What are the Common causes of Hypokalemia?

What are the Common causes of Hypokalemia?

By: Arlene Gentallan

What are the Common causes of Hypokalemia?
What are the Common causes of Hypokalemia?

What is hypokalemia?

        Hypokalemia refers to lower than normal levels of potassium in the body. Potassium is an important electrolyte needed to transmit electrical signal need for muscle contraction.

        Normal potassium level is between 3.5 to 5.0 meq/L. When potassium level drops below normal, it is called hypokalemia. Hypokalemia is not a disease, rather, it is a sign of an underlying disease.

Hypokalemia (low potassium level) can result to symptoms such as:
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle twitching
  • Muscle tingling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Constipation
  • Confusion
  • Irregular heart beat

         If potassium level drops to a critical level, it can cause abnormal heart rhythm and compromise the pumping of the heart leading to heart cardiac arrest.

What are the causes of hypokalemia?

        The most commons cause of potassium deficiency is excessive potassium loss in the urine like in cases when diuretics is used. Here are the culprit of low potassium level:
  • Prolonged diarrhea (eg. inflammatory bowel disease, laxative abuse)
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Excessive sweating (eg. prolonged physical activity)
  • Prolong use of penicillin based antibiotic
  • A diet deficient in potassium
  • Diet high in salt (sodium)
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Alkalosis
  • Cushing syndrome (hyperaldosteronism)
  • Low magnesium level
  • Insulin overuse
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis

Aspirin Cuts risk of Cancer Death

Aspirin Cuts risk of Cancer Death

By: Arlene Gentallan

Aspirin Cuts risk of Cancer Death
Aspirin Cuts risk of Cancer Death

        Cancer is a dreadful diagnosis which commonly struck it's sufferer with fear. There is a growing population of cancer victims.

        Research is continuously seeking new grounds for the fight against cancer.

        Aspirin, an over the counter pain medication and anticoagulant has a surprising health benefit. Regular use of aspirin lowers risk of dying from cancer according to a study led by Yin Cao (an instructor in the Medicine, Clinical and Translation Epidemiology Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School) which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research held in Washington.

      Here are the benefits of long term regular intake of aspirin:
  • Cuts overall risk of dying from cancer by 7% in women and 11% in men.
  • Cuts risk of dying from colorectal cancer by 31% in women and 3o% in men.
  • Cuts risk of dying from breast cancer by 11% in women.
  • Cuts risk of dying from prostate cancer by 23% in men.

        Cancer death reduction is seen among participants who take half tablet to one and a half tablet of regular-strength aspirin (325mg tablet), but the greatest benefit was observed among participants with intake of 2 to 7 doses of regular-strength aspirin (325mg tablet) per week. Cancer reduction was also greatly observed among participans who took aspirin for 6 years.

        The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends daily intake of low-dose aspirin on older people ages 50 to 69 years old who have a 10% or greater risk of developing colorectal cancer or cardiovascular disease.

        The study involves data from two large studies: 86,206 women who participated in the Nurse's Health Study conducted between 1980 to 2012. 43,977 men who participated in the Health Professional Follow-Up Study from 1986 to 2010.

        Although aspirin has promising benefits in the fight against cancer, researchers warned that it should be taken with caution, balancing risk with benefits. Like other medicine, aspirin has side effects like gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcer, and hemorrhagic stroke. It's anticoagulant property can be dangerous to some people such as those with bleeding tendency. Consult your doctor before starting treatment.


Aspirin is an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) commonly used as a pain reliever and anticoagulant to prevent heart attack and stroke.

10 Facts about Zika Virus

10 Facts about Zika Virus

By: Arlene Gentallan

10 Facts about Zika Virus
10 Facts about Zika Virus

        Zika virus is causing an outrage because of serious effect it inflicts to unborn children. Here are the facts you should know about this tropical disease:

1. Did you know that zika virus was first seen in monkeys in Zika Forest in Uganda way back 1947.

2. Zika virus is a flaviviruses transmitted by bite of Aedes mosquito. These mosquitoes are most active during the day.

3. If a pregnant woman gets infected with zika virus, it can lead to devastating outcome to the unborn child. Zika virus shrinks the brain and head of an unborn child (microcephaly) resulting to lifelong mental deficiency.

