We are what we eat


I was on Facebook today and found this illustration about a person eating a hamburger and fries, and drinking soda. That person seemed to be pregnant with Ronald McDonald himself!

The illustration might be an exaggeration, but I like the point it’s trying to make, that our body becomes the food that we eat. If we consume healthy foods, we tend to be healthier. But if we eat a lot of fast food, then we look and become unhealthy!


Stopping the Ebola outbreak

As of the day this article was published, there is no cure and no approved vaccine for the Ebola virus and the disease is continuing its spread in Western Africa. This virus is very dangerous because it makes its victims sick very quickly and it has a 50-70 % fatality rate.

Currently, the best prevention against the spread of Ebola is the application of basic disease interventions, which are summarized, in the following infographic, created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States.


The first step is to diagnose patients who are sick with Ebola. Those would express symptoms of fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea, and bleeding. The only way to make an accurate diagnosis is by taking blood samples and sending to a good laboratory.

When a patient is diagnosed with Ebola, he or she must be isolated and all the aid helpers must wear protective gear. That patient is asked who are the people that were contacted while there were symptoms. Those contacts must be monitored for 21 days (incubation period of Ebola). If any one them showed the same symptoms, they should be tested, and then isolated in a similar way if the diagnosis is positive.

Also to help stopping the spread of Ebola, health care workers must wear protective gear and keep a clean environment. If a patient dies, safe and disinfected burial practices should be conducted. Also, it is not recommended to eat raw animal meat because many mammals (primates, bats, etc.) can transmit the virus to humans.


Can Ebola be transmitted by coughing or sneezing?

The only way that the Ebola virus could be transmitted by coughing or sneezing is by the mucus. A person with Ebola and that coughs or sneezes can infect another person if his/her mucus comes into contact with the eyes, the nose, the mouth, or a wounded skin of another person.

But Ebola is not spread through the air like other viruses such as measles, chickenpox or flu. The Ebola virus can be transmitted only by direct contact between body fluids (blood, saliva, mucus, sweat, tears, vomit, feces, breast milk, urine and semen) of an infected person who has symptoms. Coughing and sneezing are not common symptoms of Ebola.


Facts about Ebola

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US has put out this info sheet to inform the population about how you can and cannot be infected with the Ebola virus.

You cannot get Ebola:

  • through the air
  • through water
  • through food

You can only get Ebola:

  • by touching the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola;
  • by touching contaminated objects, like needles;
  • by touching infected animals, their blood or other body fluids, or their meat.


Your heart and lungs look good too!


This is a caricature of a patient opening wide to a dentist, so wide that the dentist can see and examine some of his internal organs. It is funny but there is some truth into it.

When someone has a systemic disease, sometimes it can have oral signs. Like for example diabetes. If the dentist suspects anything, he or she will refer the patient to the general doctor to have it checked.

Also they say that a healthy mouth is a sign of a healthy body. That’s why it’s important to keep your teeth and gums healthy in order not to cause infection or inflammation that can reach other organs of your body like your heart and your lungs.


Health benefits of bleach

bleach-bottlesBleach, or sodium hypochlorite, is known to remove colour, whiten or disinfect, often by oxidation. Most people associate it with its ability to clean and make whiter clothes. But bleach can be used for other purposes as well, as much for dental, medial and household purposes.

In high concentrations, bleach has an anti microbial effect and is a dentist’s best friend for root canal therapy! Liquid sodium hypochlorite quickly reacts with microbes to irreversibly denature and destroy many of them that are considered pathogens. In most countries, bleach is used by the dentist during root canal treatment to disinfect an abscessed tooth. It has also been reported that in lower concentrations, bleach can be used as a mouthwash, when very diluted in water, in adjunction with gum disease treatment.

