‘Heads Up’ football clinic at Flowery Branch focuses on player safety

By COLIN OCHS

Close to 60 youth and high school football coaches from around the state filled the cafeteria at Flowery Branch High School Saturday morning looking to learn more about player safety.

The clinic, led by USA Football Master Trainer and former Atlanta Falcon Buddy Curry, was part of the Heads Up Football program launched in 2012 as a comprehensive approach to a better, safer game.

“It’s a train to trainer model,” Curry said. “These guys are expected to go back to their associations and train the parents and train the coaches on the safety initiatives that USA Football and the NFL are rolling out.”

Concussions receive the majority of headlines when it comes to player safety, and the Heads Up program educates coaches on concussion recognition and response, as well as instructs them on proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting. The program also focuses on sudden cardiac arrest protocols, heat preparedness and hydration.

“It is a very informative clinic,” Flowery Branch Junior Falcons coach Jason Moore said. “It’s good for every organization to have the player safety coordinator.

“We’ll have coaches and parent meetings and instruct them on the information we’re given.”

After the classroom teachings, the coaches were taken out to the field. Curry then guided them through a series of drills aimed to reinforce proper Heads Up tackling and blocking techniques that focused on reducing helmet contact.

“We need to train these kids on proper techniques and help them enjoy competition,” Curry said. “Help them enjoy the game of football.

“We need to have coaches learn to become students of the game, to learn how to coach correct fundamentals and techniques, and parents to relax enough to let their kid enjoy playing, especially when they’re young.”

Curry played for the Falcons from 1980-87. He was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1980 and an All-Pro selection in 1980 and 1982.

This is his third year with USA Football and the Heads Up program, and his sixth time leading a clinic in Georgia.

He understands the risks involved in playing football.

“If you want your kid to be completely safe,” Curry said. “Don’t let him go to school, don’t let him go out. You need to keep him in the house and hopefully a tornado doesn’t come.

“There’s risk in everything you do. What football offers is a team sport. It’s the ultimate team game where you learn how to compete as a team, be a part of a cog that hopefully is successful.”

The Falcons also do a number of different youth football and coaching clinics, as well as clinics for mothers, in order to spread the message of USA Football and the Heads Up Football program.

“We like to incorporate Heads Up Football in as many programs as we can,” Atlanta Falcons Community Relations Coordinator Amanda Dinkel said.

“We think it’s so important for the players and the safety of the game to make it a better and safer game for our kids and future generations.”

Source: Ochs, Colin. “‘Heads Up’ Football Clinic at Flowery Branch Focuses on Player Safety.” ‘Heads Up’ Football Clinic at Flowery Branch Focuses on Player Safety. N.p., 31 May 2015. Web. 31 May 2015.


Keep Yourself Safe From Heat Stroke This Summer

By PHYLLIS SMITH

Summer’s here and for many of us, that means having fun in the sun, but heat stroke is danger you must look out for.
“Paramedics see heat stroke a lot in the summertime. We have numerous people that will call 911 just because they’re completely exhausted. They’ve been out in the sun and they’ll become dehydrated and then they start having cramps in their muscles or they have chest pains or other complications from it ,” said Harrison County EMS paramedic Monica Hammond.
The elderly are especially at risk.
“Elderly people can really be affected by heat stroke. They go out to do something as simple as cut their grass and they don’t think about how long they’re out there. They can become dehydrated very quickly. When you have elderly people in general, you also have some other medical conditions that may complicate that or medications that they’re taking that may increase the likelihood that they would go into an episode where they would be affected by heat stroke,” she said.
Here are some tips to help keep you safe.
“People need to remember to stay hydrated. Drinking water when you’re going to be outside and when you know you’re going to be outside is key. You also want to limit the amount of time you’re going to spend in the sun. You need to realize that the sun is beating down on you at 80 or 90 degrees out here and every time you’re sweating, you’re becoming more and more dehydrated,” she said.
If you think you might be having a heat stroke or you think someone else may be having one, here’s what to do.
“First off, bring them inside. Take them out of the environment that they’re in. You don’t want to try to cool them down all at once. If they are able to drink some water, go ahead and get them some water to drink and try to get them replenished. Call 911 if you absolutely think someone is having a heat stroke. We’ll come out and take care of them. We’ll transport them to the hospital and have them evaluated,” she said.

