5 Common Diseases Humans Can Get From Cats

roundworms in catsAnyone who is an athlete knows the importance of good health to be successful in any sport. This is why track and field runners are encouraged to eat a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, and have a healthy lifestyle in order to be at their best health. However, no matter how you take care of your health, diseases are inevitable and sometimes, they may come from the least expected sources: pets.

Many people are not aware that animals, particularly cats, can spread diseases to humans they frequently come in contact with. These diseases are collectively termed as zoonoses. Cat owners ought to know what these diseases are to not be caught unprepared.

  1. Toxoplasmosis

This type of cat infection is caused by a parasite called toxoplasma gondii which reproduces in the lining of the cat’s intestines. It can be a dangerous disease among pregnant women as it may cause miscarriage, still birth or congenital toxoplasmosis among infants. If a person is infected, symptoms may vary greatly but would include fever, swollen lymph nodes and a feeling of malaise. The parasite is normally transmitted when a person fails to wash his or her hands after contact with the feces of infected cats, or by eating raw fresh produce harvested from soil with contaminated cat feces.

  1. Rabies

Rabies is a life-threatening viral infection that attacks the brain and spinal cord. The virus is normally present in the saliva of an infected dog or cat and spreads to humans through its bites. Symptoms of rabies may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, depression, insomnia, restlessness and rising paralysis. It could take around 20 to 60 days before any symptom can be manifested. Any case of cat bite should be considered as a medical emergency, particularly if the cat is showing abnormal behavior prior to the bite.

  1. Cat scratch disease

This is a bacterial disease that is commonly spread by kittens or young cats through licking, scratching or biting. Its symptoms include the appearance of crusty blisters that are reddish in appearance, which usually can be found around the area where the cat has scratched. These blisters normally come with headaches and fever as well as swollen lymph nodes.

  1. Cryptosporidiosis

Cryptosporidiosis is an infection caused by the tiny parasites cryptosporidium parvum. This type of parasite produces eggs which can survive for about three months in a moist environment. A cat owner can be infected with cryptosporidiosis through direct contact with the animal or by eating foods contaminated with the feces of an infected cat. In humans, it is a self-limiting disease with symptoms that may include abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

  1. Plague

Plague is another serious condition in the list of diseases spread by cats to humans. The germ Yersinia pestis which causes this condition can spread to humans through a bite of a flea that has fed on an infected cat. Plague can cause large abscesses and sores in the arms and legs, but it is treatable with antibiotics.

While you should care for a pet that has roundworms in cats or mange in cats and other diseases, those diseases that can be spread to humans deserve much more attention. Seek medical attention when you are in doubt on whether or not you are infected with any of the conditions listed above.

 

5 Home Remedies for Kidney Stones

The kidney is one of the most vital organs in the body. It performs many crucial functions which include natural detoxification and helping the body get rid of toxins. The kidney is also responsible for producing renin which helps in regulating blood pressure and erythropoietin which stimulates the production of red blood cells. Unfortunately, all these functions can be hampered by various conditions affecting the organ, the most common of which are kidney stones.

Kidney stones are prevalent among athletes especially track runners and those involved in long distance high endurance events. More often, runners are not aware that they have this condition because they have no idea on what do kidney stones feel like. This condition especially affects track runners who don’t drink adequate water during practice or while in a competition. Without adequate fluid intake, the urine can become too concentrated, allowing the substances found in the urine to stick to each other and form stones. Symptoms may include painful urination, frequent urination in small amounts, excessive sweating, nausea and vomiting.

One positive note about kidney stones is that they are generally not a life-threatening condition and several home remedies for kidney stones may actually be effective in treating this condition.

  1. Basil

Basil is considered to be a great tonic for kidneys. It can help maintain overall kidney health and induce the passing of stones in the urinary tract.

Application: one teaspoon of basil juice combined with a teaspoon of raw honey to be taken daily for six months. It could also be taken without the honey. Another option is to prepare a tea by steeping five basil leaves in boiling water and drinking the tea once it has cooled. The tea can also be taken with or without honey.

  1. Pomegranate Juice

The juice of the pomegranate juice can also be taken as a natural remedy for kidney stones.

Application: a glass of pomegranate juice or one whole fruit, whichever is available; to be taken daily until any improvement shows up.

  1. Lemon Juice and Olive Oil

The combination of these two ingredients is a traditional home remedy for gallbladder stones, but it may also work for kidney stones.

Application: Combine a quarter of a cup fresh lemon juice with the same amount of olive oil. This mixture should be taken three times daily for three days. When drinking the mixture, it should be followed by drinking plenty of water.

  1. Watermelon

Watermelon is an effective remedy for kidney stones, particularly those that are composed of calcium, carbonates or magnesium phosphates. Watermelon is high in potassium and water which are both vital for overall kidney health.

Application: Consume watermelon regularly.

  1. Celery

Celery has anti-spasmodic properties that make it effective in relieving pain associated with kidney stones. It also has diuretic properties which help increase the amount of urine, thereby allowing the stones to flush out easily.

Application: Daily consumption of celery juice can prevent the formation of more stones and also help in flushing them out. Aside from fresh celery juice, celery herbal tea is also widely available for the same purpose.

These home remedies may or may not work as expected. If the condition does not show any improvement despite trying any of these home remedies, see your doctor for advice.

Different Ways to Treat Acne

Acne is a condition that affects a significant number of people from teens to adults. Although it is not a deadly condition, it can affect a person’s life physically, emotionally and even socially. Acne, especially the severe types such as the nodular acne, normally leaves unsightly skin blemishes and tiny holes on the skin. Depending on the extent of the skin damage, it can cause a person be become self-conscious or even lose his or her confidence.

