Monday, August 23, 2010

Public Health Certification Schools

Public Health Schools, colleges, and universities provide programs of study for earning a certificate or a degree in fields of public health. Both courses of study are intended for practicing public health or health care professionals.

Public Health Schools that offer the Certificate in Public Health (CPH) have designed this course of study to add to public health knowledge and skills. The program is meant for practicing professionals in various fields of public health, and for those with appropriate education and work experience who are considering a career in the field of public health. Coursework for public health certificates can be applied toward the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, provided that an undergraduate degree has been obtained and the student is registered in a master degree program.

The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is recognized as the primary professional degree in public health. MPH programs prepare students with bachelor or higher degrees, usually in the health care field, for teaching professions in public health. Professionals can add to their career potential with the CPH or MPH through specialized post-graduate studies in areas of public health.

Public Health Schools provide programs for professionals from various health field backgrounds for improved expertise, influence, and effectiveness. Course credits can be applied toward MPH in clinical research, public and industrial policy, health education, as well as other health care professions.

Public Health Schools teach applications of biostatistics, epidemiology, behavioral, and environmental health sciences to address health problems, approaches and resolutions to health problems, and orientation towards health promotion and disease prevention. MPH programs address many health issues and allow pursuit of study for the master's degree in areas of special interest with combined degree programs.

Combined degrees offered some by some Public Health Schools include the DVM/MPH (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine/Master of Public Health), which provides advanced training related to infectious diseases and public health; the MD/MPH (Doctor of Medicine/Master of Public Health), which allows medical doctors to apply the principles of both medicine and public health in their practices; the MSN/MPH (Master of Science/Master of Public Health), which prepares nurses for positions in public health agencies; and the PharmD/MPH (Pharmacy/Master of Public Health), which allows training in public health with relation to pharmacotherapy and health promotion, disease prevention, and medication safety.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Obesity - Public Health Enemy Number 1

Today many American adults, teens and children are facing the alarming fact that they are either overweight or obese. Metabolic obesity, as it is know understood, is a factor of neuropsychological stress, hormonal imbalances and dietary lifestyle. The following statistics are staggering:
  • The U.S. Bureau of the Census estimates that approximately 58 million American adults (26 million men and 32 million women) are obese.
  • According to the National Institutes of Health, 55% or 97 million adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese, with at least 33% (58 million) of adults considered overweight and 22% (39 million) considered obese.
  • The prevalence of obesity increased from 12.0% in 1991 to 17.9% in 1998. A steady increase was observed in all states; in both sexes; across age groups, races and educational levels; and occurred regardless of smoking status.
More than a problem of appearance, obesity can also be a life threatening condition. As the number of pounds increases, the risk for gallstones, high blood pressure, heart and kidney diseases, stroke, colon and breast cancer escalates. Other medical problems associated with obesity, include adult onset diabetes, hormonal imbalances, osteoarthritis, fatigue and sleep apnea - abnormally long pauses in breathing during sleep.

Genes, Hormones and Sensible Metabolic Planning
Medical research indicates there may be a genetic basis for 40-60% of persons at risk for developing obesity. However, the more common causes may actually reside within the complex interaction of these genes that code for an individual's metabolism and the additional effects of such hormones as; estrogen, insulin, triiodothyronine (T3-a thyroid hormone), cortisol, as well as, lifestyle and dietary choices.

Chemicals called leptins act as the 'middlemen' messengers between the brain and one's fat cells effecting hunger and the feeling of satiety. Stress, high carbohydrate meals, lack of exercise, and in some women added estrogen from the use of birth control pills - even Premarin™ - will often contribute to a marked increase in body fat. Note here that estrogen promotes an increase in the size and number of fat cells.

Stress releases cortisol from the adrenal gland. This hormone single-handedly impacts on your thyroid, estrogen and carbohydrate metabolism. High cortisol levels will make more estrogen and decrease triiodothyronine the powerhouse thyroid hormone that drives cell metabolism. High carbohydrate diets release insulin. In some patients it might not be immediate, but eventually, there may be a tendency over time that the bodies' cells become insensitive or even unreactive to the insulin it produces. Even though this effect may be transient, such higher than normal insulin levels stimulate the production of fat stores in your body.

