the ones they ultimately taste like.

Fruit aromas can be obtained from molds or, in the case of strawberries, from certain woods. The term “natural” only means that the raw material comes from natural products. Artificial flavors are chemical copies of a natural taste.

And there is one more thing to consider: the components in the aroma that are responsible for the taste make up around ten to 20 percent, according to the Hamburg consumer advice center. They may also contain flavors, fillers, solvents, flavor enhancers or preservatives . Since the ingredients of the flavors do not have to be labeled, some manufacturers trick and hide unpopular additives such as preservatives or flavor enhancers. You do not have to indicate this in the list of ingredients.

Technical auxiliaries remain unnamed

Technical auxiliaries such as enzymes that are used for clarifying, separating or decolorizing during production are also not subject to labeling. In principle, they are removed after they have served their purpose. Leftovers can still get into the finished food.

For some products, no lists of ingredients are required at all, for example for wine or schnapps. Goods sold unpackaged may also go over the counter without further information, for example cheese from the fresh food counter and meat and sausage at the butcher’s. “Only certain additives have to be on a sign with their class name – without naming the additive itself,” says Armin Valet from the Hamburg Consumer Center. “An example: For a sausage from the service counter with sodium monoglutamate, the label ‘with flavor enhancer ‘ is sufficient.”

When genetic engineering is labeled

Food, ingredients or additives from genetically modified organisms must be labeled as soon as their content in a product or ingredient exceeds 0.9 percent. It does not matter whether the genetic modification can be detected in the end product or not. Examples are oil from genetically modified rapeseed or lecithin from genetically modified soybeans.

Meat, eggs or dairy products from animals that have been fed genetically modified plants, on the other hand, do not have to bear any reference to genetic engineering. The same applies to additives that are produced with the help of genetically modified microorganisms, for example the sweetener aspartame . The manufacturer does not have to declare such substances if no microbial components are left in the food, for example in chewing gum.

The information is vital for allergy sufferers

In the EU, ingredients that trigger allergies particularly often have had to be labeled since 2005 . This regulation initially applied to packaged goods, but has now also applied to bulk goods. Twelve product groups are affected. They are responsible for around 90 percent of allergies and intolerances : cereals containing gluten , crustaceans, eggs, fish, peanuts, soy, milk (milk protein, lactose), nuts, celery, mustard, sesame as well as sulfur dioxide and sulfites. From the end of 2008, lupins and molluscs such as snails must also be on the package.

Compound ingredients – such as a so-called fruit preparation in yoghurt – have had to be listed with all their individual components for several years, also a step forward for all hypersensitive people.

Here, however, there are again exceptions: for herbs and spice mixtures, jams, cocoa and chocolate products, fruit juices and fruit nectars or iodized salt, the legislature does not want to know exactly to this day – if these mixtures make up less than two percent in the food and none of the just mentioned Allergens are included.

Complicated lists

However, what helps allergy sufferers and well-informed skeptics can also confuse the mass of consumers. After all, many a list of ingredients reads like a chemistry book. Manufacturers who mean well and voluntarily state more than they have to may achieve the opposite: the consumer no longer looks at it or is put off by products with long lists of ingredients.

The amount of cryptic labels on the package is no indication of how risky the contents are. Because not everything that sounds dangerous in technical jargon is by no means. Riboflavin, for example, is simply vitamin B2 . Alpha-tocopherol is the same as vitamin E .

Pasteurized or homogenized – what’s the difference?

A few easy-to-remember rules from the Food Labeling Ordinance can therefore be more helpful for orientation: The packaging must state how much is in it, who the manufacturer is, what the goods cost and how long they should at least remain edible.

Sometimes a processing method also has to be mentioned, for example with milk: Pasteurized means that it has been made durable through heat treatment. Homogenized means that the fat droplets contained are finely distributed thanks to technical assistance. The order of the list of ingredients is fixed: It is sorted according to the amount in the food. The largest is always at the beginning, the smallest at the end.

Manufacturers cheat on unpackaged food

Any ingredient list is only as good as the manufacturer who put it together. Often enough, there is cheating, especially with unpackaged goods. Colorants and preservatives are often kept secret, often in delicatessen salads. The food control department, which is responsible for correct labeling in Germany, repeatedly detects violations.

Sometimes it doesn’t say what should be on it, sometimes it says something that isn’t in it. For example, a few years ago the Hamburg food inspectors discovered that almost half of the products made from feta cheese were not made from sheep’s milk at all, but from cow’s milk. One provider was even bolder – and used analog cheese .

