For people living with asthma, managing the condition becomes part of their daily life. But some may not know that, in spite of their best efforts, their asthma may still be uncontrolled.
Benjamin Buckley was one of those people. Ben, as he was known, was just 7 years old when he died from asthma-related complications in 2014. Now, Ben’s mother, Cristin Buckley, is sharing his story in an effort to help raise awareness of just how serious asthma can be.
According to Cristin, it was a normal Saturday morning in the Buckley household. Ben went to his sister’s basketball game with the rest of the family, but when the game ended, Ben asked if he could go home and use his nebulizer, as he was experiencing an asthma attack.
Later that day, Cristin received a frantic call from her husband and daughter and came home to find Ben had collapsed in the driveway. Police and paramedics were already on the scene performing CPR. They were able to start Ben’s heart, but he was unconscious and not able to breathe on his own. He remained in a coma for five days until he passed away.
“What we didn’t realize was that Ben was using his rescue inhaler way more than he should have been. We were refilling it once a month,” said Cristin. “The pharmacy just kept refilling the prescription, so we didn’t think it was an issue. Looking back now, we know his asthma was uncontrolled.”
And it appears the Buckley family is not alone, as studies indicate that asthma is responsible for deaths every day in the United States, most of which are believed to occur in patients with uncontrolled asthma.
“Uncontrolled asthma can have a huge impact on a patient’s health,” said Dr. Purvi Parikh, a New York City-based allergist and immunologist and national spokesperson for the Allergy and Asthma Network. “Patients may not know the signs — but if someone is using their rescue inhaler more than twice a week, and their asthma is interrupting daily activities and sleep, they should really talk to their doctor immediately to assess if it is uncontrolled.”
Cristin’s number one priority today is that Ben’s asthmatic twin brother Adam, now 11 years old, is equipped to handle an attack on his own. To ensure he is prepared, Cristin takes Adam for his annual check-up with his allergist before the school year starts.
“Make sure their doctor takes the time to sit down and teach them how to properly use their inhaler,” Cristin said. “People think they can just put it in their mouth and take a few puffs and it works just fine, but so much medicine is wasted or doesn’t get into the lungs because they’re not taking a deep enough breath.”
Another one of her main priorities, particularly before school starts, is to make sure all of Adam’s inhalers have enough medicine in them. As such, Cristin relies on inhalers fitted with dose counters to help both her and Adam better manage his asthma. A dose counter works by showing the user exactly how many doses are left in the inhaler — similar to looking at a bottle of pills to see how much medicine is left.
“I think dose counters are one of the best things ever invented,” Cristin said. “Before they were integrated into inhalers, you were blindly leading your child. You had no idea how much medicine was left.”
Dr. Parikh also noted that the addition of a dose counter to asthma management can create a helpful dialogue between patients and their doctors. She explained how the dose counter allows the doctor to see how much medicine has been used since the previous visit and determine if a patient is using their rescue inhaler too frequently.
“When using an inhaler that does not include a dose counter, you really are taking a gamble on your life,” said Cristin.
For additional information on the importance of dose counters, visit KnowYourCount.com, and for more on Ben and Cristin’s story, visit www.BenWasHere.org.
Mrs. Buckley has been compensated for her time in contributing this program.
Adults today are constantly searching for balance in life. While balance can be broadly defined, in simple terms it is rooted in equal proportions. The human body demands an equilibrium in order to sustain proper mental, physical and spiritual health. But, achieving balance can be difficult when everyday personal and environmental stresses (such as work, poor diet, harsh sunlight and pollution) expose the body to cell-damaging oxidative stress.
The obstacles to reaching balance are only growing due to shifting lifestyle choices. Today’s adults are active and trying to cram more into a 24-hour day than ever before. In fact, fatigue is a common issue for working adults.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of adults are not getting the nutrients they need to keep their bodies properly fueled to meet the demands faced in a single day. In fact, according to a survey from Instantly, more than 53 percent of Americans skip breakfast at least once a week, while 12 percent never have breakfast at all. The World Health Organization recommends eating at least 400 grams, or five servings, of fruits and vegetables per day, but approximately 75 percent of people worldwide fail to meet that minimum recommendation, creating significant nutrient gaps.