Furthermore, fat (adipose tissue) is a major source of estrogen metabolism in postmenopausal women through an enzymatic conversion of testosterone into estrogen. This is usually seen in men as gynecomastia and symptoms of hyperestrogenism in women as I discussed in a previous article in April 2002 issue of Conscious Choice.
Obesity is defined as being 20% over the ideal or desirable weight, and severe obesity as being 40% above desirable weight. For instance, if your normal/desirable weight is 135 pounds and you current weight is 161 pounds you are already considered obese. If you normal/ideal weight is 135 pounds and your current weight is 192, you are considered severely obese. Anything above 40% is considered morbidly obese.

Dieting gimmicks, such as grapefruit binging, metabolite enhancers, fat and sugar blockers or pasta banning have been proven ineffective for long term weight loss success, often accompanied by unwanted side effects for the consumer. It's not about fad plans or "take it off quick" schemes. It's about learning to maintain healthful, enjoyable eating choices along with a realistic exercise routine. The key is balance.

Slimming down does not have to involve a whole life overhaul. Small, effective changes can go a long way in helping you reach a healthy goal weight.

The Correct Weight Loss Plan for the Right Reasons
When evaluating your weight loss program consider the following:
  • Under the supervision of a Licensed Health Care Professional who has the experience and knowledge on the subject.
  • Metabolically tailored and personalized to meet your specific needs.
  • Implementing a safe and effective rate of loss. Rapid weight loss can decrease muscle mass, and lead to thyroid and menstrual irregularities.
  • Offering a "Non-Dieting, Non-Hunger" approach, with One-On-One, Private Nutrition Counseling Sessions.
  • Incorporating all the five food groups; Protein, Carbohydrate, Vegetables, Fruits and Healthy Fats into the daily diet.
  • Teaching portion size control at home and while dining out.
  • Offering strategic planning for holidays and special occasions.
  • Offering solutions for unwanted cravings.
  • Implementing "Menu & Meal Planning" sessions.
  • Including continuing education on Foods for Health Maintenance & Disease Prevention.
  • Giving you the option to choose Home, Restaurant or Healthier Fast Food Choices.
  • Setting Realistic Goals that fit into your personal & professional lifestyle.
  • Teaching you not only how to lose the weight, but how to keep it off.
  • Address the possible issue of Adrenal, Thyroid or Hormonal Imbalances.
Unfortunately, just checking for obesity genes won't help much. However, evaluating an individual's metabolic makeup can be very useful. Checking for glucose-insulin resistance, a specialized blood test called a 2-hour glucose tolerance test (2-hour GTT) begins the process. Measuring salivary hormones levels of estrogen, cortisol and T3 provides clues to the individual's hormones regulating fat metabolism. In addition we utilize, state of the art computer bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). BIA is just like getting an ECG (electrocardiogram). It is much less expensive as well as taking all of 3 minutes. BIA provides an efficient, reliable and reproducible method of measuring and monitoring an individual's body composition of percent fat to lean muscle, intracellular to extracellular hydration status and overall cell vitality. Combining all this with a thorough physical exam and nutritional/ dietary/lifestyle history gives Judy Manisco and myself the information to work with you in obtaining your unique health goals.

Why We Need a Public Health Care Option in the United States

The "public option" is the key part of President Obama's proposed health care reform. In fact, without the public option I don't think it can really be considered true reform. It is that essential.

Basically what this option would allow people to do is to decide for themselves whether they want to stick with their current health insurance plan or whether they want to switch to a government health care plan.
It's important to understand the key point, the "public option" entirely optional (as it's name makes clear.) If you are happy with your current insurance plan then you don't need to change to the new plan.

So why are the insurance companies so dead set against it? Because they know that it will be far less expensive, far better plan. Basically it comes down to this: They don't want the competition!

Why should you care about what the insurance companies want? You shouldn't. And you should realize that their impending anti public option commercials are nothing but propaganda designed to scare you away from supporting health care reform. Their end goal is to keep the system how it is so they can continue to make huge profits at your expense.