 

Source: Smith, Phyllis. “Keep Yourself Safe From Heat Stroke This Summer.” WDTV.COM. N.p., 31 May 2015. Web. 31 May 2015.


Head injury common among children in sports

By BRANT WILKERSON

By the age of 13, Riley Shore had put together a combination of agility, athleticism and balance to navigate her way around a 4-inch wide beam like it was a wide-open dance floor.

But in one moment, it disappeared.

For weeks after a fall during gymnastics practice, she showed up at a doctor’s office with one seemingly impossible goal: putting one foot in front of the other to simply walk in a straight line.

“I was in kindergarten again,” she said.

Like 250,000 of her peers in a 2009 Centers for Disease Control report, Shore had suffered a concussion through a sport or recreational activity. From 2001-09, the CDC found that emergency room visits for such injuries rose 57 percent among children under the age of 19.

An accomplished gymnast, reduced to trying to regain the simplest of motor skills. That was life for Riley two years ago after her third and most devastating concussion. For the now 16-year-old junior at Reynolds High School, doctors are still investigating a possible link to the daily migraines she began suffering this spring.

Her first concussion came at either 12 or 13, and there have been two or three more. She and her mother, Gina Shore, settled on the number three. They all seem to run together, they said.

The first was a blur, as they always seem to be, when she missed on a back handspring.

“I didn’t actually know what was going on; I had never experienced that,” Riley said. “I was kind of in a daze with what happened. I forgot; someone had to tell me how I had fallen.

“I think we’re a little confused if I passed out.”

Uninterrupted repercussions

Instead of seeking treatment, she competed in an important meet a week later. She convinced her mother that she was OK until her symptoms worsened and she spent a few days out of school, and two weeks away from gymnastics.

Her second concussion was relatively minor, causing a short interruption in school and her gym routine. It wasn’t until her third — a freak accident — that the gravity of the situation set in.

She was trying to dismount a beam into a foam pit, where there was a wooden plank — a prop that had fallen into the pit from the gym’s “Pirate Day.” The back of her head made contact at full speed as she finished a back flip.

This one was different. She staggered away from the pit, barely able to keep herself upright; her vision shaking.

“My vision was off, and then I did go home and start (vomiting) all over the place,” she said.

Unable to go to school for a week, Riley spent most of her time sitting in a dark room. Something as simple as watching television for a few minutes brought on an unbearable pounding in her head.

“It was very frustrating because I did feel very confined to my room a lot of the day,” she said. “I also couldn’t have the lights on — I was sensitive; it was very frustrating.”

Even after the week spent recovering at home, Riley struggled to return to school, first doing half days to adjust. She struggled to complete her assignments because looking at a screen or paper for too long was just too painful.

“Reading was very hard,” she said. “I had a constant headache all the time, and I couldn’t look at phones or TV.”

Even when the constant headache was gone, they returned at random — often on warm days when Riley was out in the sun for too long.

It took months of therapies — vestibular, physical and even an attempt at meditation — just to get to the point where she was given the OK to return to the sport.

It was at vestibular therapy where she got a glimpse of just how badly she had been affected. Asked to walk or run a straight line, Riley veered off to one side. Asked to balance on one foot while turning her head, she fell — a long way from twirling about on a beam.

“I just kind of laughed at myself, honestly,” she said.

For accomplished and driven athletes and students like Riley, the mental grind can be just as tough as the physical limitations.

“I know her well enough to know that it took a ton of effort to not give into that frustration,” said Ashley Donahue, an athletic trainer who has worked with her. “Well enough to know that’s not where she wanted to be.”

Two years ago, she spent two months away from gymnastics. Doctors told her that if she were to suffer another concussion in the short-term, she would likely have to walk away for good.

In March, serious migraines returned. It can’t be determined at this point if they’re related to the concussions, but Riley has been sidelined since April because she has been unable to get through a full practice.

“I have a daily headache,” she said.

According to a 2011 report published by the National Institutes of Health, as many as 15 percent of people with a history of mild traumatic brain injury suffer symptoms of post-concussion syndrome one year after the injury.

Symptoms range from headaches and irritability to anxiety and depression.

Donahue was impressed with Riley’s approach after the third concussion — something she says is important in helping to educate others around her.