Clean labels

Particularly misleading are indications that producers use to advertise that their goods are “without preservatives “, “without flavor enhancers “, “without colorings“or” without flavorings. “In professional circles, something like this is called” clean label “, a clean label. This suggests to the consumer that he is buying a natural product – which is not the case, criticizes the Hamburg consumer organization.” Clean Label are mostly a superfluous marketing tool used by the manufacturer, “says consumer advocate Valet.” For example, some products that supposedly ‘do without preservatives’ contain acetic acid and other acidulants as ingredients. These substances also have a preservative effect. “

Another example: yeast extract is often found on the list of ingredients in products that allegedly do not contain flavor enhancers. According to the law, this is not an additive that has an E number. The industry even calls it a “natural food” that naturally contains glutamate. As with bag soups, nature is not far off: As the name suggests, the substance is made from yeast, but has little to do with the original product. In this process, the proteins are extracted from dead yeast cells – this is the extract that is used in large quantities in finished products, including organic products .

When to see the doctor with the little ones

Children have a cold much more often than adults. Because your immune system still has to learn to cope with the onslaught of viruses. Coughs and sniffling are mostly harmless. But with some symptoms, a quick visit to the doctor is advisable.

The immune system of children is very busy, especially in the first years of life. Because there are many pathogens that can cause a cold. The good news for parents, who usually have to look after their offspring themselves later on: With every germ invasion, the body’s defense system learns, and the child gradually becomes  immune to many  viruses and bacteria. The older the children get, the better they are protected by their immune system and the fewer colds they have to go through.

When children are sick, it is often known as an upper respiratory cold . They sniff and cough particularly often in autumn and winter, but it also occurs in spring and summer. They often catch colds several times in a row, and small children up to ten times a year. Kindergarten children in particular often catch colds. Because the immune system of children is still maturing and must first learn to cope with the many germs. 

There are more than 200 different cold viruses

A cold is mainly triggered by viruses, especially rhinoviruses. There are more than 100 different types of these pathogens alone. But also adeno-, myxo-, paramyxo-, echo, coxsackie and parainfluenza viruses can cause the inflammation in the nose and throat. In total, more than 200 different viruses are known – but there are certainly many more that are not yet known today – that can cause colds . They are transmitted when speaking, sneezing, blowing your nose or cuddling, and are then found on toys, handkerchiefs or hands and are passed on cheerfully.

Respiratory syncytial viruses are not entirely safe for babies, especially premature babies , and younger children. They often lead to inflammation of the bronchi and lungs. Older children and adolescents, on the other hand, can no longer be affected by these pathogens, they only get a harmless cold.

Love and care

As a parent, there is very little you can actively do to protect your child. Make sure you have a regular daily routine and a healthy diet . Keep stress away from your child. And give him a lot of love. All of this strengthens the immune system – the most important protection against the pathogens. It is very controversial whether constant warm wrapping prevents the common cold. Of course children shouldn’t be cold, but it’s not the hypothermia that makes the children sick, it’s the pathogens. In this respect, the term common cold, which has become firmly established in everyday language, is actually wrong. The real flu toochallenges the immune system of children – even more than the common cold can. Because the flu pathogens can damage the tissue much more than cold viruses. Therefore, flu can make children seriously ill. Small children in particular often have to be hospitalized for serious complications.

The Standing Vaccination Commission of the Robert Koch Institute (STIKO) recommends parents to have children vaccinated against influenza if they are chronically ill. For example if you have chronic bronchitis, asthma, metabolic disorders, diseases of the cardiovascular system or the kidneys. In other countries, the flu vaccination is even recommended for all infants.

Symptoms

If the child is sick, it may not be noticed at first. Maybe it’s just quieter than usual or withdraws. They may also be crying or have no appetite. No wonder, because at the beginning of a cold you feel weak and depressed. The typical symptoms soon develop: fever, cough, headache and body aches. The nasal mucous membrane swells, the nose runny and initially produces watery-clear, then slimy-purulent mucus. That’s why breathing is difficult. The throat hurts and feels scratchy. The eyes are red and the lymph nodes are swollen.

You can tell the difference between a cold and the flu by how quickly and how severe the symptoms develop. A cold usually comes slowly and heals on its own. The flu usually starts suddenly and with a high fever of over 39 degrees Celsius, which then lasts for several days. Further symptoms of the real virus flu are: severe headache and body aches and a dry, strong cough.