This is the choice: Do you care more about your health care and the health care of the rest of the people in America or do you care more about the insurance companies making huge profits? For me the choice is obvious. We need health care reform. We need to catch up with the rest of the world in this most basic area.
This time please do not be fooled by the insurance companies. They fooled the American people into being against the Clinton health care reform plan in the '90s and they plan on doing the same today to derail Obama's plan.

We need a public option for health care so that all Americans can be covered and we can all save money and help save the economy. The outlanding profits of the insurance companies have a lot to do with the recession too. This is a "no-brainer." Destroy the health insurance industry and save the rest of the country. That's definitely a good trade off for almost all of us. It's time to make it happen.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Public Health Online Degrees

A Public health worker is person who has a lot of things to cover in their jobs. Most careers in the field of public health are also involved in advocates representing people who are not capable of voicing out themselves like children, the mentally handicapped, the disabled and the poor, this people cannot help themselves. Their job description is almost similar to that of the social worker. With only a difference in the terminologies that were used.

The usual kind of work a health professional is engaged is the alignment of the people in need with the given resources that are available. Like say for instance a temporary shelter for the homeless, care for the abandoned children, and other stuffs related to public service. In other words if you want to be a health worker your desire to help others should be exceptionally strong. Your heart should be dedicated in helping other people sincerely.

Generally a social work bachelor's degree is a requirement for health jobs, sometimes however sociology or psychology degrees are considered as an alternative. A social work bachelor's degree will be a prerequisite and a preparation for the practical applications of jobs in public health. You will be dealing with different kinds of people, and these people are usually less fortunate.

If you would like to advance further from doing fieldwork to management, then you must plan on taking up a master's degree. Taking up a higher education will make you aware and you will be able to learn managing various cases that has something to do with health. You will also be engaged in bigger operations and your awareness will widen and your level of awareness will make determine operational and strategic needs of public health operations.

There are available public health online degrees and this will actually prepare you in becoming a front-liner in public health. You will be trained in caring and guiding your patients. It will qualify you for positions that are considered to be entry level in scope and nature. There are also advance programs under public health online degrees. However your expectations should be mostly manual, handling things all by yourself it's like a field instruction that will at least give you the experience that you need to make more improvements in your career.
There are other things that you should undertake so you will be granted a license. Public health online degrees are actually easy to handle, the difficult part is the internship. This is something that most people would consider as a difficult task. It is not actually that difficult the problem with this however is that all theories may be supplied by online subjects and practical ones will be applied during the internship.

Public health online degrees should be pursued by people who have a heart, those who are considered to be volunteers and with little thoughts of being compensated, whose primary goal is to help, assist and make other smile out of the difficulties that they are facing, they should be thinking more of others and they should be warm towards others. There are many sites supporting public health online degrees and people who intend to volunteer for this should be up for the difficult tasks. Theoretically public health online degrees may be a great help to people who would like to extend help.

Friday, August 20, 2010

What Are The Top Eight Deadly Public Health Enemies?

In our society today, there are many people who are not well. They struggle with sickness, illness, and disease. Indeed, there are eight deadly public health enemies that are sending many Americans to an early grave. These health enemies kill more than 24 million people a year and cause untold suffering and disability on millions of others. Let's discover what they are.

Public Health Enemy #1: Heart Disease
Contrary to the opinion of many, heart disease isn't a disease of cholesterol but of artery inflammation. Many people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol. So, what is the true culprit here? "Oxidized" LDL, excessive free radicals caused by hypertension, diabetes, smoking, fatty meals, and elevated insulin levels. These problems, however, can be eliminated and the risks of heart disease significantly lowered.

Public Health Enemy #2: Cancer
In spite of millions of dollars spent on research and great advances in diagnosis and treatment of cancer, for many people who have cancer, many times the outcome is still a painful death. Cancer appears to develop from damage to the DNA of our cells by unstable molecules that have been occurring from 10-20 years.

Public Health Enemy #3: Stroke
Strokes can be deadly and typically occur suddenly with no warning. In the New England Journal of Medicine in 1995, Dr. Meir Stampfer reported that: "15 percent of all strokes could be related to elevated homocysteine, a by-product of protein metabolism that is elevated in individuals who have low levels of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12."