“She knew what she had to do, and she had to be honest,” Donahue said. “To see the change between the first and second one … she knew what had to happen.”

Children can’t make right call

Her experiences played an important role a month ago when younger brother Sully Shore took two shots to the head while playing with Winston-Salem Lacrosse.

Sully, an eighth-grader at Wiley Middle School, ducked his head while running up field and collided with an opponent. After staggering forward, he was knocked over in a scrum.

Gina, who was taking photos in the stands, knew instantly that something was wrong with her son.

“Yeah, and especially when you look at the pictures now,” she said.

The sequence shows the entire progression, from first contact until he ended up on the ground — something of which Sully has little recollection.

Fortunately, there was an EMT and doctor on the sideline that day who, despite Sully’s lobbying, removed him from the game and wouldn’t allow him to return.

Donahue said that removing an injured child from action, and therefore, further possible injury, isn’t always the case, especially at youth sporting events where trainers often aren’t a requirement.

Thanks to the Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act of 2011, an athletic trainer or first-responder must be present at all high school football games and practices. A recent update to the law states that school districts should aim to have such care available at all high school and middle school athletic events for the purpose of not only responding to an emergency, but examining an athlete and determining whether they should be allowed to return to play.

Youth and recreational leagues have no such requirements, however.

Donahue added that injured children can only do so much to protect themselves.

“As compliant as they want to be, they don’t remember,” Donahue said. “If you don’t have medical staff on the sideline, you’re relying on other minors or somebody from the crowd who may or may not have taken it in as, ‘This is an injury.’”

Given the Shore family’s experience with concussions, Riley checked Sully’s symptoms, and the concussion was treated seriously from the start.

“She was sort of the frontline and tried to talk to him when he had his concussion,” Donahue said. “That’s when we get through to kids, when they start policing themselves, if you will.”

He spent a week away from school, confined by his own body — a “24/7 headache,” pressure in his head and sensitive to light.

A month later, Sully has started to do research on which helmet brands offer better protection, and in one case, tried to stop a teammate from playing through a possible head injury, by asking about his symptoms.

Despite what they’ve been through, Gina said she wouldn’t keep her children from the sports they love, so long as they’re cleared by doctors.

“Not because of concussions, because you can get them from doing anything,” she said. “If (Riley’s) not going to do gymnastics, she’s going to do something else.”

Donahue agreed.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she said. “If she can do it safely, I will be available to them, and if something else were to happen along the way, they will call, and we’ll figure it out.

My job, and what I want to do for kids, is not keep them out of something. It’s to be able to provide a safe environment to be able to do it. I hope she gets back to it.”

For Riley Shore, her head and her heart are still in gymnastics.

“I’ll eventually get back,” she said.

Source: Wilkerson, Brant. “Head Injury Common among Children in Sports.” Winston-Salem Journal. N.p., 31 May 2015. Web. 31 May 2015.


Concussions: Know the signs

By PENNY WILLIAMS

There are plenty of myths surrounding concussions. To keep children safe, it’s important that parents know the facts.

For instance, did you know that the best medicine for a concussion is actually rest? Many of us are under the impression that someone with a concussion should not go to sleep, or they should be awakened every two hours to check on them. But that’s not true.

“Increased stimuli to the brain can slow down the recovery process and subsequently delay a child’s return to school or their sport,” says Janice Beckett, Mission Sports Medicine athletic trainer for the Mitchell School District.

Girls are not immune — concussions happen to about as many males as females.

Also, “most concussions do not result in a loss of consciousness,” adds Beckett.

A concussion is possible if a child’s head is violently shaken, even if her or she never loses consciousness. The strength of the impact doesn’t decide the possibility of a concussion, or how mild or severe it might be either. Under these circumstances, “you should be concerned for a concussion,” she says.

Know the signs

Headache, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and sensitivity to light are the most common signs of a concussion. Uncontrolled crying, acting out and anger without cause could signal a concussion, too.

“You know your child best,” says Michael Hodges, Mission Sports Medicine athletic trainer for Buncombe County Schools’ Roberson district, “so (medical providers) rely on you for feedback. Your child may feel ‘normal,’ but you may notice small differences. We can’t see the brain heal like we can an ankle or knee, so communication with your provider is key.”

There are steps parents can take to ensure the best possible outcome when their child suffers a concussion.