When bleach is in very low concentrations, it can be used to treat eczema. BBC News documented a study that involved 31 children with eczema and who took baths in water that contained a small amount of bleach. All children ended up having less skin irritation. The reason bleach helped was its disinfectant ability, killing germs that usually make eczema even more challenging to treat. These microbes cause infections and alleviate eczema’s symptoms like redness, irritation and the spread of the rash to other parts of the body. Diluted bleach disinfects those germs and reduces the symptoms. But it’s important not to conduct this bleach treatment alone and be medically assisted because high concentrations of bleach can be toxic.

Another study suggested that bleach treatments can slow down aging of the skin. Older mice were given daily 30 minute baths in water containing small amounts of bleach. They have all gained a baby skin. Bleach is not only a disinfectant but also an anti inflammatory agent that multiplies skin cells, providing those mice with thicker epidermal layer that became thin with age. Again the study does not encourage humans to add bleach in their baths.

Source of photo: Foekje Fleur
BBC article: ‘Bleach bath’ benefit for eczema

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day

breakfast important

Breakfast is the daily meal that people have the most tendencies to skip, whether it’s for not feeling hungry, for being late at work or at school, or for having a few more minutes to sleep. But skipping this important meal can lead you to a grumpy day and, believe it or not, gain weight!

Breakfast and your metabolism

breakfastWhen you eat breakfast in the morning, your body receives food and tells your brain that you’re going to need to start working to digest it. This wakes up the metabolism so that your system is ready to work throughout the day. If you skip breakfast, you can actually gain weight because your body thinks that it needs to conserve the energy it has because it didn’t get any more through nutrition. Skipping breakfast therefore actually slows down your metabolism, resulting in a decrease of the amount of calories you burn throughout the day.

Breakfast and certain diseases

Many studies suggest that there is a link between not eating breakfast and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Experts aren’t certain why, but they think that people who skip breakfast are more likely to be hungrier later during day and eat larger meals. Those meals mean the body must process a larger amount of calories in a shorter amount of time. That can spike sugar levels in the blood and perhaps lead to clogged arteries.

Breakfast and your oral health

Eating a fast and sugary breakfast can be harmful for your teeth. Here are some tips in having a healthy breakfast for your body and for your mouth:

  • Choose fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Eat whole grains (oatmeal, whole wheat bread) instead of refined grains.
  • Eat high fiber cereals with less preservatives and added sugar.
  • Try to limit fruit juices and smoothies because they tend to have very high concentrations in sugar.
  • Limit the amount of sugar you add to you coffee or tea.
  • Brush and floss your teeth after breakfast, not after you wake up.


Bisphosphonates and dental care


If your doctor has prescribed you bisphosphonates, especially if they must be injected intravenously, it is important to tell your dentist because, in this case, it is contra-indicated to proceed with any surgical treatment in the mouth, including extractions and dental implants.

Bisphosphonates are drugs that prevent the loss of bone mass in certain medical conditions. Doctors prescribe it in tablets for women in menopause or pre-menopause. Bisphosphonate tablets are also indicated for people with Paget’s disease (misshaped bones).

These drugs can also be injected intravenously during therapy of bone metastases of breast cancer. In this case, some patients may develop in their mouths a condition called osteonecrosis. This condition is described by bone death following a blood circulation problem.

The link between osteonecrosis and bisphosphonates is not yet well understood. It is important then to inform your dentist if you take these drugs especially if intravenously. Your dentist can then check for any signs of osteonecrosis in the mouth and treat if needed. Furthermore, it’s strongly believed that keeping a good oral hygiene can reduce the risk of getting osteonecrosis of the jaw.


Smoking and cancer statistics

LungsThe Canadian Cancer Society has published recent statistics concerning this disease. Although these statistics follow studies on the Canadian population, they can also portrait the situation in other countries as well. Here are those statistics:

  • Smoking is responsible for 30% of all deaths related to any cancer.
  • Smoking is responsible for 85% of all deaths related to lung cancer.
  • Cases of death related to cancer have decreased of 2.2% each year (from 1997 to 2006) because Canadians are smoking less.
  • Lung cancer remains the type of cancer that has the least survival rates, 16% of affected patients are still alive after 5 years, whereas 62 % of patients of other cancers survive after 5 years.
  • Lung cancer is the second most common cancer for both men and women; the first most common cancer is prostate cancer for men and breast cancer for women.