Pubic Health Enemy #4: Diabetes
More and more people are suffering from and/or developing diabetes. This seems to be the result of insulin resistance. Many doctors treat the blood sugar level problem instead of the real problem, which is insulin resistance. There are many things people can do to prevent diabetes from developing to begin with.

Public Health Enemy #5: Osteoporosis
More than 25 million North American have osteoporosis. Poor bone health is the result many times of nutritional decencies. Failure to have adequate amounts of vitamins such as B6, C, D, K, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, and cooper, are a few essential vitamins in which inadequate amounts can result in poor bone health.

Public Health Enemy #6: Arthritis
Millions of people, over 165 million, have this painful and debilitating disease. More than 70-80% of the population over age 50 have some form of arthritis. Not only do non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication does not appear to slow the steady progression of this disease, but they also cause dangerous side effects which has resulted in hospitalization for some people and death others.

Public Health Enemy #7: Alzheimer's
This disease is caused by oxidative stress. Over 29 million people suffer from dementia.

Pubic Health Enemy #8: Obesity
For the young and old, obesity is a huge problem. Also disturbing is the fact that for the first time in history, there are more obese people than people of normal weight. Many researchers are beginning to find obesity is related to insulin resistance as well .

So, there they are. The eight deadly public health enemies that are killing and debilitating millions. The good news is there is ammunition that everyone can have in his or her arsenal to fight back. What type of ammunition is needed? The "Top Ten Ways to Combat the Eight Deadly Public Health Enemies" will reveal just what they are.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bed Bugs and Public Health

Bed bugs have been around for centuries, and big cities have always had a certain low level of them. In fact, we've had a bit of a reprieve from them over the last 40 years because people used harsh poisons to keep them at bay, but due to a ban in poisons or toxic pesticides-bed bugs are now making a comeback are being blamed for the increase in infestations.

Well, the first thing that you need to know about is that bed bug bites are itchier than mosquito bites. This is because of the anesthetics in bed bug's saliva. Bed bug rash will appear an hour after you were pierced. But to some people, the bed bug rash appear only after some days or week from being bitten. This depends upon the body's reaction to chemicals being secreted by bed bugs.

The most commonly affected areas of the body are arms and shoulders. Reactions to the bites may appear delayed: up to 9 days before lesions appear. Common allergic reactions include development of large wheels, often>1-2 cm, which are accompanied by itching and inflammation. It has also been suggested that the allergens from the bed bugs may also be associated with asthmatic infections.

Even though the public health concerns are authentic, they are not good enough to importune widespread panic. Bed bug invasion can be eradicated or eliminated with pesticide sprays and dusting but the owner should get professional help, in case the condition gets traumatic or irritating.

So, above are some of the common symptoms and methods to detect and treat a bed bug infection. Keep your home and surroundings clean and neat, and enjoy a healthy life!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Public Health Safety Awareness

Public health is one of the major concerns of the 21st century. With lots of new viruses and diseases this is understandable. Health care institutes all around the world spend lots of money every year to provide people with vaccines or cures for all the new diseases, but they just seem to pop-up out of nowhere. Even television commercials were made to inform people about the best ways to take care of themselves and others around them.

The best way of doing that is for all to understand the basic ways that a certain virus is spreading and nevertheless the basic hygiene measures. As we all have been taught, it's better to avoid certain things than to have to cure them.

Moreover, it can be said that these days information is available to almost everyone so the "I didn't knew" excuse if not acceptable. The fewest, and to some unimportant, things can help us live healthier. As we come into contact daily with lots of people, lots of places, it is highly recommended that we wash our hands as often as we possibly can. Everyone comes in contact with lots of germs with our hands and it's highly possible that our organism isn't familiar with some of them. It is a useful method to prevent infection. Another method is to use wet wipes or antibacterial gels. Also covering your mouth and nose in case of cough or sneeze are mandatory measures.

Also, another method would be trying to open widows and let some fresh air into your home. Even if it's very cold outside, a dose of fresh air will strengthen your body and it will protect from viruses. Crowded places can also be a mean of spreading a virus as many of them have an oral spreading. It is recommended to avoid crowded places, but in our daily life it is sometimes impossible to do that. We need to be very careful when we choose to treat ourselves. Some diseases can have specific mutation so that the regular pill doesn't have the desired effect. Consulting a doctor is a good idea as he can provide lots of useful information regarding a specific illness.