4. Zika produces mild flu like symptoms like fever, headache body pain, joint pain, rashes, and conjunctivitis which typically last for about a week.

5. Most people who are infected with zika virus do not have symptom of the disease. If symptoms does appear, it is usually mild and can be mistaken for flu or dengue.

6. Zika virus can be transmitted by sexual contact. It is possible to transmit the virus via blood transfusion.

7. Treatment for zika is supportive like increasing oral fluid intake, encouraging rest, and alleviating symptoms.

8. Currently, there is no vaccine that can prevent zika virus. Steps to prevent moquito bite should be taken (i.e. discourage traveling to Zika prone countries while pregnant, eliminate breeding ground of mosquito, and using insect repellent.)

9. Zika virus is linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare life-threatening autoimmune disease causing ascending paralysis (from feet to head).

10. Infection with zika virus can provide life-long immunity against this disease.

14 Facts about Rabies You should Know

14 Facts about Rabies You should Know

By: Arlene Gentallan

14 Facts about Rabies You should Know
14 Facts about Rabies You should Know

Rabies is a disease caused by rabies virus which affects the central nervous sytem. Here are the facts you should know:

1. Rabies is fatal. Once symptoms of rabies appears, it's usually too late to treat it. The victim usually dies.

2. The nearer the bite site to the brain, the earlier the symptoms of rabies appears.

3. Early symptoms of rabies includes a tingling sensation at the area of the animal bite, fever, headache, bodyache, malaise, nausea, loss of appetite. As the disease progress, symptoms worsens: muscle spasm, difficulty speaking, irritability, confusion, hallucination, aggressiveness, double vision, difficulty breathing, hydrophobia (fear of water), hypersalivation, paralysis, coma.

4. Humans are infected with rabies through saliva of an infected animal transmitted through bite, scratch or lick to an open wound or mucous membrane.

5. Worldwide, the most common animal that infects humans with rabies is dog. Bats, cats, cattle, coyotes ,ferrets, foxes, goats, horses, mongoose, monkeys, raccoons, skunks, and wolves are also known carrier of rabies virus.

6. In america, rabies is most commonly transmitted by bats.

7. Rats, mice, chipmunks, guinea pigs, hamsters, squirrels and other small rodents are usually not infected with rabies.

8. You can contract rabies from an infected person.

9. The incubation period or the length of time for the symptoms to occur can be as fast as few days to as long as 1 year after exposure to an infected animal.

10. Rabies is classified as a neglected tropical disease.

11. Once bitten, immediately wash the area with soap and water for 15 minutes then go to your health provider.

12. Rabies shot (rabies  immune globulin and rabies vaccine), if given as soon as possible after a person is bitten / exposed to an infected animal provides an effective cure against this fatal disease.

13. Only the following countries from Asia are considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as rabies-free: British Indian Ocean Territory, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau SAR, Maldives, and Singapore.

14. Antarctica, the fifth largest continent, is the only continent that's rabies-free.


Rabies-Free Countries and Political Units. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/importation/rabies-free-countries.html

10 facts on rabies. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/rabies

Grab this Superior Rehydration Drink

Grab this Superior Rehydration Drink

By: Arlene Gentallan

Grab this Superior Rehydration Drink
Grab this Superior Rehydration Drink

        Sports drink comes handy during a sweaty exercise. But did you know that skim milk is better in rehydrating?

        It's important to keep yourself well hydrated during an exercise. Did you know that even a 1% dehydration is enough to cause a 15% decrease in physical performance? If you're competing, that's a major drawback.