“If your child receives a blow to the head or body and is showing signs or symptoms of concussion, remove them from the activity immediately,” Hodges advises. “(They) should not return that day. A common phrase in concussion treatment is ‘When in doubt, sit them out!’”

The child should also be seen by a medical care provider as soon as possible. Rest is critical, and parents can expect a “return to learn” or a “return to play” concussion treatment plan to “safely progress your child from rest back into cognitive and physical exertion,” explains Hodges.

Patience is a virtue when it comes to concussions. Children and adolescents recover more slowly than adults with similar injuries because their brains are still developing. Help your child comply with their concussion treatment plan, “especially when it comes to limiting screen time and school or work attendance,” adds Hodges. Children may feel normal before they are scheduled to return to full exertion, but it’s important to give the brain adequate time to heal and see the treatment plan through to the very end.

A concussion that isn’t treated properly from the outset can lead to lasting neurological effects. Knowing the facts about concussions could prevent that.

What to watch for

Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:

Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head

Temporary loss of consciousness

Confusion or feeling as if in a fog

Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event

Dizziness or “seeing stars”

Ringing in the ears

Nausea

Vomiting

Slurred speech

Delayed response to questions

Appearing dazed

Fatigue

Some symptoms of concussions may be immediate or delayed in onset by hours or days after injury, such as:

Concentration and memory complaints

Irritability and other personality changes

Sensitivity to light and noise

Sleep disturbances

Psychological adjustment problems and depression

Disorders of taste and smell

Source: Williams, Penny. “Concussions: Know the Signs.” Citizen Times. N.p., 31 May 2015. Web. 31 May 2015.


Raise a glass to summer … and prevent dehydration

By JOHN PRZYBYS

It’s advice that has become a medical truism, but do we really need to drink eight glasses of water each day?

Sure, but consider that only an average, suggests Dr. Mitchell Forman, dean of Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine. And while eight glasses is a good enough baseline, your own daily fluid intake goal will change according to several factors, including just being here to tough out a Southern Nevada desert summer.

The eight-glasses advice is intended to prevent dehydration. Figuring on about 1.2 liters of water each day, “for most adults, under normal conditions and no extreme circumstances or conditions, that’s a fair amount of fluid intake each day,” Forman says.

However, Forman notes that our bodies lose fluid in the form of both sensible loss (measurable fluid loss, such as that which occurs during urination) and insensible fluid loss (such as that which occurs through respiration and sweating).

Here, with Southern Nevada’s typical summertime low humidity, “the water loss you see from sweating and from breathing is phenomenal,” Forman says.

That alone could merit drinking more water daily than the standard eight glasses. How much more?

“You could almost double it,” Forman says. “It depends very much on the conditions. If you spend all of your time outdoors, you could almost double that to 3 liters of fluid.”

Also figuring into this hydration equation are the medical conditions someone has and the medications — diuretics, for example — he or she may be taking.

Forman suggests that people with such chronic conditions as diabetes consult with their health care providers to set their own fluid intake goals. Similarly, he says, check with your health care provider regarding medications you’re on and their impact on your body’s fluid loss.

By the way, keep an eye on the kids to make sure they’re getting enough fluids, too.

“(Children) tend to be more active than adults,” Forman says, and often “can’t articulate when things feel wrong — if they’re feeling lightheaded or dizzy or have a headache or display other symptoms of heat exhaustion. Keep an eye on them to help prevent dehydration that can lead to heat exhaustion or heatstroke.”

Monitor yourself, too, for dry mouth, lightheadedness, dark-colored urine or a lack of urination, or other signs that “you are dehydrated or moving toward dehydration,” Forman says.

Source: Przybys, John. “Raise a Glass to Summer … and Prevent Dehydration.” Las Vegas Review-Journal. N.p., 31 May 2015. Web. 31 May 2015.


How much water should you drink? Research is changing what we know about our fluid needs

By ALEX HUTCHINSON

As British cyclist Alex Dowsett was preparing last winter for an assault on the one-hour time-trial world record, his sports science team was fretting over the details – like the optimal temperature at the velodrome in Manchester. Warm air lowers air resistance, but risks parching the cyclist, who can’t drink during the race.