With a normal cold, the viruses colonize the lining of the nose and throat. If the immune system is weakened, they may move on to the bronchi or paranasal sinuses. There they also cause inflamed tissue. The result: bronchitis or a sinus infection. In some cases, bacteria then colonize the inflamed areas. Such a mixed infection can cause further trouble.

If the cold spreads because the germs migrate, your child may suffer from further symptoms. The most common complications are:

  • An otitis media: when this happens, your child has a sharp, throbbing pain in the ear. However, small children often also feel it in the stomach. The pain occurs because the lining of the middle ear is inflamed.
  • sinusitis (sinus infection): This affects the lining of the sinuses. Classic complaints are a blocked nose, a purulent runny nose and headache .
  • bronchitis: In this infection, the child under cold, dry cough and fever suffers in infants often abdominal pain are added. In older children, acute bronchitis cannot be distinguished from a severe cold. Pneumonia rarely develops from it. If the finest branches of the bronchial tree are inflamed and swell, it can be life-threatening. Experts call this condition bronchiolitis.
  • laryngitis: It is noticeable by hoarseness, dry, tickly cough and itchy throat. Schoolchildren are mostly affected. A special form of laryngitis is more common in small children: pseudo croup.

To the doctor if it really hurts

Coughs and sniffling are mostly harmless. However, if you notice that your child seems seriously ill or is particularly suffering, you should go to the pediatrician with him – if the fever, pain or cough is very strong or if you discover a noticeable rash or even small bleeding into the skin. If the child seems apathetic and absent to you, this is also a reason to see the pediatrician. As a rule, everything that lasts longer than ten days is a case for the doctor.

If you have any of the following problems, you should go to a doctor’s office immediately:

  • The child is no longer drinking enough.
  • It has breathing problems.
  • She has a high fever and a severe headache.
  • It seems impassive.
  • It gets a stiff neck.
  • It’s sensitive to the touch.

diagnosis

The pediatrician will first ask you about your child’s symptoms and then examine the child.

With a glance into the wide open mouth and throat, the doctor examines the lining of the mouth and throat: it is often reddened when it is infected by viruses or bacteria. White deposits on the tonsils tend to suggest that bacteria have inflamed the tonsils. The doctor may then take a swab from the throat. With his hands he feels the neck down the sides below the jaw. Swollen lymph nodes can also indicate inflammation of the tonsils.

The doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to the lungs: this is how he can diagnose pneumonia. He also looks at the skin all over his body to identify rashes. If the doctor suspects a serious illness after the physical examination, he will recommend further examinations for your child, such as an X-ray of the lungs or a blood test , because the blood values ​​can provide information about serious disorders or diseases of certain organs.

When an allergy looks like a cold

Often there are other illnesses behind the symptoms of the common cold. A cough or runny nose also occurs with:

  • real flu virus . It usually begins suddenly and is accompanied by a high fever of over 39 degrees. But it can also be milder and look like a cold .
  • Whooping cough or measles . These classic teething troubles also begin like a cold. The symptoms typical of the disease appear later.
  • bronchiolitis. These are inflamed bronchi, especially in the very small branches of the lungs. The risk of confusion is particularly high with infants. Severe shortness of breath, rapid breathing, sometimes coughing and wheezing are the consequences of bronchiolitis.
  • an allergic runny nose . It is often confused with a cold at first.

therapy

If your child has a cold, all you can do is alleviate the symptoms. You cannot fight the cause – the viruses. In general, you should make sure that your child drinks a lot. When you have a fever, your body uses up a lot of fluids. Herbal teas and still mineral waters are suitable. Do not wrap your child too warm, especially if they have a high fever. Offer your child food that they like and that is high in vitamins.

Ventilate the children’s room regularly or take your child out into the fresh air. Refrain from smoking, as it irritates the mucous membranes. Provide your child with a cold regularly with fresh handkerchiefs and do not put used handkerchiefs on the table, but throw them away.

Drink, gargle, wrap

There are many herbal remedies available for cold symptoms . The empirical knowledge about it is passed on from generation and generation.

