Doctor provides insights on tick-related diseases, microplastic in lungs, and dog food hygiene

Health Stuff TO Know

Doctor's Opinion

In the News: Scientists published a report that shows something shocking: microplastics are showing up in people’s lungs.

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Microplastics in your LungsHealth Stuff TO Know

Background: As you know, recently, there’s been a lot of fear and chatter about microplastics showing up in our blood. This new study shows that microplastics are also appearing in our lungs. The research seems to imply that the size of the microplastics is so small that we can assume that we’re inhaling these small particles.

Who’s this for?

  • anybody who spends time in the outdoors.

Doctor’s Expert Health Insights

What are some points I should focus on?

First: We’ve known for some time now, that microplastics are present in all aspects of our lives. Significantly, this is the first time researchers have found microplastics in the human lung.

Second: Even though the research is not complete, it’s safe to assume that these microplastics are going to cause lung disease and heart disease.

Third: You should minimize other forms of exposure that damage your lung and heart health. Stop smoking, stop hanging out in heavily polluted areas, and wear masks–if needed.

The Big Picture: Our environment is being saturated by plastics–and the research is showing that the damage from plastics is far-reaching. Both to the human body and to the environment.

And, speaking of a clean environment:

Did you know that a huge study is showing us what we already know: if you don’t keep your pet’s food bowl clean–there’s a chance for an infection.

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Wash Fido's BowlHealth Stuff TO Know

Background: You can catch salmonella and E. coli from the leftovers of your pet’s food. It’s important to start washing your hands after feeding your animal friends. This applies to all animals–not just the ones that bark at cars.

Who’s this for?

  • anyone who has a pet.
  • anyone who deals with the feeding of animals.

What are some points I should focus on?

First: Hand washing is your answer. Hand washing is what you should do before AND after feeding your pets. Also, stop storing pet’s food in damp areas.

Second: Washing your pet’s dish with hot water and soap is important for the health of your animal and for the health of your family.

The Big Picture: This study is showing us very clearly that we need to practice better pet food hygiene. The effects of not keeping things clean can cause harm to your animal friends and to your family members, especially the immunocompromised members.

A nice 20-second hand wash before and after handing animal feed; and, keeping their feeding bowls clean can lead to improved outcomes.
Dr. Puja Uppal, Health Stuff TO Know

From the feeding bowl to the great outdoors: scientists in a published report are showing that Heartland Virus is spreading across Georgia.

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Heartland Virus in GeorgiaHealth Stuff TO Know

Background: Tick season has begun! As we spend more time outdoors, the chances of being bit by ticks increase. The Heartland Virus is adding to the stress that comes from tick bites–including Lyme Disease

Who’s this for?

  • anybody who spends time in the outdoors.

What are some points I should focus on?

First: There’s no treatment and no vaccine for the Heartland Virus. People may experience fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, headache, nausea, and diarrhea. Ask your doctor for a test, if you feel that you’ve been infected.

Second: Don’t confuse the Heartland Virus with Lyme Disease. There are treatments available for Lyme Disease.

Third: There are quite a few at home test kits available for Lyme Disease. If you get a positive result from your home test, please make a quick visit to your doctor. Overtime, if left untreated, Lyme Disease can cause brain damage and affect the way your heart beats.

The Big Picture: Tick borne diseases are a big deal here in North America. We’re still learning more about the Heartland virus. Because we don’t know too much about the virus, there’s simply no reason for you to get casually infected. Protect your exposed limbs & wear appropriate gear as you and your family go about in the woods & nature.

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Health Stuff TO Know provides digestible health & medical news from doctors. Expert information on the day's top health news. Dr. Puja Uppal is a board-certified physician. Dr. Uppal is Chief Medical Officer of Health Stuff TO Know & ThinkHealthy

Michigan State
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