Meanwhile, Brock University physiologist Dr. Stephen Cheung, himself an accomplished cyclist and co-author of the book Cutting-Edge Cycling,was poring over the results of his surprising new study. The results showed that losing even three per cent of body mass through dehydration has no discernible effect on cycling performance. He shared the results, which had yet to be published, with Dr. Mikel Zabala, a friend who heads Dowsett’s scientific team.

“He and I were batting around the idea over the winter of just how hot do we want to make the track,” Cheung recalls. “He was obviously worried that Dowsett was going to get really dehydrated. So I shared the data that I had, and perhaps it put his mind at rest.”

Dowsett went on to smash the record by nearly half a kilometre in May, covering 52.937 kilometres in 28 to 29 C. Later that month, Cheung’s study was published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, garnering media attention around the world – and leaving everyone else confused. Hydration, after all, is a modern obsession: We tote water bottles to the gym, strap them to our waists as we run, and sip from them at our desks. By the time we feel thirst, we’re told, it’s already too late. So how could the new results be true?

Cheung’s research is just the latest in a string of studies over the past decade that have upended our understanding of the body’s fluid needs. Instead of striving to replace every drop that you sweat out, it now appears that a little thirst isn’t the end of the world. That doesn’t mean drinking during your workout is a waste of time – but it turns out that how much you need may depend less on the fluid levels in your body than on what’s going on in your head.

The prevailing rule of thumb is that you’re in trouble if you sweat out more than 2 per cent of your body mass, based on U.S. military research preparing soldiers for desert or jungle combat in the Second World War. For a 75-kilogram man, that works out to a loss of 1.5 litres of sweat – a pretty big puddle under the elliptical.

Still, depending on how hard you’re working and how hot it is, it’s possible to lose that much fluid in an hour. Even if you’re sipping from a water bottle, studies have found that in activities such as running, where it’s hard to drink on the go, people tend to replace less than half of their sweat losses.

A growing number of studies have hinted that the two-per-cent rule is flawed. For example, when French researchers weighed 643 runners before and after a marathon, the fastest runners lost the most fluid weight on average, and only the slowest runners kept their losses below 2 per cent. Another study found that star Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie lost as much as 10 per cent of his starting weight while running marathons – and he was nonetheless able to set two world records.

“Anyone who has worked in the field with athletes has probably realized years ago that a strict two-per-cent dehydration cut-off just doesn’t work,” says Dr. Trent Stellingwerff, a physiologist at the Canadian Sport Institute in Victoria. In his work with elite marathoners, Stellingwerff aims for 3 to 6 per cent dehydration, depending on weather and individual tolerance.

One problem with the earlier studies is that they didn’t distinguish between dehydration (the physiological fact of having lost fluids) and thirst (the psychological state of thinking you’d like a drink). Researchers deliberately dehydrated their subjects for hours using heat chambers or diuretics and then forced them to exercise without permitting them to drink. Under those circumstances, it’s no surprise their performance suffered.

“When you drink, you’re also affecting your thirst, your perception, your psychology, your motivation,” Cheung says. What slows you down, in other words, is the distraction and unpleasantness of wanting to drink without being able to, rather than an actual shortage of fluid in your body.

The twist in Cheung’s study was that he used intravenous drips, inserted in his subjects’ arms, to hydrate them while they cycled. Since the study was double-blinded, neither the cyclists nor the scientists knew whether fluid was actually entering the I.V. in any given trial – only a paramedic behind a curtain knew the truth. And to explore the role of thirst, he allowed subjects to rinse their mouth with water then spit it out in half the trials. While this approach succeeded in lowering subjective thirst, it didn’t affect cycling performance.

However, it may be that you need to actually swallow fluid to fully eliminate thirst, notes Dr. Paul Laursen, an Ironman triathlete and physiologist at the Sports Performance Research Institute, New Zealand who published a similar I.V. hydration study in 2013. He points to a 2012 study in which swallowing small mouthfuls of water increased exercise performance by 17 per cent compared with rinsing and spitting the same volume of water.

An earlier study even used a nasogastric tube to suck water out of participants’ stomachs and found that the mere act of swallowing fluid quenched thirst, even if all the swallowed fluid was then vacuumed out.

So if thirst isn’t a reliable indicator of fluid losses, what is it telling us? One possibility is that, rather than total fluid levels, your body is more concerned with the concentration of your blood. As you sweat, you lose both fluid and electrolytes such assodium, but your body adjusts to keep the relative balance of water and electrolytes in your blood plasma roughly constant. It’s only if you lose so much fluid that this balance is disrupted that your performance will be affected.