  • Steam inhalations with a water-table salt solution make the nasal mucous membranes swell and make breathing easier. Thyme, chamomile or angelic root balm are also suitable against colds. But remember to never leave your child alone with the hot water! You can also try nasal rinsing with salt, but only for children aged four and over.
  • If your child has a sore throat, gargle with salt water, sage or chamomile tea, or give them linden blossom tea to drink. Neck wraps can also be beneficial, for example a warm potato or onion wrap or a cold quark wrap. A humidifier or damp cloths in the nursery soothe the scratchy throat.
  • Quench the cough with herbal teas that contain thyme or ivy extracts, elderflower, sage or marshmallow. Warm milk with honey in children from two years of age acts as an expectorant.
  • Onion compresses have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects for earache.

Medicines only in consultation with the pediatrician

There are plenty of medicines for colds in the pharmacy. But be careful: some substances are not suitable for children, for example acetyl salicylic acid (ASA). Others cause additional problems with prolonged use, such as nasal drops that cause the mucous membranes to swell. Before giving any medication to your child, it should be discussed with your pediatrician.

  • Ibuprofen or paracetamol lower the fever and relieve the pain. The dosage depends on the weight of the child.
  • Nasal drops , which have a decongestant effect, make it easier to breathe through the nose. However, the drops should not be used for more than five days, as they can damage the nasal mucosa if used continuously. Sea-based or salt-based nasal drops or sprays are suitable for children.
  • Expectorant cough suppressants such as acetylcysteine, ambroxol or bromhexine do not do any harm, but there is no evidence that they work.
  • You should only give your child cough suppressants , so-called antitussives, in exceptional cases in the event of an excruciating dry cough and after consultation with the pediatrician, as these usually contain substances that are chemically related to morphine. In addition, it usually doesn’t make sense to block the cough, as it is the body’s natural mechanism for removing mucus from the bronchi.

Antibiotics are often pointless for bronchitis

Antibiotics can only be useful if your child has a severe otitis media or if they are very small . If, on the other hand, your child drinks enough and the earache is only moderate, you can wait two to three days. You can give him mild pain relievers like ibuprofen for as long. Warmth, for example from red light or a hot water bottle, or herbal remedies such as an onion or chamomile sachet also help. You should decide together with the doctor whether an antibiotic is really necessary. Ear drops should only be instilled after the doctor has examined the eardrum.

If you suspect that your child has bronchitis, you can try to relieve the cough with the help of herbal cough teas, thyme breast compresses or – for children from two years of age – the tried and tested honey milk. Antibiotics are pointless because the symptoms are mostly caused by viruses . But antibiotics only kill bacteria.

Tips

Viruses can survive on the surface of the skin for several hours. Therefore, encourage your child to wash their hands thoroughly every time they blow their nose.

Strengthen your child’s immune system with exercise, fresh air and a healthy diet .

expert advice

Stern.de expert Professor Reinhard Berner from the University of Freiburg answers your questions:

How can I strengthen my child’s immune system?

At birth, an infant’s immune system is not yet fully developed. However, if you breastfeed your child for the first six months, they will receive certain antibodies from you through their breast milk and are thus at least partially protected. Later on, a balanced diet and lifestyle best support your own defenses.

Can vitamins strengthen the immune system?

With a balanced diet, vitamin tablets are completely superfluous. Instead, make sure that your child gets fresh air and exercise regularly – even in bad weather.

What do you think of flu drugs in children?

The market for cough suppressants , nasal drops , flu medication and immune strengthening agents is vast. However, most of the preparations do not keep what they promise. For example, the effect of so-called expectorant drugs has not been proven. They don’t do any harm, but they don’t do any good either. Echinacea preparations can also be saved. They do have an effect on the immune system. However, they do not influence the course of the disease in a relevant way: they neither shorten the disease nor alleviate the symptoms.

Stimulate digestion: How to get gastrointestinal problems under control again

A healthy intestinal flora has a decisive influence on our well-being: If our digestion is not intact, we suffer from gastrointestinal complaints. With the right tips, you can stimulate your metabolism and alleviate typical symptoms.

According to a survey on the frequency of gastrointestinal complaints in Germany, eleven percent of those surveyed suffer from digestive problems such as abdominal pain, gas, constipation or diarrhea several times a month (as of 2017). The most common causes that bring our intestines out of sync include fatty food and stress or even gastric mucosal inflammation, or gastritis for short called. The solution is therefore already obvious: if you want to alleviate the symptoms and get the discomfort under control, you have to stimulate your digestion. How this works best, which foods help and what else you can do to get your gut flora in the green is summarized in this article.