Let’s face it, it can be tough to eat a healthy and well-balanced meal morning, noon and night. For that reason alone, supplements, which fill in nutrient gaps, can ensure you get the right quantities and varieties of nutrients your body needs. Supplements are becoming a critical part of the everyday routine for those looking to do it all and still ensure optimal nutrition. When you incorporate the adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals into your diet, particularly plant-based supplements that add phytonutrients, you can easily fill nutrient gaps and achieve optimal nutrition. By following a few easy steps, you can be on the path to achieving balance.
Educate yourself on your body’s needs
The first step in achieving nutritional balance is understanding the nutrients your body needs to function properly. Knowing what phytonutrients are, and the health benefits associated with them, is key. Phytonutrients are nutrients found in fruits, vegetables and other sources. They are associated with a variety of health benefits, such as eye, bone, joint and heart health, as well as supporting the immune system and brain health. Many phytonutrients are also powerful antioxidants that help fight cell-damaging free radicals.
Taking a multivitamin or multi-mineral supplement each day is a great way to fill in nutrient gaps. Amway’s Nutrilite Double X, for example, is a supplement that delivers a comprehensive and balanced range of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to help your body’s natural antioxidant defense mechanisms fight cell-damaging free radicals and support whole body health. Nutrilite Double X contains 12 essential vitamins, 10 essential minerals and phytonutrients from 22 fruits, vegetables and herbs sourced from plants grown on Nutrilite-certified organic farms and Nutricert-certified supplier farms.
The vitamin B family is made up of eight B vitamins, each of which helps your body form energy. Your body requires a regular supply of B vitamins in order to support energy-yielding metabolism. Most importantly, B vitamins need to be taken in the right amounts and at the right times. Amway’s Nutrilite Vitamin B Dual-Action supplement provides your body with an instant and extended release of B vitamins to create and sustain energy within the body. Knowing when to take vitamins and supplements and the right quantities you need is critical to achieving optimal health.
“Amway’s Nutrilite Double X supplement is strategically designed to provide key vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients your body needs,” said Steve Missler, Principal Research Scientist at Amway. “Together with Vitamin B Dual-Action, these two products help provide the body with the quality nutrients needed to function properly and maintain a healthy balance. However, as with all nutrition plans, it is important to consult with a medical professional or health expert to determine your specific nutritional needs.”
Achieve nutrient balance
When it comes to finding the right supplement, another tip is to look for third-party verifications of product quality. Nutrilite Double X and Vitamin B Dual-Action supplements are certified by NSF International, an independent, accredited organization that conducts rigorous tests to assure consumers that products contain what is stated on the label.
It is important to ensure that the supplement you choose is also gentle on your stomach. Starting your day with a healthy breakfast along with a supplemental source of phytonutrients and B vitamins can help ensure you get optimal nutrition throughout the day.
Achieving nutrient balance and fighting fatigue do not need to be uphill battles. Coffee and energy drinks can be effective for short-term needs, but are not the solution. There are many ways to proactively supplement your diet with the nutrients you need and to help fight fatigue before it begins. Supplements are an easy, safe and effective way to ensure you get enough vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, while also ensuring you get the right B vitamins to help fight fatigue. Jump start your day with essential phytonutrients and B vitamins and help your body endure your active life.
The organics category is growing in just about every measurable way: in volume, dollars spent and even in conversations in the media.
When consumers dabble in organic produce, they are more likely to purchase organic goods like organic snacks or organic cotton sheets. This means it is important for retailers that sell organic products across departments to pay attention to trends in organic produce.
The organic shopper
“Organics are becoming mainstream, and shoppers are beginning to choose organic items over conventional items,” says Michael Castagnetto, vice president of sourcing for Robinson Fresh. “In our survey with U.S. consumers who buy produce, we found that 51 percent of respondents purchased organic produce and of those, 73 percent purchased both conventional and organic produce during the same trip.”
Research indicated that the organic shopper of today is most likely under the age of 35 or has young children living at home. Organic purchases are also highly correlated to household income.
Millennials, Generation X and baby boomers all show a preference for organic produce.
Why organic is becoming mainstream
“In the past, purchasing anything organic was an emotional-based purchase,” continues Castagnetto. “However, for today’s casual shopper, organic purchases are increasingly becoming more of an impulse purchase. The way that produce is merchandised makes a difference in how consumers make purchasing decisions.”