Taken together, these findings suggest that focusing on staying hydrated isn’t important … until it is.

It’s worth remembering that drinking on a hot day is, if nothing else, a pleasant sensation. When Cheung goes for long bike rides, he takes two full water bottles; and he thinks that team-sport athletes should continue sipping fluids when they’re on the bench. But keep the importance in context: For an average recreational runner in a half-marathon, for example, the amount you drink just doesn’t matter as much as we used to think.

That simple realization can itself be performance-enhancing, Cheung says, recalling the disappointing performance of American cyclist Taylor Phinney after he dropped a water bottle at the world championships in 2013. The race was only an hour long, so it shouldn’t have mattered – but since Phinney believed it was a problem, it hurt his performance.

That’s the message Cheung hopes people will take from his study – not that you shouldn’t drink when you have the chance, but that you shouldn’t obsess about it when you don’t. “It’s one less psychological crutch to hold you back from a top performance.”

Source: Hutchinson, Alex. “How Much Water Should You Drink? Research Is Changing What We Know about Our Fluid Needs.” The Globe and Mail. N.p., 31 May 2015. Web. 31 May 2015.


Natural Healing: 10 Home Remedies to Treat Heat Stroke

The angry summer sun is unforgiving and makes most of us run to the hills. It’s hot outside and inside too. Sweltering summer days don’t just make the environment uncomfortable; they also tend to raise your body temperature.

One of the most common problems associated with staying outdoors for too long is catching a heat stroke. According to Dr. Simran Saini, Nutritionist at Fortis Hospital, New Delhi, “Heat exhaustion is a temporary phase where your body is overloaded with heat, but a heat stroke is a more serious condition. It is caused due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures which may overheat your body and raise its temperature more than the normal body temperature which is 37 degree Celsius. If your body temperature rises above 40 degree Celsius it can even damage your vital organs.”

Simply put, your body tends to absorb more heat than what it can handle. First things first, look for these symptoms if you think a person may be experiencing heat stroke –

1. Throbbing headache
2. Rapid breathing
3. Increased heart rate
4. Flushed skin or redness
5. Nausea and vomiting
6. Excessive sweating and dizziness

A heat stroke may hit you as a result of low fluid levels in your body or severe dehydration. If you are not drinking enough water to replenish fluids lost through sweating, you tend to expose yourself to the risk. Your body needs to be hydrated to be able to respond to the heat.  Moreover, alcohol and caffeinated drinks may make the situation worse as they affect your body’s ability to regulate your temperature.

“During summers, it is very important for you to maintain your body electrolyte and fluid levels. In order to prevent being attacked by the heat, make sure you drink plenty of water or have something like lemonade before you step out. In fact, you can make an oral rehydrating solution for yourself which should be consumed if you plan to stay outdoors for a long time. Mix a teaspoon of sugar, two pinches of salt and one pinch of baking soda or sodium bicarbonate. Take this with about 200 to 300 ml of water. You can also add it in juices or other drinks,” suggests Dr. Simran.

“This solution helps in many ways. Firstly, the amount of water that you drink should be retained in your body for you to feel hydrated. Salt helps in retention. Secondly, your body uses up energy in trying to maintain its normal temperature and sugar boosts your energy. And lastly, baking soda or sodium bi carb promotes the functions of electrolytes and minerals in your body,” she adds.

Has the heat got to you? Before you pop any pills, try these natural remedies to beat the heat and feel better.

1. Onion Juice
This is one of the best remedies for treating a heat stroke. Lot of Ayurvedic practitioners suggest that this should be the first thing that you must reach out for. Applying onion juice behind the ears and on your chest can help bring down your body temperature. For therapeutic purposes onion juice is more desirable, but you can roast some raw onions with cumin and honey and have it. Raw onions in chutneys or salads can also cool your system.

2. Tamarind Drink
Tamarind is rich in vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. Soak some tamarind in boiling water. Strain it and drink it with a pinch of sugar. This decoction lowers your body temperature. Tamarind juice also acts as a mild laxative and helps in treating stomach disorders.