All in all, it can be said that sometimes it is better to invest a little in prevention measures than to pay lots of money, and not to mention time, in an expensive treatment.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Public Health Career Training Online

The general population has many needs that have to be met on a regular basis. Health is usually at the top of the list, which is why there are numerous health professionals working to improve and maintain health in society. Public health is a popular career because it allows professionals to work with a variety of people and areas. Online career training is becoming a prevalent way for students to earn a degree in public health.
The profession spans across a large range of areas and activities, but all the work focuses on the evaluation and regulation of health for the public. Professionals target general or specific areas, which can include nutrition or a metropolitan city's healthcare system. It is highly common for professionals to handle complex problems involving overall healthcare services and systems. They contribute to keep communities free from outbreaks of infections. They also work with individuals, families, and communities by promoting healthy behaviors. The field can have graduated students entering careers that have them working for wellness programs in schools, hospitals, universities, and government firms. With the field being incredibly diverse students have many options to consider before deciding on an online degree program. Family health, health education, epidemiology, and environmental health are just a few of the options that students can choose to focus their schooling on.

Online training for public health is commonly only available at the graduate level, which includes a master's or doctorate degree. This is because most careers need individuals who have more in depth training. Students can't enter a graduate degree without first completing a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree provides students with a general education that can be applied to a graduate degree program. A health science degree is the ideal option for students to gain a broad foundation focused on the medical field. Student's study includes biology, chemistry, health education, and healthcare administration, which provides the knowledge needed to succeed in a graduate degree program.

Graduate degree programs online include a master of public health or a doctor of public health. An MPH degree is a science-based program that incorporates specific information on how to use knowledge to improve public health, educate, and provide preventative measures. Education covers advanced training in health and administration duties. Environmental science, epidemiology, public health biology, management, health promotion, and disease prevention are some course subjects that are covered through a master's program. Master's degree programs prepare students to step into leadership roles as food safety inspectors, health inspectors, public health advisors, and more. Furthering education at the PhD level qualifies students for upper level management and roles in academia.

At the doctorate level students specialize in one specific area such as nutrition, behavioral science, child health, and epidemiology. Students enrolled in an epidemiology program will mainly study how diseases spread. The goal of education is to prepare students to contribute to the field by creating strategies to keep outbreaks in check. Courses that supplement specific fields of study include leadership, public health internship, and management. Students that want to be involved on the research side of the profession should consider entering an online training program at this level.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Holism in Action - Public Health Versus Personal Health - What's the Difference?

Consumers of health care often face the difficult task of deciding for themselves what to do with "expert" advice. Mainstream medicine has moved toward setting the standard of evidence-based practice. The advantages of evidence-based health care would seem obvious - increasing the choices of effective and safe treatments for any given condition.

The disadvantages are less obvious, but they exist. What happens if the evidence indicates that people generally, or even a subgroup of people who have a specific diagnosis such as diabetes, fare better or worse on a particular therapy. For example, in general, for the public health, eating whole grain foods is better than eating processed foods from which fiber and vitamins were removed.

Then you have your own personal situation. You could launch on a campaign of eating only 100% whole wheat bread, pastas, and even pizzas. It could benefit your nutritional status. You'd consume a lot more fiber and B vitamins. Those are generally good for you.

But, in holistic medicine, providers and consumers individualize the treatments.  What happens if you are intolerant of wheat and related products?  What if you have celiac disease (gluten intolerance, where gluten is found in wheat, rye, and barley-containing foods)? What if you have a wheat allergy of one mechanism or another? Eating whole wheat foods will make you sicker in a variety of ways, perhaps even causing poor absorption and assimilation of the very nutrients that would benefit you, but that can't get into your particular body's cells properly.

In the latter cases, eating whole grain rice, for example, might be the best course of action to get the health benefits of a "whole grain" approach without stirring up a food intolerance or allergies.

