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Besides pulse, respiratory rate, and blood pressure, a patient’s temperature is also considered a “vital sign.” The thing that makes a person’s temperature vital is that the body’s homeostasis, or ability to maintain all functions optimally, depends upon a certain range of heat. Most everyone can recite that the average body core temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit with a healthy range being anywhere from 97 to 99 degrees. Temperatures that vary below or above this average create an internal atmosphere that is not conducive to the various systems’ functioning. The term “fever” generally refers to anything over 99 degrees. In order to maintain the healthful range, the body has a regulating system that kicks in much like any thermostat. If the core temperature starts to rise, we begin a cooling mechanism through sweating. If the core temperature starts to decrease, shivering will initiate warming through muscle contractions.
How many times has this “Medical Advice” column reported a change in prevailing medical recommendations? Here we go again. Humpty Dumpty could certainly identify with the angst a humble egg currently has to deal with. Talk about self-esteem issues. For years, eggs have been slashed from “healthy” diets because they were considered too loaded with fat and, therefore, a leading contributor to heart disease. The general recommendation was no more than two eggs per week. Even yours truly ascribed to that theory and personally was responsible for instructing her patients in that direction.
So you have made a New Year’s resolution (again?) to get fit this year. How do you begin?
The headache, sometimes handy as an excuse, more often than not, a very real, annoying discomfort. For some, it is a pain that is debilitating and in some rare instances a headache could signal an emergency medical situation.
Which scenario would you prefer?
The Arizona Nurse Practitioner Council (AZNPC) has joined the White House and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners by committing to Joining Forces, the national health care initiative to raise awareness of health issues affecting America’s military, veterans, and their families.
Every once in a while an ages-old adage proves to remain indisputably true. “Never stick anything smaller than your elbow in your ear” is one such adage. We have been taught that rule ever since we were young, but who among us would dare to stand up and say they have NEVER stuck a Q-Tip (or other such small object) into one’s ear to scratch an irresistible itch or to clean out some annoying wax? As mundane as this topic could be, it happens to pose a very common problem. So, let us talk about cerumen, the medical term for term for the sticky stuff we call earwax.
Vital signs. Now there’s a phrase that brings a particular image to mind: An emergency room in a hospital with doctors and nurses flurrying about in life and death struggles; monitors and machines beeping, humming and whirring all clamoring to provide their piece of information as part of the care and treatment being provided. One such piece of vital information is blood pressure.
September is National Menopause Awareness Month
Every cell of the body continuously carries out biochemical processes that require oxygen. The overall term for this on-going process is metabolism. By-products of this cellular metabolic process are unstable electrons called oxidants or “free radicals.” Unfortunately, these free radicals are not harmless. Their chief danger comes from the damage they incur upon internal cellular structures such as DNA.
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