3. Aam Panna
Aam Panna refreshing drink that doubles up as a health tonic. It is made with raw mangoes and spices that cool your body.  This drink should be consumed at least two to three times in a day. ““Aam panna is enriched with cooling spices like cumin, fennel, pepper and kala namak which provides both energy and electrolytes,” says Dr. Simran.

4. Plums
Plums are a great source of antioxidants and are known to be very hydrating. These antioxidants lend anti-inflammatory properties that help in soothing internal inflammation that may be caused due to a heat stroke. Soak some plums in water till they are soft. Mash them in the water and strain it. This drink should be consumed as a remedy for a heat stroke. It is known to calm your body.

5. Buttermilk and Coconut Water
Buttermilk is a good source of probiotics and helps in replenishing your body with essential vitamins and minerals that may be lost due to excessive sweating. Similarly, coconut water rehydrates your body by naturally balancing the electrolytes in your body.

6. Juice of Coriander and Mint Leaves
Extracting the juice of coriander or mint leaves and drinking it with a pinch of sugar is an easy home remedy to bring down the body heat. According to Ayurveda, these herbs have a cooling effect on the body. Due to its cooling properties, coriander water is also considered as a great remedy for reducing menopausal heat and flushes. In fact, coriander juice can also be applied for soothing hot itchy skin.

7. Tulsi Seeds and Fennel Seeds
A concoction of tulsi seeds mixed in some rose water is known to cool your system instantly. Fennel seeds are also known as a cooling spice. Soak a handful of them overnight in water, strain and drink the water in the morning. This is will keep your body cool and guard you against the heat.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Add few drops of apple cider vinegar in your fruit juice or mix it with plain cool water and honey. This helps in replenishing the minerals and electrolytes that are lost. You may lose minerals like potassium and magnesium through sweating; these can be restored by consuming a decoction made with apple cider vinegar.

9. Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera is high in vitamins and minerals. Besides this, it is known as an adaptogen it boosts the body’s natural ability to adapt to the external changes and stimulates the defensive mechanisms of the body. Adaptogens are known to stabilize the various systems of the body. Herbalists also suggest one to use aloe vera gel to cure prickly heat.

10. Sandalwood Paste
Mix some sandalwood powder and apply it on your forehead and chest. Its cooling properties will bring down your body temperature. Alternatively, massage some sandalwood oil on your forehead. You can also use the oil to soothe irritable skin.

“In very serious conditions, you should wet the patient’s hair and forehead with cool, icy water. This provides channels for the heat to escape,” recommends Dr. Simran. While all of these may act as cures, they can also be consumed regularly during these sultry days to actually prevent a heat stroke.

Source: “Natural Healing: 10 Home Remedies to Treat Heat Stroke – NDTV Food.” Food.ndtv.com. N.p., 27 May 2015. Web. 27 May 2015.


Women’s Brains May Have Tougher Time Recovering From Concussion

By RANDY DOTINGA

New research from Taiwan uncovers more evidence that women may have a tougher time recovering their memory after concussions.

Scientists don’t know why the brains of women seem to respond to these brain injuries differently from those of men. But experts think it might have something to do with differences in male and female brains, or the way in which men and women are injured when their heads hit something.

Whatever the case, “you cannot treat women like you treat men,” said neuropsychologist Dave Ellemberg, an associate professor who studies brain injuries at the University of Montreal. “But in the field of the management of brain injuries, everyone is managed the same. The data mainly comes from men, and the management programs are all based on evidence that comes from them.”

At issue are concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injuries. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, “mild” refers to the initial blunt trauma itself, not its consequences, which can be severe.

Concussions have gotten tremendous attention in recent years in the world of sports, and some research has shown that female athletes suffer concussions at a higher rate than male athletes playing similar sports, the researchers noted.

The new study, which was led by Dr. Chi-Jen Chen and conducted by scientists at Taipei Medical University Shuang-Ho Hospital in New Taipei City, involved using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans to study the brains of 30 men and 30 women.

Half of each group had suffered mild traumatic brain injuries from playing sports, car crashes, falls or assault. Their brains were scanned a month after their injuries and again after another six weeks had passed. The other halves of both groups had not suffered brain injuries.

While other studies have found differences in how the brains of males and females react to brain injuries, the new research is unique because it used brain scans, said Ellemberg, who was not involved with the study.