        Researcher Brian Timmons et al. looked at how efficient milk rehydrates kids compared to sports drink and water after an exercise in a climate chamber at the Children's Exercise and Nutrition centre of McMaster University and McMaster Children's Hospital.

        Study participants involved 14 kids who were to be hydrated with skim milk, sports drink, or water after a 40 minute exercise via a stationary bike. Those who drink skim milk retained about 75% fluids compared to the 60% retained with sports drink, and 5o% retained with water. Also, those who drink water produced twice as many urine compared to those who drink skim milk.

        Milk is an excellent hydration drink because it replaces lost electrolytes and pumps your body with needed fluids, electrolytes such as sodium and calcium, carbohydrates, fats, and protein.

        This new finding makes it clear that milk shouldn't just be served at breakfast or bedtime, but also after a strenuous activity. It's a drink that's charged with electrolytes and nutrients your body needs to keep going.

        Note: Full cream milk contains more fat. Drink skim milk or low fat milk instead.

How long is tetanus toxoid vaccine effective?

How long is tetanus toxoid vaccine effective?

By: Arlene Gentallan

How long is tetanus toxoid vaccine effective?
How long is tetanus toxoid vaccine effective?

        Tetanus toxoid contains inactivated tetanus toxin. It is administered to an individual to trigger the production of antibody against tetanus.

        Tetanus toxoid vaccine is a booster given every 10 years for individuals ages 7 years old and up.

        However, if 5 years has passed since you've received your last tetanus toxoid vaccine and you sustained a physical injury (like a deep cut) which puts you at risk of tetanus, it is recommended that you get both tetanux toxoid vaccine and tetanus toxoid immune globulin shot.

        As opposed to tetanus toxoid which triggers your body to produce antibody, tetanus immune globulin already contains antibodies which provides you with short-term but immediate protection against the disease.


Vaccines for Tetanus

For children less than 7 years old:
Diphtheria, Tetanus Toxoids, Acellular Pertussis (DTaP) vaccines
Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whole Cell Pertussis (DTwP) vaccines
Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoid (DT) vaccines

For ages 11 years to 64 years:
Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccines
Tetanus and diphtheria (Td) vaccines

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP) or Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whole Cell Pertussis (DTwP)
vaccine is given at the following age to complete 5 doses:

1st dose - 2 months old (1st dose is given at a minimum age of 6 weeks)
2nd dose - 4 months old (minimum of 4 weeks interval from 1st dose)
3rd dose - 6 months old (minimum of 4 weeks interval from 2nd dose)
4th dose - 15 to 18 months old (minimum of 6 weeks interval from 3rd dose) *4th dose could be given as early as 12 months of age if interval from 3rd dose is 6 weeks
5th dose - 4 to 6 years old (minimum of 6 weeks interval from 4th dose)

Note: DTaP is not given to children older than 6 years old.

Diphtheria and tetanus (DT) vaccine is given to children with contraindication to pertussis vaccine. It is given to infants 6 weeks up to children 6 years of age:

Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine is a booster given only once (single dose) to ages 11 years old to 64 years old.

Tetanus and diphtheria (Td)
vaccines is a booster given every 10 years

Amount per dose: 0.5 mL

Storage: Store vaccine at temperature range of 2 C to 8 C (35 F to 46 F). Do not freeze.

How to make swish and swallow solution

How to make swish and swallow solution

How to make swish and swallow solution
How to make swish and swallow solution

To make swish and swallow solution, prepare the following medicine:

12ml of hydrocortisone 100mg/2ml
7.5ml of nystatin suspension
12ml of tetracycline 125mg/5ml
150ml diphenhydramine 12.5/5ml

Note: If tetracycline is not available, you can substitute it with doxycycline 100mg capsule.

Instruction to make swish and swallow solution:
Mix all the above mentioned medicine.

Dosage and Frequency:
Use 10ml of swish and swallow solution four times a day.

Green coffee bean extract for Weight loss

Green coffee bean extract for Weight loss Green coffee bean extract has gained popularity as a weight loss supplement. It's key con...


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