A healthy intestinal flora is (not) a question of age

The bad news first: As we get older, our gastrointestinal tract becomes more sluggish, making digestive problems more common. The good news, however, is that we can do something our entire life to stimulate our metabolism. The most important cornerstones for a healthy intestinal flora include a balanced diet, plenty of drinking, regular exercise and balancing periods of rest. This is exactly what you should focus on if you have constant abdominal pain, gas, constipation, or diarrhea. Which foods even help you to stimulate digestion are explained in the next section.

These foods stimulate your digestion

As mentioned earlier, our diet has a major impact on digestion. In order to counteract or even prevent possible complaints, you should rely on foods rich in fiber, which swell in the intestinal tract and stimulate digestion and thus also the elimination of food – this, for example, prevents possible constipation and flatulence. They include oat flakes, wheat bran and whole grain bread, kefir and yoghurt, fruit and dried fruits such as raspberries, oranges and plums, lettuce, nuts such as almonds, legumes, flax seeds,  psyllium husks and sauerkraut. It is also important that you drink enough fluids, ideally at least two liters of water a day. But herbal and fruit teas without sugar and coffee also stimulate digestion.

These tips will help with digestive problems

We can stimulate digestion from the inside through diet, but there are also a few helpful tips and tricks on how you can influence your gastrointestinal tract from the outside – for example with heatOr a massage: Lie relaxed on your back and use your fingertips to gently apply pressure to the right half of the abdomen under the ribs. From there, work your way to the left side of your stomach in circular movements. Alternatively, you can stimulate your digestion with a walk: the movement promotes blood circulation in the intestine, so that the food in it can be chopped up faster and better and transported further. You can achieve the same effect through sport, although it is not advisable to get on a bike or go jogging if you have acute symptoms. In principle, however, exercise can help to get your digestion going.

The (bowel) strength lies in rest

Did you know that we don’t digest the food we eat until 30 minutes later? The technical term for this is “gastrocolic reflex”, which means the reaction of the intestine to an irritation of the stomach. From a purely biological point of view, this process cannot be accelerated. Not even if you rush to eat. For this reason, it is important to digest calmly. If you gobble down your meals quickly to save time, you are doing your digestive tract a disservice.On the contrary, it is not uncommon for it to react in the form of stomach cramps or diarrhea. So always take enough time to eat, and the same applies to going to the toilet. If you “have to,” go too – if you suppress your bowel movements, you will become constipated faster than you would like.

When a doctor’s visit is absolutely necessary

Medication or home remedies do not always help with digestive problems, so it may be advisable to see a doctor. Especially if, for example, you cannot go to the toilet for several days in a row in combination with severe abdominal cramps, have multiple blood in your stool, constipation lasts for a few weeks or you suffer from diarrhea and constipation alternately. These are all important signs that something is wrong with your gastrointestinal tract and that you should urgently have it examined.

Vitamins A, D, E and K protect the body

Fat-soluble vitamins are small but important bulwarks of the body: They protect cells from destruction, allow wounds to heal better, strengthen teeth and bones and keep mucous membranes healthy.

Just like the water-soluble vitamins , the body only needs small amounts of the fat-soluble vitamins. Nevertheless, they are also vital and fulfill important functions in the body. Therefore, with the exception of vitamin D, which the body can produce itself with the help of sunlight, they have to be ingested through food.

Fat soluble means that these vitamins do not dissolve in water, but instead need fat as a transport medium. Only then can the body use them at all.

Vitamin A is important for the eyes

Vitamin A (retinol) enables vision at dusk and – together with other components – also enables color vision. Vitamin A is part of rhodopsin, the visual pigment in the sensory cells of the retina. Vitamin A also keeps the skin and mucous membranes healthy, boosts sperm production and promotes the development of the embryo in the womb.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women have an increased need for vitamin A: They need up to 1.5 milligrams a day. Otherwise, about 0.8 to 1.0 milligrams per day, for example from animal foods such as liver or eggs, are sufficient. The body can also convert vegetable beta-carotene into vitamin A. A lack of vitamin A therefore rarely occurs. Beta-carotene is found in carrots, spinach, red peppers and dried apricots.

Vitamin D strengthens the bones

Vitamin D (calciferol) is important for bones and teeth because it ensures that calcium is absorbed from food. If there is a lack of calcium in the body , vitamin D draws the mineral from food more. That is known.