Acne develops when the skin pores are clogged with oil and dirt. This is more common among people with a naturally oily skin. It is also common among runners and other athletes whose routines allow them to sweat more frequently. Track and field runners often practice outdoors under the blazing heat of the sun, causing them to sweat excessively. When the sweat is not washed away immediately by bathing, it can irritate the already existing acne as well as attract dirt and dust which can clog the pores, leading to the formation of new acne. That is why it is not uncommon for runners to have acne in various parts of the body including the face, scalp and back.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for acne, but certain treatment options are available to control and manage it. The goal of acne treatment is to inhibit the production of sebum and reduce bacterial growth which contributes to acne. Some treatments are also directed toward clearing the skin spots or reducing their future formation and encouraging the unclogging of pores and shedding of skin cells to promote new skin growth.

wash faceSelf-Care Treatment

  • Wash the affected area twice daily with mild soap and lukewarm water. Any less may cause the dirt to accumulate and clog the pores, and any more can irritate the skin, causing the symptoms to become worse.
  • Don’t squeeze or prick blackheads and nodules as they can cause scarring.
  • Avoid using oil-based skin care products and cosmetics as they can block the pores.
  • Do not go to bed without removing make-up.
  • Shower as soon as possible after doing activities that cause you to sweat.

Pharmaceutical Treatments

Aside from observing self-care, the following over-the-counter and prescription medications may also be used for treatment:

  • Topical treatments in the form of lotion, gel and cream that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide
  • Antibiotic tablet or topical cream
  • Topical retinoids
  • Azelaic acid
  • Isotretinoin tablets

Many of these medications can take months before the results become noticeable; but in some cases, they may not work at all.

Non-pharmaceutical Treatments

When all else fails, non-pharmaceutical treatments which are more aggressive forms of treatment may be recommended by your doctor. These include:

  • Chemical peels – Chemical peels such as salicylic acid peel are an acne treatment that causes the skin to peel off, allowing new skin to grow.
  • Comedone extractor – This is a treatment method where a small instrument that looks like a pen is used to clear out blackheads and whiteheads.
  • Light therapy – This treatment method involves the use of light to improve the appearance of the affected area.

Non-pharmaceutical treatments should be the last resort in treating acne. Acne can be hard to treat because it can develop or recur anytime. It is important for patients to thoroughly discuss with their dermatologists the best course of action to control and manage this condition.

 

General Overview on Folliculitis

If you are a track runner, keeping yourself in good health is very important because track is a physical sport requiring a lot of energy and focus. If you are suffering even from seemingly insignificant skin problems such as scabs on scalp or scalp folliculitis, running can become more challenging. Most skin problems, particularly folliculitis, are usually itchy and painful. The itchiness can be hard to control and it may occur anytime. If the itching and pain occurs while you are on the track, they can easily distract you and affect your overall performance.

Whether you are a runner, a famous person or an ordinary individual, you may suffer from folliculitis, a condition characterized by irritating skin rash that can develop into fluid-filled bumps. It is a type of infection that develops when the hair follicles become clogged with dirt, oil fungus or bacteria. Folliculitis may appear in different parts of the body but it is more common in the scalp.

Risk Factors of Folliculitis

You are at risk of folliculitis if you:

  • Frequent hot tubs, swimming pools or whirlpools that are not treated properly with chlorine
  • Often wear tight clothing
  • Take steroid creams or antibiotics for a long period of time
  • Use oil-based make-up and other skin care products which may clog the follicles
  • Have a wound, cut or scrape that is infected since the bacteria can spread to the surrounding hair follicles
  • Are suffering from conditions that affect your body’s ability to fight infections
  • Are sharing your personal items such as comb, washcloth and towels

scalp folliculitisSymptoms of Folliculitis

Folliculitis initially appears like red pimples with a hair growing in the middle of each one. These pimple-like lumps may or may not have lumps in them. They are also usually itchy and painful. Folliculitis acquired after bathing in a hot tub more often appears about 72 hours after bathing. Most cases of folliculitis normally go away in about two weeks.

Treatment for Folliculitis

The following steps for personal care can be done at home to prevent folliculitis from worsening and to allow for faster healing:

  • Apply warm compress on the affected area using equal parts white vinegar and warm water. This can help soothe the itching.
  • If the folliculitis is on the scalp, medicated shampoos may also promote healing.
  • If your condition does not improve after two weeks despite personal care, you may have to see a dermatologist who can recommend an appropriate treatment for you. Common treatment normally includes the use of antifungal pills or antibiotics.

Additionally, see your doctor at any time if your folliculitis comes with other symptoms, including:

  • Fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Recurring folliculitis
  • If the lumps become swollen, reddish in color, warm and more painful

Folliculitis is a non-life threatening condition and is also preventable. You can prevent it by avoiding the risk factors listed above. For track and field runners, a general knowledge on the risk factors and personal care for folliculitis is vital to avoid this condition or to recover from it quickly.

 

Basic Rules for Running Track

Track events are some of the most strenuous of physical sports. Even the seemingly short 100-meter dash demands an incredible amount of cardiovascular strength and endurance, and monstrous energy storage to provide leg power. Governing the sport is a set of rules that guarantees each individual is able to perform under equal and fair conditions, thus ensuring that any result of the track event is determined solely by the athlete’s physiological, mental, emotional, and spiritual capabilities. These rules are standardized by the International Association of Athletics Foundations.
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Running Track for Beginners

Track sports are exciting events. They demand a high amount of physical dedication, and mental focus. They are also some of the most popular competitions to host in sporting events around the world. While anyone who dedicates enough time and effort to the track eventually becomes a professional athlete however, everyone has to start somewhere, and many beginners have trouble either getting rid of the nervousness before their first run, or making the most of their abilities in a race. To that end, these are tips that help improve the performance of any track athlete whether new or professional.
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