In the first round of scans, the Taiwanese researchers found that the sections of the brain devoted to “working memory” were more active in brain-injured men and less active in brain-injured women, compared to their uninjured peers.

“Working memory is short-term memory,” explained Steven Broglio, a brain researcher and director of the NeuroSport Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “For example, remembering the price of something when you take it off the shelf and to the register at a store.”

The working memory in the brain-injured men, at least when viewed via brain scans, seemed to have bounced back to normal when they returned six weeks after their first scan. But the brains of the injured women were still affected.

“We know women have higher brain injury rates and longer recoveries, but we aren’t entirely sure why,” said Broglio, who was not involved with the study. One theory is that women have weaker muscles in the neck that are a factor in how head injuries affect them. Another theory suggests that women are more likely to report brain injuries and to tell doctors about ongoing symptoms, he said.

The study likely won’t affect treatment of concussions, said Broglio. It’s still crucial to treat injuries based on individual symptoms, he said, and there’s inconclusive research about the value of using brain scans as a tool for concussion patients.

Ellemberg said the research suggests that females take longer to recover from concussions. Physical and mental rest are more important for them, he said, and they must be careful about taking enough time away from athletics and mentally taxing activities like schoolwork.

“If they don’t,” he said, “it might prolong their recovery.”

Source: Dotinga, Randy. US News. U.S.News & World Report, 28 Apr. 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.


Heat stroke: Keep yourself hydrated with water, fruits

No repsite from heat with the summer feeling endless and the scorching heat is unavoidable. Yes, it’s the hottest time of the year. But it’s also the season to have the king of fruits — mango.

So go ahead, indulge and relish the fruit as much as you want. The temperature could be soaring, but this is the only time you can vacation with your family, so staying outdoors is inevitable. Here are ways to enjoy the summer.

-Heat-related ailments are common around this time — sunstroke, dehydration, skin diseases. If you know how to tackle these, the battle is half won.

-Most importantly, keep yourself hydrated through the day by consuming a lot of fluids. Gulp down as many gallons of water as you can and avoid aerated drinks

-Barley water is a coolant and so is tender coconut water. Drink these at least twice a week.

-If heat stroke hits you, then make sure you apply an ice pack as a first-aid but consult a doctor immediately because it could turn fatal depending on its intensity.

-Fruit juices too are a good option. Eating fruit as a whole is even better. You could perhaps try citrus fruits like orange, lemon and sweet lime. Water melons too are abundantly available in the market.

-Avoid eating spicy food and reduce your salt intake. Consume a lot of vegetables that is high in water content — cucumber, bottle gourd, celery, tomatoes.

-Never step out in the sun between 10 am and 3pm. If you must, then apply sunscreen on your face and body. Also, use an umbrella to protect yourself from the harsh UV rays of the sun.

-Wear light-coloured clothes.

Source: “Heat Stroke: Keep Yourself Hydrated with Water, Fruits.” Heat Stroke: Keep Yourself Hydrated With Water, Fruits. N.p., 28 May 2015. Web. 28 May 2015.


Heat stroke, exhaustion highlighted

SHARJAH: Preventive measures that should be taken into consideration to avoid heat exhaustion were highlighted during a meeting held at the Sharjah Medical district.

The Sharjah Medical district will organise an awareness campaign as part of its social initiatives to increase awareness about various medical issues.

The campaign that kicked off on May 26 is under the slogan “prevention is protection “ will feature the participation of various government departments including Sharjah police, Ministry of labour, Sharjah cooperative society, Sharjah, Sharjah electricity and water authority, Sharjah Municipality, Emirates transport in addition to other government departments.

The campaign will continue for five days to enhance health awareness and practices among society members, to explain to them that it is very dangerous to be exposed to high temperatures which can cause a heat stroke.

It also mentioned that people and particularly labourers have to strictly implement safety and security measures.

The campaign is held for the eighth consecutive year and comes as part of the main strategies of the Ministry of health to inculcate into people’s minds the importance of avoiding overexposure to sun and high temperatures and that they should implement preventive measure to avoid heat exhaustion.
Source: “Gulftoday.ae | Heat Stroke, Exhaustion Highlighted.” Gulftoday.ae | Heat Stroke, Exhaustion Highlighted. N.p., 28 May 2015. Web. 28 May 2015.