However, researchers suspect that the vitamin has many other effects. The role of vitamin D for health has been intensively researched in recent years, and not all questions have been answered. As things stand today, it has been shown that a good supply of vitamin D in the elderly can reduce the risk of falls, fractures and premature death.

Indispensable source: the sun

Vitamin D occupies a special position among the vitamins because humans do not only get it through food. In fact, humans produce a large part of their need for vitamin D, around 80 to 90 percent, themselves, in the skin. But that only works with enough sunlight.

How much vitamin D is produced by the skin depends on various factors: on the duration of the radiation, the area of ​​the exposed skin, the skin color – dark-skinned people produce less vitamin D than light-skinned people.

Sunbathe unprotected? Yes, but only shortly

But something else is also decisive: the wavelength and the dose of UVB radiation. In the summer months it is possible to meet the demand – provided the sun is shining. Experts recommend exposing a quarter of the body surface, i.e. face, hands and parts of arms and legs, to the sun for a few minutes every day, at noon between 12 and 3 p.m. – uncovered and without sun protection, because the cream prevents the formation of vitamin D.

Depending on the skin type, this can range from a few minutes to a quarter of an hour in midsummer. It is always important that the skin does not suffer from sunburn! Before 12 p.m. and after 3 p.m. and outside the summer months, i.e. from March to May and from September, the recommended time in the sun is also extended because the radiation is then weaker.

Too little sun in the north

But the problem is: In northern latitudes, including Germany, the sun’s radiation in six months of the year does not have the necessary intensity to ensure a good supply of vitamin D. Researchers have established an estimate for this (50 nanomoles per liter in the blood). Food alone is also not enough. There are only a few foods that contain a significant amount of vitamin D anyway: oily fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel, otherwise liver, egg yolks, some edible mushrooms and margarine, which is often fortified with vitamin D.

In the months with little sunshine, the German Nutrition Society therefore recommends taking a vitamin D supplement to meet your needs. This is especially true for seniors aged 65 and over.

Vitamin E strengthens the immune system

Vitamin E (tocopherols) protects body cells. It protects the cell membranes from the damaging effects of destructive substances, so-called free radicals, and therefore possibly prevents cancer and arteriosclerosis. It strengthens the immune system and reduces inflammation.

A lot of vitamin E is mainly contained in vegetable oils, but also in wheat germ, nuts and avocados. The daily requirement of an adult of twelve to 15 milligrams can be covered well with food. Deficiency or excess are rare.

Vitamin K is involved in blood clotting

Vitamin K is involved in blood clotting and bone metabolism, among other things. If it is absent, bleeding will be more frequent and the blood will take longer to clot. However, there is seldom a deficiency in healthy people, because vitamin K is found in many foods, both vegetable and animal.

Good sources of vitamin K are spinach, chives, sauerkraut, flower, rose, red and kale as well as meat and cereal products. Although a large amount of vitamin K is also formed in the intestines, it is not clear to what extent this will help to meet the needs.

People with chronic liver disease or gastrointestinal diseases are susceptible to a vitamin K deficiency. The supply of vitamin K in infants is also problematic. They only have a small supply and cannot produce the substance sufficiently because their intestinal flora is not yet fully developed. Breast milk also contains too little of it. This is why newborns are sometimes prescribed an extra portion of vitamin K by the doctor.

The 6 most common causes of itching in the genital area

Most men know that the crotch sometimes pinches. But what if the itching doesn’t go away? What is behind it and what helps

When itching, scratching just about every man from time to time in the genital area. It only gets annoying when you can no longer walk straight ahead in public because of the itchiness and the feeling just doesn’t go away for days. We explain the 6 most common causes of genital itching and what you can do about it.

Can itching in the genital area be dangerous?

You can take a deep breath: The itching on the penis or testicles is usually harmless and can be treated successfully. Nevertheless, it is important to see a doctor in the event of acute itching so that the cause can be identified. Some infections can cause itching that won’t go away without treatment.

When does itching in the genital area need to be treated?

“If the itching doesn’t go away and the quality of life is impaired as a result, you should see a doctor,” advises urologist Dr. Wolfgang Bühmann , press spokesman for the professional association of German urologists. The faster you get to the bottom of the cause, the sooner you can say goodbye to the annoying urge to scratch.

6 causes of genital itching

The reasons for the itching can be harmless, but also require treatment. But once you know where the itching is coming from, you can fight it effectively.

