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.
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 →
Did you know you can find an incredible number of free online classes from major universities all over the world at edX.org? If you didn’t, you need to jump on over there immediately and check out all there is to offer. Speaking of incredible classes…
This is a class welcome to anyone interested in basic cell biology, virology and immunology. There is no need for a well-developed understanding of science. The free online class is geared to non-science/biology majors, parents, and adults at or above the high school level.
What will you learn?
The makeup of cell structures (organelles) and their functions
What happens to our body when it is infected by viruses
How our immune system operates to protect us
The pros and cons of vaccination
The course is intended to help you make informed decisions about vaccines and better appreciate how our bodies cope with viral infections. But it’s not all about throwing information at you. The professors and speakers in the course keep it light and entertaining. Continue reading →
My son, Stevie, is turning three in about ten days and here it is again, the birthday curse.
On his first birthday he contracted a nasty case of hand-foot-and-mouth that left him with open sores, finger and toe nails falling off, and a cancelled birthday party. And on his second birthday we were all throwing up from a stomach virus. So he’s turning three in a few days and it’s only appropriate that he come down with another case of hand-foot-and mouth.
What’s going on?! I’m convinced it’s the birthday curse. Or maybe it’s just the curse of the preschooler–they’re germy little buggers.
Hand-foot-and-mouth is a disease caused by multiple viruses and virus strains. There are at least seven strains of the coxsackievirus and at least one enterovirus that can cause the disease. So therefore, your little ones CAN get it again. Continue reading →