Thursday, September 25, 2008

Energy drinks - friend or foe

I have to admit, I've never tasted one of the so-called energy drinks like Red Bull or any other brand. Likely because I'm afraid of what that type of sugar/caffeine/chemical mix may do to my heart. I've already had an ICU experience as my heart decided to do some funny things.

Also, caffeine doesn't do anything for me. When I used to work nights, if I was tired, I was encouraged to drink coffee, but it never kept me awake. I can drink coffee before I go to bed and still have the same type of sleep (lousy!) as I would have had without it. So, the caffeine appeal goes right over my head. However, it's not bypassing the youth, if you take a look at their sales and their presence in just about every store you enter.

My first question is why do we need these drinks. Is our society spinning so quickly that we can't get by on sleep any more? I know that in every generation, there was something that was sold or available to be used as a pick-me-up, a study aid, or something to help you party longer and harder. But, this time, it's right in our face and being sold in our stores. Legally. And to any age, although admittedly, some of the drinks do say that they're not meant for children. Well, neither are cigarettes and booze, but teens get them anyway.

Now, there's an alert out by the medical community about the dangers of these drinks and caffeine intoxication. What is not being said though, is what about the dependence on these drinks too? If we're hooking teens on these high caffeine, high sugar drinks now, what may they be wanting to use later?

I worry about products like this. I don't even like to hear people saying they "need" their coffee to get started in the morning. I do have a cup of coffee every morning because I like the taste. But, for various reasons, I've gone several mornings without coffee and my day has been exactly the same as those with coffee. But, it's common place for just about everyone, every morning to say, things like, "I can't think straight, I haven't had my coffee yet," or "don't talk to me, I still have to have my coffee." My fear is that this will get even worse as our kids are getting hooked earlier on these types of stimulants.

What do you think?

Today at Help My Hurt:

Anal fissure: a pain in the butt
Book review and give-away - Chronic Pain Care Workbook
Does aloe vera help heal burns?
Prevent injury during fall clean up/winter prep

Today at Womb Within:

Pregnancy planning after weight loss surgery
September’s Pregnancy & Health Blog Carnival
Sad state of childbirth in many countries: UNICEF report

News for Today:

Not a Moment to Lose in Therapy for Acute Stroke
Flu Vaccine Should Be More Effective: CDC
Use Ritalin only as last resort for kids with ADHD, guidelines say
Fewer patients quit when depression treated by phone: study

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chinese tainted milk scandal widens

I wrote a few guest posts over at BabyLune for a fellow blogger who is having computer problems and one of the posts was on the babies who were affected by the tainted baby formula in China (Chinese baby formula scandal claims a second life). Unfortunately, since I wrote that post, more babies have died and more have been affected - significantly more.

Some recent news reports say that almost 13,000 children have been affected and so far, four have died, so far, but this morning, new reports are coming out that this number may actually be as high as 50,000.

What is the problem? Melamine, a product used in plastics, has been found in the powdered milk. Ingesting this poison can cause kidney stones and other problems in the urinary tract system. Although the problem seems to be wider - melamine has now also been found in some yogurt and other milk products, children are the hardest hit and therefore the only ones affected up to now. This is because of the large amount of milk that infants, babies and toddlers drink compared to most adults.

I can't even begin to imagine how the parents of these children must feel - parents of any child in China, even those not affected because of the fear and worry while they wait to find out if theirs has been made ill.

Today at Help My Hurt:

Children with hay fever more likely to experience headaches, facial pain
Watch how much Tylenol (Paracetamol) you give your babies
International pain resources

Today at Womb Within:

Rising rates of induction in Illinois
High trans fat diet may be connected to miscarriages
Vaccines and pregnancy - do they go together?

News for today:

Aggression among nursing home patients widespread
Electronic cigarettes no safe alternative to tobacco, WHO warns
Gut Bacterium Linked To Colon Cancer