1. Moisture and warmth are often to blame for itchy penis

Especially in summer, the genital area of ​​many men itches more. The reason: “Moisture and heat irritate the skin,” explains Bühmann. This type of itch is the most common. The following applies here: it is harmless, but annoying. If you sweat in the heat, you should wash your genital area regularly and thoroughly.

The itching can be reduced with the right care, such as avoiding soaps that have a pH above 7. PH-neutral cleansing (from € 3.93) lotions are better . It is better to leave perfumed shower gels on the supermarket shelf, as they can attack the protective layer of the skin.

2. Allergic reactions can trigger the itching

Even the underpants can be responsible for the annoying itchiness. For example, if you have an allergy to detergents or certain clothes. “The itching is often triggered by an allergic reaction,” says the expert.

For example, some people are allergic to synthetic laundry. Reason enough to get tested for intolerances by the dermatologist and to switch to laundry made from other fabrics, preferably cotton.

3. Chafing irritates the skin on the testicles

Scrotum irritation often occurs after long walks or a long run. Chafing is usually the cause of the annoying itching. “If the thigh rubs against the scrotum, the skin can become sore due to the moisture and friction,” says Bühmann. That too can be itchy.

Scratching is then taboo, because otherwise the skin cannot heal. Instead, use a pH-neutral moisturizer or wound and healing ointments (from € 10.40) . You should also rather postpone the next running unit until the skin has recovered.

4. Fungal and bacterial infections need treatment

You definitely do not have an allergy and the itching does not go away despite the right hygiene measures? Then fungus or bacterial infections could be the problem. These usually settle in the urethral entrance and under the foreskin and are often noticeable as redness.

Expert Bühmann: “Special creams can eliminate germs that might trigger it. Antibiotics are sometimes necessary when bacteria are the trigger.” If the itching persists, go to the doctor – with the right treatment you will get rid of the itching after 3 to 4 days.

5. Lice can leave itchy bite marks

Lice are best known for attacking the hair on the head. But lice also find their way into the genital area – provided you haven’t shaved off the pubic hair yet. “The body reacts – similar to mosquito bites – allergic to the tiny bite marks”, says Bühmann.

Incidentally, lice are not dangerous, but they must be removed. Your doctor will prescribe shampoos or lotions to kill the lice and nits (eggs) and give you ointments to reduce itching. In order to protect yourself against lice in the long term, you should actually simply shave off your pubic hair.

6. Herpes can cause itching

Herpes is famous and notorious for itchy and painful blisters in the genital area. By the way, almost everyone has the virus infection, but it only breaks out in some. “Herpes viruses are found in almost all people in the spinal fluid and cannot be permanently eliminated,” says the urologist.

Especially when the immune system is weakened, the risk of illness increases. Genital herpes heals after about 3 weeks, but treatment is usually not necessary. Your doctor can recommend specific creams, lotions, and powders that can help relieve symptoms. Very important: strict hygiene, frequent hand washing, because herpes is highly contagious. Therefore, for the sake of your partner’s sex, you should definitely wear a condom or, even better, avoid it for the time being.

Conclusion: an itchy penis is uncomfortable, but not dangerous                 

Once you know what is causing the great crawl in the intimate area, the solution is not far away. If symptoms persist, it is best to have a doctor clarify the symptoms. Wound ointments help with skin irritation, with fungus and bacterial infections, with the right special cream or antibiotic prescribed by the doctor, they are a thing of the past within 3 to 4 days. Regular care with pH-neutral soap also pays off in the case of profuse sweating in the intimate area. Good to know: “An itchy genital area is uncomfortable, but not dangerous,” says Bühmann.

Back pain after running?

Think about it: what did you change four weeks ago? Do you wear different shoes? Do you run a different route? Are you currently trying out a new running technique?

“All of this can have an effect on your back,” says Margit Lock, specialist in orthopedics and sports medicine. Especially a new, incorrectly executed running technique often causes pain.

Tip: just step less! Too long strides overwhelm your muscles. This will probably keep you falling into a hollow back. “The best thing to do is to have a gait analysis carried out at an institute for performance diagnostics,” advises the Berlin doctor.

This will cost you around 120 euros, but the experts can tell you what to do differently. And try to bring more variety to your training in the future. “Just run your route the other way around,” says Lock.

This trick will make you run more focused and watch your footwork. It is also best to do easy abdominal and core muscle training two to three times a week so that your back never pinches again.

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