This is a simple but common example of how general public health recommendations can benefit the population at large, on average, but not necessarily you personally. The individual must always weigh and balance what is right for him or her. Many different types of holistic medicine include the individual's unique situation in choosing the specific treatment program.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Public Health Agency of Canada Recommendations for Avian Flu

At least one Canadian group formed after SARS hit Toronto is working with the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) and other organizations to help boost public safety.

That group is the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), which was formed in 2004. It acts independently but is responsible to Canada's health minister.

PHAC is in the midst of creating a pandemic plan for Canada, said Aggie Adamczyk, media relations officer with the agency.

The plan is not being formulated just for the Avian Flu but for any disease that could reach pandemic proportions, although PHAC is monitoring the Bird Flu situation.

The agency recommends "good respiratory etiquette," she said, which includes using a tissue or sleeve when a sneeze comes upon you. Plenty of hand washing is also a PHAC suggestion.

Where the regular Influenza A symptoms include aching muscles, sore nose, high fever and coughing, people wary of the Bird Flu should be on the watch for symptoms pinpointed in a 1997 Hong Kong outbreak.
In that outbreak, people "developed symptoms of fever, sore throat, cough and, in several of the fatal cases, severe respiratory distress secondary to viral pneumonia. Previously healthy adults and children, and some with chronic medical conditions, were affected," according to WHO Web information.

As with the WHO, PHAC isn't rushing to recommend the use of SARS-style face masks to ward off the Avian Flu, Adamczyk said, although that could change depending on the course the H5N1 virus takes.
"It's a little bit early (for masks or antiviral drugs) at this point," she said.

Even so, global health officials need to be ready for whatever new infectious disease comes their way, she said.

"No one really knows if it will be Avian Flu or something like SARS. You have to be ready for (any disease)," Adamczyk said.

It is possible to create a vaccine for a pandemic flu, although making it ahead of time is risky because the flu could mutate, limiting the vaccine's effectiveness. The amount of vaccine that would be needed for a pandemic could also prove to be a problem, although research is underway to find technologies to streamline the vaccine production process.

In the event of a pandemic, public health officials could ask people to remain in their homes and refrain from gathering in public places. Other viral outbreaks have led to similar scenarios in North America in the past.
The WHO recommends the following to public health groups dealing with cases of Avian Flu:
* Co-ordinate services: Agricultural, veterinary and health services (along with other sector services deemed as appropriate) should exchange lab information and other data.
* Vaccination for public health reasons: Health authorities may consider vaccination against more common, seasonal influenza for persons at risk of occupational exposure to the H5N1 virus. Vaccination against seasonal influenza is a public health measure aimed at slashing the progression of HN51 along with the seasonal flu. Even so, vaccination against seasonal influenza will not protect people against infection with the H5N1 virus.
* Protection of persons at risk of occupational exposure: This is aimed at helping protect people who work on farms or other businesses wherein contact with fowl is common. Such people should wear personal protective equipment as follows:
1. Protective clothing, preferably coveralls plus an impermeable apron or surgical gown with long-cuffed sleeves plus an impermeable apron.
2. Heavy-duty rubber work gloves that can be disinfected.
3. Standard well-fitted surgical masks should be used if high-efficiency respiratory masks are not available. Masks should be fit-tested and training in their use should be provided.
4. Goggles.
5. Rubber or polyurethane boots that can be disinfected or protective foot covers that can be discarded.
Tamiflu should be made available to people who work in at-risk conditions, the WHO recommends. In addition, people in such occupations should be aware of the early clinical signs of H5N1 infection and check for them daily (as well as for two weeks after the last exposure to potentially-dangerous conditions), with the caveat that many of those signs are also apparent in more common diseases.
The following symptoms should be reported to a doctor, according to the WHO:
"Most patients infected with the H5N1 virus show initial symptoms of fever (38 C or higher) followed by influenza-like respiratory symptoms, including cough, rhinorrhea, sore throat, and (less frequently) shortness of breath. Watery diarrhea is often present in the early stages of illness, and may precede respiratory symptoms by up to one week. Gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, vomiting) may occur and headache has also been reported. To date, one report has described two patients who presented with an encephalopathic illness and diarrhea without apparent respiratory symptoms."
People suspected of carrying the virus should be put in isolation and virus samples should be sent to WHO laboratories, the group said.