What does stress do to the immune system?

Do you find yourself with a cold or major health issue after a stressful event? I most certainly do.

I’m constantly full of anxiety trying to do everything, and it’s not just all of the lists, and kids, and home maintenance, and work, and writing these articles (which I love doing); it’s a personality trait, and it’s quite common.

All of these little things in our lives add up and cause us STRESS.

So, what’s stress?

We can define it as a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in our lives.

When you feel stressed your body releases chemicals in response to stress hormones circulating through the body. Sometimes these hormones can be useful, however often they are very hard on the body and can leave you susceptible to infection.

When is stress useful?

You’ve most likely heard of the ‘fight or flight’ response–a survival alarm system dated way back to the beginning of human life. This response occurs in the face of real danger and causes the hypothalamus to stimulate the adrenal glands to start pumping adrenaline. This gives your body the energy to either fight or flee from a dangerous situation. We still use this response today in the face of say, encountering a bear on a hike or a mugger on the street.

Stress chemicals may also be useful before a big event when you may need a burst of energy or alertness to improve performance. This might be beneficial during a job interview or before a big test.

But, chronic stress is often harmful.  Continue reading

Sabin and the vaccine that changed the world

Dr. Albert Sabin is famous for his development of the live oral polio vaccine and for the attempt to eradicate polio by vaccinating an entire population all at once. His commitment to the eradication of polio saved many children from death and paralysis and still does today.

He is an inspiration to us all! Please read this interesting story about Sabin’s accomplishments. I think you’ll enjoy it!

Remembering Albert Sabin and the vaccine that changed the world



Your child’s Pertussis Vaccine Schedule

Hi there!

If you aren’t following The Vaccine Mom Facebook page then you haven’t been getting nearly all of the important information I put up. I’m sorry because that’s not fair to you. So, I’m going to post all these little tidbits of information here on the website for all to see!

Today is about the importance of the pertussis vaccine to newborns. 

First off, your baby can benefit so greatly from YOU getting the pertussis vaccine (most commonly given in the Tdap vaccine–includes tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis) when you are between 27-32 weeks pregnant. In about two weeks, ample antibodies to pertussis from you will pass to the baby and help protect him from birth to two months when he is able to get his first vaccine. (This must be done for every pregnancy!)

This is so important because pertussis can be life-threatening to your newborn. For more check out my article: “How to Protect Your Newborn From Pertussis.

Your baby will then get his DTaP vaccine (“The difference between Tdap and DTaP T”) at 2, 4, 6, and 18 months. These boosters are important for the baby to develop long-lasting immunity to pertussis, as well as tetanus, and diphtheria. For more about boosters: Why Do We Need Boosters?

Pertussis can cause coughing so severe it could crack your baby’s ribs. It can be life-threatening to children under the age of one, so make sure to protect your tiny one from this nasty disease!

Pass me that fuzzy bread, please!

The colorful mold you see on the surface of food is just the tip of what is going on inside.

Let me set this up for you:

You wake up to a few mold spots on the underside of your only loaf of bread this morning, but you still have sandwiches to make for lunches and toast for the kid who now only eats toast for breakfast.

It’s just a few spots so do you cut them off and make due or toss the loaf and deal with the crying from said kid and complaints about missing peanut butter and jelly in the lunch boxes? You could slice that bottom off, right? I mean, those spots are just on the surface…

Well, health experts agree: Stear clear.

If you haven’t already studied the picture, go do that. If that’s not enough to keep you from ever picking mold off bread and eating it, then stay tuned.   Continue reading

Guest Author – How do chickenpox and shingles differ from each other? – Maria Fualo

For starters, both shingles (herpes zoster) and chickenpox (varicella) is a result of the same virus called the varicella-zoster virus, but they occur at different ages. Chickenpox can occur at any age, and shingles can occur any time after the person has had chickenpox. The two diseases bring a lot of discomforts to patients. In most cases, they irritate the skin and cause a blistering rash that scabs and may scar.

Whey They Occur and Physical Characteristics

The chickenpox is common in children below five years, while shingles infects typically people over 50 years. Shingles, however, can cause infection in anyone at any age if the chickenpox virus has already infected their body, mostly the elderly. Many cases of infection come from people above 50 years old.

Chickenpox and shingles do tend to differ in look. Chickenpox causes itchy blisters to form all over the body, sometimes internally. Shingles is very painful and often starts with localized numbness/tingling and often but not all the time, a rash. The shingles rash typically displays on one side of the body due to the fact that the follow along nerve pathways.

The blistering rash does not move all over the body like chickenpox does, but stays localized. The most common areas for the appearance of the rash would be the torso and face. It’s quite uncommon for the rash to spread elsewhere. Continue reading