How organic produce is purchased
Here are the main factors people cite when asked why they go organic:
To learn about information on the buying habits surrounding conventional and organic produce, visit the Robinson Fresh website at www.robinsonfresh.com.
Going green: It’s more than an idea — it’s a fundamental change you make to support the environment and reduce your carbon footprint. In making this change, you probably started with the small stuff. You turn the lights off when you’re not in the room, unplug devices that aren’t in use and adjust your thermostat regularly, but you can do so much more.
Implementing a green approach can seem like a lot of work. The trick is to look at your green initiatives not as a to-do list but as a new lifestyle. Once you do that, your green efforts will become habits, and you’ll forget how you went about your day without them.
To support your new green lifestyle, add these five positive habit-forming strategies from Rental HQ.
A green lifestyle doesn't happen overnight. Adding a few of these green habits will help. Apply the tips offered above and your new green lifestyle will be effective and enjoyable before you know it.
If you’ve handed over your tablet to your children more than once, it may be time to consider getting them their own device. There are a lot of great children’s tablets that offer so much more than passive games and videos.
“Tablets can be a great source of learning if the content is relevant, engaging and age-appropriate,” said Dr. Clement Chau, director of learning for LeapFrog.
Before you take the plunge, here are some things to keep in mind.
Kids are not necessarily known for their delicate handling of breakable objects. So, look for kid-friendly products that are durable, and built specifically for kids’ hands.
Seek out tablets pre-loaded with fun and useful age-appropriate content that blends education and fun. For example, those from LeapFrog, a leader in innovative learning toys, offer well-rounded curricula important to children’s development. The new LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition and LeapPad Ultimate feature preloaded content teaching core skills like mathematics, reading and science, as well as music, puzzles, logic and creativity to help prepare children for preschool and beyond. Both tablets offer access to a learning library of more than 1,000 apps, eBooks and videos and feature built-in technology that assess kids’ progress to personalize lessons. Additionally, LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition comes with a free trial of LeapFrog Academy, an interactive learning program for 3-6-year-olds that guides kids on learning adventures they can play on the go.
Remember, a tablet is not just a toy, it’s two-way access to the world at-large. But you can keep kids safe with a few precautions. Look for tablets that are kid-safe right of the box, with features like kid-friendly web browsers that provide access to pre-selected websites. Then, take advantage of parental controls to manage features.
If you find that your child becomes inseparable from his or her new tablet, consider setting rules like no tablets at the dinner table or for one hour before bedtime, and use built-in parental controls to set time limits. Even when devices are strictly being used for educational fun, it’s still important to limit screen time and strike some balance.
As tablets continue to top children’s wish lists, parents should do their research. With the right devices, apps and safety features, tablets can provide opportunities to engage kids’ creativity and knowledge.
For decades, we’ve been told that the only way to get our bathrooms clean is to use store-bought cleansers. Yet although the commercials show cute cartoon bubbles and smiling bald men benignly scrubbing away dirt and germs, and leaving a spotless, gleaming white bathroom behind, the truth is still a little grimy. Take a closer look at the labels of those cleansers, and underneath the promises of lemony freshness you’ll find more warnings than assurances. In many cases, bathroom cleansers warn you not to use them in enclosed spaces because the fumes can be dangerous. That may be OK if your bathroom is several hundred square feet, but it’s safe to say that most of our bathrooms could be considered “enclosed spaces.”
The truth is that, despite the sunny packaging and cuddly mascots, most store-bought bathroom cleansers are harsh chemical cocktails that may do as much harm as they do good. They may be effective at removing soap scum and killing germs, but they also can contribute to indoor air pollution that can make you and your family sick. What’s more, these caustic chemical cleansers don’t just disappear when they go down the drain — they end up being introduced into the water supply, where they can have a negative impact on the environment. You may be concerned about the effects chemical bathroom cleansers can have on your family and on the environment, but you may also be wondering how you can keep your bathrooms clean without them. The following Slideshow, created by Modern Bathroom, details how to make natural bathroom cleaners that are safe for the environment.
As seen in the January 2018 issue of Natural Baby Magazine.
Natural Baby Magazine
Blogging about Natural Childbirth, Natural Baby Bums, Natural Baby Feeding, Natural Baby Health, and Natural Baby Learning all in the first year of life.