I know all humans beings are destined to die one day, but why not stop smoking and live a longer and healthier life!

Related Articles


Dental problems and overall health

If you have dental problems, such as cavities, gum disease or infections, can they affect your health in general? Yes they can!

Dental health and body health are linked. The mouth should be considered like an open door to all kinds of infections that can eventually reach other organs in the body. Most dental problems are caused by bacteria and other harmful micro-organisms. Those bugs can be the cause of dental cavities, gum disease, and abscesses.

If these dental problems are not taken care of, oral bugs that are harmful can enter the blood stream and spread to other places. There is medical proof that some systemic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, can be caused or complicated by such oral infections.

Full article: Is there a Relationship between Dental Problems and Overall Health Problems?
In French: Problèmes dentaires et problèmes de santé

What are the consequences of losing your teeth?

People can lose their teeth for many reasons. But the long term consequences can be very bad for your health and for your overall well-being. Knowing those consequences might help you realize how important it is to take care of your teeth in order to keep them healthy and not to eventually have to extract them.

Here’s a list of tooth loss consequences:

  • You might develop speech problems as it might be hard to pronounce some letters if you are missing too many teeth.
  • Avoiding certain foods because having less teeth might produce chewing problems.
  • Avoiding going out in public because if your missing teeth are showing, you might be embarrassed to show your smile.
  • Because of the way your smile looks, you might develop anxiety and self-consciousness.
  • Stiff jaws because with fewer teeth it’s harder to chew on foods and there is more stress expressed in your jaws.
  • Other teeth might become weak because there are fewer teeth to use when you eat.
  • Other teeth might move, or incline because there is nothing to stop them. This condition might induce periodontal disease and possible tooth loss.
  • You might develop nutrition problems because you cannot eat all types of foods.

Full article: Causes and Consequences of Tooth Loss
In French: Quelles sont les conséquences de la perte des dents?

What reasons might cause people to lose their teeth?

Tooth Loss

Tooth Loss

Tooth loss is an unhealthy situation and many people believe it is something inevitable when you grow old. The fact is you don’t need to lose your teeth if you take care of them all your life. They will help you savour foods and nourish yourself in order to maintain you healthy for a long time.

By understanding the reasons why people might lose their teeth, it is possible to give a smart attention to your overall oral health in order to keep your teeth healthy all your life. Here are the causes of tooth loss:

  • Poor oral hygiene increases the chances of you getting tooth decay and gum disease. Dentists advise to brush your teeth after each meal, or at least twice a day, and to floss at least once a day. It is also recommended to visit your dentist every six months for a check-ups and cleanings.
  • Poor nutrition can ruin your teeth. Foods that contain a lot of sugar and acids can damage your teeth and gums. Such diets initiate cavities.
  • Poor habits such as tooth grinding (bruxism) uses up your teeth over the years and make them shorter. People who grind intensely can also fracture their teeth. Smoking can make gum disease worse, which leads to tooth loss.
  • If your kids play contact sports such as football, hockey, basketball and martial, they should wear a mouth guard to prevent trauma that can fracture of injure a tooth.
  • Some people have an intense fear of dentists and never visit one, even if they are suffering from severe tooth ache. Not seeing a dentist for a problem in your mouth can worsen the condition over time and eventually lead to tooth loss.
  • Some people cannot afford dental treatments. But it’s not everything done by dentists that’s overly expensive. Sometimes you can alternative treatments that are less costly. Remember also that preventing problems costs less than repairing problems.

Full article: Causes and Consequences of Tooth Loss
In French: Pour quelles raisons les gens peuvent-ils perdre leurs dents?